Monday, May 31, 2010

Castros Across the US - Day Three & Four

The room we stayed in in Vegas was so comfy, we didn't want to get out of bed! Evan was up & bathed, then back in again! :)
Soon after, he was asleep again with sister.
After we finally all crawled out of bed (okay, okay. I admit - it was me...), we headed to my Granma Annie's house, who also lives in Vegas. She had been anxiously awaiting us, and I felt sad that we had to leave after such a short visit because I had stayed in bed so long that morning :(
BUT, it was really nice to see her again, as the last time we had seen her was when Emma was a baby!
After Vegas, we headed down to L.A., where we were staying for the evening. On the way, we visited the world's Tallest Thermometer. Ahhh, gotta love the road oddities! ;)

...and then Evan sneezed...
(check out the shoulder...and John's look. LOL!)
I just thought this looked a little disturbing...but that's just me...
Another Route 66 Sight to see was this diner. It started out with 3 booths and a bar, and now has several rooms and a "Diner-saur" out back for the kids. (which was closed, but it looked cute)
In the Diner-saur area, they had a big pond with turtles, ducks, and big koi. The kiddos loved it.
Evan found this big turtle statue and was pretty proud that he petted it. :D
Once in Barstow, we were told we had to stop at this "travellers mecca" called Barstow Station. It was kinda like a giant flea market, only overpriced for the travellers of the mother road. Cute stuff, though. Amazingly, we came away without another souviner! 4 began in Cerritos, where we got up and headed to Downtown Disney, which is the shopping district right outside Disneyland. Usually we end up here before or after our Disneyland trips, so we thought it woudl be better to go today instead of using up some of our DLand time.
The first store that caught Emma's eye was the LEGO store. (Of course!)
They had all these giant LEGO structures built inside. Kinda LEGOLandish.

When Evan didn't get a car, he threw a HUGE fit, and the only way I got him to calm down was to let him play in the fountain. Ugh. Don't you just love the terrible twos?
The biggest attraction for Emma was the Build-A-Bear Workshop. She found a new bear that has peace signs all over it (one of her new favorite designs). Here she is helping stuff it.
...and washing it...
The bear, named "Disney", was getting dressed in the middle of the Disneylad Hotel hallway. There was just no more waiting. Ha ha!
With a $25 purchase, we had a coupon for a free backpack for Em and a matching one for her bear. (and I think she was the most excited about that...)
Isn't she sweet?
For lunch, my mom treated us to a meal at the ESPN Zone restraunt. John got to watch a zillion TVs, my mom got to watch Rafa play tennis, and I got to watch Man United play. The kids behaved and ate well, so I'd say it was a big success! Woo Hoo!
My brother has been hospitable enough to let us all invade his place for the night. I'm so glad. I love my family! Having a wonderful time!
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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Castros Across the US - Day Two

Day two!
We crossed border #3 - Arizona.

The mountains by Flagstaff were coming into view! A breathtaking change of scenery!
In Ashfork, AZ we visited a "point of interest" that was a city that started the railway.
It was a little run down...
For lunch, we headed down the highway to the Roadkill Cafe off the historic Route 66.
I had the aswesom possum. It was pretty good (and tasted a lot like scrambled eggs and bacon) wink, wink.
There was an old jailhouse next door we went to see.
It was part of a "recreating the original route 66 town" type deal.
This mountain had a unique personality. John called it "Aerola 51". Hahaha!
I know this photo looks strange, but I must explain. There was a security checkpoint before you are allowed to cross the Hoover Dam. We had been joking about the new "pull-you-over-if-you-look-hispanic-in AZ" law, and so we were all laughing when we had to stop and get "checked". John had to open our top cargo box so they could check inside.
Welcome to the Hoover Dam.
The water level was really low because they were building a new highway over the mountains.
The traffic was going so slow that I jumped out to take a few photos while we were making the descent. We were cutting it really close as far as time, so we couldn't really stop for long.
Here's that new bridge!
This was a memorial to all the men who gave their lives building this dam (especially the ones that are built into it! Geez!)
Border Crossing #4 - Nevada.
By this time, the traffic had started to move, so we just caught a glimpse as we whooshed by!
We barely reached the MGM Grand in time for John to get to the doors!
m&m world!
The giant coco-cola bottle!
Now, you have to realize that there are 2 cameras going on at this point. John has one, and Emma has one. They're in chronological order, so you'll see what's going on with both of us :)
John was at the UFC 114 Pay-per-view.
Here he is with Stefan Bonner
The kids and mom & I were just getting back to the strip after a loooong, stressful time finding a hotel room for under $800.
Em's favorite place on the strip was the m&m World store.
(Sorry these are all not rotated...I have no idea why I forgot...)
Remember that big coca-cola bottle? This in inside the elevator going up inside it.
The last thing we did was eat dinner. We decided on the Rainforest Cafe in the MGM Grand. We figured that John's fight would be over around 10pm, so we could wait for him to escort us back to the van in the dark :)
The final fight was about to start!
It was close to 1:00am Oklahoma time when we finally started our trek home to our plush hotel.
Emma was asleep before her head hit the pillow. Literally.Look at this little kitchen! Isn't it so cute!? The whole building is eco-friendly, so there's a lot of bamboo and such used in the making of it.
And now, to crawl out of this ever-so-comfy bed and get ready for the final leg of the trip to L.A.!

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