Monday, March 9, 2015

Further Down The Road -Legoland California Part I

                     Way back in 2014 our youngest won a local coloring contest out of Tucson and received four tickets to LEGOLAND.   We of course thought this was beyond great.  Although at first I did not think this was such a big deal, until I attempted to buy the ticket for one of us.  Our family has five people.  Even buying a kids ticket to complete our package was not cheap.  On the day my wife and I picked up the prize package, we were late getting home to great our kiddos after school.  We had a special letter from the TV station claiming our son a winner and congratulating him--and once we got home, we pretended to be very angry at him and had him sit on the couch while we proceeded to tell him we were late getting home because we were at his school.  My wife than asked him if he had anything he would like to explain to us.   He seemed confused, maybe because this time he really was not in any trouble at all.  We than had him read the letter.   His expression slowly changed as he realized he was a winner not a trouble maker.  And than he jumped around the living room.  It was priceless.  We did not make this trip until last October.  We have so many pictures from the amazing trip that I have already labeled this post part one. 

At the time we had an older run down car.  So we had planned on getting a car rental for the long voyage.  We even had one reserved online.  But when we got to the rental company at the airport the key word quickly became planned.  Our credit rating was far from good enough to get a rental car it seemed.  Above is a picture of the rental car we could have afforded.
We decided to risk it and took off in our personal car.  It made for a stress full trip, but the car did make it both there and back.
I believe it rose to six old crabs while I was in town.
We try to avoid Phoenix every time possible   so our first major stop was in Gila Bend.
A moderate sized town full of things to take pictures of. 
And the home to several large and very nice truck stops. 
Including this beer/pop bottle  cap lizard.
Just beyond the Dollar General store we stopped at to get travel snacks
I spotted these old buildings. 

                                            We have been in Arizona nearly two years now
and have yet to see a real gila monster  but this one is pretty neat. 
Rest stop along the way with a nice view.
Finally into the state of California.
Notice how I in no way add great to that sentence.
Hours upon hours later we were attempting to enter San Diego.
A mere thirty miles from our motel.
We soon found ourselves in what I call a highway parking lot. 
With stop and go--but mostly stop driving for hours.
I often wonder in these situations, since no one is actually driving,
why these roads have posted speed limits, because no matter what time of day it is
you are not driving anywhere close to the limit.   And if you could get in trouble for texting and driving, since you are basically parked.
Maybe it was just all the gas fumes getting to my head.
We soon had great views of the ocean and the sunset to view
between cars.
Carlsbad in the lobby of our hotel.
My beautiful wife got us an amazing deal on a hotel that night and the next. 
In fact it cost us less than after LEGOLAND when we were starving and went out to eat
at a buffet restaurant. 
Long story short--after we all entered the buffet line, the host asked if we also wanted drinks with our meals.  Silly me, thought they would come with the meals. 
The drink prices cost an extra $25 some how, and
I than asked the host if we would also need to purchase plates with our meals. 
Just outside our room.  My wife enjoying the view!
Around the pool that we used a lot.
Just up from our motel was the ocean.  When I first ventured up to view
it was just getting dark.  Although I could not get any pictures, the view was still amazing.
On the trip home we discovered I had a little extra time from work and we could go slowly.
San Diego had so much to offer it seemed that we went a little to slow maybe. 
But got some great ocean time in and drove for miles down the coast line.
I have lots of pictures here  because well
there is not much water in Arizona!
I miss the ocean and such of Washington state, but not enough to move back.
What a view!
I have some stories I have written in my past about an Indian named Pontos  so thought this sign was neat.
Time to get down and dirty and Explore things a little closer.
Time to get back in the car and drive.
ANY time you can drive along the coast line 
Enjoy it!!
Road shot along the way.
 San Diego
Mission Beach

                                 A friend told me to visit this area and it was beyond neat  but he did not mention the large amusement park full of games and attractions.  After being in LEGOLAND the whole day before, we as parents were ready to Explore, but not spend more cash.  The kiddos did not house the same feelings for sure.

After first driving by, I did not think this was still a
full functioning roller coaster.
Trust what the truck says!
Do I look like a full on tourist here?

                                                  A few more stops and photo ops along the
                                                           long journey home. 

Small town art.
Long ago closed gas station.
Sadly while we where short on gas.
Part II takes us into the park!!
As always

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