- Mark, Jeanne Ty
- Matt, Stacy, Xander, Lena
Month of Trip: Late April
Where we stayed: Marriott Courtyard
Where we ate: House of Blues
This was indeed a California Adventure.
- 2 nights in San Fransisco
- 2 nights in Santa Rosa in California’s wine country
- 1 night at Yosemite
- 1 night in San Luis Obispo
- 3 nights in Anaheim
Mark screwed up our airplane tickets by buying flights that left at 6am instead of 6pm – from Newark! We had to get up at about 2:30am to drive to Newark for the flights. It made for a long day.
We rented a 12 passenger van in San Fransisco so the seven of us could travel together. A minivan would have been fine except there wouldn’t have been enough room for all the luggage. We quickly learned that the step up into the van was too difficult for Nana, so we stopped at Target and got a step stool.
Muir Woods: These Giant Sequoia’s only grow along a narrow strip up the coast from California to Washington. It’s scary to think how vulnerable they are to extinction, particularly with global-warming inflicted weather changes.
Science Academy: Very nicely done with a terrific arboretum and aquarium.
Alcatraz: The audio tour was awesome. It included comments from actual prisoners and guards and the background sound effects were chillingly real. Several times I found myself removing my headset because I thought the sounds were real. The story is incredible, particularly the stories of escapes and attempted escapes. Really exciting to visit.
Walt Disney Family Museum. I didn’t know this even existed and I stumbled on while researching other tour opportunities. The museum is located in one of the beautiful buildings in the Presidio section and is very well done. Being Disney fans we were really amazed at tales of his early failures and successes. It’s amazing how much he did in his lifetime and how he didn’t let the hurdles get the best of him. We spent several hours going through the museum, and I could have easily spent several more. I found myself getting emotional during the part about his final days. I’m even more impressed with the man; humble, relentless in pursuing his vision, unwavering in his insistence on top quality entertainment and his focus on family values regardless of cost, and his tenacity in overcoming hurdles. For the most part I think the Disney company has kept the faith with his vision and high standards, and I’m proud to be a stockholder.
Santa Rosa, the Russian River wine country: What a great little town and the surrounding valley is beautiful. We had a great time visiting the Wineries, especially the first one which had a wonderful view. I bought some wine, but Pennsylvania doesn’t allow shipping into the state. So I had it shipped to Matt & Stacy’s house in Maryland. I think they drank it.
Santa Barbara: Outside the Mission is an old fountain. Xander made a wish and threw a coin into the fountain. After a bit he became very unhappy because “the pizza I wished for didn’t show up”
Anaheim: DisneyLand and California Adventure were terrific and we had a great time. It was a great way to end the trip.