December 29th – Yuma to Disneyland

I hit the road just after 6am and as expected I made a stop by Starbucks as soon as I could.  And, around 630a (530p PST) I crossed into California.  It’s so easy to forget how close my parents live to the Arizona/California border.

My first attraction of the day was the Salton Sea.  At 376 square miles it is the largest lake in California.  While not as salty as the Great Salt Lake, it is more salty than the Pacific Ocean.  It’s also interesting to know that the surface is 226 feet below sea level.  I don’t know what I expected, but I wasn’t overly impressed.  It was a big lake with nothing much around it.  In fact I found it a bit creepy.

A pleasant surprise…Kim and Mark were at their place in Palm Desert and since I had to drive right through there I was able to stop and see their place.  Kinley and Tilly played together for a while and then Kim, Mark, and I went to breakfast at a small but crowded local diner.  It was nice to be introduced to this part of Kim’s life.  I know she loves it there.  I couldn’t stay long if I was going to make it to Disneyland in time to play for the afternoon and evening.

Around 1245p I found a Motel 6 near the entrance of Disneyland that allowed dogs.  I was very pleasantly surprised…it was the nicest Motel 6 I had ever been in.  The exterior was mediocre, but the rooms were quite nice.

The hotel clerk told me that Disneyland was out of day passes for the day and my heart sank.  I decided to log on to their website and I was able to get a one day pass.  I think he was trying to up-sale me to a three day pass.  However, on the way to Disneyland via a shuttle I heard people complaining about the lines and how they had stopped letting people in the previous day.  I was getting worried about getting in.  Luckily the park was still open and I was able to get in.  But, they did stop letting people in the day before…lucky, lucky me.

Once I made it inside California Adventure I went directly to my favorite ride…Soaring over California.  If you’ve never been on it…go, go, go.  It’s an amazing 4D experiences of California complete with pine, orange, and sea scents just at the right times.  What I didn’t know is that several rides in California Adventure and Indiana Jones in Disneyland have single rider lines…yea for me!  The line for Soaring over California was over one hour…I made it in 15 minutes.

I played around in California Adventure and Disneyland until almost 9pm.  The highlights were Soaring over California, California Screaming, Toy Story, Bugs Life, Indian Jones, Big Thunder Mountain, Matterhorn, and Buzz Lightyear.  I hit all the fun stuff and felt like a kid.

It’s still the happiest place on earth even if you go by yourself.

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