Okay, actually Lynn pretty much summed it up in her entry but I thought I would enter some of the highlights below that I remember.
The flight out was just fine and had no issues. Lynn and I did notice one young woman pretty much covered in tattoos. Now I don't really have an issue with people with tattoos but this woman had her arms, portion of her legs, cleavage, and some of her hands covered with tattoos. That and she was sporting a Pippi Longstalking hairdo but with vertical pigtails and red hair. Needless to say it was a lot of tattoos. When Lynn and I first saw her we both thought her dress (which was multicolored) had sleeves and covered her shoulders. Nope, that was the tattoos. That gives you an idea how how much coverage we are talking about. One thing I did note was that on the plane (I was sitting in the aisle as was she but 4 rows behind her) I saw she had a tattoo in her armpit that had text on it. I noticed since the text continued from out of her underarm. I could not make it out but I thought of some examples:
"Smell me later"
"Scratch and DON'T sniff"
"Contents under pressure"
So we land in Long Beach and had a good drive to Temecula. The whole visit was great and Lynn has already mentioned the wineries. Some highlights/comments:
We had visited the wineries in Temecula Valley 5 years ago and at that time it was just a few wineries with light traffic. I was very much a novice at wines and had no idea what I liked or did not like. Now it seems it is booming. I know it was a holiday weekend but in the past you could even talk to the owner or winemaker and they would tell you all about the wines, the process, etc. but not this trip, which seems ashame. Some of the notables were Ponte, Maurice Car'rie, Churon, Filsinger, Van Roekel, Wilson Creek, and Keyways. Now most wineries only sell their wines in-house, but some distribute locally in the area at a much cheaper price. This is why we always go to Long's Drugs afterwards ( this is like a CVS ). A bottle of wine at Maurice Car'rie would sell at $12 or $15 but at Long's you can find it for $4 or $8. Needless to say we stocked up on what we could.
Alex got to meet Jayden, his younger cousin and Lynn and I noted how Jayden sort of took to Alex since he was older and, in his eyes, very cool to play with. Alex had fun too but I think he had some trouble getting used to being a 'big brother'. Alex would sometimes get after Jayden for doing something Alex didn't want him to do or whatnot. Alex even got after Jayden in his sleep on one night. As we were still awake about 10PM, Alex just started saying in his sleep "Jayden...JAYDEN." It was too funny.
Meghan found solace away from the two boys playing in a swing that was hanging from the deck in the backyard. She would just swing in there for about 20 or 30 minutes at a time, just taking it easy. Sometimes with her juice, other times just with her own thoughts. Talk about relaxing.
Meghan enjoying the swing
Meghan checking her messages
After we had stocked up and visited for a few days it was off to Disney which is about a 30 minute drive from Temecula.
We pretty much checked in at the hotel, which was located across the street from Disneyland, and headed over. This was very convenient as it was easy for us to get Meghan back to the room for her naps but allow Alex to stay at the park with either Lynn or I.
While Disneyland is smaller than Walt Disney World, it seems a bit more manageable and less chaotic. I did very little planning for the trip unlike the trip to Walt Disney World and sort of let things happen as we can upon them. Alex had a great time and even rode some of the bigger rides which included two rollercoasters. This is a big step for him and we were glad to see that he was just fine with the rides etc. Meghan took it all in stride and had a pretty good time. Mostly she was interested in steering her own stroller around the parks and eating.
Here are some pictures we took at Disney. I had heard about the firehouse apartment that Walt had on a Disney special on TLC or the Travel Channel. The same special mentioned the center of Disney marked with a golden spike, which I found. And, oh yes, there be trombones there too! Arrrgghhhh!!!!
Firehouse at Disney. The apartment above the garage is where Walt would stay sometimes and watch the crowds.
This is the exact center of Disney. Do you know where you can find this?
Trombones at Disney
Lunch at California Adventure
A Mickey chip.
Alex participating at Playhouse Disney on Stage in California Adventure
Meghan having a gummy worm snack
On Wednesday we went back to Long Beach and decided to drive around and try to go to the beach and visit the Aquarium of the Pacific. It ended up being way too cold for a beach visit so we drove the PCH to Newport and back and got to see the Pacific from the comfort of the car we rented. The Aquarium was very cool. There were petting pools so that you could touch sharks and stingrays and other aquatic life that you don't see every day.
A stingray at the Aquarium trying to see what is on the other side of the pool wall.
Feeding time for the sea lion at the Aquarium of the Pacfic in Long Beach, CA
Alex remembered one type of jellyfish that we saw at the Aquarium from a IMAX film we saw about 2 or 3 months ago. They are unique in that they are from Palau and live in a fresh water lake. Not only that but they do not sting and they make their own food inside their bodies. Well, in the IMAX film the person who describes them says they are farmer jellies, where as at the Aquarium they were labled as something else. Alex turned to me and out of the blue tells me that that is wrong. "They are called farmer jellies like in that IMAX film we saw and they make their own food." Sometimes he just comes right out and blows me away with what he remembers and understands.
We actually went back home on Thursday with an uneventful flight. Well, mostly. Meghan had some issues since she started to teethe with her 2-year molars starting to come out, so the flight could have been a bit more tranquil. :) In any event we had a good and relaxing weekend before it was back to the grind on Monday.