Day 1 (January 6, 2017 – Carlsbad, California): “Surprisingly light traffic”
It was about 4:20pm when we left home. We had to do some hectic last-minute packing while also trying to do some website migration work. Earlier in the day, I went to work so that took the better part of this day. Generally when things are this last minute and hectic, something’s always forgotten. We wondered what it will be this time…
My fear in driving this late on a Friday afternoon was the traffic. Plus, there would always be pretty crazy drivers gunning it down the I-5 at upwards of 90mph or more while tailgating as well as slower drivers not following the flow of the traffic and occupying the fast lane. Regardless, we committed to taking the carpool lane down the I-5, and to our surprise, the drive went fairly smoothly.
Because money was tight, we decided to use our Hyatt points for this hotel stay. I’ve been told that it’s not really worth it to use Hyatt Points unless the cost was on the order of 1.8 cents per point. So really, it would’ve been worth it to spend 12k points if it was around $216 per night. Clearly, this wasn’t the case as this was more like $160 per night. So whether we wasted these points or not, I wasn’t going to keep tabs on this.
Regardless, we noticed that there was a complimentary shuttle to Legoland, which might be worthwhile to do especially since I suspected that parking at the park would be a rip off.
Once we got all settled in at the Spanish-style hotel room (Julie was complaining that half of the lights weren’t working), we then drove off to Karl Strauss at 5:50pm. When we got there at 6pm, the place was a bit busy as there was some kind of private party. So we had to wait a bit (we were told 45 minutes) though we ended up waiting around 20-25 minutes or so. During this time, I was playing “1-2-3 Jump Higher” with Tahia, where I’d help propel her to jump higher based on our timing, but I think I might have tweaked my back on one of her jumps so that had to be put to an end.
It turned out that the food was decent though we chose this spot due to the price. Julie saw better spots in Carlsbad but they wanted a lot more for a steak meal (on the order of greater than $40 per steak). She wound up getting some kind of clean top sirloin steak, which was a little on the dry side, while I got a ribeye. She liked mine better, but we knew that with her gut issues, we had to be very careful about what she could and couldn’t eat.
Eventually at 7:25pm, we were back in the car. We then made a grocery run at a Sprouts in Oceanside as we realized that we had forgotten to bring some fruits and veggies (though we did bring our self-made kefir). Tahia and I were busy listening to a Laker game while we were patiently waiting in the car, but when we realized that Julie’s grocery run was upwards of an hour, we decided to go inside and get her.
Eventually at 8:25pm, we finally got back into the car. This was the thing with Julie. Whenever she would go shopping, she could spend an entire day doing this.
At 8:40pm, we finally made it back to the Hyatt House, where we then showered and brushed and looked forward to a busy day tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, we learned that Joshua (whose birthday was this weekend) wasn’t going to make it to Carlsbad until tomorrow evening. So instead of doing Legoland tomorrow, we decided that would be punted for Sunday. In the mean time, we’d do the Cedar Creek Falls hike from the Ramona side, which was something we never really got a chance to do until now. Plus, we’d be testing Tahia as we knew that it would be an upside down hike with an all-uphill climb on the return. She did a 6-mile hike at Fish Canyon Falls before, but we were anxious to see how she’d fare on this hike, which might be a little more difficult.