Getting Chased Out of Town - Elias and Carrie's Excellent Summer Vacation Day 6

June 11th, 2012

The last day of any trip is hard. Even when you have plenty of time, you are racing to get things done. You have to pack up. Then there's the check out. God forbid you check out a minute after 11a. If the flight is at 430p, you'd better get the car back by 2p, which gives you approximately 30 minutes to do something fun in the day.

We attempted it. Whether or not we succeeded...it's a toss-up.

Check-out was a breeze. We got our car and found Huckleberry. It's a restaurant I saw on Cooking Channel one day (LOVE Unique Eats/Sweets) and it was down the street from our hotel. We found parking (score!!) and there was no line for breakfast (double score!!). We knew we shouldn't do a big breakfast, because there was going to be a big lunch consumed. So we settled on a Breakfast Porridge and a pastry. I asked what they're known for. The Maple Bacon Scone. Done. We also got some coffee and tea.

This I've learned, I don't like Stevia. It's the same with any artificial sweetener. I have tried them, but they're just gross. I know "real" sugar isn't good for me, I know I use waaaaaaaay too much when I make my tea, but it's better than the artificial crap. (I don't care if Stevia is supposed to be from nature or whatever...there has to be something artificial about it based on the aftertaste). Unfortunately, this place only had Stevia and Splenda. Something I didn't know until it was too late to change my order.

As for the scone. Elias didn't care for it. Me...love. Just loved it. It would have been better right out of the oven, but I gobbled it up just the same. I'm sure I could recreate this easy enough. Yeah, I know I can. The porridge was also good. It was a nice, nutty flavor with fruit. It could have used a pinch of sugar, but I couldn't deal with adding the stuff the restaurant had. It would have been better to throw it away instead. I would love to go back there as there's an egg sandwich I was considering. But we chose well since we had a short amount of time and more eating to do...


On the docket for the day has always been Knott's Berry Farm. KBF is our new client and we've busted our asses trying to get them on the air (well, I haven't...but I have for other parks, so I'm lumping KBF into the fold), so what better way to celebrate going to Southern California than by visiting our client. I'll have to throw a caveat in here...it's been about 11+ years since I've been to an amusement park other than a Disney one (water parks don't count). Of course, Disney is the gold standard, so walking into Knott's was a bit of a jarring experience.


The ticket area was a bit of a mess. This wasn't the fault of anyone other than the scrum of kids there for the day. There was a gymnastics troupe and a group of recent grads. There were also the kids. And by kids, I mean the screeching teenagers. I remember those kids from our trips to Great America. I'm sure I was one of those kids at one point. But as a non-teenager, I wasn't wild about them.

The park itself was very nice. It was fun to see a bunch of roller coasters intersecting between each other. The rule we made before we left for the trip was that I wouldn't force Elias on anything that goes upside down. Unfortunately, that ruled out most things. I did see the Windseeker, which I knew had made its way into several other parks in the last year. I tried really hard to get Elias to go on that one. And by "tried hard", I mean I asked him if he wanted to go on. He was definitely not enthusiastic, so I didn't press it.


We wandered and picked up a few souvenirs. Then we found a train that took us around the park. By the time the train had pulled back into the station, Elias was hungry and we had about an hour left before we had to leave for the airport. So we went to find lunch.

We had done enough research to see that KBF was really known for their chicken dinners. Done. I'm all for going to a place where they do something really well. Plus, I hadn't had fried chicken in a long while, so I was game. We decided on the full dinner. Three pieces of chicken, soup and salad, biscuits and pie. Bring on the gluttony!!

Huh. I couldn't have predicted the meal. Really. Maybe my expectations were too high. But, they're known for their chicken, so my expectations should be high. We each got a different soup. He got cream of chicken noodle. I got cherry rhubarb. I should have known...I don't like rhubarb. He took a few bites of his soup and was done. I tried his and it wasn't too bad. The salad was totally an afterthought, but the honey mustard dressing was good. The biscuits...fabulous. Really. Knowing I had Maple Bacon Scone sitting like a brick in my belly, I didn't eat many of the biscuits, but I could have. They had the boysenberry jam (also what they're known for), so I tried it on the biscuit. It really didn't need it. The biscuit itself was glorious.

Then came the chicken, mashed potatoes and corn. I don't eat potatoes, so I was out on this one, but Elias was not impressed. And he's a potato eater. The corn was corn. You can't screw it up or make it too great...unless you're making elotes. And I think someone needs to make me elotes. We bit into the chicken and it was fine. I enjoyed it. Elias enjoyed it. But I think we were both a little disappointed. Maybe we expected too much??The boysenberry pie came out and the first bite or two was fine, though as we kept eating, it kept getting better. Maybe if they warmed the pie up a little??

I feel kind of bad now, the last chunk of the trip was a bit of a downer. Knott's is definitely a place to go when you have time to spend there. And especially if you want to ride coasters. We don't do many coasters, so most was lost on us. Plus, we literally had two hours to spend at the park. But I am glad we went, especially cause now I can speak to the park a little bit. The coasters really looked fun. And next time...I'm totally dragging Elias on the Windseeker. Like it or not...

The drive to LAX was fine, only one old man in an old blue boat tried to merge into our car (which never really got a name this time...we spent so much time in other transportation vehicles that this car never got a name. Black Beauty or Bruiser were the only two thrown out there and neither stuck). Happily, we made it to the National Rental Car place in one piece. And our check in process was easy. Security was easy. Are we really in LAX??

The gate was found and we parked ourselves for a short wait. About 20 minutes before boarding, we figured it was Starbucks time. Unfortunately, the line for Starbucks was crazy long and we were feeling a little rushed. Though, it was fantastic cause as we got to our gate, we walked right on. They had already called Group 2.

So now we're on the plane. The movie is Man on a Ledge. A much as I dig Sam Worthington, I don't care at all about the movie. Too bad. This is the time that I can kind of zone out and think about the trip. Everything we did and saw. And what we loved...

Elias - favorite part: Disneyland. We knew so much about Disney World that it was great to see where it all started. It was also pretty cool to see where it really started when Chris took us to Walt's first animation studio.

Carrie - favorite part: If I say Disneyland, it sounds like I'm copying Elias. Though it was the best part. I did love that Chris played tour guide for us in LA. We never would have been able to see half of what he showed us. I also really dug 800 Degrees. That was a fun evening of food. It was also proof that we should have brought a jacket with us on that day. Luckily, we learned our lesson.

This trip came together very quickly with a massively cheap flight bought on Leap Day. I don't think either of us could have realized that it would be such an unexpectedly fun trip. Sure, we knew we'd have fun at Disney, but we also had so much fun hanging out with Chris and seeing the sights. We knew we had family in LA, but now we know we have a friend there too. We also know we have tons of stuff to see next time we visit. And there will be a next time. See you later, LA!!

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