Californian Science Museum and Endeavour Space Shuttle
After a stroll around 'the right part' of Huntington Beach (we stayed in the wrong part), and we could definitely have enjoyed staying here, we then drove on to Anaheim. Because we were in holiday mode, we had not, as promised, changed our GPS from Gladys to Bruce and once again, she led us across the same paths, 'keep left, keep left', another extremely stressful journey. We will sort this one out once and for all, even if we revert to our Google maps on iPhone!! But I could toss the silly b...h out of the window!!!!
We arrived at our RV Park, no decapitations, no damage, other than to our stress levels, so all good. We had chosen this park as it was close to Disneyland and not too far a drive to the California Science Museum, both of which we wanted to visit.
In our previous post, we mentioned that we met up with our friend, Gaston. He was a mine of information and told us about the Endeavour exhibit at the California Science Museum. Well thanks to him, we made it happen!!
An iPhone pano of the Endeavour - the only way I could fit it all in!
We took an Uber to the California Science Museum, which was situated some 34 miles from the RV Park. On the way we had a new experience. We noticed a Sheriff's car whizz past on our left and then a little further up the freeway, he had his lights on and began 'sweeping the lanes' - all 7 of them, ahead of us. I thought okay he's smoking some of the good stuff from Venice Beach. No, he was in fact slowing down the traffic, because the freeway was too congested (hello......Sunday morning at 9.30.......could only happen in Los Angeles), it did the trick and we had a smooth ride in from there to the science museum.
California Science Museum
Oh what a great experience or rather, experiences, this museum was. We spent the entire day there. Chuck could not wipe the smile off his face and looked like a kid who had just walked into a candy store! He has always wanted to go and experience a trip into space. This was probably the closest he will get! He did the shuttle simulator and then we headed to see all about the space ship Endeavour.
Chuck about to board the Shuttle Simulator
They even had guys there who had worked on the Endeavour project (who are now redundant as the Shuttle program has been scrapped), to answer questions. Chuck had one on one conversations with one of the engineers for over half an hour! Nothing is hidden, and they are quite candid with their replies. Eg: He told him he was surprised that the Endeavour looked quite ‘basic’ – the engineer's reply was ‘yes, I agree with you, but basic works!’ Just great. They also have a huge amount of stuff from the first capsule into space (the one with the chimpanzee), and the Gemini capsules. If we thought the Endeavour was basic, then the Gemini stuff was just ancient! All analogue instruments, etc. No ways even Chuck would have gone into space in that!
Look at how rough and ready the Endeavour is. As the engineer who worked on it told Chuck - "Basic works!"
We saw and experienced so much. The museum entry was free. The only costs were the extras, such as shuttle and flight simulators and the IMAX 3D movies. We saw Beautiful Planet in 3D, which was a wonderful experience. All in all a great science museum, wonderful exhibits and California can be proud, that is for certain. Once finished our experience, it was a quick tap on the iPhone and our Uber driver was with us within four minutes. We have so enjoyed using Uber during our travels. It saves us having to drive into the city, find parking for a huge vehicle and so convenient, efficient and well-priced for what one gets.
One of the interesting stats we learnt at the science museum was that California receives only 15 inches (about 380 mm) of rain per year. Given the annual fires they experience, one has to wonder what water they use to put them out.
The resort we chose to stay at, had a bus stop for transport to Disneyland. We were up early and transported into Disney for a day of fun. I had chosen three thrill rides for Charl to do and three more sedate rides for moi. We could not believe the queues when we arrived. Given this was 9.15 a.m. on a Monday and it was school term. Well, we discovered it was not only Rosh Hashanah, but some schools were having fall break. Oh dear, and we thought we had chosen a quiet day, being Monday! We managed to work our way through the quickest queues and it didn't take too long to enter.
The crowds inside Disneyland
It being October, the theme of the park was Halloween. Pumpkins were on display everywhere! Apparently Halloween is the only celebration which has not been high-jacked by some or other protest group. i.e. everybody celebrates, unlike Christmas which the Muslims don't, or Thanks Giving which others don't, etc, etc. So, they make the most of it, and celebrate for the whole month....
Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins!!
We began with Pirates of Caribbean which was really good, the displays, as we went around water in boats were amazing, so very well done. Then we headed to Indiana Jones, but alas they were having technical issues and it was temporarily closed. I found an info desk as we could not find, on our map, which we picked up on entry, any of the rides for Charl? Oh no, they were in the other next door park! So no Big Dippers for Chuck! Well we had obviously booked for the wrong park, and had to make the most of the rides available to us. Chuck did the Matterhorn; a luge simulator which apparently was quite scary and also Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We then headed back, as we had purchased fast passes, to do the Haunted Mansion, again, so very well done. They even had ginger aromas, when we saw a gingerbread house, cool! By this time Indiana Jones had been fixed, and whilst Chuck went on the scary rides, I people watched. It would have been so much fun to experience this with our grandchildren.
The Grandies would have loved the Castle Themes, etc.
Chuck enjoyed Mickey's car!
We did the Star Wars Galaxy ride, for which we were belted into our seats, felt the thrust, our seats pushed, pulled and turned, all whilst watching Star Wars in 3D. We enjoyed fantasyland as well, just checking out the gardens, and rides for the youngsters. And then, just as in the storybooks, the fun was all over and it was time to head back home.
We sat people watching whilst waiting for our return bus. There was a Halloween party due to take place in the evening, for which tickets were sold out months previously. It was so interesting watching people entering the park, in all their dress-up gear, young and old, quite fantastic. The other thing that amazed us was how many people collect Disney badges and have strings of them around their necks. And the other amazement; just how much food people consume, goodness, they were always stuffing their mouths with something. I overheard one kid say to his parents 'I need to eat, or else I may feel hungry'.
The folk really get into the atmosphere of the place. Many were dressed in costume or at least had Mickey ears.
We were both absolutely whacked and needed an early night after the day of walking and rides.
On to Crystal cove and beach time again. We drove to Crystal Cove State park, where we had called to book a spot. We were told to arrive and only then could they see if there was a spot available. We arrived to find there was only a non hook up site and not in the greatest spot, so we pushed on.
We had a lovely stop at Laguna Beach, sat at Heisler Park and overlooked the beach which had lots of interest, as it was curved and had cliffs, whereas the previous beaches had been miles of straight beach. Whilst sitting there, Chuck pointed out a hummingbird taking pollen from a Lantana bush, it was so cute, but you guessed it, by the time the camera was onto it, it had flown away. Man they are so elusive, tiny, quiet, and quick, I don't think I am ever going to get a pic.
There were some lovely upmarket shops in this village, art galleries and cafe's. We had a stroll along the boardwalk and made our decision to head for Oceanside, just north of Carlsbad.
In Oceanside we found an RV site and right next door, was a tyre shop, which we needed to visit. Chuck had noticed the right front tyre was wearing quicker than the left so we asked for the two be swapped over. 'No problems said the Mexican give me 40 minutes'. We used the time to walk downtown and along the beachfront, where we saw a huge family of squirrels, popping in and out of the rocks. Somebody had left a pile of fruit and they were having a fun time, eating the watermelon and whatever else was there.
Never seen squirrels on the beach before - looked something like Cape Dassies
We returned to the tyre shop over an hour later. Of course he had not yet looked at the tyres, but did so immediately, only to find the tyre was in fact damaged and needed to be replaced. It took a while to find the correct size of tyre, amongst the many piles outside on the tar. It was not too long a wait and the tyre was back on, wheels balanced and we could head back for a well-deserved cup of tea.
Next day we went to Carlsbad. Funny thing is that I associate this name with our travels to Austria and Germany and it seems odd to me, to find it here, in California. We needed to stock up on groceries, but then there was also a mall of outlet shops! After having a good look at all that was on offer and one pair of Nine West shoes later, we headed to Safeway and got our groceries and then onto Walmart, as they are the best stockists of RV goods (RV loo paper, loo sanitisers etc.,). We had managed to break two wine glasses and were able to replace them at Walmart also. No, we had not had a Greek glass throwing party, just wear and tear. Then onto the pretty beachfront. We passed by many pumpkin fields all with huge pumpkins waiting to have their faces cut out for Halloween.
Now onto our final destination heading south i.e. San Diego. After that we turn around and begin our journey north-east and onto the Grand Canyon.