This one is long. As are all of my stories. I try. I really do. But I’m just a word-a-holic.
So here is part one:
- 2,587 miles traveled (give or take a few)
- Some 45 hours in the car
- 7 gas station fill ups
- 5 hotels
- 3 beaches and 3 theme parks
- And memories to last a lifetime
That’s really what it’s all about.
I mean we can’t take our things with us when we go. No amount of money will ease the pain of loss. No one will remember how clean our house was (well, I will probably remember, but no judging).
People WILL remember how we made them feel. How we treated them. If we made them laugh. Or smile. They may recall funny stories and our dumb jokes, and they will most definitely be reminded of the memories they shared with us.
So if I’ve learned anything, it’s that I want to make memories. And if that means dragging my people along with me on my random adventures, then so be it.
It wasn’t too hard to convince the kids. California sun, rollercoasters, beaches, one boyfriend and his family. I really didn’t have to do too much convincing. I pretty much had that in the bag.
The husband on the other hand. Different story. He wanted to buy a boat. I wanted to go on a road trip. We compromised, like every good married couple knows how to do. He would buy the boat and I would take the kids on the road trip of a lifetime. He wouldn’t have had fun anyway. He hates crowds. And lines. And driving. And did I mention lines? And crowds? And driving? It was better this way.
But I’m distracted again. Back to the story of our epic adventure.
We loaded up the Honda Civic. My daughter’s car is a beast. It may not have automatic windows or locks. Take a minute to drum up the memory of those kind of cars because they do still exist. You know the kind where you have to roll the window down by cranking a handle and one where you must lock all the doors separately by physically pushing the lock down. Yes. That is her car. Oh and no cruise control either. It was like we were taking our road trip twenty years ago.
We left around 9:00am and drove through the beautiful state of Washington. We stopped at a few rest areas and for food in Portland and just keep cruising (without cruise control of course). Mt. Shasta was a highlight of our evening drive through northern California.
Our goal was Redding, California where it was only 112 degrees. However, upon our arrival in Redding, we decided that we could press on and make it to Sacramento. Since I hadn’t booked a hotel yet, it was a great idea to travel further and therefore have less driving the next day.
Or so we thought.
Arriving in Sacramento was no problem. We made it around 11:15pm (and about 14 hours in the car). Finding a hotel was a different story. Somebody please explain to me why everyone and their mother had booked up all the good hotels in Sacramento?
There were literally none. My following snapchat video explains it:
It was a little sketchy. But it was relatively clean and safe. In the morning we got the heck out of there.
The drive from Sacramento to LA is BORING. And don’t even get me started on California drivers. Sorry if I offend. I used to complain about Seattle drivers, but I’m done with that. California drivers speed and stop, speed and stop. It’s kind of hard on the brakes. And my neck. And road rage tendencies. At least in Seattle, it’s just a steady stop and go. Less speeding and less slamming of the brakes.
Anyway, we pulled up to the hotel about 7 or 8 and I yelled to the cabbie “yo homes smell ya later”…
Oops. We didn’t say that. Song lyric got stuck in my head. Who knows that song?
Sheesh. Focus Angie.
Our stay for the night was at the Sheraton Universal. When we pulled up in the Civic and unloaded our 80 million bags with the valet, it was directly behind an Escalade with fancy people and their matching fancy luggage. Our little red cooler and various reusable grocery bags screamed classy. Not really. Oh well. I’m probably not suitable for LA. I’m just a nerdy girl from the PNW who would rather pack my stuff in a Costco bag than waste money on matching luggage.
It was probably a good hotel at one time, but they are currently in the middle of construction. And they certainly didn’t offer a discount. In fact, it still kind of makes me mad that as an SPG member, I’m supposed to get complimentary wifi. Nope. Only in the lobby. If you want wifi in your room, you must pay an extra $50. WTHeck. Like we are going to sit in the lobby after already spending $300 on a room. We did sleep good. And we enjoyed the room service for dinner. Don’t ask how much that was…
The next morning Jaxon and I raced over for early entry (Emilee met up with us later). I purchased front of the line passes, which I would highly recommend. You almost (but not really) feel bad cutting in front of everyone. We hardly waited in any lines at all.
Favorites at Universal:
Angie – All of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (duh)
Emilee – The Studio Tour
Jaxon – The Revenge of the Mummy
We also enjoyed the Water World show, when Scooby Doo tried to steal Emilee’s donut and The Walking Dead attraction (although that one was a bit of a surprise. And terrifying).
Around 5:00pm we got back in the car and made our way to Anaheim to meet up with Becky, Clarence, Josh and Jordan and what would be our Disneyland and California Adventure part of our adventure (fitting isn’t it…that the theme park has the word adventure).
To be continued…