The IceBlock [15]: Nikki's Back

Hello hello. I mentioned it here and there, but never officially announced that I would be leaving for California between the 2nd of August and the 12th of August. I had Internet access this time around, but let's be serious: it was not reliable enough to post anything (and probably wouldn't be able to support any picture-uploading on top of that). So I've been gone, happy and gone, and now I'm sad and back, but it always works out that way unfortunately. I am happy to be with my family again, and I'm excited to be back on here, but I miss my boyfriend and I miss being in the city that I hope to live in someday. Aaaand, above all, I detest being back in New York City. But that's a story for a different day.

Mainly I've been gone because of my trip, and I thought that this time around I would at least, at LEAST, post a picture or two from each of the major places I went to. That's what this post is about, besides announcing that I'm back. So it won't be super picture-heavy (at least not as picture-heavy as it could be), but I hope you enjoy the ones that I do include. With that being said, let's move forward.

First Stop: Anza Borrego State Park

I visited this beautiful desert park during my last visit, but this time around we decided to camp overnight. Maybe my boyfriend should've known better (lol) living there and all, but I'm from a city whose largest, most common insectile threat is roaches, so when mobs of tiny flies buzzed around us while the sun was up, and then these massive "Venemoth" moths took over the campsite when the sun went down, we found ourselves zipped up in the tent most of the time, frustrated. The stars were beautiful (especially, again, for someone like me that lives in a major city) and the experience was fun, though. Hopefully next time we'll be more prepared...hah.

The sun rising at around 6:30 A.M.

The stars at night.

Second Stop: SeaWorld

I went to SeaWorld could I not? It's one of the scarce places in this country that features my top favorite penguin (which you may already be familiar with from my blog banners), the Adelie penguin. They were unfortunately entering into Antarctic winter at the time (hence the dark lighting), so it was hard to see them, but it felt like reliving a dream to see them in person again. We saw a lot more shows this time around too, but I just have to feature two penguin pictures for this section's picture selection. Enjoy ~ ('<>')>

A Magellanic penguin chick. 

Adelie pengu!

Third Stop: Balboa Park

I wish we had a park like Balboa Park here in New York and, before you say anything, OUTSIDE of stupid Manhattan. God knows we probably do, but I barely do anything here because most of the places I know of are lackluster. Anyway, Balboa Park is more than your typical park: it features museums, eateries, hiking trails, and gardens. It's both exciting and relaxing, as I was able to semi-climb a (terrifyingly) steep slope as well as finish reading one of my most recent reads, King's Joyland (stay tuned for a review on that). It's a place I would probably frequent once I manage to move there...sooner rather than later, hopefully.

The beautiful pond before the botanical garden. 

An odd cluster of butterflies - it was so neat seeing this. 

Fourth stop: Disneyland

This was my first time visiting Disneyland, and it was both nostalgic and exciting. You see, one of the most nostalgic places from my childhood is West Palm Beach in Florida, where my family, when it was together, used to travel out to Disney World a lot. My favorite ride was the Tower of Terror, and I anticipated the most being able to perhaps find this ride at Disneyland. Well, it was near Disneyland, but not in it; California Adventure was actually the park that had it, and my heart sunk when I saw the "haunted" tower poking out across the way. In any case, Disneyland was still quite the experience. I was able to go on a decent number of rides despite my recent surgery, and saw some breathtaking shows (both the fireworks show and Fantasma). The following pictures cannot do my time spent there justice, but they'll have to manage.

The infamous castle at Disneyland. 

One of the fireworks from the show with the lit up castle at a distance. 

Fifth Stop: The Seaport 

Visiting the Seaport was one of the more relaxing plans of my trip, and appropriately so as we went the Saturday preceding the Monday I would leave. It was nice to see the water and the ships - it reminded me a lot of our seaport here - but it wasn't the most exciting day spent, haha. There were a lot of nearby shops, though, even if they were on the expensive side. And apparently there was a cupcake shop too, but dumb me didn't look through the dining list in the directory! T_T By the time I noticed it, we were already paying for our ticket out of the parking lot.

One of the boats at the seaport.

Along the water. 

Sixth and Final Stop: San Diego

I know it's weird to label my sixth stop as "San Diego" because...well...most of these places are located in San Diego. But what we did on Sunday, the day before my departure, was visit places my boyfriend grew up in, and places he spent different parts of his life at. It gave me a sense of how neighborhoods could be in San Diego: peaceful and comforting. The thing I love about San Diego is that it manages to combine all of the nostalgic places in my life: it has the beaches and palm trees of Florida, the spring-like weather and mountains of Ecuador - all without lacking some urban aspects through the inclusion of the downtown area which, as much as I hate New York City, I feel are necessary since I've lived in a major city all my life. I can't just move into a farm, you know, haha. Maybe it was this day that made flying back home so made me feel like, yes, this is the kind of place for me. This is a place I make sense in. That really sunk in when I was boarding the plane to leave...but what can I do? I don't have the money to live alone, and I'm not ready to leave my family, which means the world to me. So I'm here, just trying, and using these special memories to help motivate me towards achieving, someday, that goal of finally getting out.

San Diego at night.

San Diego in the daytime. 

That's it. I hope my choice of pictures is satisfying, and my descriptions somewhat helpful/interesting. I'm still transitioning back into Eastern time, but hopefully by this weekend that transition will be complete, and I won't be as exhausted. I have a ton of new products and books to tell you about, as well as my review of Sakamoto Maaya's newest single, Hajimari No Umi waiting to be written - and other things I need to finish on here that I started before my trip. I'm totally swamped! But it's good to have content, of course, so better this way than being without words to tell, haha.

'Til next time! ('<>')>


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