We continued on, and braved the Los Angeles traffic (that we do not miss),
and finally made it to the hotel!
Wednesday morning, we woke up early and spent the entire day at Disneyland.
Beautiful weather, short lines, lots of sugar, and all the rides we could handle. Andrew got a Mickey hat for his collection :). He braved every ride the park allowed him to board. (However, we can no longer use the words "Haunted Mansion" or "Pirates of the Caribbean" without being labeled "mean." Apparently the words conjure up scary memories.)
The longest line of the day was for Storybook land...
The next day we piled back into the van and headed south to Carlsbad, California for Legoland. In the parking lot I realized that I left my charger and my camera battery in the hotel room, an hour away. So bummed! At least I had my cell phone camera... In case you have never been, the cities and cars below (not the rides), were all made of Legos! Our Lego-crazy boys were in heaven.
Friday morning, we drove home. Halfway between El Centro, California and Yuma, Arizona, my husband realized that we were on empty. He claims that the gas gauge was "hidden from his view" until a warning light came on. Then, in silence, he watched the available miles count down as he scoped the deserted landscape for gas. None. Nowhere. Finally, the gas gauge said 8 miles left.
John parked the car on a deserted freeway off-ramp, and we got out. We saw trailer homes, border patrol, and a few random buildings here and there, but no gas stations. In the way of fluids, we had the melted remnants of a three-day-old thirst buster. I checked my cell phone GPS. It said 20 miles to the closest station, regardless of direction. If the gas gauge was correct, that was 12 miles too far.
While the boys excitedly pretended they were exploring the landscape of Tatooine (planet in Star Wars), the parents pictured themselves huffing and puffing down the freeway pushing a 12-passenger van.
John waved down a trucker who convinced him that about 10 miles down the road we would find a gas station. We decided it was our only hope.
We made it. I have never been more happy to see a gas station in my life. All of us, children included, let out a loud cheer. Do you see the panicked look in Andrew's eyes, gulping down that gatorade? Our friend's traumatized nine-year-old spent the rest of the trip asking, "Do you have enough gas? Have you checked the gas gauge?" Our poor children.
Several hours later, we were back home.
The remaining days were spent swimming in our 60 degree pool (the boys, not me), hiking local mountains, and loading toppings onto frozen yogurts.
John told stories while the boys took baths:
The evenings were spent playing games, mostly Spades. The women beat the ultra-competitive men almost every time. It was awesome.
But all good things must come to an end, right? Sadly so.
Our comfortable, family-like friends left us this morning at 10 am. The boys spent the drive to the airport imagining ways to move Michigan closer to Arizona. Even the adults participated in the brain-storming.
We don't want to let three years slip by again!