Spring Break 2012, Day One

Despite my better judgment, we are going on another Spring Break cruise, and just to prove that I’m a glutton (excuse the pun) for punishment, it’s a seven day cruise instead of a four day cruise!

Friday, April 6th

We left the house around 10:00 a.m. to drive down to southern California, but before that, we had to make a pit stop (or several as you will read about later).  First, Daniel had to take his blood test, always a good idea prior to a week-long eat fest!  Almost an hour later, we were on our way, but wait!  It’s almost lunch time and we were in San Jose, so of course we had to get Vietnamese food!  We stopped off a Lee’s Sandwiches, a franchise of Vietnamese sandwich shops.  Who would have thunk!  It’s a family owned business, and their food stores are famous for crunchy French rolls generally filled with grilled meats and marinated vegetables.  Their stores also sell drinks, ice cream, and a variety of Vietnamese food but run in a fast food fashion. 

Before we arrived at Lee’s, I saw a nail shop that had a grand opening, which meant sale!  $8 for a manicure! 

After we ate our sandwiches, Caitlin and I went to get our nails done, so the entire break was about 105 minutes, longer than we actually drove at this point!  Two hours later, we arrived in Coalinga for another break (yes, it takes us HOURS to get down there!) at McDonalds for fries, McFlurry, and a chocolate sundae.  Daniel’s fries were lukewarm, so he requested new fries and 30 minutes we were on the road again! 

Finally at 8:00 p.m., we arrived in Anaheim for dinner at Luigi’s D’Italia, a family-owned restaurant that was featured in Kitchen Nightmares, a show where Gordon Ramsey goes to a failing restaurant, gives it a menu, mental, and restaurant makeover with hopes that business will flourish.  We ordered the large calamari appetier that came with spicy marinara sauce, although our server brough out a non-spicy version as well.  For our entrees, we ordered spaghetti and meatballs, and linguini with clams in  a creamy sauce.  The linguini was accompanied by a large quantity of clams, but there were definitely less noodles than the spaghetti dish.  The spaghetti came with two large meatballs that were quite hard; perhaps more breading would help.  The sauce was not very tart, so that was a good thing, but we couldn’t finish, so we took about 1/4 the spaghetti order with us.  Our meal came with focaccia bread and a spicy dipping oil.  Before we left, we took a photo with Luigi and Joey while Grace (the wife) was showing other guests to a table. 


The drive to the hotel took around 45 minutes, and we checked in around 10:00 at the Comfort Inn and Suites, Long Beach.  It is next door to a Church’s Fried Chicken which got Daniel’s attention and across the street from a CVS pharmacy.  We got a room with a king bed with a sofa pull out.  I was told that they had a fitness center with new equipment, but we didn’t get a chance to see it because it closes at 9:00 p.m.  We never get back to the hotel by 9:00 p.m… ever!  They also have free internet.  After we made Caitlin’s sofa bed, we figured out that we needed more pillows and blankets, and we had to get it ourselves from the front desk.  The central ice maker was in the courtyard, and the hotel property was kind of gated, although anyone could drive into the parking lot, but your card key gets you into the buildings where the rooms are.  There are rooms with indoor and outdoor corridors.  The rest of the review can be found here:  http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g32648-d601365-r127960281-Comfort_Inn_Suites_Long_Beach-Long_Beach_California.html#CHECK_RATES_CONT  In short, the king bed was comfortable, and we slept fitfully, although Caitlin could feel the springs in her bed.