OK, since some people have actually asked, here’s my abbreviated description of my trip, with photos linked for the bandwidth challenged.
When we got to Southern California, we settled into the hotel, which was much nicer than any 65 dollar hotel a half block from Knott’s has any right to be. Alex immediately wanted to go in the pool. Sure, why not?
Wednesday, we met up with my friend from high school, Michele, and her kids. We went to the Santa Monica pier and Pacific Park which is on the pier. The Boy really liked the Pacific Plunge, which acts similar to a big bungee cord with seats. The kids played at the amusement park for about 8 hours, then went to the beach and played at the playground for a couple more.
Thursday, we hit Knott’s (a massive three minute walk, including the time waiting for the light to change) with my brother, his wife, and their brood. Yeah, too many kids for me to track. Sheesh. The two younger boys really liked the train that was powered by kids. The older girl, whom we last saw in 2005, has become the cutest little four year-old munchkin in the world. Alex and his cousin climbed the rock wall‘s medium difficulty side.
Friday was Tar Pit day. That was pretty darned cool. Alex was very impressed with the tar lake and all the fossils. In all the thousands of fossils in the pits, only one human so far. On the way to see Wacko, we passed the Ratatouille premiere setup on Hollywood Blvd. Wacko used to be in West Hollywood, and had a great transparent floor inlaid with baseball cards and small toys. It’s now in Los Angeles and has no such floor. *sigh*
Saturday we visited with Lysa and her hubby, and Alex played in the pool. He played in the pool a lot.
Sunday we went to the South Coast Plaza (formerly the nation’s largest mall) and then to the Block at Orange to play games at Dave & Busters and to hang with my friend Cynthia. On the way back to the hotel, we encountered one of the stranger playground toys ever, so we had to stop.
Monday was the Aquarium of the Pacific with Dave and Julia and their kids. It was almost as cool as the aquarium in Monterey, but not nearly as many jellyfish. One tank? Alex loved the touch tank, of course. Little Kailyn insisted on getting drenched outside; good thing it was warm enough to flash instantly into steam.
In all the time in SoCal, we didn’t enter the ocean because the beaches stayed below 70 degrees all week. A bit chilly to pop out of the Pacific into that breeze, thanks. Good thing we had a pool at our inland hotel (75-80 most days).
Tuesday, we hit the road. Not too long a day, ending in Tucson with my aunt and her menagerie. Tucson was 103 degrees. 103. Seriously.
Thursday we returned home, there was much rejoicing as we finished the 700 mile drive that day, and then we resumed our regularly scheduled programming.