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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Day 10 and 11 There's No Place Like San Francisco

On our way to half moon bay Josh stopped at a road side market to buy me some cherries. They were so YUMMY!  I was surprised by the amount of fruit crops along the coast to Half Moon Bay State Beach. 

We made a quick side trip to Pidgeon Point because the lighthouse was just too cute to pass.  We walked behind the lighthouse on an overlook and watched sea lions sunbathing.  Sea Lions….actual sea lions!  I know they don’t come from the zoo but I’ve never seen them in their natural habitat. 




Bean enjoyed the ocean for the first time.  He chased waves, shadows of the sea gulls, and hopped around the sand.

Half Moon Bay State Beach


He provided us with hours of entertainment.


Next stop…SAN FRANCISO.


Whatever happened to predictability, the milkman, the paperboy, the evening t.v.???




Yes, we found the Full House house.  There was a small warning sign reminding us not to be too loud or do anything to cause the neighbors to say “How Rude!”

Wow, the streets in San Francisco are seriously at a 45 degree angle but all the homes and stores had such beautiful architectural design that stayed consistent throughout the city.  It made the city feel so quaint.




This city LOVES the outdoors and I think that was another reason why I LOVED it.

We met some friendly officers that tried to talk us out of riding the Golden Gate Bridge.  They said it is like looking down into the Grand Canyon.  Wha!?!?  Had they read my blog????  Do they know how I feel about that???




Despite their warnings about the wind and height we rode the bridge. 




I am soooo glad I didn’t miss out on this.  It was an incredible experience.  And because we brought our own bikes I think we looked like the locals. 

Except when Jenna stopped in the middle of the trail and I ran into the back of her.  Otherwise, you would have never known we were tourists.

Make sure you get all the way to the water side of the bridge if you want to stop for pictures or talk AND don’t stop at the entrance for pictures because you’re in everyone else’s way.



You’re welcome for that tip. ;-)

We did take the officer’s advice and head down to Crissy Fields to ride our bikes around town. 


This town LOVES bikers and I suggest if you ever visit you need to explore the town on a bike.  Everyone shares the road; bikers, cars, and pedestrians.

We try to use YELP when we want to try new places to eat.  That’s how we found lunch, CodMother.  It is a permanent food truck and the food was great.  We could have easily shared but oh well, we are riding bikes so let’s eat all the things!!

 
Click here for more info


Josh wanted to ride Lombard Street.  Honestly, I was not feeling real confident about that so Jenna and I sat at cute little coffee shop and had an iced zebra mocha while we waited and prayed for Josh to return safely to us. 

Later we drove Lombard Street and it was incredible but I still think I made the right choice about not riding it.  You know me and how dangerous and I can be to myself and others, I would have ended up running into a car.


I know we just recently ate but there was a DELLI that had to be tried.  Not just any deli, it was a Ghirardelli. 



We ate until we were sick but it’s okay because we were riding bikes.  We shared the Lands End.  It had 2 brownies, fudge, caramel, sea salt, ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry.  It was MORE than enough for us.

Click here for more info
After 11 miles of riding we decided to get in the truck and drive through China Town and head to the Giants game.

The wind…oh my the wind.  Have you ever pedaled into the wind?  It’s like a bike treadmill.  I’m pretty sure that we looked like tourists at this point.

We showed up to the game needing tickets.  We didn’t really care about our seats we just wanted in so that we could experience the game and see the stadium. 


We must have had the look when we walked up because every scalper in the area was offering us “the best deals”.  They were arguing with each other about what we should spend.

Thank you StubHub, we got cheap tickets and enjoyed the game like true tourists.


We stayed until we were hungry and then decided to stop at Slice House on our way back to tiny home.

Tomorrow we are off to Yosemite, YO!















Monday, June 26, 2017

Day 8 Hollywood Tourist...Beverly Hills, That's Where I Want to Be!

Hollywood Hills, Hollywood Walk of fame, Beverly Hills, Rodeo drive, and Malibu beach

California Donuts was on Jenna's bucket list so when we finally crawled out of bed we headed there. They already had their lines roped off so they could contain the crazy.



We got in line ordered our Donuts and waited like nice Texans to get to the pay window. 



Crazy LA Lady to Donut Worker:  yes, I'll take 3 apple fritters and I'll just go up there and pay.

Crazy LA Lady to me:  I know it looks like I'm cutting in front of you but I'm not.

Me:  Well, you actually ordered after us so you'll probably need to pay after us.

Crazy LA Lady to me:  Well, I saw a guy just come up and do this.

Me:  Yes, he had a call in order. You just ordered after us.

Crazy LA Lady to Person on her phone:  So these people think I'm cutting in line and it actually looks like I am but I'm really not.

Donut Employee: (hands lady our order and tells her price)

Crazy LA Lady to Donut Employee: That's not mine I had 3 apple fritters.

Donut Employee:  Oh, you're after this order.

Me (smirking) as I get back in front of Crazy LA  Lady.

I'm not a big sugary breakfast person but we ate enough to last us until dinner. Josh and I each got a ham, egg, cheese, and jalapeƱo crossiant. They were HUGE and really good. The coffee was delicious too. Then of course we each had to get an instagram picture worthy donut. 



Josh picked toasted coconut, Jen picked the Oreo panda, and I picked chocolate upon chocolate bar. Donut ;-) expect a beautiful area.  All the buildings are spray painted and they have run out of walls so they have started putting graffitti on the windows of businesses here.  There was a homeless tent on the corner of the intersection and lots of people lying around on the streets.  Really very sad.

Our day was packed with all the tourist things. 




We climbed the hill for a picture of Hollywood Hill. Not a good idea after California Donuts. 



We walked the sidewalk of Hollywood walk of fame. 



We thought we would look more Hollywood if Josh carried Bean around. 





I personally think he deserves an Oscar for the part he played:  LA guy with small dog.  BRAVO, honey!!




There were lots of people walking around in costumes or as characters and they would want you to take pictures with them for a tip.

Next up was Rodeo Drive, baby.  We did a little (window) shopping and pretended like we saw famous people.  Jenna and I found a pair of tennis shoes we liked for $1,750.  Whoa!! We didn’t even spend that at the most magical place on Earth so we had to pass on the shoes. 




I did find a new pair of sunglasses at Louis Vitton but again wasn’t really in the budget.  I’m pretty sure the teachers don’t shop over here but it was really fun to walk around and look at the shops and talk about if we actually had that kind of money we wouldn’t spend it on these things.



We decided to head back to our side of the tracks and pick up some groceries for a dinner picnic on Malibu beach.  






















Sunday, June 25, 2017

Day 7 Disneyland in a Day

Okay moms, let’s talk about Disney.  I’m going to be real honest with you.  The notebooks you create and the maps you print out, the discounts and packages and clubs and bracelets and t-shirts and rewards make me sweat.  I seriously get overwhelmed and want nothing to do with this place OR maybe I’m just jealous that you’ve figured out the ins and outs of Disney. 



I’m simple.  I like simple and we just kept it really simple.  Our plan was to spend ONE day in Disneyland on a tight budget and have the most magical time ever.  


We woke up a 4:30 a.m.—we were a little excited and needed about an hour drive time to get through LA traffic.


We made it to the gates before they opened and just stood there to take in the excitement of just being at the most magical place earth.



 I looked at all the moms with strollers adorned with shoe caddies that held every family member’s drinks for the day.  The baskets filled with snacks and autograph books and pens and anything your little heart desired while visiting Disneyland these moms had it. #goals

We filled our camelbacks with water and a few mid afternoon snacks - after all, these were things that we used to survive the Sedona desert.  Best purchase EVER.

Click Here


Okay, we were lined up at the ropes with other happy families and listening to the announcer tell us to walk,  DON’T RUN.  The minute he said “go” moms were pushing children, using strollers to take out other mom’s ankles, and racing like Usain Bolt to get into the park.

Josh had been here as a kid and this was my first time so I wasn’t sure what to expect OR know why we were running. 

The first line was the Peter Pan ride and it was probably the longest line we waited in all day.  It was fantastic!  The details and stories that each ride told were phenomenal! 







We took castle pictures and rode all the rides in Fantasyland.  We watched The Beauty and the Beast and Tangled theater shows.  Jenna has now decided to work at Disney. ;-)



Lunch was wonderful and not overly priced.  We ate soup in bread bowls from Critter Country.  The Disney ducks ate lunch with us.



We decided to watch a Saloon show and have a dessert.  We shared an ice cream sundae and watched the performance until……….one of the performers made eye contact with me while he was picking people from the audience to be apart of his skit.


Oh no, no, no!!  Look away, Shannon.  Pretend like you are overly involved with your ice cream sundae and completely oblivious to the show going on in front of you.


Too late.




We continued to ride rides, walk through the different Disney areas, shop for souvenirs, and just take everything in.  The great thing about the rides at Disneyland was that they had so many going at once they could quickly move through the line but the tricky thing about lines is that they are deceiving.  The line looks like it’s not very long BUT it zig-zags back and forth, up and down, and in and out.  It’s crazy but organized. 




Ya’ll, several wonderful friends told me about the Fast Pass but I just didn’t understand. I think I’m a visual learner and I just needed to see what it was about.  I get it now, although, I don’t think we needed it for our trip.  It is basically a way to hold your place in line by checking in and receiving a time to return to ride the ride without standing there and waiting.  

Our favorite ride was the Pirates of the Caribbean.  I actually thought Johnny Depp was going to take over our ship, that’s how realistic the props were.

At this point in the day we are starting to lose steam.  I’m pretty sure I heard Jenna giving her dad the same motivational speech he gave her in the desert 2 days ago. 


We really wanted to see the electrical parade and we wanted to make sure that when we left there wasn’t anything left that we felt like we needed to do.




We had dinner in New Orleans on the patio and rested a little bit before continuing our Disney adventure.

The roller coaster simulator, Star Tours, was the scariest ride for Jenna and the teacups were the scariest for Josh. 





I was really impressed with how family friendly ALL the rides were and how friendly the staff was. 


Our goal was to have a magical time, do as much as we physical could, and not spend a lot of money.  We left the park at 9:45 spending only $140 minus the cost of our tickets. 

I KNOW there a lot things that we didn't do and there is probably so much more that we cannot even imagine but if you asked Jenna if she had fun she would tell you "it was the most magical, best day of my life."  

















Saturday, June 24, 2017

Day 6 This Ain't No Disco....This is L.A.

We finally made it to California OR are we in another country?!  So weird, we just went through a customs check at the border. 

Border Attendant:  Do you have any fruits or nuts?

Josh: (long stare) No.

Border Attendant:  Do you have any wood?

Josh: (mumbling “Damn, hippie state”) No sir.
(again Josh mumbling "Never mind the large amount of drugs or guns in our trailer, I guess".) If you know Josh then you know that we are in California because he LOVES Jenna and this is somewhere she wanted to see and experience.

After 8 hours of driving we arrived at the RV park.  I actually thought it was RV storage and I could tell Josh was coming up with a plan on how to park this bad boy.  We usually plan our gas stops based on the difficulty to pull through and no back-ups to exit.



Josh:  No lie…..they are going to use a fork lift to put us in our spot.

Me: What in the world?!-- as I am looking around at the animals painted on the concrete walls, to give you that off the grid, deep in the woods feel.

The people are super friendly here and according to the owner, also known as the guy who parked our trailer, Sandra Bullock’s make-up artist is across from us.  Several stunt men on the next row and a few cameramen live a few RVs down.  He showed us pics of the movie they filmed at this RV park two weeks ago.  Sounds like it’ll be good, ladies –it’ll be on Lifetime.  

We decided to head down to Santa Monica pier once we got settled.  But first....we must park.  What does this even mean??

Ya’ll I have never seen so many people in my entire life!!  The pier was packed so we didn’t even attempt that and you could tell the beach was slowly starting to fill up but We Ain’t From ‘Round Here and we just assumed that all these people wanted to be at the beach. 

During dinner we found out that it was free concerts summer every Thursday on the Pier and thought we might as well experience this while we are here.


In case you’re wondering, Khalid was the performer on the beach.  I’m pretty sure that we were the only ones out there that had to look on YouTube to see who he was.

 
It was as though we were actually swimming through a sea of people to find a spot on the beach.  I have NEVER smelled so many different body odors at once.  There were people everywhere. There were police everywhere; on horses, ATVs, walking the beach, and flying over us with a helicopter.


Here are a few of the things that my family's eyes cannot unsee during our first 8 hours in LA:



I saw a man brushing his teeth while walking down the sidewalk.

I saw 2 women having spiritual sex on the beach – I had no idea about this until I got here.  It was pretty embarrassing and hard to look away from at the same time.

I saw a man strap a fast food cup to his face with straps that went around his ears.

I saw people singing in the middle of the road while homeless people 5 feet from them plugged their ears.

I saw muscle beach filled with a lot of large men working out for everyone to see.

I saw a woman with her pet opossum climbing on her shoulder while she petted it to calm it down.

Los Angeles, you have definitely been an interesting change in scenery and we continue to collect these priceless moments.





Next stop, Disneyland.













Thursday, June 22, 2017

Day 4 Sedona, Arizona

We arrived in Sedona and unloaded the trailer at Cave Springs campsite.  Josh read about a hike that was one of the most popular and family friendly in Sedona so we thought we would give it a try.  It was the West Fork of Oak Creek Trail in Sedona, Arizona and just 2 miles from our campsite.

This hike started with a valley full of apple trees that descended down into a canyon with overwhelming red canyon walls that followed along a beautiful creek. 

We took Bean with us and allowed him to run off his leash whenever the trail was clear.  He provided us lots of laughs. He LOVES to run ahead then come back to us and make sure we are sill following him. 


We went through 7 of the 13 creek crossings and stopped for a little swim in one of the bigger ones.  Bean jumped in for a swim too. 









This hike was easy and absolutely gorgeous.  We ended our night with apple races down the creek.  We put our apple on the bridge, gently pushed them off, and watched the current take it down stream. I’m pretty sure my apple won but don’t tell Josh and Jenna because they think they won.