Disneyland RV trip – 2005

Day 11 & 12

Miles Today: 449.0, 410.8
Miles Total: 2510
Days seeing a cow: 11 out of 12
Well, this is going to be my wrap-up entry for the trip…Had breakfast w/Jim & Carrie on Saturday morning, and hit the road at just about noon.  Took the Bay Bridge to Oakland, and then went north to I-505, and finally to I-5.  The traffic in the bay area was way worse than it was in LA.  Took us 2 hours to go about 70 miles.  This was a pretty hard-core driving day – pulled into a rest area in Oregon (just N of Grant’s Pass) around 10:30p.  We were up and on the road by about 7:15a the next day, and pulled into home around 4:30.  Some random observations from the trip:
  • I need to know the specifications for every nut and bolt on the Jeep, because Jeep people ask those kinds of questions.
  • If you’ve never seen one, a Ford F650 is a very large truck (there were 2 of them at the orangeland RV park towing trailers)
  • It isn’t "T for Taylor", it is "O for Taylor"…it will be "P for Taylor Tomorrow".
  • The generator works better when the circuit breaker is turned on.
  • Burned 257+ Gallons of Fuel (haven’t topped off the tank yet after getting home).



Day 9 & 10

Miles Today: ~400 (GPS is in the jeep)
Miles Total: ~1600 (GPS is in the jeep)
Weather: Sunny, mid-80s
Days in a row seeing a cow: 4
Thursday we left the RV park bright and early (about 6:30a)…morning rush hour through LA wasn’t really that bad, although it still took us 2 hours to go 90 miles. Went straight up I5 this time and it was way easier than when we cut the corner on the Hollywood freeway – less lanes coming and going.  Stayed on I5 until CA 152, and then cut across to the coast…it was a pretty cool windy road through the hills (a big change from the flat on I5).  Ended up pulling into Jim & Carrie’s in Woodside around 4:00p.  Scott gets the dummy of the day award…the house batteries were not charging while we were driving down the road, so I started the generator, but the batteries still did not charge.  Checked all the breakers, and they were fine, so I checked the genset and found another breaker on it so I toggled it (on then off again).  So, we had no TV for the kids for most of the trip because of a lack of power.  When we arrived and I started to troubleshoot (I plugged into the wall and it worked), then I realized that I screwed up when I reset the breaker.
Friday, Harper had to go to school for a 1/2 day and Melissa went with her.  Once they got back, we went to this cool place that overlooked the ocean for lunch, and then went and ran on the beach where both Bailey and Taylor did face-plants while running in the water, so we went home.  Got a babysitter and went out to dinner with just the grownups.
Plan for today is to leave around noon and try to get to the medford walmart before calling it a day.

Day 8

Miles Today: ~20 (in Jeep)
Miles Total: 1253.9 (only counting RV miles here)
Weather: Sunny, mid-80s
Days in a row seeing a cow: 2
Happy Birthday to me!  Last day at the theme parks – 5 days in a row is about 3 too many.  Spent the day at Disney’s California Adventure.  Took it kinda slow, wasn’t too crowded. The first ride we tried to go on broke down (are we lucky or what), so we went to a couple of different shows – Playhouse Disney Live! and the Aladdin Musical.  Playhouse Disney was really geared toward little kids.  The Aladdin Musical was more toward adults (although Taylor liked it).  It was a pretty cool production.
Had dinner at the ESPN Game Zone.  Sat in the "TV Room" – had a wall of TVs with 12 different ESPN feeds going at the same time. With the main feed on the big screen.  We had our own tv w/surround sound in our booth (u-shaped), and we could pick the feed we wanted to watch at the table. I got free dessert for my birthday, and everyone else at the table got free dessert because we had a little visitor (a cockroach walked by).
Start heading back tomorrow – spent part of tonight getting ready to go.  Have the windows back in the jeep, dumped the holding tank, unhooked the water, cleaned things up.  Should be able to get up in the morning, pull in the slide, unhook the power, hook up the jeep, and go!

Day 7

Miles Today: ~20 (in Jeep)
Miles Total: 1253.9 (only counting RV miles here)
Weather: Sunny, mid-80s
Days in a row seeing a cow: 1
Disneyland Day #2 today.  We used our early entrance to the park today and promptly went to the all-new space mountain (well, Melissa and I did, Kim and Taylor went to Buzz lightyear).  The new-improved Space Mountain was a bit of a disappointment – it really seems like they slowed down the ride quite a bit. After this, we went over to do the Indiana Jones ride.  Melissa and I were almost all the way to the front when the ride broke down, so they gave us a fast pass to any ride that we wanted. Did more of the show type things today too. The buzz lightyear ride would take your picture, and then you could have it sent to an email address when you were done, so I’ve attached our pictures today…the one of kim and taylor is kinda bad, but it is important to check out who got the highest score of all!

Day 6

Miles Today: ~20 (in Jeep)
Miles Total: 1253.9 (only counting RV miles here)
Weather: Sunny, mid-80s
Days in a row seeing a cow: didn’t see one today (that we could remember)
Today was Disneyland (http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disneyland/en_US/parks/landing?name=DisneylandParkLandingPage)!  Taylor didn’t even make it through the first ride before puking…that would be the ride to the park. Just as I was about to turn into the parking lot, Taylor puked all over the back of the Jeep.  So, we went back to the RV park, changed Taylor, cleaned up the Jeep and went back to disneyland.  After the puking event, we left all of the windows off of the jeep to help air things out.
The crowds at Disneyland were on the light to moderate side. A few more people than the other parks although we still ddin’t wait in line longer than 20 minutes or so (but we did fastpass Splash Mountain that had a 90 minute wait, and skipped the new space mountain because of a 60 minute wait). Taylor is big enough to go on almost all of the rides (including space mountain).  We took her on splash mountain where she said "That was really fun" when she got off, however it was followed by a "Let’s not do that one again".  Took her on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and she didn’t really like it, so I don’t think Space Mountain is going to happen this time around.
When we picked up the tickets today, the lady noticed that it was my birthday in a couple of days, so she gave me an "it’s my birthday" sticker.  So, I had people saying happy birthday to me all day long.  Tigger got a whole bunch of people to sing happy birthday to me, and I got free pudding w/lunch today – pretty cool.
Theme parks are starting to get old after 3 straight days – only 2 more to go. We can get an early entry to Disney tomorrow, so we’ll use that and do space mountain and the other parts of the park we missed today.

Day 5

Miles Today: ~20 (in Jeep)
Miles Total: 1253.9 (only counting RV miles here)
Weather: Sunny, Lower 90s
Days in a row seeing a cow: didn’t see one today (that we could remember)
Went to Knott’s Berry Farm today (http://www.knotts.com). This was a little more intense than Legoland yesterday.  Showed up right when the place opened (10a).  There was nobody here either.  Most of the rides were <15 minute waits, and some you could just walk straight on.  Melissa’s favorite ride was the Ghostrider – http://www.knotts.com/park/tour/gtown/grfacts.shtml. Basically a giant wooden roller-coaster (she went on it 3 times, 2x w/dad, 1x w/mom). Her second favorite was the Silver Bullet – a "hanging" coaster w/one loop, a corkscrew, and a whole bunch of inverted turns.  Taylor liked the camp bus in camp Snoopy.  Taylor couldn’t go on any of the big roller coasters, so Kim and I split up w/the kids and swapped them in the afternoon. 
It has been very hot the last few days (it is all over the news down here), and Today was no exception.  So, around 4p or so we called it a day at the theme park and went back to eat dinner and hang by the pool.  We all took showers tonight so we would be on time for Disneyland tomorrow.
Well, gotta go for now, Taylor just decided to go to the bathroom w/o lifting up the toilet seat, now I’ve got to go clean it up…

Day 4

Miles Today: ~120 (in Jeep)
Miles Total: 1253.9 (only counting RV miles here)
Weather: Sunny, Lower 90s
Days in a row seeing a cow: 4
Since driving for 3 days straight didn’t seem like enough driving, we decided to take the Jeep to Carlsbad (just over an hour away)  today and visit Legoland.  We arrived right as they were opening the doors – it really wasn’t that crowded anyhow.  Most of the rides seemed to be suited for smaller kids, although Melissa did have fun.  Taylor is 40.000001 inches tall with her new platform shoes on, which is good because 40" is one of the height boundaries that they use…she could go on all but two of the rides at the park.  Lines were short, most were less than 15 minutes and the longest we ever waited was about 1/2 hr. After 6p, most of the lines were less than 5 minutes. In fact the long waits weren’t because the lines were long, it was because the rides were slow, and it took a long time to cycle through. There were also a couple of rides where the kids got separated out into a lego play area while the parents stood in line – once the parents got to the front, the kids could come out of the pla area and get on the ride. They had some pretty cool lego creations – a mini New York City, a mini Washington DC, and of course a lego cow (which counts for our cow counter).
Other interesting things today – Kim threw away the mini-broom and dust pan on accident (and the garbage guys came and took it away).  Looks like we are walking distance to the pond and angel stadium, so this would be a good place to stay if you want to watch baseball or hockey.

Day 3

Miles Today: 301.1
Miles Total: 1253.9
Weather: Sunny, Lower 90s
Days in a row seeing a cow: 3
Made it today!  After an exciting start to the day, we pulled into Orangeland RV park (http://www.orangeland.com) around 1:30p.  Started off (at 6:30a) getting gas before we jumped onto the freeway.  I picked the gas station with the least amount of manuvering room available.  Of course, I pulled too far forward for the pump, so I had to loop around to a different pump.  Once I started pumping the gas, I went back to check out the jeep and noticed that one of the hitch arms had not snapped into place, and a right triangle had been formed by the bars (one straight back from the hitch, the other locked in off at an angle).  The way things looked, I didn’t think the other arm would ever lock into place (would have needed a very sharp right turn). While contemplating this, the fueling tanker for the gas station pulls in and parks right in front of me…well, I check it out and it looks like I’ll have enough room to past it, so I proceed to unhook the jeep while I’m fueling so that we can get it lined up better.  As we are finsihing up with the jeep a second tanker pulls in and parks right next to the first – so now we are stuck (and we just got through hooking up the Jeep).  Well, it turns out the guy just went into the store for a minute and we left shortly after.  As I was getting on to the freeway, I get this bad feeling like I didn’t hook up the safety chains for the jeep because I was distracted by the second tanker.  I have Kim peek out the back, and sure enough, one of them is dragging on the ground. So I pull over just as we were getting on the freeway.  Basically, we made 20 feet of progress toward our destination in 45 minutes.   The next challenge came quite a bit later when we were going up the mountain just before LA.  A cop comes zipping out in front of the traffic and swerved back and forth across all of the lanes, slowing everyone down.  Turns out a truck had broken down and was blocking two of the lanes.  Ended up cutting the corner by taking the Hollywood freeway – about 3/4 of the way through traffic started to back up pretty bad, and it continued to be nasty when we merged back onto I5.  We lost about 1/2 hr due to traffic.
The brake is still firing too much for me, and it gives quite a tug when it does fire.  I set it up w/o the floor mat this morning and it slid around way too much, so I put the mat back in.  I’m starting to get quite a bit of brake dust on the front wheels as well.  On the way back, I’m going to try and decrease the brake pressure to see if that helps out.
Once we got to the park, we got everything set up and then hung out by the pool for a couple of hours.  This seems to be a pretty nice park – the facilities are great.  There are citrus trees all over the place, and they will let you pick the fruit if you want. However, I did go take a shower after going in the pool and the hot water didn’t work in the shower I picked :(.  After I was done, I went and checked another and it seemed to be ok.They also have wireless internet here – $12 for a week.  So now I’m doing these on a real computer.
Since we towed the Jeep all the way down here, we felt obligated to go drive it somewhere for dinner.  Ended up going to a seafood place across the street (walking would have almost been faster). Had some macadamia nut crusted Halibut for dinner, and it was very good.

Day 2

Miles Today: 504.9
Miles Total: 952.9
Weather: sunny – lower 90s

Got an early start this morning – on the road at 6:45a (15 minutes early!). The drive was pretty uneventful. Some wind near sacramento and a little traffic south of stockton. There was a nasty roll-over accident at the interchange of I580 and I5.

We are staying at Santa Nella RV Park (in Santa Nella). This is an interesting little town – it is a giant truck stop! Even the McDonald’s has overnight truck parking. We unhooked the jeep and drove around the town a bit, and then got some ice cream for dessert.

The brake in the jeep worked a little better today after I made some adjusments, however it still seemed like it went off too frequently. Started off by recalibrating the unit, and then slowly backing to the least sensitive setting. It still fires on rough roads, particularly when coasting down hill. I think it may be because the suspension is so stiff, so everything is getting quite a wild ride back there. Tomorrow, I think i’m going to try and remove the flloor mat – it tends to slide around a bit on the floor, so that may be causing problems.

Day 1

Miles Today: 447.6
Miles Total: 447.6
Weather: Sunny, Upper 80s

Well, here is the first entry on the big trip to Disneyland. The entries may be a bit more verbose this time – I’m using a Pocket PC with a keyboard.

Left from the house in Anacortes at 8:10a, only 10 minutes later than I wanted. Stopped to top of the gas right before we got onto I5. Traffic was fine until we got lynnwood, at which point I couldn’t set the cruise control again until south of tacoma. After that, things were fine until Portland – a place where the freeway designer had his kid scribble on a piece of paper and then used it for the freeway plans. Once through the maze, it was pretty smooth driving. Quit at rivers west rv park in oregon at around 6p. Would have liked to make it to Medford, but it was a long day as it was.

We are towing the new Jeep. The set up works great when off the freeway, however I think the brake is firing too frequently while on the freeway. I think I’m going to recalibrate the brake tomorrow morning. If that doesn’t fix the problem, then i’m going to adjust the braking sensitivity.

Another long day tomorrow – 500+ miles. Going to get up early and go while the kids are still sleeping. Also, this probably won’t get out till tomorrow sometime because of poor reception.