Cars didn't drive on it to make great time. They drove on it to have a great time. TRIP REPORT


Cant wait for another trip to DLR
Oct 23, 2013
DAY 4 - DISNEYLAND PARK...and more

We got up early, we were excited as we were going to Disneyland. We headed out to breakfast at McDonalds again, and we parked in GardenWalk again, since it was great yesterday.
Again, hardly any cars in the parkade.

We went through the bag check, and then there was a short wait to enter Disneyland. They let us into the park a bit before opening, and this time,we bought maxpass right away. DH said for us to pick the ride we most want to do. We said NBC/HM. ( None of us have done the NBC, and the girls have never been on HM). So we ordered a NBC maxpass. I asked the girls what other ride they want to go on. They said BTMRR, so we went to the Frontierland entrance at the Hub (ropedrop). We were pretty close, just a few people ahead of us at the ropedrop.
day 4 - mainstreet 1.jpg

As soon as the rope dropped at 8 am we walked with purpose to BTMRR. There was a train already running, but we were the first in line for the next train.

day 4 - BTMRR small.jpg

We still had time before our NBC maxpass so we looked on the App and saw a very short wait for Pirates. So we went to Pirates, and it was about a 10 min wait.
Then we headed towards NBC. With the maxpass we walked right in. (The standby line was already long). We were all pretty excited for NBC/HM. This was our top "must-do" for Disneyland.
day 4 - NBC small.jpg

So within the first hour we rode 3 of our top e-ticket rides. Were were pretty happy about that!!

We looked at the app for rides in the area with short waits and girls picked Jungle Cruise. There was a little wait, but it wasn't very long.

jungle  hippo small.jpg


Cant wait for another trip to DLR
Oct 23, 2013
DAY 4 - DISNEYLAND PARK...and more - Continued

After the Jungle Cruise we walked through New Orleans, and as we pass the Mint Julep Bar DH asked what is that people are eating with all the icing sugar... So we stopped and ordered a 6-pack of Mickey Beignets and 1 Mint Julep to share. We sat at the Mint Julep Bar and enjoyed our treat and relaxed.
This was our first time eating at The Mint Julep Bar. Wow. The beignets were delectable!! They were warm, soft and fresh. ( The picture below only has 3 beignets, we started eating before i got a chance to take a picture)

The Mint Julep was different, but is was nice and refreshing.
day 4 -  Mint Julep.jpg

While we were eating our beignets we ordered our next maxpass, which was Matterhorn. The girls have never rode Matterhorn, as it was down for refurb on our last trip in 2012.

We walked through Adventureland on our way to the Matterhorn, we passed the New Tropical Hideaway quick service, it looks amazing.

When we got to the Matterhorn maxpass line, we had a very short wait.
Then we looked at the app for rides in the area with short waits. The girls chose Nemo ride. When we got there the wait was a bit longer than what was on the app. But still fairly short, maybe 15 minutes?

We were hungry for lunch, and decided on checking out the new Tropical Hideaway. On our way back to Adventureland took some pictures of the castle, and then we did the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthru.

day 4 - castle.jpg

I was worried that since the Tropical Hideaway was new, that there would be long lineups. We got there and there was NO LINE ! so we ordered a Bao Bun each. Everyone else had the Bulgogi Beef Bao, while I had the Spicy Vegetarian Bao Bun. We also ordered the Sweet Lumpia with Pineapple Sauce to share.
day 4 - trpoical hideaway Bao bun.jpg

day 4 - tropical hideaway  sweet lumpia.jpg

While we were waiting we ordered our next maxpass, which was Splash. After we ate these we were going to get one of the Tropical Hideaway Dolewhips, but now there was a long line! We decided instead of waiting we would get a different treat somewhere else. We headed towards Critter Country and went to Pooh's Corner. The girls chose a Tigger Tail and a Chocolate Covered Pineapple. We ate our Tigger Tail, while in view of Tigger himself!
day 4 - Tigger.jpg

The Tigger Tail was good. But the Chocolate Covered Pineapple was amazing. After we finished our treat we still had time before out Splash Maxpass. Pooh's Adventure had a short wait, so we decided to ride Pooh's.

We went to Splash when our maxpass window opened, and there was no one in line. We just walked through the maxpass entrance and had a short wait to the ride. We ordered our next maxpass for Indy. I pulled out our Dollarstore ponchos again. The Ponchos did their job, and kept us dry for the most part. After the ride we shook off our ponchos and handed them to people in the standby line.

While waiting for Indy we decided to take the raft to Pirates Lair. We walked around the Island for a while and then took the raft back. Then we walked up Tarzans treehouse and checkout out New Orleans and Adventureland while waiting for our Indy maxpass window. We decided to go to the Indy maxpass entrance a bit early, and we were very surprised to see that there was a LOOOONG lineup at the maxpass entrance! We were really surprised because for all the other maxpass rides there NEVER was a lineup to get thru the maxpass entrance. We always just walked right in. This line was so long that they had a CM holding up a sign at the entrance, which was not even visible from the original maxpass entrance! We did not want to wait in the LOOONG line and decided to skip Indy.

We looked at other ride wait times, and everything was a long wait now. It was about 2:30 pm. The park was packed. They had CMs directing traffic. We know if we stayed in Disneyland park we would have to wait long for each ride. We had to decide what we wanted to do for the rest of the day.

Did we decide to stay at Disneyland park? Did we head over to California Adventure? or did we leave the park and do something else? Stay tuned to find out.


Cant wait for another trip to DLR
Oct 23, 2013

Disneyland was packed! We had alot of other things on our Southern California trip wish list. It was 2:30 and we let the kids decide what they wanted to do. They chose to leave the park because there was one thing they really were excited for, and chose to do that, as this was probably the only time to go ( because we had other plans for tomorrow already).
So we said Good-bye to Disneyland park and headed to our car in GardenWalk. The GardenWalk mall was open, so we checked out a couple shops on our way to our car.

So where were we headed? ....... Hollywood !!
day 4 - LA.jpg

Day 4 - hollywood sign.jpg

We drove to the Hollywood and Highland area. We found a parking lot just off Hollywood, a few blocks down from the Hollywood and Highland complex, on Whitley. We walked down Hollywood blvd. We were able to see some "stars" on the walk of Fame sidewalk as we walked, but it was packed with people. Besides seeing the "stars" on Hollywood Blvd, the famous Grumans Theatre and the Dolby Theatre, we had a specific destination in mind.....

Directly across the street from Grumans Theatre and Dolby Theatre was our destination. We went to the pop-up LINE FRIENDS store in Hollywood. It is a temporary store that opened in summer 2018, and is set to close at the end of January 2019. Line Friends are the characters from a Japanese messanger app called Line. If you want more info on the Line Friends store, check out thier website:

Both of my teen daughters' favorite band is the K-Pop band BTS.
If you want to find out more about BTS, check out their website here:

Anyway, BT21 are the LINE app characters made for each of the members of the band BTS. This Line Friends store sells BT21 items. So the girls really wanted to go to the store to purchase some BT21 items. But .... also because when BTS was in California in the fall for thier LA concert, they stopped in at this store and signed the large statues of their BT21 charactures, and did Signatures and handprints ( just like the handprints at Grumans Theatre).

We get to the store and it was crazy. I have never ever been to a store where there was a lineup to get in, and a bouncer at the door.!! We went in line, there were a few ahead of us in line, but it didnt take long. When it was our turn, the bouncer gave us instructions. When we get in we are to first take our pictures, then pick up out items, pay and then leave so that another family may have a turn to go in. This was really good because it meant the store was never packed with people, and the line at the cash register was never long.

The girls had a great time. We took ALOT of pictures and they bought a few BT21 items of their favorite band members. They were very happy.

day 4 -BT21.jpg

After that we were hungry and tired. it was getting dark and so headed out of Hollywood.

We got back to the car and decided we wanted to find a Bubba Gumps. ( We were in Minneapolis on vacation in October and went to a Bubba Gumps at Mall of America.) I searched and found one at Santa Monica Pier. We thought this would be great because one of our other wishlist items was to visit a beach/pier.

We head west to Santa Monica, and we park at a parkade close to the pier. Then we walk to Bubba Gumps. The Bubba Gumps was huge, but also packed. There was over an hour wait. We were tired and hungry, and so we decided to check out the pier beach and then head somewhere else to eat.

day 4 - santa monica pier.jpg

We decided we should try to find some place to eat in Santa Ana, close to our hotel. I looked online for seafood places in or near Santa Ana, and found The Kickin Crab. The reviews for this place were really good. So we decided we would try it. When we got to the Kickin Crab in Santa Ana there was a short wait for our table. We check out the menu and they have a feast /seafood boil. You get to choose your items from the list. We got some snow crab legs, crawfish, shrimp, muscles and it comes with sausage, baby potatoes and half corn-on-cobs. You also get to choose your sauce and the heat intensity. We went with the house sauce and mild heat. They boil comes in a large bag on your table. it looked amazing.
We were waiting for our plates and cutlery, and then realized all we get are a bib and a crab cracker tool! we eat with our fingers.!
This made the meal so much fun. The food was amazing and the sauce was very tasty. We had a fantastic time, and would highly recommend the Kickin Crab.
day 4 - the kickin crab.jpg

After dinner we went back to the hotel and slept. We had another busy day tomorrow.
What did we decide to do for our 3rd day in Southern California? (which also includes driving to Northern California to stay at my Cousin's house)
Did we go back to Disneyland park? did We go to California Adventure? did we decide to go to Magic Mountain to ride some Coasters? did we spend the day at the Beach? or something else not on our original list? .... stay tuned to find out.

Favorite part of Day 4 - Riding NBC/HM; just being in Disneyland; And the Line Friends store

Favorite food of Day 4 - The Beignets were a great snack.
The Kickin Crab was amazing ( so good we kept on talking about it and wanted to go again... stay tuned to my trip report to find out if we went again, and what city that was in)

My Tips and lessons learned:
- Get maxpass as soon as you enter the park and order a new maxpass as soon as your window allows. . - maxpass worked great and allowed us to walk onto most rides (except Indy).

- While waiting for ropedrop, stand close to the frontierland entrance. - We were able to get on BTMRR right at ropedrop.

- Get an INDY maxpass early in the day. - we should have gotten an Indy pass earlier in the day. by afternoon the fastpass entrance was crazy long.

- Go to the Mint Julep Bar and the Tropical Hideaway in the morning. We went to both early and had no line when ordering our food.
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Cant wait for another trip to DLR
Oct 23, 2013
Day 5 - Drive the PCH up to Northern California

So what did we decide to do on our 3rd day in Southern California? We tossed around the idea of doing Disneyland in the morning, or going to Magic Mountain or going to a beach. We also had to drive the I5 about 5 hours to my cousin's house in Northern California that evening.
...... We decide that we would skips the parks and take a leisurely drive up the PCH to Northern California. The drive was beautiful.

Near Malibu:
day 5 - Malibu surfers in ocean.jpg

day 5 - past malibu.jpg

Near Oxnard:
day 5 - past malibu oxnard 2.jpg
day 5 - past malibu oxnard 3.jpg
day 5 - past malibu oxnard.jpg

Near Ventura:
day 5 - ventura.jpga:

We didnt have any specific destinations along the way, but i texted my cousin and told him that we were driving the PCH. He suggested we take a short detour off the PCH to a small town and stop at one of thier bakery's. And he also suggested another destination on the PCH to stop at. Where did we go? stay tuned to find out.
  • DLfan4

    Cant wait for another trip to DLR
    Oct 23, 2013
    Day 5 - Drive the PCH up to Northern California .... continued.

    When I texted my cousin "S" to tell him we were driving up the coast, he suggested that we take a slight detour and go to Solvang and have some pastries at one of their many Danish bakeries. I also remember Mary-Jo mentioning Solvang on one of her Day Six podcasts.

    After Santa Barbara we turn onto Highway 154 and take San Marco's pass through Las Padres National forest.

    day 5 - san marcos pass 1.jpg

    day 5  - san marcos pass 2.jpg

    We stopped for a rest and checked out the Cachuma Lake Campground. The beautiful lake is a reservoir, and therefore there is no swimming allowed in the lake.
    day 5 - cachuma lake campground.jpg

    day 5 - cachuma lake campground 2.jpg

    A bit after Cachuma Lake Campground you will come to a round-about. At the round-about turn onto highway 246. This will take you into Solvang.
    Solvang is a cute Danish town full of Danish pastries and cute shops.

    We parked on the street. One of the first things we noticed was the Hans Christian Andersen Museum. We went to check out the museum. "The Little Mermaid" was written by the Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen.

    day 5 Hans Christian Anderson solvang.jpg

    After the Museum, we wandered around the town, and stopped into some of the cute shops. We came across The Swedish Candy Factory. We tried a few samples of thier homemade swedish candy canes and we were hooked. The sell the candy canes whole or as little broken pieces in a bag. We bought 3 bags of candy cane pieces. I think our 3 flavors were
    Caramel, Mango and Watermellon. These candy cane pieces were light and airy, and like a taffy that melted in your mouth.

    There were so many Danish bakeries, we didnt know which one to stop at. We checked some online reviews and decided on Birkhoms Bakery & Cafe

    We chose about a half dozen different danish pasteries to share, DH and I got a coffee, and the 4 of us sat on an outdoor patio and ate the yummy Danish pasteries.
    We also bought a fresh loaf of Cinnamon Raisin bread to take to my cousins house. We shared a few of the pasteries and then packed the rest up to take with us. They were all very delicious.
    . day 5-  solvang pastries.jpg

    day 5 - solvang sign.jpg

    day 5 - solvang town.jpg

    day 5 - solvang windmill.jpg

    Then we headed back towards the coast .

    day 5 - past solvang.jpg

    Stay tuned to find out where we stopped along the coast.
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  • DLfan4

    Cant wait for another trip to DLR
    Oct 23, 2013
    Day 5 - Drive the PCH up to Northern California .... continued.

    After Solvang we headed back up the coast. We found Oceano Dunes State park. This is a cool beach where you can drive your car onto the beach!!. We have a small car so we did'nt drive on it. But we parked and went on the beach, touched the ocean.

    day 5 - oceano dunes sign.jpg

    day 5 - oceano dunes 2.jpg

    We Continue our drive and find the Pismo State Monarch Butterfly Grove. We decided to stop and check out the Monarch Butterflies all over the park.

    day 5 -  butterfy.jpg

    day 5 -  butterfly grove.jpg

    My cousin "S" suggested a place to stop along the coast. So we headed there for lunch. Where were we headed? Stay tuned to find out.
    Last edited:


    Cant wait for another trip to DLR
    Oct 23, 2013
    Day 5 - Drive the PCH up to Northern California .... continued.

    Our next coastal destination was Pismo Beach. We parked and then walked around the Pismo Beach Pier and area.
    day 5 pismo beach pier.jpg

    We were hungry, so we looked for a place to each lunch and we found this "cool' place.
    day 5 cool cat cafe 1.jpg

    day 5 - cool cat cafe 3.jpg

    The Cool Cat Cafe. We had Fish & Chips with a small bowl of clam chowder ( DD1 said this was the best clam chowder), a Luna burger with Onion rings, A Boogie burger, and a Lahahina Luna Chicken burger. The food was really good.

    After lunch we realized we still had a long drive to my cousin's place, and we really wanted to get there for early evening. So we decided to take the fastest route, instead of the PCH.
    So we headed up the 101.

    Near San Luis Obispo:
    day 5 - san luis obismo 2.jpg

    day 5 - san luis obismo.jpg

    When we get to Pasa Robles we turn onto Hwy 46, then to Hwy 41 on our way to the I5.
    day 5 - outside of pasa robles 2.jpg
    day 5 - outside of pasa robles.jpg

    Hwy 41 was a nice drive. Not much traffic. There were alot of Wineries and Beautiful landscape:

    day 5 non hwy 41.jpg

    day 5 - hwy 41  pic.jpg

    We get to the I5 around Ketttleman City. There were lots of Orchards on this part of the I5:day 5 - orchards on I5.jpg

    Also on the I5 we passed a huge cattle ranch..... that had a VERY pungent oder. The I5 traffic was getting busy, and traffic was slow. So I looked at google maps and we decided to get off the I5 at the next hwy exit. We took Hwy 165 / Hwy 99. We drove through the Great Valley Grasslands State Park.

    We arrived at Cousin's house in Lathrop/Manteca area around 7:00 pm. It was so great to see Cousin "S", his wife "A" and their kids. They made us a fantastic dinner of home-made tacos and soup. It was so nice to have a wonderful home cooked meal. After dinner the adults talked and the kids played Jenga and watched Netflix.

    We were really excited about the next day. What did we have planned that we were excited about? Stay tuned to find out.

    Favorite part of Day 5 - Seeing my Cousin and his family!! We have not seen them since our last Disneyland trip in 2012.
    We also loved the drive itself and all the beautiful landscapes, as well as eating the pastries on the patio at Solvang.

    Favorite Food from Day 5 - The home-made Tacos and Soup at my cousins.
    We also enjoyed the pastries at Solvang, and the meal at the Cool Cat Cafe was good.

    My Tips and lessons learned:
    -When your in California, drive the PCH for spectacular views and Visit Solvang.
    - When driving the I5 near that huge Cattle Ranch plug your nose/hold your breath to avoid the pungent odor.
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    Cant wait for another trip to DLR
    Oct 23, 2013
    Day 6 - Visit Lathrop/Manteca area and Family Reunion

    Today was a nice relaxing day. We didn't need to get up early to drive somewhere. We all got up leisurely, and relaxed at my cousin's place. Then Cousins "S" and "A" made us a huge brunch of Omelettes, Eggs, Bacon, and of course..Mickey Waffles. The breakfast was amazing.

    We then decided to go do a little bit of shopping in the area. My cousin "S" his wife "A" and my 2 nephews first took us on a tour of the area, then we headed out to a few stores. We went to the Harley Davidson, Target, Bass Pro Shop and Costco.

    The Bass Pro Shop was Huge! We spent alot of time checking it out. DH loves to fish, and so he bought some fishing stuff. The girls found some pretty bracelets with gems to buy.

    day 6 - BPS outside picture.jpg
    day 6 - bps.jpg
    day 6 BPS inside.jpg
    day 6- BPS.jpg

    We then went to Costco. We were interested to see what different things this Costco has that we do not. It was funny to see Wine and Alcohol sold at Costco. Our Costco stores in Manitoba do not sell any booze. I took a couple for pictures for my wine loving friends back home.
    day 6 costco wine.jpg

    Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey is actually made in Gimli Manitoba.
    day 6 costo crown royal.jpg

    We shopped around Costco and found alot of different snacks to buy for our New Years Eve. The best snack we got were these Chocolate covered gummi bears. YUM!!

    day 6 gummi bears.jpg

    When we got back to my cousins place, my other cousins had arrived for our family reunion dinner. We were so happy to see cousin "B", his wife "S" and Cousin "J". DH and I have not seen these 3 since our California trip in 2000. That was before kids, so this was DD1 and DD2 first time meeting them. We had a great visit, and took lots of family pictures. My cousins made us an amazing meal with so much food. We had Chicken Fingers, Wings and Lumpia made in the air-fryer. Lemon Shrimp, Adobo Beef w/rice, Bacon-Hamburger Mac & Cheese, a type of Coconut milk Boba drink, Cheesecake with berries and kiwi on top, Ghiradelli brownies, cupcakes, and more.

    The next day was New Years Eve. What did we plan to do for New Years Eve in Northern California? Stay tuned to find out.

    My Favorite Part of Day 6 - The family reunion/family meal was my favorite. It was great to spend time with all 7 of our California cousins.

    My Favorite Food of Day 6 - Both the brunch and the family dinner were excellent.

    My Tips and Lessons Learned:
    - If you are able to, take the time to go and visit family. Keep in touch with your cousins, as family is important.


    Cant wait for another trip to DLR
    Oct 23, 2013
    Day 7 - New Years Eve in my favorite city

    We got up and had a light breakfast. We had a few destination we wanted to visit today, which was New Years Eve. We left the Lathrop/Manteca area and headed West Via I580 and then South-west towards the coast via I880 /Hwy 17.

    I580 Near Livermore:

    day 7 - near livermore.jpg
    day 7 - near  livermore.jpg

    day 7 - past livermore.jpg

    Hwy 17 on way towards coast:
    day 7 - hwy 17 to  santa cruz.jpg

    day 7 - hwy 17 to santa cruz.jpg

    day 7 - just before santa cruz.jpg

    We got to our first destination of the day. What coastal city were were in? Stay tuned to find out.
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    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Jul 22, 2005
    What a beautiful area to drive through! :)


    Cant wait for another trip to DLR
    Oct 23, 2013
    Day 7 - New Years Eve in my favorite city..... continued

    Our main destination for our New Year Eve was later on, but my cousin wanted to take us on a side trip to Santa Cruz. When I was 6 years old my family came to visit my cousins family, and we all went to Santa Cruz. One of my most vivid/fondest memories of that trip was the "Cave Train" dark ride at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

    We were not planning on spending much time in Santa Cruz, we just wanted to check out the boardwalk, and maybe ride a 1 or 2 rides then head up the coast to our next destination.

    When we first arrived in Santa Cruz we all stopped at Starbucks for something to drink. We then parked on the street and walked to the boardwalk. It was turning into a very windy day.
    day 7 -santa cruz windy day.jpg

    We entered the boardwalk through the arcade. Then walked around the boardwalk area where the shops are and the girls found a store they wanted to check out. But before we went in, my cousin wanted us to go to the front of the ride area to take a picture in front of the Boardwalk sign.
    In the ride area we found an outdoor Ice Skating rink:
    day 7 -santa cruz ice rink.jpg

    We also found this beach themed christmas tree, decorated with beach balls and flip flops. I LOVE this tree. It is so cute!!
    day 7 - santa cruz tree.jpg

    After we took our group picture in front of the boardwalk sign we headed back into the ride area, but they had put up a gate and said the ride area was closed due to the strong winds. The girls wanted to still visit that shop so we went back in through the arcade, and found the shop. Both my girls found great Santa Cruz sweatshirts at this store. We then went on the beach for a bit.
    day 7 - santa cruz beach.jpg

    Then headed back on the road, back onto the PCH up the coast.

    Just past Santa Cruz:
    day 7 - just past santa cruz.jpg

    day 7 just past santa cruz.jpg
    Day 7 - just past santa  cruz.jpg

    Our next destination is a half hour up the coast from Santa Cruz.
    Can you see it in the distance? If you cant see it, maybe you need more "light" ( hint hint)......Where are we headed to? Stay tuned to find out.
    day 7 - lighthouse in the distance.jpg


    Cant wait for another trip to DLR
    Oct 23, 2013
    Day 7 - New Years Eve in my favorite city..... continued

    We were headed to Pigeon Point Light Station (Lighthouse) in Pescadero.

    day 7 approaching lighthouse 20181231_130844.jpg

    day 7- lighthouse tower.jpg

    We were not able to go into the lighthouse itself, but we were able to enter the museum type building.
    day 7 - lighthouse sign.jpg

    day 7 lighthouse light.jpg

    We were also able to tour the grounds. There is also a Hostel located on the grounds of the lighthouse, which had beautiful flowers planted.
    day 7 - lighthouse yard.jpg

    day 7 - pigeon point view.jpg
    day  7 Pigeon point 0181231_132709.jpg

    day 7 Pigeon point 81231_132700.jpg

    My favorite picture of the lighthouse.
    day 7 pigeon point -best picture.jpg

    We took alot of pictures and then headed back out on the PCH to our destination.


    Cant wait for another trip to DLR
    Oct 23, 2013
    Day 7 - New Years Eve in my favorite city..... continued

    We headed back onto the PCH north towards our destination.

    Just past the lighthouse:
    day 7 just past lighthouse.jpg
    day 7 -just past lighhouse.jpg
    day 7 - past lighthouse pic 3.jpg

    We were getting hungry, so we stopped for a some fast food in Half Moon Bay.
    Then we continued back on the PCH.

    Past Half Moon Bay, near Montara:

    day 7 past lighthouse pic 4 la costernera.jpg

    day 7 past lighthouse pic 5 Montara state beach.jpg

    day 7 past lighthouse pic 6.jpg

    day 7 past lighthouse pic 7.jpg

    day 7 near SF.jpg

    Then we finally reached our destination for the day, which is my favorite city. What city is my favorite? stay tuned to find out.