12 Things To Do In Astoria

Astoria, Oregon

Astoria, Oregon

We drove down from Long Beach, Washington and arrived in Astoria on a Sunday and their Farmers Market was going on. We wandered through and decided to just stop and grab a bite to eat while we waited for our room to open up. We started with lunch at Clemente’s, which was fabulous. [Read more…]

Hood River Hotel

 

Breakfast from the Hood River Hotel

Breakfast from the Hood River Hotel

If you have followed along at all you know that we love to get away to Hood River for a relaxing night away with great food and good coffee shops. It’s such a romantic place to go, but it’s also very much an outdoorsy place to go.

This time we stayed at the Hood River Hotel right in downtown Hood River. It’s the best location since [Read more…]

For the Love of Seattle

View from the Space Needle

I love this city. It’s such a great place to vacation. They have so much to offer including lots and lots of great places to eat. And let me be honest, we pretty much ate our way through Seattle. Most places we went to were crowded and I am a shy girl and hate to pull out my camera to take pictures, but I will let you know what we ate and what we thought anyways. We had already done the Seattle Underground a few years back. We have also did the the Space Needle at that time too. Read on to find out how to get around Seattle without a car. It’s so easy. [Read more…]

Hilton Garden Six Flags Tips and Review

We loved this place and would go back in a heart beat, but you need to be prepared to make it work for you since it is a busy hotel.

First off I went directly to the site and looked for a room with breakfast included for the 4 of us.  With taxes and anything else added it came to $313 for 2 nights.  I did so much better than that.  Check out the whole thing HERE. I did call and have her offer me something a little better, but I did best with package deal.

Since this Hotel is near the park(actually it’s the closest) I figured it would be run down and marginal.  I was so surprised to see that it was not only very nice looking, but it was very clean.  It makes going back to your hotel to rest a whole lot more fun.

Our breakfast was a cook to order, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect there.  BIG TIP:  When we were there the place was busy, but not off the charts busy since we always hit amusement parks in the off season. I am sure during the busy season this place is a zoo and you really, really need to plan accordingly.

This is a sit down breakfast.  There is a pastry/cereal/toast bar plus a fruit bar.  From there you wait for someone to come take your order for hot food which is eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, pancakes and waffles to name a few.  The kitchen cranks it out as fast as they can, but they do get behind. The servers are running like crazy.  DO NOT think you will eat in 15 minutes or less plan accordingly.  It will take some time especially if you have to wait for a table.

I really, really appreciated the shuttle service. I am sure that since they were not super busy that they accommodated us well.  You have to schedule what time you want to be taken to the park and what time you want picked up.  Spots fill up quickly, so book at departures to the park as soon as you arrive.

We had scheduled a pick up, but some other people waiting had not.  Had we not scheduled it, those people would have never gotten picked up, because a shuttle would not have known to come get them.  The nice thing is since the Hotel is so close they can turn around and come back for the next group within 5 minutes.

I am not sure in the busy season how many trips they become willing to take.  They claim one trip every 1/2 hour, but they were doing more.  At $15 a day for parking at the amusement park, this was a great benefit to our hotel.  No other hotels in the area do this.  Not only do you save the $15, but you don’t have to walk all the way from the parking lot or back to your car at the end of the day. Drop off and Pick up are right there by the entrance.

Read  my previous posts to find out what all we did at the park and other ways to “discover” Magic Mountain.

The Romantic Side of Hood River

columbia-gorge-hotel-view

Hood River is the Windsurfing Capital of the World, but it’s also very romantic.  If you want to get away there a few things that must not be missed.  To start you MUST stay at the Villas of Columbia Hotel Gorge.  HERE is how we got great pricing and upgrades.  The view was amazing, relaxing and beyond romantic.

The grounds at the Columbia Gorge Hotel are beyond romantic, as they are the settings to many weddings.  From the pictures you can see why.  What I never knew is hidden on the hillside is this beautiful [Read more…]

Tips for El Cid and Mazatlan

mazatlan, mexico

There were a few things that I had somehow missed when I was reading up on our vacation.  First off I guess we were not allowed to wear shorts into some of the dining rooms.  We went to the Italian place and it said on a sign out front no shorts or flip flops allowed.  Well we were not prepared for anything else, we had brought nothing but shorts for the guys and my daughter and I had capris.  So we entered with our shorts and flip flops, although we looked nice.  There were people that were not dressed nice at all and no one was turned away.  [Read more…]

Review of Mazatlan Mexico

Church in Old Town

Church in Old Town

Ok, we are not fans of Mazatlan.  Its a very loud busy city with lots and lots of traffic.  We chose this place because my daughter found a killer deal and we decided to make the best of it. There is a pretty drive you can take along the coast line through the city. We were able to enjoy that when we went from the Golden District to Old Town Mazatlan.  Old Town was a really fun day.  There are some amazing buildings there and if you walk a ways there is a huge market in which you can buy and trinket, clothing and food you would like.  A few too many pig heads for me, but it was fun and interesting none the less.

The Golden District is a bunch of shops that sell the same stuff over and over again.  Our resort was just on the edge of the Golden District.  We went shopping through there one day and did have an enjoyable time.

The one nice thing about our resort is that even though there is a lot going on in Mazatlan it is really quite where we were.  It’s like we were on our own private island.  That really helped make it an enjoyable time.  But all that to say I don’t know that we will be running back there.  If we found another killer deal like we found this time, then maybe, but I would like to try something new.  I really want to go to Zihuatanejo, Mexico.  This town is the complete opposite of Mazatlan.  Its a quiet, quaint fishing village.  So you will need to watch for that review.

Review of El Cid Mazatlan Mexico

View from our room

View from our room

We were greeted at the El Cid with drinks, which was nice and the kids could not believe it.  From that moment on they decided they wanted to stay forever.

Our room was fine.  There are pictures on the web that make it look much more luxurious that it really was.  But it was fine for us.  We chose the most inexpensive room you could purchase and we were very pleased.  We had a view out of our room that was spectacular. [Read more…]

Breakers Express

Well if you read an earlier post you can see that we were pretty grossed out by our room in Hotel Breakers. When we made the reservation we booked it through Saturday, but they told us we could move to another hotel if we wanted Friday night for no additional fee. Not only was it free, but it was so easy. I did the whole thing from my bed.

When you stay on the property inside the park you get a pass to be back there. It has the date that you are leaving printed on the pass. Ours was dated for Saturday, but we ended up leaving on Friday. It’s a much better place to enter at the back of the park, it’s just that the general public can’t park there. But since we had our pass we showed Saturday morning, flashed our pass and parked at the back gate.

Now Breakers Express is so much cheaper. It was $129 after taxes a night on the weekend (in late August). It is newer and cleaner and nicer. It feels like a Holiday Inn Express, nothing fancy, just nice.

It was nice to be there not only to save money, but it just felt better.

Paramounts Great America, Sunday, April 13th

We started the day again with our GREAT breakfast at The Plaza Suites. The weather was so nice we decided to eat outside.

We actually found yesterday that with the Premium parking you can park really close to the front gate. There are a few parking spots then TONS of handicapped, but just beyond the handicapped there are a lot more regular parking spots. We ended up parking 50 yards from the front gate. Wish we would have seen that sooner.

Today was busier, but still we had the park to ourselves. We ran to the back of the park again. The park opened at 10am and by 10:30 we had done 7 rides.

We snacked, and filled our water bottle multiple times and left the park at 2:00 Caprese Piadine from Tomatinato go eat. The kids wanted In-N-Out Burgers but we wanted to go to Tomatina. I have not tried any pasta, but we have had their Piadines(warm-from-the-oven flatbread topped with cool salads – fold and eat like a sandwich) and Pizza and my mom did have a salad the week before. Today I ordered the Caprese Piadine. It was amazing. Great flavor and very filling. Ryan had had the pizza earlier in a visit and had really liked it, but thought he would try a Piadine as well. He ordered the Chicken Piadine. It was good, but not nearly as flavorful as mine was. The lady next to us ordered the steak Piadine and it was huge and filled with a lot of steak. She couldn’t finish hers.

We didn’t have a motel to go to so we took our time eating and just had some down time, then we went back to the park for one final hoorah…oh and funnel cake. 🙂

By the end of the trip we had riden nearly 75 rides. All because there were no lines.

We got to the airport early in hopes of being bumped, but it was just full not over booked. So we got home at 7:30, had some down time before everyone was off to bed.

It was another great rollercoaster weekend.

I am going to have my kids give a review of the park from their perspective. Those should be up soon.