DAY 3 - DISNEYLAND DAY 2
Before returning to the Magic Kingdom to meet the family we placed on their respective bedroom beds shirts for each of them to wear this morning.
Shortly after blogging yesterday afternoon we made our way back to the Magic Kingdom to meet up with the family for dinner.
Before we forget, we wanted to mention that since last year's visit with Jennifer and Andre they have moved the location of security much closer to where you enter downtown Disney so that it is much further from the park area. This appears to be a very wise decision.
We met the family at the Carnation Cafe. This restaurant has been around as long as we can remember. We had lunch there on our first visit with Jennifer and Eric. A few months ago, we reviewed all restaurants that would take reservations sixty days prior to arrival, that could accommodate all nine of us at one table and whose food was appropriate for the family with the three grandchildren in mind. This restaurant worked out well.
Fitting the name of the restaurant, Red Carnations were placed on each table. The two of us along with Eric tried the fish of the day which was similar to salmon and that turned out to be a great decision. Jennifer and Gui had Salad Entrees and Kara had a Veggie Burger. Several of us had salads as a first course. The little ones seemed very pleased with their selections from the children's menu and congratulations to Andre for eating all of his chicken.
As it turned out there was a late afternoon parade which passed right by the restaurant. While we were waiting for the first course we would hear the music of the band playing and Jennifer and Kara took Emma, Jackson and Andre outside to watch them as they passed by the restaurant.
Following dinner we walked around the park. The crowds were far greater then we anticipated given that it was Sunday night with school for many children living in the area the following morning. We were all going to take the Monorail back towards the Hotel but the wait was estimated at 45 minutes. We walked back to the hotel with Eric, Kara and Jackson while the rest of the family stayed at the park for another hour. They were able to take the monorail as the wait time decreased to fifteen minutes. Back at the hotel it was bath time for Jackson and after along day they put him to sleep and we chatted with Eric and Kara until the rest of the family returned from the park. Although it had been a long day for Emma and Andre they were very chipper.
All in all yesterday was a great start of our family celebration. Keith took a break from taking photos so we have no photos from last evening to share with you. LOL, but after all this is vacation.
Since we are staying at one of the Disney Hotels we were able to get into California Adventure one hour before opening time. The park was not very crowded and we took advantage of that. Jennifer, Eric, Andre and Keith went on Cars a couple of times. When the park is crowded it can take one hour to get onto the ride. They were able to ride the cars twice in a total of 50 minutes. At the same time Anne Marie, Gui, Kara, Emma and Jackson went on Little Mermaid twice, Toy Story and the Carousel. That is where we all met up. From there everyone went on Golden Zepher. We all went on the Monsters Inc. Ride. From there it was time for lunch and we went to Boudin Bakery which many of you might know from San Francisco.
Afterwards Keith, Eric, Gui and Andre went on Star Tours, Jennifer and Emma went on other rides while Anne Marie, Kara and Jackson went back to the Hotel. Star Tours was the only ride where we had to wait for a long time. In this case one hour. The last time we went on Star Tours was in 1990 when Eric was close to the age that Andre is. The ride now included 3-D glasses and some different experiences. Everyone but Keith stayed at the park to go on a few other rides.
We will all meet up later this evening for a Disney Character Dinner.
All in all a fun day. The weather is superb and this is a terrific time to be at Disney before the Summer vacation season begins.
We will post about dinner and the rest of the evening tomorrow.
TODAY'S THOUGHT FOR THE DAY.....
Walt Disney had a vision when he created Disneyland which opened in 1955. With each passing year, it is evident that his vision turned out to be a success. Although some of the original rides and dining venues and stores have been replaced, several still exist today. What remains constant is the vision that Walt Disney created of developing a magical park that children and adults of all different ages could visit and enjoy together. As they say the proof is in the pudding and that was evident yesterday between the size of the crowds and the joy and happiness that seemed to show on each person we saw.
Anne Marie & Keith
DAY 2 - CALIFORNIA HERE WE COME & DAY 1 DISNEYLAND
We were up early and after checking out of the hotel we took the hotel shuttle over to the airport. The hotel is located on the airport grounds, but it is not feasible to walk over to the airport flight check-in center. The drive took less then five minutes.
We checked in at the airline ticket counter (no lines) and since we have Global Entry we enjoyed the benefits of TSA Pre Approv and quickly made our way through the security check. We relaxed at the airline lounge.
We heard from our daughter Jennifer after she, our son-in law Gui and grandchildren Andre and Emma made it through security and we met them at the gate. Our son Eric, daughter-in-law Kara and grandson Jackson flew from another airport close to what they live and less then three hours from our home.
We had a first on this flight. We were delayed by thirty minutes because the food catering company messed up on a few meals. As it turned out they couldn't get the precise items so we left without them. The irony as we learned later is it involved the fruit plate associated with our meals and probably one or two others. If someone would have checked with us ahead of time we would have said no worries and push off from the gate. LOL but true. The pilot thought we would make up all of the time but we were slowed by turbulence but the good news is we were only fifteen minutes late. We got our luggage fairly quickly so that was good news.
After we claimed our luggage we were driven from the airport to the Disneyland Hotel where we will spend three nights prior to boarding Crystal Serenity. Keith arranged three different vehicles for the family.
This hotel is very dear to us. We stayed here starting in the late 1980's when we visited Disneyland over a couple of different trips with Jennifer and Eric.
We returned to Disneyland for the first time since the early 1990's last year and stayed at this hotel with with Jennifer and Andre. As expected it was too early for our room to be ready. We prepared for that with backpacks to carry electronic devices, jewelry and important documents and had the hotel hold our luggage so we could make our way directly over to Disneyland.
Eric, Kara and Jackson arrived to Disneyland about thirty minutes before we did and they met us at the Hotel shortly after we arrived. A short while later we all made our way towards the Park. We had lunch at a restaurant in the downtown area and after lunch made our way into the Magic Kingdom. Immediately we saw a parade featuring Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck and a few other characters and then got on our first ride.
A short while later we received a telephone call that our room was ready so the two of us went to the room. We have a three bedroom suite with a common area so we can all be together. These are photos of just a couple of the rooms.
Some photos of Disneyland.
We will return to the park shortly after getting settled in the room and have dinner plans at the Carnation Restaurant one of three restaurants that Keith made sixty days prior to our arrival. Tomorrow evening we have a Character Dinner.
We are very excited to have the family together and to be at Disneyland. Disneyland brings out the "kid" in all of us regardless of our actual ages.
TODAY'S THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
This is only the second time we are visiting a Disney property directly before or after a cruise. The first time was almost twenty-five years ago when our family went on our first ever cruise on- board the Oceanic cruise ship which at the time was part of the Big Red Boat fleet. We sailed on the other coast and the post cruise was a three night stay at Walt Disney World in Florida. It's been a fast twenty-five years.
Anne Marie & Keith
DAY 1 - THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
As our journey begins, we want to thank some people.
Thank you to our wonderful travel specialist Gerri and her team for all of their expert advice, knowledge, thoroughness, ability to cut thru red tape. This began with our booking when Gerri analyzed how to optimize our our reservation taking into account that we booked four rooms for nine of us. This continued until just days ago as Gerri followup up on last minute details for us. Thank you so much.
We also want to thank the land-based Crystal Cruises personnel and those on-board Crystal Serenity for their assistance. We pre-arranged a couple of on-board events and everyone has been wonderful assisting us in their planning. Thank you team Crystal Cruises so very much.
laOur adventure began today, one day before our early morning flight. As we did earlier this year we are spending the night at the hotel adjacent to our regional airport. This will make everything much simpler the morning of our flight.
We were met at our home by a driver of a private SUV and driven approximately one hour to the hotel. We received a call that our driver was running late by thirty minutes. This is an example of why we didn't want to arrange for a pickup at the middle of the night. In addition, at that hour you really have to wonder if the driver might fall asleep while driving us to the airport. As they say, better to play it safe then be sorry.
Once we arrived to the hotel our room was ready. We will enjoy dinner at the hotel and just sit back and read and write and catch up on the days news.
We often say each and every travel experience is different even when they are repeated. For example, we find that each cruise takes on its own characteristics based on many factors including itinerary, weather, chemistry of the guests, percent occupancy and other variables including the stewardess assigned to your room and the wait staff.
In this case having our family on hand,including the three grandchildren, will contribute to our overall experience. Similarly this past January our experience was somewhat influenced while we were traveling with dear friends who were also on their first Crystal Cruise. This allows us to see the cruise through the experience of others.
We mention this because as we Blog we expect some of our observations and thoughts will be shaped from having the family with us.
TODAY'S THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
We love to travel and are grateful for the opportunity to visit many places around the world. When we married forty years ago, we never thought we would cruise as much as we have, let alone sailing a cruise line as luxurious as Crystal Cruises
Whether you travel a few miles or thousands of miles, there's much to discover. The key is open your eyes, be open-minded, focus on small and large details, make time to smell the roses, don’t pre-judge others, and look closely at all that surrounds you and is literally in front of your own nose.
Anne Marie & Keith
GOLDEN STATE DISCOVERY - WELCOME & OVERVIEW
Welcome to our Golden State Discovery Blog.
We are thrilled to be accompanied on this trip by daughter Jennifer; son-in-law Gui; grandson Andre; granddaughter Emma; son Eric; daughter-in-law Kara, and grandson Jackson.
Our adventure includes a pre-cruise stay of three days in California followed by a seven day cruise on board Crystal Serenity.
Eric, Kara, Jennifer & Gui have all sailed with us on other Crystal Cruises including two times each on Crystal Serenity.
Jennifer, Eric and Gui sailed with us in 2002 on-board Crystal Harmony which was our first experience sailing with Crystal Cruises. The following year we sailed with Jennifer and Eric on-board Crystal Symphony.
This will be the first cruise ever for Andre, Emma and Jackson.
The cruise will mark a few firsts for us which we will blog about during the course of the voyage.
The first of the three photos was taken in January of 2016 and the other two photos are from late 2016/early 2017.
This cruise is appropriately called Golden State Discovery.
California is special to us and our family. We lived in the Bay Area for four years from 1987 to 1991 and we have fond memories of our time there.
The following is the itinerary for our adventure.
DATE LOCATION ARRIVAL DEPARTURE
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Apr 30 Disneyland
May 1 Disneyland
May 2 Disneyland
May 3 San San Pedro, CA 6:00 PM
May 4 Santa Barbara, CA 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
May 5 San Francisco, CA 1:00 PM
May 6 San Francisco, CA 3:00 PM
May 7 Catalina Island,CA 12:00 PM 6:00 PM
May 8 San Diego, CA 8:00 AM 7:00 PM
May 9 Ensenada, Mexico 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
May10 San Pedro, CA 8:00 AM
We have made a video trailer for you to view.
Before we close with today's thought for the day we wanted to let you know that we continue to update and expand our Cruising Matters Web Site. We created this site to share our love of travel and cruising. The information is designed for first time cruisers and those who are looking for other experiences such as taking a full World Cruise.
TODAY'S THOUGHT FOR THE DAY......
We celebrated twenty-five years of marriage on that first Crystal cruise. This time we celebrate an amazing forty years of marriage bliss. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate our happiness then being with our family and also sailing with them on a Crystal Cruise.
Keith & Anne Marie