California Vacation

And now, for a photo montage of our two week vacation to California!!
First of all... we drove approximately 4,032,993 miles round trip and more than, I dunno, 80 miles makes Talia  grumpy traveler. Sorry. It's just who I am. I turn into a bitchy, whiny, sore, annoying personage of myself. Not proud, but not gonna deny it either. How did James, Nana, the kids and I pass the time?

The kids fought. The. Entire. Time.

Nana slept most of the time.

James and I were up front. James drove the whole way.

We drove west because that's how you get to CA from TX. We began by traveling through New Mexico and Arizona, which pretty much looked like this...

.... and this.

I didn't take many pictures because the duct tape only allowed me minimal movement... when I was a good girl.

All of a sudden, the temperature dropped fifteen degrees and we were in California!! 

(going through the mountains)

Our first stop was Oceanside, James' old stomping grounds. After checking in at the hotel (which was surrounded by Bird-of-Paradise!) we headed down to the pier on the beach.

May I take a moment to say... the Pacific Ocean is effin' cold!!

Walking along the pier....

... we encountered this guy. I think he was from Pier Security. He was grumpy. All he did was perch on the fish cleaning sink and wait to be tossed some guts. Eww.

The kids had fun playing on a seaweed island that washed ashore. Like, a for-real island. This HUGE clump of seaweed washed up. It was cool. 

This was a small chunk that broke off the main chunk.
James and Caleb spent a lot of time looking for these ugly buggers.

After a couple of days, it was back on the road again to our KOA camping grounds near Lake Isabella. It was located in the mountains.....

Our cabin was sooo cute! And it had mattresses and air conditioning!!

While we were there, we went boating on beautiful Lake Isabella.

 We visited the Sequoia National Forest and walked the Trail of One Hundred Giants....

.... which turned into the Trail of Twenty-Eight Giants because it started to rain.

This is the root system of a giant that toppled over, pulling itself out of the ground. It was about 5.5 feet tall and 10 (?) feet wide!

We also visited the California Hot Springs Resort, which is a naturally hot stream that is piped into a swimming pool for your enjoyment.

 It. Was. AWESOME.

By the way, mountain driving takes about four times longer than regular driving due to all the curves and cows. I kid you not. The road is barely wide enough for one vehicle and at every other turn there's a STINKING COW blocking the way. I would have taken pictures of being in the mountains, but it's kind of like Las Vegas: you're too close to get scenic shots.
Speaking of Las Vegas.....

 We stayed at the Stratosphere!

 View from the top of the Stratosphere, with Lily's head in front of the window looking down.
Way, WAAAY down.
Uncomfortably way down.

 The Lake of Fire thingy at the Mirage.

 Volcano in the Lake.

 Mandalay Bay, where we visited the Shark Reef Aquarium.

Inside the MGM Grand Hotel we ate at the Rainforest Cafe, which was cool but really dark and noisy. I suppose the idea is to make you think you're in the rainforest (I'm brilliant, huh?), but it was so dark and foggy you could barely see the huge aquariums beside you. Nothing like eating your mahi mahi with some neon blue Finding Nemo fish starting at you.

My favorite hotel/casino?
Caesar's Palace baby!!!

 Where there are floors of water fountains....

...and skies of glass and clouds!
And a whole restaurant of DESSERTS! Only desserts! Only CHOCOLATE desserts!!
And Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Bvlgari and Gianna Versace boutiques.
Yeah. I took my south-Texas flip flopped self into the Gucci store where I laughed at the prices of purses and belts and was stared down by three-piece suits who were probably close to calling security. Pay $798 for a purse?! L.O.L.!!!

We stayed for five days and still didn't make it to all the casinos. I really wanted to visit the Venetian, where you can take actual gondola rides. Sigh. But we did visit....

Caesar's Palace
MGM Grand
(they had a lion habitat inside the casino!!!!)
(Meh. Not my kind of thing.)
Mandalay Bay
Circus Circus
(Old with BIG cockroaches! But an indoor roller coaster as well!!)
(Here we saw two  exhibits.... Click the links!! Titanic was awesome!!!)
(Awesome buffet! It's like two miles long with an ISLAND of desserts!!)
and Treasure Island.

We didn't go inside all of them, but we did walk by and/or see their outside performances.
Ahhhh.... Vegas. Oh yeah!

Recognize this little place? I'll give you a hint...
Awesome! But what's NOT awesome was the wrapped-around-the-block line to get inside. Yeah. We didn't go in, so sue me. Chum Lee and the Old Man probably weren't there anyway.

 And on we go....
We were pretty tired now, so my behavior in the car was particularly horrible.
Our next attraction was the Hoover Dam.

 Coming up on Lake Mead....

....and going over the dam.
Didn't stop.  Didn't get out. Didn't collect $200. That's why there's a link, people.
Our absolute last stop before hitting the Texas state line was at the Barringer Meteor Crater near Flagstaff, AZ.

(Not my picture, BTW.)

And thus ended our two week, multi-mile, cash-sapping family vacation!!

No comments: