During our trip, we had a chance to do some fun things--spent several days at Disneyland, several more days at the beach, a day at Balboa Park and Old Towne in San Diego and some time in the San Juan Mission Capistrano.
We have spent many vacations in the LA/Anaheim/SD region and our latest trip reinforced some ideas that I have had about that area:
Maybe we just got lucky, but they know how to merge on a freeway or a street. In Utah, it is often a show of your manhood or womanhood to REFUSE any kind of easy merge. People stare straight ahead and will not make eye contact with the other car but will do whatever they can to not let you merge into the lane. In Cali, we had no problems and we have rarely ever had problems there.
Bikinis (I am not talking about a regular bikini, I am talking about the extra thin, barely there type of bikinis) are a nice idea in theory. In application, they rarely are. I saw many women on the beaches that had no right to wear those two little pieces of clothing on their bodies.
Speedos on a guy are NEVER a nice idea in theory. In application, the are an even worse idea, even on David Hasselhoff. I hate to say it, but men's bodies are not that attractive. A banana-hammock does nothing to improve on the appearance of a man's body.
In-N-Out hamburger joints rock. Seriously. Tasty hamburgers, 'fresh' tasting fries. Two thumbs up...in fact, I got the whole Johnson-Ashton-Gubler clan to eat there and the reviews were positive. Brodi pulled up the 'secret' menu of In-N-Out and tentatively approached the man to order our hamburgers--she asked 'Does it make sense to say that I want my hamburger 'animal style.' The guy said that it made perfect sense and we had a tasty meal.
10.5 hours in a car with 2 kids is not a fun task. But, I have to hand it to our boys...they were champs in the car. Besides one puking moment of Beckhams (he gets that from me and lets just say, Beckham enjoys a good regular puke every now and then) where he decided that pancakes and sausage do not sit well in stomach that gets carsick easily, the kids were happy tickling each other, watching dvds and playing with their DS Lite game system. The parents on the other hand were more than happy to be done with that trip.
Eastern California is not pretty. No offense to Barstow or Baker, but I can think of close to 15,785 other places that I would rather live. Though Baker has a lot to be proud of--mainly that they have the largest thermometer in the world. If that doesn't blow your mind, I don't know what will.
Most of SouthWest California is very pretty. San Diego, Dana Point, Carlsbad, etc. are all nice locations. Hard to beat 75 degree temps day in and day out.