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Janee's trip to California, March-April 2001
March 27
Suzanne and I left on our trip, starting with a trip on the Bloomington Shuttle to the Indianapolis airport. We then flew to Santa Ana / John Wayne airport via St. Louis. We arrived at about 8pm local time. It was great to see Becky (Michael's big sister) and to have our feet on solid ground after the long flight.

TWA ready to go!

March 28

Janee & Suzanne at California Adventure artichoke Becky and Suzanne in the agricultural section of CA Adventure Park California poppies growing in what is to be a vineyard soon. Janee in the agriculture area of CA adventure Flower display at CA adventure

California Adventure! We slept in a little and then went the very short distance to California Adventure Park. This is a Disney operation, recently opened, in Anaheim right next door to Disneyland. The park is divided, much like Disney, into various "lands" where the many different of facets of California culture are featured in the form of music, food, rides, exhibits, and even a parade! I'll start off by saying that i'm not much of a parade person. I mean.. I look ahead to see what is coming next and I can hardly wait till it is all over so that I can walk down the street again. Well... this parade was a totally different deal. I didn't even take any pictures because i thought that there would be no way at all to capture the magic, the adventure, the excitement and the beauty of this parade. Featuring replicas of California landmarks and acrobats on stilts and suspension harnesses, beautiful costumes and amazing music and floats, this is not a parade to miss. Seriously.

We had lunch at the hotel that is right beside/in the park and it was delicious. The restaurant (we think) is California Grille. I got a frittata that was delicious. We had samples of sourdough bread in their bakery tour, and a sample of a flour tortilla in the working tortilla factory. Ice cream, root beer floats, and pizza and chocolate covered pretzels were supper.

Suzanne and I went on the California Screamin', a really fantastic and wild roller coaster that has, among other things, an amazing sudden start, a 360-degree loop, a drop that looked from high like a 90-degree one, and some really jarring speed. It was one of those rides that you get off and your legs wobble and you can't stop laughing for about 10 minutes.

March 29
This was the day we drove down to Sea World in San Diego. We started out right after we talked to Michael on the phone and got down there by 11:30am. We started out by riding to the top of the airline-sponsored ride that shows you the whole park in a gradually turning panoramic view. 

Shamu, sea lions and otters, beautiful flowers, and funnel cakes were some of the highlights of this great day.

bigger picture than some, but so pretty that i thought it was worth it! purple bell blue flower marigolds purple flower

March 30


Today we were going to go to Knott's Berry Farm, another big park, but we opted, instead, to just go have dinner at a fantastic chicken restaurant right outside the park and then shop. I got a new dress for me, a fuschia mumu-style sundress, and got Michael a neat spring/fall sweater. This is where i got my bunny, my very soft very sweet bunny with whom i slept the rest of the trip.
March 31
Today we drove up to San Simeon. It was about 6 hours up, because we took the "scenic route" up  the coast highway. Along the way, Becky said, "A Dairy Queen would be nice." and voila.. there was something even better, a Baskin Robbins! After we loaded up on ice cream, we headed on down the road. Just as our bladders were about to explode, Becky saw the sign for the Madonna Inn and remembered how Jim took her there. Figuring that they had to have bathrooms, <g> I pulled in. We got a good look around at the place, a really cool hotel with carved wood, pink and gold furnishings. AND.. another plus! They had cool bathrooms! 

Chill and fog greeted us when we arrived at our room at the Seacoast Lodge at San Simeon, but we were happy enough to be there that we didn't care much about the weather. 

Dinner was a gourmet treat at an Italian restaurant 2 doors down. 

Seacoast Lodge.. our room Suzanne in our room at the Seacoast Lodge Becky stakes her claim.

April 1

 on the side of the pool  Three Graces gracing the patio around the Neptune pool looking down from the first guest house toward the Neptune pool. The ocean is below.. under the mist, which later lifted.  Just another little pool ornament. Venus and her mermen as she emerged from the shell. pool statues in the mist  hubba hubba.. resting by the Neptune pool. view1.jpg (44839 bytes) wood trim outside the castle.. looking up castle from below tile for the indoor pool Neptune pool statue

San Simeon's main attraction: the Hearst Castle! 

After our tours we drove to the beach access and I took the photos below. Actually.. one is a composition of two photos. Can you tell which one? <g>

.Becky holding rocks she packed back. ocean ocean ocean  ocean ocean killer whale off the CA coast

  ocean camp sunset over the Pacific California coast footprints   

April 2
We drove back from San Simeon today, stopping along the way in the quaint little Danish community of Solvang. After a breakfast-style lunch at The Mustard Seed, we shopped for a couple of hours in the town, finding some cool little things.   
April 3

Norman Bates' house view of the valley from Universal Studios citywalk at Universal Studios

On Tuesday we went to Universal Studios Theme Park and did the shops at Citywalk after. Great day! The tour took us around the backlot where we got to see some cool special effects and houses where they filmed movies and shows. We had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe on City Walk.
April 4
On Wednesday we planned to take it easy, since it was our last day and we were pretty tired and due to travel tomorrow. So we "relaxed", doing what we tended to do best: shopping! We went to the fabulous South Coast Plaza mall and did some hunting and gathering. I got a new backpack with wheels to use as a carryon. I liked Suzanne's so much that I decided that i had to have one like it!  Dinner was at Vie de France, a really great French restaurant in the mall. Afterwards, we had Haagen Daz. Mmmmm.  
April 5
  Saying goodbye to Becky or to California was not easy, but it was so early in the morning (plane left at 6:45am) that we were pretty numb. The flight was good and easy with no delays. We got into Indy in the early afternoon and Michael met us with a huge smile. East or west, home is BEST, but I'm already thinking about my next trip!
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