Road Trip

26 10 2007

We just got home on Tuesday afternoon from a road trip to San Diego, CA.  Talk about good timing!  Every year my husband’s company sends all their employees somewhere for the new fiscal year kick-off.  Each employee gets to take a guest — no children allowed.  My husband has family in Riverside so we decided to take the boys along and leave them there while we spent two nights in San Diego with his company.  They boys have wanted to go to Legoland for years.  It opened the same year we moved away from California.  So we collected a weeks worth of school work and packed up.

We left at about 6:30am on Tuesday, October 16.  The plan was to drive from home to St. George, UT on the first day.  My husband has a habit of driving for hours on end before giving up the job to me, so I took lots of things along to keep me busy.

 I took along two books by Gilbert Morris from The Singing River Series.  I only had a couple of chapters to go on the second book and finished that up before we were two hours into the trip.  Picked up what I thought was the 3rd book and realized I had grabbed the first book instead.  That ended the reading for the trip.

Next I worked on hand-stitching the binding on a quilt for the Color & Design class I am taking.  It is a nine month class with a new project to be completed every month.  This was the first project and it was neutrals.  We were allowed one other color and it could cover up to 15% of the quilt top.  I missed the second class because it was on Wednesday after we left on the trip, but my project was finished on time.

Neutral

I also worked on my ninth embroidered block for a bluework snowman quilt.  Possibly pictures of that later.

We drove 70 to 15 on our way to California.  There was snow on the passes in Colorado (not on the road) and it was cold.  We learned that the Rockies had swept the playoffs when we made our first pit stop.  I’m not really a big sports fan, but it is always a little more fun when a local team is involved.

Utah was desolate, but beautiful.  I tried to get some pictures, but they just don’t do the scenery justice.

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We arrived in St. George in late afternoon at the Best Western Abbey Inn.  It was a nice hotel for the money.  Checked in and unloaded the car then went in search of something to eat.  Our whole family has been vegetarians for pretty forever.  We have been trying to cut out most of the fat and cholesterol at home, but on this trip those good intentions were tossed out the window.  We went to the Pasta Factory and had an excellent meal.  I think the staff was feeling a little overwhelmed.  Apparently the Senior World Games were happening in St. George that week.

After dinner it was back to the hotel to let the boys have some time in the pool.  It was a very nice pool and we had it mostly to ourselves.

The next morning we took off again bright and early.  The goal was to get to Carlsbad, CA early enough to hit the beach.  We drove through 29 miles of Arizona, which was a surprise since we hadn’t looked that closely at the map.  We saw 7 highway patrol in those 29 miles, I think that was more than we saw on any other full day of travel.  This ways the boys first time into Arizona so it was another state they could check of their list.  We boogied through Nevada, I don’t think we stopped at all.  By the time we made it into California I was needing a rest stop.  The rest area was closed when we got there.  We hurried on into Baker and stopped at the first gas station we came upon.  I rushed in and wouldn’t you know it there was a huge line at the women’s restroom.  There was a small tour bus stopped there and they were cleaning one of the stalls.  The men’s restroom was busy (no line) so it wasn’t an option.  I’ve never been so happy to finally be at the head of the line!

We drove on across California was we got into the more populated areas I think we saw the same group of chain stores about every 15 miles.  We did stop at Target so I could get an adapter so I could plug my laptop in while we were driving.  I had one before, but couldn’t find it when we were getting ready to leave home.

During our flying trip across Arizona, Nevada and California I finished sewing the binding on a small applique hanging that I appliqued in 2002 during a class with Claire Rutilla (sp?).  The technique was to trace the applique design on the back of the background fabric.  Then pin the applique fabric to the front and baste the through the layers on the outlines.  The technique is really good for detailed applique where placement is very critical.  I’ve since used it on several blocks.  I still need to put a label on the quilt so it will count for the UFO challenge on MQResource.

The Great Pumpkin

We arrived in Carlsbad at about 2:00pm.  Check in wasn’t until 4:00, but our room was ready at we were allowed to check into Inns of American Suites.  Once again a nice room.  Unload the car and a quick change and the boys were on the beac for the first time in over nine years.  They had a blast.  They spent 2-3 hours in the water and we practically had to drag them out to go get something to eat.

We ate at The Old Spaghetti Factory in San Marcos.  I know it isn’t a particularly high class restaurant, but my husband and I have eaten at as many different ones as we could get to over the years.  Several we enjoyed have since closed.  I had my usual Mizithra and Brown Butter.  I don’t want to know the fat content.  It was wonderfully rich as usual and the Spumoni ice cream topped off the meal.

It was back to the hotel so the boys could spend more time in the pool.  I opted to just use the jacuzzi this time.  I had pulled something in my knee the day before we left on the trip and was babying it so I could make it through Legoland the next day.

Thursday found us waiting at the gate when Legoland opened!

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The men in my life — not the short fat guy in front! This picture was taken just inside the front gate.

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The first ride we took was a little boat that went through some of their miniatures.  The detail was amazing (I think I took about 250 pictures).  Here are just one of many.

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The second ride was the wildest in the whole park.  You could choose from 5 different levels.  My 13 year old wanted the highest level, the 11 year old wanted one of the lowest and finally decided not to ride at all.  My husband ended up going with our oldest and I stayed on the ground.  Here’s a video if you would care to get sick to your stomach.  I videoed the whole ride and it was less than a minute, but my husband said it felt like it went on way longer. 

Legoland was operating on winter hours so we only had 7 hours to see it all.  We pretty much covered it.  Since it was during the school year the lines were very short.  Some rides the boys would go on and then come off and be able to go right back on.  The mini cars were really cool.  They were not on a track like at Disneyland.  The kids actually could control where they were going on the streets.  There were stop signs and signals they were supposed to obey, HAH!

These last two pictures were at the end of the day while their dad was standing in line buying a lego set for each of them.

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There was some beautiful landscaping there as well.  Here’s one flower that looks good enough to eat.

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We left Legoland and went to Souplantation for dinner.  One of the kids favorite restaurants is Sweet Tomatoes, but unfortunately the closest one is in Denver.  Souplantation is the same restaurant so it finished out their day nicely.  Stopping while we were still in the area also saved us traffic wise.  By the time we headed to Riverside traffic was moving.

We met up with my in-laws (who came down from Oregon) at my husband’s uncles house.  The house was built by my husband’s grandfather and he hadn’t seen it since his uncle remodeled part of it.  We spent the night and then left the boys and headed to San Diego on Friday morning.  I hadn’t planned to visit any quilt shops, but when I looked in the phone-book while we were in Carlsbad I saw Quilt in A Day listed.  My husband graciously stopped for me.  He lasted about 3 minutes in the store and then waited for me in the car.  The shop is in an industrial section.  It was a very nice shop.  I wasn’t looking for anything in particular.  However, my next color class was looming in the future so I looked around with that in mind.  The next project is Monochromatic.  I found several different blue greens in the store and an idea was born.  More on that later.

We drove on to Old Town San Diego (that was an experience — the signs on the freeway were very misleading).  I had suggested we stop there and my husband quickly agreed when he saw they had a Sheriff’s museum.  We wandered through Old Town eyeing the Mexican Restaurants.  I think all of them had women out front making fresh tortillas.  Before we could eat we found the Sheriff’s museum.  They had an amazingly complete collection.  My husband is a volunteer deputy at home and he started coming up with ideas for a museum here.  Still hungry we stopped at a Mexican Restaurant (sorry don’t remember which one) and had some of the best Mexican food I’ve had in a long time.  Those tortillas were wonderful!

Hopped back in the car and made our way down to the Manchester Hyatt and checked in.  We had requested a king bed but apparently everyone else in the company had too.  They gave us what they called a queen.  Someone needs to tell them the measurements on a queen bed.  The beds were actually doubles.  Other than the bedding, the other hotels we stayed in on our way there were nicer.  There was even only one chair in the room.  The company took over part of Embarcadero Park for dinner.  All different types of food, but we weren’t really hungry after the Mexican.  Hit the dessert table and had a plate of fruit and they had freezers of different types ice cream so had a Dove bar, too.  Then because we aren’t fond of crowds we wondered off through Seaport Village.  It was very pretty in the dark with all the lights.

Saturday morning we took a trip up to Balboa Park.  The plan was just to wander around and see what we could see.  We parked behind the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.  There are free concerts there on Sunday so we weren’t really expecting to see the organ.  However, it was all opened up because there was someone there practicing.  The sun was shining the wrong direction for a picture so I thought I’d get one when I came back.  They had closed everything up by the time we came back.

My goal was to get pictures of plants and architecture.  We were in the park well before the museums opened and there weren’t that many people yet.  So I did get some fair shots of some of the old buildings.  The vast majority of my pictures were taken in the Botanical Building and in the Rose Garden.  Here are just a sampling.

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We didn’t see everything in Balboa Park, but we got tired of walking so went back to the hotel to rest. 

Later in the afternoon we wandered back down to Embarcadero Park and watched for sailboats.  I mentioned I had come up with an idea for my monochromatic project and now I needed some pictures of sailboats.  I did get a few that I think will work.

Saturday night dinner was on the USS Midway.  The whole deck was covered with food, tables and people.  It was too dark to get good pictures.  The highlight of the evening was a private fireworks show off a barge just a short distance from the Midway.

Sunday morning we were ready to see family.  So it was back on the freeway to Riverside.  We noticed the haze in the sky, but didn’t realize there were fires until later in the afternoon.  We hadn’t seen my husbands cousins for almost 13 years, hadn’t met the wife of one or any of their children.  Every one got together on Sunday afternoon and we had a good time catching up.  My boys loved hearing stories about their dad from his cousins.  Monday was a school day so the evening wrapped up early.

Monday at about 7:00 am we were back on the road headed home.  We decided to see a little more of the country so took I-40 home and the boys saw a great deal more of Arizona.  The tenative plan had been to drive straight through, but by the time we reached Albuquerque we knew it would be 3am before we made it home.  So we got another hotel and spent the night.  Most restaurants were closing by the time we started looking, but we found a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant that was still open and the food was good. 

I spent parts of the drive Monday & Tuesday putting together my digitizing class for Wednesday at the local Bernina shop.  I was very close to finished with it by the time we arrived home on Tuesday afternoon.  I also finished the block I was embroidering — one more to go.

 The trip was memorable, but it is good to be home!

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