Since January my friends and I have been planning this trip to take on our final spring break of Senior year. There were so many ups and downs (the downs were mostly planning and budgeting) but over all this was definitely a trip I’ll always remember.

Like I said, My friends and I have been planning this since January, so the details and the timing and everything was basically set in stone for months in advance. Little did I know that someeeeone (dana) does not know how to use a day planner and ended up double booking the vacation dates and therefore she was unable to go. So that was a down for sure. And the week before leaving Nikki got grounded and got her phone and car taken away so none of us knew if she could come…she was able to thank god…but then the DAY BEFORE she told me she did not want to drive anymore!!!!! She was our driver, we planned that, and she was changing her mind so close to take off, it sent anxiety shooting through me! Thankfully she decided she would still drive us. But like ‘That 70’s Show’ theme song, We’re all alright!! The girls that all ended up coming were Zebrina, Emily, Christina, Nikki and I.

DAY 1: (Really Pre-Day 1).
Saturday March 5, We did not leave until Sunday, but to be extremely prepared we all spent the night together at my house beforehand so we could just wake up and go! This night was a blast, a party really. Christina came over first (I picked her up) and we chatted for a while and she helped me pack- procrastination at it’s finest. She was telling me a story about how she woke up in the middle of the night and threw up and thought it was all a dream but it was really real. Next Dana came over, who even though couldn’t come to California with us, still came over to my house and hang out before we left(: Then Nikki came over and started balling her eyes out because her dad had been yelling at her for ridiculous shit all week and didnot say “goodbye” to her as she left or wish her a safe trip or anything. It was just the four of us for a while, hanging out and them still helping me pack. It was past 8 pm and Zebrina was babysitting that night and not supposed to come over until later and Emily’s softball team was playing in the championship game that did not start until 8 plus she hadn’t even packed yet (the team won the tournament btw). Dana made brownies for Emily’s birthday that we were all dying to have but decided to wait because it was the right thing to do. Next Zebrina arrived, much earlier than expected, she had a crazy story to tell: the two kids she was babysitting threw a temper tantrum and the girl was yelling the boy pulled a knife on her. Crazy. Zebrina’s version is much more dramatic but still. It was passed 11:30 now and we were still waiting for Emily to come over so then we could all go to sleep, But Nikki, Christina and Dana got hungry so we drove to a Japanese restaurant to get a midnight snack before the kitchen closed, Emily texted me on the way home and said she’d most likely still be another hour. She was right. Emily finally came over at 1 am, though we were tired we waited up for her and sang happy birthday though it was technically not her birthday anymore, She opened her presents and we all finally got to eat Dana’s yummy brownies(: After that Dana left us and we got ready for bed, it was 2:30 and we were scheduled to hit the road at 5am. Two and a half hours of sleep? No problem!

THE REAL DAY 1:
Ok so we woke up by five yes, but didn’t get on the freeway until 5:30 but still great timing! Nikki drove no problem, I am the Human Map, so I sat shot gun and Zebrina, Emily and Christina slept until Yuma in the back. That first three hours of the drive was FUN. It was just Nikki and I talking and laughing, no music: to avoid awakening the sleeping children backseat.We stopped in Yuma, pulled about 50 U-turns to get to the gas station, filled up, and drove straight on through to Carlsbad. Oh wait. No…. The Fog.

Driving through Cleveland National Forest it started raining. Very very lightly, but it was raining. I could tell Nikki was freaking out a little bit. Then minutes after driving through the light rain, the sky turned so gray that we could not even see 15 feet in front of the car. We could not even see the lane lines next to us, We could not see any car lights until they were feet away from us. We were driving through the thickest fog any of us had ever experienced. Nikki waited to tell me until a few days ago that driving through that fog was the scariest drive of her life.

Another down to the trip that none of us could foresee happening was the weather. When we first arrived in Carlsbad the rain had just stopped and it was a little chilly, plus it rained almost all of day two but we made the most of it(:

Since Arizona does not experience daylight savings, once we crossed into the California border we went back in time an hour! So when all along I thought we would arrive around 11, we got there at 10! The extra time made our first day feel like three days combined! Our first stop was at Chevron, Nikki wanted to fill up her car plus we all had to pee, and Nikki and I were going to do our makeup in the bathroom. This gas station experience was ironically hilarious. We had finally made it to Carlsbad, all of us still exhausted yet excited, starving and needing to pee: Nikki could not find her gas card anywhere and threw a mini temper tantrum… ok… she did not but still, she freaked out! Plus the bathroom was DISGUSTING and didn’t even have a MIRROR. So a lot went wrong here really. The gas card was wrapped up in her shirt, and we did our makeup in the car so all the issues were very quickly resolved but still, right off the bat it was kind of funny this happened.

Next we drove around the city for a short while, we were originally looking for a place to park so we could check out the town & walk somewhere to find food, Since we could not check into our room until 3pm. So we found this restaurant called Naked Cafe and according to Yelp it sounds super yummy and healthy, although what Yelp didn’t tell us was there was a NEVER ENDING WAIT. But I mean for a Sunday morning, finding a table for 5 does sound difficult, but we were STARVING. So Emily and I walked across the street to this cute Mexican restaurant to see what there wait was like, and there wasn’t one, so everybody J-walked across the street to join us(: and Man oh Man. This was the BEST meal of the trip; A human-baby-sized grilled fish burrito omg it was to DIE for.

After eating finally, and feeling better, we all decided to go to the beach, but with no room to change in, we all got out our bikinis from Nikki’s car and changed in the bathroom of the Mexican restaurant. Christina, Nikki and I changed while Emily and Zebrina sat at the table still pretending to be customers so we would be allowed to use the bathroom and not get in trouble. Then we switched roles, only we didn’t sit in the restaurant, we got back in the car. And we sat there for a while. When Emily finally came out to the car, Zebrina was behind her crying. Zebrina’s phone slipped off the toilet paper holder and shattered on the ground and didn’t turn back on. It was so unfortunate – she took her lifeproof case off only an hour or so before too.

Post cell phone tragedy shock, we went to the beach! And to my pleasant surprise, though I had just scarfed down a massive burrito, I did not have a food baby! It was very windy and we hadn’t laid out for long when Christina, Nikki and I got so excited just to be near the ocean that we ran into it! I’m not sure if the water was actually warm or it was my adrenaline but the ocean temperature was not a problem. The three of us were running around like children and having a blast in the water(: Zebrina and Emily waited a while to join us but they did! Then we laid out longer and really got our tan on. Especially Zebrina, she was wear a legitimate thong for a bikini bottom.  While tanning, Emily’s mom texted and said that our room had been upgraded free of charge, so the original studio condo was now a one bedroom, and our room was soooooooo nice! With a huge balcony with an ocean front view. Plus we were able to check in almost an hour earlier than originally timed. Back at the room, I played a small prank on Emily. Since her birthday was the day before, she thought she had already opened all of her presents. Sadly, the one present she really wanted (Cards Against Humanity) she didn’t get. Or so she thought! I brought out her final present that her mom told me to keep until we got to the room and when she opened it she was so excited. We all wanted to play but decided to wait until later in the evening.

Meanwhile we all got dressed up (into casual wear) and walked around town to explore. This walk around Carlsbad turned into a photo shoot quickly as we had to take pictures in front of all the cool murals. We walked and talked and laughed a bunch while window shopping and of course photo shooting. We stopped in front of this orange and blue wall and were taking pictures while sitting on the bench when we heard a bunch of yelling coming from the street. We all looked up to realize that a woman’s two dogs had run into the street towards oncoming traffic. She was yelling to get her dogs away form the cars. So many people got up and did something to help, a lot of the drivers in the cars stopped and got out to try to catch the dogs until they were caught and safely returned to the owner. It was really amazing to watch actually because we were all inspired by the civilians of the street to help those dogs. Another good-samaritan type story, unfortunately we were the ones being attacked…  One of the last murals we stopped at to take pictures in front of was originally our first, but looped back around to later when the lighting was better. While we were here, a man stopped at the red light in front of us, rolled down his window and cat called at us the entire time he was stopped. He said so many offensive things and all my friends were int such shock that he was speaking to us they didn’t move. Me on the other hand was infuriated by how rude and offensive this man was being to us. I yelled back at him asking how he thought what he was saying was appropriate. Many bystanders joined in too, to help defend us. A couple walking towards us was videotaping him, and the woman in the car behind him had her window rolled down as well and was yelling at him to shut up. When the light turned green he sped off and the people who saw what happened looked sympathetic. Though we had to encounter some creep, it was cool to see how others reacted.

OH YEAH. I forgot to say, while we were walking around, pretty much right off the bat, A guy we know from our school texted Nikki and said something like Hey, I just saw you and your friends in Carlsbad! We should hang! And we all pretty much rolled our eyes, how ironic, we even leave the state and we still run into someone from our high school. Anyways he was texting Nikki practically all day and he kept saying he would buy us “booze” (I hate that word). So we ended up saying something like we might be able to hang out. (“Might” chosen intentionally not to give him too much hope). However after walking around all day and after eating dinner (which was smoothies) He stopped by our place while we were midway through a game of Cards Against Humanity. Connor admitted he couldn’t buy us any “booze” because his “fake ID got stolen” ok Connor. So Nikki dealt him in anyway and we played for a little while longer cracking up at the ridiculousness of these cards when Connor invited us back to his place to hang out in the hot tub for a bit. Walking to his place we were all freezing and excited to be in the jacuzzi soon, but when we got down to the pool area it was closed. That’s Connor for you. Full of false hopes and empty promises. We didn’t stay long after that.

DAY 2:
Nikki and I were the first ones awake – thanks to the lovely thunder it woke me up and though I desperately tried to fall back asleep, I couldn’t. Zebrina woke up next and the three of us were sitting on the balcony in the pouring rain for a few minutes talking, until we were all so cold we couldn’t handle it anymore. Our plan for today was to go check out this coffee shop in Oceanside called Succulent Cafe. And I was pretty darn excited to try this place. Unfortunately when we got there, it did not look very open. In fact the coffee shop was more of an outdoor courtyard and because it had been raining all night / morning it was not open:( We all needed some caffeine in our system so we drove back to Carlsbad and got coffee from a place I cannot even remember the name. On the way there, we passed a breakfast place called Beach Break Cafe in Oceanside, and since none of us had eaten ANYTHING and it was almost noon, we headed back into Oceanside and right when we pulled into the restaurant parking lot it started POURING. I’m not even exaggerating. It was raining so hard. A family pulled in at the same time as us, only while we stayed seated in Nikki’s car, they got out and their umbrella was turned inside out by the wind and did absolutely nothing to protect them. After watching them be abused by the weather we sat in the car a little while longer and it lightened up for about one minute and it was during that time that we ran as fast as we could from the back parking lot around to the main front entrance. We were all pretty excited and full of adrenaline at this point for out running the rain that none of us checked in with the hostess. How funny. Then when I finally did she told me first available would be a 25 minute wait, how greaaaat. Well the good news is that we only waited probably three minutes before we were seated outside on the enclosed, heated patio, which was so nice because we were surrounded by rain and but stayed warm and could hear it happening but were still dry.

After breakfast when we were all full and happy, We drove around Oceanside taking pictures with and of all the cool murals when we were all doing handstands in front of this one that looked like the beach. It was during this photo shoot when my poor poor bff Zebrina had a NIPSLIP. and it is still to this day one of the funniest things to have ever happen AND to be caught on camera EVER.

When we got back to our room, the sun came out and was supposed to stay out until around 3, then it was going to pour again. SO with the two and a half hours of sunshine we had, we went to the beach!! And it was mighty cold out there let me tell ya. No one got in the ocean day 2 except for me. And I only went in because I was on day 2 of no showers and I needed the salt water to keep my hair oil-free! It was worth it though, if I lived in California I would be going in the ocean at least once a day just for the hell of it. At about 2:30, we could see a HUGE storm cloud fast approaching and we knew the sun wouldn’t be out much longer. Some woman, who I totally thought looked like a man (my bad), even came up to us and told us that it was going to start raining in about twenty minutes. But we stayed on the beach and soaked up every last drop of sun until the second the cloud covered it. Then it got cold fast. And we ran up the beach, Up the stairs to our room, and within another hot second it started raining!! That Fast! While in the room we played cards against humanity again, but we played it for three hours straight, so every card had been used and it was starting to get redundant. Then we walked to dinner after the rain died down and we went to this Italian restaurant that had really yummy thin crust pizza. We all split one large pizza so when we got our bill it was like $4 each! While at the restaurant it started raining and all we could think was oh no now we can’t leave but the rain stopped shortly after and I never even noticed that it stopped until we were leaving and it wasn’t raining anymore.

Later in the evening, Connor invited us to his hot tub again but this time it was before 9pm so the hot tub was still open. When we got down to the hot tub there were a few older men in there…mid/late twenties. We spent a few hours in this hot tub talking to these guys and it was such a funny night. So a little back story on these guys we met, Isaac: 27 years old, creepy looking, super drunk and smoked a bunch of cigarettes, he was cool, he and his brother Dalton who was also there, live in Carlsbad and are in a band. Dalton: 22 years old, he spoke in an Australian accent most of the time but he could do any accent you asked, he had really long cool hair (in my opinion he was the cutest) and all my friends kept saying he was really rude and sarcastic but I wasn’t listening, I just thought he was funny. And John. Emily had one shot of fireball and maybe two or three shots of watered down vodka and she was soo tipsy (lightweight). She admitted to us that she though John was totally cute and she wanted to hook up with him so badly. (John was 25 btw!!!) Sober Emily and Drunk/Tipsy Emily are two completely different girls because when Emily is sober ALL guys to her are gross and she is always saying how she would never do anything with a guy, but put a drink in her hand and she will say and do the opposite!  Anyway. These guys and us were just chatting, Connor was trying to be so cool and sound cool to them because they were older but he just looked like a fool, but it was fun to watch. John said he had to go pee and the bathroom was locked so he and Dalton went to the beach then Emily followed, then so did Zebrina and I. Emily was so funny she was trying to be flirtatious and touch his arm and ask him questions but he was so not interested (but Emily didn’t know that). Anyway while we the three of us were down at the beach with the two guys Zebrina and I were standing on a cliff made of sand and I was on the very edge and she kept pushing me off and we were all a little tipsy but every time I fell it was so hard to stand back up. This went on for what felt like forever, but all in all this night was a blast. The one good thing that came from running into Connor. And Thankfully Emily did NOT kiss a 25 year old man.

DAY 3:
I was the first one awake this morning, I showered for the first time since “Pre-Day 1” and that shower felt good, getting all the sand out from places it was not welcome. I woke up Nikki next and asked her if she wanted to go walk and get coffee with me, her eyes shot open and she said you don’t even have to ask me twice, which made me so happy knowing she was so willing. The coffee shop we went to was in a cute plaza that had fun colored walls, I got a coffee and a gluten free muffin for $3 and that was another major win. When Nikki and I got back to the room, everybody was up and starting to clean. This was our last day:( The good thing was that we were done cleaning and packing by 10, so we went to the beach right after! With this being the last chance to get into the ocean we were all so excited to be at the beach, just as happy as we were on Day 1. The next few hours were spent tanning, while laying out with the wind blowing it was kind of cold so Christina, Nikki and I ran down the beach to warm up and then sprinted back. There were lots and lots of cute boys at the beach this day. One sitting right behind us who looked like he was journaling or drawing or maybe writing poetry, and another down the beach who was stretching and studying the waves before surfing. Both were cuties.

Emily, Zebrina and I were taking pictures in the ocean when one of the biggest waves came out of nowhere and tackled me and pushed me to the seafloor. It threw me to the ground and spun me around rolling in the sand. I was being full on attacked by the wave and it went on for so long that it basically dragged be to Encinitas. While this was probably so humorous for my friends to watch it was horrifying for me to live. I thought it was going to drown me!

Our last meal before leaving the city was back in Oceanside at a burger joint though most of us got chicken tenders. These were high quality chicken tenders. Better than Chick-fil-a chicken tenders. And it might be years before I ever have them again.

Sadly, after eating, we got in the car and didn’t get out until we were back in AZ. Yuma to be exact, the butthole that Yuma is, we stopped here to use the bathroom and while in there we all realized that we all got sunburnt. And since I never changed out of my swimsuit, while peeing, so much sand went everywhere(: Big shout out to that wave that almost took my life, at least I got to take some of the SAND.

And that’s how I’m ending it. Thanks for reading if you made it this far. Here are probably too many pictures for you to enjoy(:

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