Well, we did it! We have officially gone on our first long road trip as a family. Per our GPS, our destination was about 20 hours from our house. We drove from Washington State all the way to Palm Springs, California, and what an adventure it has been!
Day 1 – Let the driving begin!
We left our house at 4:00 am (it was supposed to be 3:00 am) but my alarm didn’t go off…whoops! Viktoria stayed asleep and the boys were too excited, that they stayed awake for awhile.
Check out my related post: Surviving Road Trips with Kids | 20 Practical Tips and Tricks for your Sanity
After a good chunk of driving, we stopped at a rest stop to all get out and stretch. This was Viktoria’s first time waking up since we left our house.
Gotta love that crazy hair on that girl!
One particular longer stop we made, was in Grants Pass, OR. It seemed to be a small little town, and the weather was already very warm as we were nearing the border of California.
We were all pretty hungry, so we stopped at Black Bear Diner for some breakfast.
Their food was given in large quantities, and I got my usual diner food – Country Fried Steak and Gravy. Mmm, Mmm, good!
And then we were back on the road.
For the next millions of miles, or so it seemed, we saw a whole bunch of nothing, fields of cattle (loved it!!) and farmlands.
And after what seemed like an eternity, we finally reached our first destination…
We stayed in the Hyatt Regency in downtown Sacramento for one night.
The hotel was extremely busy because there was a prom, a gala, and multiple private parties and events. Pretty much we were walking in the midst of people in fancy dresses the whole time!
After we got to the hotel, we freshened ourselves up and got dressed to go find some dinner in downtown Sacramento.
Pose for a picture!
The adventure side of me wanted to find some cool, new restaurant to try out, but the fatty/cheapo side of me wanted to pick a restaurant we KNEW was good.
Hello Claim Jumper!
We chose to eat at Claim Jumper because, huge portions for good prices = my kind of dining! Yummy, yum!
Oh man, if you’ve never tried their deep fried zucchini (off the appetizer menu), you need to have eaten them like, yesterday! Please try them sometime!
On our walk back to the hotel, we were able to witness some really cool street artists. Anything art related grabs my attention; it’s engraved in me, so to speak. So, I had to stop and snap some pictures… and maybe stare for awhile too.
Day 2 – On the road again, headed to Palm Springs!
We made a 40-minute pit stop at a place called Bravo Land.
Never heard of it, but they had signs on the freeway that were enticing, so we stopped. The kiddos also needed a break from the car, so it was the perfect break time adventure.
It ended up being a little old town/rustic play town, gift shop and restaurant.
The kids played for a bit in the various little buildings,
Dug for gold… or better yet, splashed in the water,
And posed for some more pictures for the one millionth time, taken by their (most likely), annoying mother.
This sign was funny, and so true… right?!?
There was a huge Sequoia tree stump with famous dates marked on it by the rings of the tree (each ring= one year in tree life).
After we finished up at Bravoland, we grabbed some In N Out (Mr. Hubs’ first time) and got back on the road.
And finally, after a long road trip, we arrived to our long awaited, private Airbnb house!
Welcome to Palm Springs!
And Welcome to our Airbnb Vacation House!
Why we chose Airbnb over a hotel for the majority of our stay, and why we will always choose Airbnb’s from now on.
Hotels feel so impersonal. You feel confined to your “room”, unless you decide to venture out, and you have to be quiet. And those of us with kids know that’s NOT always the easiest thing to do.
With an Airbnb house, you usually have access to tons of amenities- a washer and dryer, full kitchen to cook in, a grill, multiple rooms, and multiple bathrooms. We were extremely pleased with our Airbnb choice! Just always be sure to read reviews before booking!
For a $40 credit to use on your next Airbnb stay, use this link here. For new customers only!
It was a really cute home, and we would definitely stay there again.
Once settled in, we decided to just spend the rest of the day swimming in their awesome, salt water pool!
Salt water pools, beats chlorine pools, ANYDAY!
For our first dinner at the house, I made chicken and shrimp Alfredo, with grilled corn on the cob. Let the weight gain begin!
Day 3 – Downtown Palm Springs
On our first morning, we ate breakfast by the poolside. Sausage, bacon, English muffins and smoothies.
After swimming all day in the pool, we decided to get dressed and go explore Downtown Palm Springs.
Before we headed out, there was a much needed, pool noodle – sword fight!
In downtown Palm Springs, we did a bit of shopping and site seeing.
These funny Palm trees had me cracking up. They looked like they had freshly cut, bowl-cut hair cuts. Does anyone remember the bowl cut?? I hope I’m not dating myself here!
We hadn’t eaten dinner yet, so we grabbed a quick snackeroo. Can’t go wrong with french fries!
And then finally, we headed back to the house for some real food. Juicy, grilled steaks on the menu for tonight!
Day 4 – The Outlets!
Well as you can imagine, we continued with our ritual of swimming all day in the pool, getting massively sunburnt, and then dressing to head out for the Outlet stores.
We got the Outlet stores a bit later in the evening (around 7:40 pm), and the stores all closed at 9:00 pm. Time flew by way too fast, so we tried to make the best of it.
Once it hit 9:00 pm or a bit after, we realized that we were like, the last, “non-workers” there at the Outlet stores. Whoopsies!
So we did what any normal person would do when they realize everything’s closed and you should probably head to your car…
We ran for our car!
We actually stopped and took a bunch of funny photos, like the super obvious tourists that we were!
And then a little break dancing session from the boys broke out…
And finally, one last picture before we headed to our car…
Why, hello there!
Once in the parking garage, we noticed something we’ve never seen before! In the parking garage, they have lights above every parking spot, if the lights red- the spot is taken, if the light is green- the spot is empty. Pretty cool, right?!
Day 5 – Vitaliy’s 6th birthday!
Mr. Vitaliy turned 6 and he was surprised with ice cream filled cupcakes for breakfast.
We swam and then went back to downtown Palm Springs to visit a cute little ice cream shop. Sorry, no pics, I get tired of lugging that thing around!
Day 6 – Bye, bye Palm Springs Airbnb, visiting The Living Desert Zoo and checking in to our Legoland Hotel!
It was a hot day, but in a desert like area, it just feels even hotter. But hey, in Palm Springs, they have these awesome “misters” everywhere. They are super cool! I’ve never encountered anything like that before.
We were walking to the giraffes when we saw a little lizard crossing the pathway. We thought it was pretty neat, and learned as the day went on that they are everywhere on the pathways and well..everywhere. We saw a bunch!
We got to feed Giraffes at the zoo!
The giraffes are actually really cute creatures. And the weirdo inside of me wanted to know what they’re tongue felt like, (because it was so intriguingly long) that I waited for the giraffe to stick its tongue out, and I gave that giraffe tongue a big ol’ pettin.
Mr. Hubs just shook his head at me.
We made our way around the entire zoo and got to see a lot of animals we never get to see in our hometown zoo. The zoo was separated into two sections; North America and Africa.
Roman was especially excited to see the African animals because we literally just finished his African unit in homeschooling. He led us through the zoo, throwing out crazy random facts about each animal.
Can you spot the baby mountain goats?
After we finished at the zoo, we drove about three hours to head to…
We chose to stay at the Legoland Castle Hotel, which is their newest hotel at Legoland. It was so creatively designed, interactive and fun! We loved it and the kids had a blast just even at the hotel.
We were only there for two nights, but it probably looked like we were moving in. I’m apparently just an overkill packer.
Our room at the Legoland Castle Hotel!
Even though the hotel is geared towards the likes of children, the Legoland Castle Hotel is very first class. Everything was so thought out, and just perfect for our stay there.
Later that night we grabbed some dinner at a Mexican restaurant, and then headed back to the hotel for the hotels nightly entertainment. After the hotel’s shows were over, it was off to bed for us, to get ready for the Legoland theme park in the morning!
Day 7 and Day 8 – Playing at Legoland Theme Park!
As you can imagine, EVERYTHING was made out of Lego’s!
Yes peeps, these are ALL made from LEGO’S!
We had a lot of fun riding all the rides they had too.
There was an underwater submarine ride, we found most enjoyable. I think we went on it like 3 or 4 times.
It was pretty sketchy to get on the ride, though. The ride never stops, so you have to jump on and pack everyone in the submarine in a certain amount of time while it’s moving. Vitaliy was pretty nervous each time, he did a little run, hop thingy to get on, haha.
This is Viktoria’s “I’m so excited!!!” face.
The boys went car driving. Roman apparently didn’t understand that “cones in a line” meant, DO NOT ENTER!
See in the background of the photo where the worker is trying to redirect him? Whoops!
I guess you can say, he failed his driving test.
Be it that we were at Legoland, we had to try their oh-so famous, ” Granny Apple Fries “.
All I can say, is one word …
Let’s just say, I was NOT a fan. But the rest of the family thought they were incredible, so that leaves out me as the weirdo in the family. But hey, what else is new?!