Friday, June 27, 2014

Huntington Beach Day 1 and 2

Theresa is a deal finder. Through one of her various schemes (which we'll eventually do a write-up about) we had two free weekend nights to spend at any Hilton resort. We could have used those nights anywhere, like the Hilton Resort on Moorea in Tahiti ($550/night), or perhaps the Hilton Resort on Bora Bora ($750/night). Well we're not going to be able to make it out to either of those places before these free nights expire so instead we're taking a long weekend at the Huntington Beach Hilton by the Waterfront ($350/night).

This is normally the time of year when we'd try to get away and do a tropical vacation. We left our house around 2:30 on Friday afternoon and in order to get in the mood right away, a stop at Jamba Juice was necessary. One Caribbean Passion smoothie for Theresa and a Strawberry Surf Rider for me and we're starting to get in the vacation mood. Sure Huntington Beach is only an hour away from our house, but it'll be our first trip with just us and Ian alone in a new place.

Only 30 miles away, but all of Los Angeles was joining us on the freeway. Nice to have the carpool lane, but even then it took us an hour and a half to make the journey. All this was much too boring for Ian and he decided to sleep most of the way.

Napping on the way though means a happy boy once we arrived.

Check-in was super easy. We were given the option to either get a king bed on a lower floor with a garden view (looking back into Huntington Beach), or a 10th floor beach view with two queen beds. We didn't even think twice about it, we're looking at the beach!

Our room was a decent size and recently renovated.

But here's the best part. The view!

Love it!

After chilling in the room for a bit, it was time to go explore! The Huntington Beach pier and downtown is just a half mile away! Sounds like a fun walk to me.

We'd done some research and one of the places we were excited to try was the Baguetier. Whenever we go someplace tropical fresh fruit and a baguette are always at the top of our list.

The case looked very inviting. There were quite a few things that looked tasty. Our menu tonight will consist of a Pain Au Chocolat, Cream Puffs, and of course a baguette. We were a little disappointed they didn't have any butter or any other toppings for their bread.

Anything for me in there? No?

It was super nice having a balcony. Inside the room, we set up the Pack-N-Play for Ian and after he fell asleep, we went out to the balcony to enjoy dinner. Unfortunately dinner was disappointing. The bread was very stale (guessing it was made that morning or something) and without butter or anything we ended up throwing it away. The cream puffs and pain au chocolate were equally meh.
Not wanting to be disappointed with our first night's meal, we found a local Chinese place that did delivery a forty-five minutes later we had 2nd dinner, which was better. We spent the evening on the balcony watching the beach with all the people around the fire-pits, the floating lanterns they were sending up in the air, and the quad copters that were flying around.

After a great night where Ian didn't wake us up at all, we awoke and headed to grab breakfast. One nice perk of being Hilton Gold members is that T and I both get vouchers for $10 off breakfast from the Surfs Up market.

Along with various pastries and treats, they also serve Starbucks drinks.

Ian went down for a morning nap while T and I enjoyed breakfast on the balcony, just like old times.

Our tasty breakfast. T brought the fresh fruit from home.

What are we doing hanging around inside? There's a beach to go enjoy!

Luckily the beach is just outside the hotel. A quick walk across PCH at the light and there's the sand. From the beach looking back at our hotel.

We're loving the tent Ian got from Jon, Jess and family for Christmas. So light and portable and super easy to set up.

One of his favorite "toys".

Who's hungry? By 2pm, T and I hadn't had lunch yet. Good thing Jack's On The Beach is close by. Besides renting lots of gear, they also have beach food.

I was planning on just getting a small snack since dinner wouldn't be too far away. The online review raved about the cheese strips so I got an order of those and I figured why not get something familiar like chili-cheese fries too.
I wasn't really sure what cheese strips were, and I didn't get to see them before ordering. Turns out they were tortilla chip strips with an insane amount of shredded cheese on top and a thin tomatoey kind of dipping sauce.

Someone was really wanting a bite.

It was a quick walk back to the hotel and we showered and rinsed off all the sunblock and sand. Ian was a pretty happy guy after his shower.

Time for dinner! It was a nice little stroll from the hotel over to the pier and all the surrounding shops.

I saw this place the first day here and was really hoping I'd get a chance to try it. Bruxie sells savory and sweet waffle sandwiches. Mmm!

Waiting at the table for my dinner. This kind of food doesn't interest T.

So what did I get? A fried chicken and waffle sandwich to start. The chicken had a little bit of spice to it and was pretty tasty. To top the sandwich of course you need maple syrup! Naturally a place that serves waffle sandwiches would also have waffle fries. For a beverage they sell old fashioned cane sugar sodas. I tried the spiced cola which reminded me a little of Dr Pepper. Overall, I enjoyed my experience with Bruxie and the next time I'm close to one, I'll probably stop in for a meal.

So T didn't want a waffle sandwich for dinner. What kind of food does she fancy? Well a quick trip to 7-Eleven for some snacks.

Along with a Slurpee she then took a trip to boring old Subway for a regular sandwich. I don't understand why you'd want to eat off regular bread when you could be eating off a waffle...

Then we took a slow stroll back to the hotel, fed Ian, put him to bed, then retired to the balcony to eat dinner. It was a Saturday night and apparently there was a wedding party celebration going on on the hotel grounds. The music was super loud and the bass was penetrating the room. We were concerned Ian would have a hard time getting to sleep, but thanks to the white noise makers we brought, he slept right through it. Theresa and I were the only ones being annoyed by it.

Only one more day here. Stay tuned to see what happens next!

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