As I mentioned…I had a great time on my vacation.
So bright and early on Thursday morning I loaded my bags into the rental car (a red dodge caliber) and heading south east towards San Bernardino…it was a fairly non-eventful drive down south. I ended up in one way traffic control on Highway 46 (yes the same highway James Dean died on)…and I did get a little giddy when I saw the sign for the California Speedway on my way through Fontana, CA….almost at my destination!
BFM gets to the hotel just in time to check us and then I am pulling into the parking lot. I drag my stuff upstairs in the rickety elevator (the hilton might be doing renovations but what they really need? Is a new set of elevators). I give BFM her (very belated birthday) presents to open (the highlights of those presents being a very small Dooney and Bourke purse and a deck of cards featuring Jeff Gordon-there is a story there…maybe another time). Then we go grab a bite to eat and return to our room to prepare to embark on the first of many stops on our journey…Lake Arrowhead. We banter back and forth about who will drive….and I reluctantly agree (despite the fact I was just driving for live 5 hours!). So BFM has our directions and is our navigator for the evening. And once we get on Highway 18 up the mountain? I am about to shit a brick. If you know me? You know I don’t like heights. At ALL. And I suddenly find myself driving an unfamiliar car on a very steep, very windy road up a hill…and the view….well most would probably find it breathtaking. I was too busy concentrating really REALLY hard on keeping the car between the lines and NOT LOOKING because…hello…sheer cliffs!!!! Lets just say I am poking up the mountain so slowly that I use practically every turn out to let cars by me. I think I probably scared BFM (who claims the seat in that car probably has a hole worn in it). The whole time she is saying “I am sorry…I should have driven…I am sorry…I know how you are.” It was THE scariest road I have ever driven on!! We pass the local high school…and let’s just say the name fits: Rim of the World High School (or Rim High for short). Because right across the highway…you can see for ever…and not in a good way). We finally make it up to the Arrowhead Village and settle in for some shopping and our concert. Let’s just say that the singer even mentioned something about the treacherous road…anyway I probably would have enjoyed the show more if I weren’t busy worrying about driving back down the mountain…at that point I would have rather taken a helicopter down than actually drive it…but I had no choice really (BFM offered to drive…and I might have let her if she was on the rental car contract). The drive down actually went a lot better than the drive up (so thought I…BFM might have something different to say about that). We then found our way back to the hotel and crashed for the night…
Friday we woke up early- grabbed some of our free breakfast at the hotel restaurant and headed off to Disneyland. We have annual passes so we figured we might as well squeeze in a day at the Disneyland. We got there and the first thing we wanted to do was ride the new “Finding Nemo” Submarines because we were stoked. That is until we found out that the line for said Submarines…was was 4 hours long. DA. AM. We gave up that dream very very quickly and decided to ride It’s a Small World while in the area before it got too crowded…and then we decided to make our way over to Pirates of the Caribbean and that is when we had a magical moment!!! We were winners and got free Dream FastPasses! That was so cool…because basically we had fast passes to rides (only the ones with fast passes) that were NOT dependent on going at a specific time). So basically we used them right away to walk right into Buzz Lightyear (my third favorite disney ride second only to Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion). We had a blast at Disneyland and California Adventure (our dream fast pass was good there too). I thing I ended up suffering from dehydration or something because I was sooo hot…and I just started to feel sick but even the water I was drinking (by the gallon) wasn’t helping…but BFM told me I was probably needed something with some salt in it and I had a diet coke and started feeling better…NOW I KNOW WHY GATORADE tastes salty!!! While we were in the area we fit in a trip to our favorite southland mall: South Coast Plaza where BFM got a heck of deal on some Dooney and I got a new Dooney myself…and a dooney lunch bag!!
Saturday, yep you guessed it, we had our free hotel breakfast, and then headed off to Hollywood for the day. As part of her birthday present I bought us tickets to see Wicked at the Pantages. And while we were in the area we thought we would do the tourist thing…and we ended up at the La Brea tar pits. It was interesting….albeit smelly. Wicked was amazing and if you ever have the chance to take it in I highly highly suggest it. Then it was time for the final part of the BFM birthday celebration…dinner of her choice. And she chose RUBY’S which is one of our favorite places and we always try to fit them in if we can…there are a lot of RUBY’S in the southland and we figured that the one in Newport would be the least crowded…until we got to Newport…there wasn’t even PARKING and people were sitting out front waiting…so we winged it and ended up at my FAVORITE RUBY’S of all the one in Laguna Beach…I love that one. It was a bit of drive back but it was fun.
Sunday we slept in and missed our free breakfast window…but we had lunch before we parted ways!!!
Pictures from Left to Right:
TOP: Me stuck in traffic construction on highway 46, Lake Arrowhead, Matt Nelson
Middle: BFM and her new purse, Walt and Mickey, tarry clothes from the paleontologists in Pit 91 of the La Brea Tar pits.
Bottom: Captain Jack Sparrow of course, A bear statue at the TarPits, Tarpits.
The whole vacation set is here on flickr.