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  1. #1
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    Must have items from home for the beach, food, drink, and the trip to OC in general

    My husband and our 7 year old daughter are driving from Buffalo, NY to OC for 6 days in July. We booked a room at the Grand Hotel and Spa, and we're so excited given our miserable winter here.

    Since we are driving, we can bring a lot of things from home, such as beach chairs, umbrella, and sand toys.

    What are must needed items we need to bring? We'll probably bring some beer (Blue Light) and a c bottle of wine or two (we're celebrating our 10th anniversary while we're there).

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member OCMike's Avatar
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    I would also bring snacks, microwaveable food like pasta bowls, Ramen noodles, popcorn etc. for small meals. Even if you plan on eating out at every meal, it's always good to have some extra munchies laying around. I'm not sure if your room has a kitchenette or not but either way, I would bring paper plates, cups, utensils and paper towels. At the very least, it will save you from doing dishes while on vacation. Be sure to bring bottled water and any other soft drinks you might want to enjoy on the beach. You might also want to bring some games, books, cards, radio/music player or any other indoor activities you might enjoy, in the event of inclement weather.

  3. #3
    Senior Member PlainsPricey106's Avatar
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    Definitely bring the Labatts with you. I was on a hunt last year to find a case...I only found 2 six packs. It was for my father in law, and I wasn't going to tell a veteran I couldn't find him the beer he wanted. Plus I like labatt.
    All other beer can be had for pretty cheap in oc. most is cheaper by a buck or two a case than here in pennsylvania.
    As for other things, you might want to bring a small radio or Bluetooth speaker for the beach, or chilling on the balcony, favorite snacks that can't be found in oc, we bring my homemade beef jerky, cheese and pepperoni, cold cuts for beach lunches, condiments for sandwiches. I usually pack one decent size cooler with those things. Just things I know I get cheaper at home. I don't worry about bringing chips, bread, eggs, or anything bulky and fragile. Most can be had at any grocery store in oc, comparable to home prices.
    I usually pack a few small tools, duct tape, electrical tape, and super glue. Do you know how many junky toys from the boardwalk I had to repair over the years? Also if you plan on cooking in your condo, I suggest you bring a sharp knife and a good frypan and maybe a pot. Most condos have some stuff, but not quality cookware. I have yet to have a sharp knife in a condo kitchen. I always pack my 2 sharpest filet knives cause I do alot of fishing in oc. Also a corkscrew would be good to have in your small tool kit.

  4. #4
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    You may also want to bring along a DVD player and a couple of movies in case you get stuck inside for bad weather, or for the evening.

    I don't know how many cable channels most places have in condos / hotels / motels anymore, but sometimes programming for the little ones can be frustratingly limited.

  5. #5
    Senior Member OCGuy's Avatar
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    The good news is that if you forget anything there is plenty of opportunity to buy stuff you need in or near OC. Between Roses at 95th Street and WalMart just west of OC on Route 50, you can pickup stuff you forgot at a reasonable price. There is CVS at 16th Street, just 5 blocks from o your hotel, where you can pickup lots of stuff too.

    Here are some things I usually bring:
    - Beach equipment: Chairs, umbrella, bogggie board
    - Kid's sand toys - Get a 5 gallon utility bucket and only bring toys that fit in it easiy. The bucket alone can do most of the building or water hauling that you or your daughter want to do, and your daughter can carry it back and forth to the beach while you and your wife haul the other stuff
    - Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
    - A good book or two
    - No need to bring more than one pair of long pants or anything dressier than a nice golf shirt. OC is very casual. I usually bring one pair of jeans, just in case we get a stormy day. I usually don't even wear them then. I also bring one sweatshirt, just in case. I also rarely need it.
    - Don't forget chargers for your phone and other electronics
    - I always bring a heavy black marker and label my stuff with our name. Not that things get stolen very often, but sometimes things get mixed up on the beach and labeling helps sort out whats yours and whats someone else's.
    - A few pens and pencils and a small pad of paper
    - A deck of cards or other small game stuff that you can play at night. Sometimes we bring a puzzle and do it during the week.
    - Kites to fly on the beach in the evening, or a frisbee
    - A small cooler bag can be nice to have on the beach (for us the bags are lighter and easier to pack than a hard sided cooler)

    Most groceries are about the same price in OC as at home. We no longer bring soda or beer, because it takes up space in the car and we can buy it in OC just as cheap. However, be aware, that the grocery stores can get pretty crowded Saturday afternoon and Sunday as everyone arriving for the week stocks up.

  6. #6
    Member Hooper's Avatar
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    bicycles. They rent em there if its impossible. A morning bike ride on the boardwalk is a great way to start the day.

  7. #7
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    Man you guys are good. A little tool kit, a bucket for the toys, pen & paper. I thought I had my bases covered when I bring aspirin and band aids. New level stuff here. Make sure to bring TP!!! We rent a condo and usually shop the day after we arrive. As someone mentioned traffic on the street and in the stores is pretty busy at night.

    We usually bring drinks because my girls insist on Snapple at the beach. It is harder to find than you'd think. It's become a tradition for us in O.C. actually. Snapple facts on the beach.

    Have fun.

  8. #8
    Senior Member OCGuy's Avatar
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    Best source for Snapple - WalMart in west OC, but you're right, it can be hard to get; even they don't always have what my wife wants...

  9. #9
    Senior Member PlainsPricey106's Avatar
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    As OC guy said, small soft sided coolers for the beach. I usually use my big ice cube for some of the food we bring from home (cold cuts, pepperoni, cheese, and condiments) strapped down to my hitch hauler with a smaller hard sided cooler for fishing ( it doubles as a seat), and maybe 3 or four soft sided 12 to 18 pack size. I pack one with drinks and water for the drive down, one with cold beer for as soon as I get the condo. ( I hate driving and don't want to run out to get beer right after unpacking. ) We usually carry 2 soft sided coolers to the beach, one for lunch and snacks, and the other with frozen waters and soda. Frozen water bottles are the best. No need for ice, and when they melt, more drinks!!
    Last edited by PlainsPricey106; 03-17-2015 at 10:26 PM.

  10. #10
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    I love the idea of frozen water bottles. I don't know if the fridge in the room (just a mini fridge I assume) has a real freezer. I know some fridges do, but some just have a freezer that doesn't freeze anything (even when the temp. is as low as possible). I think eating lunch in our room is a good idea, or packing stuff for the beach. I have not had a Snapple in years (I remember when it was the #3 drink!!) but it takes me back to high school. I'll have to get some before we go, yum!

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