Looking for Mexican food in Anaheim? You’ll love Tortilla Jo’s at Downtown Disney. If you like tequila, sit near the tequila wall and enjoy some cocktails.

First of all, guys, look at this tequila wall….life goals!

MaryAnne and I love all things Disney! After checking out all the new purple merchandise that Disney just recently released – ahhhhh! – we went in search of food and drink! Parched and hungry, we looked around at the many options in Downtown Disney. Have you all been out to Downtown Disney lately? There are some cool new restaurant options that we are definitely excited to try – I’m eyeing you, Ballist Point Brewery! But for this outing, we decided on our tried and true spot, Tortilla Jo’s, one of my kids’ favorite restaurants in this area. It’s a great family and friends stop after a few hours at the park or a fun day wandering and shopping in the downtown area – so much to do in this reinvigorated area.

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I can’t believe the holidays are here again!  It seems like yesterday when MaryAnne and I were doing the rounds sitting on as many Santa’s laps as possible…for the blog of course.  *Please see last year’s post for a list of our favorite Santas!

It has been an amazing year, full of friends, family, fun, and so much love.  And you all know that we love to share all of our favorite places to be together.  As we look back and reflect on the past year, we have been filled with all the emotions that come with life:  sorrow, joy, but most of all gratitude.  This year has seen so much joy in the new friendships and partnerships formed, old friends continuing through lighter, fun times, but also through tougher times with steadfast support.  I have felt very lucky starting this blog as a way to share our interests and passion for exploring, eating, drinking, and writing.  And although that is how we found each other, I have seen deeper similarities and shared values between us.  Our ties to our families, friends, and community.  As we share and celebrate all the moms and dads that we see around us starting their own blogs, small businesses, pursuing their passions and dreams we are finding ways to collaborate with these inspiring friends and look forward to an interesting and fun future.  MaryAnne and I value our family ties:  spending most of our weekends with our immediate and extended family members.  We both took epic multigenerational family trips this year.  Our children spending special moments with their aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.  We will tell you guys all about our trips with some travel tips in upcoming posts.  

Reflections Going Into the Holiday Season

We are excited to re-engage with our online community again.  You may have noticed that we have been away for a bit.  We have had some personal challenges and losses of special people in our lives, and we both had to focus directly on our loved ones.  My daughter spent some time in the hospital with a serious condition that really shook our family.  She has been home and back in school, and it has brought me the deepest sense of gratitude for every moment that I have with my family.  MaryAnne has experienced some personal loss of loved family members.  And our community suffered a loss of a beloved member as well.  But we go through these difficult times with the love and support of family and friends.  We celebrate by eating, drinking, and simply being together; and as MaryAnne says, “Live, Laugh, Love.”  PurpleWays is that journey.

Food and travel (or rather travel for food!):  the two experience that I have always valued and have tried to pass on to our kids. We are finally at that sweet spot where it is no longer daunting, but rather such a pleasure.  I know you guys, I didn’t always feel this way.  Before the kiddos, I always prioritized travel – even dreaming of selling all my possessions to buy a boat and set sail.  Then I actually had these small people, and my priorities changed.  House, yard, good school district – you know the drill.  But now that they are a little older, we can finally have it all!

It starts with flying on the right airline.  First, yes, I am one of those fliers that look up safety rating – I have a slight fear of flying.  That aside, I try to always fly direct.  And I have a handful of favorite airlines.  On our recent trip to Africa, (yes, Africa, more on that later) we flew Emirates Airline, which is definitely very high on my list.  This was our first experience with Emirates, we have heard really good things about it – they’re business class and first class is crazy luxurious – but ok, we are not in that demographic, so I can only give my opinion on their international economy class, which by the way, is pretty darn good.  

Check out these cute plush animals that turn into blankets!

Check out these cute plush animals that turn into blankets!

 

The kids loved their stuffed animal blankies!

The kids loved their stuffed animal blankies!

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If you are in the Los Angeles area, the best burger on the westside is located at this West LA institution:  The Apple Pan.  Come and grab a seat at the wraparound counter on one of the red, vinyl barstools.  Sit elbow to elbow with tourists and locals.  You will love the old school charm at this burger counter with burger patties sizzling off the griddle, iced cold soda pop served in paper cone cups and waiters that have been serving here for years.  Enjoy the basic menu of burgers, sandwiches and fries and some of the best pies ever!

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We don’t just live on alcohol alone – we love our coffee too!  There are two kinds of coffee shops:  one that you can pop in to grab a quick coffee to take with you: these places often have uncomfortable and cramped seating to discourage lingering – I’m looking at you Starbucks; then there are the places that just scream welcome.  I love those coffee shops and I have had a bit of a hard time finding one that I really like.  But Eureka!, I finally found a great coffee shop that has ample seating with bright, natural light. The wifi code is posted at the counter, and you can borrow a portable charging station!  Decent pop music played at a medium loud volume that can be heard above the pleasant hum of other customers.  

Cool Coffee Shop Vibe at The Lost Bean

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