Over Jaryn’s break from school, Nicole and I took the family to southern California to enjoy Disneyland (and California Adventure), Legoland, and the beach. With the addition of Beauen to our small but ever growing family, it was apparent it would be more cost effective to haul everyone by van, than attempt to drag them, our luggage, and car seats on a plane.
We had originally intended to get up early and drive the entire day to get to Garden Grove. Yeah, well that did not work out so well. We made it about 1/2 of the way there stopping in Las Vegas at one of the higher class establishments, La Quinta Inn, to stay the night. I won’t elaborate on that stay, suffice to say sometimes a little more out of the pocket book is better.
The next day we drove from Las Vegas to Garden Grove, and our hotel, The Hampton Inn, about a mile away from Disneyland. Since we arrived in the afternoon, we decided not to waste our day passes for a half day of fun, So we ended up staying at the hotel and going out to eat at one of favorite out of state restaurants, Outback Steakhouse!!!
We had promised the kids we would take them to the pool to ease the disappointment of not being able to go to Disneyland that night. As you can see, the wind was not our ally.
Our day at California Adventure was a blast. The kids absolutely loved everything about it. Jaryn was constantly complaining about things he couldn’t do, Brianne was in awe at all the princesses walking around, and Beauen was just glad to be out of the house and take in a few new sites and sounds. Jaryn was even brave enough to go on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Which is not for the feint of heart.
What can I say, Disneyland was Disneyland. We ended up hitting a lot of the rides we had not ridden the other times we had visited. We ended up in line for close to and hour and a half to go down Splash Mountain. Finding Nemo was not anything like I expected it to be. The rest was a blast. The only drawback each night was the mile walk back to the hotel. Since the shuttles had stopped running by the time we were done playing or eating we were forced to haul everyone back to the hotel a pie (by foot).
Following a full day at Disneyland we drove to Oceanside to crash at our nicely furnished beach condominium Nicole found through Craigslist.com. I think we all slept until 10am or so the next morning. Relief. Nicole and I took the kids to the beach to enjoy some waves and sand, especially Beauen. We had decided already to take a day break between Disneyland and Legoland, so a little rest and relaxation after two solid days of toting around 3 kids until all hours of the night was a welcome event.
Legoland was exciting. Not as big as I thought it would be, but again the kids were just glad to take in new sights and sounds. Brianne and Jaryn loved to drive the little Lego cars and get their very own drivers license. Mom and dad enjoyed not having to rush from ride to ride. It was all good. The one drawback to Legoland are the strategically placed kiosk at every turn.
The drive home was extremely long. We again did not make the entire drive in a single attempt. We stopped in Mesquite hoping to find a room (this at midnight) but were told there were no rooms at the Inn, any of the Inns. Apparently, there was a huge fight in Las Vegas so everyone was booked up. I was temped to stop a small “motel” that had a room available, but decided against it.
After another hour or so drive we arrived in St. George (around 1:00 or so) and found the closest, most accommodating place we find and hit the sack.
The following day drive home was a snap. We made the entire drive from St. George to South Jordan in around 4 hours or so. Not bad.
What an awesome trip!
Here is the route we took from our home.
If really interested, see more photos of our trip to California.