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Old 08-22-2008, 10:59 PM   #46
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Don't read alot of trip reports but I am glad I found yours!!!

We are WDW vets and finally went to Walt's original back in 2007 when they had fires too. Fortunately we didn't have to change our plans like you did. My daughter got sick on that trip and we had a doctor visit us in our hotel. Sick kids on vacation is horrible, just horrible. We just loved it though. The pacific ocean is amazingly beautiful. So we ended up going back in 2008. We are now hooked on California and Disneyland. We wanted to hit Yosemite but my wife hurt her back and we ended up going to San Diego and staying at the Hotel Del Coronado and then on to Disneyland.

Anyway I am really loving you TR. We always wanted to do the 17 mile drive as well as Monterey and San Fran. Would you go back to San Fran?

Great pics by the way too!! Can't wait to hear if you went to the Aquarium in Monterey and Sequoia Natl Park.

We fully understand the time difference as well. We would get up so early and then have to wait for Pacific time to catch up with us and yet we would still stay up late. I guess it was because we were so excited. Great to see another midwest vacationer travel out to Cali!!!
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Old 08-22-2008, 11:28 PM   #47
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I know you were bummed about having to cancel that part of your trip but that looks like a darn good plan B!
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:23 AM   #48
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Looks like fun!

Subscribing and going to bed... posted all night and need some sleep! Glad to have something new to check out tomorrow though!!

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Old 08-23-2008, 10:16 AM   #49
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Those pictures of the coast are truly stunning! I also love the pictures of your boys and the big trees! And the ones of them playing at the surf's edge, and the seals and the...well, all of them to be honest.

Plan B sure does sound like it was great! Monterey is now on my list for our trip out west.

I am really throughly enjoying following along with your adventure.
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Old 08-23-2008, 11:18 PM   #50
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Hi....hope you don't mind I followed your TR link from Jaycns TR. You have such a beautiful family. I love all the pictures you posted. I grew up in Southern California and I have been to Monterey a few times. Isn't it just beautiful. I remember "bird rock". Hahaha.

I am really enjoying your TR and can't wait to read more!!! Thanks for sharing it with us.
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Old 08-24-2008, 12:12 AM   #51
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Beautiful pics!! As far as I'm concerned there is no such thing as too many pics of the CA coast. I love it.
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Old 08-24-2008, 05:42 AM   #52
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You have a beautiful family! I recently moved to San Diego and am enjoying your report; great pictures! I would love to take a trip like yours someday (soon, I hope!).
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Old 08-24-2008, 10:38 AM   #53
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Awesome trip report Michelle! Monterey looks beautiful, and I love the coast shots. Next time I visit my friend in Oceanside I'll have to drag her butt upstate for a roadtrip! Can't wait for the rest of the report, looks like your family had a good time!
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Old 08-24-2008, 07:21 PM   #54
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Just catching up. Michelle, the family photo at Pebble Beach is beautiful. You should do a framed version. Now....bring on the rest!!!!!
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Old 08-24-2008, 10:41 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reyasmommy View Post
Great update and beautiful pictures!
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCmike View Post
We are WDW vets and finally went to Walt's original back in 2007 when they had fires too. Fortunately we didn't have to change our plans like you did. My daughter got sick on that trip and we had a doctor visit us in our hotel. Sick kids on vacation is horrible, just horrible. We just loved it though. The pacific ocean is amazingly beautiful. So we ended up going back in 2008. We are now hooked on California and Disneyland. We wanted to hit Yosemite but my wife hurt her back and we ended up going to San Diego and staying at the Hotel Del Coronado and then on to Disneyland.

Anyway I am really loving you TR. We always wanted to do the 17 mile drive as well as Monterey and San Fran. Would you go back to San Fran?

Great pics by the way too!! Can't wait to hear if you went to the Aquarium in Monterey and Sequoia Natl Park.

We fully understand the time difference as well. We would get up so early and then have to wait for Pacific time to catch up with us and yet we would still stay up late. I guess it was because we were so excited. Great to see another midwest vacationer travel out to Cali!!!
Hi! I'm glad you found me too! I agree, the Pacific ocean is breathtaking, and we loved California. We will without a doubt be returning. If you ever do make it to Monterery, don't miss the 17 mile drive, it is definately worth the time!

I can see us going back to San Francisco sometime in the future, I realize that the city has more to offer than just the wharf, and it was worth the trip for Alcatraz alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyGoofy26 View Post
I know you were bummed about having to cancel that part of your trip but that looks like a darn good plan B!
Yeah, plan "B" worked out really well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by travelmel View Post
Subscribing and going to bed... posted all night and need some sleep! Glad to have something new to check out tomorrow though!!

I hope you enjoy it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycns View Post
Those pictures of the coast are truly stunning! I also love the pictures of your boys and the big trees! And the ones of them playing at the surf's edge, and the seals and the...well, all of them to be honest.

Plan B sure does sound like it was great! Monterey is now on my list for our trip out west.

I am really throughly enjoying following along with your adventure.
The picture of the boys playing in the surf is one of my favorites from the whole trip. I love it when I can catch them not paying attention to the camera!

The alternate plan did turn out really well; and I would most definately make Monterey a part of your future travel plans! I would love to go back when we can spend more time there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MouseTriper View Post
Hi....hope you don't mind I followed your TR link from Jaycns TR. You have such a beautiful family. I love all the pictures you posted. I grew up in Southern California and I have been to Monterey a few times. Isn't it just beautiful. I remember "bird rock". Hahaha.

I am really enjoying your TR and can't wait to read more!!! Thanks for sharing it with us.
I don't mind at all! I'm glad to have you here! Thanks for the compliment about my family I'm kinda partial to my boys myself! And, yes, Monterey was beautiful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommaU4 View Post
Beautiful pics!! As far as I'm concerned there is no such thing as too many pics of the CA coast. I love it.
I took a ridiculous number of pictures of the coast, I didn't realize how many I had until I got home and downloaded them all! Glad you enjoyed them!

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDreamfDisney View Post
You have a beautiful family! I recently moved to San Diego and am enjoying your report; great pictures! I would love to take a trip like yours someday (soon, I hope!).
Thanks, and welcome! I'm jealous you get to live in San Diego! I loved our time there, it's another place I can't wait to go back to!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellarose23 View Post
Awesome trip report Michelle! Monterey looks beautiful, and I love the coast shots. Next time I visit my friend in Oceanside I'll have to drag her butt upstate for a roadtrip! Can't wait for the rest of the report, looks like your family had a good time!
Hi Lisa! So glad you found me!! Definately do a roadtrip up the coast if you can - you won't be sorry!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pperfectmom View Post
Just catching up. Michelle, the family photo at Pebble Beach is beautiful. You should do a framed version. Now....bring on the rest!!!!!
Thanks, other than photopass pictures, and I think one more at DL, that is the only family photo we have from the entire trip.

I've got all of my picture uploaded and resized for day 4 so I should have it up soon!
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:43 PM   #56
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Day 4, August 2nd

We started the morning off with breakfast in the hotel lobby, then we checked out and loaded the car up (AGAIN!) and headed down to Cannery Row.



Our plan for the morning was to visit the aquarium and then leave for our long drive to Sequoia National Park. We were early, the aquarium didn't open until 9:30, we were there by about 8:30, and people were already lining up! We didn't feel the need to stand in line for an hour waiting for the doors to open so we walked around Cannery Row for a little while. Nothing was open yet, but just looking in the windows made me wish I had time to shop! It is such a nice area and they had so many cute shops! This is what I had perceived San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf to look like!

After a little window shopping we went out on the dock behind the aquarium. We saw some pelicans



and this adorable seal - isn't he just the cutest, and he was winking at me!



It was about 20 minutes until opening at this point and the line was starting to get pretty long, so we went ahead and got in line. Once they opened the doors the line moved really quickly and we were inside in no time.

This guy was inside one of the big tanks cleaning it, don't know why I took his picture - I guess I just thought that was pretty cool.









Jellyfish - ick, these things give me the creeps!







There were a couple of aquarium workers that had this beautiful albatross out. The boys really enjoyed learning all about this bird. The picture that I took of her didn't turn out well, it's kind of blurry - I guess she moved her head right as I was taking the picture, but I'm posting it anyway just so I can relay a story that the keeper told us.



Do you see that jar on the cart full of little pieces of plastic? They told us that all of that plastic was removed from the belly of one albatross! Can you imagine?! Their point for the kids (and adults!) was to always dispose of your trash properly so that it doesn't end up in the ocean harming the wildlife.

We also watched them feed the otters and the big fish (watching that feeding frenzy was really cool). And we all touched a sting ray, all of us except DS7 - they kept changing direction everytime they would get close to his hand! We spent more time at the aquarium than we had intended, but we could have spent a lot more. This is without a doubt the best aquarium that we have ever been to, there is so much to see and do that you could easily spend a full day here. I want to give Marna (pperfectmom) a big fat THANK-YOU for telling me about the aquarium! I had mentioned to my fellow pirate loving friends that we may need to change our Yosemite plans and she is the one that really sold me on Monterey. I hadn't even thought about the aquarium until she mentioned it, and it turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. So, thank you, Marna!

After we left the aquarium we ate lunch at a little pizza place and went into one shop for a couple of souveniers. One last picture from Monterey:



*I'm over the limit on photos again, so I'll continue in the next post!
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:44 PM   #57
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Day 4, continued

Then we started our drive to Sequoia National Park. I can't remember for sure, but I want to say that it took us about 4 hours to get there. We arrived and got checked in. We stayed at Wuksachi Lodge inside the park. I really liked this place, it doesn't have air conditioning, but it doesn't really need it. When we got to our room the windows were all open and it was just wonderful walking into a room full of fresh air! We just shut the windows and turned on the ceiling fans that night when we went to bed and were very comfortable. Here are a couple of pictures that we took outside of our building





Once we got settled, we drove over to Lodgepole Market and ate at Harrison Grill, they have burgers, hot dogs, chicken, pizza. Then we went into the market and bought some snacks for later and some fruit to have for breakfast the next morning. We all wanted to explore a little that evening so we decided to go see General Sherman's Tree.



Annnnnndddddd, what is DS looking at again????



For those of you who don't know, General Sherman's Tree is the largest tree in the world. It is not the tallest, or the oldest, but based upon volume, it is the biggest. We were running out of daylight, and that coupled with the forest canopy made for some not so great photographs, sorry!







It's hard to get a feel for just how massive this tree is from the pictures, it is just awe inspiring!

This is not the General Sherman tree, but another large sequoia nearby - I'm telling you, it's amazing how huge these trees are!









Dusk had definitely set in by now, so we started our hike back up to the car and returned to our room to get good and rested for the next day's adventures!

Coming up, Day 5 - More of natures beauty, and we finally get to Disneyland!!
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:03 PM   #58
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This is such a wonderful report, love the huge trees. You see pictures of them but never realize how big there until real people like your family are up next to them.

I love your boys on all the differnt rocks everywhere, remind me so much of how my boys crawled on everything too...
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:06 PM   #59
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Oh, you're very much welcome. It's probably a good thing I wasn't aware of your jellyfish phobia or I never would have recommended it. The last time I was there they had a HUGE area just for different kinds of jellyfish. I think they are super cool looking(as long as they are behind the glass ).

It looks like you had a lot of fun at Sequoia as well. I've been there once on a fire and once with DH but we were camping at the time. That lodge sounds awesome though if we ever make it back. I'm so glad your alternate plans worked out for ya'll and you still got to see such cool stuff.
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:36 PM   #60
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This is such a wonderful report, love the huge trees. You see pictures of them but never realize how big there until real people like your family are up next to them.

I love your boys on all the differnt rocks everywhere, remind me so much of how my boys crawled on everything too...
Thanks Wendy! I think most boys are climbers - I know mine sure are!

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Oh, you're very much welcome. It's probably a good thing I wasn't aware of your jellyfish phobia or I never would have recommended it. The last time I was there they had a HUGE area just for different kinds of jellyfish. I think they are super cool looking(as long as they are behind the glass ).
They still have the HUGE jellyfish area - I didn't realize there were so many different kinds of them! They are pretty fascinating, but like you said - as long as they are behind the glass!
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