The last time The University of Alabama’s football team won a National Championship, prior to me being a student, was in 1992. I was 4 and, without a doubt, I watched that game, even though I have no recollection of it. That all changed when the Crimson Tide brought home its 13th National Championship on January 7, 2010, and I was there to witness it!!

In December 2009, Alabama soundly defeated Florida to clinch its claim for a National Championship. That year, my parents gifted my brother and I both with the trip west to watch Alabama take on the Texas Longhorns in the 2010 Citi BCS National Championship game.

Unlike a lot of students we knew, our little group decided to fly out to make the most of our time in California. We started our morning walking along Hollywood Walk of Fame and finding all our favorite stars.

As we walked along the Boulevard, we took a pit stop by Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (officially named TCL Chinese Theatre) to find the various stars mark. There are nearly 200 Hollywood celebrity handprints, footprints and autographs in the concrete of the theatre’s entrance. You can even get your own created! I have one from my trip in 2006, and it’s a fun keepsake to display.

Our walk also included stopping in to visit Madame Tussauds Hollywood before making our way to Hollywood & Highland Center for lunch and a faraway view of the Hollywood sign. After lunch, we took a stroll through time with The Hollywood Museum, which has a huge collection of some pretty spectacular movie memorabilia. I highly recommend including it in your itinerary next time you are in L.A.

From there, we headed to Paramount Pictures for a Studio Tour. I mean when in Hollywood…! This two-hour tour offers you the opportunity to see behind the scenes of some of your favorite movies, as well as fun movie trivia. You may even spot a star or two … we got a glimpse of Matthew Morrison and Jayma Mays on the set of Glee.

From Paramount Pictures, we headed to Beverly Hills for a drive down Rodeo Drive and dinner at The Grill on the Alley, which has since closed. After an amazingly delicious dinner, we headed back to the hotel, because the next day was game day!

Tickets in hand and decked out in crimson and white, we were ready to witness the Crimson Tide roll over the Longhorns in the Rose Bowl, one of America’s oldest college football stadiums. Kick-off was that evening, so we spent the day checking out Pasadena and the festivities surrounding the game. Once in the stadium, the excitement grew and in the end, Alabama was victorious!

For our last day in California, we headed to Long Beach. We stopped by the Queen Mary Seawalk to see the ocean linear and to tour the Soviet submarine. I recommend checking in advance to see what exhibits are open as they close them in rotation for restoration.

The Queen Mary and Russian Scorpion Submarine | Long Beach, CA

From Queen Mary, we headed to Santa Monica Pier where we dipped our toes in the Pacific Ocean, rode the rides on the Pier, and enjoyed some funnel cake. It was the perfect ending to our trip in California!