Monday, June 08, 2009

Family vacation 2009

The weather - awesome.
The crowds - thin and few in number.
The trip - great!

We left on Friday after I got home from work. Long ago, I decided I prefer to make the California trip over two days. It costs more, but making the drive in one day is exhausting. We arrived early enough in St. George that I had time to drive out and say hello to my parents. That seemed like a good way to start the trip. That night, Braden and I did some speed work on a local running trail. The next morning, we had an over-priced, poor quality breakfast at JBs, then we made the trek down to Anaheim.

The last two times, we have stayed at the Staybridge Suites. I highly recommend them. It's about a mile away from Disneyland, but the accommodations are clean and nice, the breakfast is a good quality and for us, having 3 beds plus a sofa bed is awesome. This night, Braden and I went for a longer run through the streets around Disneyland. I'm pretty sure we strayed where we shouldn't have, but it was one of the best runs I've had lately. We cruised for about 5 miles.

Sunday was our first day in the park. We decided to start with California Adventure. Grandma mentioned that Soarin' Over California is her favorite ride, so we started with that. Man, I love that ride. I always feel just a bit emotional when it starts. I know that's silly, but hey, that's me I guess. We hit most of the major rides in the park, then moved over to Disneyland and watched the fireworks show.

Monday we were off to Universal Studios. I loved the new Simpsons ride. They crack me up. I should also mention that Traven was actually very good this trip. He had a bit of a hard time not being able to get down and run around like he likes, and he was a bit of a bear when he got too tired, but all in all he had a great time.

Tuesday we spent in Disneyland, then Wednesday we sort of just hit the spots we wanted to again and took in a few shows. It is a lot of fun vacationing with Glenn and Allison, along with their kids, and also with Grandma and Grandpa and Jeremy and Emily. It's interesting to see the different personalities play out, interact and sometimes have a bit of conflict.

I should mention two funny, embarrassing moments from this trip. First, we had a load of our family on It's a Small World, and we managed to get our boat stuck. We had to off load, then shamefully parade back to the front of the ride to board another boat. I mean, they just had the ride shut down for months to fix it up for fat people, and we broke the thing! Then, on Roger Rabbit, Lori managed to break that one down all by herself. It turns out that, if you don't board as quickly as they need you to, the ride shuts down. Actually, she was just trying to get Traven on board, but we still tease that it was all her fault.

Thursday was our journey down to San Diego. Everyone slept the whole trip, well except me! We then went straight to the zoo. The zoo was a lot of fun, but sadly Glenn and Allison's vehicle was burglarized while we were in the zoo. That put a damper on things. I feel very badly for them. Glenn also got a speeding ticket on the way down, so it was not the best of vacations for him.

Friday we spent at Sea World. Traven loved the shows. He was so sad when one would end, so we would have to find some more as quick as possible. This is the day he really wore down, and pretty much just wanted his Daddy to haul him around. I was sore and exhausted by the end of the day, but I really didn't mind.

In 2010, the new water show will open up in California Adventure, and then in 2011 the Little Mermaid ride will open. Sweet! And Kaylee, Jeremy and Grandma stayed late one night and saw a preview of the new fireworks show starting soon. They loved it.

That's pretty much the story of our trip. Saturday we drove up to Las Vegas, and Sunday evening we were home. All in all, it was a great trip. Kaylee starts college in a couple of weeks, so I really wanted to have one last family vacation while we could. It gets harder and harder the older the kids get to find time to do things together.