In Which We Go Out (of California) With a Bang.

Plans change.  They just do.  We had planned on going to Disneyland for five days, and seeing Universal Studios (and perhaps Knott’s Berry Farm) in between.  However, due to a sniffing and coughing and wiping certain person on Star Tours, our plans changed.  I knew going in to that ride that sitting near him was going to be a bad idea.   I guess you could say I thought to myself, “I have a bad feeling about this” – haha.   That night, my head started hurting… and by the next day at Universal studios… I felt like I was in a dream and was really dizzy and hot.  I went home with a fever of 102.5.  It stayed up and down between 101 and 102.5 for the next few days, and passed around the kids.  Ugh.  Needless to say, we didn’t get to do all we had planned. Flu aside, we had a great time.  I really had wanted to play board games with my mom and kids and bike ride and stuff… but my “down” time was spent recovering in bed.  :(  So thankful my mom didn’t get sick! The night before the last day in Disneyland, I wanted to try and schedule out our day to see shows and ride some of the rides we missed.  You really cannot see every single thing in Disneyland and California Adventure (even with careful planning) in three days.  My mom was with us, so we had to also make sure and be sensitive about our speed (our family likes to move out!) and sit often.  I was able to plan an attack that had us seeing many of the shows and doing lots of rides.  What fun! In Disneyland, I got to meet Maynard!  Who is Maynard, you ask?   Why, only the most famous Disneyland cast member! photo (5)

Maynard and I react to the prices of a Dole Pineapple Whip.

We went to sit in the Tiki Room, and we were pretty tired.  Used to the “usual” spiel from the cast member… a tired, bored, I’ve-said-this-1,000,000 times-so-over-it presentation… imagine our surprise when this crazy, delightful voice started a hilarious introduction to the tiki room!  We were all in stitches, and then I remembered reading about the infamous “Maynard.”  I had tried to find him on our last trip to Disneyland and was unsuccessful.  I thought it was like searching for the proverbial “Snipe,” so I filed that information away in the “probably will never happen” file.  Then, we met him.  He is a believer, and crazy hilarious.  If you find yourself in Disneyland – look for him!

     The next day, we relaxed and recovered from the 27,000 (per my body media fit) steps.  The bed came, so that helped.  No more back pain!   WHOOP!  In fact… as I type this blog… I am enjoying the most comfortable spot in my world… my amazing amazing bed.  I love you, bed.  We got a great deal on this $800 bed for $300 delivered (thank you, Amazon!).  But, I digress.  Anyway, the girls found that the cardboard box the bed came in was a great play item.  Some things never change.

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     Maddy doing her best Alice in Wonderland impression with help from little sis.

 There was so much we did in the two weeks my mom was visiting…  Here is a phblog about it.


The hubs doing his Darth Vadar Impression.  Still unsure about the mouse/lucas combo.

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The hubs selected as “Bachelor #2″ in The Little Town That Could.  Last time I believe he was a different bachelor… but he always gets selected for this stuff.  Pretty cute!


Luigi’s Cafe in Car’s Land.  Love this place!  It was pretty cool.  They have an animated Mater and McQueen that drive around and your kids (or adults) can take pictures with them.  Hidden Mickey’s everywhere!


Captain Hook was looking at her pin lanyard, and decided to take it.  It was a delightful interaction… he had the sauntering down pat.  Little one was jumping up in the air whilst he played keep-away.  Pirates.


Mickey in his Magical Map show.  This show was – corny… just corny.  The singing was good a couple of times, but man alive there was a LOT of sugary weirdness.  Not a fan.

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My exhausted “Perry” lookin’ cute.  Did not spend the money to buy this shirt retail @ Disneyland… local thrift store, baby.  In Long Beach.  We went to LB because I SORT OF ran over my hubby’s $1k bike… yeah.  So we found a replacement (used) in LB.  YAY!


Sleeping Beauty’s castle lit up for Christmas… beautiful.

1545801_10203114334205250_1554525695_nMy beautiful daughter and my beautiful momma smilin’ away at D-Land.  Daughter wants braces – hence the reason she isn’t tooth-smiling.  Plus – she was sick.  She hates her gap (which I find lovely!).

photo 2 (3)“Cadillac Mountain” in Radiator Springs – Cars Land.  This is the Radiator Springs Racers Ride which we rode 3 times.  LOVED it.  I don’t have a picture of the Toy Story Mania ride that we loved SO much (it’s a shooting game, natch).  We have a little friend that we send postcards to that I would have LOVED to have brought here!  He would have been in little boy heaven in Cars Land!  The new Star Tours ride was pretty awesome.  I tend to be a Disney purist… “DON’T CHANGE IT!” and love the site “Yesterland.”  But, this change was for the better, thanks to the buyout (sell out – cough cough) of the Star Wars franchise.    Space Mountain was fab – but I kind of miss the stars and the giant cookie.  It’s just black inside the ride now.  The Matterhorn has been revamped (for the not better not better!) and is rough!  Indiana Jones is ROUGHER than usual.  Pirates is same – only one real skull left over the captain’s bed.  The canoes look way more awesome than they really are.  Tom Sawyer’s island is no more – it’s a Pirate’s cove and not as awesome.  It’s a Small World now features Disney characters from around the world.  That was smart and made it fun!  The Haunted Mansion was decked out for Christmas (a nightmare before…) and there was a GIANT gingerbread house that smelled of gingerbread in the dining room.  Many of the rides now incorporate smells.  The LONGEST line we stood in was for Peter Pan which was  (Grumpy cat face here).   Splash Mountain was the same (Thunder Mountain was closed – WAH!).  In all, I cannot believe we did this without debt!    We had a fabulous time and did SO much!  Tower of Terror, Aladdin show (funny!), and so much more.  We watched a magic trick in the magic shop that boggled the mind!  LOVED IT and wanted to buy it.  Traded pins with cast members, although there is this scary “underbelly” side to pin trading.  They closed one of the trading posts down due to a “fisty cuffs” fight between some serious traders.  Just ew people.  Little girls with gross hair-do’s they got in the magic princess beauty parlour – “Bibbity Bobbity Boutique.”  No, thankyou.  I think I nailed it when MY kids were little (and we spent so much money and they have no memory of it……… cry cry).


Maddy Bug as Snow White


Sydders as Aurora


The three littles with Pluto


And Cams as Belle.  I got a lot of compliments on her hair!  Boy was she a pistol (wait… she still is!).  She wasn’t able to go on Soaring over California when we went in 2004 – I want to recreate this picture when she’s older!


Now, to participate in dressing up Disney, you have to be “Disney Bound” unless you’re a little kid (probably 12 and under or so).  People get REALLY creative!   We saw a girl on the shuttle rockin’ a Buzz Lightyear ensemble.  She was adorable (I refuse to say totes adorbs).  She told us about it, and we realized the hubs was DISNEY BOUND!  WOW!

photo (9)Here, the hubs comes “Disneybound” as a safety cone.  Amazing.

photo 1 (12) - CopyCams dresses her Barbie “Disney Bound” – can you guess who she is??

We decided we were too late for Disneyland to do it, but when we go to Disneyworld it would be a blast!  Some people went a tad overboard, with one gal as “Minnie” in 6″ heels.  No thanks.  My DB character will definitely be a flats wearing character.

OH!  I almost forgot… in the line of Tower of Terror I spotted this…

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My sister better know which Twilight Zone episode this is.  :D

On to, UNIVERSAL STUDIOS!!!!  It was neat.  The tram ride was the best part of it, and they were filming a couple of movies which was cool.  I was feeling NASTY sick here, wanting to lie down on a bench or go to first aid to sleep.  Instead, we rode rides and did stuff.  The Simpsons was our first ride, and it was cute.  My kids were CLUELESS because I don’t let them watch it.  We went through the haunted maze and I was genuinely scared.  I found that to be great, because it seems with the responsibilities of raising a family, homeschooling, balancing a budget, route planning… etc…. that… well… I grew up.  I hate it that I grew up.  Honestly I am NOW forcing myself back to childhood and I bought a coloring book tonight.  So, when I find something that brings back the “magic” or “wonder” of being a child, I get excited!  ”Lucy” messed with me and was very pretty and sweet.  We rode the Transformers Ride (meh), Jurassic Park (yawn), and the Mummy (kinda cool).  We watched how special effects are made (not really… sheesh I’ve seen better and more authentic) at the height of my feverish delirium.  Oh, and the “Waterworld” show featured a bunch of flopped tv stars.  No, I’m not always this cynical… but when I am… I try to be online.

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The girls posing at a phone booth

photo 3 (4) photo 2 (7) photo 1 (8)…and in front  British Leyland Mini 1000  Channeling Mr. Bean.  There was some debate in this house as to weather or not this was a Mini Cooper.  I did look it up and found it on the wiki.  It feels good to be right.

We were not at the park for long.  They closed early and I was whining a lot.  Every joint was aching and I was coughing uncontrollably.  I was basically now the guy at Disneyland spreading this disease around.  We went to a church by Knott’s Berry Farm where we were INVISIBLE.  NO ONE talked to us.  It was weird.  If I were lost, or if I were looking for a new church home I would NEVER come back here.  RUDE.

     After a couple more days of rest and the flu spreading through our “house” – we were off to San Diego.  We stayed first in Mission Bay, and next we stayed in the Silver Strand State beach.  I have no pictures of Mission Bay.  I didn’t like.  Not much at all.  Nope.  Silver strand was LOVELY.  We backed up to the beach and stayed about four days.  I wanted to KEEP staying.  We went to church at Calvary Chapel Coronado and they were SO welcoming and SO loving and nice.  Loved it there!!!  Felt so… “Body of Christ” here!  We rode our bikes to the historic Hotel Del Coronado, where we stayed when the girls were little for Christmas (and Cams was here unbeknownst to me!).


Maddy… the little sand eater December 2000.

After our 5 mile ride, we needed some refreshment… so we bought bottled: water, diet soda, two root beers, and a sprite… totaling $26!  WHOOPS!  I paid for it and felt really stupid that I paid for it.  I justified it by coming up with multiple crafts that I could probably make with those bottles.  We stopped and saw an amazing sand castle!


Up close were the various Disney princesses and the castles were made to their style of castle.

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Have you seen these?  This is a fire-pit made from the inside of an older washing machine.  So ingenious!

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Karl and Sydney engineering the back of our Cyclone with cables.  We made a porch out here so we could watch the water and just hang out.  I LOVED it.  I got pretty sunburned on this deck in my comfy chair.  I wanted to stay at this park for another month in the 70 degree weather and watch Naval ships drift by.  I was usurped by the family!

photo (13) - Copy Cams watches the sunset.  So pretty :)

photo (12) - CopyJust a beautiful picture of our last California sunset I got on my iphone.  Ahhhh.

1488677_10203137412502193_1813041380_nMy beautiful family.

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What is this?  I think it might be coral, it was kind of mushroom texture and a little bit slimy.  Very pretty colors!

We visited with my girlfriend from highschool… a cutie that lives in Del Mar for all the single guys out there (wink wink).  We went to the San Diego Zoo, and to Sea World.   San Diego Zoo was pretty nice… though we were a bit rushed.  We had to move out of the RV park and to the state beach post haste and then went to the Zoo so our day was cut short.   Would have RATHER gone to the wild animal park in hindsight.   We did find a nice photo-op!


At Sea World, our first show was the pets show where they had trained pigs, cats, and dogs.  The cats blew my mind.  You can train cats?  Sheesh!  Then,  we rode this raft ride and got SOAKED.  I mean SOAKED.  My mom got it the WORST!

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Got gills?

We all agreed it couldn’t get worse so we decided to go on again.  They have $5 whole body drying machines you can walk into if you really must.  Me?  I was totally comfortable wearing soggy sweats and squishing my way to the next place.  We watched piranhas being fed, which was actually pretty bizarre.  Then, off to the killer whale show.  I must admit, I was a little reticent to watch after seeing Black Fish.  But, it was a decent show.  We, being already soaked, decided to sit in  the soak zone.  I mean… how bad could it get, right?  Right?  Bad, people  I could get bad.  Imagine the contents of a full bathtub being thrown on you hard and fast five times in a row.  Here is a video example… although we weren’t poncho wusses.  We also watched the dolphin show (and I say dolphin loosely) Blue Horizons.  Hate hate hated it.  85% of it was people dressed like animals being lame.  Ugh.  I want to see dolphins not people dressed like parrots.  The video I linked to was actually way better than it really was.  Food was pricey EVERYWHERE and I was wet and nasty.   It was fun, though.  The next day my mom left and we stayed at the beach for a few more days gorging ourselves on sunshine, mexican food, and s’mores.

     We then moved on to Yuma, AZ and stayed a quick overnight in a park called Riverfront.  I had MADE tentative reservations at River’s Edge, but mixed it up in exhaustion and stayed at Riverfront.  Ugh.  Skeeeeetchy.  It was like a journey through time and onto the set of Deliverance.  I had the urge to watch Psycho and was really reluctant to take a shower for a quarter in the crazy bathroom that smelled like my great grandma’s rose bathroom.  Same color and tile, too.  I kid you not.  If you google this place, it’s the one with the Signal gas station sign.  Probably taken in the 80′s during it’s heyday.   There are a lot of antiques ala American Pickers.  It was very set back in time and expensive for what you get.  $30 and I have to pay for a shower?  No thanks.

     We then made our way to Benson, AZ to see Tombstone.  Fans of the movie, for sure.  Except for the one F-bomb and a couple of kissy scenes, it’s a pretty good movie!    The RV Park in Benson was nice… the hot tub was a little violent.  But, clean showers… and a nice park.  UNTIL.  We realized the train went by every 15 or so minutes all night long.  All.  Night.  Long.   It wasn’t just content to go by, no… it had to BLARE it’s horn all the way by the RV park just for fun.  Every fifteen minutes.  All night long.  I came to the conclusion the engineer must be an angry former employee.  No other explanation.

      Our day in Tombstone was pretty awesome except for the fact that NOTHING was free and EVERYONE asked for a handout.  We took a trolley tour and watched a “gunfight.”  In this PC climate no one was allowed to point guns directly at eachother.  LAME.  Lame lame.  Then, they gave a spiel about never ever handling guns unless you’re doing what they’re doing.  Everyone clapped but us.  We like guns, we train our kids with gun safety for sure… but we appreciate our 2nd amendment right and there is no way we are cheering for wussy gun control propaganda.  I’m thinking my girlfriend, sister, and I would have made some good tips walking around the town like this:


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One of the houses from Tombstone, AZ

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The courthouse and county seat until Bisbee came along.  There were gallows out back.  We also visited “Boot Hill” and saw a lot of “unknown” folks buried.

photo 4 (2)Main Street Tombstone

photo 5 (3)Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Virgil Earp, Morgan Earp.  You can pay and see them re-enact the fight at the OK corral (which wasn’t the actual fight spot – the fight took place at the intersection, but hey… it is in most movies as OK corral).  We didn’t pay to see this one, and I kind of wish we would have… but the one we saw had better reviews.  The gal in it picked Karl to flirt with as he was wearing his superman shirt.  Many of the street performers reminded me of carnies and they all called him superman.  However, the flirting was pretty relentless, causing me to have a dream that night in which Karl got flashed by a can-can dancer at the Golden Horseshoe Review… I, of course, complained to customer relations and got her fired.

That brings us to our current location… middle of nowhere NM where the stars are brilliant and the air is cold and still.  We will be leaving for Carlsbad Caverns tomorrow and covet your prayers!   Blessings to you!

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2 Responses

  1. Momma
    Momma January 28, 2014 at 5:40 am |

    I love reading this! It’s so funny. Wish I could have stayed and enjoyed S.D. more on the beach. Sounds like you all are still having a grand time. Miss you and see you soon in Texas! Love you!

  2. January 28, 2014 at 7:04 am |

    I enjoyed this immensely!! Always love your humor! I love your face when you met the Disney Cast Member Maynard.. I sure enjoyed your memories of the girls in their disneybound outfits :) (new term for me so I looked it up) Your blog created a whole new google fest for me.. I truly love reading on to the next one :) Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us!


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