It was around midday and we had some time up our sleeve before we could check into our hotel, so Mike wanted to show us Santa Monica (he has been to LA a few times with his work, so he knows his way around). The kids were amazed at the amount of traffic around us. I was enthralled by the art deco buildings around LA and Santa Monica – that old Hollywood vibe. It was a beautiful day for us to arrive into LA, they must’ve known we were coming and they turned on the charm!
We got a car park at Santa Monica pier and we wandered down the boardwalk. We stood at the end of the boardwalk and looked out at the ocean, hard to believe that we were now so far away from Australia, it felt very surreal. The kids were impressed by the “mega seagulls” that plodded along (they are huge over there). We had lunch on the boardwalk and the kids went on their very first rollercoaster rides at Pacific Park. Tilly and I took on the big rollercoaster while Mike and Mish went on the pirate ship one. We played games, explored the big dragon’s head, before making our way over to check into our hotel.
We had booked a room at the Castle Inn Suite, Anaheim. It is situated across the road from Disneyland, and the rates were really good at the time (August 2012). It was neat, tidy and walking distance to the park. Along the road were restaurants and diners, little convenience stores filled with Disney merchandise too. The kids loved the big knight that stands in the foyer (he is pretty cool). We checked in and went up to our room. The plan was for us to keep ourselves awake until after dinner in an attempt to set our body clocks. The jet lag was kicking in. Yawning, bleary eyed, all four of us made the mistake of flopping down on our beds. Next minute we know it is almost midnight when we are wide awake on Australia time. Noooo!
All I can say is thank goodness for IHOP for being open to serve dinner at midnight. We went in hungry and came out full to the eyeballs – the small portion over there would equal the large here in Australia. What I really loved was the waitress who immediately poured me a cup of coffee – the first one I had had since leaving Townsville. It was amazing, and even more so when she informed me that the refills were FREE! Cue my happy dance! With full bellies and caffeine levels replenished, we headed back to the hotel to try and go back to sleep for a few more hours before we were to head out to Disneyland.
To be continued…