The Disneyland Pilgrimage & Cruise - COMPLETE

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Allie's picture
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The Colonel wrote:
You could put garlic and olive oil on an old boot and I would eat it awesome

great report!

Ditto!

Holy cow, Holly! You weren't kidding! That is an insane amount of sea lions! eek eek eek The Museum and the Alcatraz tour sound awesome! Sorry you didn't get more time to enjoy more of them!

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Great report Holly! Love reading about your cruise. Hope it wasn't too bad for you and Benn.

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RobynPrincess wrote:
I'm so enjoying your report! I have a weird friend who doesn't like garlic too Wink hehe

The Colonel wrote:
You could put garlic and olive oil on an old boot and I would eat it awesome

great report!

I don't mind a tiny bit as long as it blends in with the other flavors, but a lot of times there's so much that I can brush my teeth five times and I can still taste it. I'm not so much a fan of that. I don't know if I could handle wearing a clove of garlic around my neck or anything, so I'll have to count on you guys to protect me from vampires wink

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Allie wrote:

Holy cow, Holly! You weren't kidding! That is an insane amount of sea lions! eek eek eek The Museum and the Alcatraz tour sound awesome! Sorry you didn't get more time to enjoy more of them!

They were so cute! Some of the sea lions were total jerks and they would hoist themselves up on the barges, flop around over all of the others. (Terribly sorry there old chap. Didn't intend to slap you in the eye with a flipper. Pardon my giant midsection. Not trying to let it fall on your face. These are the sorts of things I imagine that they were barking at each other.) They'd get cozy for about 10 seconds and then jump back in the water again. There's a mini Sea Lion educational center at the pier, too.

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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JanJ wrote:
Great report Holly! Love reading about your cruise. Hope it wasn't too bad for you and Benn.

Thanks, Jan! It wasn't too bad motion sickness wise. It was a little bit worse for Benn than for me, which is typical, but he tolerated it pretty well after the first day. In a way, it was kind of like karma. I expressed some concern about hoping that the Pacific Ocean was calmer than the Atlantic Ocean and Benn was poking fun at me for forgetting that Balboa named it "Pacific" because it was peaceful. silly Our next cruise is Bahamas out of Port Canaveral, so there will be very little time on the open ocean. Hoping for better results with that trip! Plus it's DCL, so Disney will surely employ their ocean calming technology to keep the boat steady, right? laugh

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Wednesday, April 1 - Day 9: Port of Call - Santa Barbara

(It's finally here, Disneylover21!!)

Today was mom's actual 60th birthday, so I woke up at 5am to deploy the festive decorations that I had brought along--some caution tape to warn the nearby residents that a party was in process, a blinged out tiara, a Disneyland birthday button, and a sketch of Minnie as Cinderella (Cinderella is mom's favorite Disney movie). I decorated the door, holding my breath the entire time so as not to alert the cabin's occupants, and snuck back downstairs.

When we met mom and dad at breakfast, they were most entertained! Today's excursions had to be access by tender boat, which was a new experience for me. Somehow I created a picture in my head where small boats came out from the shore and transported passengers inland. Well now doesn't it make more sense to just use the lifeboats that we have on board to get back and forth? Turns out that it does! We went to the gathering area for the boats at 7:30 because we weren't really sure how long the process would take and we kept thinking about the fact that there were 3000 people on the boat and each little boat probably held about 60 people. It was going to take a lot of trips on the little boats to get everyone on shore. Well, we were the only ones in the gathering area that early laugh so our boat was the four of us and about a half dozen crew members. We were ashore by 7:45. When we first looked at the itinerary and saw Santa Barbara, my reaction was kind of...meh. Then we looked at the excursion list and nearly everything was some sort of wine tasting. So not something that any of us are interested in. Then we found a trolley tour. Then Disneylover21's plans to meet us at DL fell through and we decided to meet up in SB instead. Finally some sort of fun plan was coming together for this port. Then we got off the boat and got our first good look at the place. Oh my!! Santa Barbara is just beautiful!! And the people that we met all throughout the day couldn't possibly have been any nicer. What we saw of the city was a secluded beach paradise!

Our trolley tour was scheduled to depart at 10am, so we had about 2 hours to kill. We started walking toward the trolley stop. We found the visitor center where the trolley tour started and still had about an hour and a half to hang out, so we chatted with the nice ladies at the center for a bit until Benn and I decided that this was a great opportunity to run across to the beach and put our feet in the Pacific Ocean! (I'm not sure if it was technically the ocean, but let's pretend that it was.) On our way there, we found a beautiful walking/jogging/biking path. Mom and dad camped out on the path and watched the people while we ventured across the beach. My original Santa Barbara plan had been to hang out on this beach for awhile and it would have been a nice way to spend the day I think.

When we returned, dad had become fascinated with two hippies who were hanging out in the parking lot. They each had their own 1960ish VW bus and they had made friends with a guy who had a newish VW camper. They pulled all of the cars together and they were each checking out the similarities and differences. It was a really cute little scene and we watched it play out. (Don't judge us. There wasn't a lot going on in Santa Barbara at 8:30 in the morning. laugh )

We wandered back over to the trolley stop around 9:30 and got ready for our tour. The tour was supposed to be hop on/hop off and the 5th stop was at the Santa Barbara Zoo where we had planned to meet Dani (Disneylover21) and her mom. So our plan was to take the tour to that point, hang out at the zoo for awhile, and then hop back on and finish the tour. Perfect, right? Well, before we left, the driver informed us that with the cruise ship in port, we might have difficulty getting back on the trolley if we got off. Thank you, Mr. Monkeywrench. Well, we already had plans, so we decided to stick with our original idea and just see what happened.

The tour was really fascinating! Our driver, Joey, is a 9th generation Santa Barbara resident, so he really had a good grasp on the city's history and culture. We drove past the "Rodeo Drive" of SB where Oprah, Ellen, Paul Walker, Kim Kardashian, and Katy Perry are all known to visit. We saw the Clarke family estate, which is the family that built much of Las Vegas. They willed their estate back to the city of Santa Barbara, so there's a chance that it could be open to the public sometime in the future. We also saw the mansion of the creator of Ty beanie babies. No building in SB is more than 3 stories high in order to preserve the view of the ocean for the homes on the hill. That was all the time that we spent with Joey because we had arrived at the zoo!

I was so glad that we had decided to meet up here! Benn and I love animals. I had really wanted to do the San Diego Zoo on our next port stop, but I was overruled, so I was really happy when Dani suggested the SB Zoo. As zoos go, we're accustomed to Baltimore Zoo, National Zoo in DC, and Animal Kingdom (I know, I know, it's not a zoo--except for the parts that kind of are). All of these are great places, but you can't really get close to the animals, except at Baltimore where you can feed a giraffe. The animals were SOOOO close in SB! We're talking giraffes, elephants, lions...that if you're not super smart, you could have nearly reached out and touched! I could have petted a flamingo. I always feel like the animals are closer than I would expect at AK, but nothing like this! The only other smallish zoo that we've been to is Zoo America at Hersheypark and even there, the enclosures are built in such a way that you're not actually getting anywhere close to an animal. Ooooh and they have a baby giraffe!! It was so cute!! There's not a lot of zoom going on in these pictures...

Kitty!

We had a great time chatting all about Disney and meeting Dani, her mom Barb, and their three exchange students. Dani wants to be a teacher and since my parents and our best friends are all heavily involved in the schools in out local area (Dad was school board president for 4 years, mom is a secretary at our elementary school, and our best friends are teachers in a nearby district), I was interested to hear what the teaching profession is like in California. Pennsylvania is a fairly tough place to get a teaching certification, but it sounds like California is even tougher. We grabbed lunch together, where we learned that Dani and her mom have actually heard of our home town! First (and I think only) people we met on this trip who actually knew where we were from!! laugh Most people would get it (or at least show some glint of familiarity) when we said, "it's close to Gettysburg", but very few people on the west coast have any reason to recognize Hanover, PA. I believe it's because they don't sell Utz potato chips in California--we must remedy this situation at once! I was busy chatting, so the only picture I took at lunch was of the trash can.

I thought that it was the most informative recycling and composting center I've ever seen. There are little pictures of exactly what item belongs in each bin. Props to SB Zoo.

After lunch, we headed back out to try to catch the trolley. No luck. The next one that came by was full. So we could either hang around and wait for another one or start walking back toward Stearn's Wharf. I was a little bummed about not getting to finish the tour because I had enjoyed the first part so much, but we had wanted to walk out on the pier anyway, so we decided to just start walking. At this point I started to realize that my decision to forego sunscreen this morning was perhaps not a wise one. I made it through three days at Disneyland in 95+ degrees, two days at sea, and all day in San Francisco with only a minor tan to show for it. 75 degrees in SB? Too much. My arms got burned (woohoo! Farmer tan!), but one side of the upper part of my chest got absolutely scorched. Ouch. And it was only one side because I was wearing a v-neck shirt and my cross body travel bag covered half of the exposed skin. So not only was it scarlet red, but the bag created the most ridiculous tan line ever.

Walking out the the pier was lovely, but not terribly eventful. Benn had decided by this point that he wants to move to Santa Barbara, but I had to crush his dreams when the most important standard of living, the cost of an ice cream cone, proved to be too high. $6.25 for a single scoop eek . I can buy ice cream on Main Street, USA for less than that! The worst part was that it wasn't even good ice cream. sad

We made our way back to the lifeboats...er...tender boats around 3:30 or so. We caught the end of Frozen and the beginning of Big Hero 6 before dinner. (Have you guys seen Big Hero 6, by the way? It's quickly becoming one of my favorite animated movies.) I had goat cheese souffle, gnocchi, and scallops for dinner. I either forgot to take pictures of what Benn ordered or we got the same thing. I think Benn had some sort of seasonal greens. Dessert looks like strawberry sorbet and some sort of chocolate sampler. I remember the chocolate, so the sorbet must have been Benn's. We had such a nice day in SB that I barely remember this dinner! After dinner we went up to mom & dad's cabin to watch the boat sail away from SB from their balcony. Then we hung out for awhile and watched part of Mary Poppins.

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Yay! Another update!! I am loving hearing about your trip. I never would have thought of Santa Barbara as a tourist destination. Good to know the zoo was a fun stop. I haven't had the chance to visit Animal Kingdom yet, but AK did just receive accreditation as a zoo, so I guess that makes the whole park a zoo?

Your sketch of Minnie as Cinderella is amazing! That caution tape on the door made me laugh, too. Thanks for sharing!

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Adorable decorations! Sorry to hear about your sunburn but Santa Barbra looked like a fun day!

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Your food looks soooooo good! And how cool you got to meet up with Dani!

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Girly trip March 14 A last min cheapy week
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TR May 2013 the last min bargain trip offsite
Oct 2012 TR with a cruise!big family trip featuring the beach club, AKL, the dream and a villa offsite
TR on a budget May - June 2011offsite condo
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This is a great trip report! Isn't Santa Barbara a gem? We did a California trip in the fall of 2013, and budgeted an afternoon there. I so wished we had allotted a lot more time - we were just charmed by the whole area. We never made it to the SB zoo, but if you ever get the chance to get to the San Diego zoo, it totally lives up to its reputation. You are really packing in a lot of experiences - can't wait for the next installment. awesome

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Loving this trip report! Your day in Sanfransokyo seemed awesome.

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Morgan wrote:
Yay! Another update!! I am loving hearing about your trip. I never would have thought of Santa Barbara as a tourist destination. Good to know the zoo was a fun stop. I haven't had the chance to visit Animal Kingdom yet, but AK did just receive accreditation as a zoo, so I guess that makes the whole park a zoo?

Your sketch of Minnie as Cinderella is amazing! That caution tape on the door made me laugh, too. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks, Morgan! I missed AK receiving zoo accreditation. How cool! I did a sketch for Dani, too, but I forgot to take a picture.

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Allie wrote:
Adorable decorations! Sorry to hear about your sunburn but Santa Barbra looked like a fun day!

Here's a spoiler for tomorrow: I decided that sunscreen was unnecessary for San Diego because I was already burnt and we'd be inside all day anyway. (When will I learn??) The burn was a color approaching purple by the end of the next day...luckily no blisters and it's mostly peeled/faded now.

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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RobynPrincess wrote:
Your food looks soooooo good! And how cool you got to meet up with Dani!

You know what's sad about the food? There were so many things going on and so many delicious meals that I can barely remember what some of the flavors tasted like now. sad

Meeting up with Dani was great! I'm so glad it worked out! mickey

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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finngirl wrote:
This is a great trip report! Isn't Santa Barbara a gem? We did a California trip in the fall of 2013, and budgeted an afternoon there. I so wished we had allotted a lot more time - we were just charmed by the whole area. We never made it to the SB zoo, but if you ever get the chance to get to the San Diego zoo, it totally lives up to its reputation. You are really packing in a lot of experiences - can't wait for the next installment. awesome

It sure is, Diana! My pictures don't do those mountains justice! We have "mountains" on our horizon line at home, but not like these. Our are tree covered, distant, and dismal. When the light reflected off of the jagged edges of these mountains, it was magic! And so close to the beach and the beautiful water? Wow.

SD Zoo is definitely on my to-do list for the next time I manage to drag Benn to the west coast. I think he had a pretty good time though, so I don't think he'll need much convincing!

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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h0ney227 wrote:
Loving this trip report! Your day in Sanfransokyo seemed awesome.

YES!!! I hope Sanfransokyo sticks!! Isn't that movie great?

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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I'm really enjoying your TR! I've *purposely* never looked into Disneyland because we may not be able to go for years and I don't like to get excited about things I REALLY want and can't have(I may or may not have instant gratification issues biggrin ) Your TR is the most information I've ever read about Disneyland and the most pictures I've ever seen of the park. AND I LOVE IT ALL!!! muchlove

I will never, ever go on a cruise myself but I'm enjoying hearing about your experiences. Most of the aspects of a cruise that people love, would make me want to pull my own hair out if I had to experience it firsthand. But I am fascinated by people that enjoy cruising.

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alicemouse wrote:
Allie wrote:
Adorable decorations! Sorry to hear about your sunburn but Santa Barbra looked like a fun day!

Here's a spoiler for tomorrow: I decided that sunscreen was unnecessary for San Diego because I was already burnt and we'd be inside all day anyway. (When will I learn??) The burn was a color approaching purple by the end of the next day...luckily no blisters and it's mostly peeled/faded now.

Ouch! I've totally been there...fair skinned gals unite! laugh

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AnnielovesDisney wrote:
I'm really enjoying your TR! I've *purposely* never looked into Disneyland because we may not be able to go for years and I don't like to get excited about things I REALLY want and can't have(I may or may not have instant gratification issues biggrin ) Your TR is the most information I've ever read about Disneyland and the most pictures I've ever seen of the park. AND I LOVE IT ALL!!! muchlove

I will never, ever go on a cruise myself but I'm enjoying hearing about your experiences. Most of the aspects of a cruise that people love, would make me want to pull my own hair out if I had to experience it firsthand. But I am fascinated by people that enjoy cruising.

Thanks, Annie! I found, too, when we were planning this trip that information is neither abundant nor consistent online. I'm hoping to have an opportunity to work on something that showcases the similarities and differences of our two US destinations. It would have been helpful to me to look at a chart of "equivalencies" between the two parks to better wrap my head around the offerings.

The jury is still out on whether we "enjoy" cruising or not. Benn had said that if our DCL trip this fall doesn't break the curse of the rocky seas, he might be swearing off cruising for awhile. crossfingers Hoping for calmer waters than the last two! What's holding you back from trying cruising? Downtime? Motion? Can't see land? I know a lot of people who aren't into trying it for various different reasons. I won't say it's my favorite thing to do, but there are many aspects that I find entertaining and some that I'm not so much a fan of.

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Allie wrote:
alicemouse wrote:
Allie wrote:
Adorable decorations! Sorry to hear about your sunburn but Santa Barbra looked like a fun day!

Here's a spoiler for tomorrow: I decided that sunscreen was unnecessary for San Diego because I was already burnt and we'd be inside all day anyway. (When will I learn??) The burn was a color approaching purple by the end of the next day...luckily no blisters and it's mostly peeled/faded now.

Ouch! I've totally been there...fair skinned gals unite! laugh

cool

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Thursday, April 2 - Day 10: Port of Call - San Diego

I was really looking forward to San Diego despite the fact that we weren't seeing any animals today. We had planned to go to Balboa Park for the day. We picked this destination specifically because they have a Model Railroad Museum and dad is a HUGE model railroad guy. Our Museum "hopper" pass gave us access to any 5 of the museums in the park. The others that we chose were the Ruben H. Fleet Science Center, the San Diego History Museum, the Air & Space Museum, and the Automotive Museum. They had several art museums that I would have enjoyed browsing, but dragging dad to an art museum would have insured that no one enjoyed the art museum. wink

We weren't in a huge rush to get off the ship this morning because the first museum didn't open until 10:00 and we were taking a cab for the 3 mile trip, so it was only going to take us about 10 minutes to get to the park. When we first got off the ship, there was a group of I guess...rickshaw? drivers. The have passenger carts attached to their bikes. Of course they wanted to give us a ride, so I asks them if they could go to Balboa Park. The one guy was going to do it, but he wanted $40. After we arrived in the cab, I understood why he wanted so much and it probably would have delayed our arrival considerably because we'd have had to take him to the hospital. Let's say that San Diego is not...flat. So we opted for the cab instead. The driver had a happy little flower on his dashboard. He told us about the zero tolerance policy that San Diego has adopted for drugs and other illegal activity and how the city has really become a nice place to live again aver the past several years.

San Diego, itself, had a much more industrial feel than SF or SB, but Balboa Park was really lovely. We started our day at the Science Center. This was my pick and the one that I was most looking forward to. Unfortunately, it was kind of a bust. There was one level of interactive science things, but that was it. In total, there were maybe 25 exhibits. The experiments were interesting, but they were definitely geared toward little kids and there was very little entertainment here for us. We were in and out in under an hour. If you have kids, this should definitely be on your Balboa Park to-do list, but of adults, very skip-able.

Anyone recognize this thing? It's a Phenakistoscope, an early ancestor to the animation process:

Next up was the San Diego History Museum, which seemed fitting. Once again, it's very kid friendly as they had a large Sr. Seuss exhibit. This one, however, had plenty for adults, too. The museum highest the history of the park including the military presence, use as an International Exposition (World's Fair type of event) site, and conversion into a recreational park. San Diego Zoo is actually part of Balboa Park. Unfortunately, admission to the zoo was not included on our "museum hopper" pass. We watched a rather lengthy (probably 30 minutes or more) film about the hostly of the park. The film was very well done, but once we saw that, looking at the exhibits was kind of redundant. The museum also displayed an installation from local artists. As a whole, there wasn't a very strong, cohesive theme, but the things that we saw here were interesting and I would recommend it to a first-time visitor.

Museum #3 was the Model Railroad Museum. This ended up being my hands down favorite. A lot of the layouts are works in progress and there were model railroad enthusiasts working on them as we were walking through. They did some really tremendous things with scenery and when we got to the room in the layout that was the "city", I recognized tons of items from my dad's train layout. This was also the room with a bit of Disney hanging out. mickey

Our fourth stop was the Air & Space Museum. This was in a different section of the park, so we took a tram to get there. Turns out that there are two trams. One goes to the museums at the other end. The other goes to the parking lot. They aren't labeled, so of course we took a scenic trip to the parking lot first. On the way, we passed a pavilion with an outdoor organ that I believe is the world's largest? Or maybe the largest in the US? There was something special about it. We were definitely the wrong candidates for the Air & Space Museum. We are very much spoiled after living in the DC Metro area for three years and still having east access to that area. We have the National Air & Space Museum and the Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles Airport available to us in less than a 2-hour drive and they are leaps and bounds more thorough and interesting than the San Diego Air & Space Museum. It wasn't a waste of time, but when we're going to this type of a museum, my expectations are very high and this one definitely fell a little short. They had very little space "stuff". It was mostly airplanes and most of their planes were models or reproductions of the actual planes that we've seen at Udvar-Hazy. I did enjoy several of the exhibits here though, namely the Barnstorming stunt pilots exhibit, the Blue Angels exhibit, the Amelia Earhart exhibit, and the tribute to San Diego resident Sally Ride. This was an excellent place to grab lunch. They gave us a coupon for a free cookie when we arrived and they had a hot dog lunch combo with chips and a drink for $5. They did have other offerings, too. I think pizza and burgers were available, but they didn't have a combo deal. If you don't have access to this type of museum near your home, it's a worthwhile stop, but if you have access to the National Air & Space or Kennedy Space Center or something similar, only go if you're REALLY into flying or space travel or if you have kids and want to do the special math exhibit or the shuttle launch simulator (extra cost for each).

Our last museum was the Automotive Museum. This was one that I really couldn't have cared less about and the museum was only half open due to a new exhibit that was in the works. They did have a Delorean, so that was fun, but in total, there were only maybe 30 cars and motorcycles here. So I really wouldn't recommend the museum. It was kind of a downer as our last stop and I would not put this on my list of must-do San Diego attractions.

We grabbed a cab back to the port and enjoyed about an hour of internet before getting ready to go to our second formal night--the one with the Lobster!! Seconds for me tonight!! Benn had...um I didn't write it down. I was drunk on lobster. I think he had Beef Wellington. The appetizer was a cold crab & shrimp cake with caviar. It was ok, but the seafood didn't quite taste right. I forget what the soup was--some sort of cheese I think. It wasn't super fantastic either. The dessert was one of several heavenly chocolate concoctions that we ate and I can't tell them apart from the pictures.

Tonight's show was called "Once Upon a Dream". Of course, I was hoping that it was some sort of nod to Sleeping Beauty. Unfortunately, that was not the case, but the show did contain elements from Alice in Wonderland ( yay ), Wizard of Oz, and Nutcracker Ballet. The show was very original and very well done. It was an excellent blend of classic performance and pop culture in a dreamy sequence. The balloon volleyball activity was back tonight as was our super awesome cruise director with his cheerleading speech.

All in all, this was an enjoyable day despite the fact that the museums as a whole didn't really measure up to my expectations. My expectations for the next day in Mexico were not nearly as high...

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Friday, April 3 - Day 11: Port of Call - Esenada, MX

Sorry guys...it's been a jam packed week. I'm in that 5-week section of the semester where I'm teaching gymnastics to college students at my alma mater. It's fun, but it definitely pushes work activities into my trip report writing time! Not cool. silly

So now we have arrived at our last full day of the trip Sad( Benn was actually kind of happy because he was ready to be off the boat. This was not a port stop that we were particularly looking forward to, but it was part of getting the awesome California itinerary. I love the Mexican pavilion at EPCOT and there are many Mexican ports that I would have been excited to stop at, but Ensenada was not on the list. The State Department has issued warnings that American have been targeted for criminal activity in this area of Mexico, so Benn and I would have probably just stayed on the boat, but mom wanted to see something since we were there. I guess I'm glad that we decided to do an excursion. It was a LONG bus ride for a small payoff, but I'd never been to Mexico before, so now I can say that I've been there. When we decided to get off the boat, I made a goal: to eat a taco in Mexico.

We met up with mom and dad for breakfast and of course since no one was really terribly excited about the tour or being at this port stop, we didn't rush to be off the boat early. Our tour was scheduled to depart at 9:00, so we arrived at the meeting location at around 8:40 only to find that we were the next to last people in line for a packed bus. So we ended up with the last two rows of seats on a 55 passenger coach bus where we were supposed to be able to hear our soft spoken tour guide with a strong accent. Yep. Almost.

Our guide's name was Irma and she was a lovely person. Very smiley and mothering, but there was nothing that she could so about the fact that the bus was louder than she was. Benn and I were able to make out most of what she was saying, but it was exhausting to have to listen so intently. Dad couldn't hear ANYTHING. He has a bit of hearing loss from years of construction work with no ear protection. Mom could hear, but she's not good with accents, so she didn't catch most of what was going on. So not only were Benn and I straining to hear, but we were also trying to fill mom & dad in on the important parts of the spiel. It was a LONG 50 minute ride.

The countryside was beautiful and a lot of the reason that the bus ride was so long was because we had to drive around a horseshoe-shaped coast line to reach "La Bufadora". The most notable thing that we observed along the way is that Enenada apparently has no zoning laws. We saw a gas station right beside an estate and many other odd combinations of buildings tha you would never see side by side in the US. We booked the excursion not really knowing what La Bufadora was, but the trip fit our requirements of fitting into the time we had available, not requiring any expensive walking, not including a winery, and being fairly inexpensive.

So after 50 minutes of touring "scenic" Mexico, we arrived at "La Bufadora". Apparently, it's a large rock formation that shoots water spouts into the air at high tide and when the sun is shining just right, it make s rainbow. It really was beautiful and I'm actually really glad that we had the opportunity to see it.

At the site, we also saw cultural dancers, musicians, and....a marketplace! Of course! I feel like Disney makes us exit through a lot of gift shops. Not compared to Mexico! laugh And of course as in many impoverished places that are fortunate enough to have cruise ships full of tourists stopping by with money to spend, the proprietors of the shops were super pushy. I felt kind of bad, but apart from my Disney collections, I have no desire to have random "stuff" in my house and there was nothing at this market that I had the slightest bit of interest in--except for the exotic animal tent. This was one of my biggest regrets of the trip. They had baby lion cubs and you could hold them for $25!! I passed because my first reaction was 'what if they claw me and it gets infected. I have no idea how this animal is being cared for.' Now I kind of wish I had been less paranoid and held the lion. How often do you get to do cool stuff like that? I got a picture before they started saying that we couldn't take a picture of the lions. Well, we could, but they were going to charge us to take a picture with our own camera. Apparently this guy has never heard of photopass??

The good news is that like most flea market arrangements in the US, food sales are a big part of the marketplace, so...TACO ACHIEVED!! yeah Dad got a fish taco and I got a chicken taco. The salsa was awesome and I even tried the guacamole (not bad), but they were served in soft shells (I prefer crunchy) and my first bite of chicken was all fat. yuck The rest of my taco was good, but it was hard to shake the squishiness of that first bite. We also bought some churros from a vendor, but if that's what real Mexican churros taste like, I'll pass. They were too closely related to funnel cakes for my liking. I like the ones at La Cantina de San Angel much better. Also in real Mexico, no caramel dipping sauce. What's up with that?

After our marketplace tour, we hopped back on the bus for the 50 minute ride back to the port. Before we returned to the ship, Irma took us to the "Convention Center", which is the most historical building in Ensenada. I was tired and ready to go back and get on the ship, but this turned out to be a very interesting and worthwhile tour. It was a casino and bar in the 1930's and attracted many Hollywood notables during it's heyday like Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe. The main room in the convention center can be rented today for about $3800 for 600 people including food and drink. I know where I'm having my next party!! silly The sad fact of the matter is that most of the folks who actually live in Ensenada will never be able to afford to rent that space because the current exchange rate is $1 for 14 pesos. So for a citizen of Ensenada, it would cost more than 50,000 pesos to rent that room.

This is Irma.

Irma told us a story about Mexican courting customs. A single man would come to the convention center wearing a flower in the button hole of his tuxedo. If he found a girl he liked, he would drop the flower on the ground. If she liked him, she would pick it up. If she wanted to reject him, she would stomp the flower into the ground! rolling It's basically the meanest custom ever, but I'm sure it got the point across effectively! When we reached the bar, we were given a complementary toasting cup (a 3 oz. dixie cup) with corona or margarita. I think Benn picked the corona and the rest of us had the margarita. Mom doesn't drink. At all. She was expecting the little crystals on the top of the cup to be sugar and was quite surprised when she realized that her glass was rimmed with salt! laugh In her defense, it was definitely the most concentrated, most intense salt I've ever tasted and the sweetness of the margarita didn't even begin to balance it out. After our toast to...I don't remember...something, we exited through another "gift shop" before boarding the bus back to the boat.

Of course back at the port, there was one more gift shop. Last chance before the boat! I was shocked that the re-boarding process was so easy. Given the current immigration tensions along the boarder, I expected our passports to be heavily scrutinized and security to be really tight. They were checking, but we went through far more checkpoints in Santa Barbara than we did in Mexico. It struck me at odd. Once we were back on board, we hit the food court for lunch. I was glad that this was our last lunch because the buffet was definitely on the decline! After lunch it was naptime and then packing time. sad A walk throughout he atrium revealed a splendid chocolate Easter egg display. It reminded me of the one at Grand Floridian, but sans Disney characters. (It would have been more awesome with Disney characters.

Our last dinner started out with an incident. The guy who was assigning the tables called out a table number for us and our host led us to a different table than what he had said. Mom started to say something like, "didn't that guy say table whatever. It's right over here." The host said, "It doesn't matter. This is fine." The table assigning guy overheard that he seated us at the wrong table and flipped out on him! He told him to "get up to Horizons (the buffet) and don't come back to his dining room!" eek We figured that must be why the buffet quality had gotten to poor. When people got fired from the main dining room, they exiled them to the buffet! laugh Tonight I had watermelon and feta for salad, pumpkin soup, and NY Strip. The watermelon and feta would have been good, but the watermelon was a day or two past its peak. I love pumpkin soup, but this was mediocre at best and I actually sent my steak back (I NEVER send back food) because it was over cooked. Once I got it back, the steak was delicious--the saving grace of the meal. I must have found the last meal so disappointing that I didn't even write down what Benn had. From my pictures, he seems to have had spring rolls and some sort of souffle? It was definitely not a good meal to end on. I do remember that mom had a cold seafood appetizer that night with crab, shrimp, and squid. Something in there had gone bad because the whole next day was unpleasant for her... It was also birthday cake night for me. Even though my actual birthday was still four days away, they brought me a piece of the decadent chocolate mousse cake since it was our last night. I took it back to the room for later.

By the end of today, we were ready to go home. It wasn't a bad day (I mean, we were on vacation. Seriously, how bad could it actually be), but it was by far the weakest day of the entire trip, so it was kind of a low note to end on. Since we were coming up on day 12 away from home and away from our sweet kitty cats, a non-fabulous day was just the thing we needed to get excited about going home! Thanks for reading--stay tuned for the last day: travel adventures!

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Saturday, April 4 - Day 12: Travel Day--going home

We arrived back in LA around 7am. We decided to delay breakfast until 7:45 because we didn't have to be out of our rooms until 8:00 and after breakfast, there's basically nothing to do. We had decided to book a Princess transfer bus to LAX because we could use our stateroom credit for that and our group wasn't scheduled to debark (debark? disembark? I don't know what the right word is) until 9:45. After breakfast we explored the decks a bit and headed to our gathering location in the Explorers Lounge and waited to be dismissed. Mom wasn't feeling well and we isolated the problem to the seafood appetizer that she had the previous night.

Customs was uneventful except for the guy who checked out passports and informed me that I had the most awesome birthday ever--because it's his, too! muchlove It made my day because I feel like I never meet anyone with my birthday. A few years ago, I had three kids on my 17-person team whose birthdays were all March 18. I've met exactly two other people in the whole of my life who share my birthday. This guy was number 3. It was a big thing. (Any other April 7 folks out there??)

The bus ride was fine--a little traffic, but no significant delays. I tried like 5 times to get a picture of that LAX sign, but the best I got was a letter "X". We arrived at the airport with about 3 hours until our flight, so given the reputation of LAX, I thought that was probably a good thing. We actually breezed through bag check. The security line was at a standstill for awhile and it was so hot in that queue, I think you could have fried an egg on your head. I was sure I was going to be selected for extra screening because I was basically drenched in sweat by the time we reached the naked scanner. I lucked out, but Benn registered as potentially hazardous. A quick pat down and we were on our way.

We found the terminal and decide that lunch was in order. It was around 12:30pm California time and we wouldn't actually be home for about 10 hours. By the time we got out of BWI at around midnight local time, nothing reputable was going to be open. So we located the only food service location--a food court with a LaBrea Bakery, a California Pizza Kitchen, an Asian place I think, and a smoothie stand. Did I mention that this was the only place to eat? At the Southwest terminal? At LAX? To say the place was mobbed was the understatement of the year. You would have had to step outside to change your mind. Mom skipped lunch because she was still feeling poorly. Benn choose California Pizza Kitchen and had a 20 minute wait to order + a 20 minute wait for pizza. Dad and I went to La Brea Bakery. We hadn't eaten there at DTD, so I thought it was a good idea. Big mistake. We'd have been better off waiting for pizza. I got a sandwich. A $12 sandwich. That included...nothing. No chips, no drink, nada. And to make matters worse, it was one of the worst sandwiches I've ever eaten. I don't even remember what kind it was. I decided to drown my sorrows in a smoothie. The smoothie place on the other hand was out of this world! I should have skipped the sandwiches and drank like 4 smoothies instead. The good news is that there is some expansion happening in this terminal, so it seems that other eateries are probably on their way in, but for now, it's a mess.

We made our way back to the terminal where we worked on procuring mom some ginger ale. We found a bar that sold ginger ale, but they had no to-go cups. Starbucks had to-go cups, but no ginger ale. So we created a merger of these two forces. I had to buy an iced tea to grease the wheels at Starbucks, but we got it done. After I delivered the ginger ale, I grabbed a charging port to juice up the phone a little bit so I could have music on the way home. I met the nicest lady who was trying to get back to her home in Las Vegas from...Paris? and had been the victim of numerous flight delays and we down to this last leg of the trip for which she was flying standby thanks to missing her earlier flight. She said it had been torture to flight right over home and have to keep going only to land and then have to wait to get back on another plane. She helped me thwart the teenagers in their attempt to monopolize all of the charging stations. If you happen to be reading this, nice lady, I hope you made that flight and got home safely!

We boarded the plane and managed to score the exit row! Sweet!! Our flight was fairly smooth although it was rough for mom because even the slightest bit of motion wasn't helping her. We had a stop in St. Louis and I was hoping to see the Arch, but no such luck. At the stop, Benn and I were able to switch to the 2-person exit row seats and for the first time in about a dozen southwest flights, our plane was nearly empty!! Hooray!! We had landed about 30 minutes early in St. Louis and I think we were able to take off early because we were nearly 40 minutes early landing in Baltimore! Total flight time home was around 5 hours. Our luggage played musical carousels for awhile, but we finally collected it, got back to the car, and made our way home!

The fur babies were so happy to see us!! They were all over us when we got home. You can't really see Merlin (black cat) in this picture, but he's sharing the suitcase with Isabelle (white cat). So here we are back in good old Pennsylvania awaiting our next adventure. It seems a long way away this time--nothing until November. I'll be back soon with a Disneyland v. Disney World assessment. It might take me a few days. In the mean time, here's our summary for your entertainment:

FAVORITES:
DL Ride: Alice in Wonderland (Holly), Storybook Land Canal Boats
DCA Ride: Radiator Springs Racers
DL Resort Show: Fantasmic!
DL Resort Meal: Plaza Inn (Holly), Cafe Orleans (Benn)
Cruise Meal: Italian Night
Port of Call Activities: San Francisco
Port of Call Aesthetics: Santa Barbara
Excursion: Walt Disney Family Museum (Holly), Santa Barbara Zoo (Benn)
Balboa Park (San Diego) Museum: Model Railroad Museum
Best surprise: How awesome Santa Barbara Zoo and trolley were

LEAST FAVORITES:
DL Ride: Big Thunder Mountain (Holly), Space Mountain (Benn)
DCA Ride: Golden Zephyr (Holly--boring, no variation in motion at all), Monster's Inc. (Benn--not bad, just not special)
DL Resort Meal: Tortilla Jo's (not bad, just the weakest link against all of the other great food)
Cruise meal: every single time we had to eat at the buffet except the arrival day
Port of Call: Ensenada
Excursion: Mexico Tour--we saw some cool stuff, but we enjoyed the other trips much more
Balboa Park Museum: Automotive Museum
Biggest disappointment: The quality of the museums overall in San Diego
Biggest regret: Not paying $25 to hold that lion cub!

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Great trip report. I'll have to go back and read about your DL days before my trip next week.

I liked your biggest regret. That would have been mine too. I had my picture taken with a lion cub in Las Vegas about 15 years ago. I have the cheesiest "I can't believe I'm touching a lion" grin on my face.

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Getting caught up now that I'm home...

muchlove foxes! Foxes are the most catlike of canines, so of course I love them.

muchlove lions!

"...they don't sell Utz potato chips in California--we must remedy this situation at once!" No, no, no, we should keep the Utz for ourselves! It's generous enough of us to let them have Snyder's of Hanover pretzels.

I have to second the recommendation that you catch the San Diego zoo whenever you can. We've been and it does indeed live up to the hype.

Horrible sunburn - oh, yes, this is why I never skip the sunscreen. And I could see how awful it was in one of the photos from your departure day. Glad it's better now.

"...the San Diego History Museum...highlights the history of the park including...use as an International Exposition (World's Fair type of event) site..." I thought it looked like an old World's Fair site when I saw the buildings in your photos and was going to ask, but you already answered that question.

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crazycatperson wrote:

"...they don't sell Utz potato chips in California--we must remedy this situation at once!" No, no, no, we should keep the Utz for ourselves! It's generous enough of us to let them have Snyder's of Hanover pretzels.

rolling

San Diego Zoo would have been a no-brainer for us. We love the animals. muchlove It was hard to be right there at Balboa Park and not go. I forget if I mentioned it, but the zoo is actually in the park.

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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JoAnn C wrote:
Great trip report. I'll have to go back and read about your DL days before my trip next week.

I liked your biggest regret. That would have been mine too. I had my picture taken with a lion cub in Las Vegas about 15 years ago. I have the cheesiest "I can't believe I'm touching a lion" grin on my face.

Have an awesome trip, JoAnn!! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!! muchlove

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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We went to the San Diego Zoo, but I didn't realize it was in that park. Of course, it was 17 years ago, so perhaps I did know it at the time.

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I'm sorry this report is ending - it's been a great read! You have your Mom's smile. biggrin

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finngirl wrote:
I'm sorry this report is ending - it's been a great read! You have your Mom's smile. biggrin

Awww thanks, Diana!! My mom's awesome, so I feel really lucky to have any of her traits. My dad calls her Mary Poppins muchlove . I'm glad you enjoyed the report! I love writing them. I think I need to travel more so I can write more! Yep. It's a solid plan that won't end with me being flat broke or anything! laugh

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.