Category Archives: Vacation

Our Southern California Vacation Day 4 Part 1

Day 4 – Second Day at Disneyland Part 1

Our second day at Disneyland goal was to get all the rides that we had missed the first day. With two days I think we got on all of the rides at least once. Personally I could have easily spent another couple of days just exploring and finding neat things.

Matterhorn Drop

Philip also got to ride the Matterhorn which was a ride he remembered from his Dreams Take Flight Trip. We were actually there early enough that he got to ride it twice. There first time alone, the second with mommy. She had gone to get us all fast passes for World of Color. Those fast passes are wonderful. You grab one for each person in your group then go do other things until your 1 hour window, then you can skip most of the line. To make it sensible you use your park ticket and can only have one fast pass at a time.

Mommy and Margaret at end of Matterhorn

One of the next rides that we went on was the Roger Rabbit Cab Ride. At this point we discovered that the kids had never seen the movie. HOW DID WE MISS THAT???? We own it so it is just a matter of finding it in the piles of DVDs.

Explorer Ship Columbia

We also went on the Explorer Ship Columbia and sailed the Rivers of America. I found it cool that the Ship is based on a real vessel. Here is the Wikipedia article on Columbia Rediviva. She was the first American build ship to circumnavigate the globe. She also sailed into the Columbia River giving the river its name. It is also responsible for part of the name where I live, British Columbia.

Family and Tigger

Somewhere along our journey we also got photos with Tigger, Eeyore and Pooh.

The Jungle Cruise ride is another one that brought back memories of my 1978 trip. The guide was just as pun-ny as way back then. It could have been the same guy, OK not really but I think this is the ride that has changed the least.

Jungle Cruise

Lunch today was at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port, another place that I found online. The pasta was excellent but the pizza didn’t really cut it for our kids and they ended up eating some of our pasta. Fortunately the portions were huge. Between the huge Breakfasts at the hotel and huge servings in the parks we are only having two meals a day. Lunch being about 3pm and being renamed lupper.

Margaret Battles Darth Vader

We had watched the tail end of a show heading for lunch where some Jedis train the padawons and then the padawons get to fight Darth Vader or Darth Maul at the end. We went back after lunch and the next show was about to begin. All of my kids got selected to participate as padawons. Cool and the kids though it was one of the best things.

Disneyland Parade Chip and Dale

Towards the end of the day Danielle wanted to go see the parade. Knowing her I knew that she would want to be right in the front. I don’t particularly like crowds so I found I nice vantage point on a bench in the shade. I had a view of the parade and I was right in front of the castle. That meant that I got to witness a marriage proposal. She wasn’t expecting it but she said yes. Apparently that is a very common location for proposals.

The Disneyland side of the park closed early this day for a Halloween party so we finished off the day over at California Adventure and that will be part 2.

I will be posting more on our trip on a mostly daily basis so come back tomorrow to hear more.

A vote for me in the Homeschool Blog Awards would be appreciated. Thank you. You can vote by clicking on the image below.

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Our Southern California Vacation Day 3

Day 3 – First day at California Adventure

The last time we were here, this park didn’t even exist so it was completely new to everyone. It is smaller than Disneyland but still a lot of fun.

Grizzly Peak

My favorite ride was Soaring over California. It was interesting to see different areas of California that those of us who come for the attractions don’t see. It also gave me the idea of having Margaret look-up Amelia Earhart for one of her assignments. For Mommy and Philip it was the California Screamin roller coaster.

About to launch on Californa Screamin

One of the cool thing that happened was the Phineus and Ferb Dance Party. It was the costumed characters plus 4 teenage girls dressed as Fireside Girls doing a dance party with music from the show. The kids loved it and got to go out and dance with the characters.

Kids Dancing with Phineus and Ferb

The momentarily scary part of the day was when we lost Philip. We were walking to another part of the park when Margaret saw a ride she wanted to go on. We agreed but Ian and I had been on it while they were on the coaster. So I decided to wait on a bench and they went to ride. Unfortunately Philip didn’t here this conversation and kept on walking. When they got off the ride we discovered that we were one child short. Knowing were we had been heading to I said I was going to fast walk ahead while she came along with Ian. Unfortunately/Fortunately the Phineus and Ferb Dance party was on and with the crowd I missed the entrance to the area we had been headed to. I realized that I was now lost and pulled out a map. In trying to find a building that I could find on the map I spotted child services and decided that was a better plan. Going in she quickly took the basic information and called security. Philip in the meantime had realized we were missing and had doubled back to look for us. He soon realized that we couldn’t be this far back and found an employee. So when she called security they already had him. My wife’s experience wasn’t quite as positive as it was 45 minutes before we reconnected and she was not aware that I now had Philip. The bottom line is we shouldn’t have separated and instead gone straight to an employee. We also made the decision to use our cellphones earlier and take the roaming charge in those sort of situations. The good thing was that we had gone over that exact scenario with the kids that morning. It was mostly meant for Ian but it was a good reminder for Philip.

Ian on King Triton's Carousel

After our eat wherever we happened to be experience yesterday I spent sometime back in the hotel room looking up food places in the park. I came across this and that had a great listing of price levels and ratings. From that I picked Lucky Fortune Cookery. Danielle, Philip and myself liked the food. Everyone had the Teriyaki except Philip who had the Spicy Korean. Ian and Margaret found the Teriyaki too spicy. I think the chicken had some spice on it start with. With Philip it made no difference. I had beef but trying to chicken it did seem spicier. Margaret and Ian’s spice avoidance is why we avoided Mexican even tho the rest of us were keen to try some.

Goofy Conducting a water show

After lunch we were headed over to a ride that turned out to down for maintenance and we came across Goofy about to do a water show. It was a cool show and very much in the early classical style.

Goofy's Water Show

We also went on the Grizzly River Run. Given that it was later in the afternoon and not a particularly warm day for California there were not lines. As a result we went on it a couple of times. I grabbed shots of people splashing down and of Ian standing in what was clearly a spash zone.

Grizzly River Run Splash Down

Why is everything wet

Danielle managed to get a picture of me just after splash down.

Grizzly River Run Daddy's Turn

Two other rides that we found cool were the Monster’s Inc ride and the Toy Story Midway Mania. We also got to watch the Monster’s Inc movie later in the trip. The ride made the kids want to watch the movie again so that worked out perfectly. The Toy Story ride was an interactive shooter with a number of games as you rode through the ride.

This was also the first day we took the bus back to the hotel. They have shuttles running to the parking and our hotel was next to the parking so we used that one as it ran far more often than the one that would take us directly to our hotel.

I will be posting more on our trip on a mostly daily basis so come back tomorrow to hear more.

A vote for me in the Homeschool Blog Awards would be appreciated. Thank you. You can vote by clicking on the image below.

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Our Southern California Vacation Day 2

Day 2 – First day at Disneyland

The last time my wife and I were in Disneyland was 14 years ago for our honeymoon. Philip got to go on a day trip thanks to Dreams Take Flight 4 years ago. The other two had never been before. So it was exciting for me to walk through those gates again. Even more exciting was watching the expressions on my kids faces. The first ride of the day was Space Mountain. I am not a roller coaster fan but my wife is and she convinced me that I went on it 14 years ago. I am still sure that I didn’t. This time it was also Halloween so it had added scary projections. The bottom line is that only Mommy and Philip liked it. Ian spent the ride with his head buried in mommy’s arm. I practically crushed Margaret’s arm and she kept her eyes closed. I had promised her before the ride that I would not make her go on it again and I would not let mommy make her go either. We both swore we would never go on it again.

Praying Mantis

The next ride I can’t remember the name of but the cool thing was the Praying Mantis sitting on a leaf as we were waiting in line. I always like finding wildlife in strange places. Margaret also saw a lizard of some kind on the sidewalk but it scooted into the brush before anyone else saw it.

Margaret Iron Man Suit Up

They had a display of all the Iron Man suits that was cool to look at but even better was the interactive where you could become Iron Man on a screen. It used a camera to put you on the screen and then it built the suit around you. Ian was the most fun to watch as he got so excited. There was a bunch of teens recording him on their phones. I checked for Youtube uploads but I couldn’t find one of him.

My favorite ride was Pirates of the Caribbean. The last time we were here was before the movies so it was cool to see the changes that had been made. Since the movies had been based on the ride there were not a lot of changes. They did however put in references to Captain Jack. I also remember the ride from the very first time I was there and that was back in 1978 so it obviously left an impression on me then.

Lunch was good but I came to the conclusion that I needed to plan food. Eating wherever we happen to be when we get hungry results in burgers. While that was fine I was not willing to do it everyday and I knew there was good food in the parks.

Finding Nemo Ride

We also went on the Finding Nemo ride that had been updated from the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. That was actually the first ride that made us realize the changes that had occurred to some of the rides since our last visit, 14 years ago. The funniest bit was the three animatronic seagulls that woke every once in a while with a chorus or ‘mine mine mine mine…’ I grabbed a photo of them with one of their real brethren. We also went on Star Tours that didn’t exist 14 years ago. That was cool as I am a Star wars fan.

Three animatronic seagulls and one real

We got through to about 8pm, by that point everyone was to tired to continue and we walked back to our hotel room. It was a bit of a long walk after a day at the park but we made it.

I will be posting more on our trip on a mostly daily basis so come back tomorrow to hear more.

A vote for me in the Homeschool Blog Awards would be appreciated. Thank you. You can vote by clicking on the image below.

HSBA Vote for This Blog