I know I haven't posted in a while, but we've been away on a family holiday and tried to mostly unplug. I hope you've been well!
I wish I could say that most of my food was fresh and wonderful, but generally speaking it was deep fried and heavily salted. The joys of travelling with an uncertain eater (aka the second son) meant we had to go where he would eat without a fight- food should not be a fight, especially on vacation! For the most part, it was Disneyland park food for us. I tried to get apples and carrot sticks for the kids instead of fries every second meal, and did everything I could to find fruit and vegetables for husband and myself. It was hard, but not completely impossible.
Following, a few pictures and stories about the people we met, the places we went, the food we ate, the things we saw, and so on.
The Anaheim Tour Company
We did not rent a car. Vacation is meant to be enjoyed, not praying to survive the travel, so we hired this company to take us places- whale watching one day, and on a beach tour another day. As much as I loved being in the parks, 5 days straight would have been far too much. Having a couple of days off in between, and getting to spend some time at the ocean, made our vacation much more enjoyable for me. I even got to enjoy some solitude at the beach, which is something I sorely needed.
Our driver, Elliot, was funny and informative. Along the way he pointed out places and told us interesting stories and facts about the things we saw. He spent a lot of his time walking us around our stops to get oriented with where we were and where we needed to meet him to travel to the next place. He took terrific family photos of us, and never rushed us along. We met interesting people on the O C Cruiser, too. I would like to shout out to Jerry, the Sobeys assistant manager from the Belmont location in Edmonton, Alberta. It was great to meet you!
I would highly recommend hiring this tour company. When we go back to Southern California, we'll be using their services again.
Davey's Locker Whale Watching
When my second son was just 3 months old, we went whale watching off the coast of British Columbia. We were enthralled by the resident orcas that we got to see. However, that experience was obviously not memorable for the little person sleeping in my baby bjorn the whole time we were out at sea. Plus it was off the coast of Canada. While we can have beautiful, sunny, sometimes hot days in Victoria, BC, we can also have grey, windy, bleak, and cold days- even in July. This trip off the coast of southern California was beautiful. It made a really hot day a lot more pleasant.
We saw common dolphins, sea lions, and a humpback whale! The captain did everything he could to make sure all of us got a good view of him. There were plenty of other boats out there, but this whale hung around quite a bit. One of the passengers named him (her?) Pepe. Watching that whale come up from under us was amazing.
We learned that blue whales haven't been seen lately off the coast due to rising water temperatures and the subsequent lack of food, but the warmer water makes the humpbacks more likely to see. Marlin are also more common now in this location. Here's an interesting article I found that talks about this.
Both Newport and Huntington have a Ruby's Diner. The view is amazing, of course...I think the view from everywhere we went was amazing. We enjoyed our lunch and some sightseeing here before we went whale watching.
And look at this! I found a salad! The meal my second son had pretty much sums up most of what the kids ate most of the time we were gone...hot dog and fries.
Huntington Beach has a "full service" Ruby's Diner, according to our ATC driver Elliot, but we didn't go there. Instead, we went to Johnny Rockets, which I haven't been to before, not having them here in Alberta. There we ate some very tasty diner food and enjoyed conversation with the gentleman working there, CJ.
I recommend this place and that man. CJ made our time in Huntington Beach very enjoyable. He was full of conversation and advice about where to go and what to do. The facilities were clean and the location bright and enjoyable. That man took such good care of us!
Disneyland and California Adventure
At first I thought my husband was crazy when he insisted on a 5 day hopper pass. However, even with that, we didn't get to everything...though we got to repeat some of our favorites, and saw a bunch of shows, and 2 parades. It's the 60th anniversary of Disneyland, so maybe some of what we saw was a special anniversary thing, but I couldn't say for sure. We saw Aladdin, described to me as a broadway-style musical, Disney Junior Live-on-Stage, Fantasmic, Mickey's Magical Map, Disneyland Forever fireworks and show, the Pixar Play Parade, and Mickey's Soundsational Parade.
My favorite ride: Radiator Spring Racers (I seriously could have done this non stop. It was so fun!)
A close second: Soaring over California
Least favorite ride: Matterhorn- so bumpy and jerky. Awful.
A close second: Indiana Jones- so bumpy and jerky, far too loud. Couldn't understand a word of Indy's conversation. Husband and first son told me it wasn't like that the day before, so maybe there were technical difficulties.
Rainforest Cafe and Blue Bayou
These were 2 places we decided to get to after we were so done with burgers, pizza, and hot dogs. Both of us enjoyed the meals, albeit expensive. That being said, everywhere in the parks was expensive. More than half our spending money was spent on food and water. And I was hoping for vegetables, but the quantity was pretty sad. About half a cup at RC, plus about a quarter cup of mango salsa, and 4 green beans comprised their "seasonal vegetable" selection at BB, although I did have a side salad. You definitely pay for the atmosphere!
This pretty much sums up our holiday. I took hundreds of pictures, but most of them would be of no interest to anyone but our family, and I still have to sort them, delete the ones that didn't work, and organize them in some way.