Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day #7 Disneyland

You know bloggin about this adventure and most all of them really makes me realize how much joy I have in my life. I love planning and scheming for vacations. Sometimes I feel like that is the best part. I have to say I am a pretty good planner too. This was our last day of our short little family trip but a day I was so looking forward to and dreading at the same time. We LOVE Disneyland and have managed a few trips over the years. It has actually been 6 years since we had been back and have I have been fortunate to go to Disney World Twice since then even. Seriously how do I get so lucky! I was dreading it because I knew what it was going to be like in July...a zoo. We even had to park in the overflow parking which does not bode well for what it's going to be like in the park. We have a tradition of going to the Blue Bijou for lunch when we go. That's always our first stop. We headed right over and got our reservations for a water side table! But the prices have skyrocketed since we were there last that's for sure. We remembered the Monte Cristo sandwich being less that $10 and it was almost $30. That's quite a jump in price so with the whole menu so expensive just for lunch that tradition may die a quick and painful death!
The lines were long as expected but I thought they could have been much worse. We waited and hour at the most because anything longer than that we just didn't go. We only missed Star Tours and Space Mt because it kept breaking down that day.

We got to go on pretty much everything else. We even did Splash Mt at night and got soaked. We were very surprised that the park closed at midnight and even more surprised that nobody left after the parade or fireworks! We never did get on Peter Pan because the lines were horrendous! That was a bummer. We had a blast even though it was just the three of us. Beth & Rob and their girls split off and went to the beach instead since they had just been to Disneyland that winter and they weren't excited to spend $500 just to get in for 1 day. Can't say I blame them. Well we closed the place and had a great time all day long. After a nice little sleep in the next morning we headed home. With Lake Tahoe added on we were gone for a week and Hayden only missed out on 4 days with his friends so we were all happy.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Day #6 Magic Mountain

We were all so excited for our day at Magic Mountain. Mendis and Hayden and I got a quick ride in on the Viper while we waited for Beth and Rob and their girls. We practically walked right on which was fabulous but I got pretty sick right after. Actually it took me 2 hours to really recover. It wasn't fright this time but dizzy queasy stuff. So apparently I wasn't going to be racing from ride to ride with everyone. Hayden and Cymoni had set a goal to ride every ride there. After a few hours of fighting the crowds it became obvious that was not going to happen in just one day.
Mendis and I got a picture of the Revolution as they raced by us! But were happy to watch and recover from the viper still.
This was the ride of the day: the X2!! I wonder if the 2 part was the magic number for how many hours wait there was. Actually it was really more like a 2 1/4 hours wait to get on. When I saw that ride I knew I would be holding every one's cell phones and hats etc for them. This time it was F.R.I.G.H.T! You are in these seats that flip you all around. You go up and over the first mountain backwards then you get flipped so you are going down face first into flames. It was insane. Backwards, forwards, sideways. Yeah no thanks.
Here is every one lining up to finally get their ride on the X2. Yup even Aubrey was braver than me. Seriously this ride was insane which I hope the following 2 videos will show. This was the crew having a great time without me:

And here they are returning from their adventure. Was I sad I didn't just suck it up and go...a bit but I am over that! After a full day of lines and rides even Hayden succumbed to feeling yucky. The Riddler did it to him. I saved myself for the Batman roller coaster. It was alot of fun and amazing but within 5 minutes of getting off I thought I was going to die. Full body sweat and nausea. Seriously I though I was having a heart attack. After that I rode the Ninja and called it a day. Luckily I enjoyed watching everyone else have fun cause my roller coaster days are over!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day #5 Sequoia National Park

We started the day off with a nice little drive through fruit stands and amazing fields and we could see the mountains looming ahead of us. Rob decided his car wasn't going to make it and thought it was best to go back and rip the radiator out and replace it. They insisted we go on ahead and they would come behind. We didn't want to leave them but we didn't want to make them feel bad with us waiting around so off we went so they could get going with their little project. As we were climbing straight up the mountains we were glad they decided to turn around. There weren't many places to pull over and it was a huge climb to get back up into the mountains. We headed straight for Sequoia and the Redwoods. They were amazing. It doesn't matter how many times I see them I am amazed at how huge they are.

This root just seems to dwarf Hayden. It was the coolest thing though because the tree was naturally hollowed out in the middle and you could walk right through it:
You kind of get the scale of the inside here with Mendis inside.

If you put these 2 photos together you can see one tree. There is no way the whole tree will fit in one picture.
While we were there they had a prescribed burn going on. It looks pretty harmless here but in no time we were rolling up the windows and coughing. You couldn't see anything for miles while we drove through the smoke. With the wicked cliffs we were driving on I was a bit relieved that you couldn't see very far. I was not thrilled with the road winding through the cliffs with no guard rails! At one point we were all set to drive down to King's Canyon to see it. We drove for about 1/2 an hour and were not impressed. It was dessert again and we took forever to get there. Finally we decided to just forget it and turn around and go back into Sequoia. It would have been cool to see what all the fuss was about but we didn't feel like we had that kind of time. It's always good to save something for next time right?
We were really disappointed in this "Tunnel Tree'. Somehow we managed to miss the tree that is standing up that you drive through. I think it's in Yosemite now but I am still not sure.Oh well. It took us forever to find the hidden road to get to this one as it was. Later we were super glad we took that road because even though the tunnel tree was disappointing we got to see 3 bears in the woods.

Hayden wanted a picture in a tree but with bears all over the place we were a little nervous. We took it quick and moved on!

I wish I could have gotten a picture that does the road justice. We took this about half way down the mountain while we were stopped for construction. There were so many switchbacks I was getting sick. By the time we got down it was dark so yeah it was something else. I told Mendis I was really glad we went to Sequoia because I am afraid I might not want to go back and drive that road ever again.
I must mention that all was went with Beth & Rob. Rob replaced the radiator in about 4-5 hours and they went up into the park too. We never saw them the rest of the day but when we compared notes the next day we probably saw alot of the same things including the same bears! They missed the North part of the park but that wasn't much besides the General Sherman tree anyway so all was well. In fact their car worked like a champ the rest of the trip!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day #4 Yosemite

We gathered together at Ashley's to head up into the mountains and get started on our awesome adventure. She fed us a lovely breakfast and we were ready to go much to Rees' disappointment I might add. Rob teased him and said he could come too and he was pushing his way into his van in no time only to be drug out and made to stay home. Poor little guy. God got even with Rob though pretty quick! We were about an hour into our drive when it was time to get climbing up...that's when it hit. Car trouble. Their van kept over heating. We pulled over lots

And lots

And tried fixing things...
And we thought we had it fixed kinda so we pressed on. We had a fabulous lunch just outside the park and 5 hours later we were at Yosemite. Poor Beth & Rob they were getting stressed and wanted us to just leave them. NO WAY. It was a vacation not a race so we were good to hang around and make sure they made it. They limped through the rest of the day so it worked out. The vistas were gorgeous. You can see from this picture the amazing climb to get up there that we went through. That's Nevada in the background:

The scenery was so amazing. Because there was such a big snow pack this year the waterfalls were running every where. We loved it.
I had a heart attack watching Hayden go over to the edge to get pictures. This photo is for moms everywhere who have kids who think it is no big deal to go right to the very edge...
He stood out on this little rock and come to find out the drop off was only about 20 feet but from where I was cowering it looks like a mile down. Of course I was sure the momentum would make it impossible to stop at the next ledge once he fell over.
This is the edge looking down. The picture does NOT do it justice of course. It makes me look like a freak. Moms know I was right!

This little alpine lake was the first of many that day. We just loved it.
Loved this alpine meadow. There was running and standing water everywhere from all the snow this year. Californians everywhere also!! I masterfully cut them out of the photos.
A quick stop to let the van cool down and grab a pic. Awesome.
Another great view point.

This amazing picture was just one of many gorgeous spots along the way. Loved loved loved the waterfalls!
Here we are trekking back to get a picture of a waterfall in Yosemite Valley.
This is Bridal Veil falls. It was a short 1/2 mile hike. It was so misty from the falls I was afraid to take the camera out in case it got ruined. Come to find out this was only the beginning of wet!
Below the falls and down the river a bit.
Nobody better notice that I picked this day to not wear makeup. What was I thinking. It could have been our family picture for the year!!
I loved this view of half dome. By now it was getting to be early evening so the light was amazing.
So this had to be our favorite spot of the day. This is upper and lower Yosemite Falls. It was absolutely gorgeous. I have about a million pics of this from many angles. We couldn't get enough. There was a lovely hike up to the bottom. The water was every where not just misty on this one. I wish I was brave enough to do the hike up to the top of the falls some day. Not sure I have what it takes to do it though.

This was the lovely view of the Yosemite Valley on the way out. It looks just like a postcard. There was still lots of winding narrow roads to go to get to Madera and our hotel for the night. We left the park pretty late but we are glad we stayed. It was incredible. Lots of crowds especially in Yosemite Valley itself but I can see why!! We pulled into our hotel about midnight just about a half hour before Beth & Rob. What a fun day and we look forward to doing it all again someday soon, hopefully.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Our Vacay Day #1,2 and 3

We had a really tough time picking a good time to go on our vacation this year. With every one's schedules we couldn't accommodate everyone so took Hayden and went since this is his last before his mission. Mendis & Delmar had business meetings up at Lake Tahoe so that's what got this party started. Wednesday Delmar and Joan and Mendis and I loaded up at the crack of dawn and headed up there. We drove to Tonopah and stopped for there for lunch. Ashley asked if she could bring Rees over to Subway where we were for a quick visit and we were only too happy to oblige! We got a few hugs in and we were off again. It made for a long day driving up but we enjoy driving even through the middle of Nevada believe it or not. We stayed at North Tahoe at the NorthStar I think it was called. The rooms weren't anything to write home about but the village right there was great. We found a little gelato shop that first night and that was sooo good.
The next day the men had meetings and I had the best day ever. IT's like it was a reward for something. We had a delightful breakfast before Mendis had meetings. I had a warm homemade peach scone and fruit salad. To die for. Then I watched tv in my room, played around on Mendis' computer, read my book, did sudoku puzzles and ate a divine death by chocolate cupcake. Seriously fabulous. All this while looking out my window at pine trees swaying in the breeze!! We had a BBQ that might that was delicious with the whole group.
The next morning Joan and I got up early and drove around the entire lake. I don't know that I hae ever been around the whole thing at least not that I remember.
It was a lovely drive and Joan and I had lots of time to visit all the way around. I haven't had much of a chance to talk with her so it was a good catchup. At about noon the guys were done so we took a quick gondola ride up to the top of the mountain and headed out. We drove back down through Tonopah but this time they dropped us off at Ashley & Benjy's to spend the night.
Hayden and Cymoni and Devony drove up from home and were already there when we got there. We had a great dinner and spent the night playing games. Fun Fun start to the vacation!