California Dreaming

California Dreaming

Earlier this summer we drove cross country. Here’s a little bit about our trip, with pictures at the end.

Day #1:
Well, we are here in sunny southern California ready to have a good time. The earthquake threat mentioned on the radio seemed far away–far away enough not to happen. We have a big breakfast, sort of a brunch, before we settle into Paradise Pier. LA brings our granddaughter up for the day. We give her a cradle and a baby doll so she has something to play with for now. We hangout in our room and get acquainted.

We go to Downtown Disney for lunch at its Raintree Forest Cafe. NV is fascinated with the moving gorillas, the butterflies, and the elephants. Lots of pointing, smiles, giggles. She is quite the daddy’s little princess. We make a stop at Build-A-Bear. We show her the bears. She grabs them all and eventually chooses a beige teddy bear. She loves Pooh. She still carries a Winnie security blanket. So we show her the clothes section with Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, and Piglet clothes. Again she grabs them all and eventually picks the Tigger one.

We purchase tickets to Disneyland and the California Adventure but decide to wait a day on the going in. On to shopping. We check out the Disney Character Store. Grandpa and I get her a costume. We stop for drinks. I must have an iced cafe latte. I insist at beignets at Brennans. Brings back memories of New Orleans and its French Market.

On the way back to the hotel, I check out Downtown Disney 12. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince will open there at 12:01 A. M. in almost every one of the theaters. Because we are tired, we pass on that. We say our goodbyes until the morrow. LA and NV leave. We eat a later supper at Disney’s PCH Grill then crash.

Day #2:
LA is bringing NV with him and a buddy this morning–destination Disneyland. We are excited to get to do this first with her. Pictures with the characters, pictures on the rides, late lunch at the French Market Restaurant. LA and I get chowder in a bread bowl, an old favorite dating back to when I took my boys (still children) here. It’s a Small World, Car Toon Spin, Disneyland Express, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh delight a small child as well as the child in us all. Then it’s time for goodbyes. LA and NV have long rides ahead. We return to the PCH Grill for another late supper then it’s back to our room to relax.

Day #3:
Hubby, Little Man, and I spend time together. We sleep in until almost checkout, put our baggage into storage, and head out. We decide to tour the Grand Californian Disney Vacation Club.

Next we walk to the next door Disneyland Hotel for ice cream. Still hungry we return to the Grand California for more food and a quick look see at the construction going on. Outside the lobby, the California Experience awaits. Lots more renovations are going on. A section of rides are gone and the space is empty. The lake in the center has been drained to make space for a water show. I ride King Triton’s Carousel– beautiful cast figures of creatures of the sea. Hubby and I laugh in Monsters, inc. We finish Soaring over California before heading on to Disneyland.

We eat at the Plaza Restaurant, watch a block party parade, then hop on line for Star Wars. We make make a bee line to the Adventures of Indiana Jones–down for repairs. Bah, humbug! We settle in on a Jungle Cruise. We head out to meet up with our ride. Son LA is taking us back to San Diego for a few days. We stop along the way there for some sleep at a Motel 6.

Day #4: Hubby drives LA to base so we have the car. We get up late, manage to get breakfast, do some laundry, and check out. When we tried to make our reservations on the internet http://www.sagehospitality.com/specials/giveadaygetanight.htm We have problems booking on line. So we call Marriott at its 530 Broadway Street location for this deal. We are informed that this promo does not exist and the only specials are for the Caribbean. I am specific in mentioning the Give a Day, Get a Night rate. Someone has dropped the ball. I will pursue this further after the weekend when someone in corporate should be at his/her desk. Using the military to advertise and promote a business is wrong, wrong, wrong! Right?

A lot is going on in the city this weekend. We check into the Courtyard on Hotel Circle. It’s not cheap, but it is new. LA gets a ride over when his shift is done. We talk then decided on fast food for dinner at In and Out, a California burger chain. Wish there were one back home…. The girl who took my order was great. When she found I was on a diet, she got them to wrap my Double Double in lettuce instead of bread. Too bad we can’t get that kind of service in McDonald’s–just try to get anything there your way. (Oh, that is Burger King.)

We go to the Fashion Valley Mall and park the car. I see signs advertising a car wash in the parking garage. Seems the customer leaves the car and goes shopping. I like that idea; hubby doesn’t. I saw a Lane Bryant store I need to visit–I see clearance through the window. However, no time for that now though as we need to make the eight o’clock showing of the new Harry Potter movie.

Soda, popcorn, candy on a diet…I never said I was perfect. Well, at least I bring my own water and skip soda pop. We drive back discussing a movie ending totally unsatisfactory for every one of us. The topic is still hot as we hit the sheets. LA stays over and I get to kiss him good night. I suppose I am demonstrative, but I think no child is ever to old for that. It’s just a matter of time and place.

Day #5:
Hubby drives LA to base again. Then he drives Little Man and me down to the Tijuana border. I try to educate my son on immigration, illegal immigration, green cards, the border and the border patrol, and economy in Mexico vs. the United States. We stop at McDonald’s. I leave them there for some window shopping and some serious shopping in San Ysidro. From dieting, I am down from 26-28 to 14-16 on tops and 18-20 on bottoms depending on fabric and cut. My closets and dressers are almost empty now. I just have to use the coupon Lane Bryant sent. Of course, I brought my coupons with me so I must wipe out the Outlet’s 14-16 clearance.

Hubby has picked up LA, and I have to finish up fast. I find the Disney Store for birthday presents for NV. My electric cart breaks conveniently there. I SOS hubby who comes and saves me AND his wallet. We drive back through Balboa. So much is going on all around us.

We go back to the hotel. The men siesta while I read. They have tickets to a home Padres night baseball game. It’s hot dogs, soda, popcorn, and ice cream for them. I wave goodbye and head downstairs to the restaurant for ribs.
Alone finally, I find the remote and decide to watch a little TV. Eventually they return. We map out plans for the morrow then sleep.

DAY #6:
LA drives himself to base while everyone sleeps in. When he gets back, we head out for Lunch at Subway. Then we drive to Mission Bay to rent a boat. It is lovely on the water–sunny, warm, breezy. We motor by SeaWorld. Lots of people are out on the water today with all kinds of boats, little, big, passenger, fishing, motor, non-motor, canoes, water boards, row boats, pontoon boats.

The boys are tired; I am not. They go back to the room but drop me at Fashion Valley Mall. Lane Bryant is there and I have another coupon. I am the last customer of the day. On to Target. There I pick up a couple of things for LA that he forgot at his apartment. He picks me up.

I just about settle in when the boys say they want to go to supper. I want to go to Bakers Square but it has been bought out and renamed Du-par. We eat and talk. We decide against dessert. Instead we order a banana cream pie to go. Everyone is in a great mood. We eat the whole pie, one quarter each. Hubby and I watch some television while LA and Little Man head to the lobby to flick their figures on Wii and Nintendo games. Lights out is fun as we continue rounds of “Good night, LA,” then “Good night, Tom,” etc. on and on with much tickles and pillows flying.

Day #7:
Hubby takes LA to base as I ready for checkout. At noon LA calls so we are on our way to Coronado. Over the bridge we see the Hotel del Coronado in the distance. The city skyline etches the scenery. On the island we pass million dollar shacks and mansions of considerably more. We see the ships at dock and planes in the air.

We drive back into town and stop at MacDonald’s. I have s couple of burritos and iced mocha. The boys have Big Mac’s and big cokes. We check into the North Island Navy Lodge. As my guys settle everything into the room, it’s laundry time again for me before everyone runs out of clean clothes.

Crisis erupts. Little Man does not have ID for the plane. We tease him that he will have to remain with LA until he drives back next month. Hubby calls Bunny and solves the problem—she will overnight us his birth certificate.

The LS’s gauge is running hot so hubby and LA decide to play in the grease. When they get back, we buy pizza–biggest ever 28″ round with mushrooms, sausage, and pepperoni. We don’t even eat half of it. Then it’s time cor me to watch my men bowl. LA still throws a power ball. Little Man still does his own thing. I look at the Coronado Bay bridge and the shipyards in the night light then decide to go to sleep.

Day #8:
We get on the 5 for Anaheim. We will pick up NV on the way. I love Disneyland with kids. We lunch at Terrace across from Tom Sawyer’s Island. It brings out the fun in me and memories of my own boys visiting Disneyland as children.. We make for some Kodak moments as we enjoy the merry-go-round, Splash Mountain, Winnie the Pooh, Pirates of the Carribean, Indiana Jones, the Tiki Room, and the Himalaya. We stop at Paradise Pier for cold drinks for everyone. After we return NV to her mother, we head back to Navy Lodge.

Day #9:
Hubby and LA head up to pick up NV while I pack things up. We check out at noon. My grandson’s birth certificate that we have been told we need for him to get on the plane still isn’t here. We must go to the post office at 4:00 because of a delivery problem. Since the car is fully loaded,we decide to drop some things off at LA’s apartment nearby. The trip had been perfect up to this point. I’ll end for now and tell you later the downside and our Nightmare on Elm Street–no, correct that to Woodlawn Avenue.

Here’s a slideshow from our trip.

7 thoughts on “California Dreaming

  1. It sounds like you had a really fun time! I’m glad you got to spend time with your family. That’s my favorite thing to do!!!

  2. sounds like a wonderful trip. mickey mouse, family, sunshine – perfect combo. great pics in your slideshow, I like the one of you and Minnie. You look very happy in the photos! The mickey mouse pretzel looked pretty yummy, too.

    thanks for sharing your california dream with your readers!

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