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Fun and Sun in Southern California

June 7, 2006

Hello again to all. We are so happy you have stopped by to join us in our American RV Adventures.

In my last update I told you we had just setup camp in Riverside, California. Riverside is located about an hour east of Los Angeles and about 45 minutes east of Anaheim. We picked this location because all the campgrounds near Disneyland were too expensive and/or had pet restrictions.

Having been born and raised in Orlando with Disney World, I've always wanted to visit Disneyland to see where it all started. On Wednesday and Thursday I finally got my chance going to both Disneyland and California Adventure. We arrived at Disneyland just before lunch and quickly noticed the obvious. It was way smaller than Disney World! But that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Getting around the park wasn't a long walk. And Snow White's Castle was this tiny building that doesn't stand out like Cinderella's Castle does.

Of the rides that are included in both parks, some were better here. The best one was Space Mountain. Disneyland's version is much better due to it being darker inside so you cannot see where you are going. They also have tiny lights everywhere that make you feel like you're traveling through the stars in a rocket.

One of my favorite attractions which had closed down in Orlando, was still open here and that was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. The boys and I went on it and had lots of fun.

Other rides I enjoyed were the Matterhorn Bobsleds, Indiana Jones Adventure, California Screamin roller coaster, and Soarin'.

Oh and I almost forgot. We went into Innoventions and saw Honda's ASIMO robot which they first began working on in the 1980's. It was really cool seeing this 4 foot robot walking around and talking with the instructor. They didn't say how much one of those things would cost though. Hmmm.

I want to say thanks to my brother-in-law who works back at Disney World in Orlando who was kind enough to provide us with two days worth of tickets so we could see both parks. Thanks again Jeff!

On Friday, we drove all the way BACK to Las Vegas and camped in Boulder City near the Hoover Dam. On the way there we stopped at the CA-NV border at a casino called Buffalo Bills. They had a top 10 roller coaster there called Desperado which we wanted to ride. Its first drop was 225 feet and it reached speeds of 95 mph! It was a blast!

Anyway, you're probably wondering why we drove all the way back to Las Vegas. We wanted to be there early Saturday morning because they were having auditions for the game show Deal Or No Deal. We were a unique family traveling around in an RV. There was a good chance of getting on the show right?

Well we arrived at the Hilton about 7 am to a line of already about 2,000 people. Somebody told us they started lining up at 2 am in the morning! Six hours later we finally made it to the front of the line. They took us inside in groups of ten. They wanted energetic and unique people. We each set our applications down on the table in front of us and were given 20 seconds to make an enthusiastic plea as to why we should be picked for the show. After that, we were done. If they do pick us, we may not know for several months. Some contestants get called quickly and some get called 3-4 months later. It just depends on the type of person they're looking for at the time. Only time will tell.

Afterwards we were so worn out from standing in line, we just went to the Sahara for their buffet and then went home. I don't think we'll ever do that again!

As evening approached I went by myself to find a few Geocaches and to get a view of the Hoover Dam. By the time I got there though it was already dark. But it still looked massive although it is hard to tell in the photos.

On Sunday we drove back to Los Angeles staying on the northern side this time in the San Fernando Valley area. After setting up camp, we drove the Blazer down CA 27 to the Pacific Coast Highway. Our first view of the Pacific Ocean! It was also very crowded! We drove along the coast up through Malibu as far as Oxnard. There were very few places where you could pull over because of all the people. But it was a nice drive.

On Monday, we all went to Six Flags. It was a blast, literally! The Superman Escape roller coaster was a simple straight out, up, and then backwards. No turns, no loops, spins or anything else. However it blasts you out of the gate at 0-100 mph in just 7 seconds. Then after just 900 feet straight out it turns and sends you 415 feet straight up! After about 6 seconds of weightlessness, gravity pulls you back down and sends you back to the start. It was an incredible rush!

The other roller coaster there that I really liked was called Goliath. It was a smooth 4500 feet, 3 minute ride with speeds reaching 85 mph and a height if 255 feet. Lucas and Adam were brave enough to sit in the front row while Cricket and I sat in the second row. So much fun!

The one roller coaster that Lucas and I chickened out on was simply called X, for extreme. Unlike traditional roller coasters where you either ride above or below the tracks, this roller coasters seats are situated out to the sides of the track. And the seats rotate to give riders a "forth dimension" so to speak. Going up the lift, riders are looking backwards giving them an incredible view of the area at 200 feet up. Then once they reach the top, the riders are spun so they are now looking straight towards the ground like a sky diver plummeting at 76 mph. After that Cricket said she lost all sense of direction and where she was going.

It was a great day at Six Flags and I think it was a whole lot better than Disneyland.

Tuesday came and we just drove around through Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and Los Angeles. We drove down Hollywood Blvd, saw the Chinese Theater and the stars on the sidewalk although we didn't care to get out and walk around. We drove down Melrose Ave, turning off it to the street where the Cunningham house from Happy Days was located. I found out that location through the Geocaching website. I also found the secret location of the "Bat Cave" from the original TV series through it. We managed to drive within a half mile of the entrance, but would've had to hike the rest of the way and we just weren't up to it. Its also located in Griffith Park where the big Hollywood sign is located. I did manage a photo of the Hollywood sign, but it was so foggy that it wasn't worth posting.

By late afternoon we started heading southward back towards Anaheim. My sister was in town for a few days on business so we decided to have dinner with her. It was a nice visit.

Today we leave here and are going north up to San Francisco. I be back soon with another update.

See you soon,