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  1. #1

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    Southern California...Veni, Vidi, Vici! A different sort of Trip Report

    There have been many TR about DL posted here, many with much better photos than I could ever hope to take. So I thought I would post my TR to Southern California and DL a bit differently, through the use of scrapbooking. This way, the photos that I have that are not that great could still be used. And the little souvenirs that I have collected on my travels can go in the scrapbook as well. So, without furthur ado, I present my family's latest trip to sunny California.


    I don't normally journal on my pages, mostly because I hate to read what I have written. But occasionally I put down a word or two. This page is the opening page to the trip. It shows us getting to a beach on our first day, any beach! Ah, California!


    One of the biggest reasons for vacationing in CA (a long way from Pittsburgh) was the fact that the San Diego Zoo had Pandas, and my 12 year old loves Pandas. The next three pages are from the zoo.


    I may have gone overboard on the panda photos, but I figured we wouldn't be back and it was a momentous event for my son. I almost cried when I saw the pandas for the first time. They are so beautiful and regal if you will. You have to be quite around them because they do not like loud noises, so that brought a sort of "church" atmosphere to the place.


    The San Diego Zoo is a beautiful and big zoo with a lot of hills! The staff was very friendly and the food was actually good. This is where my boys discovered churros for the first time! The polar bears were the cutest things, but could not get any photos. My little one loves snakes of all things, so he and his dad looked at them while I shopped at the gift shop! The cutest animal award had to go to the baby meercats. They were so tiny! I took a picture but they kind of looked dead in the photo, so I didn't use it.


    I love movies and I love Some Like It Hot. Since we were so close to Hotel Del Coronado, I had to visit it and walk in Marilyn Monroe's footsteps. The hotel was beautiful and so where the cars. That is a Rolls Royce by the way. Not to many of them in Pittsburgh. The boys really enjoyed the beach. I'll tell you what though, I think the Grand Floridian at WDW is more beautiful on the inside. This hotel was made of wood and was very dark inside and not huge like the GF, mostly because they did not have the ability to make huge lobbies back then. At least that is my guess.


    More from the Del. My husband and I enjoyed a couple of glasses of champagne that he bought from the hotel and took out to the beach. He is a sweetie and very romantic, even after 20 years of marriage. Glorious sunset.


    On to Disneyland next!
    Last edited by Nancywitt; 09-15-2008 at 05:33 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Southern California...Veni, Vidi, Vici! A different sort of Trip Report

    I usually begin each trip to the parks with a family photoand the tickets we used to get in. This is our second night at the park and we had seen the fireworks the night before, so we were leaving. The fireworks in the background turned out well. The dolls are from the windows on Main Street. I don't know how many times I have just walked by them without looking! Bad girl! This time I was determined to catch all the details.


    My Churro boys! One thing that is fun about scrapbooking is the use of other people's photos. By that I mean postcards, maps, brochures, anything is fair game. I'm not the best photographer by any means, so if I see a better version of the picture I took, you can bet I'll put it in my books!


    After seeing so many great photos on MiceChat from the parks, I decided I would try to emulate some of them in telling my story, hense all the photos of the ride names. It actually turned out good on these two pages. I wanted to show some of the rides we were on and show that this was the year the boys tried more adventurous rides. This was the year they tried Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain. On SM my 8 year old was cheering and clapping at the end. Music to my ears.


    Got to have the Dole Whip!


    Not my favorite page, but I had to show the Indiana Jones "show" since they would not have it forever, and this is the first time my boys have been on that ride. (We have only been to DL two times before.) That snake on the ride always gets me!


    Believe it or not, this is the first time I found the Club 33 door! And with that, I had to have a photo!



    We are having big winds here in Pittsburgh tonight, thanks to Ike, so I will post these photos now before I lose them and then continue on.
    Last edited by Nancywitt; 09-15-2008 at 05:36 AM.

  3. #3

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    Re: Southern California...Veni, Vidi, Vici! A different sort of Trip Report

    LOVE this TR Nancy!!
    Just countin' the days til the next visit!

  4. #4

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    Re: Southern California...Veni, Vidi, Vici! A different sort of Trip Report

    This was the first time we ran into Esmeralda (A lot of firsts on this trip.) So we all got our fortunes read. The top photo is a nod to VMK's Esmeralda. One night, there must have been 20 people lined up to get their fortune!


    We went to Tom Sawyer's Pirate Island and had a blast. I know I am going out on a limb here, but I like the new version of the island. The things they added like the Davy Jones' chest, the pirate in the jail, and of course, Jack Sparrow, made this island a destination point, not just a place to kill a bit of time. Jack Sparrow came out right on time but didn't pose for pictures, instead he started walking around the island. We all followed of course. At one point he comes back to where he would normally pose for pictures, but he walked on by. There was one lady who was so mad! She was yelling at Jack's handler and she kept saying that Jack does what he wants. She continued to yell but we moved on. I didn't want her to ruin my day!


    Same parade they had the last time we were there, so I just threw these photos and stickers together. (I am a big sticker fan.) I wish they would update their parades more often, but I know that costs tons of money. The pictures did not turn out that great, the sun was in the wrong position. I probably won't include these photos when I do my boys scrapbooks. Alice stopped in front of us when they do that stopping thing. I must have been in a weepy mood, that part in the parade, where they give the dedication speech, always gets me!


    I love King Triton's Carousel and we go on it every chance we can. It is so beautiful and unique. There is usually never a line. Which I guess should tell them something, but if they were to take it away, I would be upset.


    DCA is next. It will be nice when they finally do something different with that park. After a few hours, we were done. Unfortunitly, Midway Mania was down for repairs, so we were not able to ride it. Have to leave something for next time. Since WALL*E came out this summer, I had to include him in the scrapbook.


    We love the Aladdin show and I was able to get a few photos to turn out. This time, while walking around the park, I tried to take notice of the details. I love these signs for the restrooms and the price of gas on this gas dispenser is great! Only 5 cents a gallon!


    A new parade! There have been many photos posted of this parade on MC. This is just my little version. The one thing I don't like is the water they spray out. I know the kids love it and it does cool them off, but my camera did not like it! Had to keep putting it behind my back. But I was forwarned, and did not use my video camera.




    We stayed at the Grand California Resort. We don't normally do the deluxe resort, but my romantic husband wanted to give it a try. It was only three nights, so it was do-able. What can I say about this hotel that has not been said already? I have been using the word beautiful a lot in this report, but things we have seen in CA are beautiful! This hotel is no exception. We love the DL Hotel, but they were booked, so instead of going off property, we splurged. Boy am I glad we did. I love CA Craftsmen and this resort tried so hard to achieve that look.


    Again, I tried to capture the resort by taking "odd" photos that I would normally not take. That and the fact that I used some of their photos and added some souvenirs, I think these pages turned out well. Our room came with two crazy boys! I didn't know Disney sold children. But then again, where else would they get the kids for It's A Small World?


    The pool was awesome! It was wonderful having the resort so close to the parks. When we got tired we just came back for a refreshing swim (and some refreshing drinks for the adults) and then we were ready for some more park action. At one point, after relaxing and then getting dressed, we had about 5 minutes to get to DCA before the parade started. We got there just as it was beginning. Awesome!


    On our last morning there we ate at the Storytellers Cafe and enjoyed the character breakfast. It was a buffet breakfast and all the food was delicious, the best thing for me was the french toast. I still crave it! It was a bit pricey, but for some reason my husband was Mr. Moneybucks this trip.



    Almost done but feel the need to post and save! Hollywood is next!
    Last edited by Nancywitt; 09-15-2008 at 05:47 AM.

  5. #5

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    Re: Southern California...Veni, Vidi, Vici! A different sort of Trip Report

    I did lose power but am back on now.

    We have a huge Oscar party every year and so I had to see the Kodak Theatre. They do not let you take photos inside, but they do give you a postcard and I won two posters for answering triva questions correctly. Our guide was wonderful, you could tell she loves her job. At the end of the tour we got to sit in the seats and ask questions. There were photos of some of the big stars from this last telecast and I sat next to Johnny. This one girl did me one better and sat on his "lap." My kids were golden the whole time. I know they were board for the 45 minute tour (it was only suppose to last 30 minutes, but like I said, our guide loves her job) but they were quite and did not ask how much longer this was going to last. Maybe it was the fear of death I put on them before the tour started. Who knows!


    This is an instance where I included photos that were better than mine. I included mine as well just to prove we were there. I had to find Johnny and Walt's star. And to find Johnny's handprints at the Chinese Theatre? Bonus! I didn't care that I looked like a tourist, taking pictures of the sidewalk, but from what I read in my guide books, the majority of the people on Hollywood Blvd are tourists!


    We had to see WALL*E at the El Capital Theatre and eat ice cream at the Disney Soda Fountain next door. We had to! I'm so glad we did. Now when I read movie reviews here on MC that take place at the El Cap, I know what it is like. The theater is smaller than I thought it would be and I didn't care for them charging a higher price for the better seats, but you take it all in stride.




    Hollywood is all about illusion, so I tried to show a little of that by showing photos of the same thing, one the "real" in Hollywood, and one the "fake" at DL. My husband has been trying to find a hotel with a 1313 room and he did, in Burbank! My kids were not impressed, but my little one acted for the camera.


    One more save before the lights go out again, then some thoughts!
    Last edited by Nancywitt; 09-15-2008 at 05:53 AM.

  6. #6

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    Re: Southern California...Veni, Vidi, Vici! A different sort of Trip Report

    We had a wonderful time in CA. I love that state. We were there for only six days so we had to pick and chose what we were going to see, DL being the most important and then the pandas at the zoo. I think we did a good amount in the time we had. We are not huge beach fans, but we had to dip our feet in the Pacific Ocean. I knew I wanted to get a taste of Hollywood and that's all we had time for, a taste. It turned out to be a good thing since my kids thought it was a strange place full of strange people (All over Hollywood Blvd were people dressed up as characters from movies and you could get your picture taken with them. A grown-up version of taking your photo with "characters.") I guess they thought it was strange since this was real life and not a theme park.

    We noticed a lot of Hummers on the road, but to counter that, we noticed just as many Pries. I don't know if Californians were trying to save gas or not, but on the highways the speed was around 65mph on average. Last time we were here two years ago, it seemed that everyone way driving over 80mph!

    DL is just as beautiful as I remembered her from 2006. I still get all teary eyedwhen I see the light above the firehouse. And this time we were there on July 17th so we even got to hear Walt's dedication speech. Cry! Even though we go to WDW more often and that park feels more like home to me, I will always have a soft spot for Walt's orginal park. It's where he walked!

    Now it is getting late for me here. Time to go to bed since my boys have school tomorrow. I will sign off now. If I have any more thoughts to share, I will edit my posts. Thanks for taking a look at this different TR. I hope I could bring something different to MC.

  7. #7

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    Re: Southern California...Veni, Vidi, Vici! A different sort of Trip Report

    Now THIS is an awesome TR, because it's so different. Great job at the scrapbook pages too.

  8. #8

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    Re: Southern California...Veni, Vidi, Vici! A different sort of Trip Report

    Great trip report! I enjoyed the different take with scrapbooking.

  9. #9

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    Re: Southern California...Veni, Vidi, Vici! A different sort of Trip Report

    This TR is wonderfully enjoyable, and I can tell that it was made with a lot of love!

  10. #10

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    Re: Southern California...Veni, Vidi, Vici! A different sort of Trip Report

    Nice TR. I don't have the patience to do a good scrapbook. You did a nice job.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Southern California...Veni, Vidi, Vici! A different sort of Trip Report

    Great Trip Report!!!!! I am glad you posted your scrapbook pages!!! I love to scrapbook as well so I thought this was a wonderful way to see your families wonderful trip

  12. #12

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    Re: Southern California...Veni, Vidi, Vici! A different sort of Trip Report

    WOW I love the way your report is laid out. What great memories, now I get why people can get addicted to scrapbooking seeing how wonderful your report came out. Thank you so much for sharing.

  13. #13

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    Re: Southern California...Veni, Vidi, Vici! A different sort of Trip Report

    I love this trip report! Great job!

  14. #14

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    Re: Southern California...Veni, Vidi, Vici! A different sort of Trip Report

    So pretty! And what is the price of gas on the pump? I can't read it.

    I love the stitch in the jungle cruise, minnie in Haunted Mansion and Daisy in SM. Are these stickers? It's something new I haven't seen!

  15. #15

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    Re: Southern California...Veni, Vidi, Vici! A different sort of Trip Report

    I really enjoyed your report! Nicely done and a fun twist on the usual. The scrapbook is a great way to save memories and I really like how you put it together. Looks like you had a wonderful time. I hope you can visit California again!

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