Friday, March 16, 2018

Cabrillo and Point Loma Lighthouse

The night before for date night, Russ and I were trying to decide where to go after dinner, and he suggested the lighthouse where we got some engagement photos taken. Well, that was a great idea until I found out it closed at 5 and sneaking in was out of the question because you have to go through military property to get there. So, we just decided to take the kids the next day. We never knew who this Cabrillo dude was before this... and I think I already forgot.

Luckily somebody had just been using these telescopes, and they still had some time on them.

The inside of the lighthouse had a really cool set of stairs.

We had a lot of takes before someone actually got the whole lighthouse in the picture. Yay!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Tater Chip

I don't usually get to hike with my kids, so I took the opportunity to go on the day after Knott's.

With all the hiking I do, I'm getting quite the collection on pictures of cool cairns.

There were giant boulders everywhere, and we found this cool little crevice behind one of them. I have to admit I was a tiny bit afraid of disturbing the harmony there and having a giant boulder crush me. It was vain of me to think my puny body could have moved that rock even if I wanted to.

She's cool.

I love the little "curio cabinet" formation of this rock. How did it get like that?

Last time we went to Potato Chip Rock, it was so crowded that we would have had to wait a long time to get our picture on it. This time we only had to wait for some military guys to finish their photo op, and then as a bonus, they helped my kids get up there.

I got a little zen before we left.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Berry Fun!

Remember how Thunder Mountain Railroad said it was the wildest ride in the wilderness? Well move over, cuz there's a new sheriff in town! Ghostrider is like my favorite rollercoaster ever! It goes fast, it goes far, it turns at high speeds, and it has that classic clickety clack the whole way!

He wasn't so sure about it. When the ride was over, he said he was never going on it again. I was pretty sure he was.

Next, the girls wanted to go on the Silver Bullet, but my little guy was too short, so we went on the Sidewinder instead.

I feel like I have some pictures like this from my childhood.

The Jaguar was tame enough that I felt I could take pictures during the ride. Fun times.

We had to do the log ride, of course, even though one of us "hates" log rides. What?!?! That's like hating a parfait! It just doesn't happen.

And... I took lots of selfies. I'm just going to admit that right up front. This isn't even half of them.

Knott's Berry Farm is famous for its boysenberries, and we didn't mind indulging in some boysenberry funnel cake. OH YEAH!

I used to love the swing ride when I was a kid, but now I don't really get the fun of being swung around until you're dizzy, and I was glad I had partaken of Tylenol and Dramamine that morning. I still always go on the swing ride for old time sake.

Another bench! Wow, this sure does look familiar.

Everybody loves bumper cars!

This was one of those crosses between a video game and a ride.

My oldest creamed us all. What does that say about my parenting?

The weather had been a little cooler with clouds, so it was no surprise that Bigfoot Rapids was all but deserted when we got there close to park closing. Luckily, there was a family walking out as we were walking in that gave us their ponchos. Bless their souls! We stayed dry, and my phone even survived after making a second round without us. I guess it had fallen out of my pocket.

After we got off, we gave the girls our ponchos and convinced them to go on it, too. Then we paid it forward and gave them to some grateful teens who were really worried about getting wet. It feels good to be nice, and this world is mostly full of nice people. Gives me hope for the future.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Daytona Beach

We had almost a full day on the day we were flying home, so we decided to head for the coast to enjoy the beach. It was supposed to be a two hour drive, but the traffic made sure that didn't happen, and we found out how hot it can be riding in a convertible in the middle of the day in Florida when you're stuck in traffic. We sure looked cool, though.

But eventually we made it, had lunch, and then headed to the taffy store. So many flavors of taffy!

The funniest part of the day was when we were all eating our taffy, and my youngest daughter suddenly cried out, "There's a tooth in my taffy!" She thought someone had accidentally dropped one into the taffy mix, not realizing it was her own. We laughed a good five minutes over that one.

For the next few hours, we just decompressed on a Florida beach. It was pretty sweet.

I tried very hard to get all the kids to jump at the same time, but it just wasn't happening. Some of them need to practice their jumping skills! They all looked like they were having a fun time, though.

I guess I shouldn't mention how our flight was delayed... yeah, let's just end this Florida story on a happy note. The end.

Friday, February 9, 2018


I have fond memories of visited Epcot center as a teenager. This one in particular because my mom won't let me forget it:

Twenty-something years later, here I am again!

We almost got sucked into the big ball as we walked in, but somehow we bypassed it and headed for the Test Track. That was a good move because the line for it was pretty long the rest of the day, and it was a really fun ride!

We got to design our own vehicles to "test" on the ride. We scanned our admission cards to save our cars to our card and then scanned them again when we boarded. My little guy and I designed a pretty funky car.

We learned from our mistakes the day before and reserved some fast passes on the cool rides the night before. Next stop... space.

It's never a good thing when the ride has barf bags so readily available. It simulated taking off and flying toward Mars with a moon gravity assist, and then overshooting the runway and almost sliding off a cliff on Mars. By the end of that, my sister and I were praying we wouldn't have to fly back to Earth before the ride was over. After that, we sat for a while to get our bearings back. Wow.

The Ariel ride was just what we needed to recover, although I was surprised it wasn't the submarine ride.

They had a bunch of aquariums as part of the ride at the end.

Soon it was time for lunch in "Mexico." Every time I've been to Epcot, I've eaten there. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention Russ and I went there on our honeymoon?

We saw so many of these troll creatures when we visited Norway in 2015, so this was a little blast from the past. The kids couldn't resist the nose picking picture.

Then it was off to visit as many of the countries as we could before our fast pass time for Soarin' over the world.

Okay, so we only visited like three, and then we made our biggest mistake of the day. The line said 45 minutes for Test Track and all our kids just wanted to go on it again, so we decided to wait. As we were walking in, they were changing wait time to one hour. AND THEN... when we were half way through the line, they said they were having technical difficulties and the wait would be longer than anticipated. This presented a major conundrum: wait without knowing how long it would take or bail and waste the 30 minutes we had already waited. We waited. And waited. And after and hour and a half, we were finally back on that ride. Here's the second car we designed.


By the time we got out, there was only a little daylight left, and we rushed back to the country showcase to use whatever time we had left to explore. Oh Canada!


We kind of hurried through the first few to get to Japan because I knew the kids would love this store!

After the fireworks show, we walked around the long way to quickly see all the countries we missed, like the USA.

Near Italy, they had backgrounds from famous paintings so you could go in and be the model for that painting. The Scream.

And the Mona Lisa. The smile is dead on.

And our last stop was Germany. By then, almost everyone was already gone.

The ball looked pretty cool at night.

Everyone's feet hurt, and I ended up carrying my little guy the last little way, but I was so proud of them for not complaining and having a really fun time.