Thursday, November 4, 2010

So.Cal Vacation (Part 1 of 3)

Last week we went on a short vacation to Southern California. We did not want to see the same Disneyland and Universal Studios for the umpteenth time. This time we wanted to see those places we have not been to so far. Therefore, we visited Disney’s California Adventure, a city named New Port Beach, Medieval Times Entertainment and Dinner, and the Sea World in San Diego.

Disney’s California Adventure is located next to the famous Disneyland. It opened in February 2001. This theme park is a tribute to the people of California and celebrates the richness and diversity of California. Since we planned to spend only one day there, we were not able to see all the attractions. We saw only the following:

Soarin’ Over California

This is their best attraction. This is a simulator attraction which lasts about 5 minutes. We are taken on a simulated hang glider attraction of California, flying over Golden Gate Bridge, Redwood Creek, Napa Valley, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, San Diego, Malibu, Los Angeles, and finally Disneyland itself. (Some of the other I saw I do not remember now). Imagine parasailing at 500 feet above ground at 100 miles per hour all over California. It was very exciting and at the same time very scary. We felt as if our foot is going to hit on top of the Golden Gate Bridge or on top a big tree. A must see. Since I could not take pictures, here is a youtube video.. But this does not do justice for the real experience. (This youtube video clip is almost 10 minutes. Please be patient. If you want, you can skip the first 2 minutes of pre-show.)

Grizzly River Run

We embarked on a white water rafting adventure along the foaming torrents of the Grizzly River. We went through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains culminated in a thrilling, spinning plunge down a runaway river. We loved it.

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail

This is recommended for kids up to pre-teen age. But what the heck. We went. It is a kids make believe climbing fire lookout towers, slide down cable runs, slip through hollow redwoods, and navigate suspension bridges. We could not enter some of them because it was so tiny built for the kids. We enjoyed on the whole.

Hollywood Backlot

This is a replica of Hollywood backlot. Movie studio style gateway and other stuff give a Hollywood backlot atmosphere. Since we have seen the real Hollywood, we were not impressed. But something funny happened and we still laugh at our home.

We went to a thing called Animation Academy. I thought they were going to show how the animation movies are made. We stood in line for 30 minutes and entered. I was disappointed. It is a show teaching the visitors how to draw animation characters. There was an animation character professional taught us how to draw. In our family and friend circle, I am famous for my expertise in drawing. Even a 2 year old kid is better than me in drawing. When we came to know it was a drawing class, my wife could not stop laughing until we got out of the class. I have to hand it to you. The professional taught very well. Given below is that professional’s drawing of Mickey Mouse and my drawing after her teaching. Even my wife commented “not bad”. If you also think it is not bad, the whole credit goes to that professional for being such an effective teacher and not me.

Professional instructor's drawing:

My drawing:

World of Color

This is a night time water, color, light, and fire show. If I say this show is spectacular, it is an understatement. I thought the water shows in Las Vegas and Akshardham in Delhi were very good. But this one is far better. Please enjoy my amateur video clip.


  1. interesting places..will see the videos later..

    btw, the drawing has turned out pretty you should believe that you can indeed draw better than a 2 year old :)

    I have seen delhi Akshardham light show..we were given "President's" was actually inaurated by APJ Abdul Kalam. so the place from where he viewed the show is called president's seats! this was a story told to us by our guide..

    great clicks..waiting for part 2 now..

  2. I only have one thing to say - wish I was here.

    seriously it sounds as if you are having a ball, do keep us informed as to whats next.

  3. Sounds like a fun vacation. Can't wait for part 2 & 3. Soaring over sounds like fun. LOL on your animation anecdote. Sure both of you will be laughing over it for a long time.

  4. Thanks for your kind words Neha. Yup, i can draw better than a 2 year old. But not as good as a 3 year old. I am glad you were able to watch the Akshardham light show from the VIP seat.

  5. Thanks for your comments Tracy. California is only a few hours across the pond from you. I am sure you will visit here very soon.

  6. Thanks for your comments Geeta. You have to be in that flight simulator to watch this soaring over California. Watching on youtube is no way near the real thing.

  7. SG,

    You do draw well...just practice and you will be an ace!

    Looks like you had a lot of fun...waiting for the part 2 & 3...

  8. sounds like you guys had a fun time ! i am not a fan of scary rides .. but the water ride looks manageable. Waiting for parts 2 and 3 !

  9. Glad you had fun. You draw like a true pro...Awesome. The mickey looks so cute.

  10. Wow..welcome back.

    Nice post and cool videos.

    Waiting for part 2...

  11. Thanks for your comments Aparna. All credit goes to that instructor.

  12. Thanks for your comments Bedazzled. i am sure you will also enjoy the whitewater rafting.

  13. Thanks for your comments Insignia. I draw like a pro? Hahaha. I know you are nice to me. Thanks for the complements.

  14. Thanks for your comments Stranger. I am glad you liked this post.

  15. Thank you for the Soaring journey! We went on a similar ride in Epcot, Florida and it was the best I remember of Disney vacation.

    So, you are an artist too... what else?!

  16. Thanks for your comments NRIGirl. I am glad you had similar experience in the Epcot.

    Am I an artist? Join my family in having some fun.

  17. Good to hear about your short holiday with your family.Looks like you barely had time to breathe with so many things to do, and so little time, waiting for more from you...
    Happy Diwali!

  18. wow thanks your blog will be my reference for my trip to los angeles and disney land mainly ..we are planning to go by thanks giving weekend.and very nice description

  19. hey i thought ,ur kid drew it ,but so sorry to say ..well i would not say ..:)that's better.

  20. Interesting places and great description.

  21. Mini Mouse looks pretty good.

  22. I am bookmarking this post, SG! We are planning to visit California next year again and I have already sent this link to my son too!

    Thank you. The drawing is quite good, SG! Keep it up!