October 14th, 2006


Vacation Roundup

We arrived at the Grand Californian Friday afternoon, and Jim (poohbearjim) and Ray (profkampf) were awaiting us in the soaring Craftsman-style lobby. They would be sharing our room for the next three days--Disney magnanimously provided us with a three-night stay at the GC (two queen beds) and a 2-day park hopper pass each, as a goodwill gesture (Steve tripped and broke his leg last year, but that's and old story). We were pleasantly surprised by Tim (bluedevilsf) also in the lobby--he was here for the Gay Day festivities, sans his Steve, and was actually staying just one floor above us. We checked in and proceeded to our rooms, which were very nicely appointed, if not overly large. But our room had a lovely view of the Paradise Pier rides at Disney California Adventure. We immediately changed into our suits and tried out the pools--lovely, heated, two hot tubs, and an enormous slide. Then back to the room. I took a wee nap while the other boys went out for room snacks. Tim came by shortly after.

The 3 R's were staying at the nearby HoJo, as was Dave (e_ticket) and a host of others, who dropped by the room to pick us up to hang out. The plan was to wander around, find a bar and have some cocktails, then troop back to the HoJo and eat pizza around the pool. Once we got to the bar, the five in our little posse decided we needed to eat earlier rather than later (for various health reasons) so we wandered off in search of vittles. We ran into the 3 R's and Jeff (jeffnuma) and Tim (pilosus) from Lompoc, who had also skipped the cocktails and were window shopping like us. They headed off and we ended up at the Storyteller's Café in our hotel. It was an upscale buffet, with prime rib and other delights, and it hit the spot. Steve, Ray and Jim headed over to the HoJos while I decided to call it a night and returned to the room.

Saturday dawned bright, the morning light glinting off the Sun Wheel and into our room. We got to the parks at 7:30--Steve went a little earlier to pick up our passes. Since we were hotel guests, we we allowed in an hour before the general public. As a result, we were able to hit the major rides before the crowds swelled in. Sweet! But first, we somberly walked past the spot where The Indcident occured last year. As if as an omen, the area was blocked off by benches. No more falls here!!

Steve's journal documents the rides we rode and all the wonderful people we saw and hung out with over Saturday and Sunday, so I won't repeat, but these were some of my favorite parts:

Seeing John and Frank (sunbeam_bears), our sweet friends from Agoura whom we always love to be with, and meeting their friends

Eating pineapple whip in the Enchanted Tiki Room

Soaring Over California, my all-time favorite ride

The Monte Cristo at the Blue Bayou, which does indeed live up to its world-famous reputation

Hugging Henry (bearringsd) outside Bear Mountain

Riding Heimlich ("I'm a cute little choo choo train!" "Oh, mein schtomach iss so empty!") in the Bug's Life area

Resting in the sun around the pool

The dark rides, such as Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio, and Mr. Toad, all of which we had never done

The fireworks, which we saw twice

Spending Sunday evening with John and Michael, two great guys from the Bay Area that we're glad to be getting to know better

Monday we woke early, hit the road by 9:00 and were home by 3:30. I don't know about Steve(rootbeer1), but when I was driving I set the cruise control at 85. Woohoo!
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