After a fun filled weekend we were well and truly ready for a cozy atmosphere and some necessary relaxation. Trevor, Ellie’s family friend picked us up from our hostel and took us to our new home away from home in Huntington Beach. One year ago did I think I’d be strolling along a California beach? No way. One year ago I didn’t even know Ellie and here we are as great friends, creating unbelievable memories and sharing this experience together. Life has a funny way of surprising you.
After a warm welcome into their home, Sue and Trev served us homemade Shepards pie with real, like proper, gravy. Even after just one week of American cuisine we were craving good old English classics. An evening of chats and telly and tea and biscuits, bliss.
Waking up in a real home environment was so comforting! We had a much needed lie in and then strolled down to the beach, to Main Street shops and the pier for lunch at Ruby’s diner.
That night we ate Hawaiian food down at the farmers market, which is held every Tuesday evening. Main Street is closed off to cars and everyone soaks up the atmosphere. I loved the community feel that the farmers market creates, with the animals, the street stalls, the entertainment and of course the food. Let me tell you about a glorious little chocolate shop down at Main Street. It stocks all kinds of truffles, fancy decorated apples, chocolate covered oreo’s and next level deliciousness in the form of cookies. (I had the “Smore’s” style). Sadly, I cannot remember the name only that they have a huge teddy bear who parks his bum on a chair outside.
The following day was spent shopping at Fashion Island in Newport. Yes Newport as in The OC with Ryan, Seth, Melissa and Summer. I did in fact sing “Californiaaaaaaaa, Californiaaaaaaa” in the car and quoted “Welcome to The OC bitch” of course. On the way we even drove past Newport Harbour which I definitely squealed at as a die hard Seth fan.
For lunch Ellie and I had our first experience at The Cheesecake Factory. Let’s hold up for a second because I wasn’t prepared for the deliciousness that was about to happen. I mean, it was insane. Firstly the menu is a book. Secondly the portion sizes are beyond huge. And finally, the cheesecake is the most, scrumptious, filling yet moreish thing I have EVER tasted. I get the hype now, I really do.
As my birthday was in two days time Sue cooked us all roast beef dinner with all the trimmings including my ultimate necessity – MINT SAUCE. Gravy covered meals must have mint sauce, its my law.
I was well and truly spoilt with a cheesecake style birthday cake and candle (which did get squashed in the car ride home), a Mickey Mouse balloon and the cutest charm bracelet. Which was perfect as I’ve been collecting one for each place I visited and now I have one for Huntington Beach! I felt so lucky to have been invited into such a warm home and to celebrate my early birthday with such a kind family. My Mum was so happy and thankful I was being taken care of when I spoke to her.
The evening was perfect, but bittersweet. As I’m writing this now we’re in the car on the way to Las Vegas. Both Ellie and I didn’t want to leave such a beautiful place.
Michael Jackson is playing on the radio and I’m excited for what lies ahead in Las Vegas, baby.
When this post goes live I’m going to be in Wilmington, North Carolina so tales of Vegas will be on the way shortly!