West.Coast.Road.Trip – Los Angeles, CA – December 2009

On our way to L.A., we stopped at Winchester Mansion in San Jose.  The story behind the mansion is pretty intensive, but in summary, Sarah Winchester suffered from deep depression over the death of her infant daughter, then her husband.  She was left with a lot of money from her husband’s death who was the owner of Winchester firearms.  With an unlimited supply of money and just weird thoughts left in her head, she started to add additions to her house that made no sense at all.  Staircases led to the ceiling or each other, rooms were dead ends and doorways led to nowhere.

We purchased tickets that day when we arrived and opted for the Mansion Tour plus the Basement Tour.  We figured we’d get the most out of this one-time visit.  However, I felt that Basement Tour was a waste.  The Mansion Tour was all that I needed to get a good feel of the crazy house.

the door to nowhere – actually, it could lead to your death or at least some broken bones from the fall.

After our rest stop at Winchester Mansion, we continued onto our final destination to LA.  I haven’t been to Disneyland in ages and I wanted to go one more time before kids.  I wanted to go on the “big kid” rides and not on Dumbo.  Jay’s not an amusement park kinda guy, but went along because he had a friend who worked at the park and could get us a Day Pass.  Yippee!

where.we.stayed

  • Sheraton Universal Hotel.  333 Universal Hollywood Drive.  We stayed here for a couple of nights while Jay’s friend took us sightseeing around L.A.  It was a very nice hotel and close to Universal City Walk which had a lot of entertainment and restaurants.  We moved to another motel/hotel closer to Disneyland the night before we went to the Park, but I can’t remember what it was called.

Sheraton Universal Hotel.

our second hotel/motel closer to Disneyland.

what.we.did

  • A whirlwind tour of L.A. – driving through Hollywood Hills, stopping at La Brea Tarpits, shopping at the Page Museum Gift Shop, looking around the Chinese Theater and the Walk of Fame.
  • Legoland.  I wanted to go to Legoland because… well, just because.  I enjoyed it and would recommend to people who have kids, especially boys into Lego.  It was way less crowded than Disneyland, but not deserted.  No “big kid” rides, though.

trying to get people on the rides wet. I think i enjoyed this the most!

  • Disneyland.  This needs no description!

yay for Cinderella castle at Christmas!

what.we.ate

  • Pink’s Hot Dogs.  709 N. LaBrea Ave.  I have never heard of this place before, but it is famous.  You can definitely tell by the line.  We waited for over an hour to get our hotdogs and we were told that this a good day!  Crazy, but it prepared us for Disneyland!  The hotdogs were good, lots of variety to choose from.  But I don’t think I’ll be standing in that line again.

the line circled the building and into the parking lot.

finally, our hotdogs!

what.I.thought

Disneyland was great, as usual.  Christmas time is their peak season, along with summer, so the lines were ridiculously long.  Even with the FastPass, you have to really plan out your day.  We didn’t understand how the FastPass worked (you can only get one at a time) and we wasted it on the Indiana Jones ride which was scheduled for 12:30.  That was our first pass and had to wait until it expired!  And one day at Disneyland and California Adventure Park was not enough.  I will definitely be back, but with kids.  I still enjoyed Disney World better, though.  Need to go back there.

at the end of our long day at Disney.

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