Anaheim, California

Anaheim is a city in Orange County California, It’s mostly known for being the home of Disneyland also known by me for being the home of 90’s rock princess Gwen Stefani and No Doubt. Like all suburbs of LA it has a chip on it’s shoulder in relation to all the other suburbs and a slight lack of distinct identity (besides Disney). The RV was in the repair shop so we decided if we were going to have to stay in a hotel, it might as well be close to Disneyland. We really enjoyed all that Disney has to offer and found some other local attractions also.

Disneyland

IMAG3150I guess you have to go here, but remember you’re going to spend a lot of money.  But just get this out of your head right away and it will be worth it. Everybody around you is having a good time, because they’ve bought into the system. Disney folk are friendly, they want to talk to you about the Disney things in their lives and how you should accept Disney into yours. But if you can get past the glassy eyed consumerist true believers the park is a great time. It’s hard to be disappointed in Disneyland, It’s expertly engineered to entertain you. I’m not going to pretend we didn’t enjoy the crap out of ourselves. If you only have one day and want to take a break in the middle of the day.  Probably don’t go for the park hopper pass, even with expert level use of the fast pass system you’re probably not going to see everything. Also remember that CA adventure closes 2 hours before Disney. We planned badly.

Downtown Disney

IMAG3136If you’re staying near Disney then you will probably frequent this place  often. It’s just about the only place around with a walk-able mix of shops and restaurants.  Coming back for a few days in a row can be a little weird,  you can get a little wary of the insane consumer empire that is Disney®.  Everyone you see is wearing matching Disney brand products with tons of official Disney merchandise.  I was beginning to wonder if they have some secret copyright police that patrol the grounds looking for bootleg shirts and tackling deadmau5 fans. The House of Blues has pretty good deals on happy hour, but for some reason it’s from 2pm to 5pm. That’s about the time parents would get sick of the kids and need a break, but we always missed in when walking over for dinner.

Anaheim Garden Walk

This place is weird, the theater is nice. If you pay an extra $5 you can sit in chairs that move along with the movie. This is the definition of trying too hard. They have some nice restaurants on the other end.  But the middle is this wasteland of empty stores and boarded up sections. I hear this is because Disney backed out of a deal to take over the top floor with some kind of attraction. They’re trying to fill it,  but for now it looks like a good place to reenact Dawn of the Dead. But I do want them to succeed, Anaheim needs something that’s not Disney related.

Anaheim brewing company

IMAG3183Nice little tasting room attached to the brewery the bartenders are really nice and Gave us some suggestions on local things to do on the area.  The beer is good, no complaints really. But nothing blew me away.

Favorite beer : Anaheim Red

Anaheim Packing District : Packing House

IMAG3177IMAG3192This place is great, Besides Disney and all Disney affiliated locations, it’s just about the only place worth visiting in Anaheim. They’ve turned an old orange packing house into a foodie food court.  They have craft beer,  various meats,  and Asian foods.  All of the food groups.  I didn’t have anything there that wasn’t off the charts fantastic. The Thai bahn mi at Sawleaf was amazing. Amazing amazing. The Iron press has a great selection of rotating taps. The Kroft’s poutine and meat-packed sandwiches are fantastic. Popbar’s ‘popsicle’ desserts are great (but don’t wait half an hour for one, there’s another ice cream shop in there). The best part is that you can mix and match. If you’re into great food this place is a must visit in Anaheim,  I went there almost every day for lunch.

Ink and Bean Coffee Shop

We became regulars at this little coffee shop.  I’m not exactly a coffee expert, I wouldn’t know a conical burr grinder or the proper roast if I had flash cards for them. All I know is that they make a great  up of coffee and are really nice to you even if you’re the first people in every morning. Which we were since I’d been up since 5:30 and my coffee break time is 7am.

Motel 6 Anaheim Maingate

IMAG3128IMAG3158Since the RV was being repaired over in Orange County, we had to stay in a hotel for a while. It’s pretty hard to find a hotel that is both pet friendly and reasonably priced. When looking for a pet friendly hotel that also takes cats your only option is Motel 6, luckily I’m here to report that it’s pretty great. Especially in Anaheim. Let me list what they have… Pool, Hot tub, Clean rooms, Cable, ‘Hardwood’ floors, Fast Internet (at a cost)… for $70 per day. Not having carpet makes SO MUCH SENSE for a pet friendly hotel. They do have a rule that they won’t clean the room with the pets in there, which is a little inconvenient for us because we brought the cat also. But I understand why! I would stay at this hotel again without the pets, the front desk workers were the warmest, friendliest people I have ever seen in the hotel industry. I actually wrote them a letter! And it’s walking distance from Disney , Downtown Disney and Garden Walk.

BringFido.com

In searching for pet friendly hotels we discovered a great website that has a lot of search options for finding hotels and restaurants that accept pets. It’s a great resource for travelers with pets.

Red Lobster

We were constantly seeing commercials for the start of LOBSTERFEST® at Red Lobster. Since I’m a classic sucker for advertising I decided that we would go out and try it. I’m usually satisfied with chain restaurants, I’m with that old lady who reviewed Olive Garden. But Red Lobster has to be the most overrated place in history. We spent over $100 for overcooked sea bugs and some less than stellar ‘craft cocktails’. The cheddar bay biscuits were delicious as ever, they deserve no blame in this travesty. I wish they could be free agents and move to a better restaurant. Never again. But this video is still the best.

Super Bowl in Riverside California

IMAG3175IMAG3170We drove out to my high school friend Tim’s house in Riverside for the Superbowl. Which was pretty cool since I hadn’t seen him in a while and never in California. The super bowl on the west coast is a little weird for us since it starts at 3:30 and it’s about 70 degrees outside. Half the people there were just to help Tim with his sandrail car project and didn’t care much about the game.  Other than nobody really caring that much who won, it was a great time with some new and old friends.

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