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.