Monday, December 30, 2013

Over the Hills and Through the Woods..... Mickey's House we went (in an attempt to distract us from be homesick because we weren't at 'Grandmothers House' over Christmas)!  

We just returned from a week long road trip (sans trailer) through California which culminated in spending Christmas Eve and Day at the Disneyland Resort! We had a great time and really enjoyed seeing all the different regions/town as we drove. We saw a lot of attractions (Yosemite! San Francisco! The Desert! San Diego! ) that we plan to experience next time! We took hundreds of photo's which I condensed into collages (Thanks PicMonkey) for your viewing pleasure,lol. So, without further adieu....may I present The ------ do California

First, we drove East through Oregon to Klamath Falls to get something on the truck fixed again - we found cold, snow and icy roads and decided we don't miss that AT ALL!
(see our 'Christmas Tree' this year - a lighted garland strung across our mega slide from which we hung our ornaments)

From Klamath Falls we headed down the very boring I5 to Fresno, where we spent the night before heading off to our first destination - Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. I am definitely my fathers daughter - he has passed on his love of big trees to me and we wanted to see the Giant Sequoias.  We were able to start at Grants Grove on the northern, Kings Canyon, side of the park - while the sequoias are massively impressive we really enjoyed the beautiful drive through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain and the climb up thousands of feet in elevation.

Grants Grove home of General Grant - the 3rd largest tree in the world.  The kids thought it was pretty cool to walk through a fallen log!

From Grants Grove we drove the Generals Highway though the parks to the Giant Forest on the southern end of the park. The Giant Forest is home to General Sherman - the largest tree on Earth!  It is pretty astounding to consider - trees are so amazing!
Girls got to make two tiny snowmen - we had hoped to take them sliding but it is a dry year and there wasn't much snow!

After visiting General Sherman we descended from the Sierra Nevada's along an insanely twisty, stomach churningly high, jaw droppingly beautiful stretch of road.  There were miles and miles of hairpin turns that had to be taken at less than 10 MPH - thank goodness for a sign recommending we descend in a low gear or we would have burned out of brakes for sure! 
The Sierra Nevadas are very different from the Rocky Mountains we know, but beautiful in their own way.

We spent a night in Visalia before speeding along the I5 through the smoggy San Joaquin valley to our next destination - DISNEYLAND! We arrived early enough to spend some time at Downtown Disney.

The next day was Christmas Eve and we were up bright and early - a good strategy which allowed us to experience more rides than we thought we would be able to given the Holiday crowds! It was a fun, tiring day - poor Violet and Joses feet were so sore (Hazel scams a ride on my footplate)! 

It was really special to experience all the Christmas decorations and experiences such as the Feliz Navidad parade/street show. Unfortunately we didn't realize that our World of Color fast passes didn't guarantee us a decent spot so we weren't in line early enough, therefore we couldn't see at all - major bummer as the Winter Dreams WOC was one of the Christmas events we were most looking forward to!

We got back to the hotel where the girls had hung their stockings....
(See the photo where V is sprawled out OVER H? Despite her assertions that H takes up the whole bed and wriggles all night....)

They awoke Christmas morning to find that 'Santa' (We don't 'do' Santa, yet the girls insist on believing?) had filled their stockings.  Because we had already exchanged and opened presents with my parents when they visited, we were able to head straight for Disneyland!
The girls bought each other the doll sisters Elsa and Ana from the movie Frozen - so sweet how their dollies experienced DL with them and played together all the way home.

We were able to ride Its a Small World twice in a row - I love all the attention to details at Disneyland, so it was nice to be able to experience the ride twice!

Disneyland got more and more crowded as the day went on, but we were still able to ride a few rides before waiting over 2 hours to secure a prime viewing spot for the parade...

After the parade we attempted (unsuccessfully - accessibility FAIL) to ride Pirates of the Caribbean before waiting for the fireworks - which ended up being cancelled due to wind - MUCH TO OUR DISAPPOINTMENT.

We had a great time at Disneyland and hope to experience Disney World next year - maybe not at the Holidays though! 

We headed home over 2 long days of driving, with a stop in San Francisco for the night - definitely a city we need to return to!  Driving home along the 101 was beautiful, we enjoyed watching the landscape change from dry hills (where Jose had to fight the urge to jump on a donkey and ride up and down the to redwood forests....It was great to get 'home' to our trailer!

Accidental tourist.....

Now it's back to the same old routine, I'm psyched up for a fresh start at the school with the girls and looking forward to our next adventure.....

No comments:

Post a Comment