We had so much fun on our trip to California. It was nice to see my sister and be there for my nieces first birthday.
When we go on vacation to visit family we really don’t do a whole lot. It is just an easy vacation with nothing planned. Especially with kids you kind of have to play things by ear. Next year we are going to Disney so that one will be planned more thoroughly.
Let’s get into the details.
Honestly we would not have been able to do this trip if it weren’t for the deals we got. When looking for deals on flights I first head over to JetBlue. They are the only airline I fly with because of their prices, and customer care. Look for tickets during the week like shop for them on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Try to plan your trip going out on a Saturday and coming back on a Tuesday those are generally the cheapest days to fly.
We were able to get three round trip tickets for $375, we could have done a cheaper flight coming home but we wanted to fly back with my parents so we paid the extra to get that flight. With JetBlue you get a free checked bag and a purse, diaper bag, or laptop bag.
You get free snacks and drinks on the flight, and every seat has a tv you can watch on the trip. As well as sirus radio. Bring headphones with a plug for those. They also have free wifi.
Another trick to saving money is booking through JetBlue Vacations, or Getaway Today. Both have deals all the time so check them consistently. Getaway Today does do Black Friday deals for Disneyland. Those are both really great money saving sights.
Now for the hotel. We were able to save a lot on the hotel because of a rewards card. Brandon goes out of town a lot and gets a lot of rewards points for Hilton. That helped us have our stay completely paid for. Again book during the week when prices are lower. You can use sights like hotline, or Expedia, but the best deals come from booking your flights and hotels together.
Food can get pricey. Order water for meals. That will save you so much money on your bill if you don’t order special drinks or sodas. I often can share or split a dish with Aria. Which again will help cut the food cost in half.
We often eat a later breakfast like 10-11, have some snacks like bananas or apples for lunch to hold you over for dinner at about 5 or 6.
If you need a rental car look around for deals I think there was a trip we were able to get a car for like $10 a day from a smaller company. This trip we split a car with my parents since our hotels were right next to each other.
So between car, flights and hotel it came to $500 and some change.
So all in all book during the week, get a rewards card for a hotel chain you like most, and look for smaller companies (research them), and don’t be afraid to ask for deals.
We got up and finished packing, cleaned the house and headed to the Airport. We parked a car there because it was as much as taking Uber or Lyft. We shuttled into the Airport, checked our car seat at the counter so we didn’t have to haul it through security.
TSA with kids is fun, you get to wrangle them while unloading your liquids stripping down and we didn’t learn this until afterwards but kids don’t have to take off their shoes or belts.
We got on our flight and took off. We packed books for Aria and her iPad and headphones. She stayed pretty entertained until the last 15 minutes she was ready to get off the plane.
I love JetBlue for flights because they are always comfortable, on time, the staff is happy, and most of all free snacks and drinks. That saved our butts with Aria because our flight was right at lunch time and she was getting hungry. So our flight attendants brought her some Pop Corners to hold her over.
Our flight landed and we drove to our hotel to check in. We stayed at the Hilton in Garden Grove. It wasn’t anything to write home about. It was small, and mostly clean. The staff was super nice but if we ever go back we will probably stay at the Marriot just behind us. My parents room was so much nicer and cleaner. If you know me you know how big of a germaphobe I am.
We freshened up and went to visit my sister. I got to snuggle my cute niece and then we headed off to dinner. We went to a place called 4th street in Santa Ana.
The food was so good! 4th street is like a food court for food truck eateries. Aria got Wendy’s on the way there, and Brandon and I got food from a place called Faloposophy. I got the vegan falafel, and Brandon got the chicken shwrama pita. It was fantastic. We also got the spicy garlic fries and those were absolutely delicious. If you are ever in the area go to 4th Street there are so many delicious places there to eat.
Sunday was a busy busy day. We woke up got ready and went to breakfast at a place called “The Broken Yolk“. YUM! I got simple buttermilk pancakes and they were huge so I split them with Aria. Brandon got this delicious looking skillet that had eggs, and sausage, with hash browns. He loved it.
We then drove up to Mission Viejo for Ella’s birthday party. We helped set up the photo area for the smash cake and the party started.
My sister’s inlaws always know how to party. The food is always good, and they always have the cutest set ups. I love my sister’s inlaws and love how well they look after her. Seriously they are the nicest people I have ever met.
My sister also did such a cute job at decorating cookies and getting this party together. It was such a fun party and such a fun day. We ended the day eating cupcakes and watching a movie before heading back to the hotel.
We were finally able to go to our favorite place to eat! Snooze. They have the most delicious food ever and it’s no surprise that it is always busy. I get the breakfast burrito with green hollandaise sauce. There are eggs in this burrito but no meat so it isn’t vegan friendly but this burrito is beyond amazing. The OMG French toast is always good and they always have amazing specials. If you are in the Irvine area look up Snooze because it is AMAZING!
After breakfast we went to the Irvine Spectrum. It’s a cute mall with some fun photo op areas and kid play grounds. We walked around got some Orange Blossom Lemonade from Falasophy and rode the Carousel l. It was a really chill day which is always my favorite.
Aria had so much fun!
Breakfast held us all over until dinner. We went to 4th Street again instead of Boston Market. Big mistake. Everyone was either closed or out of food. The only place open was a place called Wingmans. They didn’t have anything I could eat, but aria got naked chicken nuggets, and Brandon got a spicy chicken sandwich. The fries were really good. But it wasn’t falasophy.
We were flying out that afternoon so we got up early and checked out of our rooms. We stopped by Brueggers Bagels and grabbed a dozen bagels. We ate at my sisters and I have to say the bagels were so delicious.
After we ate we kicked back until it was time to go to the airport. It is always hard to say goodbye. I always leave in tears.
We dropped off the car and went through Long Beach Security. That airport is so small and so amazing we love it. It takes about 10 minutes to get through there. We got on our JetBlue flight and flew home.
All in all the trip was full of good food and good company and that is all that you really need out of a great vacation.
Aria loved the flight home, she even made friends through the seats of the plane.
Update on Luggage
Our luggage held up and survived the trip. I told you we would update you with how our iFly luggage did on our trip. They were lifesaving. Aria pushed her own luggage, they held up, and carried everything we needed. I love the pockets on the outside that keep your shoes separate from your clothes.
I cannot recommend this luggage enough. My parents loved our luggage so much they are grabbing a set for themselves.