Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Our Wonderful California Trip

We had the most amazing trip ever to California. We were able to go the beach, Legoland, the Newport Beach Temple, the LA Zoo, and of course, Disneyland and California Adventure. I thought about putting it one giant post but that would have been the biggest post ever so I've broken it down by days. There are 10 days total so make sure you click on older posts to see them all. It seriously was the best family trip we've had and I wish we were still there. Yeah for California!!

Day 1: The Long Drive

We decided to try and do the long drive to California in one day. Our goal was to leave by 7:30 am. Surprisingly we were able to actually pull out of our driveway by 8:15 and only made three trips back to get stuff we forgot! This is extremely good for us considering that we're always leaving at least 2 hours after our goal! Yeah for us!! I wish I could personally thank the person that invented the automobile TV/DVD. It is heaven and is the only way we could possibly make a drive that long in one day. Even Alexis was entertained as she watched through her little mirror. It's a lifesaver, I tell ya! Note to the Tongs. We played the spot the first Joshua Tree game, of course, and you know why you can't find it? It's totally falling over. That just makes the trip to St. George a little more sad!

The drive was long but uneventful and we only hit bad traffic in Las Vegas. We finally made it to Carlsbad about 8 pm and the first thing we did was stop at the beach. I love the ocean and I just couldn't wait to see it! The boys and I took a little walk down to the ocean. I love to see it at night. There's something about it that is so amazing and more powerful than in the day. It's so cool!

Day 2: Legoland

So we've heard a lot of bad things about Legoland, aka Lamo-land but also have heard that the best ages are from 3-7 which encompasses 3 of our 4 children. We decided that the best time to visit was now or never. Nick is so into Legos right now and wanted to go so badly. So we went and it wasn't great, but it wasn't awful either. The rides are not too spectacular. The new Indiana Jones ride was the best there. The coolest part was all of the things made out of Legos. There is a place called Miniland that has replicated some of the major cities in the world: San Francisco, NY, LA, Las Vegas, etc. It's amazing to see how many Legos go into making these! That was definitely my favorite part. The kids loved it though and were especially excited to get their own driver's licenses.

We also went to the new Legoland Sea Life Aquarium. This was part of the draw for me to go there. I was pretty excited about it but was a disappointed that it wasn't that great. The one in SLC is pretty comparable. But it's always great to see some cool sea life and the kids really enjoyed it.

Since Legoland closes at the early hour of 6 (huh?) we decided to head down to San Diego to my favorite place to eat, Anthony's Fishette, on the pier. It is so yummy-the best shrimp, fish, and chips I've ever had! It's always a favorite place for us to visit. We watched the beautiful sunset and enjoyed some delicious food. We then headed up to our condo in Anaheim where we would spend the rest of the week.

Day 3: Newport Beach

For Christmas my mom and dad gave all of us kids one of their timeshare weeks. This couldn't have been been a greater present since we were able to use it in Anaheim. Thanks Mom & Dad!!! We stayed at the Dolphins Cove Resort just a few blocks from Disneyland. It was so nice! It was so great to have a condo with a full kitchen so we didn't have to eat out the whole time. The kids loved the fun activities that they got to when we were actually there. Skylar was in the hula hoop contest and since she was the only participant and since she rocks the hula hoop, she won!

Since it was Sunday we decided to go to church next door to the new Newport Beach temple so that we could visit it afterward. The temple was so beautiful! It was so great to take our kids to see it. Afterwards we decided to go to the beach and walk around. It was such a beautiful day, all be it very warm. We had a wonderful day relaxing and enjoy being together as a family.

Later that night we did a little celebrating of Nicky's birthday (since we'd be at D-land all the next day) with some cake and ice cream and some presents! I can't believe my sweet boy is five already!!


Today was Nick's birthday and that meant Disneyland! We've decided to make it a tradition and take our kids to Disneyland ON their 5th birthday. Since 5 is an age that you seem to remember things we thought this would be so fun for our kids! So far it's been the best tradition ever! It's such a great deal this year because you get in free on your birthday (bonus for us since we were already planning it!) and since we had already bought a 3 day pass, we actually got a gift card for the price of admission to spend on whatever we wanted! On your birthday at Disneyland they give you a pin saying it's your birthday and make such a big deal out of you-every employee says Happy Birthday and you get special attention. It's so fun! Since it was Nick's day we let him be in charge of everything we did. So we headed straight to Tommorrowland and hit Buzz Lightyear and then made it to all the super cool stuff there including Space Mountain which my super brave 5 year old did not particularly like. The best part of the day was when Nick and Skylar both got selected to go on stage at the Jedi Training Academy. We are all super nerdy Star Wars fans so this was so awesome! Nick was lucky to get to be right on stage next to the main Jedi and he was so cute and little but so brave! He totally kicked Darth Vader's butt! Skylar did the same and they were so proud of themselves! It was great!

Later on we headed to Toontown to meet the mice and such and also got in most of the major rides at the park. The only downside was the immense record breaking heat of 100 degrees! We were melting! But the heat did not get us down and we had a great day! We stayed up until closing and loved every minute of it!