6.06.2013

California Vacation: Part 3 of 4

Day 13: (Monday, February 25th) GREYSTONE & SANTA MONICA



  Man, oh man, what a fun packed day! We started off the day by heading to the Greystone Mansion. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the mansion, it is a huge, beautiful home and grounds owned by the Doheny family. It hasn't been lived in for a very long time, but has been used for filming many movies. Scenes from movies like Star Trek 2, The Muppets, The Social Network, National Treasure, The Holiday, The Prestige, Spiderman, X-Men, Batman, Ghostbusters, and many others were filmed on the grounds or in the mansion itself. I was amazed at how well kept and beautiful the entire estate is. I loved being able to walk around and take pictures of the remarkable place. Unfortunately they don't allow the public inside the house, but we were able to walk around it, look in windows, and walk all around the grounds.

  After making our way around Greystone, we headed home so Tucker and Jada could get their naps. While they napped, Poppi came home and we were able to go down the street and get some food truck tacos! We had planned to go down to the beach to get some one of these days, but lucky for us we were able to just walk down the street today! This was my first food truck experience and it was SO good! The tacos, the beans, the rice . . . all delicious!

  After the children were well rested, we headed to the Santa Monica Pier! We had a wonderful time checking out the area. The beach was beautiful! We strolled the boardwalk, saw Mel Gibson, saw muscle beach, and watched the sunset while sitting on the beach enjoying the breeze. It was perfect! Jada wasn't a huge fan of the sand, but she loved the ocean and watching the birds and waves with Maimi and Poppi.

  We ended the day with some Boston Market:) Tucker and Jada both passed out on the way home and stayed asleep when we carried them inside. I love it when that happens.

Greystone Manor








The view from the back balcony






Outside near the courtyard


The water fountain in the courtyard


My DELICIOUS street tacos:)



The Santa Monica Pier





The Santa Monica beach with Malibu off in the distance




Jada on her 1st carousel ride ever. She didn't really love it as you can see


Look who I spotted while riding the carousel with Jada! Mel Gibson!


Muscle Beach


Jada's toes in the sand. Also a 1st (she was not a huge fan of this either)




Watching the sunset with Poppi







Day 14: (Tuesday) DISNEYLAND



  I went back and forth for about a week on whether or not I should take Jada to Disney. I wanted to take her mostly because she LOVES Cars and I thought she would just love Cars Land. I wanted to take her before she moved on from that phase. I also figured she was young enough that she and Tucker would be free; I would only have to pay for myself. On the other hand, she wouldn't remember it anyways. After much deliberation, I decided to do it! You only live once right!? And after it all, I had no regrets:)

  My mom, Tucker, Jada and I headed to Disney as early as we could. Jada was so excited from the moment we got onto the tram to take us into the park. She saw a huge McQueen poster and wouldn't stop talking about Cars. I had been getting her excited all day about seeing Mater and McQueen and she was definitely ready!

  We started off by heading straight to Cars Land. I wanted Jada to be able to have as much time there as she wanted. She didn't have the exact reaction that I was hoping for, but she still loved it. I thought she would recognize "Sarge's Surplus", the "Cozy Cone", "Flo's V8 Cafe", and all the other fun places from Radiator Springs, but she didn't really seem to. She recognized the Tow Mater sign, Route 66, Mater, McQueen, & Red, and a few of the other things from the movie, but not nearly as many things as I thought she would. I think what disappointed me the most was that she was too afraid to ride the rides, and the fact that the cars spoke was very nerve wrecking for her. But, ALL THAT ASIDE, she really did love it. She loved seeing the race cars, she loved Mater and McQueen from a distance, she loved Luigi's tire shop, the memorabilia and all the small things.

  After spending a fair amount of time there, we headed over to Bugs Land, which was a big hit for Jada. Cars and A Bugs Life are Jada's favorite Disney movies. So, needless to say, she really enjoyed Bugs Land. The rides are more geared towards smaller children so she was happy to try them out. She loved every ride that we were able to take her on, and loved the splash pad too. Everything in a Bugs Land was a huge hit.

  Next we headed over to Paradise Pier where we went on the Little Mermaid ride, the Carousel, the Ferris Wheel, and the Toy Story ride. My favorite of the day was definitely Toy Story. I love everything about that ride! I liked that it was interactive and also lasts longer than 1 minute:)

  After our time at Paradise Pier, we headed back to Cars Land to say goodbye then headed home. On our way out I let Jada pick out a gift from the gift shop. Not to my surprise she picked out a stuffed McQueen. I tried to convince her to get some other cars toy, but she was set on her stuffed McQueen. (For the record, she LOVES it and still sleeps with it every night) Both Jada and Tucker did awesome. We all had a wonderful day at Disney! I am so glad that I decided to go and so thankful that my mom came with us. It would not have been possible without her!

  Side note: Disney has an AWESOME Baby Center! I never knew such things existed, but they do. They have tons of changing tables, a nursing room, rocking chairs, toddler potties, and high chairs for feeding your children. So, if you are ever at Disney with an infant, you NEED to hit up the Baby Center:) It really added to an already wonderful day. Nursing on a toilet in the bathroom does put a damper on outings, so the Baby Center is a real treat!

  Once home, we put the children to bed then relaxed and watched White Collar. Another perfect day.

McQueen! These cars that they have are awesome! I am stumped as to how they work. It really appears like they drive themselves. No one has a remote, it doesn't look like it opens, it doesn't drive on a track . . . yet they drive smooth and perfect. Its crazy.


Cars Land!


Watching the race cars race




Though Jada LOVES Mater and McQueen, she was terrified to get to close to these guys. They randomly spoke which was what made her uneasy. But as long as she was being held, she was happy














Bugs Land


Tuck & Roll Bumper Cars






Jada thought the splash pad was awesome:)


Jada's 2nd carousel ride, this time with Maimi on a non moving seat. It went much better this time around


Getting reading for the Toy Story ride (one of my personal favorites!)




On the Ferris Wheel. Jada thought it was awesome


What a perfect end to a fun filled day!

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