Monday, June 14, 2010

California Here We Come

The Clampetts are leaving Texas and heading to California for a long overdue vacation. Our vacation plans were interrupted last year by a certain husband of mine who required a hospitalization to have the hole in his heart repaired. He is healed and healthier than ever so we are ready to revisit our postponed plans! Anticipation is my favorite part of vacation anyway, so after almost a year I have gotten tons of enjoyment out of just looking forward to this one!

We head to the airport and check in our one bag! The luggage charges really get on my last nerve. I have crammed so much into one giant suitcase (barely under the limit at 48.5 pounds!)and then we have one carry-on and three backpacks full of our clothes and necessities. I used to like being able to pack everyone their own small suitcase, that way the boys didn't have to dig through my clothes to find theirs. At $25 a bag, those days are gone. This one big family suitcase is for the birds.

We made our first short flight to Houston with no major problems. There was a bit of a weird smell swirling through the cabin when we took off and lots of people looking around like "Is it normal to smell burnt eggs at takeoff?" None of the flight staff looked alarmed. I was just happy I had taken my little white pill so I didn't even think about panicking. Panicking on the plane would have just gotten my vacation off to a terrible start.

The boys are super happy to be heading out of town and to sunny, beautiful California. These two were both dressed like they were heading to Boston, instead of LA.

When we boarded our second leg, the long flight from Houston to LA, I saw that Continental had Direct TV at each seat. It was like the heavens opened and the angels started singing! You see, Chip has a bit of "I'm bored" problem alot of the time, but especially strapped into a seat for over two and half hours. Putting a TV in front of him is like calming an alligator by rubbing its tummy. He sat there the entire flight and not one "How much longer?" came out of his mouth. That my friends is a beautiful thing. So Continental I will forgive you the luggage charge for the gift of in flight television and we can call it even. I even got to watch the kickoff of The Next Food Network Star so it was all good in my chair too!

We arrived at LAX and the walking out of the terminal we were greeted with blue skies and beautiful cool 70 degrees. Ahhhhhh!

We got our rental car - it was not the sports car that the boys were hoping for - but a nice little silver Ford Escape. Fits our needs perfectly! Sorry boys!

We head for Universal Studios and of course hit some LA traffic. It was fine, it gave us a chance to look around a bit, roll our windows down and enjoy the weather. The 14 mile drive took us 52 minutes. Would not want to do that everyday!

We arrive at the Hotel and boys start checking out Universal City across the street from the hotel. We don't have plans to visit this amusement park, but we are going to visit the CityWalk.

It is about a 1/4 mile walk, but with lots of stairs and uphills over a pedestrian bridge to get from the Hilton to the CityWalk. Nice that we don't have to take a car and also nice to get in a little exercise since my exercise streak is over at 13 days. Dang, I really wanted to keep that going longer! We decide to grab some early dinner and head over after dropping off our luggage.

The big silver ball at the entrance to the CityWalk.

Cute picture of the boys.

We decide to hit the Saddle Ranch Chop House for dinner and it was great. The food was good and the service was excellent. I had some calorie friendly Lettuce Wraps that were really tasty. I am sure they were full of hidden calories since they tasted so darn good.

After dinner we head to Dodger Stadium to see the Dodgers play the Angels. Two local teams and the crowd was large.

The stadium was old, but you could tell it was well loved. AND, could the weather be any nicer?? Man, it was perfect when the sun was out and when the sun went down it got a little chilly. I love that.

Chip had to try a Dodger Dog! After he ate it, he said "I thought it would be bigger." It wasn't much of a challenge for him. Of course, we all took a bite so he didn't get the whole experience himself. Maybe next time kid.

We are still sticking to our no sodas for the most part. The guys had a coke with their dinner, but otherwise we are some water drinking fools. Even Dodger Water is cool.

We stayed for about six innings and then headed back to the hotel. We were wiped out. It had been a supremely long day with the travel and the time change. I practically nodded off at the stadium. If those darn folks could have kept the cheering down I might could have gotten a little cat nap.

It didn't take us long to get comfy and get in bed. Lights were out and we were snoozing. Great first day of vacation. Way more to come!!!

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