Thursday, October 18, 2007

Back from California

My family and I got back from vacation last night around midnight. We were one tired crew! We had so much fun on our vacation though. We took over 500 pictures! There were a lot of firsts in this vacation. It was my children's first time flying. Their first time to Disney, first time to California, first time seeing the ocean and so many other things. I will give you a few highlights:

Wednesday, Oct. 10: The first flight! My kids were so excited! They had so much fun flying. I got to see my dear friend Ellen who recently moved out to California. She took us all out for dinner at Red Robin when we finally made it in.

Thursday, Oct.11: Disney! We drove in which took forever. Our hotel was only about a mile away but the traffic getting in their is incredible. We took a shuttle ride from our rental car and
then entered Disney. What a sight! Since we went in October Disneyland was decked out in pumpkins! I am a Halloween nut(as many of you know by now) so this was right up my alley!
We had so much FUN! We went on Space Mountain(my personal fave), saw Honey I Shrunk the audience, Buzz Lightyear ride(so cool- you got to ride in cars and blast all these targets), Pirates of the Caribbean(this was closed when I was in Disneyworld so I was psyched to see this), The Jungle cruise, Toontown, saw the parade, and fit in just a little bit of shopping. What a BLAST!

Friday, Oct.12: The Ocean! We checked out of our hotel in Anaheim and started driving to San Diego for the weekend. We took the scenic route along the Pacific Coast highway. We stopped at Huntington Beach and played at the beach for a couple of hours. This was my kid's first trip to the Ocean. My teenage daughter was trying to be all nonchalant when we got there. Once she dipped her toes in the ocean she was a goner! Does she look bored to you?! It was a cooler day in the 60's so the ocean felt even colder than normal. After a couple of hours it was time to get back on the road. It was hard to tear my teenager away!

Saturday, Oct.13: We went to Seaworld this day. It started out as a rainy day but was supposed to blow over quickly. We resisted buying rain ponchos at first, but the rain didn't let up so we decked ourselves in lovely blue plastic. Finally, in the early afternoon, the sun came out. My kids enjoyed getting up close and personal with the marine animals. We got to touch dolphins(rubbery) and eels(slimy), and see seals, penguins, polar bears, beluga whales, killer whales, and many, many more. There were a couple of rides my family enjoyed too.

Sunday, Oct.14: It was the San Diego Zoo today. Sam, the youngest, was crabby to start off with. They took a family shot he refused to be in. We got him talked around to enjoying the day and then he got upset that he wasn't in the family photo. We went back and got that re-taken. This was the cheapest ticket prices of everything we went to see. The whole family got in for $117. That included upgrades for a zoo bus tour and monorail ride. We saw so many animals we had never seen before. We saw elephants(my fave!), panda bears, koala bears, camels, gorillas, monkeys, apes, meerkats, sunbears, and so much more! We went to an animal show and got to see a Cheetah. Nicholas, my 9 year old was thrilled! Cheetahs are his favorite! After the zoo we drove back to Anaheim.

Monday, Oct.15: Back to Disney! We started out at California Adventures. It started out with a little drizzle. We went right at the park opening. It was not busy at all at California Adventures. They had bigger rides than at Disneyland and we were able to walk right up and get on the rides. We rode some of them twice! They had bugland, backlot of Hollywood and a few other things. It's not near as big as Disneyland. I'm glad we got a hopper pass. It was fun to start out the day there and then go back to Disney. The first thing we did at Disney was go to Space Mountain again. We hit a few more rides and then my daughter and I headed out to downtown Disney for a couple of hours of shopping. My dh took the boys on more rides in Disneyland. We met up later and headed back to our hotel. Disney is just the best! They do everything so well. It was kind of sad to leave.

Tuesday, Oct.16: On today's agenda was Universal Hollywood. This was the most expensive tickets prices of everything we did. Even with a $10 discount on mine, my husband and my daughter's tickets it was still $275! Oh well, we were on vacation. Sam was getting sick of the hectic pace of events we were keeping and wanted to stay at the hotel. His outlook changed when he got to meet Spongebob! We also saw Shrek's 4d show, went on a behind the scenes tour of Universal Studios, went on River Adventure, Revenge of the Mummy Ride, met Spiderman, Shaggy and Scooby Doo, and saw a special effects show. At the special effects show Sam got plucked from the audience to play a part in their show. He got strapped up with a helmet with wires. He controlled a great big hairy robot. When he moved his right arm, the creature moved his right arm. He loved it! My two older kids would never volunteer to go on stage in front of everyone! We also saw a bunch of animals that have been in the movies, and had lots of photo ops around the park.

Wednesday, Oct.17: This was a long day of travel back home. We left our hotel around 8:45 am. We drove to LA to drop off our rental car. We took a shuttle from the rental car place to the airport. Our flight left LA at 12:20 pm and flew into Houston, TX. Our flight from Houston was supposed to leave about 5:30. Once we were all loaded on the plane, the pilot informed us we had to wait another 1 1/2 hours on the tarmac because there was lots of wind in Minneapolis and there were lots of planes headed there. They needed to stagger us a bit. Our flight finally took off around 7:15. Once we got close to Minneapolis we were stuck in a holding pattern until they could fit us in. Finally we landed about 11 pm. Once we got our luggage we rounded up a taxi to take us to my sister-in-laws house where our van was parked. We then finished our final leg of the journey home. We got home aroun midnight.

Today(Thursday) we are unpacking, doing laundry, cleaning and settling back in. It was a fun trip but it's good to be back home!

I hope to get some stamping done tonight and have something new to post tomorrow.

Take care.


Corie said...

WOW I LOVE all these pictures!!! Looks like you all had a BLAST!!

BTW -- I tagged you, if you want to play

Nikki said...

You look like your having an awsome time!!! Great pictures! TFS {smiles}

Kristina Lewis said...

Love the photos! I'm so glad you are back!

Michelle said...

Wow, fantastic photos! I love the pumpkin mickey!

Rose Ann said...

What great fun, and your pictures are wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing!!

-Paris Otremba- said...

OMG looks like a GREAT TIME!

Amy said...

Wow! What great pictures to scrapbook! ;) Looks like you all had a wonderful trip!

Anonymous said...

I love all the pics. I am so glad you had a good trip. It was wonderful to get to see you and the whole family, even if it was just for a couple of hours.
Of course this week it is hot and sunny again. Already plotting away to get you back out here ~:)