San Diego 2018 Day 14 – San Diego Sea World and Gasclamp Quarters

Woke up with less than 30mins left for breakfast. I quickly went out of the room to the breakfast area. There was a small buffet table and a automatic waffle making machine. Took some disposable plates and filled them up with whatever I could and brought them back to the room. Had breakfast while mommy cooked and soon K joined us upon waking up and ate breakfast too.

List of information on a strip
Though not Disney hotel, Mickey’s in the hall
Leaving Homewood Suites

Check out timing was at an easy 12pm, but we were on our way out by 11 and made our way to our accommodation in San Diego, Homewood suites San Diego. It was a 2 hr drive, on the highway for a good part and a nicer coastal view nearer to San Diego. Pumped gas at Shell for $50 which didn’t fill to full as San Diego gas was quite expensive.

Driving to San Diego on the carpool lane

We arrived to find out a $42 valet for parking without other options and I dropped off the luggage with the bellboy and checked in first. While the bell brought the luggage to the room, we drove to SeaWorld.

Parking at SeaWorld costed $22, general parking and mommy bought the tickets at the self help kiosks, for a total of $270. The park was opened until 5pm and so we had to make the best we could. First we stopped at a cafe for lunch and bought 2 x chicken sandwiches for almost 20ish and it didn’t taste good as the cheese was pungent. K had his lunch cooked by Mom and after which, we went for the Orca show.

Seaworld entrance
Inside the park
Our wraps
One of the rides

The show was pretty good with 3 whales out and about, splashing a lot of water as the trainer belted out information. 30mins and then, we found ourselves at the jellyfish ride and the octopus rides. K made the 42” height limit and was able to board them with me. Jellyfish made me a little dizzy but the octopus one was basically a mechanical swing.

Orca whale show
Like free Willy
Up on land to say hi
Otter feeding – totally relaxed on its back
Jellyfish ride
Octopus Swing

After the few rides and much persuasion to visit other exhibits instead of taking the rides, we made a short visit to see the crabs then we were on our way to the Arctic exhibit. The Arctic exhibit had Baluga whales and we saw other people in their up close and personal experience with one Baluga. While K was busy fiddling with his camera, he dropped it to the ground and it stopped functioning. I tried to check it but couldn’t revived it. We then moved on to the other exhibits while K was being pissed off with what happened to his camera. Further on, we saw seals and walruses and then underwater a group of 3 playful Baluga, beautiful creatures gracefully swimming around.

Moray eels exhibits
Giant crab
Map of the entire Seaworld
What a scary ride…
Artic expedition displays
Sleeping seal
Walrus on its back
Swimming baluga

We walked to the penguins exhibit that had a slow travellator within that brought us slowly through, seeing the feeding of the penguins and the other section had puffins and other birds.

Xmas at in Seaworld
Penguin Encounter
Emperor penguins standing proud

After this, we walked to the shark encounters and saw from starting from the top, through to underwater. There were many sharks there, some of them were large! Reminded me of our Singapore’s now extinct underwater world.

Walking through the waters
More sharks overhead
An another one

Then as hastily as we came, we hastily proceeded to the sealion show which had already started. It was a pretty entertaining one, with jokes and lots of funny actions, very different form of presentation from the awesome Orca shows.

Dancing with sealion
Otter waving goodbye

After the show, we went over to the sealion point just behind and bought from the shop there some feed for the sea lions. It was fun feeding but made even more fun because it was closing time and they gave out more fishes to some of the people there to feed. We fed those barking sea lions and it was really funny to see them being so exciting and calling out to us for the food.

Feeding sealions through holes
Calling for food

The park closed officially at 5pm and we walked to the souvenirs shop to see if there were anything to get. Eventually, we only pressed two souvenir coins and didn’t get anything else and we were out of the park. Drove back to the hotel and dropped off our leftover barang barang before driving to Gaslamp quarters and parked at Horton Plaza.

Closing time
Horse shoe crabs near the entrance
Souvenir shops
Street of Gaslamp quarters
One of the old style buildings there

We took a walk around the supposedly happening area, looking for a place to have dinner and ended up at a Mexican restaurant Los Panchos. Upon entering, there were just feels of Mexico (never been there but I felt so) with Mexican music and deco.

Los Panchos
Interior of the restaurant
Mexican feels

Started Tortillas and quite spicy salsa that K couldn’t resist eating those corn chips. Then with Pineapple Mojito that at first tasted sour but then it became better and also I, a little dizzy. The main dishes of Enchiladas and Fajitas of mix up meats and seafood were awesome! Came with the wraps for us to made tacos out of. As usual, these were rather huge dishes and we couldn’t finish them.

Tortilla chips

To walk off the alcohol and then the food, we went to Ralph’s for shopping and purchased some 70ish worth of items including Starbucks instant coffee and foodstuff before heading back.

Lamp post in Gaslamp Quarter
Brightly lit street
Horton Plaza carpark
Ralphs’ supermarket
Big supermarket
Many fresh produce

Paid for the carpark at the exit manned by a cashier at a whopping cost of $28 for 3.5hrs of parking. Back at the apartment it was a rather easy affair of bathtub fun and TV before going to bed.

Fire on the table to warm hands
Living room
View from the room

Anaheim 2018 Day 13 – Disney California Adventure Park

Awoke at 9 on the day of theme park visit. Figured that we spent so much (much more than on the tickets) on the room, might as well make the most use of it. With a young kid, optimizing theme park visit wasn’t top priority, thus even when given an option for an earlier visit of 1hr before official opening as a guest of the hotel ( which was ridiculously early at 7am) we couldn’t be bothered. Wasn’t easy to get K out of bed and we tried to optimized the packing for the check out. I moved some of the smaller non essential items to the car first and have mommy and K go over to the club for breakfast on the second floor. There was a simple buffet spread and a couple of choices for food and a big TV that was showing Brave. We left at about 10am after breakfast, as I went back to the room to bring the luggage to the bell.

Morning view from the room
Beach Comber club
Inside the club room

Walking to Disneyland was at least a 10min walk, through some car parks and through Downtown Disney District (a street with some shops including Starbucks and Sephora). There was a tram that could take visitors direct to the park but it was for Disneyland instead of California adventure park.

Downtown Disney District

We bought tickets via Klook that was slightly cheaper than those offered online and chose one park visit instead of hopper. There weren’t much time anyway and we thought that Disneyland would be mostly the same as those closer to our part of the world (eg. Hong Kong). Our print outs were exchanged for tickets that were tagged to photos taken at the entrance. Then we entered the park.

Californian Adventure Park entrance

Wanted a stroller as I wouldn’t be able to carry K thru out and was told that it would be outside the park next to the entrance of Disneyland. Didn’t expect re-entry to happen so soon and went out alone to queue for the stroller, rental at $15 the whole day. They had other accessibility options for rent too, like personal mobility vehicles.

Stroller rental

Returned to find mommy and K at the shop. Walked to the Disney Jr dance party for our first show. The floor was almost full and we had to sit to the sides. Then the show began and some kids were already out at the front dancing with the performers. This interesting show brought together physical dances from the dancers, interaction with digital presentations on screen and physical presentations using bubbles and fake leaves, and characters coming from screen to on stage, something like a 4D show. Amusing to both kids and adults.

Tram inside the park
Inside Disney Junior Dance party
And Mickey arrived in his roadster costume!

After the 30mins fun, we went to the Hyperion theatre to watch a rather professionally done Frozen musical. Again we were the last bunch of those people there and ended up at the top balcony, offering a birds eye view of the stage. It was pretty good with the visual effect and the singing, only thing was the characters were not the same dimensions as that in the animation.

Walking towards Hyperion theatre
Elsa with the song
Olaf and the others

Afternoon was spent having a quick lunch getting chicken box from Poultry Palace for 10ish, and walking around the Incredibles section to find the characters which we couldn’t see. Queued 50mins for midway mania which was pretty fun, where we were in seats that moved from screen to screen with guns to fire at the screens. Then we proceeded to Cars area to queue for an outdoor ride at Maters’ farm and snapped a photo with a talking Lightning. Sat down for some popcorn and ice cream before moving on.

Groot at the Guardians section
Poultry Palace
Inside the box
Midway Mania
Mr Potato Head
Moving seats
Cars Land Winter version
Mater ride
Outdoor ride that swings around
Lightning parked for a photo shoot
K talking to Lightning with moving eyes!
Cars land
Place to buy snacks
Ice-cream cone
Casa Della tires
Xmasy at Radiator Springs
Long queue for this ride which we didn’t queue for

K then fell asleep in his stroller, rejecting my offer to take the Ferris wheel or the other rides. We then walked to the Elena of Avalon show, a street song and dance show.

Elena of Avalon street song and dance

K woke up a little annoyed due to the lack of sleep but quickly recovered when he saw a Buzz lightyear bubble maker that mommy bought him. Instantly became his favorite toy, creating bubbles along the way as we strolled through the rest of the park going through Grizzly peak, an American theme area.

Huge bear statue at Grizzly peak
Old American town theme

We returned to the Hollywood area to line up for a photo session with Spider-Man and K acquainted with some kids in the queue and played till we met Spidey.

Disneyland at night, with the Xmas tree in background
Neon lights at Hollywood studios

Spider-Man was really into character, as the friendly neighborhood superhero and it was amusing when he talked about the bubbles coming from the Buzz in K’s hands. We took our photos professionally and with my iPhone and then proceeded to walk towards the exit.

Friendly neighbourhood superhero
Santa spotted

Near the entrance, we saw lines queuing to take a photo with Mickey and Minnie. Walked a bit more to look for Goofy but couldn’t see him and eventually lined up for Minnie (K’s preference). The short line was about a 10mins wait but Minnie had to leave by 630pm and so we did a selfie instead (K was naughty and hit Minnie’s nose).

We got out of the park way before closing time and returned the stroller but re-entered the park to walk through Californian hotel via Grizzly peak as the distance felt a little shorter than the route we took to entrance in the afternoon through the Downtown Disney District. The hotel looked more grand than the one we stayed as we strolled through its lobby.

Jazz performance on the street of Buena Vista

Retrieved the luggage from the bell after snapping a photo of the giant Xmas tree they replaced Goofy in the same position and we were on our way to dinner at Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles, where we had chicken, waffles, corn bread and soup.

Lounge at the Disney hotel
Goofy’s replaced with the tree
Apple juice in a cute bottle

After dinner, we drove to our accommodation for the night, Homewood Suite Anaheim by Hilton. The suite was big and had the comforts of a hotel and a nice kitchen came with it. It was the best of worlds for families who wanted to prepare meals. The only small issue was that there wasn’t detergent nor an electric flask/kettle. Got my hot water from hot water flask at the dining area in which the reception on duty helped to replace and the cool water from the water cooler.

Living room
Sink outside toilet
Toilet and bath

Night was a combination of bath time, washing up of utensils and then it off to bed after some time watching Disney Jr channel, the cartoon theme of the day.

Anaheim 2018 Day 12 – Detour to Camarillo Premium Outlets and Disneyland Pier Hotel

It was the 2nd traveling day when we would stayed in a Disneyland hotel, to enjoy the resort. As usual, mommy woke up first to get the meals prepared while I was up later to pack the luggage. Bought some stuff from supermarket the day before to make some breakfast of muffin and eggs. However, the bread smelled a little bad and K had issues with that.

Later on, after having warmed up and fully awoke, he wanted to go to the playground. Earlier on, the ground was wetted by automatic sprayers and when he went down the slides, his bum landed on the muddy ground and stained his pants. But the son of the Airbnb owners, H, came joined him at the swing and the playground and he was a lot more muddier! K and H interacted, with H showing K where to play and how to get down the spiral slide and K was mostly showing off his toy. They also went up to the watch tower for a little while, as I loaded up all the luggage.

30 Past 11am and finally we were hitting the roads, bidding farewell after this short but amusing playtime between the 2. Didn’t visit the beach at Pismo Beach.

We decided on an adhoc visit to another outlet since we didn’t have enough for the first one and the drive to Camarillo was about 2hrs. Took the highway instead of the coastal road unlike the previous day to get there quicker but was able to past beside the coastal town of Santa Barbara and caught a view of the coast. At around 130pm, we went to In-and-Out burger which was just a few mins drive from the outlet to have our lunch.

Passing by Santa Barbara

Parked at the open air free carpark and went in. While K ate his lunch, I ordered a Cheeseburger with fries. There weren’t other burgers except beef and so mommy only ate the fries. The burger tasted good, with the beef patty being crispy and the fries were nice too, the taste of potato accentuated! It was pretty affordable with the meal only costing about $7ish since we only bought one meal.

In-N-Out burger
Cheese burger meal

After lunch, we drove to Camarillo and parked at the free car park just in front of Tory Burch. There weren’t many people around which was great! We spent some time there and ended with some more purchases before moving on the Polo Ralph and Old Navy. K enjoyed the shopping at Old Navy as there was a hop scotch on the ground for him to skip about. Although we planned as a short visit, we ended up leaving the place at 430pm.

At Camarillo Outlets
Skipping inside Old Navy store

The drive to Disneyland Paradise Pier Hotel was a 2hr drive marred by heavy traffic, even though the distance was a just under 80miles. No matter which route I tried, there was just red lined jams. As we left, we passed through Ventura and in the distance found dark smoke coming out from mountains in the near distance. The winds were blowing away in favor of the LA city and thankfully clear skies prevail.

Bellowing thick smokes from the forest fires

Made a mistake of taking the smaller route which ended up taking more time, with the multiple stop-go due to traffic, and made worse with a train running through. Managed to get back onto the freeway and ended up Anaheim Plaza for a quick stop by at Ulta Beauty for mommy to shop for some cosmetics and K to use the toilet. Then a short drive to Noodle House at Euclid Plaza around 630pm, mins drive from the hotel and place where we ate dinner. Ordered Fried rice and signature noodles for total of 30dollars.

Alta Beauty at Anaheim Plaza
Inside huge Ulta Beauty
Noodle house restaurant
Fried Rice
Signature Noodles

The drive to Disneyland hotel was a little confusing and ended up in the theme park carpark. Check with the staff and he advised the directions and luckily the car park charges would begin after 15mins. After routing back to the sheltered carpark ($20 for one night), we checked in and was given a really high floor with a view of the park. I forgotten that I have taken the package with the concierge that had food all day, and by that time it was already closed for an hour already by the time we arrived at 9pm. Quickly brought all the luggage up to the room and after a while of rest and playing with the big beach ball soft toy, we went to the pool deck at level 3 to catch the fireworks.

Goofy Statue
For Kids to sit around and catch cartoons
Big room
With bathtub
For us
For K
Coffee machine in room
Lamp in the room
Room view

There was already a small crowd seated out in the open air deck facing in the direction of Disneyland. A couple of minutes and music started to play, all in anticipation of the fireworks show. And all hopes of a night sky spectacular were dashed when the staff informed everyone that the fireworks were cancelled due to the windy conditions.

Fireworks level
Pool deck for fireworks viewing

The elevator was packed with people and the automated load distribution of the elevator wasn’t helping. We ended up taking the stairs down to the ground floor where picked up something from the car before taking the lift back to the room.

The night ended with the usual bath time and a dose of Disney cartoons before going to bed.