The last time I was in California I think I was 9 or 10. The main stops were Laguna Beach (yes, this was when the show was popular), Disneyland, and the Grove to go to the American Girl store. I hadn’t even hit my “I think I’m going to grow up and be a pop star phase.” To be honest, I wore pink Bermuda shorts the entire vacation. This trip is different for a few reasons. I’ve ditched the Bermuda shorts, I’ve aged about 11 years, and I’m here on my first-ever work trip. 

While I spend all day at work, I have the evenings to see as much as I can. On Sunday, we flew into LAX via Dallas and headed straight to our hotels after a long travel day. After work on Monday, we decided it was time to get out into the mountains we’ve driven aimlessly through the past two days. 

We’re staying in the San Berardanino Valley in “Rancho Cucumonga” (I.e. Chino/Ontario area…..(halfway between LA and San Diego, but more inland)). We are in the absolute middle of the dessert in a valley with massive mountains surrounding. We asked the man at the front desk for a hike suggestion and we were off. We hiked the Ediwanda Falls Trail. It’s a couple miles long, about 1000 ft elevation and comes with a sweet view of the valley.

So I’ve noticed a few things on our rides to the facility that we’re working at. It’s about a 20-30 minute drive from our hotel and it’s quite the trip. The entire drive involves a two lane highway with cow farms on each side. This is an incredibly stupid thought, but how is there enough grass to feed all these cows in this dessert??? Back home, farms are lush fields and hills with green as far as the eyes can see. Not here. These farms are sandy dirt. After visiting Mexico earlier this year, I can’t help but picture that I’m driving through Mexican farmland. This part of California is NOT what they show on the commercials. I’ve also noticed a zillion restaurants and shops- literally every chain you could think of. All of the parking lots are packed constantly, but I haven’t seen many housing complexes which is quite confusing. Where are these people coming from? 

And on day four…. I went shopping. My boss conveniently picked a hotel that is right across the street from Ontario Mills (an outlet mall)! I was bound to make it there at some point. I mean am I really going to sleep next to a Tory Burch outlet and not scope out the sales? Of course not. I ended up finding some AMAZING deals and snagged great things on major sales. Best outlet mall I’ve ever been to hands down. For dinner, I decided to try the pizza chain Blaze. They sell pizza like it’s on a subway line and stick it in the brick oven. Very good!

Our trip finished up with one last work day, a dinner at a nice steak house, and a trip to LAX for our flight home.

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