Saturday, December 8, 2007

Final Thoughts on Our Phoenix & SoCal Vacation

We really covered a lot of ground on this trip from Phoenix to Anaheim and enjoyed every bit of it.

The Arizona Biltmore and Spa is probably the most luxurious hotel we have ever stayed at - and one of the most expensive, even with the special rate we got for the conference. It was fun to pretend to be rich and famous for a little while and mr. lo got a kick out of using the spa.

We'd stay at La Jolla Shores again if we ever find ourselves in that area. Nothing can beat the view of the beach and the climate really is heavenly. San Diego is a beautiful city with lots of diversity. We only scratched the surface of what there is to see there.

The Howard Johnson's Plaza Hotel in Anaheim actually had the nicest, most spacious, and best laid-out rooms of all three resorts and was by far the best value. Three nights there cost less than one at the Biltmore or La Jolla Shores, so with its proximity to DLR, I would be happy to stay there again and highly recommend it.

I finally had my lifelong wish of visiting Disneyland fulfilled and it was as wonderful as I had dreamed. Many people comment that its smallness and urban location is a disappointment after seeing Disney World, but I don't agree. Once inside the gates of Disneyland, I was never aware of the outside world and the compactness made it easier to get from one land to another. They certainly have packed a lot into that limited space. I liked New Orleans Square the best because it is totally different from anything at Disney World's Magic Kingdom and it also has the best restaurants.

California Adventure was a bonus, although I have to admit that if it wasn't right next to Disneyland, I don't think I'd go out of my way to go there. Not being into thrill rides, it doesn't have much to draw me. Our favorites at DLR were all in Disneyland: the Haunted Mansion Holiday, Pirates of the Caribbean, "it's a small world" holiday, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, and Indiana Jones. And - of course - my chance to sing with the Disneyland Band was an experience that will stay with me always.

This was most likely a one-time trip for us. Although we really enjoyed Disneyland, mr. lo and I agree that Walt Disney World is the place that calls us back. Because there are so many more options there, you can always escape a crowded location and find something equally enjoyable to do elsewhere. Epcot is what really draws us to WDW. We always stay in one of the Epcot resorts so that we can wander in and out whenever we want. Evenings strolling around the lagoon before Illuminations are the best part of a WDW vacation for us. We like to be able to dip in and out of the other parks, but we spend most of our time in Epcot. So if we find ourselves in the vicinity of Disneyland again, I'm sure we'll stop in, but I doubt it will be our destination for future trips.

Thanks to all for reading! Don't forget, all the photos from this trip are on Flickr! I hope you'll check in here from time to time to see what I'm up to next. I have reset my Disney countdown clock for our next trip to WDW in just 140 days - April 27-May 3, 2008

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