California Dreaming: Creating a Staycation in the OC– Disney Style!
Originally I thought I would be tapping this in from Europe– Paris or London or Italy or Spain– but as luck and the fuel prices had it, that was not in the cards for 2008. INstead of jetting off to Hawaii , Bahamas, Washington DC or NYC (as airfares kept climbing), we got wise here and decided to set our sites on closer to home locales. Considering that work was piling up, maybe that was a good idea but 8 weeks of tech troubles and 7 day work weeks, I was ready to tear my hair out if I didn’t get away from this computer. Since I didn’t want to make being bald a fashion trend, I got busy searching for places to go that would be fun for everyone.
Ok– granted it might seem easy to create a stay-cation or a stay at home vacation here in So. California but not really. Not everything is kid-friendly, not everyone wants to shop all day (particularly me because I do enough damage covering the fashion and beauty scene).
Grand Californian Hotel
So instead, we chose the opposite direction and headed to the OC where anyone and everyone can be a kid again– Disneyland. Booking a suite at the luxe Grand Californian, I was determined to hit a spa and get some jacuzzi time in as well as some good *non-kid-oriented* food. Skip the pizza, I wanted some seriously good dining experiences and a great bar. Everything is within easy reach at the Grand Californian with 2.5 pools, jacuzzi and also the Mandara Spa.
Here’s a bit of Disney lore about this hotel. It’s modeled on the famed Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, duplicating (and perhaps enlarging upon) the basic floor plan and dynamic rooms of that amazing place in the national park (Yosemite.. not Disneyland) . It’s got the same lush but rustic feel and has Sequoia trees planted on the property and lots of plants, foliage and gorgeous Arts and Crafts styling that is a sort of offshoot of the Prairie House architecture created by Frank Lloyd Wright but given a serious dose of California perspective by various California based architects
Interior Hotel Courtyard
It’s part Disney, part nature, part respite from the outside world and you can’t quite place where you are but you know it’s good!
Build into the quotient that
Downtown Disney is right out the back door on one side of the hotel; California Adventure is at the rear of the hotel and Disneyland is a brisk walk from the hotel and it’s a perfect “walking” vacation.
More photos and 411 on the hotel later, it’s time to hit Downtown Disney and then head out to lunch!!
Kids are kids and they don’t want to wait for lunch. Finding Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen alive and well and serving food, that’s where we stopped for lunch!
Since it was after 12, we had a great lunch that was a bit on the slow side but gave me time to sip my mojito and start decompressing.
As soon as the food was served, it was eaten quickly by two kids and then they were gone to hit the park sans any adult supervision.
We made sure the kids knew where to get back to the hotel because there’s a “secret entrance” to the hotel from Downtown Disney that’s not really apparent.
Hotel entrance to Downtown Disney
However there was a notable landmark to give the kids– Sephora!
Who said dreams don’t come true? Even — especially — at Downtown Disney there is a beauty heaven. I did my damage there later that day.
Stay tuned!! There’s more to come about Disneyland!
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