Now on to L.A!

So we have left Oceanside yet again, but this time with no return anticipated. We are venturing into Los Angeles to do a little exploring, with our first stay being in Manhatten Beach.
 On our way there we stopped at the most beautiful beach I have ever seen or been to in my life.. It was right before Laguna Beach and it started with an "A" I just don't remember the name. The water was so clear and inviting, we went in in our clothes! Something I never thought I would do, but since we only stopped for viewing purposes with no intentions of getting wet, I was ill prepared and had all our stuff packed-- so we just went with the flow. Isn't that what vacation is all about!

This was the only beach we have ever gone to and seashells were not present. Instead amazing rocks were. The kids collected some to put in a jar at home. I didn't want to continue on, I wish Wyndham had a location here, so we could buy more points and stay all year!
But...we continued forward on our journey, driving the scenic coastal highway, through towns such as Huntington Beach, Laguna, and some other well known towns..all very appealing to the eyes!

Manhatten Beach

Busy , Busy days.... We didn't even make use of the pool! While on our short trip here, we visited the Redondo Beach Pier, perused a local car show, and played games at the arcade - which was super fun, then called it a night. 

 The next day we started early with the Santa Monica Pier. We visited the small aquarium to squeeze in a little education! #2 and #3 at the touch tank (above pic).

This was at the park along the main road by the Santa Monica Pier. This place competed for #1 like with Oceanside for me. I just wish that real estate wasn't out of my reach here!!

Being drawn to trees, we always manage to find the most visually stunning ones possibly offered by
Mother Nature-- of course my children had to hug it!

 Love getting our fortunes told. Ironically #2 got an almost identical fortune to the 
one she got from another machine--weird!

The trip would not be complete without a ride on the Piers  carousel!
After this we walked around the downtown for a bit, and were asked to be in the audience for the show "The People's Court" , of course we said yes. How Cool!! After making our appearance, we headed  back to our room for a dinner pit stop, then off to the Redondo Pier again for an art and music festival.

Then back to our room to prepare for our early departure. Grandma's coming in to meet us
tomorrow and it's off to Hollywood for the day!

Back in Oceanside

We left Vegas this morning after enjoying one more Hash House a Go Go breakfast. That place just rocks! Pepe -- our favorite server had the honor of  being our waiter again. After indulging in way too much food, we hit the road for the horrendous 5 hour drive. This stretch of our driving trip has been by far the worst part of our whole road trip this summer. Reflecting upon all of the miles we logged...from CA to Vegas was the only terrible part of it all. It was just a stretch of over crowded roadways with nothingness in-between.
Glad that the drive is over, wwe're back again for a few more days to enjoy the beach.
I really love this place!  We went to a $1 movie at the local Regal this morning , which we were able to walk to , (super nice, wish I had anything in walking distance at home). We saw Nanny McPhee Returns, what a cute flick. I laughed just as much as the kids! I'd recommend it to everyone with kids. After that we spent the day at the beach. So relaxing.

The kids played with all the other kids right around us, building huge sand castles and burying each other, one guy shaped #3's sand like a race car around him . Of course I didn't have my phone or camera with me to capture it to film. They also dug huge holes, finding sand crabs in the process. Then moved on up to boogy boarding.

We made friends with some locals and hung until the sun started to set and the wind picked up. I love the ocean and this beach! Then after dinner we walked to the local Dairy Queen- they had buy one blizzard get one half off special !!! Yay!! Now it's off to bed. We're thinking of trying surfing tomorrow or paddle boarding with our new Oceanside friends!

 This place truly is one of my favorites!

 One last Oceanside sunset picture!

Another Vegas Day

Tons more fun, another visit to the Pawn Stars Shop, it was way less busy so the kids got to really listen to what our new friend had to tell them about the items in the store. The cast was on vacation --so no Chumlee sightings occurred, but it was still a blast. All the staff is very nice and friendly. #3 even got shocked by the old quack therapy shocker they have on display!

 Then back to the Pin Ball Hall of Fame. There was a different guy working there today than yesterday, and he was so super nice. He asked me if I cared if the kids got dirty. I replied no..and he took them on a treasure hunt around the arcade to find all the fallen quarters! They made out like bandits, and found a bunch of mustaches too. Then he gave them popcorn as well!! It was as if they hit the jackpot.

 We squeezed in a quick grocery trip, then it was off to Old Vegas to see the lights! We drove around to look at them because the kids were overwhelmed with the amount of people, and since I had 3 kids solo, I wasn't up for any games of "hide and seek", or "oh no- I lost one", so we driving it was!

The kids really wanted to see the Jabawoceez show, but it didn't fit into our plans or budget--Next Time Maybe!! Everyone in Vegas was so kind, we truly enjoyed our experiences here, the kids have deemed it as one of their favorite place. It could have been everyone treated us so nicely is maybe because you don't see too many kids wandering around...or maybe it was the mustaches and fedoras?! Any how.. we had a blast!

What we did in Vegas

We started our morning with visiting the "Pawn Stars" shop. The guy who worked there remembered me from my visit with my mom and sister in laws, so he was super nice, and told my kids all kinds of info about the items in the store. It started to get crowded so we decided to leave and come back again on a less busy time. 

Then we went and ate at the most amazing restaurant...Hash House a Go Go...they believe in the motto of -from farm to food- love it ! The portions are huge and delicious! We forgot to take pictures!

Then we visited the Pin Ball  Hall of Fame. So much fun for mostly 25 cents a game, 
who doesn't love pinball?!! Plus they sell popcorn for 25 cents too!

The kids kept buying fake mustaches. It was so much fun.

 MGM Grand Hotel and Casino Entrance
Upon leaving there we thought we were going back to the room , but decided to go the the M & M World. 

There was a magic shop in the mall area of the casino, that we had to walk by to get to the store we wanted to see, and I could not get #3 out of there!!! But we did get our fortunes Zoltar!

Now back to the room for some rest....yeah right...more like swimming!

Vegas Days

What an amazing trip we are having so far. The weather has been amazingly beautiful. 
After we checked in --- check out our room---

 I want a bathroom like this at home!
Lots of room for all of us!

We swam for a while, then decided to turn in for the night , so we could get an early start.

Dropped the Ball!!

Alright! I know I dropped the ball. We are back from our road trip, but I do have all intentions of finishing posting of the rest of our summer travels. We still have a lot to share, and a ton of beautiful scenery pics for every one to view! Until I find the motivation to post!

Las Vegas - here we come

We have ventured into Las Vegas! Leaving the beautiful breeze and warm sand in Oceanside was hard to do, but I have a feeling we'll be back! I really felt for that little beach town! The traffic getting into Nevada was the worst of our summer, with that stretch of our trip being the worst part -- by far-- of our entire driving excursion. There was so many accidents with lanes shut everywhere, and for some reason, other drivers felt that blinkers aren't required -- maybe they're not-- what a pain! I caved and we ate fast food, complete with garbage carbonated beverages. I feel gross, what was I thinking! Oh yeah, that I wasn't making time for real food because this drive was already taking more time than it should. 6 1/2 hrs for a 4 1/2 drive!?!
With that said, I'm glad that driving portion is now in the past. We have checked into our spacious 2 bedroom accommodations and settled in for the night.

The kids swam a little-- the pool is pretty sweet- plus they have life guards- so I was able to read a book!!
The new day greeted us bright and shiny. We started early , there's so much I wanted to show the kids, and #3 requested we go to Pawn Stars. So we did. The guy working there remembered me from the last time I went in , (which was January on my family's girls trip!) and made #3's visit awesome. He talked about the old swords and guns with him, #3 was loving it!

After that we went to eat at the best breakfast restaurant ever-- Hash House A GoGo. I know the name sounds peculiar, but it's a restaurant based on "from farm to food". The portions are huge, the food is out of this world, and the fact that #1 saw it on a show - so he was on board for going- made it so much better. We had so much on one dish we all brought back leftovers and have breakfast for tomorrow! Yum!

Then I promised them that I would take them to the pinball hall of fame. The last time Husband and I were there we had such a blast. So we went and it was just as much fun. We enjoyed playing pinball games from the 1940's until current time. It consumed over 2 hours of our time and we only spent about $12!! #2 and #3 even used some  of that to buy fake mustaches for 25cents each. #3 wore one all day, all over Vegas, with a fedora on. He received so many compliments!

Then we went to the M&M store to look around. I let each kid create a small mixture of M&M's. #2's came to $1.17, #3's totaled $1.57. They both listened , it was just to get a few different colors. What does #1 do? Fill his bath with almost $8 worth of candy. I wanted to make him put it back , but once the mix is created , it's yours. Leave it to #1 to try and take a mile, in public so I wouldn't react, when I've given him an inch! I don't normally let them get junk like that! So I made him regret it-- he had to share!!! We stumbled upon "Red" and the kids got their picture taken- perfect timing!

When leaving that store, the kids saw that Coke had a store too and wanted to peruse it. So I entertained them and let them. It was after dinner so we went to a value market and picked up some stuff to make dinner.
Then all of us changed into swimsuits , gathered the pool toys, and made our way to the pool, to find it was closed. Not going outside, just observing the Closed sign from inside, we go to the desk to ask why. They call around and after about 10 minutes, we're told, there was lightning. It will reopen in about 1/2 hour. So we have to push the limit and ask if we can at least go play the out side chess game that's by the pool. Again conversations are held as  to whether we can. It comes back it's a go- so we head out. We are greeted by large raindrops falling from the sky. Why is it raining in the desert!!!! So now we are stuck inside- guess it's going to be an early bedtime!!!

#2's Birthday!

It's #2's birthday and we started it off with her opening her presents and then going to the local farmer's market-- which was the best I have ever been to! Plus it was a bonus the town had a business fair going on so there were a ton of booths giving away stuff. The kids thought it was like Halloween where they could go to each one and hold open a bag! So not only did we get the yummiest fruits and veggies , but lots of gluten free goodies too, along with all the freebies, and fresh flowers for the room . What a wonderful way to start the day!

Then we hung out on the beach for the entire rest of the afternoon.

Finally leaving when we were starving, so we could go to the night time Farmers Market that was more like a festival with tons of hot food booths set up along with live music all over. We made sure to bring a few homeless care packages to distribute too. We ate so much fried goodness-- I feel gross! Now to pack because tomorrow we leave. I really enjoyed our time here. The beach was so relaxing!

New Room Pics

Here's our new room... Super nice...

 New view from our deck
 Something is just a bit out of place here!
 This one is going to be the cause of a premature heart attack!

Room Change Day

Still in Oceanside, but we moved to another room. I loved our room, but the only way we could stay longer was to switch-- oh well.We have been here for 4 days already and have got into the groove of beach living! On the pier there is a little diner that is so delicious, we have ventured there for dinner and today we went there for breakfast because we had to change rooms. The breakfast was out of this world! Before we went into the diner we watched dolphins in the ocean. It was the neatest, there were tons of them!
 Kids in the diner.

There is also a bait shop on the pier as well, so #1 grabbed his pole after breakfast and spent
the afternoon fishing. He caught 6 small fish and 2 bigger ones.

 Then we had to ask how to "prep" them for cooking. A nice local gave #1 a verbal tutorial and off he went.
#3 decided to try and make friends.
 But it didn't want to be bothered!

While we were fishing our phone call came that our room is ready. Yay!
How beautiful it turned out to be, but we still liked our first one the best!