Disneyland Day Two…

Our second day at Disney was just as exciting as our first although for the most part we based ourselves in the main park. There are so many iconic attractions in the main park and we wasted no time in showing them off to Phil’s Dad.

We took him on all the classics from Pirates, Haunted Mansion and Small World. He loved it!

For lunch we had turkey legs and watermelon. I really love the turkey legs at Disney, they are just so flavourful!

Playsuit: Topshop two years ago (!). I always feel like I wear this playsuit on holiday. Its just so comfy with a really pretty rose print. Sunglasses: Vans  Sandals: Tesco

We also made sure that we squeezed in a parade and two evening shows, World of Colour and the Fireworks.

The parades are so magical, you can’t help but be enveloped in a warm hug of happiness watching them. When I visited Disneyworld as a child, I used to think that the characters I was seeing were the real McCoy. I’d go around collecting autographs and spending my days in awe of their celebrity status. As an adult, I’m quite aware that they are cast members and I certainly don’t go around collecting autographs, but I still appreciate the effort that goes in to portraying the character as well as the level of detail that creates the Disney parks and just makes them so, so special. We were sat next to a guy who works at Disney but was on his day off. He told us lots of interesting facts about the parks and some changes coming up. Disneyland is only going to get better!

We did a spot of shopping before leaving Disney and I picked up a hand drawn sketch of Hay Hay from Moana. It’s so cool that a Disney artist drew it. I’m not sure where in the house it will live exactly, but it’s definitely finding a wall somewhere.

Because our hotel was so close (and Phil had manflu) we went back to our rooms for an hour or so before heading back over for the night shows.

World of colour is such a gorgeous display on the lake over in California Adventure. It’s such a treat featuring so many iconic characters.

We then finished our time at Disney by watching the fireworks over the castle in the main park. The fireworks at Disney are the best I’ve ever seen. They just know what they are doing! We loved it.

Have you seen the Disney parades/shows?

L x

Disneyland Day One…

It’s no secret that Phil and I love a trip to Disneyland and so when we found ourselves back on the West Coast of America, naturally we found ourselves back at Disneyland.

We first visited this Disney two years ago whilst on honeymoon and loved it. I just love it because not only is it the original, but it’s also really manageable. I adore Disneyworld in Orlando, but a visit there is more of an event as you need to spend at least a week there to see all of the parks properly. In Anaheim, two days is good enough.

I love how unique the California Adventure park is and I always like to start off there. The Cars ride is my absolute favourite, so I like to get a fastpass for that beauty first. The queue for Cars is always astronomical, so it’s best to make use of the fast passes.

Top: Topshop , Shorts: Superdry Sandals: Roxy Sunglasses: Vans

I always choose a hotel within walking distance to Disney because it saves money on parking and you are not tied to a shuttle bus. 

It was Steve’s first visit to Disney so we branded him with a badge and took him on all of our favourite rides. He loved it! 

I think he’s now a Disney convert, which is great!

Have you visited Disneyland in California?

L x

My Favourite things to do in La La Land…

It’s absolutely no secret that I adore Southern California. From the golden sunsets to sandy beaches I’m completely head over heels in love. It all started in 2015 when my husband and I spent a month on honeymoon along the West Coast of America. It was such a fun and dreamy time that I would relive over and over again in a heartbeat. We had just so much fun and it was from that moment on that Los Angeles became one of my favourite places in the world. That’s why when the opportunity arose to spend ten days in LA again I leapt at the chance and we were on a plane to soak up the sun by the time you could say USA. Well, almost. 
Anyway after returning from our trip I have been inspired to put together a few things that I love to do when I’m over in La La Land.

Being a Disney addict means that no trip is complete without a Mickey fix and the parks in California are fabulous. 

I must admit that the Adventure park and Disneyland itself are my favourite of all the Disney parks that I’ve visited (which includes Walt Disney World in Florida!). 

I think that the fact that this park was the original just gives it a little extra sparkle and there’s so many unique rides that I just love (the Cars ride is so cool!).  I also like that you can hop between the parks super easily (like in Paris) and it’s not overwhelming (like WDW can be). Plus it’s all in English so I feel like I experience it fully. Anyway, I always have so much fun here so I would definitely recommend a visit!

One of the other things that I love to do is shop. We love walking around the mall having a nosey and until recently you could pick up quite a bargain with the US/GBP exchange rate. A lot of my favourite brands are American so I’m in my element!

A new discovery from our recent trip was Knott’s Berry Farm, which is a theme park located in Anaheim. It’s so much fun and quite quirky. They have a couple of really odd rides there. It’s also not as busy as Disney and we literally never queued for anything. Hurrah!

We stayed in Santa Monica for a few days on this trip and it was really lovely. We loved cycling along the beach (which is also what I loved doing on our honeymoon in Long Beach), and the cycle paths that are literally on the beach make it super safe and easy. There’s loads of places to rent bicycles cheaply too. I think we paid around $16 for a couple of hours. 

There’s quite a lot to do in Santa Monica from the pier to Muscle Beach and the beach itself is layered with beautiful golden sands.

Long Beach is a gorgeous place to explore with lots of nice restaurants and a pretty marina to walk around. It’s also where they filmed a scene in Clueless which always excites me!

I went whale watching on this trip which is something I didn’t do last time as we had just been swimming with sharks in Hawaii and  poor Phil had felt terribly seasick so he didn’t fancy hopping on a boat. We also went whale watching in Iceland last year which was unsuccessful as I didn’t see any whales and poor Phil spent the four hour boat journey vomiting! 

This time I went with my friend Kate and was absolutely blown away. We were so incredibly lucky to see four grey whales as well as lots of sea lions. It was one of the most enchanting experiences seeing these wonderful giants living wild and free. We used our LA Go cards for this trip (as well as Universal and Knott’s Berry Farm!), so it wasn’t remotely expensive. I am planning on going again when we next visit for the summer migration.

Long Beach is also rather lovely with its marina and, er, beach. There are lots of nice restaurants in the hood (including the delicious Wokcano) and there are lots of cute places to enjoy the LA Lifestyle. As well as some totally instagrammable shops near the marina.

Have you visited LA? What would you recommend?

L x 

10 Essential tips for travelling to Hong Kong…

At the start of January we headed over to Hong Kong to celebrate my birthday. I was so, so excited to explore a part of the world that was new to me and couldn’t wait to take it all in. Luckily for us, I have a wonderful friend from my uni days who lives in Hong Kong and we also met a man on the plane who lives there too, so we quizzed both of them on their top tips and must see places. I now present to you my top ten tips for visiting Hong Kong…

1. Get yourself an Octopus card

I had heard about the Octopus card that is used all over Hong Kong. It’s a prepaid card that works like an Oyster card in London. It’s great because you can save so much money on public transport by having one. As a Londoner, I found the MTR to be super cheap and such a convenient way to get around town. You can also use your Octopus to pay for things in fast food restaurants and convenience stores.

Dress: AllSaints

2. Buy theme park tickets from 7 Eleven

This is a tip that we picked up from our chatty plane companion. Tickets for places such as Disneyland and Ocean Park can be picked up from the 7 Eleven stores that are all over the city. There are two major pluses for this; firstly, no queues on arrival and secondly they are a couple of quid cheaper – hurrah!

3. Use the Openrice app

This tip was given to us by our lovely friend Cindy. It’s basically an app that you can use to source restaurants, cafes and general eateries. People post reviews and photos of the food. I found this super handy because it’s always a good idea to go on recommendations from others and we could see what was around when we were hungry. Plus I’m super cautious over food hygiene when eating out and this gave us a bit of a heads up.

Taken at Yum Cha in Tsim Sha Tsui.

4. Haggle at the markets

The night markets in Hong Kong are great, especially for choosing souvenirs. Make sure you know what price you are prepared to pay and haggle down if you think it’s on the steep side. There are some bargains to be had, but some merchants will try to take advantage of you!

5. Take advantage of the MTR

I loved using the MTR whilst we were away. I’m always a fan of walking lots and using public transport whilst away because I feel like you really get to see the place. The MTR goes all over Hong Kong and has stops near all of the major attractions. It even has a Disney themed train!

6. But also don’t be afraid to use a taxi

I was so surprised at just how reasonable the taxis are. When we arrived at the airport we went over to the taxi rank and it was so well organised. We knew how much we would be paying, the taxis are colour coded (red for Tsim Sha Tsui) and they’re all registered too, so we felt safe.

7. Do Disney

Disneyland in Hong Kong is really special. It’s much smaller than the other Disney parks that I’ve visited, it’s bitesized and a perfect addition to a visit to Hong Kong. We visited on my birthday and had such a fun day. It was super quiet in the park and we didn’t need to queue for any rides except for the Iron Man ride which had a twenty minute queue and had opened that day. We had so much time to do everything because we weren’t queuing all day and watched two parades, one show and met a few of the characters. All in all a fantastic birthday. Also, take advantage of the free wifi and fast passes.

8. Accept that it’s busy

Hong Kong is a bustling hive twenty-four/seven. We dragged our jet lagged selves out in the early hours one night for a drink and snack only to be greeted with streets still alive with people. It’s incredible. And also ridiculously handy if you need a shop in the middle of the night (which we actually did one evening when I was unwell!). It’s a bit daunting that the city is so tall and busy, but I think that’s part of Hong Kong’s charm. It’s pulse barely reaches resting state. So just be prepared to embrace it’s intensity.

9. Happy Valley Race course 

Apparently, Happy Valley Race Course serves cheap drinks and it’s a great place to go for a night out. We didn’t find alcohol particularly expensive during our trip, but according to our plane pal, the race course is where it’s happening.

10. Check out the free places 

There are lots of places to visit in Hong Kong that are either free or require a small donation. There are some beautiful temples, parks and gardens to explore. Perfect for those on a budget. Check out the Avenue of Stars for something quirky.
Have you visited Hong Kong?

L x