Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Spring Break 2007 - Trip to Disneyland

FMC Montage

We are home from a fantastic trip! Here's the report:

Day 1: Scotts Valley, CA to Pismo State Beach

We started on our trip from Greg's cousin's house where the family had gathered for Easter. After an egg hunt and lunch, we headed off. We had a smooth drive down to Pismo State Beach. California is so beautiful this time of year! We arrived at Pismo just past dinner time and had a brief debate about whether or not to stop for Ribs but decided that burgers on the grill would be just as good (or almost as good). When we got to Pismo, the rangers had called it quits for the day and we were listed as being in the non-hookup area. No biggie except we'd PAID for hookups. We were annoyed but figured that since the campground was full, we didn't want to get woken up at 11pm to sort it all out if someone else rolled in really late with a reservation for hookups. So, we went to the non-hookup area. It was lovely -- lots of grass, birds everywhere, pretty trees. There were a lot of people with off-road vehicles which is to be expected at Pismo -- because of the beach management there. Before we ate, we decided to walk out on the beach and enjoy the sunset. It was spectacular although the kids did not last long in the "stay clean and dry" area. Still it was worth it -- even though we missed the actual sunset due to wet, cold children.

Ruthie and Gage playing in the waves
The kids playing in the waves

Day 2: Pismo State Beach to Simi Valley, CA

I woke up and took a walk while everyone was still asleep. Saw some fabulous birds and enjoyed the morning. I was pretty disappointed by the state of the campground. Lots of trash everywhere. Kids were harassing the local geese. Just an unkempt air about it. On the other hand, they had a lovely native plant garden that someone had obviously spent a lot of time on. The ranger came around to make sure we were checked in and I told her about the confusion. She said we should have just gone to the hookup sites. "Well, we didn't want to cause a problem," I said. "Sorry," said she. Sigh.

We headed off around 10am. The drive down to Santa Barbara is lovely. Especially coming through the mountains and then seeing the Pacific splayed out below you with sun shimmering on the waves. Wow! We had lunch in Santa Barbara which was something of a joke. We could not find a fast food restaurant that we could park at. Finally Greg just dropped me off and circled the block -- of course, I was done ordering and waiting out front before he could get back again. We hit the highway again and found a lovely little seaside park where we had our lunch. The view was stellar and there was a place for the kids and Greg to play tag on the grass. We even had an SOB pull in after us! I couldn't believe it. This BEAUTIFUL spot with temperatures a perfect 75 degrees and they didn't even get out of the vehicle or even open the windows.

We continued on our way. Greg's aunt and uncle live in Simi Valley. We got to see the whole family -- aunt & uncle, cousins, and their kids. Really special. We actually left their at around 10:00 pm to drive over to Anaheim. We figured it would be better to do the cross-LA trip with no traffic and it was. Although arriving at midnight was a bit late! :)

Gage sleeping in FMC
Gage catching some ZZZ's on the way to Simi Valley

Day 3: Simi Valley, CA to Anaheim, CA

We pulled in around 12pm. The Anaheim RV Resort gets full marks from us. They knew we were coming in late and gave us SUCH a convenient site -- right on the road. No complaints from us. We backed right in . . . well, not RIGHT in. The FMC died on us as we were backing in. We both had visions of being stuck and having to wake someone up to help us but luckily it started up after 2-3 tries. Whew!

We pulled in, moved the kids up to their bunks from our bed, and crashed.

As you might imagine, we had an early morning. The kids had a blast in Disneyland. We met my sister and her husband there. We were there from about 9:30am until 10:30pm. Exhausting. But so much fun!

Mickey signing their books
The kids got to meet Mickey!

Day 4: Dinner Guests!

Another day in Disneyland. We saw and did so much. The kids had a blast. We left early -- in order to meet Ron and Louise Herbert for dinner. They met us at our campsite and we had such a good time with them. I am afraid that exhaustion was setting in and I didn't even think about getting the camera out and taking pictures. We had some good wine, munchies, and a pretty good dinner. The kids crashed with movies after a little bit of running around wildly. I hope that we were good hosts -- to be honest if they said we stopped talking at one point and fell asleep during dinner, I wouldn't be a bit surprised. Two full days on one's feet is a trifle mind-numbing! They are wonderful though we had such great conversations. If you get the chance to meet them, you definitely should do. They are good people!

Louise and Ron
Since I didn't take a picture of our guests, here is a shot from Felton last November.

Day 5: California Adventure

More theme park -- can you believe it? My feet couldn't believe it either. I don't know how we survived this one, I'll tell you. CA Adventure is the newest addition to the Disneyland Resort. We didn't know what to expect but we had fun -- and to be honest, given the state of exhaustion that the 4 of us were in by this point, the fact that we enjoyed it says a lot about how much fun it must be. We even got the kids --- Gage too! -- to do the Tower of Terror. Wow! That is a ride!

We left early again -- around 6pm and even the kids weren't complaining. We got back to the FMC, futzed around, and crashed. Exhaustion again.

Day 6: Anaheim, CA to Refugio State Beach

We took two days to drive home again. The drive to Santa Barbara was lovely again. I drove a big chunk of it. I found the FMC to be nice to drive despite the strong winds and lots of traffic. Greg's new mirrors (which I'm sure he'll tell us all about soon) are wonderful! We arrived at Refugio and, again, were not happy with our camping experience there. We were assigned the best site on the worst row -- backed right up to the train tracks and 101. There were plenty of other sites available else where in the campground that would have been quieter. There was a LOT of trash everywhere. We were right next to several group areas. Thankfully, everything was better than we feared it would be. The group campers didn't party all night loudly and did finally turn off their generators (although not until at least an hour past the quiet time). The trains weren't too bad -- the worst was the 6am freight train -- long and loud! I did see lots of birds and that was nice. Still, we didn't mind that we were only staying one night. The kids had a blast on the beach again though.

Playing in the waves at Refugio State Beach
They love playing in the waves!

Day 7: Refugio State Beach to home

We had a leisurely morning at Refugio and headed off for home. The drive was nice again although we were driving into a storm. Lots of wind and some rain. The FMC did great, of course. We love it more each time we use it. The kids played in the back and read and Greg and I got to talk. We used to enjoy camping in our 5th wheel but I have to say the time spent driving is SO much better in the FMC. There are, of course, things we want to change about the FMC -- projects will never end -- but we are so glad we made this purchase. Driving down the road in it is a fantastic feeling.

That's our FMC reflected in that 5th Wheel
(This is from when I was driving!
We used the zoom on the camera -- I wasn't tailgating that close!)

Oh yea, The FMC got a new decoration, too! A Disney antenna ball -- Ruth and Greg put it up there. Gage was challenged though -- he had to climb up on top the next day! :)

Putting the Disney Ball on our antenna

Our next trip is to Big Sur in May! We both have some projects to report on before then!

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