Monday, September 22, 2008

California Dreaming Part 2

Our visit to Monterey was more laid back than our Disneyland visit. No big crowds, the weather was cooler and no giant talking animals.

One of the highlights was 17 mile drive, a scenic drive along the coast.

The worst thing about 17 mile drive, if not the entire trip was our stop at Bird Rock. As the name implies, bird rock is populated with a lot of birds(and few sea lions). The smell was perhaps the worst thing I have ever smelled....ever. Take a dumpster full of moldy food, through in 100 lbs of dirty diapers and 50 gallons of yak vomit, and you would have something almost as bad as this. The amazing thing is that there were picnic tables nearby...and people were sitting there eating. I would have taken a picture of this but I was on the ground, convulsing.
Near the end of the drive stands the Lone Cypress; its that tree on the rock. It may not look like much, but this baby has withstood the harshest of storms for nearly 250 years. Pretty amazing.
Another day we took a trip down to Cannery Row which has lots of shops, restaurants and cans

We stopped into the Ghirardelli shop and got sundaes.....mmmm boy I love me some Ghirardelli hot fudge sundaes. This was a prelude to the chocolate greatness awaiting in San Francisco.
Wonder-pea had her eye on a bake good or two...or a super delicious bakery. Oh sweet Ghirardelli weep not, for it will never replace my heart

Waving good-bye to Monterey, we headed further north for the extremely steep streets of San Francisco.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Drink Up Me Hearties

Talk like a pirate day is here!! ARRRR! In case you are rusty and need to brush up on your pirate speak, check out this informative video....

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

California Dreaming Part 1

Our big summer trip this year was to California. We met my parents in LA and set out to visit Disneyland, Monterey and San Francisco all in one week. It was a busy trip but really fun nonetheless.

I haven't been to Disneyland in nine years and wow has it changed. The Downtown Disney area and new park were under construction when last I visited. We stayed at the Grand Californian and this was our view from the room. It was pretty nice, looking out your window each morning and feeling like your NOT in Anaheim.

I love night time pictures...much more than my camera does; if only I had a tripod.

Unlike Disney World, Disneyland still has Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. I'm a big fan of the cartoon so it was fun to get to ride it once again. Wonder-pea was not impressed, as going to Hell is not her idea of a good time. O-K fine be like that....

Lil Pumpkin looks for attractions that won't send you to Hell....

We all really liked the Storybookland ride. The attention to detail on the houses and scenery is super cool. Plans are underway to build this ride in my backyard.

It was great to see the subs running once more. A few buddies worked on the Nemo redo and I so wanted to check it out, but the line was over an hour each and every time. I bet the management folks in Florida are regretting filling in their sub lagoon; damn us!

Fun little spot off to the front of the castle that we happened upon. I hear it has been bulldozed for a Tinkerbell/Fairies area......boooo

Wonder-pea is a HUGE Wall-E fan. Wall-E himself is HUGE at Disneyland.

This was the first time we had every been to Disney's California Adventure, and I was surprised that we actually spent a good bit of time there. The park is not a total bust there are some nice sections like this.....

...but then there was this.

Notice the complete lack of shade. The only sunburn I got the entire trip was from walking around Paradise Pier. If the intent was to recreate the hot, summer time misery of walking along a ocean boardwalk then: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

I was looking forward to checking out the Animation attraction but was bummed that it's more or less a one visit deal. Once you take the quiz in Beast's library or record your voice in Ursula's Grotto (the inside IS very well themed and neato looking), you don't really need to come back here again....ever. I welcome the changes the park will be experiencing in the coming years.

After a couple days of Disneyland fun, it was time to drive up the coast to Monterey.