Spring Break 2017 (Part 2)

Hello once again, and I hope you’re all well. Flagstaff weather is temperamental as ever. On Thursday, we had half a foot of snow and as I looked out of my bed, the trees were covered in snow and I was stomping through campus in my Timberlands. Friday, I was in a shirt without a jacket and leggings as it was in the mid teen’s. Flagstaff weather makes absolutely no sense. For next week, it’s meant to be nice weather and then snow on my birthday. Please can it not snow on my 21st? Thank you in advance.

Anyway, my Spring Break was full of sun and fun. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to read what I got up to on the first half of my Spring Break and the fun I’d been having in CA. The fun didn’t stop then, I had a few more days in the Golden State to enjoy and make memories in. CA is truly a magical state and is, most definitely, the American image that has translated onto the rest of the world. I had to write about that in a paper which did not curb the California/Spring Break blues at all. (As I type this, I have had an In-N-Out today so I am still in CA mode…)

Thursday was an awesome day, as I went to one of Olivia’s favourite places in the world; Balboa Island. A one-of-a-kind, man-made treasure, Balboa Island is a gem whether you drive, walk, bike or take theBalboa Island Ferry to the island. Just off of Newport, you drive down the Pacific Coast Highway (one of my favourite roads in the world), park on one side of the island and catch a small ferry to the other.

Balboa Island doesn’t feel like California at all. It doesn’t even feel like America. It just felt like a wonderful, mythical place where it doesn’t rain and everyone smiles. The beach was golden and the water looked warm. Children were running in the Pacific Ocean and I even saw a seal come up by the pier! I can totally see why this is one of Olivia’s most cherished places.

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The view of Balboa Island from the pier is gorgeous!

The main reason that I went to Balboa Island was to go whale watching. Thanks to an EXCELLENT Groupon voucher, Olivia and I hopped on a boat in the mid afternoon when the sun was at its highest points and we were catching sun rays in an attempt to see some whales. Olivia’s done this a couple of times and she hadn’t seen any… until she was with me, the whale whisperer. After showing me the Real Housewives of Orange County habitat, I finally got to see whales in their natural habitats.

HOLY SMOKES did we see a few? According to our tour guides, we saw five different types of whale. I’ve seen stuff like this on TV, so to be able to do an activity like this in the flesh was awesome and something I will truly treasure for the rest of my life.

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A whale in its natural habitat. It was really hard to take good photos! 

Balboa is incredible. If you’re ever in Southern California, I’d definitely recommend a day trip to the island. I can grant you that very few of your friends have even heard of it, yet alone been! Be the cool cat out of all your friends and go to a magical place. It’s not just Disney that’s magical!

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Boats at Balboa.

After a delightful Mexican meal on the left side of the island, Olivia told me I MUST have a frozen banana as it’s Balboa delicacy. However, the picture below is self-explanatory. Whilst I gorged myself in chocolate and toppings, Olivia had the saddest (most phallic looking) object I’ve seen.

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Olivia gave up sweets for lent. I clearly didn’t. I haven’t given up posing ridiculously either.

Friday was EVEN MORE magical! I don’t have many photos of Friday (unfortunately). In a repeat of Monday to make it even better, we went to Huntington Beach to try and catch some last minute sun rays in an attempt to get more tanned, but it was foggy AGAIN! What is up with the weather in the American West recently? After laying on the beach listening to Richard Herring podcasts (100% recommend), we then went back to Olivia’s house to get the sand out of us and quickly drove over to the movie theater to see Beauty and the Beast!

Beauty and the Beast is an incredible film, so much so I’ve actually seen it twice! This is the first movie that I’ve been to the cinema twice for, so clearly it’s a wonderful movie. Josh Gad is divine and Emma Watson is everything I strive to be and more. Once we’d seen the film, we grabbed dinner and drove back to Anaheim to try and see the fireworks! This time, we were successful. I wore my Disney ears with pride, gleaming like the 6 year old I was when I went to Paris. Standing in Downtown Disney and realising where I was and all the decisions I’ve made made me realise just how fortunate I truly am. I may not believe in ‘God’ per se, but I’m blessed somewhere.

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Fireworks at Disney!
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Get you a big who treats you like you are in a loving (platonic) relationship.

Saturday was the beach day I wanted in November! You may recall from my Thanksgiving trip that I have previously been to Santa Monica. However, when I first went, it rained so much that we had to abort all plans and went bowling in LA instead! This time, we lucked out. The sun was shining down and it was everything I wished for and more.

I bloody LOVE Santa Monica. Whereas LA is kind of grimy, Santa Monica feels fresh, hip and youthful. Similar to Brighton, it’s full of lanes and has rides on the pier. It has such a lovely atmosphere around it and I could live in Santa Monica EASILY.

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I’ve been standing at the edge of the water…
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Twerking on the pier. CLASSIC. 

It was the perfect place to spend our last day in California together. After purchasing a delightful jumpsuit from Forever 21 and having my first taste of literal ‘chicken and waffles’, I felt like a true California girl. Olivia has barred me from shortening the state name because otherwise, I won’t be true to the state. Later on in the day, we drove down the Pacific Coast Highway in Olivia’s parent’s convertible, taking in the sea breeze and stopping off for a delightful ice cream. Clearing the cobwebs out of my mind, I felt refreshed and ready to go back to Flagstaff for the last quarter of my year abroad. However, that doesn’t mean I want to be in California forever. My heart is truly in the Golden State, named in 1968. Eating our final In-N-Out of the trip and waving hello to the mountain once again, we had to enter school mode.

NONE of my Spring Break would have happened had Olivia not taken me in and said that I could not come to hers to stay just after Thanksgiving. Words cannot express how much joy she brings in my life and how much I wish I could pack her into my suitcase come May. PLZ COME WITH ME. PLZ. In fact, can all of my sorority sisters come back with me? 7 weeks left is not enough with some of the most delightful people I’ve met.

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It’s love forever. 

To sing us out, we’ll let one woman do it. I couldn’t word it better than this. NO ONE CAN BE JUST LIKE YOU ANYWAY.

Enjoy,

Sophie x

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