Keri & Josh Murcray ~ June 27-30, 2011 ~ Holiday Inn Anaheim
Travel dates: Monday, June 27 Thursday, June 30, 2011
Travel method: driving
Resort: Holiday Inn Anaheim (1240 South Walnut, Anaheim, CA 92802)
Accommodations: 1 King bed, non-smoking
Ages Represented in Group: adults, kids, first-timers
Disney Resort Experience Represented in Group: numerous trips to Disneyland (annual pass holders for over 10 years), less frequent Disneyland fans, 1st-time visitors
Comments: Family vacation trip with two sets of family visiting
Cast of characters:
Murcrays from California
Keri trip report writer
Josh my hubby
Mitchells from Louisiana
Becky Joshs sister
Kyle our nephew (celebrating high school graduation)
Pofahls & family from Arizona & Lithuania
Uncle David Keris uncle
Aunt Rasa Keris aunt
Diana Keris cousin (high school)
Andre Aunt Rasas brother-in-law from Lithuania
Angela Aunt Rasas sister from Lithuania
Aris Aunt Rasas older nephew from Lithuania (high school)
Edvin - Aunt Rasas younger nephew from Lithuania (elementary school)
This was a trip we were looking forward to not only would we get to spend time with family in the happiest place on Earth, but we were also going to be able to purchase annual passes once again after being without since last October. Weve had passes every year since our wedding 9 years ago and were quite sad last October when we decided that financially we needed to take a break and we werent sure when wed be able to get them again. But when we discovered that the week that the Mitchells would be visiting Disneyland was the same as the week when the Pofahls would be visiting and we had plans to spend time with both, it made more sense to purchase annual passes. Hooray!
Joshs family (the Mitchells) used to live in California and have been to Disneyland many times over the years, but they hadnt been as a family in a long time. Kyle, our nephew, recently graduated from high school and this trip was to help celebrate that event. They would be spending 3 days in the parks and we spent one full day and 2 partial days with them. Our main goals while with them were to ride as many rides as possible, eat dinner at the Blue Bayou (Kyle made reservations as soon as we set our trip dates) and take photos of Kyle riding Dumbo. It was a special tradition for Kyle to ride with his grandpa (Joshs dad) as a child and there are special photos commemorating this event. Sadly, Joshs dad passed away in November 2009 and in his honor we wanted to capture a photo of Kyle riding solo.
My Aunt Rasas family was visiting from Lithuania for a month and while in the US they spent a lot of time in Arizona where Aunt Rasa & Uncle David live as well as trips to Las Vegas and Disneyland. They would be spending 3 days in the parks and we planned to spend one day with them since their first day was our last full day of vacation. Her family does not speak much English and we do not speak Russian, but fortunately my cousin Diana and Aunt Rasa were able to translate when needed.
For Josh & me, we were simply looking to enjoy time off from work, ride the new Star Tours as often as we could, and spend time with family. We were thrilled to be able to purchase annual passes and look forward to many more trips in the next year.
Day 1 Monday, June 27, 2011
Since we knew we couldnt check in to our hotel until afternoon, we decided to sleep in a bit and take our time getting ready this morning. We had not done any packing in advance since wed had family and friends over the night before for dinner. It was a fun evening spent with friends who are moving to Hawaii (her husband is stationed there in the Air Force) we had a yummy dinner and laughed a lot as we decorated Patriotic cookies (flags, bells and stars) and got blue frosting everywhere! We slept in until about 9am and got everything packed including snacks, water bottles, and sodas. We were out the door by 11am, but stopped to pick up our mail on the way out of our neighborhood. I was happy to see a letter from my work informing me of a raise unexpected, but very welcome.
We decided to take the 60 to the 57 instead of the 91 and were happy to see not very much traffic on our way. We love SONIC, but have none near our house. However there are two near Disneyland, so we stopped for lunch at the newest one. Josh tried their new Blazin BBQ Loaded Burger with tater tots and a large sweet tea and I had the New York Dog with tater tots and a large Cherry Limeade It was a delicious lunch. We headed to our hotel and hoped that wed be able to check in early and get our room.
Weve stayed several times at the Holiday Inn Anaheim and like its convenience and prices. Its always clean and the beds are fairly comfortable, though by the end of our trip we were missing our comfy bed at home. We were originally booked for just 2 nights, but decided on our drive that we should see if we could add a night for the same $90/night price. Fortunately, we were able to do so and our room was ready as well. We headed up to our room (3202) and got the air turned on High to cool off the stuffy room. We had a partial view of the swimming pool and were very close to the elevator. The main inconvenience was that there was no ice machine on our floor, and the closest one was a floor up and all the way at the other end of the hallway.
Joshs family was arriving today in California, but would not be going into Disneyland until tomorrow. We made plans to meet them for dinner at 6pm at ESPN Zone, but in the mean time we had almost 4 hours to kill. We contemplated staying in the room and napping, but decided wed rather head to Disneyland and get our annual passes purchased and see if we could get a ride on Star Tours as well. Since we didnt want to pay for parking we decided to take the ART (Anaheim Resort Transport) shuttle from our hotel to the park. It was $4 each, but that was still cheaper than the parking structure and wed be closer to the main entrance.
We took the 2:40pm shuttle and ended up being the only passengers on the bus and were quickly at the main entrance. We headed straight to the ticket booths with the plan to purchase two Deluxe annual passes, with parking on one, on the monthly payment plan. However, due to the cast members advice, we ultimately purchased the Premium annual pass ($499) for Josh since it was only $20 more than the price of a Deluxe plus parking ($379 + $99) and this way wed also get merchandise and food discounts. We paid the down payment and the rest will be paid throughout the year in monthly payments. Since we already had photos on file from our previous passes, we didnt even have to go wait in line to have that done and so we could head right into the park.
On our way in to Disneyland, we stopped to take a photo of our feet next to our brick. We purchased for our 1 year anniversary in 2003 I believeor maybe it was in 2005 during the 50th anniversary celebrationcant remember. But it has our names and wedding date and we try to visit it each time we go to Disneyland its nice to have a piece of us at our favorite place. Once inside the park, we headed straight to Tomorrowland. There were no more FastPass available so we got in the 75 minute line. It was very hot this week and though they did have lots of umbrellas set up, it was quite sunny and HOT as we waited. As we passed a drink cart Josh bought us a bottle of water to share and that helped some. We ended up waiting about an hour or so for the ride, but it was soooo worth it!!
We enjoyed seeing the updated queue and fun new things to look at, but we were just amazed and awed by the new ride. We started our flight in a star base and suddenly there were storm troopers trying to stop us from getting away. We jumped to light speed and quickly arrived at the Wookie planet. After flying through there we headed back to space and then Yoda talked to us regarding the Rebel spy we needed to safely transport. We then arrived at the planet Naboo and we crashed into the water and the Gungins helped us to head through the planets core. But we were almost eaten by a huge scary fish thing. Next we landed in a hangar and crashed into a Naboo fighter which appeared to break our windshield. It was an AWESOME ride and we were thrilled by the new experiences available!
Since we were already in Tomorrowland, we decided to go see Captain EO which is always a favorite. While I waited in line, Josh went to get us FastPasses for Space Mountain. The FastPasses wont be good until close to midnight, and ultimately we never came back to use them. Captain EO had a short wait and soon we were sitting inside. I love this ride/experience the music especially is my favorite along with the memories of seeing it as a kid and teenager. My only dislike is the constant shaking of the floor in the second half of the show very unnecessary and quite irritating.
It was getting close to when we needed to meet the Mitchells for dinner, so we decided to take the Monorail to Downtown Disney. The wait wasnt too long and we enjoyed watching the Submarine ride while in line. Upon arrival in Downtown Disney around 6pm, Josh headed to ESPN Zone to see if we could make a reservation or at least put our name on the list. I stopped to look at a stage set up nearby that was advertising California Avocado Week. One of the sponsors/helpers started talking to me and suggested that I volunteer for the guacamole-making contest that was coming up at 6:30pm. I told her I wouldnt be able to since that was the time we planned to meet family for dinner and walked over to meet Josh. But I kept thinking about it. Im known in my circle of friends and family for making really good guacamole and though I dislike being in front of a crowd, I really thought this was something I might be interested in doing.
So I talked to Josh about it and he was, of course, very positive and encouraging. I found the woman I had talked to earlier and asked if they still needed volunteers and she said yes. I had to sign a release so they could use any photos taken of me and then I was set to compete. I waited nervously while Josh sent texts to all our friends and updated his status on Facebook to ask people to send encouragement and support to me. I got a ton of texts from friends cheering me on and it did help to calm some of my nerves. Then I suddenly heard my nameit was my friend Megan. She was at Downtown Disney to pick up her son and had seen me sitting there. I was able to talk to her for a few minutes and get a quick hug.
Soon, the Mitchells arrived and we all hugged. We told them about the guacamole contest and they were excited to see me compete and were happy to postpone dinner for a little bit. Just a few minutes later, they were calling me up to the stage with my fellow contestants a woman from Corona, CA and another woman visiting from the Netherlands! We would have 15 minutes of prep time, over 20 ingredients to choose from, would need to answer questions from the MC and our guacamole would be tasted by three judges the executive chef of House of Blues, the manager of the ESPN Zone and the head of Downtown Disney merchandise. The winning recipe would receive a gift bag containing: 7 California avocados, a sticker, booklet of avocado info and recipes, 2 magnets, 2 avocado scoops, 1 avocado slicer, a notebook, a T-shirt and a $100 Patina Restaurant Group (PRG) gift card.
Just after the contestants and I came on stage, but before we were introduced, Megan and her son walked by on their way to their car and said Hi Keri! This made the MC laugh and he then introduced us all. Josh was standing near the stage to get some good photos throughout the process. The ingredients available included: avocados, red onion, garlic, jalapeo, corn, black beans, bacon, shrimp, lemon juice, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, Serrano peppers, tomato, feta cheese, pineapple, cheddar cheese, salt & pepper, Tabasco sauce, sour cream, and a few other things I cant recall.
I was initially tempted to use some of the more unique ingredients, but I decided to stick to my basic recipe which is always well-received. I used 4 avocados, about a cup of diced red onion, roughly 2 cloves of garlic chopped (though it was pre-chopped and not as fine as Id prefer), 1 jalapeo seeded and diced, salt & pepper, 1 teaspoon cumin, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, and lots of lemon juice probably 3 or 4 tablespoons. The only new ingredient I used was feta cheese because it seems similar to cotija cheese which Ive had and liked in guacamole before. I mashed and mixed my ingredients together and tasted 3 times, adjusting my seasoning each time until it tasted the way I liked. Then I portioned out servings for the three judges, adding a sprinkle of feta on top for presentation.
During the prep time, the MC chatted with each of us. I tried hard to smile and answer each question, but I know I didnt look at the audience much for fear of freaking out. After our prep time was finished, each contestant had to walk our guacamole to the judges who were seated close to Rainforest Caf under an umbrella. Then we all came back to the stage to wait for the results. I was really nervous, but happy with my guacamole and really hoping to win. They first stated that the winner was from the Inland Empire, which meant the contestant from the Netherlands was out. Then they announced me as the winner!!! I was so excited and Josh & the Mitchells were cheering loudly for me. Ive never done anything like this before, let alone win something like this before and I was really proud of myself for actually volunteering. It was a great experience.
They took photos of all three of us contestants and we each received a gift bag containing a T-shirt, magnet, avocado scoop, and a booklet of avocado info and recipes. I also received the large gift bag of prizes including the $100 PRG gift card. I got big hugs from the Mitchells and Josh and many congratulations from people nearby as well as many more texts from friends celebrating with me. The only downside of the competition was that no one except the judges and me got to taste my guacamole.
We headed over to ESPN Zone and put our name on the waiting list. I called my sister to tell her and her husband about my win. While we waited outside we also got to talk to the MC and the main California Avocado representative who told me that it was the bright lemon flavor of my guacamole that won it for me and the judges really loved the taste a lot. I was thrilled to hear that since that was exactly what I was hoping would come through.
After about a half hour wait, we were seated for dinner. Jim ordered the sliders, which he enjoyed especially the pickles. Becky ordered the apple walnut salad with grilled chicken which she said was good. Kyle got the hot wings and ended up not eating all of them since they were so spicy! Josh took the leftovers home and though he had kidded Kyle a lot at dinner for not being able to finish them, he ended up agreeing that they were ridiculously HOT and he had a hard time eating them too. Josh got his favorite Smokehouse Burger which he loved as usual and I got the chicken tender salad which was delicious, but too huge to finish though I ate all the chicken. Jim & Becky were kind enough to treat us to dinner, but we made sure to have them use Joshs premium annual pass for the discount. We really enjoyed the conversation with them and were looking forward to our day at Disneyland tomorrow.
They decided to stay and play some arcade games and we were getting tired so we headed back to our hotel. We walked through Downtown Disney to the ART shuttle stop and were able to enjoy the fireworks while standing near the La Brea Bakery. Its a new show and we enjoyed it, especially the finale. We took a very full shuttle back to the hotel and unfortunately had to stand the whole way. Once back in our room, Josh went searching for the ice machine while I called my parents to tell them about my guacamole win and the rest of our day. We went to bed by 11pm didnt sleep that well since the bed is much harder than we prefer so we both tossed and turned a lot trying to find a comfortable position. But the room was very quiet and cool which helped some.
Day 2 Tuesday, June 28, 2011
We woke up at 7am and very quickly got dressed and out the door with our breakfast of donuts, raspberries & blackberries, and some water. We drove over to the parking structure and were happy to park in Daisy 7A probably the closest weve ever been able to park! After taking the tram to Downtown Disney, I went into La Brea Bakery to get a hot mocha for me and a hot chocolate for Josh. While I waited for our drinks, Josh called his sister they werent all up yet and needed to sleep in a bit. Well, Kyle needed to sleep in. Even though he had claimed last night that hed be ready to go first thing in the morning, his parents knew him much better and they were right.
We headed into Disneyland and immediately got Fast Passes for Star Tours. Then we headed to Space Mountain which had a 40 minute wait. I used that time to start reading through an Imagineer book we had purchased for Kyle. After our ride, we headed over to Buzz Lightyear where Josh beat me, as usual, but we were at least both at level L-4. We then took a bathroom break and put on some sunscreen. WE had a disagreement about whether or not to ride the Submarine or visit Innoventions and ultimately decided to do neither after talking it out. We took the train instead and I continued to read from the Imagineer book, mentioning interesting tidbits now and then.
We got off the train at Main Street and decided to sit for a while on the benches at the train station looking down Main Street. Josh walked around taking some photos while I continued to read. After about 15 minutes, we decided to try something new and we took a ride down Main Street on the double-decker bus. It was a fun ride and so we decided to come back up Main Street on the fire truck another new experience for us. Once we finished the Mitchells had called, so we left Disneyland to meet them just outside the gate and show them our 50th anniversary tile.
We headed back into Disneyland and they got a locker for their jackets while we did some browsing in the stores along Main Street. We then headed to Tomorrowland to try to get Fast Passes for Star Tours, but unfortunately they were already gone for the day. We got in line for Buzz Lightyear and had a fun ride. Josh beat me once again and this time he was also a level higher than me. We decided to give Becky & Kyle our Star Tours Fast Passes so they could experience the ride at least once (they werent willing to wait in the 70 minute or longer wait). While they went on Star Tours, we had a churro break with Jim and though we attempted to treat, he would not allow it. We each got a churro and shared an orange Vitamin Water Zero. After the ride, we stopped to get a much-anticipated frozen banana for Becky and then took the train to New Orleans Square.
We did some browsing in the shops while Jim took a smoke break and then we tried to decide what to do for lunch. Jim & Kyle ended up getting clam chowder in bread bowls to go from New Orleans Square, while Becky, Josh & I headed over to Rancho del Zocalo. Becky graciously allowed us to treat her and she got the Mahi Mahi tacos, Josh got the carne asada burrito and I got the cheese enchiladas & carne asada platter with beans and veggies. We all agreed that our food was very good, and I loved mine. The guys met us there to eat. While eating, our friend Matthew and his older two kids James & Lia joined us to eat and talk about our day so far.
After our meal, I took a bathroom break and Jim & Kyle went over to the shooting gallery, and we said goodbye to Matthew and his kids. We took a ride on the Mark Twain and Josh took some really lovely photos of Frontierland from the boat. Next we decided to ride Pirates and had about a 30 minute wait. While waiting, the people behind us in line noticed the Jolly Ranchers that Josh had in his mesh backpack pocket. They paid us a $1 for five of the Jolly Ranchers and we all had a nice laugh. We did some more browsing in the shops and then the Mitchells decided to ride Haunted Mansion. Josh sat it out with me since he knows I dont like that ride. We shared a Mickey premium ice cream bar and a ice cream cookie sandwich.
We headed to Adventureland and waited only 10 minutes for the Jungle Cruise were we had a really good guide named Kevin. The Tiki Room was next and it also only had a 10 minute wait. We enjoyed the coolness of the room and the chance to rest our feet. We did some more browsing in the shops and took a bathroom break as well. In one of the Adventureland shops, Jim found a nice hat which he ended up buying and Becky modeled a birthday hat and we took her picture.
Finally it was time to check in for our dinner reservation at Blue Bayou. Wed all been looking forward to this for a long time. We werent seated by the water, but it was still nice to be in the ambiance. We had a really good server and he was very prompt with our rolls & butter and took our drink orders. We all decided to try separate things, but we also agreed to share bites so we could all try everything. Jim ordered the short ribs with a cup of gumbo, Becky ordered the goat cheese stuffed Cajun salmon with the salad, Kyle ordered the New York strip loin with the salad, Josh ordered the Surf & Turf (filet mignon & lobster tail) with the salad, and I ordered the filet mignon and the salad. The salad was really delicious with goat cheese, craisins, candied pecans and fancy lettuce in a yummy vinaigrette and they agreed that Jims gumbo was quite good. All of the food was delicious, but the real stand out was Jims short ribs they were truly melt-in-your-mouth amazing! Everyone except Josh ordered dessert, and we all decided to get the crme brulee which is quite good delicious vanilla custard, crispy sugar crust and a few berries for garnish. We got separate checks, but let them use my annual pass for the dining discount.
After our delicious and filling dinner, we went to the Court of Angels in New Orleans Square and took some photos together and looked in a few more shops. Next we headed to Adventureland for a ride on Indiana Jones. It had a 30 minute wait and while the ride was fun, it was a little uncomfortable since we were all so full from dinner. We took a bathroom break and then waited 40 minutes for Big Thunder Mountain and had a really good ride. We walked toward Big Thunder Ranch so Jim could take a smoke break and then headed to Fantasyland. We spent a good bit of time in the Heraldry shop and took some photos with the suits of armor there.
We took our time walking up Main Street and looked through the shops, stopping to get some coffee for Jim & Becky. After our leisurely walk, we decided to do Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Just as we came outside, it was time for the fireworks and though it wasnt the best view we still enjoyed them. We took a fun photo of Jim & Becky dancing to the music and then said good night. They stayed in the park for a few hours longer and we headed to the tram where we had to wait for 45 minutes.
We drove back to our hotel and relaxed in our room. We both had slight sunburns, but not too bad considering the heat of the day and brightness of the sun. We had remembered to reapply sunscreen sometime in the afternoon and that definitely helped. I soaked my feet in the tub and then decided to just take a bath. We were in bed by midnight and both slept a lot better though probably more because of the long day and being tired since the bed was still hard and we did wake up a bit sore.
Day 3 Wednesday, June 29, 2011
We woke up at 7am both tired and sore after yesterdays long day and the hard bed. We made coffee in the in-room pot, but it wasnt very good so we ended up not drinking much of it. We also ate some watermelon and then headed to our car to drive over to Disneyland. We again parked in Daisy between 6A and 7A, so close once again! We took the tram over to Downtown Disney and were in Disneyland by 8:05am.
I got in the standby line for Star Tours while Josh went to get Fast Passes for later (10:05-11:05am) and then joined me in line. After a slight technical delay, we were on the ride within 50 minutes. This time we began with Darth Vader trying to stop us with his Storm Troopers, but we escaped and headed to the ice planet Hoth. We dodged some At-Ats, got shot and damaged before teetering on a cliff edge and then sledding down a steep hill. We then headed into space and Princess Leia told us to protect the Rebel spy onboard. We then headed to Coruscant before the ride ended.
After our fun ride, we took a bathroom break and put on some sunscreen. We then took a ride on Buzz Lightyear and once again Josh scored much better than me. We got another set of Fast Passes for Star Tours (9-10pm) and worked on our trip report notes. It was time to use our 1st set of Fast Passes and after a 10-15 minute wait, we were on the ride. We started in a star base and we were almost stopped by Storm Troopers before heading to Tatooine where we joined a pod race. We became attached to one of the pods and managed to win the race before jetting back into space. Admiral Ackbar talked to us and then we headed to Coruscant where we ended up hitting a droid. It was a fun ride.
We were getting hungry, so we each got a churro and walked to Main Street to wait for my Uncle David and his family to arrive. We ended up waiting about an hour for them and moved three times so that we could be in the shade. Finally they arrived and we gave hugs to Uncle David, Aunt Rasa and Diana and met and shook hands with Aunt Rasas sister Angela, her husband Andre and their sons Aris and Edvin. They did not speak very much English, so Aunt Rasa (who speaks English, but not a lot) had to translate for us throughout the day. Thankfully Disney inspires a lot of smiles so we still had a good time together.
We headed to Tomorrowland first and took some time for a bathroom break and sunscreen application before getting to the rides. We got Fast Passes for Space Mountain (5-6pm) and then got in line for Buzz Lightyear. I got one of my best scores 188,900but as usual Josh still beat me. Then we headed to Fantasyland and waited in line for Matterhorn. Since they had already eaten lunch and we were hungry, Josh & I shared a snack of Doritos, popcorn and a blue raspberry slush. Uncle David didnt ride since hes had neck surgery in the past, but the rest of us enjoyed it. Id been wanting a Mickey-shaped pretzel, so when we passed a stand selling them we got one with cheese to dip. I enjoyed that snack while we waited in line for Small World. While on the boats, but before we went inside, we saw a nest with hatched duck eggs which was really neat.
We decided to take the train to New Orleans Square, but had a long wait since we werent able to get on until the third train. Josh & I sat out while the rest of them rode Haunted Mansion. I worked on our trip report notes and rested my feet. My heels had been really bothering me and I think I need to either get new tennis shoes or some heel cushions for my shoes before our next long trip. It was quite a bit hotter today and the heat was getting to both of us my hands were swollen and a bit painful from the heat and Josh was getting sleepy. We took a ride on Pirates and he ended napping throughout the dark ride.
Next we headed to Adventureland and they got Fast Passes for Indiana Jones before we took a ride on the Jungle Cruise. Josh sat this one out, but the rest of us enjoyed it a lot. We took a bathroom break and then went over to the Tiki Room and enjoyed the chance to sit for a little while in the cool dark room. It was now time for our Space Mountain Fast Passes, so we headed there and everyone except Uncle David & Aunt Rasa rode this one. I rode with Diana in the front and it was a great ride.
We decided to have dinner at Pizza Port since it was close and sounded good to everyone. They all got assorted types of pizza and Josh & I shared the chicken Caesar salad and chicken pasta. After dinner, they all got Fast Passes for the Autopia and then got in line for Finding Nemo it was listed as over an hour wait. While they waited in line and rode the ride, we headed to the Monorail exit to meet Joshs sister and family. Jim & Becky took a quick bathroom break, and then we headed to Dumbo.
Dumbo is a family memory, especially for Kyle and we wanted to take a new photo of him all grown up to show the contrast from one when he was child and rode with his Grandpa (Joshs dad Jim, who passed away almost 2 years ago). Josh & Kyle got in line (20 minute wait) and once it was their turn, they were able to get a great photo of Kyle on Dumbo. They were also excited and surprised to see Robin Trocki (who played Jean Sylvester, Coach Sue Sylvesters sister on GLEE) in line just ahead of them. She was there celebrating her birthday and was happy to pose for photos and give hugs to both of them after their ride.
After the ride and celebrity sighting, we said goodbye to the Mitchells and hugged them a lot since we dont know when we might see them next. Then we headed back to Nemo to wait for the Pofahls after a quick bathroom break. While waiting for them at the Tomorrowland Terrace, we decided that we were feeling tired and just wanted go back to our room to relax and maybe use the hot tub. We said our goodbyes to the Pofahls (Diana was especially sad to see us go ) and headed toward Main Street. We were looking for a couple to give our Star Tours Fast Passes to and we soon saw a guy who was wearing a CBU t-shirt (I am an alumni & work at CBU California Baptist University). We told him it was his lucky day and that because he chose to wear a CBU shirt he & his girlfriend got Fast Passes for Star Tours (which had an over hour wait and no more Fast Passes at this point of the day). They were happy and thanked us.
On our way out, we decided to stop for a corn dog since it sounded really good. We shared one along with a soda and some chips and it was quite delicious. We headed back to our motel and went to the pool and hot tub for about an hour or so. It was a little busy, but not too crowded and it felt really nice to soak in the hot tub especially. We ate snacks in our room and watched some TV before heading to bed before midnight.
Day 4 Thursday, June 30, 2011
We got up around 9am and took our time packing and getting ready. We were out of the room by 10:30 and checked out quickly with no additional charges. We decided to stop at SONIC once again for some beverages for the ride home. We were home within an hour or so and were glad to have the rest of the day off to relax, unpack and get ready to go back to work the next day.
This was a wonderful trip and it was made so wonderful by the time spent with family. The guacamole making contest was a thrill and I was so proud of myself for entering and so excited to win. We ended up using the $100 gift card in February 2012 to celebrate our 10 year anniversary of when we met. We went to Catal Restaurant and it was a wonderful meal! Our waitress Katie was friendly, very knowledgeable and funny and allowed us to take our time and really enjoy the meal. One of our favorite parts of the meal was the Charcuterie Platter for two which included many meats, cheeses, olives and peppers from Spain along with bread. We also loved the house made sorbet (raspberry) and gelato (espresso) and ended our meal with a small pot of French press coffee and chamomile lemon tea. It was a great experience and we never would have tried going there if I hadnt won the gift card. Now we will probably visit again in the future at least for our favorites.