It's a 12 hour drive, or so, and we lost nearly two hours the first night by slowing down because we COULDN'T SEE A DARNED THING on the road. It was pretty harrowing, one of the scariest driving experiences I've had.
We had arranged to go the same time as my brother's family this year. They left an hour ahead of us, and ran just ahead of the storm, where we were right in the middle of it. They made it to Vegas for the night. We made it to Cedar City (175 miles behind them) the same time they did (1:30 am.).
The next day Hubby was beat from the stress of driving the night before, so I drove. I was so relieved to not be driving into a blinding snowstorm, I didn't pay attention to the car and I RAN OUT OF GAS about 20 miles north of Vegas. It took AAA about an hour to get to us.
So my brother's family left an hour before us, but got to the beach about four hours ahead of us, long enough to play on the beach for the afternoon before we even got there. Dagnabbit!
We went to Disneyland on Friday, and had one of the best times we've ever had. My brother's youngest daughter and Thing 2 braved each other into going on the Tower of Terror. Thing 2 talked her cousin into the California Screamer roller coaster and Thunder Mountain. Thing 1 is more tentative about the Tower of Terror and the Screamer, and she sat back with my brother's 2nd oldest who is also not as into the rides. So it worked out for everyone!
All in all it was a great day, until we got rained out. Thing 1 was drenched from the bottom of her raincoat to her socks, and so we bugged out around 9:00 pm. My brother and his die-hard family stayed until nearly 11:30 or so.
The next day we spent at the beach, with the little girls boogie boarding and burying each other in the sand. My brother's older daughters boogie boarded and body surfed, while the parents lined up their beach chairs and read their books.
There was also some shopping going on, who can bypass the Carlsbad Outlet mall?
My brother's family had to get back, so they left Monday morning. We moved out of the condo we had rented and into the spare room of my parent's condo for the rest of our trip. We mostly spent our days on the beach after the left, but did take the girls to Legoland, and had a great time there.
It was a wonderful trip! AND one of the bonuses was we drove back Friday to avoid a storm, and we did! And we didn't run out of gas, either!
And since it's a pain to manipulate them into the appropriate place in the story, the photos are all just dumped at the end.
My sister-in-law (who I rarely get pictures of because she's camera shy) and Thing 2.
Here you see the backs of Hubby, Thing 1's head, then Nieces 1 and 2, my brother, his wife, and Niece 4 all heading to the exit in the rain.
Back at the beach the "adults" and my oldest niece didn't get in the water as much, everyone had a book to read while we monitored the younger kids.
Yet another marvelous trip, made even more marvelous by playing with the cousins for a couple of days!