Ocean to Ocean….and Back – Thanks for Reading

So no post yesterday as it was our last day and my blog time was consumed by packing. The Hotel Del Coronado gave us another day of relaxing. We started with breakfast at a local cafe outside of the hotel grounds. It happened to be next to the Coronado visitor center and after breakfast we learned about the history of Coronado.

After a short sit at the pool we pulled Ryan away from the video game he had been playing for the last two days we took a 4 person bike ride. For those of you have not seen one these machines see the pic below.

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So we rented this torture machine for an hour and they even gave us an extra 30 minutes. While it was nice to be spending time together and we did get to see more of Coronado, I prefer to be in control of the bike by myself. So after 45 minutes we were back to where we started and another “experience” under out belt.

 

 

 

 

 

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Life’s a beach

Didn’t post yesterday because there really wasn’t much to say and that was by design. We left LA and headed to San Diego yesterday. Our hotel, the Hotel Del Coronado, has a resort like setting in San Diego. A perfect way to end our exhausting vacation. After arriving we simply put on our bathing suits, sat by the pool and relaxed. Dinner consisted of appetizers at the lounge and the home run derby. Like I said not much worth reporting.

Today we had more of the same. This time the setting was at the beach. After a morning workout and some breakfast we set ourselves up at the beach. The boys got some surfing in and even though the waves weren’t ten feet high, they seemed to still be having fun.

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As lunch approached we decided to eat an unconventional but very tasty meal. The Crown Jewel consisted of 10 scoops of ice cream, 5 toppings, hot fudge, nuts, whipped cream and cherries. Only on vacation…..

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Amazingly enough we finished it! I will be spending the next month exercising every day.

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Finally it was dinner with a view of the ocean and a beautiful sunset.

 

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Tomorrow we have another day of relaxing is planned followed by repacking our bags for the trip home.

Everyone wants to be a star

Yesterday we met at one of the more popular breakfast spots in LA. The Griddle Café on Sunset Blvd. makes breakfast not just a meal but rather and experience. With hub cap sized pancakes topped with everything from strudel to chocolate syrup this was a meal that everyone would remember.

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We also go to meet some of Surreina’s family which was very nice. We sat in a private room in the back of the restaurant, enjoyed each other’s company and the food. Afterwards we gathered for a picture in front of the Griddle.

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It is only proper that if you are in LA that you find your way to one of the major studios. We chose to tour the Warner Brothers studio in Burbank. The studio tour was great as we got to see sets both inside and outside and even learn some of the tricks of the trade. It was amazing to see how the same set can be used over and over for different shows by simply changing a little paint, decals, etc.

That's all folks!

That’s all folks!

Friends!

Friends!

After the studio tour we headed to Venice beach to check out the eclectic sights. From “medical marijuana” shops to Muscle beach we got to see people from all walks of life. It really was a bit of a freak show. Anyone who thinks they have a talent is trying to perform it and collect a few bucks from the crowd. We saw, break dancers, musicians, jugglers, someone walking on broken glass, skateboarders, hippies on bikes, and people dressed in all sorts of unusual ways. LA definitely is the place where people “try” to make their dreams come true. What do you call an aspiring actress in LA?……waitress!

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Now back to Santa Monica and some dinner at the third street promenade. The Hummus Bar was a nice Mediterranean meal and the kids got to try some new foods. Also checked out more aspiring talents trying to make a few bucks.

Finally we hit the Santa Monica pier for more amusement park rides. The kids apparently didn’t get enough at Disneyland (I think they just wanted to torture me). On the pier there is a kiosk selling end of Rt 66 wares. I talked to the guy behind the counter who was fairly knowledgeable about the famous road. The Georgian Hotel (our hotel) was built in 1931 a few years before the end of Rt 66 was moved into Santa Monica. The Georgian became the hotel to stay in for those traveling the route to the end. Seems fitting that we ended up there as well.

Had to say good bye to Adam and Surreina yesterday. It was great to spend the time with them but now we had to move on. Shout out to them and a great big thanks for being our tour guides here in LA.

Today we are off to San Diego for the last leg of our trip. Hope to hit the pacific coast highway for part of our ride.

City of Angels

7:30 AM today we met Adam at the base of the Hollywood hills. This morning we started with a hike up to the famous Hollywood sign. We worked up a good appetite and then had some breakfast at Café 101 which is a spot many “A listers” have enjoyed.

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After breakfast we had to hit Hollywood   Blvd and check out the walk of fame. A popular tourist site, you could check out the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater (now TCL theater) and see footprints and handprints of your favorite entertainers. Very “touristy” but the kids enjoyed checking it out. Deb even got a pic with one of her favorite stars.

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Next was the Autry museum to learn about the wild west. Exhibits on both cowboys and indians could be found here. Jacob got to be in a cowboy movie and Ryan ended up in prison (hope that is not a recurring theme!)

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Then we headed back to Adam’s place and the kids got to swim in the pool. A quick change for dinner and then it was off to a cool spot in Woodland Hills. Adam and Surreina have a friend who joined us for dinner. Jon Pare is a producer in LA and currently a producer on the popular shows Sons of Anarchy and Southland.

By the time dinner was over it was time to head back to the hotel. Everyone in bed now and soon I will be too. Tomorrow we get a little later start. Apparently we are having breakfast at the best place in town. Hope to have those stories for you tomorrow.

End of the road

Even though we are on vacation it seems we continue to have early starts to our day. Yesterday was no exception. So as I mentioned in the last post we were turning in the RV yesterday. We were required to return it semi clean on the inside and of course we had to pack. While it was nice to travel with our home we still had to pack it back up, clean it, and return it by 10:30 AM. This didn’t seem like as much fun. So at 7 AM there we were packing and cleaning and after picking up our rental car for the remainder of the trip, we rolled into the RV rental location at 10:30 on the button.

So here are a few stats worth noting about our RV trip. We covered over 2700 miles in 14 days. Lost one hub cap, broke two bikes, and spent over $1100 on gasoline…..it was a blast.

And here are the top 10 things I learned about driving an RV (in no particular order):

  1. If you think you can fit in a tight space….you can’t.
  2. People who run RV parks are likely not rocket scientists….probably not high school graduates either.
  3. If you don’t like a quiet ride then do NOT rent an RV.
  4. City sewer is a luxury we have at home….don’t take it for granted.
  5. If you think you have passed the last gas station for awhile, you probably have.
  6. Anything over 10 mpg in an RV is considered super efficient.
  7. If the RV park chains the fence to the main gate at night, move to another RV park.
  8. Before living in an RV for awhile, try living together in half of one room in your house first.
  9. If you want to drive fast, do not drive an RV.
  10. If you have the time, want to have a great trip with your family, and get to see a whole lot of our country, rent an RV.

After returning the RV it was off to Santa   Monica and the Georgian Hotel on Ocean Ave. Beautiful view of the ocean, close to the third street promenade and also the fishing pier. Adam and Surreina met us at the hotel and then we were off to start our tour of the Los Angeles.

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Santa Monica is also the official end of Rt 66 so it was only appropriate that we took a picture of us at the Will Rogers plaque at the end of the road.

End of the road

End of the road

First we hit the food trucks over near the LACMA (Lost Angeles County Mueseum of Art) which seemed like a popular place for lunch and had the largest piece of the Berlin Wall outside of Germany.

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After lunch we headed to Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive to check out where the beautiful people shop. Also checked out some cool cars parked on the street.

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From Beverly Hills it was back to Santa Monica to walk the third street promenade. Checked out the street performers which included dancers, singers, magicians, and even a yo yo perfomer. Everyone wants to be a star in LA.

After our stroll we cleaned up and got some Mexican food for dinner. At this point everyone was ready for bed because it was going to be….another early start.

California Adventure

So Disney has taken crowd management to a whole new level. If you have been to Disney you are familiar with their fast pass system. This is basicallt a system that allows you to skip to te front of the line at a specified time for a specified ride. Now not all rides are part of this system and you can only get one fast pass for one ride at a time. Its not a bad system but honestly should be a sign to simply stay away unless you want to spend your day waiting on lines.

Well yesterday we went to California Adventure ( a studio based theme park). Now Deb had done the proper reconaissance the night before and determined we needed to get into the park early and get a fast pass for the light show in the evening and one for the radiator springs ride (a thrill ride themed around the movie Cars). So we get out ticket for the light show and then head to the fast pass distribution spot for the Cars ride. As we walked past a long line of people we realized that this line was to get the fast pass we were needed. So I waited 20 minutes to get a ticket so that I can wait on another line 6 hours later (which was the time I was scheduled to use my fast pass ticket). I am thinking this is simply amazing. We come to find out later that when this ride had first opened, people waited two hours to get a ticket to then wait another two hours to get on the ride. 4 hours to get on a ride that lasts no more than 2 minutes! I don’t think so. Yesterday there were people waiting two hours on the standby line to get on this ride! I was simply amazed that people would even do that. The ride was fun but in no way worth that kind of wait.

So although I may be complaining here, the day overall was fun. The kids hit all the rides they wanted to ride. Deb and I got to dance with an 80’s music band and the water light show at the end of the day was pretty good. A few pics below from the day:

California Adventure ferris wheel in background

California Adventure ferris wheel in background

Cars Land and Rt 66 Icons (seems fitting)

Cars Land and Rt 66 Icons (seems fitting)

Today is a sad day as we turn in our RV for a more practical minivan. We will be making our last official stop on Rt 66, Santa Monica. This is the official end of Rt 66 (or beginning if you are pointed east). More than 2/3 done with our trip we will spend our next days in LA with Uncle Adam and then the last three days relaxing on the beach in San Diego. Will keep posts coming. Stay tuned….

 

The happiest place on earth

Yes we were spending our first full day in California at the happiest place on earth. That is if crying kids, long lines, and expensive fast food makes you happy. Ok, maybe that is not the best attitude towards this part of our trip. Well here is a short summary

We got another early start with breakfast in the RV so that we could get on the shuttle to the park. Today we chose Disneyland (tomorrow is California Adventure). We hit most of the thrill rides first to avoid longer lines later in the day. Caught the parade in the middle of the day and then a few more rides before getting some dinner in the park. The kids soaked themselves a few times at splash mountain and we ended our day with the fantasmic light and water show (was not half bad).

After the show we headed for the shuttle (along with the everyone else) and then back to the RV. I can’t believe we are doing this again tomorrow. I am in need of a vacation from this vacation.

More of our adventues om Disney coming tomorrow.