Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Field Trip to Lancaster, Ca, with a Side of Disneyland and Kooky Roadside Rarities

This past week, our family journeyed south through California's valley and into the desert region of Lancaster/Palmdale for Aidyn's first foot race at the Jethawks' stadium.

Community Connection

Although Lancaster is not our community, we signed up for the race not only to help Aidyn pursue a recent goal of his (to earn a medal) but to support a community of baseball fans. This race was set up to bring people to the community of Lancaster and encourage physical movement. Profits for the race direct support minor league baseball and local education.

When we arrived at night, we had no idea what the terrain looked like until we awoke in the morning. I had a vague idea that we were in a desert climate (I was thinking more along the lines of Bakersfield), but it was actually a dry, arid, tumbleweed-populated, rollin'-rollin'-rollin' little town. And the wind was fierce!

Photo from Lancaster city data.

Wake up, Aidyn! Race starts in just a couple hours!

Prior to the race.

Daddy and Aidyn, checking out the stadium.

Lining up at the starting line.

One last Mama-hug before the race.

Yay! Just finished running 1k, two laps around the Jethawks' baseball field!

 Finally won his medal!

Afterwards, we had a celebratory lunch at Primo Cafe in Lancaster.

Roadside Rarities

It's always fun checking out the strange and unusual roadside attractions. For this trip, we visited Charlie Brown Farms, a kitchy little place that has been operating since 1929. Inside are shelves upon shelves loaded with jars of raw, local honey, molasses, fruits and vegetables, hand-packaged farmstand goodies, old time candy (from as early as the 1920s), toys, souvenirs, practical joke merchandise, and more. They serve 150 different kinds of smoothies and have a quaint outdoor dining area. Also near that dining area are these beauties:


We left Charlie Brown Farms with a pound of raw eucalyptus honey (from the deserts of Ca and Az), nostalgic candy from the 40s for Grandma back home, and a practical joke toy for Aidyn.

The next day, we went to our favorite Southern California destination: Disneyland. The Sunday morning traffic was surprisingly light, and we made it to the parking structure in only an hour and a half.

Aboard the Jungle Cruise, after just learning about savanna and rainforest animals. :)

An elephant along the Nile River.

Later, we got in line for Autopia, since it was closed for refurbishment in February. Aidyn has been keen on "driving" lately.

After a nice drive, we took the train to New Orleans Square where we rode Pirates of the Caribbean and had a yummy lunch at the French Market. Afterward, we visited the Disney California Adventure Park and hoped that Radiator Springs would be doable.

Despite the gorgeous photo ops, the ride was temporarily closed.

So we explored the rest of DCA, rode Goofy's Sky School, Tuck 'n' Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies, and Grizzly River Rapids.

Aidyn running through the fountains.

We stopped at the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop, much to Aidyn's apparent glee. 

Aidyn and I washed all the chocolate off with a ride on Grizzly River Rapids, which were closed the last time we visited.

After the big plunge at the end. Aidyn and I are on the right. Daddy, who was developing a pretty bad cold at this point, elected not to get drenched.

Overall, we had a pretty amazing mini-vacation and experience with Aidyn's first race. During the drive to Disneyland and back, we saw the famous Vasquez Rocks, which have been used in countless films.

Photo from

We also visited the Now and Then Thrift Store from Storage Wars.

Photo from

And we drove by the very first McDonald's when we passed through Downey, Ca.

Photo from

We love homeschooling!