04 Jul 2005 @ 2:11 PM 

And then we went to Arizona. Flagstaff, although not really a “destination” for our purposes, is a neat little city. The service at the restaurant was sluggish, but the food was quite good. I guess they do things at a different pace there.

The Canyon was the Canyon. Grand. Deep. Smoky. Yeah, we went during one of the biggest wildfires in Arizona history, so we couldn’t see the North Rim from the South Rim, and could barely make out the bottom at any great distance. Pretty darned impressive anyway, of course.
Grand Canyon

After seeing the deepest part of Arizona, we saw the highest point, Mount Humphreys, from Kendrick Park – a fine place for a picnic. The ravens cleaned up any crumbs quite thoroughly after we ate. 🙂
Mount Humphreys

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 02 Jan 2019 @ 09:55 PM

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 04 Jul 2005 @ 12:15 PM 

After San Diego, we drove up the coast, getting to the Holland American store just as it opened. Then we continued past Santa Barbara and spent an hour or two in Solvang, including the Mission Santa Ynez. Alex scored a bag of candy.

Monterey! There is just so much cool stuff to do in the Monterey area that we ended up cutting out a lot of planned trips to do the unplanned.

Of course, we went to Cannery Row and Fisherman’s Wharf to eat seafood and watch sea lions.
Seal on Rock

And we went to the fantastic Monterey Bay Aquarium, where we spent much longer than my usual 3-4 hours. I’ve never spent a full day at the aquarium before, but there was much to see and many people to push through.
Regal Tang

Alex got a stuffed sea otter, which has become one of his favorite sleeping buddies for the past week. We had some of the most inattentive service imaginable on Cannery Row, and made up for it with the best service on Fisherman’s Wharf (we love you, Fadi!).

We also went to two missions in the Monterey area, Carmel and San Juan Bautista. Carmel Mission is where Junipero Serra was buried, and San Juan Bautista includes a view of the original El Camino Real behind the cemetary.
Carmel Tower

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 02 Jan 2019 @ 10:00 PM

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 04 Jul 2005 @ 11:58 AM 

We spent a day at the San Diego Wild Animal Park with my grandfather. He’s a member of the San Diego Zoo, so we only ended up paying for Alex’s ticket. Pretty sweet deal, and Grandpa knew his way around the park pretty well – he’s spry for 87.

Among the lions and tigers and bears, Alex also got to feed some lorikeets. Those little buggers sure can suck down that sugar water!

When Alex is older, we’ll go back during a cooler time of year and take all those long walks into the various habitats. Two miles of leisurely strolling is neat; two miles of dragging a recalcitrant five year-old is less so by far.

We learned a lot about the different animals in the park; I even discovered that Europe has bison too – who knew?

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 02 Jan 2019 @ 09:59 PM

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 04 Jul 2005 @ 10:58 AM 

We spent a rather long day at Disneyland, waiting in a lot of lines. This is the first time I’ve been to the park during tourist season, and it will hopefullybe my last. We got to see the big 50th Anniversary parade twice, and went on the big rides.

Alex and I started out with the Astro Orbiters – he only wanted to go up, never down. 🙂 We all went to Star Tours, which is just as cool now as it was nearly twenty years ago when they put it in. Always worth the wait, especially with the cool waiting area you get to hang out in. Space Mountain is closed until next month, so we went on Autopia, which reminded us that the FastPass thing Disney does is essential for some rides. When did Autopia become a popular ride? It was always a short line when I lived in SoCal, but definitely not this year. Hooboy.

Armed with the knowledge that the park was substantially more crowded than any other time I’d been there and that Alex really wanted to go on Splash Mountain, we headed across the park to get our FastPasses for that ride. Amazingly, at 11:30 we got passes to return at 4:30 that afternoon! While I waited in the line to get the passes that would allow us to not wait in a longer line, Angela and Alex went on the Pooh ride. He was very happy.

Then we had to hit the Tiki Room, which is just as over the top as always, although it is prettier now.

As the day progressed, we hit the Matterhorn, watched the big parade, met up with Dave and family, hit the Matterhorn again, attempted to go on Pirates (closed as we walked up, darnit), and shot Zerg with the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. All told, a pretty fun and busy day. We stayed through the final fireworks show, which is fantastic.

Alex and Nathan met a princess.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 02 Jan 2019 @ 09:59 PM

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 04 Jul 2005 @ 10:35 AM 

Time to give all the expectant readers a recap of our funfilled two weeks away from San Angelo. First up, Tucson…

We went to the Tucson Zoo, which is pretty nice. The peacock put on quite a show for us.

And, of course, we spent a lot of time talking with my Aunt Bette. Alex liked playing with her Roomba vacuuming robot, and the dogs thought Alex was an alien creature.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 02 Jan 2019 @ 09:58 PM

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