Saturday, August 7, 2010

summer trip 2010 - Del Mar (again)

Well, this morning we completely changed our schedule....for a chance to see Zenyatta run at Del Mar.
She is my favorite horse currently training and probably my favorite horse of all time. I would rather watch her run live than to see any other sporting event, including the SuperBowl or the BCS title game. Zenyatta has a perfect race record 18 starts, 18 wins - 16 of those were Graded Stakes races. She has a closing running style which means that she races far off the pace, usually last until she starts her move about mid-way through the final turn. Here's a great Youtube clip showing her last 17 stretch runs:

Surprisingly the girls were ok with our change of plans (this was supposed to be day 2 at Disney). I extended at our Homewood Suite stay one more day and moved the Springdale, UT (Zion NP) reservation forward one day. I was able to get four reserved seats in the second level of the grandstand. Del Mar was also giving away Zenyatta glass tumblers. The track was packed, as in about 32,500 people packed; easily double their normal attendance....all because Zenyatta was running. We all had a great time....I got see Zenyatta in the paddock and on the track.

Here's an HD video I created on my iPhone 4 using iMovie - everything was captured and edited solely on my iPhone.

After the race we attempted to eat at Fidel's in Solana Beach but the wait was over an hour. We decided to head back toward  LA. Pizza at Oggi's next to our hotel was where we ate.

Friday, August 6, 2010

summer trip 2010 - Disney day one

Our first day at Disneyland...I look so forward to visiting; and, the main reason is the girls love this place, what kid wouldn't? (I like it, a lot, too)

First ride up was not a ride but a visit to Pixie Hollow (youtube). The girls had their picture taken with Tinker Bell.
Girls with Tinker Bell

Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland

The Alice in Wonderland ride was closed about 3 weeks before our Disney visit. The California division of OSHA said the ride needed handrails for maintenance worker safety. This was very odd considering the ride had been open for 52 years without an incident due to missing rails.

Here was the rest of our day with links to ride information and youtube ride thru's:
Matterhorn Bobsleds -  official, wiki, youtube
Finding Nemo - official, wiki, youtube
It's a Small World - official, wiki, youtube
Princess Story time - official, wiki, youtube
Mickey Mouse House - official, wiki, youtube
Minnie Mouse House - official, wiki, youtube

Big Thunder Mountain - official, wiki, youtube
Pirates of Caribbean - official, wiki, youtube

Soarin' over California - official, wiki, below is my own iPhone 4 ride thru video

This is easily the family favorite-we have to ride it everyday we are at the park. Imagine yourself lifted up into the middle of an IMAX screen with the POV of a hang glider soaring through the Californian skies. Your feet dangle in the air as your seat pitches up/down and left/right. During several scenes the air is scented to match what is on the screen, for example through the orange grove scenes you actually smell oranges....and, the musical score is incredible.

Monsters - official, wiki, youtube
Muppet 3DMovie - official, wiki, youtube

We used two different iPhone apps while at Disney to help us track ride wait times. The first app was called Mousewait and the second was Walkee Wait Time.  Both of these make great use of crowdsourcing on the iPhone 4. These apps show the ride wait times based on other park attendees input. Although not 100% accurate it was reliable enough to use. Since I was using it I also felt obligated to contribute by posting ride wait times as I experienced them. AT&T 3G service was not good in the park. The Mousewait app did not run if 3G service was not available so we mostly used Walkee Wait Time. After about 10.5 hours at the park it was time to head back to the hotel and eat dinner. We stayed at the Homewood Suites in Garden Grove. They have a shuttle service (very reasonably priced) to Disneyland and there are 4 restaurants conveniently located next door. This evening's meal was at Outback Steakhouse. It was a unanimous choice, except the girls refer to it as Backout.

After dinner we started something that would become a habit....we visited a frozen yogurt (aka froyo) store called Tutti Frutti. I don't know how we have missed out on the froyo craze but, I think we started something with this visit. There were 16 yogurt flavors so the girls had a tough time making a choice. This was a dual-concept store that was also housed an O' My Buns! The coffee roti buns were absolutely incredible.....and extremely addicting.

This is the Almond O' My Bun - Easily my greatest
food find of the year. D loved them even more than me.