I finished out my trainings in North Dakota the week of November 16th with a drive out to Williston from Grand Forks. For those of you who are unfamiliar with North Dakota geography, it is about five hours from the eastern to the western borders of the state. The exciting occurrence on that trip was I hit an eight point in the middle of the night on my drive back to Grand Forks. The car was alright and as a matter of fact I have not heard from the rental car agency to get the information on how much damage there was. There was no way the deer survived, but he did manage to disappear in the switch grass at the side of the road. I am positive he expired sometime that night.
I came back Thursday morning and Friday morning the family and I took off to a week's vacation to California. For the first two days we went to Legoland, which I highly recommend to you if you have children under 8. The rides are great for that age demographic and the park is economical when compared to other amusement parks in southern California. Josh had a blast, as evidenced here:
A 6 year old driving their own car? Believe it.
We stayed at the Residence Inn in Oceanside and loved the property. I highly recommend that you stay here, even when going to Disneyland. We stayed in this property for four nights and the breakfast alone was worth the stay. It must have saved us at least $25.00 per day to stay here. The Fairfield across from Disneyland was nice, but the total lack of amenities makes this property somewhat unappealing. The Residence Inn was in a quiet neighborhood, which was conducive to my running. The hills in Oceanside were challenging but fun.
On day three we went to the beach in Oceanside. I loved this time and only wish we could have spent more time there. I would love to rent a home there on the beach this summer and just relax for a month. I think that would be so much fun. I told Karen she could bring the scrapbook stuff and I would train in the a.m. and hit the beach all afternoon. Here is a pic of Josh and I playing in the surf...
So for days four and five we went to Disneyland. It was everything you would expect right before a major holiday. It was busy, but I thought manageable. We had a blast and would head back to the hotel about eight every night because all three of us were exhausted. The highlight of our time in Disneyland was when Josh decided he wanted to be "tough" and leave his hands up on one of the rollercoasters. That was supercool as a Dad.
He would tell you the Jedi Training he got was even better. Here is the photo of when he fought Darth Maul...
At the end of Day 5, the second day at Disneyland, Karen was just wiped. Everyone was to be honest, but Josh and I decided we would go on Indiana Jones later in the night. We got a couple of Fast Passes early in the day for return at 7:30. We dropped Karen off at the hotel and as tired as we both were from all day in the park, we hoofed it back to Disneyland. We went on Indiana Jones, the Car ride, the Buzz Lightyear ride, and the Jungle Cruise. Finally I think we both had enough and decided it was time to try and head back to the hotel to pass out. Amazingly enough, we started walking out just as the fireworks began and Josh was able to watch them from my shoulders while I walked out of the park. We made it back to the hotel just in time for the both of us to fall asleep.
Overall, the trip was amazing. I loved hanging out with the family without the cell phone for a couple of days. I was able to sprinkle in a couple of runs, eat some good food, and spend some time with the people who I haven't really seen in a couple of months because of travel for work. Now it is back to the grindstone and training for that little thing I have coming up May 1st!