United States of America · 9 Days · 44 Moments · February 2016

Leanne Mann's voyage in United States of ...

18 February 2016

Bye Las Vegas!
Robert chatting away with the Conlogues.
Riding the shuttle to McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, NV. We are catching the red eye to Boston.
NY NY & the M&M shop.
Visiting Monte Carlos.
Chill in' on the ride back to Las Vegas
Okay, we squeeze in a stop at Carl's Jr. Burger in Primm, NV. The kids said it tasted like McyDs. I ordered the All Natural Burger (lettuce wrapped) & then spent my meal worried that the rest of the family was eating fake burgers. Not sure that's the best marketing strategy. This family gives Carl's Jr. Burger 2.5 stars.
A funny PG-13 story -- We are in a Las Vegas tourist store & I spot a forest green t-shirt with a beautiful rooster on it. I seize the shirt and am holding it up against my body. It says Massive across the top. I am walking around the store exclaiming how much I love the colorful rooster, and I turn a corner to see a store clerk, who raises one eyebrow at me, and my husband stops in his tracks just staring at me, then he leans over & says, "Leanne, it's a little raunchy." "Huh? . . . Ohhh." The store clerk says, "Oh, I see you finally got it." I guess my expression gave me away. In my defense, the rooster was very pretty.
Taxes in CA -- high baby, high. In Maine we paid $1.69 right before we left. We just ate breakfast in a little cafe in a strip mall & paid $60. No kidding. Now each kid ordered a side of bacon, but we only have two kids. We won't be sad to say good-bye to these kind of prices.
Good-bye Little Casitas!

17 February 2016

Nighttime brings a little settle-down family TV. Kids have been asleep by 7:30 most nights, which is 10:30 at home. That, and the rooster starts in at 4:00 a.m.
Our last CA supper was at another new-to-us chain Souperplantation. It is a buffet of fresh salads, homemade soups, & lottsa desserts. As a family, we give it 3 stars.
I've posted all our best pics, but don't get the wrong impression --there's been angst, blood, & tears, too. -- Zoe placed the L on her forehead & called her brother , who was relentlessly teasing her, a loser. Riley was heartbroken & burst into tears. -- Riley retrieved an errant soccer ball from the thorny cacti & ended up with a bloody cut & a splinter deep in his foot. -- Zoe slipped climbing the break wall at the beach & wedged her foot between two boulders. She lost a good part of her toenail. So see, even on vacation, we are your average family.
Love the beach!
The Pacific Ocean @ Carlsbad, CA
When the rental car gauge reads "Check tire pressure," do so before sight seeing. 😉 And, yup, that's Walmart -- can't get away from it.

16 February 2016

When we travel, we try new food -- my husband has made this a tradition. With kids in tow we have to be creative, so for our family vacation, we've been trying western chain & kid-friendly restaurants. Five Guys is our #1 favorite burger joint , Jack in-the-Box a close 2nd. Surprisingly ,though, CA hasn't had a lot of choices in terms of ice cream. My favorite meal was yummy Indian Chicken Korma during which the rest of the family ate local pizza.
We hit McDonalds for large drinks and food. Leave it to us, though, to locate a McDonalds in a yucky part of town. The conversation around us was about drunks, passing out , & where to buy drugs. And it was a white woman in her late 40s sitting with her construction buddies. If part of the reason we want to travel with the kids is to expose them to different people & places, then we are successful. We've had several great conversations about the choices we make in life & how it influences the outcome.
Very thirsty.
Jaguar & elephants -- and, yes, that elephant is getting a pedicure, which happens daily. Wow! ❤️
Very warm day -- 88*. The kids hid out in a cave.
The bears -- red panda, panda, & polar.
Visiting the San Diego Zoo!

15 February 2016

The Miniland was a family favorite.
Lots of fun at Legoland. Dad was a great sport and rode 3 roller coasters.
And, we have arrived.
It was a 4+ hour drive from Vegas to Vista, CA.
The adobe pad we'll come back to each day. Had a few issues upon arrival -- had to pay $30/ night extra for kids, even though the moniker advertised Sleeps 5-7. If 5 star is the ultimate experience, this is a 2.5 -- & that's being generous. Note to self -- don't go with the cheapest deal. Also, don't believe the reviews.

14 February 2016

And road the loop around downtown. Kids saw lots of homeless people & setups.
Headed into San Diego the Gaslamp District . . .
Happy Valentine's Day to us💕

13 February 2016

So why did we walk all over creation -- getting lost all over the place (deep in parking garages, wandering through smokey casinos) just to get to the Forum Way? Because of this awesome aquarium.
Caesar's Palace Dragon -- entrance to the Forum Way.
Walking around Las Vegas in the morning we see two drunks in two different places being kicked by security to get up and get off the lawn and stop sleeping. A young couple fighting with each other in McDonald's. This is a different world.
Good Mornin' Las Vegas!

12 February 2016

Good-bye Phoenix!
Two full days as the MCL National Alliance working it at Chuck Schwahn's house with Bea McGarvey, Julie Mathiesen, Amelia Rose , Jim Parry, Tom Rooney , Lana Brown, Linda Laughlin, and PA folks.
Happy to be with Bea & Chuck!

10 February 2016

In Surprise, AZ, I have two choices within walking distance for supper -- Denny's or McDonalds. I am by far the youngest dinner guest here. I am happy to order breakfast with GF English muffins! But sad to learn that Denny's does not serve wine. Who knew?
We drive in a flat valley running along side the mountain range.
5:40 p.m. In Phoenix, AZ & 71 degrees as the sun sets. Mighty fine weather.
Landed in Phoenix AZ and have an hour commute by an expensive shuttle (by Maine standards) to Surprise, AZ.