Michael W. Smith


Christmas In California
December 17, 2010

Yep, it's that special time again for digital falling snow! You know you love it!

Hello everyone! We got back from our oh-so-wonderful trip to California a few days ago and I thought I'd get a post up before Christmas! Merry Christmas to you all! To those who don't celebrate Christmas, a very merry Christmas to you!

As always, it's late and I'm tired, so on with the show. Thanks so much for stopping by! And thank you Daher family, yet AGAIN, for such a spectacular time! What wonderful memories made.

And here we go ...

Our flight due to leave at 11:30 was delayed to 1:30, so what else to do then eat millet with my precious son? It actually was a blessing in disguise, for though we left later we were able to actually arrive in California earlier. Weird. Don't know where that "for though" came from.

PF Chang's! Shortly after arrival the Dahers treated us at one of our two top favorite restaurants ever (Cheesecake Factory being the other).

Oh my word ... this young Korean gal working at the mall was so enthralled with William .. and William with her. He ran around like a wild banshee as she crouched behind that chair peeking out at him. Course, we felt so obligated to her afterwards that I ended up buying Meliss three diamond hairpins. Piece of crud.

The following night it was dinner at Medieval Times! Oh yeah! I hadn't been there since I was 10 years old. Actually have an old picture that I'll post soon here.

We paid $2 each to see the torture chamber room. Best $2 ever spent.

Bought this for our foyer.

Poor little man didn't sleep the ENTIRE day (we were out and about).

Jeepers! I'm like a kid in a candy store!

The arena. For those not familiar with Medieval Times, you sit and eat while knights engage in battle and various sporting events. We were in the red section, hence we cheered for the red knight (who won in the end!).

The storyline ... the drama ... the bad acting ...

This is fake, right? They're not really going to kill him, are they?

Willy was so pooped he actually slept through the entire performance (and it was LOUD). I just told the waitress we had given him too much ale.

Look at that. Such an epic photo of my cool watch.

Our experience at Medieval Times ...


We awkwardly get our picture with one of the knights. I so hate those hats.

The Dahers run a daycare, so Willy was in hog heaven with all his short snotty-nose brethren.

Dahers have this awesome little Christmas town in their kitchen.

Meliss and I went on a little shopping date at the Seaside Village (in San Diego). That hat just didn't do anything for her.

Then we tried out some hammocks! This guy, Bill, was really nice. I don't remember his name so I'm just calling him Bill.

Looks like something from Alice In Wonderland.

Nathan took some sweet night shots with his 1.8 millimeter lens.

San Diego is probably the most beautiful city I've ever seen at night.

Our talented photographer.

We decide to crash a posh hotel.

That mural was HUGE. So beautiful.

The next day it was off to Walter's house for lunch, a fine elderly friend of the Dahers. Walter and I are proud German brothers, enjoying a good Nazi joke here and there. Don't look at me like that.

Walter used to be an interior designer, and his house is virtually all white. He patterned it after a house seen in Gone With The Wind. I've never seen the movie, so I don't know what the nhoj it's supposed to look like.

Walter's brother took that candle from inside one of Hitler's mansions after the war! Creepy!!!

Outside with my Portuguese princess on a gorgeous day.

After lunch we were off to the quaint town of Julian for some shopping and ice-cream!

Hello, Nathan! Fancy I should find you here! Let's hop over to the local diner for a milk shake!

Say, this sure is swell!

Let's put on our 1955 smiles! This is hip!

Meliss and I out for a walk overlooking San Diego suburbia. The weather all week was a perfect 70s and 80s. Not bad for December!

"Repulse the monkey."

Never too old for an arcade! Together we teamed up to beat Final Fight, the early 1990s radest game!

Dahers took us to a nearby block that's known for it's incredible lights. It really was rather insane.

Back home that night Meliss and I engage in friendly conversation with Mrs. Daher. Can't remember exactly what she said that offended me so.

The next morning it was breakfast at the Hash House!

Check out the size of those pancakes!!! I was ALMOST able to finish mine. Meliss didn't even come close.

As if the Dahers hadn't taken us to enough places ... it was off to Disneyland for two days! There is absolutely so much to see at both Disney and California Adventure (the adjoining park).

Dumbo! As I predicted, William was his serious self on all the rides. Think it was a little overwhelming for him.

Thanks for the great pics, Nate!

While Meliss and Willy slept for a couple hours in the hotel, Nate, Jamesy and I hit Tower of Terror! It had been a few years since I last had been on it, so that look of terror is pretty genuine.

Not so much on California Screaming.

That's us next to an "N." You can take a wild guess why.

The lights all throughout the park were just amazing.

Eating dinner with a spectacular view.

The happy gang.

It's a big world out there, William. Beware Vanity Fair. It's all smoke and mirrors. Only eternity will last.

Got one of those cool necklaces for Willy. At least it was supposed to be for Willy.

The night climaxed with an unbelievable light/water show. Fountains shot 50-60 feet in the air while projections of Disney movies played against them. Never had seen anything quite like it!

You look terrible.

It's the next morning and Locksley is refreshed and ready for the day! Nothing like a little Jamba Juice to get ya started.

Yes, the moment had come ... it was time for Peter Pan!

We wait in the hour-long line. Wish people stopped taking their blasted kids.

Great shot, Nate. :-) Willy was expressionless, though he later told me in strict confidence that he thought it was the bomb.

There were literally thousands of strollers around the park. Made you feel so ununique.

It's A Small World! Love this ride, and all redone for Christmas. Totally miffed me, though. They had "Merry Christmas" written in EVERY other language EXCEPT English. Oh, it made me so mad! Look! "Seasons Greetings!" Gee thanks!

A mesmerized William plays with the great water ball of wonderment. Need one of these things in our living room.

Space Mountain. End of comment.

My lady fair braves Pirates of the Caribbean. Good job, hon! :-)

Evening dawns upon our last day at the Magical Kingdom. What a wonderful time it was. Thanks so much again, Nathan!

Whoa! How on earth did we end up in a mission with the Thomas boys? As fate (or the Lord, rather) would have it, the Thomases trip to Cally overlapped our trip and all three families got together on Saturday! We look like Mexican mafia here.

El Cinco Blanco replaces its lead trumpeter.

What is it with Micaiah and classy objects?

Pure classy.

Pa, the ever-faithful historian.

Can't remember the name of this lookout with a large cross at the top, but the view was breath-taking.

The Dahers.

Just when you thought he had done it all.

Oh man! Went to this awesome burger joint for grass fed burgers! That is, they didn't feed grass to the actual burger paddies, but the cows from whom the burgers came from. Glad I could clarify that for you.

The mature adults.

How I love this picture. :-)

The #2 selling album in Tijuana.

So glad to see his Grandma Moneeka again.

That evening it was Voyage of the Dawn Treader!

I think this is pretty much illegal.

Matthew, so enthralled with the film, is the last one to leave the theater. I do not vouch for the accuracy of this comment.

Justin Beiber happened to be standing outside the ticket stand.

We asked for some pictures together, and he obliged. Really a nice guy. Totally think different of him now.

I stayed up till 1. Everyone stayed up later. I hate being an introvert.

Before parting, a family and friend picture the next morning.

That's pretty cute.

A trip to the beach for a lovely walk that evening.

Yep, the film site of Yablo! Except this time it had all this disgusting seaweed everywhere. Sick.

Oh, it's us again.

A spontaneous ad-lib commercial by Brad and William Steele.

The ladies.

Actually got to stay two extra days! Nate took us to Old Town for a Mexican feast. William had all-you-can-eat guacamole till he puked!

This is familiar. I've been here before. I've read this book before ...

Two years ago! Now that's creepy!

And that's it! Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed yourself!