Ella & Grampie Adventures

We are so happy to have my Dad visiting all the way from Maine for Thanksgiving this year. It will be the first Thanksgiving we have spent together since I moved almost 4 years ago. Ella is sooo happy to have her Grampie here visiting. 


My Dad landed late Thursday night and we wanted to keep Friday pretty mellow, so my Dad could get a bit of rest after such a long day of traveling. 

We decided to grab breakfast in Seal Beach and spent some time at the park by the beach. Afterwards, we explored one of our favorite shopping areas in Huntington Beach.

We had to check out Santa's house!

Ella loves the play area... but I am sure it's germ city so we only spent a short time here and used lots of hand sanitizer after.

We walked around the shopping area for a bit. And as you can see, Ella was thrilled.

We stopped for cupcakes.

I saw this on the wall and had to take a pic!

We did some much needed resting and relaxing at home afterward. For dinner, we took my Dad to Korean BBQ, which is one of his favorites.

Ella's favorite too... :)


Saturday began early. Michael had to work, and we wanted to spend the day doing something fun with Ella. We decided to take Ella to the aquarium.

After the aquarium we decided to walk around a bit and check out the shops at the Pike Outlets next door.

There was a Christmas tree, so you know we had to take pics!!!

For lunch, we went to Bubba Gump Shrimp. Such a tourist trap, but I have NEVER been and always had wanted to go. It was kind of a fail, but was a fun experience.

My Dad... "I look like such a dork in that picture. Don't post that." Okay Dad.

Bloody Mary's with our lunches!

We had chowder, salad, a cajun chicken sandwich and fried fish all to share. It was all just okay! We don't have many pics of lunch because Ella got a little fussy, so I was busy entertaining her!

Ella on the way home! She ended up taking a 2 1/2 hour nap. We watched Jeopardy on Netflix while we waited for her to wake up.

Someone woke up and wanted to sit with Grampie! 

Once Michael got home from work, we decided to go check out the Seal Beach Christmas tree lighting near the pier.

THIS was the size of the crowd. I hate crows, so I just decided to bail on the tree lighting. It would have been fun to see but not worth that crowd. 

Instead of stopped to get happy hour at one of our favorite places on Main Street and called it an early night!


Ella woke up with a cold on Saturday... poor girl can't catch a break! But by Sunday it was worse. I decided it would be best that she stay home with Michael all day, while my Dad and I went out for the day. I took my Dad to one of his favorite places... San Diego! 

There's SO much to do in San Diego. But my Dad and I have been a few times and on this day he had 4 things he wanted to do. See Torrey Pines golf course. Go to Old Town San Diego. Walk around Balboa Park and swing by Del Mar horse track. Done! I could do that! 

First stop. The Golf Shop so my Dad could grab a few souvenirs.

He got a hat & t shirt.

I know he was itching to play, but there were no tee times until much later in the afternoon.

The lodge. 

It was a fun and quick trip. I was glad to see my Dad SO happy to be at a place he has always wanted to visit.

Next was Old Town San Diego.

I have been many times before, but I still like going to visit.

We walked around the park, going into all of the little shops and museums. 

We had reservations at the Cosmopolitan Hotel for brunch.

The restaurant seating was inside of an outdoor courtyard area within the hotel. It was really nice.

I got a mimosa and an eggs benedict.

While my Dad had a skillet hash.

We went and toured the Whaley House. Supposedly one of the most haunted houses in America.

After walking around town a bit more, we headed out and went straight to Balboa Park. We parked and made our first stop at the Japanese Friendship Garden.

After touring the gorgeous garden, we walked around to enjoy the ambience. There were lots of street performers and fun things to watch/see. 

I didn't get many pics of Balboa Park unfortunately. It was a quick stop! We had to head to Del Mar if my Dad was going to catch any of the races...

We parked, took a tram to the grandstand and found our seats.

My Dad had the best time. I am not a huge horse racing fan, for many reasons, but seeing my Dad light up made it worth it. He grew up around horse racing and just loves it.

We stayed for a few races and then headed home. We hit MASSIVE traffic on our way back... It took us 2 1/2 + hours to get home. I was so miserable. I ended up calling in take out to pick up on our way home for dinner and called it a night. It was a bummer to end our fun day sitting in crazy bumper to bumper traffic, but that's what happens around here!

I will be back later on in the week to share more pics of the rest of my Dad's trip.

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