Spring Break 2014 in California

Welcome back everyone! As mentioned in my last blog post, we just had Spring Break, which was greatly needed. This year I went home to California and brought my friend Lauren with me. Here’s a run-down of everything we did that week:

We arrived in Southern California Friday night, and boy were we hungry since the flights don’t really offer any food. Therefore, we pounced on the opportunity to go to In-and-Out for a very late dinner. Lauren had never been to one before so we knew we would eventually have to go there for a meal at some point, so why not the night we flew in?

Some late night dinner at In-and-Out!
Some late night dinner at In-and-Out!

Saturday was pretty relaxing since we just arrived and wanted to get adjusted. What better way to enjoy the warmth than go for a nice hike at Peter’s Canyon Regional Park! Little did I know, the sun was stronger than I remembered so I got a pretty ugly tan line—oops!

Hiking in the hills and Peter's Canyon Regional Park
Hiking in the hills and Peter’s Canyon Regional Park

Sunday was quite busy for us. We woke up fairly early since we were on Michigan time still. Regardless, we had to get up early anyway for a 5K my mom signed us up for. Get this—it was called the Leprechaun Leap. Clearly, it was a pretty intense race! After that it was still early in the morning so Lauren and I decided to head to Newport Beach since it was going to be in the 80s that day. Perfect weather for Spring Break!

Lauren and I at Newport Beach after the race
Leprechaun Leap 5K race
Leprechaun Leap 5K race

Monday we decided to go on another hike because the first one just wasn’t enough for us. This time we went to Irvine Regional Park and got to see some horses, ducks and just soak in the beauty of California. Thankfully there were a lot more trees so I didn’t get a nasty tan line again. The rest of the day we spent at my house just relaxing and hanging out near the pool while reading. Nicholas Sparks is always the go-to author when you are lounging around and enjoying life.

Just relaxing near the pond at the park
Entering the park

Tuesday was the most exciting day we had! My mom took work off and brought Lauren and me to Hollywood. First of all, we hiked up to the famous Hollywood sign and sat behind it and took a ridiculous amount of pictures. Just looking at the sign you wouldn’t think it would be difficult to hike up there, but the path was very loopy and took about 45 minutes to get to the top. Let me just say that I was quite sore the day after! Once we took in the scenery we walked down and headed to the Grauman’s Chinese Theater where the Academy Awards takes place, looked at all of the celebrity stars on Hollywood Boulevard and headed to Beverly Hills to tour Rodeo Drive, Sunset Boulevard and all of the expensive stores around there. We were pretty exhausted at this point and there wasn’t much else to do there so we headed back home and rested for the rest of the night from all of the excitement.

Lauren and me behind the Hollywood sign
My mom, Lauren and me at the Hollywood sign
The beginning of the hike
Grauman’s Chinese Theater
Lauren and me in Beverly Hills
On Rodeo Drive

Lauren and I were up for some more adventures on Wednesday so we went to Knott’s Berry Farm. Not many people know about this place but to put it in a nutshell, it’s an amusement park like Disneyland but less commercialized so the crowds are smaller and the rides are more thrilling. Perfect, right? Awesome rides PLUS short lines is the recipe for a good time—and it was!

The entrance to Knott’s Berry Farm!

Thursday consisted of another mellow day of crafting and hanging out at the pool. The past week was pretty jam-packed with stuff so we needed to recuperate for a bit. In addition, we lounged in front of the TV and watched old episodes of One Tree Hill. I’ve never watched the series before but I’m definitely hooked.

Friday was our last day in California so we made it count! My friend Melissa flew home Thursday night from Chicago so we hung out with her all day. The three of us went to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants called “Jalapenos” and it was just as delicious as I remembered. After filling our stomachs with some food Melissa, Lauren and I went to Huntington Beach and laid out on the sand for a bit, walked on the pier, went into some shops and had a huge smoothie at Melissa’s beach house. After that (and the traffic getting home) Lauren and I got cleaned up and went to Melissa’s house for pizza and games. Two of my other friends that go to school in the area were able to join so that was an added bonus to the evening. It was so great catching up with them even though it was just for a few hours!

Lauren, Melissa and me at Huntington Beach
Pizza and game night at Melissa’s

Saturday morning approached and Lauren and I had to get up and head to the airport at 5:15 am to catch our flights. It was a pretty dreadful morning just realizing we were leaving the warmth and the stress-free environment of home and heading back to this terrible winter in Michigan. Anyways, it was a Spring Break to remember for sure. I was so glad to be able to bring a friend home with me because realistically, it will never happen again since California is so far from school and everybody else. I hope everyone enjoyed their breaks if they had them as well. Only four more weeks of classes and then this school year is over! Hang in there!!!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @hopeleslie15.

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Published by Leslie Kempers

Hey Everyone! My name is Leslie Kempers and I am from Santa Ana, California. I am a Senior this year and am majoring in Exercise Science so after my time here at Hope, I will be pursuing a career in physical therapy! I have previously been involved with Nykerk and CASA and am excited to see what this year has in store for me. This place has become my second home and I have cherished every moment here at Hope College. Go Dutchmen!!!

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