Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Southern California Honeymoon and Caching (Part Three: The Trip Continues)

So here it is, another late installment of our blog about our Honeymoon and Geocaching adventure.  I apologize for the delay again, but life moves forward so quickly and I keep loosing time.  But without delay lets move forward.

So our days in the magical kingdom soon came to an end, and Just Leafy and I began looking forward to the other attractions that were in our schedule.  First up was Knott's Berry Farm.

In Knott's there was only one Virual Cache for us to do, but because it had over 13 stages attached to it I decided ignore it.  So this day was just for rides.
We loaded onto our bus and headed there, which is only a 15min drive away from Anaheim.  While waiting for the park to open, a man walked up to me and asked if my tattoo was a real trackable.  I responded "Yes!" and this made my day!!  This was the first time I was at a place where I was truly discovered by chance.  After a quick conversation He headed back to join his family, and I was left feeling pretty good about myself and my trackable tattoo!

Knott's Berry Farm was something I had been to in my youth as well, but it had been a long time ago.  And what happens when time goes forward?  Things change!  This was no longer the park I remembered.  The moment we walked in all I was greeted with  was tall and insane extreme rides.  The family friendly rides had disappeared (or so I thought).  We got in line for one ride called "The Ghost Rider", and I chickened out before getting on.  But Just Leafy was brave enough, and she did it while I waited.  Well I tell you when I met her at the bottom and she was white as a ghost, I knew that I had made the right choice.  She even said so too, in fact she said "You would have been so upset after that, I am glad you didn't go on it"
We walked a little deeper into the park and found the rides I was looking for, and really enjoyed the whole day.

The following day we went to Universal Studios, and for this one there we just no feasible caches nearby.  But we really enjoyed this day.  Universal has a ton of great rides, and the famous Back Lot tour.  That is what we did first, and Just Leafy loved it.  She got to see some recognizable sets from films and shows that she has watched, and she also got to see some cool special effects.  In fact at one part of the day she got to be in the special effects show that they put on.  We even got to see the guy that does stunt performances from Dexter at the Water World show.  In the end, it was a fun but long day and looked forward to turning in once we got back to the hotel.

We finally had a day of rest after Universal Studios, and that was something we needed.  Our feet were
really starting to feel the strain of long days of walking and standing on pavement, so we took advantage of the break.  Soaking in the hot tub, napping, relaxing in the sun, and finally getting out for a dinner for two at a restaurant called "Fire & Ice" which is located at Garden Walk Shopping Center.  That is an amazing restaurant, and we recommend it to anyone who is staying in the Anaheim area.

The next day we checked out of our hotel, and headed for the train station.  This was how we were going to get to San Diego.  I haven't had a train ride since I was a kid, so this was going to be really cool.  Just Leafy had ridden one more recently than I had, but yet she was excited too.  The ride would only take us 2 hours to get there, and we were really happy to discover that there was free wifi on the train.  This allowed us to connect to Facebook, post some info and pics, and communicate with friends.

We arrived in San Diego and took a taxi to our hotel.  This is when we learned that their taxi system was the worst in the world.  Why we say that is how they will not let you use your credit card. There are several reasons, but not valid enough to force me to use my cash intended for other things.

1) Because they want all the profits (their bosses charge 15% extra if someone uses a Credit Card).

2) If someone pays by Credit Card they won't see that money until they are cut a cheque (which could be a couple of weeks).

3) Because cash is harder for the bosses to track, so they can steal from their bosses and skim of the top.

Anyway we were not too happy about that for sure, and sadly this leg of the trip required quite a bit of taxi involvement.

We arrived at our hotel we checked in, and got ready for our geocache adventure.
Once ready we headed out and walked 15min to our starting point of a paved trail similar to the Galloping Goose trail here in Victoria BC.  This was the the San Diego River Trail, and it is a nice walk. Sadly for us this is when the sky opened up and it literally poured.  It did this for an hour, but we cached on and eventually it stopped.  Soaked to the bone we found many of the caches we were looking for, but had to give up on a few.
We met many of the local homeless along the way, and were shocked to find they not like any of the homeless back home where they constantly ask you for money.  Here in San Diego they all cheerfully said hello to us as we passed by under the overpasses, and the only time we were asked for anything it was for the time!

As our light began to fade the wind picked up and we started to get chilled, but we pressed on until we reached Ocean Beach.  Here we needed the involvement of my dad back at home to capture a image of us on a webcam for a Webcam Cache, so we gave him a call on my US based cellphone.  What is a "Webcam Cache?" you may be asking.  Well it is a rare cache type that does not exist anymore, except for a few grandfathered ones.  The best way to describe a webcam cache is:

"These are caches that use existing web cameras placed by individuals or agencies that monitor various areas like parks or road conditions. The idea is to get yourself in front of the camera to log your visit. The challenging part, however, it that you need to call a friend to look up the web site that displays the camera shot. You will need to have them to save the picture to log the cache."

 But sadly the light had faded so bad that my father could not see us on the screen back home.  But I was desperate.. So on a whim I told Just Leafy to turn on her cellphone flashlight, and my dad exclaimed "Hey I saw that, there you are!".  So I did the same with my phone while I had him on speaker phone, and may dad snapped the screenshot and emailed it to me.
We said our thanks to my dad and hung up, and then made a short visit to the pier and took a (sigh) taxi home.  Needless to say we were frozen to the core by now, and we had to take hot hot showers to get our core temperatures back up.  Soon we headed to bed to rest up for our full day at the San Diego Zoo.

Stay tuned for the last and final chapter, Part Four where the adventure continues!!

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