My family just returned from our vacation to Southern California. We went out to visit family for a 50th wedding anniversary party and decided it was a great opportunity to take the kids to Disneyland and hit the beach as well. We had an amazing time and have memories to look back on for years and years to come. But like most vacations it wasn’t without a few hiccups. And I learned a few lessons along the way.
Next time I’m going to fill an entire suitcase full of food to eat on our trip. Whether it was paying almost $5 for a small lemonade at Disneyland, over $50 for four pre-made sandwiches and a couple of pops at LAX, or over $60 for a pretty basic breakfast at the hotel, my wallet was bleeding profusely from the insane prices that some of these places ask for food. I don’t mind paying a lot for my food if I feel like I’m getting my moneys worth. But in most cases I certainly was not.
If you’re planning a trip to Disneyland, do yourself a huge favor and drop an anvil on your foot. We were meeting up with some relatives for our Disney adventure and one of the poor kids had broken her foot a few days before and therefore was wheelchair bound through the park. SCORE! Apparently if someone in your group is in a wheelchair you get to skip pretty much all lines and go straight to the head of the line. Thanks to this wonderful child we probably shaved 3-4 hours worth of waiting in lines off of our day and I don’t think we ever spent more than 10 minutes waiting. Remind me to send her a really awesome Christmas gift this year.
Venice beach is awesome. Awesome in a creepy, weird, slightly gross but definitely mind blowing kind of way. From the guy selling shitty advice for “only $1” to the group giving medical marijuana evaluations and people selling SUPER terrible arts and crafts. This place is an absolute circus for the nutty and wacked out. Not a place I think I would necessarily seek out again, but I’m sure glad I got to see it firsthand at least once.
Sunken rooms are stupid. Like really, really dumb. On one of the last days of the trip my wife walked into one of these architectural deathtraps and went tumbling to the ground badly spraining her ankle. Of all the rides I was anticipating on our trip, the ambulance ride was definitely not on the list. Seriously…. someone explain to me the reasoning behind randomly changing the floor level in your house.
L.A. traffic is also stupid. 7 lanes in each direction?? There are entirely too many vehicles in this city. And with my wife’s driving foot swollen to the size of a coconut it was up to the person with bad highway anxiety to get us back to the airport. I don’t want to sound like the victim here when she was the one in pain and a foot that looked like Rocky Balboa’s face, but yeah I would have rather been the one on crutches than in the drivers seat.
And finally, as a note to myself for the next time we take a trip. Don’t be a cheap ass and spring for the direct flight home. It’s not so bad having a layover on the way there, but when you just want to get home at the end of a long trip, spending 15 hours dealing with traffic, layovers, flight delays and crabby kids is the last thing you want to do. Just spend the extra money next time and get us home before midnight.
I don’t want it to sound like this trip wasn’t fun. It was some of the most fun I’ve had in a very long time. It just had a few… bumps in the road. But it was all totally worth it. There are precious few chances to go on big family trips like this with the family while the kids are still young, and the memories we made last week (both good and bad) are ones that we will be able to look back on and smile at for many years to come.