Today we woke up a bit earlier and were on the road by 7:30. Our clue led us 10 minutes away from our friends’ house. We got to the Santa Anita racetrack nice and early to see the horses warming up and had breakfast at Clocker’s Corner. There were no races today, so it wasn’t very busy, but still lots of horses conditioning and racing past us. We saw horses of every color. They were beautiful and it was amazing to see such power and speed. The jockeys were all so sweet and friendly with the kids, answering questions and always ready with a wave and a friendly greeting. We met a horse named Interaction and lots of dogs who came to make new friends as well. The facilities were so gorgeous and very vintage. The signs, the colors, and the backdrops of mountains and palm trees made for a truly unforgettable experience. It surprised me how big the track is in real life and how quiet the rhythm of their hoofbeats are on the sandy track.
After breakfast, the kids needed to find a statue of “the horse of the year” from 1938. The kids guessed it was Secratariat as they had recently watched that movie, but he was a superstar horse in the 70’s. The kids asked around and people were very helpful, directing us to the paddock. The first horse statue we saw was not our horse, but we kept searching and finally found The right statue of Seabiscuit.
They found their next clue on a nearby bench. It told them they had to be BRAVE and go to the mall next to the racetrack and see a movie they have been looking forward to. The kids immediately knew we would go see Brave! We’ve been looking forward to this movie since we saw the first preview several months ago. It was so fun and once again I tried to keep my crying to a minimum. Dang You Disney!
After the movie I felt a little less self-conscious about my untamed vacation hair. If The Scottish princess Merida can run around with unruly curls, this slightly Scottish lass could too! During this trip we are going non-stop and there is certainly no time for vanity or a straight iron and my hair is taking a vacation and having a wild time!
Living in a small town, the kids were amazed at the mall! So many stores! So many restaraunts! So many people! And even an escalator? Who knew that all we had to plan to make our kids happy was a trip to the mall? After the movie, they got a clue to go to a parlour in Valencia for lunch and ice cream.
Ferrell’s parlour is an old timey restaurant complete with a tinkling player piano and waiters in striped shirts and straw hats. When there is a birthday boy or girl, watch out! A siren sounds and the whole waitstaff comes out banging drums, singing, and running around with huge bowls of ice cream. We did eat lunch there, but we knew the most important section on their menu is dessert and made sure to leave room for a tin roof sundae.
The final envelope of the day took us 2.5 hours north to Tulare. We are now at a hotel room, we’ve gone swimming and the trip is definitely catching up with us. We are planning on getting to bed early tonight and looking forward to another amazing day!
A couple FYI’s:
- All of the envelopes are planted by us at the time we get there ourselves. We sometimes try to hide them without the kids seeing and sometimes we just give them the envelopes. The one exception was our “good witch” who happens to be a work connection for John. She knew her role ahead of time and works at the Civic Center in SD and was excited to help us out. We didn’t know she was going to give the kids so much cool Wicked swag! She really is good!
- Mr. John and I thought of this trip idea several months ago, and started gathering a few things and looking at events and routes, but the real pulling together didn’t take too long and happened within the week before heading out.
- I made the AR Adams family edition logo and Mr John ordered the t-shirts from Vista Prints.
- Several of our clues have keywords in it that will lead the kids to the answer in a google search.
- We LOVE reading all the comments and emails about our trip! It is so exciting to hear that people are following our adventure and enjoying our journey with us. Our days are full so we don’t get a lot of time online to respond, but wanted anyone who’s joining us to know: we hear you! Muah xoxo