S: Machacek Family Vacation - 2010
FC: Family | Vacation | 2010 | Machacek
1: Machacek Family Vacation 2010 Road Trip to San Diego
2: Today we are headed to Tucson, Arizona. The GPS says that it will takes us about 13.5 hours, but I am sure with Daddy’s driving, that time will be quite a bit shorter. We left the house around 5:30 a.m. and believe it or not, everyone was wide-awake! I am sure the reason for that is excitement. It was pretty neat to see the landscape change from the lush green hill country to the flat plains of West Texas and eventually mountains in New Mexico and Arizona. One of our favorite things to see were the Windtricity mills. It is amazing how big they are. We drove west of Junction, TX for the first time. It is so cool that we are experiencing these “firsts” together. Driving through El Paso was interesting. We could see Mexico from the highway. Something that we found strange was that Texas and New Mexico both have “welcome to our state” rest stops, but Arizona and (we found out on day 2) California don’t. That is why we only have one family picture on a different state line! We made it to Tucson in about 11.5 hours and it was HOT!! The temperate was at a record breaking high, 114 degrees. We ate dinner at Carl’s Jr. (Lauren’s new favorite restaurant because they have star shaped chicken nuggets – and because they are “delicious!”) and took a dip in the pool at the hotel. Also, we scored a time bonus on our drive. The time changed and we gained 2 hours. When we set our alarms that night, we realized that we were going to get 12 hours of sleep! AWESOME! | Day One
4: Lauren's Journal
5: Shane's Journal
7: We got a later start this morning. We left Tucson, AZ around 10:00 a.m. We ate breakfast at our hotel despite Lauren’s pleads to go back to Carl’s Jr. Crazy girl! The temperature was already 110 degrees that early! Needless to say, the air conditioning in the Commander was much needed! Today’s portion of the trip is very short compared to “day 1.” It is only around 6.5 hours to San Diego, CA. We saw more deserts today. About 1.5 hours before making it to the California border, nature called! We stopped at a small gas station/train station called “In the Middle of Nowhere.” It was over 100 years old and looked pretty scary. It turns out that a sweet little old lady ran the store and allowed us to use the restrooms, “as long as we were customers!” LOL! Once we made it to California, we saw what I pictured as the desert with hardly any vegetation. Mike said they are called dunes, but I say the “real” desert! As we drove further west, the mountains were enormous. We drove up one mountain and it listed the elevation at the top as 4,500 feet. Our ears were popping! The craziest thing about it though was the temperature. At the bottom of the mountain the temperature was 113 degrees, thirty minutes later, at the top of the mountain, the temperature was 74 degrees! Also, as we approached the top, we saw so many rocky canyons. The view was magnificent. As we drove down into San Diego, everything turned green again and the temperature got even colder! I had no clue that the West Coast was that cold. We got checked into our hotel, ate dinner and drove to the beach. As the sun was setting, we saw “real” surfers, beach volleyball games wrapping up and families crowded around beach campfires roasting marshmallows. We were anxious to go to bed so that we could let the adventure begin! | D | Day Two
8: Shane's Journal
9: Lauren's Journal
10: Day Three | Today we went to the famous San Diego Zoo! As we were walking through the zoo, Mike kept singing the theme song from Three’s Company (they show the San Diego Zoo during the opening credits)! We were advised to take a bus tour at the beginning since the zoo is so big. That way we could see most of it on the tour and just go see our favorite animals on foot. The kids loved the bus – it was a double-decker bus, “Like the ones in England,” Shane said. These are a few of the animals that we saw on the tour
12: The polar bears were Daddy’s favorite! They were wrestling with each other in the water when we saw them on the bus tour. It was so funny. Then when we went back to see them later, one of them was digging in the dirt. They were so cute. | Polar Bears
13: As we walked by the tiger cages, Shane noticed this tiger walking to the glass. He decided to make faces at him. None of us realized that the tiger could see through the glass until he started to lick his chops and glare at Shane. We were very thankful for that thick piece of glass! | Tigers
14: The panda bears were Shane and Lauren’s most favorite animal at the San Diego Zoo. It was so neat to be so close to them. None of us had ever seen a panda bear in real life before. We found out some interesting facts about them. The first is that they are very aggressive. Upon entering the area, we were told that we had to be silent. Loud noises aggravate the bears. So Lauren didn’t tell them that Grammy said to say “Hey!” Also, they are actually carnivores. Something happened before the first Chinese dynasty that made them turn to bamboo. Because bamboo doesn’t have as near as many calories as meat, they eat 20-22 hours per day. That is why they seem to always be eating bamboo. Lastly, they tend to live around 16 years. The mother panda that we saw probably just had her last cub. | Pandas
17: The giraffe was Mommy’s favorite! I have never seen so many in one place at a time. All of them were gorgeous, but the coolest part was to watch the mom and her baby interact. As cheesy as it is, my eyes actually filled with tears. It was so amazing to see them together. At one point the baby kept trying to get close to it’s mom and it appeared to almost be hugging her.
18: The zoo was absolutely amazing! There is only one thing that beat it that day – Elam Holt Lancaster was born! We were so sad to miss his arrival, but so excited to have a new nephew/cousin to love! Shane is thrilled to have another boy in the family.
20: Shane's Journal
21: Lauren's Journal
22: Today we took a boat tour around the harbor. We saw all kinds of military plains, helicopters and ships. Although it was pretty cold and windy, riding in a boat on the ocean was awesome. The kids were invited to “drive” the boat. We saw all kinds of neat sail boats and we even saw some sea lions.
23: Day Four
27: After the harbor tour we went to La Jolla Beach. The sea lions have taken over “The Children’s Pool,” a section of the beach where a protective wall was built. It is still a public area, but swimmers are advised to stay away from the sea lions.
29: Shane's Journal | Lauren's Journal | After La Jolla Beach we decided to have a picnic (Subway) dinner on the Beach. We ate our sandwiches on Mission Beach as we watched the sunset. We had to eat fast so that the enormous seagulls wouldn't get our dinner. It was really neat to see the beach side activities. We saw sailboats, bicyclists, runners, surfers and even a group doing yoga on the beach. There were local vendors and shops along the beach sidewalk. It was just like we have seen on t.v. During an after dinner walk, Lauren saw her first phone booth. She thought that it was the funniest thing – “a phone, in a box, on the wall?!”
30: Day Five
31: We finally made it to Legoland! We decided to save the best for last. Legoland California is the only Legoland theme park in America. Shane has been asking for us to take him for many years. So this year, for their birthday present, we took them! All of the rides had a Lego theme and there were Lego statues all over the park. | Legoland USA
33: Safari Trek
34: DUPLO Playtown
36: Volvo Driving School
37: Lego Clubhouse and Factory
38: Machaceks Won!! We rock!
43: Miniland USA
50: World Coast Tour
52: Lauren's Journal
53: Shane's Journal
54: Days Six through Eight | Lauren's Journal
55: On our last day in San Diego, we had to take care of a few “musts.” We had to stick our feet in the Pacific Ocean and man was it COLD!! Daddy was the only one that was excited about it, but the rest of us humored him, reluctantly. We had to get souvenirs, who would have known that finding the most perfect souvenirs would be so difficult! After everyone had shirts, necklaces, and key chains, we had to ride a ride in Belmont Park on Mission Beach. Mommy and Lauren rode on the Merry Go Round and Daddy and Shane rode on The Vertical Plunge, a thrill ride. It was a fun end to our California vacation. We drove to Scottsdale, AR that night and stayed in a beautiful hotel before we headed to El Paso, TX for the night. We finally made it home on Sunday night and drove straight to James and Jen’s apartment to meet Elam! We had a fabulous vacation and week together as a family. We saw and experienced many firsts together, but we are glad to be home. | Shane's Journal