Top Ten reasons you know you have a Disney Obsession:

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by estherhead, May 9, 2012.

  1. knitster

    knitster DIS Veteran

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    Oh no, Perla - I love Yo Gabba Gabba! This can't be! Can our mutual lover for Disney and Weight Watchers over shadow our parting of the minds when it comes to YGG?? :laughing:
     
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  3. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

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    I live here and I probably say more bad than you do about some of the people that live here.:scared1:
     
  4. estherhead

    estherhead DIS Veteran

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    :lmao: I'm sure we can work through it. I've been doing the WW points super plus plus. Or whatever the 12 version is called. I really like it. Much better than when it originally came out. I could NOT lose weight on it that first year. But they lowered my points by 3 per day and have tweaked the AP's and now I'm back to loving WW. Not as much as I love apple pie, but enough to happy with following it. :thumbsup2

    I'm sure. But you'll just have to wait to hear anything I have to say in context now.... :cool2:

    I uploaded pictures this afternoon. Chapter one will surely follow shortly.
     
  5. estherhead

    estherhead DIS Veteran

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    This trip can really be broken into 4 parts. Sequoia, Yosemite, visiting our friends, Disneyland. And the driving to get said places.

    However, the story, naturally begins at home.

    Day One

    Donald awoke at 3:30. Tossed and turned. Fretted. And finally got up. He claimed to have fallen asleep a bit on the couch. But mostly, he was awake at 3:30. I managed to stay asleep until 5:50. I laid in bed for an hour renting movies on my ipad for Boo to watch on the airplane and when she was driving me crazy in the woods. And getting books for myself.

    Then it was up and at 'em and got the girls on the bus at 7:30. All of us were a bit of a mess as Ariel was worried about her speech. Mulan also had a ceremony and other things which her father and I wouldn't even be attending. We had mostly packed the night before as we knew this day would be crazy despite having the entire day.

    By 8:15 I had to have Boo ready to go to the school. Donald had left for work way before we were even out of bed, so he just met us at the school. Boo kept asking what was for breakfast and I kept saying donuts. There normally are donuts after the honors ceremony and I knew for a fact that there would be because Ariel is the one to announce them at the end of her speech, which I had heard her practice. But I must agree, my tummy was grumbling too and donuts didn't really seem the ticket.

    We patiently waited for all zillion children to get their awards. And then Ariel did AMAZING on her speech. Killed it. And then finally, we made a dash to our healthy breakfast. It's not that I don't like a donut every now and then. It's just not a very energizing start to a day. So despite being really starving, Boo and I only managed to choke down half each. She was really disappointed in apple juice being served with the donuts. And I was not enjoying having to socialize with all the other parents. I just wanted to go on vacation.

    So I threw away our stuff and promised Boo something better and we headed on out after a giant hug for Ariel. We did pause to see if we could find Mulan on her way changing classes but we only ran into her cousin Buzz. It was fortunate we did, though, as he asked me to run by his house and grab the books Ariel had wanted to borrow for her trip.

    So off we went to my sister's, Suzy's, house for the books. And then we headed off to get Boo's haircut at Wal-Mart. Normally I have a place we go, but in a pinch I'd just let whoever do it since it was just a trim. The girl we got I'd never seen before. She had an absolutely beautiful music note tattoo on her arm and I asked her about it. So while she cut Boo's hair I was distracted by hearing about her life, which she was very close lipped about. She's from Cleveland and was in the area just to finish her degree in music management. She'd been trained in beautician school for years and worked on the road with bands. Her hair, by the way, was quite the variety of colors.

    I asked her that music management seemed like a really hard job to get and she said, "You have to know people to get into the business." So then I said, "And obviously you know people." To which she simply said, "My uncle is a manager."

    No matter how many semi-sneaky questions I asked I could NOT get her to cough up any names of famous people she'd worked with. But the girls was UBER cool. Way cooler than anyone else living in my town. She just had a vibe. So I know that her uncle clearly was some real manager. And she had got a foot in the door through beautician's school in high school. I even asked her if she was going to have any college debt with all the schooling and skill she had. But even that I simply got a "No. No debt. I've always worked and pay for the college as it goes." So clearly not poor. And I've never seen in her in Wal-Mart salon before or since. I think she was just in there keeping her skills sharp like one morning a week.

    Oh well, it entertained me and distracted me from the nerves that were building inside. After that I asked Boo if she'd like to pick out a new toy for the plane ride. What self respecting child says no to that??? So off we went to the toy department. I totally scored as they had a huge display of Lion King stuff on clearance and we got a Nala and Simba for $5.00. Best $10.00 ever as she played with those things ALL over Cali. She loved them.

    After that I headed home and finished the packing 100%, changed the sheets, and cleaned the house all the way. We then headed over to work to see how things were going there. My sister was there and Boo explained to her all about how she'd been practicing climbing trees so she could climb sequoias. VERY funny.

    At 2:30 I headed to the school to get the girls and help them clean out their lockers. Oh my Goodness were their bags and backpacks heavy. Ugh. We met Donald at home, dumped the school stuff, figured out which stroller we wanted. Since Boo is so big and such an active kid we never do the stroller thing anymore so we couldn't remember which of our 2 was truly superior. We rechecked the list. Donald turned off our water. And I got all the cat stuff ready for my dad to take care of the cat.

    And at 3:30: we were out the door. We had a quick french fry break as there really hadn't been very much eating. And we were at my sister in laws house at 5:00. She lives a mile away from the airport so she always takes over. But she, too, was on vacation this week. So we met my niece there instead. Had a little catch up chat and were quickly on our way to the airport. It's so nice to be driven in your own car right up to the Southwest counter. Really takes the stress away. Not to mention the $100.00 saved.

    We went to the counter to get rid of our luggage and there was no one in line. We then headed to Max and Erma's for dinner but it was closed for refurbishment!!! I thought that only happened at Disney parks. But evidently not. So instead we went through security and decided to take our chances. There was also no one in line at security. Sweet! In addition to the low crowds, kids under 12 don't have to take their shoes off. Super sweet! I canNOT even express how this made our lives easier.

    Boo had been asking me all week what an x-ray was. So I asked the security lady if she could look at the x-ray. She was nice and said yes and Boo watched for awhile. Then she turns to me and said, "I FINALLY understand the letter X!" It was so dramatic it was like she had figured out the meaning to life.

    The only real place to eat at our gate was a Chili's. We stood at the little welcome podium for what seemed an eternity before a girl welcomed us. And she said, "Do you have a lot of time before your flight? Because this is going to take awhile." Not exactly encouraging. But we had over an hour and were hungry so we were seated. Donald asked about his Viggle g.c. and she said they don't take them at the airport ones. No problem. We enjoyed our meals just the same.

    [​IMG]

    Boo and I split an adult sliders meal and she thought eating a burger off a toothpick as an awesome idea. I ate mine the traditional way.

    [​IMG]

    It really didn't take forever, and our flight was slightly delayed so we had about 20 minutes to wait in the giant waiting room. I found a quiet little corner with just one guy in it and we set up shop. I went to get a gate check tag for the stroller and then settled. The lone man sitting in our area had decided we were an adorable family and asked me where we were going. I said to California and Boo volunteered "Disneyland!" He asked if it was our first time and they all said yes. I didn't contradict and say I'd been once.

    Well, we were clearly not in the know. And I'm not the kind of person to correct strangers. My own friends and family I will correct if they are getting something so wrong it will be embarrassing. But strangers I figure are already in the scenario where incorrect information could be embarrassing, so why bother correcting them? Anyhow, he says, "I've been to Disneyland. And my favorite ride is in Epcot. It's called Siri."

    There were so many things wrong, I wasn't sure even how to respond. He was a really nice, well dressed and spoken business man who wanted a little chitchat with a nice mom while he was on the road. And I just couldn't bring myself to question this. But I also couldn't understand what we were talking about. So I said, "I've never heard of that. What's it like?" He replied, "It's wonderful. It's like you are in an airplane soaring over the world."

    Gotcha. So I replied, "Oh, I think they have that in California too." Which baffled him. Because he'd been to Disney. But obviously no one had explained that he was in Florida when he was at Disney. At that point I decided it was time to bail and said I needed to head to the potty one more time before we boarded the plane and dragged Boo off. She said when we got there, "Are you gonna make me go potty AGAIN?"

    Here we are in our little corner. The guy is directly to my right in a perfect conversation position.
    [​IMG]

    By the time we got back I was grateful for everyone to be packing up to load up. The plane was completely full so we were split up. Not ideal, but we rolled with it. Boo was SO excited I cannot even explain. She was giddy.

    [​IMG]

    We made her wear her own backpack and pull her own suitcase. Several people said, "You make your kids work for their vacation." To which Donald and I simply nodded. This is teamwork man. You wanna see the world? You're gonna have to carry your own load.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Boo loved flying. LOVED it. When we were up far enough that you could still see land but really high she said, "I'm LIVING Soarin'! We're flying over California." Of course we were only over Illinois or so, but it was really cute. See? Even 5 year olds know Siri is the lady on Mommy's iphone she fights with and Soarin' is a ride at Disney parks.

    We had an hour layover in Chicago. Gate switch time!

    [​IMG]

    Mulan got a strawberry gelato that she went on and on about. She loved it. My exciting thing was that there were fireworks outside our window! It was as if they knew we were going on an epic adventure. Boo and I watched them all. Boo said Disney was putting on fireworks just for us. Exactly, Boo. Exactly.

    Then onto the plane. I had been so proud of myself for renting Boo movies to entertain her. Then on the first flight I wouldn't let her have my ipad as I was finishing a book and she had other things to entertain her. But she and Donald (who had awakened at 3:30!) were fast asleep before we even took off on this 2nd flight!

    [​IMG]

    So I got to keep the ipad and watched a movie for myself. Ariel was going to watch with me but only made it thru 40 minutes before she was fast asleep.

    So I watched by myself and happily ate my little airplane provided ritz crackers and poured my little bottle of pomegranate vodka in my coke zero. :cloud9: I did sleep the last hour. I have a super awesome blow up neck pillow and blanket but I'd had to give the blanket to Boo. So I tried to have my sweaters make due but it wasn't the same.

    Floating above LA around 10 pm.
    [​IMG]

    Out my side of the window you could see Staple Center where the LA Kings had just beaten the Phoenix Coyotes in a playoff game. I, of course, didn't know that but I knew they were playing and I could clearly see from the airplane that they had won from the mini-fireworks and lights. Fireworks in BOTH cities as we flew in. Yup. EPIC.

    The guy in front of me had a 9-10 month old and he and his wife were not the greatest parents. He just kept asking her why she couldn't keep the kid quiet. But she was a new parent too and it was clearly their 2nd airplane trip
    home from wherever they'd flown to so she was clueless how to help the kid. I wanted to help. He was just bored and tired and couldn't get comfy. But again, I don't really like to get involved that much in strangers lives.

    However, when I said to Donald, "The Kings just won! I can tell!" This guy had a TON to say over the back of his chair. He suddenly was just full of energy. Don't know where that was when his kid needed entertained.

    We then had to awaken poor Boo to get off the plane. We were a sorry lot as it was almost 2 am Ohio time and we were mid-sleep! Gratefully, the stroller was there and Boo dropped into it. I offered her the stroller with these words: "Would you like a ride, my queen?" This cute little lady yelled, "I'll take it!" I guess my family weren't the only tired ones.

    The baggage was chaos as always, but ours were all there and pretty close to the first ones. We headed out to the rental car shuttles and Budget was the 3rd one. It was maybe a 2 minute wait.

    [​IMG]

    When we got to Budget we were immediately taken to the counter. Our clerk was really nice but distracted as the other woman working was new and he had to keep bouncing to her to train her. Behind us this woman and her two kids come whipping in and she says to just the crowd in general (it really wasn't that crowded, her, us, and the other family with the woman) "I paid in FULL online, doesn't that get me priority service?" This caused all of us to turn around and look at her. First, everyone pays online these days. Whoopidy-do! Second, should they just shove us to the side? There was NO ONE in line in front of her. Not a soul and we already had our keys. When the clerk helping us said, "I'll be with you in a moment," she turned to her kids and said, "Well, I guess we'll just have to wait until THEY are ready to take of us on THEIR terms." It was really odd and I felt sorry for the kids. The kids said not a single word through any of this.

    We then went and got our car.
    [​IMG]

    We pretty much threw the luggage in, to be organized later, and headed to the hotel that was less than a block away. Boo had been nearly asleep through all of this, despite the multiple transfers and said as we pulled into the hotel, 'Why did we steal a car?" :rotfl:

    And there I leave you. I will begin my next thread with Yo Gabba Gabba....
     
  6. jedijill

    jedijill <font color=red>Chiefs fan living in Bronco countr

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    And there is your new trip report title! :rotfl:

    Jill in CO
     
  7. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

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    How cute!! "Why did we steal a car?" Oh how wonderful it would be to sleep through all that!!
     
  8. houseful of boys

    houseful of boys Mouseketeer

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    Finally subbing popcorn::
     
  9. Mommy2BnB

    Mommy2BnB Mouseketeer

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    :rotfl: ROTFLOL!!!!! Shame on you for stealing that car! :rotfl2:

    With her long hair, Mulan looks so much like you! All 3 girls look so pretty.

    Boo's story about climbing the Sequoias is pretty cute. Sounds like something my DD would say.

    :sad2: Don't you just love all of the people who feel they are more important than everyone else? Seems to be a pretty common thing these days.
     
  10. estherhead

    estherhead DIS Veteran

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    Great idea! :rotfl:

    I know, right? Being on Ohio time and sleeping the entire last four hours of the trip meant she was ready to GO the next morning!

    Welcome, Suzy. Suzy is currently on her summer vacation to Canada. Niagara Falls, Toronto, etc. They are having a grand time. But don't tell her boys as she's surprising them with their REAL summer vacation in August to WDW! Charming knows, but the rest of the boys will be surprised.

    That lady was crazy. I understand frustration. I work in customer service and have a lot of empathy for people. But it was so weird because there was NO line. So her only option was to literally shove me out of the way. She obviously was not very in touch with reality.

    Thanks for saying Mulan looks like me. Normally everyone says none of my kids look like me. Had I not had them, people would say I was a liar. Maybe that's why when Donald said I was an evil stepmother on our last trip, all the strangers believed him! :lmao:

    Next day is coming right up.
     
  11. estherhead

    estherhead DIS Veteran

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    We drove the block the Westin. We had gotten it on Hotwire for $70.00 or so. Because we are five now, we do Hotwire more than Priceline as you can choose four people instead of the two like Priceline. But it also means we pay just a little more.

    It was a little fancier than I was prepared for in my travel clothes at 2am Ohio time. A zillion JetBlue employees were checking in in front of me. Some of them knew each other, but lots didn't. They were all just talking and discussing. Then the one pilot asks one of the cuter girls to go to Disneyland with him the next day. So they all wandered off keys in hand to discuss their plans for DL the next day. I was next and began to check in when a bartender comes running up to the desk clerk and says, "I need security called right now!" The bar had been rather noisy, but we hadn't been paying very much attention as it's a bar and good bars are noisy and we were listening to the pilots try and flirt with the cute girls. But at this we give our attention to the bar across the super fancy lobby and sure enough there is practically a old west brawl going on in the super contemporary lobby.

    The clerk threw my keys at me, gestured in the general direction of the parking garage and I got the heck out of dodge.

    We found a spot in the garage and headed towards the doors to the hotel. We play the license plate game, as you all know, so despite the late hour, we were all on plate alerts. And that is when I spied this:

    [​IMG]

    Here's the backstory: A few weeks before, at the height of my California planning, Suzy and I were text conversing as we often do. I texted her "Why am I obsessing over this trip?" She texts me a picture of Jack Black and captions it: "The real question is, why am I watching Yo Gabba Gabba by myself?"

    This then brought on a long text conversation about Yo Gabba being popular with adults being the sole thing wrong with Californians. It's like Steve Martin. I love Steve Martin. And most of the time I get his humor. But every once in awhile he goes too west coast for me and I'm like, "What???" I know I'm midwestern, not east coast. But when it comes to humor I'm much more likely to get a New York joke than a Cali one.

    Prior to leaving for Cali we made our girls watch some cult Cali classics that we thought would be fun. Like Clueless and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. It WAS fun, but they didn't 100% enjoy the humor. They didn't laugh at the right places. Kind of like people not getting why Princess Bride or Napoleon Dynomite are funny.

    So I took the above photo to text to Suzy the following morning. Upon receipt of it she said that maybe the person with that license plate created Yo Gabba. I rejected this. It was on an old Nissan. No. It was just an ordinary Californian with a sense of humor that just isn't funny. ;)

    After my deep contemplation of what an enjoyment of brightly colored be-wigged adults meant to the world, I fell into bed at 1:00 am Californian time.

    At 6:30 am, Boo was awake. Ahhh!!! 5.5 hours of sleep. I didn't feel too hung over. Just a little bit. Moments after awakening the girls school called and asked about attendance. I told her we wouldn't be in today or the next day (the last day of school). She was a little jealous.

    Boo was STARVING. She must have mentioned breakfast 30 times from awakening to the time we got breakfast. I'm sorry kid, but it takes time to get up, shower, and repack the vehicle for real and get going. I Yelped a place on our way. It was called the Serving Spoon. It seemed a pretty icky part of town, but that's what you get near an airport. Plus lots of LA seems kind of icky to me. It's like this block is nice and classy, this block is scary. One block away. Very confusing for out of towners. But I trust Yelp. It has never steered me wrong. We pull into this tiny strip mall which again, was kinda scary, and into the Serving Spoon we go. It was soul food, a family owned, black power place. The art was really beautiful and the coffee ROCKED!

    [​IMG]

    The people eating in there were mostly black men having some kind of business meetings. 3-4 men per table wearing clothes I can only imagine cost WAY more than anything I've ever worn. It's the kind of place that famous musicians write lyrics on napkins. That's how I felt. I felt big deals were happening around me, deals I couldn't begin to understand.

    Mulan and I split an omlet. It was really good and we practically licked our plates. They put tomatoes in their potatoes and it was a revelation to us both. With the onions, it added this wonderful sweetness. I haven't done it at home yet, but I intend to. Yum!

    The service was fantastic. Boo told the beautiful server "I want dunky eggs!" which means over easy (dunky means she can dunk her toast in.) The server started laughing and said, "I have never heard of donkey eggs, what is that?" It was sooo funny. We all knew that we were from VERY different worlds but instead of it being a problem, both the wait staff and we the guests loved the culture shock. I think we will forever call over easy eggs Donkey Eggs from now on.

    Here's my food. They separated our meal in the kitchen for us which was really nice of them:
    [​IMG]

    We all went potty in the funny little tiny potty and then we were back in the car to hop on the 12 lanes of the 405. We crossed 6 lanes of traffic to get into the speedy carpool lane. If you think 20 mph is speedy, that is. Thank goodness Donald is a good driver. He actually enjoys the challenge of the LA traffic.

    An hour in Donald says, "We just passed more people than the average person would have seen in their lifetime 100 years ago." Obviously, we have no idea if that's true, but it FELT true.

    I didn't think to take a photo in the middle of all of it, but here we are coming out of LA into the mountains.

    [​IMG]

    Having just been to Spain, I was surprised by how similar the scenery of the two seemed. The yellow and brown rolling hills, the architecture, the temperature. Very, very similar to Spain. Even though California is so very different scenery-wise from the rest of America, it seemed to me this trip that it was so very American. Maybe it's that movies have defined America the last 100 years and movies are produced out of California. Maybe it's because so many dreams have come true in California. Maybe because you are allowed to be 100% unique in California, which is a very American concept. Again, having been to Spain which is just recovering from a dictatorship and has a mentality of sameness. Everyone and Everything in Spain obeys. It is a country that follows the rules. So a few months later to be in a place that looks scenery-wise eerily similar to Catalonia, Spain but insists on never obeying nor following any unwritten (and sometimes even the written) laws made a stark contrast for Donald and I.

    Any crazy, wild, teeny-tiny idea you have: try and sell it in California and it just might sell. Like Rob Kardashian starting a sock empire. Really? I'm sorry but that seems a silly idea. But he lives in California and there are NO silly ideas in Cali. You want to build an amusement park centered around a whistling mouse? Go ahead and build it in Cali and it may just become the most well known empire ever.

    It reminded me of the famous Winston Churchill quote:
    "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities.

    And that is what makes California great. Because great things come from being allowed to be creative. And in Cali, creative reigns supreme, as was obvious from the multiple trucks with very, very interesting company logos on them.

    I was loving this day. I love myself a good road trip. The purple little flowers all over the brown hills with the spiky yellow and white yucca flowers was delightful. The sky was bright, bright blue with fluffy, streaky white clouds. And our car had sirius radio which we thoroughly enjoyed. Boo was watching Alvin and Chipmunks with headphones on so the rest of we four were allowed in total peace to enjoy the breathtaking scenery and music.

    We started this day at the airport which is at sealevel. By midmorning we were at 3,000 feet and the yellow and purple and deep green stopped abruptly. Instead there was brown lumps that Mulan proclaimed looked like baked potatoes. You would think this would be ugly but really it's fairly enjoyable. I don't have any pictures, however, as it is ugly in photos. It doesn't even look like earth. I think George Lucas secretly made Luke Skywalker from California, because Tatooine looks like that. We had thought it'd been inspired in Spain, and certainly the architecture is from Spain, Gaudi to be exact. But the countryside seems pure Cali.

    At 4,000 feet you reach the central Cali plateau where all that delightful food we all love is grown. I love this part of Cali. So, so fertile. Where else can you go and have grapes, avacados, tomatoes, olives, oranges, cherries, strawberries, etc, etc all grow in one area at the same time? Amazing.

    And even the center of the roads are pretty:
    [​IMG]

    Miles and miles and miles of the most beautiful farm land with those flowers in the center of the road. So very peaceful.

    [​IMG]

    The orange groves smelled like oranges even in our car. Ariel said it was like Living with the Land except actual land, not hydroponics. And I loved that there were beehives in between every field. So wonderful!

    I've picked oranges off of trees before, but I've never seen actual orange season. They would have a truck go by and drop off these:
    [​IMG]

    Then they had another truck with a portapotty on it and what I assume the foreman and helper. And then everyone else followed in groups in their cars.

    Very cool.

    We also drove by lots of windmills. I know I've seen windmill farms in Cali, but we didn't see any on this trip.
    [​IMG]

    We wanted to get in on the action and so stopped by a side of the road fruit stand. There was no one manning it and a doorbell that said, "Ring for service." We dutifully rang the doorbell. When the lady came we asked if we could pick an orange from a tree. She seemed confused but gave her consent.

    We headed over and all took our turn:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When we got back to the little stand to buy some oranges the lady had disappeared and would not reappear. So we took our 4 oranges and headed off. I guess in the long run we didn't steal a car, but we did steal 4 oranges from a confused lady.

    Boo had stepped in something dead on this little stop. And had also turned a corner into viciousness. I'm not sure what made her so cranky, but happy little Boo was gone. Donald and I tried to eat the absolutely amazing oranges but they were so drippy with yumminess it was challenging in a car. Boo and Mulan refused to have anything to with the oranges. Boo because she was being a cranky-butt. Mulan because she doesn't like to get that messy.

    We turned to go directly towards Sequoia and ran into a wonderful little strawberry stand. Mulan and I hopped out to get some.

    I have a feeling this girl was exactly Mulan's age and I asked Mulan if she would be willing to run one of these stands. She and I both thought that she probably would. Especially if she got to keep half the money.

    [​IMG]

    I have picked strawberries and know that it is hot, backbreaking, not at ALL fun work. But Mulan wanted to give it a quick try.
    [​IMG]

    And I, of course, took the opportunity to get a great shot. Mulan felt that if her options were to run the stand vs. pick strawberries than the stand won hands down!

    They also had cherries here. I opted not to buy any as normally we aren't cherry people. I think Donald wished I had as really everything is delicious in this little plateau so why not cherries?

    Those berries were the best fruit I've ever had in any country, any fruit. And they were $2.00 a pint.

    Next we stopped at Kaweah Lake. I mostly spent this entire stop cleaning Boo's shoes. There wasn't a formal source of water so I used the irrigation spouts that, of course, turn. So I got rather wet. That child was really annoying me at this point. But I did get them clean. And we took a few nice family photos.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, this is where the hills truly turn golden. The golden state.

    [​IMG]

    It was 77 degrees. And then we headed up, up, up.
     
  12. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

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    Okay, I guess I am not your average Californian. Who doesn't see the humor in Princess Bride? That movie is hilarious and I watch it every chance I get. Maybe it is because I am from northern California? Who knows. I think we are a whole different world than the southern part of the state.

    I am always amazed as we drive through the valley and see the trailers with the chemical toilets. It is a great idea. There are a lot of farm workers in the area. I love the fresh fruit stands. We have a few in our area and I visit them, nothing like fresh ripe fruit.


    Oh and by the way, I have never watched Yo Gabba Gabba.:rotfl:
     
  13. knitster

    knitster DIS Veteran

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    626
    I am so jealous of all that fresh fruit!! My part of the country - West Texas - isn't exactly what one would call fertile. :rolleyes:

    I've been debating whether or not we should fly or drive to DL next Spring and your TR is already making me lean towards driving. I love, love, love a good road trip - but I don't know how good a road trip can possibly be with a 3 year old, and very persnickety 7 year old, and a preteen. :scared:
     
  14. knitster

    knitster DIS Veteran

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    p.s. you hair looks gorgeous in that last pic!
     
  15. Mommy2BnB

    Mommy2BnB Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    Messages:
    229
    I love your description of your impression of California.

    What is the fascination with Yo Gabba Gabba? That has to be the dumbest kids' show ever.

    Yum! I love freshly picked fruit.
     
  16. estherhead

    estherhead DIS Veteran

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    3,354
    Not to get political, but we did feel for Californians on this trip as how on earth can north & central Californians vote with southern Californians? They are completely different places to be from.

    I love a road trip, but if it's too much parenting time, I'm all for flying. I like to be left alone to view the scenery and contemplate the world. So persnickety makes me think, "airplane! You sit with dad." :rotfl:

    Thanks on the hair. I love my hair right now. Not crazy about my weight, but love my hair.

    Thanks. It's a very interesting state. This is my 4th time there and I have literally scratched the surface of interesting things to see and do there!
     
  17. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

    Joined:
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    We are totally different. I live in the bay area. The home area of places like Apple computers, twitter and Facebook. I think the mindset is different. If it makes any sense I am definitely more at home in the northern part of the state.
     
  18. DLR29

    DLR29 We create happiness

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    5,470
    Definitely just found this report and subbing! I'm loving your stories about coming to CA! I particularly loved (and lol'ed) at the gentleman at the airport with the "siri" comment! :lmao: I would have been so confused and it would have taken every ounce of self-control in me to not completely judge him and correct him like a good Disney fan should! :rotfl:

    Also having lived in Nor Cal my whole life but now going to school in So Cal, I can definitely attest to the idea that people are SO different between the 2 regions.

    Looking forward to the rest of the report! :thumbsup2
     
  19. estherhead

    estherhead DIS Veteran

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    Dec 28, 2004
    Messages:
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    It totally makes sense. I've never been to northern California. But the parts of Cali I've driven through are as different as New York City and rural Texas and the coast of Florida are from each other. I'm sure northern California is yet another region.

    Welcome!

    It was HARD to just be civil and continue a nonsensical conversation. I'm so happy to have my Dis-friends that understand the desire to educate the uneducated masses. :teacher: We all have a specialty in life, sadly my Disney knowledge is not very profitable for me. :lmao:
     
  20. knitster

    knitster DIS Veteran

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    Anytime someone starts talking Disney nonsense (which is often! It's amazing how confused the general population is about Disney theme parks!), my husband gives me 'the look' that says "Don't do it - don't correct them. It's not important. Nobody cares but you." :rotfl:
     
  21. estherhead

    estherhead DIS Veteran

    Joined:
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    This was to be my third trip into the Sequoia Forest. When I was 17 we took a family trip there and I rode horseback through the deep part of forest. My best friend was with me and I remember feeling just like Alice in Wonderland, a tiny being in a strange and magical land. Sharing it with Donald 20 years later had been so amazing that we just knew we had to take the kids when they were still kids to see the giant trees that were around when Julius Caesar ruled the world.

    On my last trip the road construction had been terrifying. The main road had collapsed and there was basically a one lane road with a sheer drop hundreds of feet with only a few traffic cones to stop you from death. TERRIFYING. So I was dreading the drive up. And Donald was gleefully looking forward to me freaking out. He says I'm afraid of heights. I'm not really afraid of heights. I'm afraid of death. And, as I pointed out to him, if you are on a road that half of it has fallen down a mountain, why would you trust that the half you are still on will not also pitch off the side of the mountain? He's so much more trusting than I am.

    Well before you get to the entrance to the National Park things turn really beautiful. I was trying to take pictures of the gorgeous rocky river but it was one of many, many sites we saw that you simply can't take a photo of and convey the beauty.

    [​IMG]

    Quick as can be, we were at the main gate. I have been to MANY national parks. And state parks. And national parks of other nations. But I have never had a super cute park ranger. Obviously there are super cute people in all fields of work. But for some reason, and I hadn't realized it, I had stereotyped park rangers as the outdoorsy, no make-up, not cute workers. To all the park rangers I so unfairly judged, I'm sorry. Because I have been corrected.

    [​IMG]

    This girl was gorgeous. I didn't want to take her photo in an obvious sort of way. But she was SO pretty I had to have a picture for all of you, just in case you, too, had unfairly judged park rangers. When she looked up after this photo, she smiled and talked to us about bears and the like and then she was SUPER gorgeous. She had an amazing smile. And she was wearing the perfect amount of make-up. So now I know. Park rangers are beautiful.

    We stopped at the first little rest area inside the park to go potty. It was nice and clean. And outside was this pretty little bird.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    He put on quite the little show for us. Also at this restroom was the first time Boo noticed a big sign about bears. Even though she can't read, she understood the meaning behind the sign perfectly. Bears live here, they are scary, they will eat you. If you've been following me for awhile you know this, but if you haven't then let me tell you a little bit about Boo. She is totally obsessive. From 2-4 years of age I was sure she had OCD. She is THAT obsessive. She canNOT be distracted. She just has an intense capacity to fixate solely on one thing and think of nothing else for days. And a sign explaining pictorially that bears can kill you was the perfect starting point for such a fixation.

    Add to that the amount of time I had spent that morning pulling out all toiletries and food items so that we could take them into the lodge with us that night because of bears and it was becoming crystal clear to her that bears were an actual threat. And thus began my absolute hatred of bears.

    And my repeating fairly often, "Stupid bears." Trust me, this comes up again despite never seeing a bear this entire trip.

    We carried on, stopping at tunnel rock. I tried to get Boo to pretend she was holding it up. She almost was able to pull it off:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Last time we were here it was totally in fog. But this time it was just gorgeous:
    [​IMG]

    Even though I was dreading the road construction, this time the road construction proved to be a blessing. In the year and a half since we had last been here they had made huge strides forward and I wasn't afraid of dying. The blessing was it slowed us down and was a nice transition from road trip to seeing the sites. At one point we were actually stopped completely and everyone got out of their cars and enjoyed the sights and outdoors. We took the time to have a little impromptu picnic of goldfish crackers, strawberries, pretzel M&M's, and water. It was nice. Then the family climbed this hill and got FILTHY!

    [​IMG]

    Here's our little car stopped:
    [​IMG]

    It was wonderful. After about 20-30 minutes the traffic started moving and we headed on up. From that point on we told the girls all electronics were to be turned off as they were to be on the lookout for big trees. At first Boo was into the search and found many big trees. But they weren't actually THE big trees. But to her, they were big. Because really they were big trees in general and she had no point of reference.

    After finding said big trees, she went back to playing with her toys and being immersed in her imagination. The other two girls, understanding much better that a true Sequoia would blow their minds continued their hunt and slowly the conversation of we four turned to amazement as the big trees came into view. Really they are so AWESOME that after the initial excitement the four of us fell silent, just looking out the window at an extremely unique forest.

    It was in this silence that a tiny little voice from the backseat said, "Whoa." Someone had just come out of her imagination land and looked out the window. Now THAT is a big tree.
     

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