Miles driven -3766.5

Hello hangover.

Whoosh Vegas did a number on us. Nickie and I woke up not feeling…great…today.

And we pretty much just drove today for the first half. So like a five hour drive.



We packed up and hit the road at around 7:30. After a quick stop for gas and some Krispy Kreme, we had a nice long drive ahead of us.

And yet again…beautifulness

And we made it to Santa Monica!!! The end of the trail

And we met up with a buddy of mine -Mike- for lunch at Big Dean’s.

Nickie and I split a cheeseburger and the boys got corn dogs.

After we said goodbye to Mike, we walked out on the beach so we could officially say we made it from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Sea to shining sea.

Atlantic to Pacific…and yeah the traffic in LA is terrific.

And we were pretty emotional to see this part of the trip come to an end. It has been such an incredible journey to get to this point. And I don’t mean just the drive across the country.

14 years ago when we took this trip on our honeymoon we talked about one day taking our kids on this journey. And we first learned we were having Myles on that trip

And to think we are here now. At the end of this trip all four of us have put so much into…it’s a lot to take in. That’s not to say we are disappointed. Its quite the opposite actually. I couldn’t be more thrilled with how this trip has gone.

The memories we have made on this trip are gonna be something I hope all four of us hold onto forever. We have seen so much on this drive and experienced so much together. We are all feeling incredibly blessed to have been able to do this as a family and I feel like we have grown even closer as a family. I mean we kind of had to. We have been in a car together for 2 weeks.

To hear Myles already talking about wanting to do this trip again when he graduates high school and listen to Owen listing all the memories and quotes for his custom Goodreau road trip category on Charades makes it even more clear this was the perfect trip to take. If you can, I highly recommend taking this trip at least once with your family.

But I digress. We still have like a week of trip left. And so many more memories to make.


After Santa Monica we got to experience some real life LA traffic on our way to Anaheim. It took us about two and a half hours. And I was still not feeling all that great so Nickie let me take a nap while she drove.

But how can I sleep when I see signs like these…

And then we arrived at our home for the week…

The Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground. This place has already exceeded our expectations. Not only is the room great, the water playground super fun and the gift shop super stocked with Disney merch, but our view???  We can see Space Mountain and Mickey’s Fun Wheel right from our balcony!!

We look down from our balcony…
….or across.

And it’s like an 8 minute walk to Disneyland, California Adventure and Downtown Disney!

So we checked in and walked up to our room. And Owen was psyched to find this waiting for him in the room

I ordered this beauty from the Lincoln Bakery. It was a white cake with a chocolate chip custard filling. Seriously delicious.

And the hotel also sent up some balloons with the cake. Have I mentioned how awesome this hotel is?

Before cake though we went down and cleaned out the car. Wanna see what a luggage rack filled with two weeks in a car looks like?

So. Much. Luggage.

And since hot + cleaning out the car = sweatness, we took a quick dip in the pool.

Then we went up to the room, got dressed fancy-like and headed to dinner at Napa Rose!

We walked through the beautiful Grand Californian lobby…

And made our way around to the restaurant. Napa Rose is pretty swank inside, reminds me a lot of the California Grill.

And check out these wines..

Bah i want the Ratatouille wine

Then we sat down for dinner.

For dinner, I had the pork chop…which was more like a grilled pork with a short rib. Sooo good.

Nickie got the pot roast, which was delicious as well.

Myles got the pasta.

And Owen got the filet. Shocker.

We all tried a little bit of every dish and all agreed that while everything was really good, the pork was the best dish. Score one for me.

Our waitress was super nice through the whole meal and brought Owen out a special s’mores-like marshmallow brownie dessert since he was wearing his special birthday pin. So I mean free dessert.

Then we walked out into Downtown Disney. It was super crowded but Myles still managed to score a Fruity Pebbles churro…which, based on the small taste he allowed me, was yumtown.


And of course we went to the World of Disney and got some souvenirs. Myles got a super kewt Eeyore and Owen got a baby Baymax.

And on the way home, I got Nickie a pink Mickey balloon and snapped this super cool pic.

Gosh she’s pretty

So a pretty great first day on CA. Looking forward to what the rest of the week holds.

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