The drive out was long, but basically uneventful. I did wait TOO long to stop though. I had to go to the bathroom SO bad I couldn't barely walk properly. But where I stopped was definitely not an ideal place to stop. The ladies bathroom had an "old" smell to it and the only stall available when I walked in there had a broken seat. BROKEN! So I definitely would not recommend stopping at the SunMart-Texaco in Quartzsite that's right off the I-10. Yuck alert!
I have to say that the Red Lion staff ROCKED! They were pleasant and helpful. When we checked in the front desk was all smiles.
Front Desk: Hi! May I help you?Can you believe it? We got WAY more than I expected. And what's even better? Is that the beds were super-duper comfy. The kids fell asleep in no time flat each night.
Me: Yes. I'm just checking in. Grace?
Front Desk: Oh yes. Here you are. Two queen beds. Any preference on if you want a lower floor or an upper floor?
Me: No preference. We just want to have a quiet room so the kids can sleep.
Front Desk: Not a problem. Do you want to have a Disney view?
Me: Oh. I didn't know that was available.
Front Desk: Yes. We've got a room on the 8th floor with a Disney view that's available. It'll be quiet since it's the top floor and no one will be above you.
Me: Oh great!
Front Desk: Yes. You'll be able to see the fireworks from there too.
We left home around 8:30am and arrived at the hotel around 4pm. After we checked in? I let the kids hit the pool. Yes. We weren't going to hit Disney until the next day so the rest of our travel day was open. No commitments. So I felt the pool would be a good treat for the kids since they were so good in the car.
We ended up eating a late dinner at The Cheesecake Factory at Gardenwalk. Doesn't the Princess look happy to be where we needed to be? I was just happy to eat a hearty dinner. Can you believe I ordered the meatloaf? It was super yummy and tummy filling. Just what I needed after spending all day on the road. We walked a bit through the mall to see what else was there.
We hit Disney around 8:30am. It was an overcast morning so that's why the kids are in long-sleeve shirts. Chip and Dale were right near the entrance so we took the opportunity to hook up with them and get a photo. Since it was an overcast day (June gloom) then the park wasn't swamped. It was GREAT! The lines were light. We longest we had to wait was maybe 20 minutes. We actually went on the Buzz Lightyear ride four times. Twice in the morning. Twice in the evening. We email'd the Hubs once in the morning and once at night.
The last thing we did the first day at Disney was hit the last show of the Jedi Academy. It was funny because there were a couple Dads there with their sons next to us. The one father on the right was there for the second time that day. The father on the left was there for the THIRD time in the hopes that his son would get picked. And LOOK who got selected? Yes. The Princess is now a Padowan. I was able to get a small video of her fighting against Darth Vader on stage. It was too cute. But I did have to make the Bear feel better about the situation since HE is the one who adores Star Wars.
We ended up grabbing lunch in ToonTown. Big turkey sandwich for me. A hot dog for the Princess. A lunchable type thingy for the Bear who said he wasn't hungry for lunch. But he totally ate up the yogurt, goldfish, and string cheese. I guess to him it was more of a big snack than an actual lunch but it had the same amount of food as what the Princess had. It's all about perspective, you know? Anything to keep both their energy up and not be in cranky-monster state of mind.
I got this cute photo of the kidlings on a firetruck in ToonTown but we had to wait almost 5 minutes for the boy ahead of us to get off of it. The kid did not want to get off. Even after his Mom, his Dad, his grandmother, and finally his grandfather talked to him. The kidlings sat on the thing for maybe a minute so I could get a few photos. The sassy kid? He got right back onto the fire truck after the kidlings hopped off. I hate to say it but that other kid was SUCH a brat! We saw him about an hour later at another place and he was still pissing and moaning at his parents and grandparents. Oh what fun did they have [insert sarcasm].
We hit California Adventure the next day. Yes. We reserved a day for each park. We slept in and walked down the street to the Hilton. I had to get a Venti Soy Hot Caramel Macchiato SO bad. The kids got some organic chocolate milk along with some lemon loaf (yum!). I must say that the Hilton has a fabulous lobby. It's HUGE with tons of seating areas. The Starbucks was not just a kiosk. It was spacious -- just like an actual Starbucks had been dropped in there. It was nice to sit and chat while eating breakfast. A nice way to start our day.
The kids played some games on the "boardwalk". Of course, I had to carry the stuffed animals that the kids won. See that grey donkey on the wall there in the photo? We ended up with one of those, a few snakes, and a couple platypus. I let the kids buy baseball caps as their souvenir. Something they could use instead of something that just sits there in their room. You can see the Bear on the far end in his cap while the Princess is the one closest in the photo below. I ended up buying a t-shirt. Did you notice what the Princess hat says?
We watched the High School Musical street show before we took off down the street for lunch. Of course, I had to take a photo of the kids with the bridge behind them. My son is SUCH a ham! We actually ended up at the IHOP next door to the Red Lion and it was nice. What was nice about the IHOP? We got there around 3pm and there was no one in the place. We ended up having a quiet late lunch and even got to chat with the hostess/server for quite a bit. She was super sweet but I can't remember her name! ARGH! She looked to be in her mid-40's with blonde hair. She was great.
We drove down to visit my family the next day. I put all the dirty clothes into one of the plastic bins. I put all the kids' clean clothes into another bin. Then I put my clean clothes and all our miscellaneous stuff into my bin. Getting the stuff into the car was easy-peasy. Yeah! The drive down was fast. We did take a brief respite at the view stop after San Onofre. I'd never stopped there so I wanted to this time around. It was cold so the kidlings didn't want to hang out too long.
When we got down near my sister's it was still cloudy outside. We dropped by the Carlsbad beach to hang out a bit. Definitely June gloom. [sigh]
Rides/attractions we did:
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Minnie's House
- Donald's Boat
- Chip'n'Dale's Treehouse
- Tarzan's Treehouse
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
- Disneyland Railroad (we went around 1 1/4 times)
- Flik's Flyers
- Francis' ladybug Boogie
- Heimlich's Chew Chew Train
- Jumpin' Jellyfish
- Tuck and roll's Drive'Em Buggies
- Mupper 3D
- Disney Animation
- Monster's Inc to the Rescue
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- Gadget's Go Coaster
- Mulholland Madness
- Mickey's Fun Wheel
- Buzz Lightyear
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Grizzly River Run
- Soarin' Over California
- Jedi Training Academy
- Celebrate A Street Party
- High School Musical 3 Street Party
FUN and exhausting for me. Hopefully the kidlings had such a fun time that they'll remember this trip until they're adults. You know? Those family trips that make SUCH an impression that you talk about it with your parents and siblings when you have family gatherings?
Mom, remember when you took us to Disneyland by yourself?