Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Quick California

Last week we squeezed in one last vacation before Joel leaves for two years. We drove down Sunday afternoon and came back on Friday so we would have one day to get ready for Joel's farewell talk in church followed by a lunch gathering in our home and back yard with family and friends.

Day one: Universal Studios. First time for all of us.

First stop The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The morning clouds and mist combined with the fake snow made it all seem even more realistic.

Butter Beer. I had the Pumpkin Juice. Both were tasty.

The Studio tour was nice. We also enjoyed the Special Effects and Animal Actor shows. We tried all of the rides. Too many of them were jerky rides in front of fast moving screens that made my stomach churn.

We ended the day with Harry Potter. Dinner at Three Broomsticks was much better than our lunch at Panda Express.

The Forbidden Journey ride was lots of fun.

Day two: LA and Santa Monica. First stop Griffith Park and observatory.

Downtown LA.


We had just listened to our Herb Alpert CD on our drive to California.

Greeting ready for the Spiderman premier.

These two characters sidled up to Joel and Will and suggested a photo. They agreed. I then approached and realized what had happened. The boys had taken the bait. I knew it would cost money. The boys had no idea. Spiderman said he could take a credit card or make change. I only had a $20 so I had him give me back $15 and then I gave Mickey a $5 too.

We drove down Sunset Blvd and Rodeo Drive. The boys were most impressed with all the nice cars. We then drove by the LA Mormon Temple. I admired the new xeriscaped landscaping on the front hill. During the last few years of drought the Church stopped watering and allowed the grass on the big hill to die out. We then had excellent tacos a few blocks away. I tried the fried avocado. It was Ok but the fish tacos were better.

Next Stop Santa Monica Beach and Pier. It was cloudy and cold but the boys and I still enjoyed jumping the waves.

Will held out the longest.

Will then started to build a barrier to protect a feather from washing away. Joel joined in to help.

We then walked down to the famous pier.

Indonesian food for dinner.

Day three: California Adventure. We headed straight to Radiator Springs because last time we were here it had very long lines. We were surprised this time around to find that lines on both days were much shorter that on past trips.

 Paper straws. Nice.

Because we have a Disney Visa (rewards paid for our two days of entrance) we got to go to a photo shoot with Minnie. She loved my shirt.

I got a kick out of this "scenic viewpoint" and its description of mountain formation via plate tectonics. There is a lot of humor in the details of Radiator Springs.

Marie and Sarah learned that those who sit next to the entrance gaps on the rafts are most likely to get the wettest.

We watched the noon production of Frozen (enjoyable) but the kids all liked a short telling of the Lion King story with singing and dancing, but not too much.

 Humorous restroom signs at Pacific Wharf.

Day four: Disneyland. First stop Galaxy's Edge. We were at the park by the 8:00 opening and we booked it to the far side of the park. Everyone else did too.

 The early morning line wound around through back lots (used to handle the initial crush of people) but the whole wait was only an hour.

 Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run was great fun. Joel and Will were the pilots, Sarah and I the gunners and Marie the engineer.

 We all loved the tasty 'milk' drinks.

I was tempted to buy a resistance shirt. I was not tempted to buy a $200 build your own light saber. My brother-in-law who lives in Irvine showed us the light saber he made. It was cool. He said that the process of building the light saber was a very religious experience that brought one woman in his group to tears.

 Kudos to Disney for gathering unfamiliar plants from around the world to really make Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge seem otherworldly.

 In honor of Joel's up coming service in Africa.

Always bothered by places that sell out to just one soft drink company. No Dr. Pepper at Disneyland or BYU, just Coke.

 Evening visit back where we started

 Fantasmic was cool.

Final stop: Great Moments with Mister Lincoln. Left the park at 11:57pm. Will got his wish--Disneyland opening to closing.

No comments:

Post a Comment