This Trip Report Is Under Refurbishment For Your Future Enjoyment (UPDATED 9/13 with final bonus chapter)

mlneryder

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
I really enjoyed your trip report. Your humor was spot on with the family dynamic! #FlyEaglesFly
 

Captain_Oblivious

DIS Dad #257
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
I read all the drivel and you never thanked ME!!!!

:duck:
Ahem:

Thanks for following along and putting up with my terrible jokes! I appreciate each and every one of you for taking the time to read and comment.
Thoroughly enjoyed it Mark. Sorry my circumstances didn't give me more of a chance to tell you that or joke around as much.
There are so many more important things in this world than a Disney message board and a stranger's trip report. I appreciate you reading along whenever you can.

It is indeed hard to see Sarah driving, but I think the same about my daughter and she just turned 18. ;)
Once a dad, always a dad, am I right?

I really enjoyed your trip report. Your humor was spot on with the family dynamic! #FlyEaglesFly
Thank you! Always good to have more Eagles fans around here!
 

docsoliday1

DIS Dad #834 Cubs, Dolphins fan forever
Joined
Mar 12, 2008
Ahem:





There are so many more important things in this world than a Disney message board and a stranger's trip report. I appreciate you reading along whenever you can.



Once a dad, always a dad, am I right?



Thank you! Always good to have more Eagles fans around here!
Okay, I sit corrected. I'd stand, but I'm kinda tired.

True, there are more important things, but as I was telling @Steppesister and @pkondz a lot of the fun for me is joking back and forth. Unfortunately my job and making the most out of my AP has severely limited my dis time.

::yes:: never stop being a dad, but they never stop not listening either. ;)
 
  • Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    True, there are more important things, but as I was telling @Steppesister and @pkondz a lot of the fun for me is joking back and forth. Unfortunately my job and making the most out of my AP has severely limited my dis time.
    I hear ya. My DIS time was severely limited when I got my new job 3 years ago, so my participation in the conversations has dropped off as a result. I can still contribute my TR's and read those of my friends. But I don't have the bandwidth to keep up with the back and forth, or jump in on new TR's.

    ::yes:: never stop being a dad, but they never stop not listening either. ;)
    Sigh...
     

    StarWarsMomofGirls!

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2015
    Most of you know that our family has been working hard to reach all 50 states. Why? Because...it gave us something to do. And there's a lot of cool stuff to see beyond our Xbox. We've reached 47 out of 50 thus far (with Oregon, Washington, and Alaska to go) and after taking a break from our quest for Disney World this past year, we're ready to get back on the horse.
    It's a really cool goal! And I am amazed that you have gotten to that many already!

    So we'll be trying to fill some of those holes over a week as we visit San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, and points in between.
    This should be a great trip!

    Anyway, here is my Poor Man's Pre-Trip Report on California.
    Ha! I love it!
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Bonus Chapter 1: This Is Somewhat Disney-Related, I Promise

    Over?? You thought this Trip Report was over?

    Nothing is over until I say it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

    Anyway, welcome to the Bonus California Trip Report. As I mentioned in the previous update, we took a spring break trip to California. I know this is included under another TR, but if I was going to start a new thread and give it a title, this one would be called:

    We Waited About 20 Minutes And Then Bailed. To be explained later.

    We left on Saturday, April 20 at 2:00 a.m.

    Yes, that was just as painful as it sounds. The reason for our incredibly early departure time was that we were flying out of Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. at 6:00 a.m., and it takes us 2 hours to get there from Delaware. I’d found cheap tickets several months earlier and grabbed them, hoping that eventually Southwest Airlines would have a sale and I’d be able to re-book a more convenient flight at a more convenient time and a more convenient airport. That conveniently never happened.

    We fly Southwest 99% of the time. In the past, they’ve always had the cheapest fares. But I’m finding that not to be the case as much recently. The other airlines are becoming a little more competitive in the rates they offer. Southwest has started playing the game where you can get a cheap fare, but you have to take the flight at Ridiculous O’Clock in the morning or Holy Crap It’s Late at night. We still end up flying with them because of the lack of bag fees--with a family of 6, we typically get destroyed on bag fees with the other airlines. So there’s still a gap, but it’s not as big as it used to be.

    We enlisted my poor father to drive us to the airport, mostly because he’s probably the only person in the world who would let us abuse him like that. Also, I had driven him and Mom to the airport for their vacation a couple months earlier, so he owed me. I did manage to get a return flight to Philadelphia at a more reasonable hour for the end of the trip, so we had that going for us, which was nice.

    So, bleary-eyed and yawning, we checked our bags at Reagan National around 4:15 a.m. Then we bought overpriced airport donuts and coffee for breakfast at 5:00 a.m. We had a debate about whether to check Drew’s car seat with our regular bags or gate-check it so we could grab it right when we got off the plane. We ended up gate-checking the car seat.

    Our flight went off without a hitch, and before too long we were landing at Chicago’s Midway Airport for our layover and transfer. Landing at Midway is always a bit of an adventure, since it features some of the shortest runways used by American commercial airliners. The airport is smack in the middle of a residential area, so when you fly in it always feels like you’re going to land right on top of somebody’s house, and then all of a sudden the plane drops right down onto a runway and the pilot immediately hits full flaps in order to brake hard. It can get exciting if you’re not ready for it.

    Thankfully, this was a “normal for Midway” landing.

    We found a Dunkin’ Donuts in the airport. Our body clocks were already completely screwed up at this point, as we’d woken up at 2:00 a.m. Eastern, taken off at 6:00, spent two hours in the air but traveled an hour into the past (time travel is so mundane these days) and still had another 4.5-hour flight to go even further back into time coming up. The point is, we were all suddenly starving. So instead of donuts, we ordered breakfast sandwiches.

    Two points here: 1) Dunkin’ is not known for their breakfast sandwiches. They’re not great. And yet, 2) we were at that point of hunger where these overpriced crappy Dunkin’ sandwiches tasted like THE GREATEST BREAKFAST SANDWICHES OF ALL TIME. I think this says more about our frame of mind at the time than the actual quality of the food. You probably could have scraped chewing gum off the bottom of the lounge chairs and served it to us, and we would have raved about how you could really taste the sorghum.

    The flight from Chicago to Oakland was safe and uneventful, just the way you hope it will be. We landed at approximately 11:00 a.m. Pacific time, three hours into our past. As always, I hoped none of our actions would mess up the future.

    At the baggage claim, we hit our first snag. The car seat was nowhere to be found. Although we’d gate-checked it, it had failed to materialize in the jetway when we disembarked. We were sent to the baggage claim, and after every bag from our flight had been taken, there was still no car seat. In speaking with a Southwest representative…well, they had no idea where it was. Luckily, they were able to give us a loaner for our use.

    We rode the shuttle to the car rental counter, and I was given the choice of any of the three minivans they had in the lot: a Dodge Caravan, a Dodge Caravan, and a Dodge Caravan. We chose a Dodge Caravan.

    I find driving a Dodge Caravan to be like shopping in a Walmart: in most instances, you get exactly what you need, but you’re worried the whole time that something bad is going to happen.

    Anyway, we all settled into our ride and finally, the California Adventure (hey, that would be a cool name for a theme park) could begin.

    Our first stop was in Emeryville, a neighborhood on the north side of Oakland. Right in town, on an unassuming side street near strip malls and apartment buildings, is a place some of you might be familiar with.



    Since this is a place of business, Pixar does not offer tours. You can’t go past the gate. But we could at least…well, see that it was there. Sarah, our budding artist in the family, tried yelling at the gate: “Hey! Will you guys give me a job?”

    We haven’t received a response yet, but they may still be preparing their offer.

    From there, we desperately needed some food, so we found a McDonald’s (hey, don’t judge—we were at that point of hunger again) and ate in the car. We made our way to the Bay Bridge and crossed over to the city of San Francisco.

    The drive was slow, as traffic was terrible. I found that in San Francisco, traffic is pretty much terrible all the time. But once we passed through the tunnel on Yerba Buena Island, we were greeted with a beautiful view of the impressive San Francisco skyline. Sadly, due to traffic and bridge structures in the way, we don’t have a good photo to show you. But we really enjoyed the views of the Bay Area as we drove. There are spectacular sights in every direction.



    Our plan was to drive over and see the Golden Gate Bridge first. This involved driving through the city to a former military base, now a park, called the Presidio. I’d found a few parking areas (including one that was free!) to hopefully stop and then walk to some of the more scenic viewpoints.

    While driving through the city, we encountered some of the famous hills of the area. It may not look like much in this photo, but please keep in mind that the camera typically flattens out. On some of these hills, it felt like the minivan was making its hamsters give everything they had on their little wheels inside the engine to get to the top. I have no idea how anyone drives a stick shift in this town.



    We reached the Presidio (it took about an hour to get there from Oakland, 16 miles away), followed the Google Maps Lady as she navigated the twists and turns of the park, and then, about a mile away from our preferred parking lot…we came to a dead stop. Just a line of cars as far as we could see, backed up all the way around a bend. Apparently a few other tourists had the same idea we did.

    So we sat and waited, inching forward maybe every 3-5 minutes or so. Eventually, we reached the point where we wondered if we were ever going to get anywhere, or if it was time to go to plan B. We waited about 20 minutes, and then we bailed.

    Plan B was the Walt Disney Family Museum, also located in the Presidio, in one of a row of homes which used to serve as the Officer’s Quarters.



    There’s also a small visitor center nearby, run by the National Park Service which oversees the Presidio. That was an opportunity for us to pick up a National Park passport stamp. It also gave us our first view of the Golden Gate Bridge, which came just as every visitor pictures it in their minds: through the glorious mesh of a chain-link fence.



    Don’t worry, we’ll go for a re-do later. On to the museum, after paying $8 for the privilege of a parking space.



    The Walt Disney Family Museum is exactly what its title says it is: a museum dedicated to enshrining the life of Walt Disney which was established by his family and heirs. It’s both a biography and a tribute to the legacy of achievements Disney left behind.

    The lobby has displays showing the hundreds of awards Disney earned in his lifetime. The most famous of these is the special Oscar(s) he was awarded for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Please note it’s almost impossible to get a photo of these without also looking ridiculous in the reflection.



    If you visit, I’d plan on spending 2-3 hours going through the various exhibits. Plan on longer if you’re like my mom and insist on reading every single plaque and display in the museum. Plan on closer to the 2 hour mark if you’re an impatient, uncultured swine like me.

    The place gets more interesting once you get past the early history of Walt’s childhood and get into the meat of his animation career. There are numerous displays and exhibits, some interactive, showing how painstaking the business of animation was back then. This wall shows over 700 individual drawings which together comprised about 15 seconds of actual movie footage.



    This was one of the earliest known drawings of Mickey Mouse.



    In order to save time, animators would re—use backgrounds so that they only had to draw the portion of the frame that was moving. This is a glimpse into that process.



    One of the most incredible parts of the museum were the sheer number of casually amazing drawings displayed all over. You could make a case for each separate drawing being a supreme work of art.



    As you move through the museum, you’re led through all of the technological breakthroughs that were achieved: the addition of sound perfectly timed with the actions onscreen, the addition of color, the creation of full-length animated features, and so on. They even have a multi-plane camera fully assembled, showing the various plates used to achieve a 3-D effect.



    Walt’s various personal quirks and touches on his organization are memorialized as well. We saw an example of his menu requests for an outing, and took note that he supported the restriction of vegetables, which I fully support.



    At the back of the museum, there’s a glass-walled walkway that affords you another tantalizing view of the Golden Gate. With a tree in the way.



    The big showstopper exhibit has to do with Walt’s move from making animated films to developing theme parks. Just outside the exhibit lies a bench, taken from the old amusement park where Disney used to bring his kids. It could be that on his very bench, he was suddenly struck with the idea to create a theme park for the whole family. Scott and I sat down to see if we would have a similar brainstorm.



    I’ve got it! Left-handed coffee mugs!



    The theme park showroom is the biggest in the museum, and unsurprisingly was everyone’s favorite part. One wall is taken up with Walt’s Carolwood Pacific Railroad model train, which he rode around in his back yard. As life goals go, “ride your own personal model train around in your back yard” ranks pretty high on my list.



    The other big showstopper is the exhibit most of you have probably seen many times before: a huge scale model of Disneyland Park. It’s layered with a fascinating amount of detail, and we probably could have stared at this all afternoon. It’s almost worth the price of admission by itself.





    We really enjoyed our time there, even if it was only a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon. It’s a great place to visit for any Disney fan.

    We left the museum to try again for the Golden Gate Bridge. It was getting close to dinner hour, so we were hoping that would mean the parking lots had thinned out. And we ended up finding a space at a pay lot—the Battery East parking lot located just down the hill east of the bridge on Lincoln Blvd. We got there at about 4:40 p.m. and the sign said payment was required until 5:00 p.m. I may or may not have already had a pay lot receipt on my dashboard from the Disney museum parking area that may or may not have looked exactly the same as those printed by the Battery East machine and may or may not have had the day’s date conspicuously visible, and may or may not have left it there on my dashboard and may or may not have ignored the pay machine at the lot.

    There was a path that led to various viewpoints and the visitor center, so we followed that. Seemed reasonable at the time.

    Before long, we were greeted with some truly amazing views, sans chain-link fence:







    Whenever I’d seen the Golden Gate Bridge on TV, I always thought it looked nice, but was still just an orange bridge. What was the big deal? Now, having seen it in person—I get it. You have to stand there to truly appreciate the scale of it, much like the Grand Canyon. The bridge is absolutely massive, both in height and span. It looked more rust-red and less orange to me, which really looked gorgeous against the blue waters of the bay. What merely looked nice on TV was stunning to me in person.



    Anybody know what the blue spiky flowers are in this photo? I had no idea, but they looked neat.





    It was 75 degrees, beautifully sunny, and there were jaw-dropping views in every direction. We could understand why people fall in love with the Bay Area. However, the wind was whipping fiercely up here by the bridge. I had to hold onto my hat, and we were glad we’d brought our sweatshirts with us.



    We made our way back to the van (no ticket, ha!) and left to go get some dinner. At this point, we’d all been awake for roughly 17 hours and we were starting to hit the wall. We found a parking space in the city (no mean feat) and walked a block to our destination—4505 Burgers & BBQ.

    I’d found this place on Trip Advisor and seen it listed in some “best of San Francisco” lists as well. And I’m a sucker for a good BBQ joint, so I was eager to try this one.



    The line was out the door and down the sidewalk. That was a bit intimidating, but also a very good sign. The sun was dropping behind the buildings to the west and we were standing in the shadows. Those winds we’d felt at the bridge seemed to have followed us here, and it was starting to get downright cold.

    The line barely moved. Some other people showed up, waited a while, and then gave up. We started to wonder if we should do the same. The discussion went something like this:

    Family: It’s cold and we’re not going anywhere. And we’ve been up since 2 in the morning.

    Me: But…BBQ.

    Finally, after about 20 minutes in which we’d moved a total of 5 feet, we bailed. I was bummed to leave, because the smell of smoked meat wafting through the air was like a siren call to me, but I think we needed to go before the witching hour struck. And I’m sure the food there is great, but it’s on the restaurant to keep the line moving, and they weren’t doing so in this case.

    I’d like to tell you that we found a wonderful plan B. San Francisco is known as a foodie paradise, with world-renowned restaurants all over. So I’d like to tell you that it was easy to just pop into another place and have a wonderful meal.

    But once we bailed on the line, our priority shifted to getting everyone to bed as soon as possible. And our hotel was south of the city, near San Francisco airport.

    I let the Google Maps lady guide me out of the city streets. She led me straight into a 30-minute traffic jam. After being stuck in that mess, I divorced Google Lady on the spot and switched over to Waze. But the damage was done, and we crawled out of San Francisco.

    We finally checked into our hotel, a Hampton Inn, around 7:00 p.m. local time. Then we went to the closest restaurant we could find, which was a local San Francisco masterpiece called Denny’s. Surprisingly, this was not listed among the "best of San Francisco" lists I'd researched earlier.

    Sorry, no food photos. You’ll just have to picture in your mind how amazing it all was.

    Then we stopped at a grocery store for our snacks and PB&J sandwich supplies. Yep, it’s just wave after wave of gourmet delights when you travel with us.

    There was one piece of good news: Southwest called and had found Drew’s car seat. They were going to deliver it to our hotel for us. So we had that going for us, which was nice.

    We ended up being awake for about 21 hours that day. It wasn’t hard to fall asleep.

    Coming Up Next: It’s Easter Sunday, which we celebrate by going to jail.

    Stealing this bit from @pkondz : The map of our travels.

     
  • Flossbolna

    Sea days are just so relaxing!
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2006
    I was hoping you would do a California trip report! I am really looking forward to following along!

    The other big showstopper is the exhibit most of you have probably seen many times before: a huge scale model of Disneyland Park. It’s layered with a fascinating amount of detail, and we probably could have stared at this all afternoon. It’s almost worth the price of admission by itself.
    Isn't it amazing? So happy that you enjoyed it! I am always afraid to talk it up too much to other Disney people, but so far everyone loved the model.

    At the back of the museum, there’s a glass-walled walkway that affords you another tantalizing view of the Golden Gate. With a tree in the way.
    Hey, it's a palm tree and palm tree is much better than any old tree and a million times better than chain link fence. But yes, you did get some better views later on...

    We really enjoyed our time there, even if it was only a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon. It’s a great place to visit for any Disney fan.
    Did you cry? Or did you rush through the last room because you are uncultured??

    Whenever I’d seen the Golden Gate Bridge on TV, I always thought it looked nice, but was still just an orange bridge. What was the big deal? Now, having seen it in person—I get it. You have to stand there to truly appreciate the scale of it, much like the Grand Canyon. The bridge is absolutely massive, both in height and span. It looked more rust-red and less orange to me, which really looked gorgeous against the blue waters of the bay. What merely looked nice on TV was stunning to me in person.
    You were lucky with the brilliant sunshine! My first visits to San Francisco it was always covered by fog. Makes dramatic pictures, too. The bridge into the fog.

    Then we went to the closest restaurant we could find, which was a local San Francisco masterpiece called Denny’s. Surprisingly, this was not listed among the "best of San Francisco" lists I'd researched earlier.
    Sometimes the best restaurant is the most convenient one. And that day sounds like a day like that.
     

    jedijill

    Chiefs fan living in Bronco country
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2005
    Exciting first day of the trip! The Disney Family museum really is a treasure. The traffic is NO joke.

    Jill in CO
     

    Verstehen

    I break for the Nautilus
    Joined
    Jul 4, 2008
    Your writing style is so fun. I really want to go back to the Disney museum. I went on my honeymoon while my husband was napping and getting over some kind of cold, so I felt a little rushed, especially towards the end. Looking forward to reading more!
     
  • Terra Nova guy

    DIS Dad #811 Newfoundland, Canada
    Joined
    Nov 11, 2014
    but traveled an hour into the past (time travel is so mundane these days)
    I know. Flux capacitors are everywhere and don't cost near what they used to.

    Two points here: 1) Dunkin’ is not known for their breakfast sandwiches. They’re not great. And yet, 2) we were at that point of hunger where these overpriced crappy Dunkin’ sandwiches tasted like THE GREATEST BREAKFAST SANDWICHES OF ALL TIME. I think this says more about our frame of mind at the time than the actual quality of the food. You probably could have scraped chewing gum off the bottom of the lounge chairs and served it to us, and we would have raved about how you could really taste the sorghum.
    That's probably the general consensus of most airport food. Having no other option than starvation, most airport food tastes awesome.

    As always, I hoped none of our actions would mess up the future.
    As long as you didn't talk to your past selves or bet on any sporting events, you should be fine.

    We rode the shuttle to the car rental counter, and I was given the choice of any of the three minivans they had in the lot: a Dodge Caravan, a Dodge Caravan, and a Dodge Caravan. We chose a Dodge Caravan.
    Hmm...slim pickings. When I rented a car in Orlando last August, they told us to ick anything from a whole row. I think most were Nissan Altimas. But I remember not being overly concerned about the make of the car, but the girls having a discussion on the colour of the car and how "cute" it was. :confused3

    and finally, the California Adventure (hey, that would be a cool name for a theme park)
    You may be on to something there.

    Since this is a place of business, Pixar does not offer tours. You can’t go past the gate. But we could at least…well, see that it was there. Sarah, our budding artist in the family, tried yelling at the gate: “Hey! Will you guys give me a job?”
    Too bad there aren't tours, but very cool that you got to see the gate. Maybe Sarah will walk through those gates one of these days.

    From there, we desperately needed some food, so we found a McDonald’s (hey, don’t judge—we were at that point of hunger again)
    I have been in that situation before. I think generally alcohol was involved, but I've been there.

    Plan B was the Walt Disney Family Museum, also located in the Presidio, in one of a row of homes which used to serve as the Officer’s Quarters.
    A very good plan B. I don't know if I will ever got to the West Coast, but if I do, this is near the top of my list.

    If you visit, I’d plan on spending 2-3 hours going through the various exhibits. Plan on longer if you’re like my mom and insist on reading every single plaque and display in the museum. Plan on closer to the 2 hour mark if you’re an impatient, uncultured swine like me.
    I always intended to be a highly cultured person and diligently read every plaque. After 20 minutes, I bail and just look at the pictures like an uncultured swine.

    Walt’s various personal quirks and touches on his organization are memorialized as well. We saw an example of his menu requests for an outing, and took note that he supported the restriction of vegetables, which I fully support.
    Very cool, something I have in common with Walt. I appreciate his vegetable choices of corn and canned peas.

    As life goals go, “ride your own personal model train around in your back yard” ranks pretty high on my list.
    Definitely. It means that A. you can afford to build your own model train and B. you have a backyard large enough to accommodate it.

    I may or may not have already had a pay lot receipt on my dashboard from the Disney museum parking area that may or may not have looked exactly the same as those printed by the Battery East machine and may or may not have had the day’s date conspicuously visible, and may or may not have left it there on my dashboard and may or may not have ignored the pay machine at the lot.
    I may or may not think that was a smart idea.

    Anybody know what the blue spiky flowers are in this photo? I had no idea, but they looked neat.
    I will preface this by saying I am not a gardener nor horticulturalist, so most likely I am completely wrong. But they look like lupins, which many around my home and native land consider invasive weeds. Others think they are pretty. There is a grassy strip at the beginning of my street that is covered with them in early summer.

    I’d found this place on Trip Advisor and seen it listed in some “best of San Francisco” lists as well. And I’m a sucker for a good BBQ joint, so I was eager to try this one.
    Any place that has "pig in or pig out" on its sign has to be good. Too bad it didn't work out for you. But I would have been forced into the same decision by my family.
     

    mcjaco

    Kelp!
    Joined
    Jul 29, 2007
    Oh man. So many Spring Breaks spent visiting my grandparents in Petaluma, CA. It was a right of passage on each trip to 1) fight all the SF traffic, 2) stand head long into the wind while attempting pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge, and 3) packing for seventeen different weather biomes of which we'd encounter over the course of that week.
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    I was hoping you would do a California trip report! I am really looking forward to following along!
    Glad you're still reading! Now you and Michael can tell me everything I got wrong.:p

    Isn't it amazing? So happy that you enjoyed it! I am always afraid to talk it up too much to other Disney people, but so far everyone loved the model.
    The model was definitely my favorite part. But the whole museum is very well done.

    Hey, it's a palm tree and palm tree is much better than any old tree and a million times better than chain link fence. But yes, you did get some better views later on...
    I really was not expecting to see palm trees in San Francisco! I thought it would be too cool of a climate for them.

    Did you cry? Or did you rush through the last room because you are uncultured??
    Well, I didn't cry. So I guess that makes me lean towards the uncultured side. But you knew that already.

    You were lucky with the brilliant sunshine! My first visits to San Francisco it was always covered by fog. Makes dramatic pictures, too. The bridge into the fog.
    I was actually very worried about fog. We were blessed with amazing weather for the whole week. Sun and mid-70 degree temperatures the whole time we were there.

    Sometimes the best restaurant is the most convenient one. And that day sounds like a day like that.
    I think we were definitely hitting the wall at the end of the day. So yes, it was important not to spend too much time hunting for a place. Even if it meant the food was mediocre.

    Exciting first day of the trip! The Disney Family museum really is a treasure. The traffic is NO joke.
    I loved almost everything about San Francisco (well, maybe not the poop on the sidewalks), but I would really love never to have to drive in that city again.

    Love the bonus trip reports!
    Glad you're still here for the ride!

    Your writing style is so fun. I really want to go back to the Disney museum. I went on my honeymoon while my husband was napping and getting over some kind of cold, so I felt a little rushed, especially towards the end. Looking forward to reading more!
    :welcome: Thanks for joining in!

    I wasn't sure if we would love it or feel it was a little dry, but we ended up really enjoying our visit there.
     

    Flossbolna

    Sea days are just so relaxing!
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2006
    Glad you're still reading! Now you and Michael can tell me everything I got wrong.:p
    Yes, I am reading!! Just the replying is often difficult because I read too much on the phone. I need to spend more time at the computer. The DIS is far more enjoyable on the big screen, especially when people post pictures.

    Well, I didn't cry. So I guess that makes me lean towards the uncultured side. But you knew that already.
    I had the misfortune of touring with Michael, who would be a good companion to tour museums with your mother. So, I was done with the museum and waiting for him to catch up. I ended up reading every single tribute to Walt in that last room and was blubbering by the time Michael caught up to me.

    I was actually very worried about fog. We were blessed with amazing weather for the whole week. Sun and mid-70 degree temperatures the whole time we were there.
    Sounds wonderful! I think the fog is more a problem in the summer when the difference between land mass that has warmed up and cold sea is more of an issue. But I am sure @franandaj is more of a fog expert than me...
     

    rdkeim

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2006
    Glad to see that you're sharing your Spring Break trip! We live in boring, corrupt Illinois and use Midway often. You're so right about the short, scary runways! I love going to CA. My Dad lived there 30+ years and he lived near San Fran. We never spent much time in the city but would like to go back and do so. The Disney museum would be on my list. Too bad the restaurant didn't work out but it was probably the right call. That was a long day! Wave after wave of gourmet delights.....:rotfl2:
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    I know. Flux capacitors are everywhere and don't cost near what they used to.
    And you can probably generate 1.21 gigawatts with your phone! Ok, maybe not. But soon.

    That's probably the general consensus of most airport food. Having no other option than starvation, most airport food tastes awesome.
    It's that state when you're tired, have spent hours cooped up in a plane, haven't eaten anything other than peanuts, and your body clock is messed up. It makes anything taste wonderful.

    As long as you didn't talk to your past selves or bet on any sporting events, you should be fine.
    But I thought the Avengers said you couldn't follow the Back To The Future time travel rules. This gets confusing.

    Hmm...slim pickings. When I rented a car in Orlando last August, they told us to ick anything from a whole row. I think most were Nissan Altimas. But I remember not being overly concerned about the make of the car, but the girls having a discussion on the colour of the car and how "cute" it was. :confused3
    I'm sure we all have our preferences. But in the end, beggars can't be choosers.

    You may be on to something there.
    I'm just full of great ideas!

    Too bad there aren't tours, but very cool that you got to see the gate. Maybe Sarah will walk through those gates one of these days.
    That's the dream! But I'm sure it's a very, very competitive dream.

    I have been in that situation before. I think generally alcohol was involved, but I've been there.
    What was that about beggars and choosers?

    A very good plan B. I don't know if I will ever got to the West Coast, but if I do, this is near the top of my list.
    I figured we'd do the bridge first and then the museum, but it was easy enough to switch the order around.

    I always intended to be a highly cultured person and diligently read every plaque. After 20 minutes, I bail and just look at the pictures like an uncultured swine.
    There's only so much you can remember, anyway. I don't need to know what farm tools they used to rake their vegetable garden.

    Very cool, something I have in common with Walt. I appreciate his vegetable choices of corn and canned peas.
    Corn = :thumbsup2

    Peas = :crazy2:

    Definitely. It means that A. you can afford to build your own model train and B. you have a backyard large enough to accommodate it.
    Exactly! :thumbsup2

    I may or may not think that was a smart idea.
    Let me know when you make up your mind. Sheesh. Some people.

    I will preface this by saying I am not a gardener nor horticulturalist, so most likely I am completely wrong. But they look like lupins, which many around my home and native land consider invasive weeds. Others think they are pretty. There is a grassy strip at the beginning of my street that is covered with them in early summer.
    So far, that's the only response. So i'm just going to assume you're right on this.

    Any place that has "pig in or pig out" on its sign has to be good. Too bad it didn't work out for you. But I would have been forced into the same decision by my family.
    It sure did smell good. But come on, guys. i'm sure you see the line outside.

    Oh man. So many Spring Breaks spent visiting my grandparents in Petaluma, CA. It was a right of passage on each trip to 1) fight all the SF traffic, 2) stand head long into the wind while attempting pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge, and 3) packing for seventeen different weather biomes of which we'd encounter over the course of that week.
    We didn't get the big shifts in weather on our trip. But we did feel the wind at the Golden Gate, for sure!
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Yes, I am reading!! Just the replying is often difficult because I read too much on the phone. I need to spend more time at the computer. The DIS is far more enjoyable on the big screen, especially when people post pictures.
    Yeah, any attempt at responding on the phone feels futile.

    Sounds wonderful! I think the fog is more a problem in the summer when the difference between land mass that has warmed up and cold sea is more of an issue. But I am sure @franandaj is more of a fog expert than me...
    I knew it was a possibility at any time. So I was relieved when the skies were clear at the time we arrived.

    Glad to see that you're sharing your Spring Break trip! We live in boring, corrupt Illinois and use Midway often. You're so right about the short, scary runways! I love going to CA. My Dad lived there 30+ years and he lived near San Fran. We never spent much time in the city but would like to go back and do so. The Disney museum would be on my list. Too bad the restaurant didn't work out but it was probably the right call. That was a long day! Wave after wave of gourmet delights.....:rotfl2:
    This was my first time in SF and north/central California. There was certainly a lot to like about it!
     

    pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    Over?? You thought this Trip Report was over?


    Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?
    You think you're joking, but I have proof... uh... dang it. I left my laptop at home. That's where I have my Photoshop loaded.

    We Waited About 20 Minutes And Then Bailed. To be explained later.
    Standing by...

    We left on Saturday, April 20 at 2:00 a.m.
    Tooooo early. Blech.

    we were flying out of Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. at 6:00 a.m., and it takes us 2 hours to get there from Delaware
    Only 2 hours? This is not my experience.

    I’d found cheap tickets several months earlier and grabbed them, hoping that eventually Southwest Airlines would have a sale and I’d be able to re-book a more convenient flight at a more convenient time and a more convenient airport. That conveniently never happened.
    How inconvenient. I would convince them otherwise via a very convincing, sternly worded letter.

    you have to take the flight at Ridiculous O’Clock in the morning or Holy Crap It’s Late at night.
    I've taken both of those.

    We still end up flying with them because of the lack of bag fees--with a family of 6, we typically get destroyed on bag fees with the other airlines. So there’s still a gap, but it’s not as big as it used to be.
    I do the same with WestJet. The gap is gone, but... I get points and free bags (and much, much better service.)

    We enlisted my poor father to drive us to the airport, mostly because he’s probably the only person in the world who would let us abuse him like that.
    That's what Dad's do. I'll have more on that later in my soon to be started TR.

    Also, I had driven him and Mom to the airport for their vacation a couple months earlier, so he owed me.
    Leverage is a good thing.

    Landing at Midway is always a bit of an adventure,
    Oh? Never been there. Always O'Hare.

    so when you fly in it always feels like you’re going to land right on top of somebody’s house
    Hmmm... wonder if it's ever been on top of somebody's house?

    and then all of a sudden the plane drops right down onto a runway and the pilot immediately hits full flaps in order to brake hard. It can get exciting if you’re not ready for it.
    Um... actually... sounds like fun!

    (time travel is so mundane these days)
    I never said that before but will in the future.

    So instead of donuts, we ordered breakfast sandwiches.
    Gotta keep mixing it up to keep the natives from getting restless.

    Two points here: 1) Dunkin’ is not known for their breakfast sandwiches. They’re not great. And yet, 2) we were at that point of hunger where these overpriced crappy Dunkin’ sandwiches tasted like THE GREATEST BREAKFAST SANDWICHES OF ALL TIME. I think this says more about our frame of mind at the time than the actual quality of the food.
    Hunger. The ultimate ingredient in fine cuisine.

    You probably could have scraped chewing gum off the bottom of the lounge chairs and served it to us, and we would have raved about how you could really taste the sorghum.
    Not to self. Decline any invitations to eat at the Oblivious household.

    The flight from Chicago to Oakland was safe and uneventful, just the way you hope it will be.


    As always, I hoped none of our actions would mess up the future.
    Don't step on any butterflies.

    Actually... I flew west, into the past and... when I got back, my grandfather was dead. (Presume you've heard of the Grandfather paradox?)


    He was dead before I left... but, still.

    The car seat was nowhere to be found. Although we’d gate-checked it, it had failed to materialize in the jetway when we disembarked.
    How does that even happen??? Left it on the tarmac?

    In speaking with a Southwest representative…well, they had no idea where it was. Luckily, they were able to give us a loaner for our use.
    Still... Where's my... my car seat???

    I was given the choice of any of the three minivans they had in the lot: a Dodge Caravan, a Dodge Caravan, and a Dodge Caravan. We chose a Dodge Caravan.
    The choice of rental companies everywhere.

    I find driving a Dodge Caravan to be like shopping in a Walmart: in most instances, you get exactly what you need, but you’re worried the whole time that something bad is going to happen.
    The nice thing is, if you have it for more than a month or so... invariably something bad does happen. They're very reliable that way.

    the California Adventure (hey, that would be a cool name for a theme park)
    Nah. Too pedestrian.

    Meaning lots of walking, of course.

    Right in town, on an unassuming side street near strip malls and apartment buildings, is a place some of you might be familiar with.
    Hmmm... is it the manhole cover on the street in front of that gate?

    Since this is a place of business, Pixar does not offer tours. You can’t go past the gate.
    Huh. Obviously making enough money to not need tours yet...

    Sarah, our budding artist in the family, tried yelling at the gate: “Hey! Will you guys give me a job?”

    We haven’t received a response yet, but they may still be preparing their offer.
    Tell her to wait. With talent like hers, it's a sure thing.

    From there, we desperately needed some food, so we found a McDonald’s (hey, don’t judge—we were at that point of hunger again)
    You must've been starving!!!! :scared:

    We made our way to the Bay Bridge and crossed over to the city of San Francisco.
    Always wanted to visit. Perhaps some day.

    There are spectacular sights in every direction.
    Good to know!

    It may not look like much in this photo, but please keep in mind that the camera typically flattens out. On some of these hills, it felt like the minivan was making its hamsters give everything they had on their little wheels inside the engine to get to the top.
    I see it. Looks plenty steep to me!

    I have no idea how anyone drives a stick shift in this town.
    Carefully.
    With frequent clutch replacements.

    We reached the Presidio (it took about an hour to get there from Oakland, 16 miles away),
    :faint:

    and then, about a mile away from our preferred parking lot…we came to a dead stop. Just a line of cars as far as we could see, backed up all the way around a bend.
    Yay! You got to the parking lot early!

    We waited about 20 minutes, and then we bailed.
    Ah.
    Shame.

    Pretty good plan B!

    That was an opportunity for us to pick up a National Park passport stamp.
    Icing on the cake.

    It also gave us our first view of the Golden Gate Bridge, which came just as every visitor pictures it in their minds: through the glorious mesh of a chain-link fence.


    Beautiful, Clark.

    The most famous of these is the special Oscar(s) he was awarded for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
    ::yes::

    Please note it’s almost impossible to get a photo of these without also looking ridiculous in the reflection.
    Nice family photo. Too bad those annoying statues were in the way.

    Plan on closer to the 2 hour mark if you’re an impatient, uncultured swine like me.
    That's me.

    There are numerous displays and exhibits, some interactive, showing how painstaking the business of animation was back then. This wall shows over 700 individual drawings which together comprised about 15 seconds of actual movie footage.
    Holy crap.

    This was one of the earliest known drawings of Mickey Mouse.
    Cool!

    In order to save time, animators would re—use backgrounds so that they only had to draw the portion of the frame that was moving. This is a glimpse into that process.
    Knew that, but... had no idea it was like that!

    One of the most incredible parts of the museum were the sheer number of casually amazing drawings displayed all over. You could make a case for each separate drawing being a supreme work of art.
    Whoa...

    They even have a multi-plane camera fully assembled, showing the various plates used to achieve a 3-D effect.
    Knew of it... haven't seen one in real life, yet.

    Walt’s various personal quirks and touches on his organization are memorialized as well. We saw an example of his menu requests for an outing, and took note that he supported the restriction of vegetables, which I fully support.
    :laughing: So you're almost exactly like Walt!

    At the back of the museum, there’s a glass-walled walkway that affords you another tantalizing view of the Golden Gate. With a tree in the way.
    Nah. It just covers the missing part of the bridge.

    Scott and I sat down to see if we would have a similar brainstorm.
    I can't wait to see what marvels you two come up with!

    I’ve got it! Left-handed coffee mugs!
    You're kidding! I was just telling a co-worker about Lefty's in DTD.
    They have left handed mugs similar to this:



    One wall is taken up with Walt’s Carolwood Pacific Railroad model train,
    Coooool...

    As life goals go, “ride your own personal model train around in your back yard” ranks pretty high on my list.
    ::yes::

    The other big showstopper is the exhibit most of you have probably seen many times before: a huge scale model of Disneyland Park. It’s layered with a fascinating amount of detail, and we probably could have stared at this all afternoon. It’s almost worth the price of admission by itself.
    That's... pretty incredible.

    Nice shot!

    Dang it! Fences, trees... and now people!

    Whenever I’d seen the Golden Gate Bridge on TV, I always thought it looked nice, but was still just an orange bridge. What was the big deal? Now, having seen it in person—I get it. You have to stand there to truly appreciate the scale of it, much like the Grand Canyon.
    I'd love to see it (both actually... haven't seen the Grand Canyon yet either) some day.

    Anybody know what the blue spiky flowers are in this photo? I had no idea, but they looked neat.
    Yes of course. Very obvious. Simple really. Surprised you don't know.

    We made our way back to the van (no ticket, ha!)
    Bonus.

    I’m a sucker for a good BBQ joint
    What? This is a side of you that you've never revealed before!

    The line was out the door and down the sidewalk. That was a bit intimidating, but also a very good sign.
    ::yes:: If it ain't good... it's empty.

    Family: It’s cold and we’re not going anywhere. And we’ve been up since 2 in the morning.

    Me: But…BBQ.
    I'm on your side here.


    Remember that. It does happen.

    Finally, after about 20 minutes in which we’d moved a total of 5 feet, we bailed.
    Oh, man! Noooooo!!!!

    Dude! BBQ!!!

    But once we bailed on the line, our priority shifted to getting everyone to bed as soon as possible. And our hotel was south of the city, near San Francisco airport.
    Yeah, okay. I can see that. Long day.

    I let the Google Maps lady guide me out of the city streets. She led me straight into a 30-minute traffic jam.
    :headache:

    Then we went to the closest restaurant we could find, which was a local San Francisco masterpiece called Denny’s.
    Oh... no... :sad2:

    Sorry, no food photos. You’ll just have to picture in your mind how amazing it all was.
    Unfortunately, I've eaten at one once. I don't have to imagine it. It's indelibly imprinted on my psyche.

    Then we stopped at a grocery store for our snacks and PB&J sandwich supplies.
    There it is!!! Woot!

    There was one piece of good news: Southwest called and had found Drew’s car seat. They were going to deliver it to our hotel for us. So we had that going for us, which was nice.
    Well, that's good at least. I don't suppose they said what happened?

    We ended up being awake for about 21 hours that day. It wasn’t hard to fall asleep.
    Been there.

    Stealing this bit from @pkondz : The map of our travels.
    You're welcome. :)
     

    Terra Nova guy

    DIS Dad #811 Newfoundland, Canada
    Joined
    Nov 11, 2014
    But I thought the Avengers said you couldn't follow the Back To The Future time travel rules. This gets confusing.
    I'm going to admit how much of a geek I am (as if it wasn't obvious before) but I've been confused and honestly conflicted about the whole time travel rules thing ever since I saw Endgame. Which one do we follow - Back to the Future rues or Avengers rules? How did Captain America go back in time, live for 70 years and not screw up the timeline by betting on sporting events. It's madness I say! (as if time travel is a real thing...)
     

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