Saturday, June 18, 2011

Disneyland May 2011

While we were in California we went to Disneyland for 2 days. Yes, we were just at Disney World at the end of January but we couldn't resist taking Emme Claire to Disneyland since we were so close to it! And I'm really glad we did. It was a lot of fun! We spent one day at the original Disneyland Park and the next day at the California Adventure park.

For those of you trying to decide whether to go to Florida or California to see Mickey and his friends I wanted to share some of the differences that I found between Disney World and Disneyland. And also some Pros and Cons about each of them. Keep in mind I have a 2 year old and so I might not have good tips or info for people with teenagers.

Disney World (DW) is made up of 4 main parks (not including water parks) while Disneyland (DL) is made up of 2 main parks. Both places have a Downtown Disney that is accessible to the public with no tickets where you will find shops and restaurants. At Disneyland the original theme park called Disneyland Park is very similar to the Magic Kingdom at DW. And at Disneyland the California Adventure park is a lot like Hollywood Studios in DW. As far as I know there is nothing at Disneyland that is similar to Epcot park or Animal Kingdom. And I don't think Disneyland has any water parks.

One thing I loved about Disneyland is that the 2 parks they have are literally next door to each other. The entrances to both parks are just a short walk from each other. And if you have ever been to DW then you know the parks there are very far apart and you have to take some sort of transportation to park hop.

But at the same time Disney World has more parks therefore they have more to offer. But my favorite parks at DW are Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios and those are the ones that are similar to the Disneyland parks. So I'm okay with that.

Another major difference is that DW has tons of hotels within the resort. Disneyland has just 3. But any of those 3 would be in a good location because they are all very close together. Disneyland is a lot easier to walk around than Disney World, maybe because everything is closer together.

Also there aren't nearly as many restaurants at DL as there are at DW. And one of the cast members in a restaurant told me that people going to DL don't really use the Disney Dining Plan.

Something else I noticed is that DL doesn't have as many rides with the Fast Pass tickets. Actually none of the rides that we wanted to ride with Emme Claire had them. Seemed like all the rides with Fast Passes were the rides that had height requirements, like the more thrilling rides.

All in all they are both great places and if you ever have the chance to go to both then I say go!! How can you go wrong with a Disney theme park?

California Vacation May 2011 - Part 1

Brian, Emme Claire and I went to California in late May. It was all of our first times to go there. I was able to spend my 34th birthday in San Diego at the San Diego Zoo. We had a wonderful trip and the weather in San Diego is so beautiful! It was about 30 degrees cooler there than it was back home in Louisiana and Texas and there was no humidity. I was in heaven! Seriously! Heaven!!! If you have never been to San Diego I highly recommend a visit there.

We were in California for about 8 nights (if I remember correctly, it's been a few months ago, trying to get this blog caught up) so we had time to see a lot of the San Diego and Los Angeles areas. I can't wait to go back. We loved it and California is now going to be one of our top vacation destinations. You just can't beat the weather and the beauty of it. It's amazing to look one direction and see the endless ocean and then turn your head the other direction and see beautiful mountains. There was eye candy everywhere you looked! Plus there were flowers and beautiful landscaping everywhere. Even in areas and places I would not have expected to see any. I was really impressed with southern California and I would love to visit more of the cities in CA.

While in San Diego we stayed at the Catamaran Resort. It was nice. One block from the beach and it was directly on the bay. They had tons of ducks just roaming the beautiful property and some exotic birds too. This resort is also close to Sea World.

In this post I'm sharing some pics from our first couple of days in San Diego. Photos of the Pacific Ocean, Mission Bay and San Diego Zoo. I'll share pics and info from other places we visited in later posts.

Mission Bay behind our resort.

Catamaran Resort

The beach on Mission Bay behind our resort.

The Pacific Ocean taken from Ocean Beach San Diego.

I just love this pic I took of these 2 dogs with their owner enjoying at day by the sea.

I enjoyed watching the surfers. There were lots of them. Even though the water was freezing! Yep, late May and the water was ice cold!

Ocean Beach, San Diego

My 34th birthday could not have been more perfect! Spent the whole day at the San Diego Zoo. This was by far the best zoo I've ever been too. It was huge and they had every kind of animal you could imagine. It was a very nice place.

Before going on this trip I bought this "kid leash" for Emme Claire because I knew at places like the zoo she would need to be out of the stroller at times and I didn't want to worry about her getting lost. This thing was so awesome! She even liked it!

This was a baby giraffe. So cute! It is 2 months old here but they said at birth it was 6 feet tall. Wow!

Here is another full size giraffe by the baby one. This will help show the size of the baby giraffe.

Emme Claire and I under a big fake elephant by the elephant habitat. They had so many elephants at this zoo! And we got to see some of them getting pedicures. :)

I can't remember what these were called but we rode it and it was fun. Very high above the zoo. Great views! Emme Claire enjoyed it!

Having a bit of fun!

San Diego Zoo tour bus. We rode this too and it was a nice guided tour of the zoo. This zoo is so BIG!!!

About to go for a high ride!

Pandas!!!! They looked so soft and huggable!

We ate dinner at Hodad's one night because it was on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Well, this was definitely one of the best burgers I've ever had! We'll go back there for sure one day.

Little Miss Priss!

Emme Claire sitting on the wall by the beach in San Diego.

Orange Beach, AL May 2011

This was Emme Claire's 3rd year to go on a beach vacation. Well, technically the first year we went she was about 2 1/2 months old so we didn't actually stay on the beach because she was too young to be out in the sun and all (we did take her to the beach briefly in order to get some pics of her there). So we went to Gulf Shores and stayed at The Wharf which was a lot of fun BUT we went at the end of June and it was HOT! So last year we decided to go on our beach vacation in early June and we went to the Isle of Palms, SC thinking it would not be hot. Well, they had a heat wave the week we went and it was about 90 degrees there when usually it would have been about 75. Ugh! Our dumb luck! So this year for our beach vacation we decided to move it up to early May to be sure it would not be hot! And we went at the perfect time!!! The weather was beautiful! And since it was early May school was not out yet and therefore the beach was not crowded and our resort was not crowded, it was so nice! I hate crowds almost as much as I hate hot weather! It's going to really stink when EC starts real school and can't go on vacations whenever we want.

We had a fantastic time on this trip! We ate lots of good seafood and did lots of fun stuff!

Our Gulf view!

Daddy and Emme Claire walking to the beach.

Emme Claire was so happy to be stepping into the sandy beach! She loves it!