Sunday, October 21, 2012

California Dreaming Part 2

Day 3 we decided to do the tourist thing.   We ate breakfast at McDonalds and headed off to Hollywood.  We started on the Hollywood walk of fame and went to Mann’s Chinese Theatre where we checked out the hand and footprints of the stars.   We hit the souvenir shops and picked up a few item before going back to the Griffith Park Observatory.  We got some great shots of the family with the Hollywood sign in the background.  We started south again, and stopped at the Red Robin (yum) for lunch where the Highway Patrol was doing a fundraiser for Special Olympics. We went back to the hotel, changed into swimwear and drove down Malibu Canyon and along the Pacific Coast Highway to the Santa Monica Pier.  We rode the Ferris wheel, had cotton candy and got our pictures taken in the photo booth.  The kids won various stuffed animals that through their various puppeteers and the annoying voices they created,  almost got left among the debris on the side of the freeway.   We stayed and played in the ocean until sunset, fulfilling my birthday wish.  We finished the day by driving through McDonalds on the way back to the hotel.   We sat in the hot tub and played in the pool while doing some laundry before retiring to our rooms on Saturday night.  Sunday morning we loaded up the Tahoe for the journey to Las Vegas.  We checked into the Excalibur, went to the pool, and walked around the various hotels for a while.  Jake and Kyler rode the roller coaster at the New York, New York and we had dinner at a fake deli there.   We did not manage to win at Keno at the Excalibur, but we tried really hard.  We woke on Sunday morning, went to the M&M store and the Welcome to Las Vegas sign and started home.  On the way home we passed a wreck that we later found out was a Corvette that the driver drove off a cliff and they found meth in the car.   We arrived home after dark on Monday night and got the car unloaded fairly quickly.

This was a great birthday for me.  Kyler bought me a new tv before we left, and everyone chipped in to make the trip possible.  There were little spats here and there, but everyone got along and we had a great memorable family road trip.   Sure am glad to be home.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

California Dreaming 2012 Part 1

We took a little trip this month.  Christy asked what I wanted for my birthday, I told her that I wanted my feet in the ocean on October 13th, and she made it happen.  We had to beg, borrow and steal, and the kids even chipped in a little, but on October 11th, after I went to my doctor in Salt Lake, we all piled in the Tahoe and headed south.  The weather was decent as we left Orem, but quickly turned dreadful.  Traveling through the Virgin River Gorge was a bit precarious as the clouds decided to open up and let drench the earth.  Unfortunately, the road was part of the earth and driving was a bit dicey.  We arrived in Mesquite to a drizzle and got our bags into the hotel room.  We could not go swimming, so we decided to go bowling.  There was a bowling league there that night and they told us there would be no open lanes until 8:45, so we hit the arcade and played there for about an hour.  Christy and I decided to pass on the bowling as there is no IHC office in Mesquite.  Anna hurt herself when she accidentally crossed the line onto the lane and slipped on the slick floor.  I decided to try to knock a few pins down and made it ok, but my knee has not yet recovered.  While bowling, Christy decided to try her hand at Keno, which pay off in the form of $135 which paid for our hotel and bowling.  The next morning Jake paid for breakfast and we again headed south.  The GPS told us where to turn and we ignored it because we thought it was wrong.  The resulting backtrack cost us about 30 minutes of drive time, and would be the first of many arguments that we would have with the GPS on this trip.  We arrived in Calabasas in the early afternoon and after unloading the Tahoe, we headed down to Malibu Beach.  There was some construction at the state beach, so we had to walk a short distance to the beach, but it was worth the walk because it was beautiful and there were very few people there.  I ran on the beach for the first time in years.  We took some pictures and played in the surf.  It was a great time.  Anna bought us dinner and we took Christy back to the hotel because she was not feeling well.  The rest of us headed back to L. A. and up to the Griffith observatory.  This was the second time that we had GPS issues and it took us on and off the same freeway several  times and it took us well over a hour to get there. There was a concert at the Greek Theater(near the Observatory) and we almost turned back, but Anna made us go on and we made it there safely.  We all got to see Neptune through the most looked though telescope in the world and we made it back to the hotel fairly quickly without the GPS.