Sunday, June 13, 2010

We ran off to California to escape this oppressive Arizona heat. Aaah, bliss! We really enjoyed ourselves. We stayed in Dana Point. We went on a long hike, thinking the "cave" was going to come along any minute. We were all in flip flops and swimsuits with tee shirts and cover ups. We had no idea that it was going to be such a long hike, on rocks as well. But we made it! i took this photo from insidethe cave. I love their silhouettes.

The Dana Point visitor's center had this old bridge on it's website. I called them to find out where it was located. Taylor and I took a drive, while the guys were watching a game, and found it. It is from a luxurious hotel that was being built during the depression. It was never finished, but they kept this little piece of history. It is on a cliff, overlooking the ocean and surrounded by beautiful homes.

We found these awesome shells. I could happily beach comb every day of my life.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Just returned home from another great family vacation. This one took more planning than any of our other trips. When we asked the kids where they wanted to go, Cole answered Philadelphia. We thought "great, he wants to see all of the history there." Oh no, that was not the reason. He wanted to go to Pats and Genos, the world renowned, Philadelphia cheese steak rivals. Coincidentally, they are literally right across the street from each other. So the wheels started turning and I spent several months trying to incorporate Pennsylvania, DC and Baltimore into a 7-day vacation. A few friends of mine from work are from Philadelphia, as well as, sweet friend, Maija. They were happy to help me with ideas and details.
Baltimore was not in our plans. However, because this area is so highly traveled, the rental car companies were going to charge us over $500 to pick up the car in one location and return it in another. There's always a fee, but I found it to be only about $100 in the past. There enters Baltimore into our plans. It was between the two cities. Phoenix is a short FIVE-hour flight to Baltimore. Tack on a THREE-hour time change and we have our days and nights mixed up. We flew in at 9 pm. Of course, everyone was starving, so even though our final destination was Pats and Genos, we stopped for dinner in Baltimore. I only had to mention that I had heard that Baltimore's Inner Harbor was beautiful and a very nice place to have dinner and it was decided. I do not eat red meat, so I was secretly thrilled that we were stopping for a nice dinner before hitting Philadelphia. We entered the restaurant at 9:55 p.m. They were closing at 10, but they graciously offered to let us have dinner. Can I just say that I had crab cakes three times during this trip. They were wonderful! After dinner, we walked along the harbor and then hit the road for Philly.
We brought Suzy Q with us. That's my name for the handy-dandy GPS system. We would have been lost without her. We weren't travelling to the nicest neighborhood in Philadelphia. Unfortunately we were arriving at 1 am. They were still lines at every window. You can't miss either of the restaurants. They are lit up like Las Vegas.

The center guy in the window is Pat. I have no idea why he was still working at 1 am. He obviously is doing very well and I'm guessing not paying too much in rent. I would be sleeping.
You literally walk across the street to Genos. He was probably home sleeping.

The taste test was completed. My three all voted for Pats!
We pulled up to our hotel at 2 am. It was only 11 Phoenix time, but I knew that we would be very sleepy when we woke up the next day.