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Old 04-10-2013, 06:42 PM   #91
Daisybelle
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What a wonderful trip! I'm sorry you didn't get to add that extra morning though. What a bummer! You did so many cool things though. Some day we'll have to go see the WB lot, that looked realy cool. We love them Gilmore Girls!
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:38 PM   #92
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My BFF and I were just talking about the DLH today and she said her DH was about ready to take a break from Disneyland for awhile ... until they stayed at the DLH on their last visit! Now he's itching to go back too and they are getting APs!

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Old 04-10-2013, 09:43 PM   #93
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Thank you for sharing your trip! I appreciate all of the DLH pictures, and the pictures of the small details. We haven't stayed at the DLH since the remodel, and all of the small touches are really great to see. The WB tour looks like it would be a fun thing to do.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:55 AM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisybelle View Post
What a wonderful trip! I'm sorry you didn't get to add that extra morning though. What a bummer! You did so many cool things though. Some day we'll have to go see the WB lot, that looked realy cool. We love them Gilmore Girls!
It did kind of sting at the time that we couldn't get those few additional early morning hours in the park, but instead we got to go on the power walk, and if we had gone in the park we definitely wouldn't have had time to make an extra stop on our drive to Anza-Borrego (spoilers for later).

If you love the Gilmore Girls you would love the tour! You get to see the entire Star's Hollow town center. I can't even remember how many scenes were filmed around that gazebo. If you do get to go, remember to ask your tour guide for any stories they may have about Gilmore Girls taping.

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My BFF and I were just talking about the DLH today and she said her DH was about ready to take a break from Disneyland for awhile ... until they stayed at the DLH on their last visit! Now he's itching to go back too and they are getting APs!

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Hahaha I love that, the DLH as kind of a propaganda tool. Brian even said at the end of this trip that we should have done more nights, especially with our Dapper Day promotional price. Maybe next time...

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Originally Posted by gardengirl2790 View Post
Thank you for sharing your trip! I appreciate all of the DLH pictures, and the pictures of the small details. We haven't stayed at the DLH since the remodel, and all of the small touches are really great to see. The WB tour looks like it would be a fun thing to do.
I'm so glad people like all my pictures!! I kind of thought it'd be annoying to post so many, but I'm glad I did!

You know what this means, right?! You are going to have to take a visit back to the DLH to see all the new stuff!
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:00 AM   #95
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Life Update

So last year after our kazilionth trip to WDW to run the TOT 10 mile race we were thinking we might tone down the Disney trips.

I think that lasted for about 10 seconds. Since then we celebrated my birthday at DL (this trip report), decided we want to run the TOT 10 mile again and take Brian's mom and sister and last night I tentatively asked Brian if he'd like to do DL for Christmas this year. I was pretty shocked when he said yeah, if the money is there lets do it. Mind blown. We are also going to do a side trip to Vegas this time.

I realized this morning that I am going to get to celebrate all the best holidays at a Disney park!! Halloween in WDW, then Christmas in DL


Oh, I did hedge my bets last night kinda. I told Brian I wouldn't buy any more vinylmations until the October trip if we could go to DL for Christmas. I have been buying rather a lot lately. But oh well, that is a sacrifice I am willing to make
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:26 PM   #96
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Interesting inside stories from the power walk guide! I didn't know about a lot of that stuff. And ya, I wouldn't be surprised if they tore down the Tarzan Tree House, or brought it back to its original Swiss Family state.

About the hotel building and possible 3rd gate stuff that you heard from the guide (if you're interested in this stuff): If you go to Google Earth or Maps or something, and look at the corner of Katella and Harbor at DL, you'll see a giant parking lot (which used to be strawberry field until a few years ago when Disney bought them out. I guess it was one of the last holdovers of when Anaheim was all fruit fields before Disney came to town). I hear that, if they were to have the 3rd gate, this is where they would build it (and that's why the bought the land to begin with).

And if you look just north of this parking lot, you'll see an under-performing shopping mall, which I hear Disney wants to buy out to build hotels and/or parking structures.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:59 AM   #97
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Interesting inside stories from the power walk guide! I didn't know about a lot of that stuff. And ya, I wouldn't be surprised if they tore down the Tarzan Tree House, or brought it back to its original Swiss Family state.

About the hotel building and possible 3rd gate stuff that you heard from the guide (if you're interested in this stuff): If you go to Google Earth or Maps or something, and look at the corner of Katella and Harbor at DL, you'll see a giant parking lot (which used to be strawberry field until a few years ago when Disney bought them out. I guess it was one of the last holdovers of when Anaheim was all fruit fields before Disney came to town). I hear that, if they were to have the 3rd gate, this is where they would build it (and that's why the bought the land to begin with).

And if you look just north of this parking lot, you'll see an under-performing shopping mall, which I hear Disney wants to buy out to build hotels and/or parking structures.
He didn't really specify what areas Disney was looking at for new hotels or parks. He just stressed to us that Disney had access to plenty of land to accomplish this. What my thought was is if they build a new parking garage, they might get rid of the rest of the surface lots and that gives a lot of space right there.
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:08 PM   #98
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We are leaving...or are we?

Then I frantically took pictures on the walk out:











I make no apologies for my frantic, last minute picture taking. I left so many pictures out of this trip report, I am not joking, I have a series of pictures of the sidewalk leading to the parking lot. They are seriously just pictures of the sidewalk and surrounding area. I will spare you and not post them.

I was kidding. I'm going to show them.







See? This is what I like to call the: 'I am about to leave this place and who knows if I'll ever be back so I have to document every single step with photographic evidence' disorder. I am pretty sure all DISers have this disorder.



Buuuuuut we were just loading up the car and were going to run back and do a last minute gift shop hunt and pick up some lunch! I totally got you, you thought we were leaving

We went into the Fantasy tower for the gift ship and I took pictures of all the paintings I want:







I love gift shop decorations:













We didn't have very far to go in DD to get our lunch:



Upon entering, we learned that EOS was now serving the Holiday sandwich year round, so we could get one.

I am not sure what I think about this. Yes, I think the Holiday sandwich is the best thing ever. But it was also special because it was only available a short time each year. I am not sure if having it available every day of the year is a good thing, it takes away some of the specialness.

Philosophical musings aside, we got one, of course. We also got a different sandwich to try, I can't for the life of me remember which sandwich it was. I then picked up some macaroni salad and was looking around for my favorite, the special brownie sandwich cookie things. If you've never had one (do it, immediately!) it is comprised of two brownies with delicious icing in between. I didn't see any out so I had to ask specifically. We were eating lunch pretty early so it turns out they were still baking in the back. They were able to package one up for me and I was suuuper pleased. The previous night we had stopped to grab one for me to have as a snack, but they were sold out. I'm pretty sure they sell out within an hour or 2 of being made, whether its DL or WDW.

We each had half of the holiday for now, and were going to share the other sandwich in the car later.





It was very delicious. But we were eating it in March. Which took some of the special holidayness away (I'm not joking it kind of did).

Love these golden bricks:



I probably had 2 bites of the macaroni salad and then was sick of it. No one is surprised by this.



I decided to save my brownie cookie of wonder for later.

We said goodbye to EOS:

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Old 04-12-2013, 12:13 PM   #99
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On the road again

We should have been hitting the road but I convinced Brian to let me go in D Street one more time to look at the vinyls.



Who can walk by the lego store and not take pictures?!

Not me, obviously.

This is where we'd had breakfast, except when we ate it was ghost town tumbleweed empty besides us.







I will tell the truth here, I wasn't impressed with the vinylmation selection during this trip. During my WDW trip (which was about a 2 week trip) I bought at least 1 vinlymation a day and could have bought more. This trip, I think I bought 2. I traded several, but could not find many sets I wanted to purchase. I ended up grabbing a Park Starz. It was my first Park Starz purchase ever. I was really hoping to get the small world boy or the tiki bird. I ended up with the Haunted Mansion bride, which was still pretty cool.



If you are wondering the difference, vinylmations are always in the shape of Mickey, and Park Starz are just in their natural shapes. Except for Figment...who for some reason is bowling pin Figment.



Weird huh? If he looked like a normal dragon and not a bowling pin I'd want him, since I do enjoy Figment.

Ok, side tangent over.

Time to get moving back to the car in the DL hotel parking lot.







Buh bye DL Hotel, it was wonderful while it lasted




We were headed to Anza-Borrego for our national park/camping portion of the trip. Our day in Joshua Tree last time had been so successful we wanted to try another park. Originally we were going to go north to the Sequoia National Park, but the weather was not cooperating and it was cold and snowy there, so we chose Anza-Borrego instead. It may or may not be a coincidence that Anza-Borrego is the horseback riding scene in Soarin'.

On the way we needed to get a fuel supply for the camping cook stove so we made a stop at Target and REI.



Brian wanted to check their clearance winter coats. I discovered that I love REI. My 2 favorite clothing items are jackets and shoes. My favorite accessory is bags...and this place had all the styles that I love.

Brian didn't find anything, but I ended up with a coat and a bag.

We also made plans to stop at another REI near San Diego later in the trip.

Side note: why doesn't Columbus have an REI? There is one near my parents in Pittsburgh that we just recently went to, and yeah, I may have purchased another coat and 2 pairs of shoes (then another pair of shoes online)...I had a coupon, ok.

I was the driver, so at this point I reminded Brian that it'd be nice if he could take some pictures while driving. I'm sure this next part comes as a surprise to no one. So he picks up the camera right then and there and takes about 15 pictures in the next 2 minutes of the highway and the side of the highway. There was no sarcastic intent or malice to this, I am quite sure that is honestly what he thought I wanted.

He did manage to get this one which has what I like to call 'highway flowers'. In Ohio we only have trash and the random dead animal on the sides of our roads, and California gets lovely and vibrant wildflowers. Not fair.



*If you are not sure what I wanted, I wanted him to be ready to take pictures of anything interesting or unusual or pretty as we drove.

Example:



random, but still cool, helicopter flying along the beach.

About an hour into the drive there was an area to pull off the road and take scenic pictures:



I decided to spend my time taking artistic shots of these seagulls:







And then Brian spotted something. If you look real close in that last picture you can see it. One of these things is not like the other...

SQUIRREL!!!! <channeling some Griswold's Christmas Vacation>



What in the world are you doing there, squirrel? Your not a seagull. Ridiculous.

Then we got to see the helicopter land by this nuclear plant thing.

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Old 04-15-2013, 03:43 PM   #100
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Historical Place of Interest

Then we were back on our way. About half an hour after this stop, I saw a brown sign for a 'historical place of interest'. I thought to myself, gee, I like history (I was a history major for my undergrad, then decided to be an idiot and go to law school) and I like places of interest.

Brian agreed the only logical thing to do would be to see what this 'place of interest' was.

So we followed the signs and found this:



Mission San Luis Rey de Francia



Here is a blurb from wikipedia:

a former Spanish mission in the present-day city of Oceanside, California. The mission was founded on June 13, 1798 by Padre Fermín Lasuén, and was the eighteenth of the Spanish missions established in California. Named for Saint Louis, the mission lent its name to the Luiseño tribe of Mission Indians.

The current church, built in 1811, is the third church on this location.[15] It is a National Historic Landmark, for its pristine example of a Spanish mission church complex.[14][16][17] Today the mission complex functions as a parish church of the Diocese of San Diego as well as a museum and retreat center.

These flowers looked amazing against the white backdrop of the mission:




We wandered around the grounds for a bit and paid a small fee ($5?) to go into a small museum inside.





















Yeah yeah so I took 5 million pictures and I feel like you need to see them all. I love this type of architecture and thought all the landscaping was gorgeous. I would like to have a house one day that is kind of built like this, that is built in a hollowed out rectanglular shape and the inside is open air and has a garden and stuff.









That big tree in the right hand side is apparently the oldest living pepper tree in the US.



They had some very impressive old books in the museum:



This is one of the last known documents that Abraham Lincoln signed before his assassination



A little model of what the whole mission looks like (I love models):





This door stopper is adorable:



Looooved the landscaping and the look of all the flowers against the white walls.

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Old 04-15-2013, 03:46 PM   #101
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Historical Place of Interest Part 2











This tree is very interesting:









This may be my favorite picture of the 10 million I've already posted:



After I purchased a colored glass wind chime for my mom we waved goobye to the historical place of interest.



We shared out the remainder of our saved EOS mystery sandwich:



It was pretty good, but I prefer the Holiday or the Hawaiian BBQ.

Then we were driving for what seemed like forever.

We did see some cool things like this green dirt:



Then we started driving through mile after mile of these:



and...



It was pretty much never ending. I wonder how many people just pull over and grab a few.

I was getting pretty irritated at driving, but the car rental agreement was under my name and we didn't want to pay more to put Brian on it. So I kept driving. And driving.



We were on a small 2 lane road too, so I kept getting a car or 2 backed up behind me. I understand the mindset, I am from a small town too and would get irritated with people driving the speed limit on roads I knew like the back of my hand. But this road was pretty windy and I had never driven it before, so then I got to deal with people tail gating me. Not fun.

We finally reached the entrance of the National Park as the sun began to set.



Then we encountered what I think is called Devil's Canyon or Devil's Descent or something like that. If you've ever been there you know what I mean.

We turned a corner in the road and there was just this huge descent in front of us. The road was extremely steep and windy. And of course I was driving so Brian couldn't get one decent picture of it. I was a bit irritated at this. I'd been driving almost all day with few breaks and it really was an amazing view and scene and we don't have one good picture of it and I can't find any online to borrow. Sigh.

Anyway, it took about a half hour to get down to the bottom. Here are a couple pictures that do the scenery zero justice.











We found the ranger's station, and of course, the rangers had just left about half an hour earlier. I had read about a few trails online that I wanted to do. There was a short trail to an oasis from the ranger's station, and looking back we should have just quickly hiked that while there was still daylight but we decided to go and find our campsite and get set up.



Here is Brian setting the tent up in the dark.



We tried to take pictures of the millions of stars with the gorillapod but I guess my camera just isn't good enough.



They all turned out like this or worse.

We cooked some food, I dragged all the stuffed animals and souvenirs out of the car cause I was bored, and then we tried to take some pictures as we listened to the older couple in the RV next to our spot very loudly discuss how 'this was their life now' and other deep philosophical discussions.

We were pretty tired from the drive so we got everything cleaned up and went to sleep.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:25 AM   #102
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We see a ghost of Radiator Springs

Some confessions about our few camping trips.

I refuse to go to the bathroom without a toilet. I have no idea how I grew up without going outside, I am from a very small town in Western Pennsylvania and everyone does it. I have always refused and I am not about to start now, so if I am going to camp somewhere it has to have a little outhouse or something. This campground was actually pretty nice, it had indoor bathrooms and showers.

Of course I woke up at like 3 am and had to go to the bathroom. I was convinced I was going to step on a poisonous snake and die. But I made it to and from the bathroom alive. Victory!

We had our alarm set for 5 am (who knows whats wrong with us??) we had wanted to make it to the San Diego zoo at 9 am for their opening to see the baby panda without a huge line. And since we had arrived late the night before and hadn't got our hike in we had to do it this morning.

Sometimes I wonder what our camping neighbors thought of us. We rolled in when it was already pretty dark, then by the time anyone was awake the following morning we were gone.

Brian pretty much did all the camp break down himself, that is what happens when you date an eagle scout, they know they can do this stuff better and faster without you. Which was fine by me, I stumbled around taking dark pictures of the campsite.







Here is our little picnic table:





By the time the car was packed up and ready to go it was starting to get a bit brighter.




The campsite was pretty close to the little town. I just had to take a picture of this sign, remind anyone a bit of Radiator Springs?



I guess this wild ship is like the mascot of the Park, they are pretty elusive and we never saw any.



This is where we could have stayed had we not wanted to camp:





There was a tiny little town there.







I guess the National Park is kind of in a donut shape. The town was there before it became a national park, so it was allowed to stay. Then the national park kind of is in a giant ring around it, so there were several signs saying 'welcome to the park' when we thought we were already in the park.



I think the park may be best known for off roading. Which is allowed because the people will do it on the privately owned land. We saw lots of jeeps and trucks.


Brian knew the vague direction to drive to get us to our trail and we had about a half hour drive to get there.







Then we saw these pretty awesome sculptures out in the middle of nowhere:







Actually, the first one we saw was from quite a distance away. So we thought it was some sort of weird demon thing, then as we got closer we were like oooh its a statue!

They were all pretty cool. We were going to come back this way and get closer pictures but never did, so I stole some from a google image search so you can see how awesome the sculptures really are.



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Old 04-20-2013, 10:30 AM   #103
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Our hike?

The rest of the drive was pretty uneventful, besides seeing your run of the mill trucks with 10 foot high jacked up undercarriages and weirdly decorated trailer lots.











If you ever wondered where Disney got inspiration for the Chester and Hester tourist trap decorations in AK, it was probably this place.



Sadly, we didn't get any of the odder sights on camera. Of course. Kind of like how no one ever gets a good picture of the Loch Ness Monster or bigfoot. But I swear we saw some weird things.

After driving for far longer than we would have thought, we came across what we thought might be a trail head. We were looking for one that would take us to elephant knees and the wind cave. I'd read about it on trip advisor. All the trails at Joshua Tree were always very clearly marked and we had a good time there. I do not think this park was as well organized. If only we'd made it in time to talk with a ranger, I'm sure we would have been set straight. But of course I had to go on my earlier historical place of interest detour.

So anyway, we thought this was a trail, though not the one I wanted. So we decided to further explore.











We drove along this small dirt road until we felt the car probably couldn't handle going much farther, then we got out and walked the rest of the way to the start of the trail. They had a little pamphlet with explanations of some of the plant life we would see on the trail.

We figured the trail couldn't be very long so we just started walking without any water or supplies.











Oddly enough bullet holes in signs don't really shock me (remember, grew up in small hunting town), but seriously people, must we shoot national park signs??







Looks like someone had been doing a little feng shui sand design around this tiny flower in the path:














Before too long we decided we should turn around, since we didn't bring any water and didn't feel like we were getting any closer to the promised elephant trees.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:35 AM   #104
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Lets go to the zoo!

Here is a picture of our guide pamphlet:



The car is still here!! Yay!



Then we plugged the San Diego zoo into the GPS and headed out.





We ended up leaving a different way than we came in so we never got another chance to stop and look at the sculptures. The way out was also incredibly boring.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed with Anza-Borrego. Yeah, it woulda helped if we had made it in time to talk with a ranger, but we didn't talk to a ranger at Joshua Tree and we still went on 3 hiking trails and had a great time.

I felt like nothing was clearly marked here, there were barely any signs at all whereas Joshua Tree would have little pull off areas and the brown signs explaining the natural phenomena in the area.











This is the road that all the angry cars were tailgating us on:



And then I guess we were getting into higher elevations...because we started to see snow...





Really, Southern california?! If we wanted snow we woulda stayed in the midwest.

Then we passed through a little lodge/resort area that really reminded us of the Grand Californian:









It had all the towering pine trees and snow and the building were made out of dark wood.



We were wanting to stop for breakfast...but for about an hour or more there were absolutely no commercial establishments of any kind. We had each had a Cliff bar for breakfast before the hike, and now we were stuck with eating trail mix.







Finally we got onto a major highway and were about half an hour from San Diego.





I like the palm tree and the hill look.




We got a bit lost in a San Diego neighborhood that was by the zoo. Tempers were running short at this time, I think we were both hungry and tired of being in the car.

But we finally made it!! We parked a little far back in the parking lot.
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:49 PM   #105
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Sorry that Anza-Borrego wasn't as awesome as Soarin makes it out to be. One big different between Joshua Tree and A-B is that Joshua Tree is a National Park and Anza-Borrego is a state park. I'm not sure about state parks in CA, but I know here in AZ they've had a lot of cutbacks of services and even temporarily closed a few.

Looking forward to the zoo. Baby panda, right?

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