I actually changed vacation plans several weeks before we left. I found cheap flights from Los Angeles to home, and realized we could drive out, and then send Joe back with the kids, and I would drive the car back. It avoided the worst part of vacation, which is dealing with grumpy kids while driving 12 hours. I still had to drive the twelve hours back home by myself, but it was boring rather than full of kids throwing up and whining.
On the way out we stopped by Seven Magic Mountain, and that made up the bulk of my vacation photos and the only time I used my camera rather than my phone.
While we were in California, we visited several beaches, saw the Hollywood sign, and visited Universal Studios. We also walked down Hollywood Walk of Fame, but went in the evening and ended up in a part that was rather sketchy. That was interesting…also Curtis ended up throwing up all over the parking garage of our hotel…I was super glad he didn’t do it in our hotel.
At the beach, the kids loved playing in the waves, and mostly building sand castles. Universal Studios was the highlight. We went on a day with hardly any lines, and everyone had a great time. The boys loved the rides, Zack loved the escalators, and I loved walking through Hogwarts.