Note: This is the last page of Trip Report. If you want to read it from the beginning, go to Trip Reports at the top of this blog and choose the Big Kahuna Family Trip Report, where it’s broken down into three days.
May 19, Part 5: Check out, Drive Home and Final Thoughts
We wandered back over to Paradise Pier, freshened up, packed our bags, and checked out at the front desk. While I was waiting for Rich to bring the car around, I chatted with the security guard. He was very nice. We talked about Orlando and how hot and muggy it is in August (when he was there) and how his son lives in Las Vegas now and loves it. We talked about various shows in Las Vegas and how we had been on this journey to WDW and back to DL. He welcomed me home. It was a great experience.
We drove off about 8:30 p.m., missing any heavy traffic, and listened to our new Willie Nelson Reggae CD on the drive through the desert at night. We highly recommend that. I’ve always loved driving at night in the desert. The traffic was light, and, listening to Willie over and over again, we were reminded of the fun store in Downtown Disney where we bought the CD–from another older, friendly CM. And when we tired of listening to Willie, we tuned in to the Highway Country Radio Station, originated by Howard Hughes and broadcast specifically for drivers making the L.A. to Vegas trek.
Before we knew it, we had arrived home at midnight—just 3-1/2 hours after we left Disneyland Resort. We were glad to be home—all was well and the kitties and we were all happy to sleep in our own bed with our working A/C.
The only thing we missed by leaving early was having Beignets for breakfast the next morning.
“Welcome Home” was the focus of this entire trip and from that point of view, it was a big success. The CMs were all friendly, the atmosphere at DLR was intimate and personal and it was great to be back home. We knew Paradise Pier might not give us the experience we were hoping for but being dubbed “The Big Kahuna” family was a nice touch and helped make up for some of the gotchas. But budget was a consideration for this trip and on future trips, would we stay here or some place offsite? That’s a good question and one we ponder. We’re hoping we won’t have to make that decision and that we’ll either stay at the DL hotel or the GC.
There was so much we didn’t get to do on such a short trip and we’re hoping to catch up on everything on future trips. We didn’t make it to any of the sitdown restaurants where we had made a PS. We didn’t want to take time out of our busy schedule and, being hot, we were more in the mood to snack and eat more casual meals. But we hope to experience them on future trips, as well.
Thank you all for reading and participating in our trip report. You added to the fun of reliving it. We hope to be reporting another trip before we know it. In the meantime, we’ll happily live vicariously through your trip reports.