Friday, September 2, 2011


Sooooooo, I just got back from California and it was awesome!!  Seriously, the word "therapeutic" comes to mind.  Since I went to school for Spring and Summer I didn't get any breaks.  I did get two weeks rest from school, and so some friends and I who also went to school during Spring and Summer planned a road trip to California.

I swapped cars with my dad and we set off.  In the car was me, a friend from my mission Jeff, Nozomi Okada, Nozomi's girlfriend Rie, and my friend Kei Ikeda.  Yes, this is the second time in a row I've gone of a road trip to California and was the only non-Asian.  Meh.
Getting gas

Passing through Vegas.

Here is all who went.

Jeff, Kei, Rie, Nozomi, Me.  Here we are at the Irvine Specturm just window shopping and enjoying the California weather and atmosphere.
Going to California is way fun for several reasons.  The main reason is of course to see my sister Jolie.  She is spunky as can be all of my friends always love her.  Atop of seeing my sister and the benefits included.  We stay at her apartment for free, and we play with her cute dogs that love everyone.
Kei playing with one of Jolie's dogs, Savy.
Also, she can get us three free tickets to Disneyland everyday because of her job.  We had five people so we had to purchase two tickets a day, but split among the five of us was only $32, so it was good.  Also, Jolie's boyfriend A.J. dances in the parades at Disneyland, so watching the parades is even more fun than it would be normally.
A.J. dancing as a chimney sweeper in the parade.
So with free housing and cheap awesome entertainment, the seats in my car on my annual road trip to California are a coveted commodity.

We drove down on Saturday. That night we went out and ate sushi!  We all love LOVE sushi and always look for reasons to eat it, for it is quite expensive.  In Jolie's yard there is a lemon tree, and orange tree, and an avocado tree.  Jolie picked some oranges off the tree and we had fresh squeezed orange juice which was delicious!

 On Sunday we went to church with Jolie which was quite an adventure.  It all began we we couldn't find anyone to interpret church for Kei, for Kei is deaf.  We get to church and sacrament meeting begins, and so I make my way to the front and put forth a pathetic attempt to interpret for Kei.  Wow, it was horrendous!!!  However, if you know Kei, he is so kind and patient and expressed much gratitude for trying and claims I did a good job.  I interpreted for the whole block, and afterwards we stayed because there was a linger longer.  The people in Jolie's ward are way cool and were very friendly towards us.  We sat in a big circle with several of them and we talked &laughed for about an hour.  Everyone took special interest in Kei because of his hilarious personality and sense of humor.

Jolie's place is always fun because of, you guessed it, Jolie.  Her dogs are also way fun and everyone loves them.

Savy & Comet 

Monday morning came and Jolie signed us into the park.

Riding of the bus from the parking lot to the front gate.

Kei had been to Disneyland before, but claims they didn't really do anything and that it was a waste of money because they walked around aimlessly for most of the time.  Jeff had never been before.  Nozomi has been before and Rie had only been to the Disneyland in Tokyo, which we hear is pretty amazing.
Waiting for Jolie to come back with our tickets.  they really liked this bench.

Us standing under the monorail just outside the gate.

Us getting into Disneyland!

Jolie was pretty good at entertaining us.  She was just funny.
About to get on Space Mountain

Hahahaha!!!!  Here Jolie is taking a picture of nothing...

Rie and Nozomi are awesome and I love them both and hope they get married.

One of my favorites, "The Tower of Terror"

We told Jeff that Space Mountain was a slow simulation ride that gave you a tour of the galaxy and taught you about space.
Here we are on the fun shoot em' up game at California Adventure.  It broke down or something while we were on it which meant we had an extra long amount of time to shoot stuff which was fun.

We always like to watch the parades because they are fun and A.J. is always in them.

These drummers were awesome and I wish we saw more of them.

It was fun how all of the characters in the parade recognized Jolie and would come over and say hi hahah.

We had Sign Language Interpreters come and interpret for Kei.  They were quite entertaining.  They signed and danced to the music and interacted with each other.
Kei seemed to like the parade.
Nozomi and Rie just waiting for the parade to begin.

We got hungry and left to go eat at Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney.  Whenever I come down here on a road trip I always eat there.  It's becoming a kind of tradition.  
Eating at Rainforest Cafe

Jolie had to go back early and go to bed because she had work early the next day, but the rest of us kept going strong.

We returned back to California Adventure to watch the Wonderful World of Color show which is always cool as!  Kei loved it sooo much it made him cry.

Jeff, Kei, Nozomi, Rie
We hit the hay that night and got to bed latish that night.  And then came back the next day for some more Disney fun!
Here we just entered Disneyland our second day.  Jolie was all dressed up in her important person clothes
Jungle Cruise fun.
At one point during the day Jolie had to work on some ride with the Disneyland Ambassador from Paris, so we visited her and rode the ride with her which was a joy.

After the fun on the Jungle Cruise with Jolie we used our fast passes for Splash Mountain.

Please note the awesome blue sky in this picture.  Thanks to my polarized filter :)  The creepy guy in the back...
There was normally a creepy guy in the very back of the log in this picture, but I Photoshoped him out of the picture.  In fact, I didn't even know he was on the log until later in the day when I was looking at this picture on my camera haha!!!  Nozomi says that throughout the course of the ride he would occasionally glance back to make sure the man wasn't going to try to kill him or something lol!!!!

After riding Splash we went and watched the parade that we had seen the day before once more.

I need to mention, I swear our log on Splash Mountain is broken.  In the ride there is a fun hill with a bee theme to it.  The hill goes up and down and isn't very big.  At the end of the little hill a HUGE amount of water poured over the front right side of the log and completely submerged my lap and feet in water.  Sucked.  I've never had that happen before!!!  My feet were then soaked.

We got to the parade and took our shoes and socks off and dried our feet.

Drying our feet.

We purposely sat on the side A.J. danced on so we could get a closer look at him.  He is quite the dancer.  I think it would be way fun to dance in a parade at Disneyland.
This is one of my favorite pictures of the trip.  After the parade I had to put my socks and shoes back on, but since they were wet it took a little while.  Well, these people either didn't see me or...I'm not sure what else.

We walked around and enjoyed the atmosphere.

Walking and trying to take picture backwards is a little challenge, but this one turned out nice.  Oh how blue the sky is.
They probably just taste like an apple with sugar around them, but man they look so awesome!

The day passed and it got late.  We decided to go to Downtown Disney and find a place to eat.  We found a place called ESPN Zone.  We decided to go somewhere else.  Just kidding, we ate there.  Inside we watched the BYU vs. U of U girls soccer game.  BYU won.  Jolie was still working and A.J. had just gotten off work, so he came and joined us partway through our meal.
It was a pretty cool place.  I sure did enjoy eating out at all these cool places on the trip.

After we ate we met up with Jolie and had to decide between watching the fireworks, watching the show  Fantasmic, or trying to watch both.  

We ended up going to watch Fantasmic.  We sat in the VIP section :)
Sitting in the VIP section

After watching Fantasmic we decided to ride Space Mountain again.
Nozomi and Rie

While queuing for Space Mountain Jolie kept EVERYONE in line well entertained as she talked to Kei and learned a lot of Sign Language.  She actually seemed to be picking up on it rather quickly.

Jolie and Kei are both wearing red.

I've gone to Disneyland several times, but it never gets old.  As long as you are with people you love and that are fun.  That last sentence sounds grammatically strange.  We all gad a great time at Disneyland those two days and are very grateful for Jolie for not only signing us into the park for free, but for all the work and time she put forth to help us have a better time.  Everyone loves her, including her dogs.

At IHOP  I ordered the Cinnastack Pancakes which are normally amazing, at least they are back in Utah, but her in Santa Anna they sucked.
The next day we took it easy.  Jolie had to go to Canada for work, which sucked for us because we wanted to play with her more.  But she left.  Her cute dogs sat on the porch and cried for a while after she left.  They saw her luggage and knew she was leaving for a while, so we played with them in order to help them forget. A.J. took us to Company D, a place where you can buy Disneyland goods for cheap.  You can only go there with a Disney Cast Member (A.J. in this case).  It was really nice of him to take us.  On the way there we stopped at IHOP, Nozomi's favorite restaurant.  It's one of my favorites too.

Later that day we went to the Japanese Store and bought lots of Japanese goods and ate Sushi for our second time while in California.

So gooooood!!!!!

It was a good lazy day for us because we were exhausted from the four previous days.

The last day there we relaxed again and went to Newport Beach!

They buried me.

We rented boogy boards and had a really fun time with them.  The water was cold as usually and we quickly got tired.

 After the beach we headed over the the Irvine Spectrum and did some window shopping.  We ate at the Cheesecake Factory which was super yum!

Nozomi once saw a picture of me on facebook in this exact spot  doing this exact pose.  He decided to reenact it haha!
Here is the original taken December 2008 when I was on a road trip visiting Jolie with a group of friends.
Some saleswoman offered to curl Rie's hair for free, so she had it done.  We enjoyed walking around.
This chair cost $3,000 and I seriously think I'll buy one someday.  It gave such good massages!  It excited me.

Eating dessert at the Cheesecake Factory.

Pictures pretty much end here.  Who wants to take pictures of the long car ride home?  All in all, the trip rocked and it was very much needed.  Nozomi, Kei and I all went to school straight through Spring and Summer and well deserved such a fun trip.



  1. I MISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS CALIFORNIAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! Thank you soooooo much for Jimmy and Jolie! Both of you gave me a great joy! BEST SUMMER EVER!

  2. Those pictures were awesome James and looks like you all had a blast. I miss you hope you're doing well again back at BYU. By the way, the Space Mountain picture cracked me up and I couldn't stop laughing. I think I'll post that one on Facebook! Hahaha! XO Mom

  3. Haha!! I love Nozomi's re-enaction of your picture (wherein I always think you look like the grinch). The first pic of Jolie holding the orange is hilarious but super cute. Those candy apples look GOOD, I wonder if we can make them. The polarized filter makes a big difference...can't wait to try mine out. Savvy and Comet are so cute!! Jolie looks so official. And your friends look like fun.

    What a fun filled trip. I'm glad you documented it!! I don't know how people go on vacation and then don't even take pictures.

  4. What great fun! I love your blog and especially your look on the log ride photo! Priceless...

    Love you, dad

  5. Hahaha!! I LOVED the blog and pictures! It makes me want you guys to come back!! Are you going to post all your pics on Google docs or something so I can save a bunch? Those are great shots!

    Tell the Asians I said hi!

  6. I read this entire post on my Kindle.