Saturday, July 31, 2010
So, after flying back from Hawaii, we had a 24 hour turnaround before we started our drive to Southern California. It was weird to be in Pleasant Grove but not have a house. My parents had us there for dinner, and then Tammy let us sleep at her house and made breakfast for us. David and Tricia made us lunch we could take while we went, along with a lot of snacks. Unpacking and repacking was more complicated than we thought, but we eventually made it. The drive down was a bit slow, but we finally made it to Las Vegas, where we found a very cheap hotel room and had a good night's rest.
The rest of the drive to Orange County wasn't too bad. We really liked the hotel room we had there. It had two separate bedrooms, a front/diningroom with a sofa sleeper, and a small kitchen. It was great for our family. We liked the pool too. That night we just relaxed, swam, watched some tv, and went grocery shopping.
The next day Dad did lectures, etc., all day long. Dad really enjoyed meeting the people from Orange County ARCE and from the LA group for studying Egypt (the EEOC). Very nice and very interesting people. He thinks the lectures went okay. This is how we paid for the trip, and they were all very good about helping us get a hotel, get to Disneyland, etc.
Sunday was very nice, a bit of relaxing, etc. And then Monday came.
We met a very nice lady who helped half of us get in for free, and the other half at a discount. We had a great day, doing a ton of fun stuff like Indiana Jones, Jungle Cruise, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mtn., Tiki Room, etc., etc. The kids were so good, though they were clearly getting tired. We even went to the California Adventure "World of Color" presentation. It is very cool. Most of us could not see very well for most of it, we eventually got it to where half of the kids could see well. Mom held Jacob the whole time helping him see a little, while Sabrina rode on Dad's shoulders and Dad held Alexia also during the whole thing. Mom and Dad were a bit sore when it was over. While it was an incredible show, no one felt like it was worth the couple of hours of waiting (even though about an hour of that was just Dad by himself while others went on rides) and the missed time doing other things. Good show, but not good enough for that, and not very well thought out as to how little folks can actually see it.
Food had been a bit of a fiasco. We had heard they were a bit tight about letting outside food in, so we brought some snacks, etc., and made it through until dinner time that way. Then we went to buy some food. We felt like everyone needed to get a good meal, so we bought their full on meals, adding to over $60 for the whole family. The price ticket was a bit hard to swallow, but we felt okay about it because we knew the kids were really hungry. Then we opened our meals, and learned that for all that price, we had tiny tiny portions. We spent all that money, and when done eating, the kids were saying they were still hungry. That I didn't like. It turns out they were not that tight on food policy, so the next day we brought enough food for all of us for all day.
We had not been able to get an extra night at the hotel, so that meant that we had to pack everything up that night. Mom and Dad stayed up until 1:30 or 2 am getting everything packed. Then we all got up early the next day and loaded up. We checked out of the hotel, leaving some of our larger luggage stored with them.
We went to Disneyland again, this time getting all but two in for free because we did the "Give a Day, Get a Day" service promotion that Disneyland had done. The process worked well, and soon we were in having fun. Today we did Tomorrowland, Toontown, finished up Fantasyland, and then did a little of whatever we still felt like doing. There were a few glitches along the way, such as getting on rides that broke down, or working hard to get to a ride that broke down just as we got there, etc. But we had a great, great day. We had one stroller with us, but after seeing how tired the youngest three were of walking by the end of day one, we decided to rent a stroller for day two, and I'm glad we did. All in all, our little troopers were great and we had a ton of fun!
By the time we got out, got back to our hotel to claim our old luggage, got a bite for Mom and Dad to eat, and started heading to our new hotel in Bakersfield, it was very late. Dad had only gotten less than five hours of sleep for the last two nights, so he had a hard time driving. The last half hour he had to stop every ten minutes to jog around and wake up enough to feel safe driving. But finally they made it to the new hotel (thank you Marriott Points), and fell into an exhausted sleep.
This time it really may have been too much fun.