So here it is ... journal and pictures from our trip to California, July 2-9, 2006.
Day 1 - Sunday, July 2
Flight leaves STL at 7:00 am (ugh, I hate early morning flights) - arrives in LAX around 9:30 am. Within 45 minutes (no joke) we go to the restroom, get our 3 pieces of luggage from baggage claim, find the shuttle to take us to Enterprise and we are in our rental car and on our way. 45 freakin' minutes! Can you believe that?!?! LAX was NOT all it is cracked up to be - wasn't hectic at all for us - it was great! We drove over to the coast so we can see the Pacific Ocean for the first time. IT'S BEAUTIFUL! We saw Manhattan Beach because our hotel for second part of the week is nearby. Then we drove out to Beaumont where the reunion was - about 80 miles from LA. Stopped at the house where the reunion was hosted, meet tons of family, then went and checked-in to our room at the resort that we stayed at for the first 4 nights.
Very nice place - rooms were a little outdated but the grounds were wonderful - huge pool, lots of walking trails, etc. Waited at the room for Bobby's parents & sister to arrive. Went back to the house for a little bit, came back to resort, swam until 10:30, went to bed.
Day 2 - Monday, July 3
Spent the entire day & evening at Laguna Beach with the whole family - probably 60 so in our group were there. It was so awesome! We got to spend all day laying in the sand, or catching sun rays, swimming in the ocean, bodysurfing.... it was great!
Day 3 - Tuesday, July 4
Main day at reunion - all day and night spent at the host house visiting, playing volleyball, eating, drinking tons of water, watching the kids play in a HUMUNGOUS water slide they rented, etc. After dark, walked over to the nearby park and watched fireworks.
Day 4 - Wednesday, July 5
Family couldn't decide what to do so some went to Six Flags, Bobby & Bob went fishing, Susie, Terri, Jessica & Ashley went antique shopping - and I woke up with an awful sore throat, sinus problems, bad cough, and headache so I stayed in the room in the morning to rest. The girls came back and we all went swimming at the pool. While there, we were visited by a mama BEAR and her CUB!!!!!! They were just on the other side of the pool from us! But once they saw us, they turned around and left - no harm done. It was so exciting!!!! That night we all went out to dinner.
Day 5 - Thursday, July 6
Everyone checked out at the resort and departed around noon.... Bobby andI drove to LA! Before going to the hotel, we decided to drive up the Pacific Coast Highway/HWY 1 (I think they are the same) all the way up to Malibu - holy moly there are some huge houses up there! After checking into our hotel, we went to Santa Monica for the evening - we walked around the Promenade and Pier - got some great photos of the sun setting over the mountains.
Day 6 - Friday, July 7
Spent the day in HOLLYWOOD! I got to do one thing that I've wanted to do all my life - we took a STARS' HOMES TOUR! It was so awesome - we saw some huge stars' homes - Ben Affleck, Will Ferrell, Paris Hilton, Demi Moore/Ashton Kuchner, Tom Cruise (even though you can't see past the trees/fence), Johnny Depp, Dr Phil, Sean Connery, Sylvester Stallone, the list goes on and on! Then our driver took us through Rodeo Drive and the Sunset Blvd/Strip. Then we got on another tour bus that took us around "old Hollywood" - this wasn't as fascinating, but still interesting. We hit up some souvenir shops, then drove to LA where we went to a Dodgers' game. We didn't get great seats but it was awesome just being there. We love visiting baseball stadiums. And again, the weather was perfect! There weren't even any bugs!!!
Day 7 - Saturday, July 8
Another Beach Day! This time we beach-hopped... we started out at Manhattan Beach, then went to Hermosa Beach, then finished up at Redondo Beach - of course we loved them all! Back to the room, showered, then came back down to Manhattan Beach where we had dinner near the pier then drove up to Redondo to walk around the Pier. Very cool!
Day 8 - Sunday, July 9
I was still feeling crummy from the self-diagnosed upper respiratory infection and bummed becuase we have to go home (even though we really missed our critters!). We got packed up and decided to do a last run of Hollywood/Beverly Hills before catching our 4:30 flight. Drove to Hollywood Blvd, took a bunch more pics, went to Rodeo Drive, tried to find the office of Dr Rey from the tv show Dr 90210, drove thru UCLA a little bit, and the Sunset Strip. Now it was time to drop off the car and go to the airport. We thought we would give that all almost 3 hours - yeah, it took just 40 mins or so to drop the car off, go to airport, checkin, and go thru security. ugh, airports are so unpredictable. Got home at almost 11, talked to our neighbors for a couple minutes, and off to bed to get up just 6 hours later for work.
Here is the link to all of our pictures: