A week in California
Last week’s vacation rocked. I wanted to share a few pictures we took, and just a touch of what we did there. Mainly, it gives my mom something to look at and share with her friends, but I’ll try to keep it interesting for the rest of you.
First, I want to say a big “Thanks!” once again to my wife’s sister and her husband, Karen and Doug Yingling, for opening up their home and giving us a place to sleep. Here’s a picture of all the kids together on our first day there.
You can find out more about Karen and the three beautiful girls she’s adopted from China on her blog. She shared a bunch of her own pictures in her latest post, which includes a beach trip I’m not going to show here.
Her oldest girl, Cami, and our daughter, Karen, really hit it off. Cami suffered severe burns as a very young child and she is going through several surgeries to repair the damage. I would be lying to say that all of that damage isn’t difficult to see in a child so young, but I’m an adult. All of my kids just saw another kid to play with, and I was very proud of them. If you want to learn a little bit more about Cami’s story, it was covered by the local CBS affiliate in LA and you can watch the video here.
We took a couple trips to the local beaches. Our first afternoon there, we headed out to see our good friend Amber Martin at the Portuguese Bend Club. We got a chance to explore some tide pools and get wet in the salt water.
All the pictures look like everyone had a great time. To be honest, though, neither of the girls were into the ocean that first time out. They both got in deeper water than expected and ended up soaking their clothes. They both got knocked around by the waves. They had more fun on the playground than in the water. My son on the other hand…
Apparently, my son loves the ocean. A lot. We thought we were raising a big old desert rat, but we learned that he was just getting used to the feel of sand between his toes because he was dreaming of how it would feel with salt water. Silly us.
Speaking of big rats…
That’s right. We couldn’t get that close to Disneyland without giving the big rat some of our money. (Alright, a lot of our money.) It had been a few years, so we spent three days there. Of course we paid cash for everything. You have to love a vacation that you’re not paying off three months later.
Disneyland tip #1: Always go in the off season. During the weekdays when California public schools are in session. A month after the school semester starts is excellent. Avoid the holidays and the holiday season.
Disneyland tip #2: If your kids are old enough, ride the coasters using the Single Rider lines. You don’t get to ride together, but you’ll all get to ride more often, and they’re more convenient than Fast Passes.
Disneyland tip #3: Never eat at the burger joint in Tomorrowland. Seriously, avoid the quick, fast-food style eateries entirely. They’re outrageously over-priced, the food quality is low, and the service is usually lousy. Eat at the high quality sit down places where they serve you. You’ll pay more, but you’ll walk away pleased with how your money was spent. For example, I highly recommend the Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square.
Disneyland tip #4: Little girls love princesses and fairies. Not so much a tip, I guess, but it’s important to remember when going to Disneyland. You’re not just there for the fun rides. Take the time out to get photographs with characters.
Good trip. Hopefully some great memories for the kids with the family.
Now, back to work.
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