Saturday, August 13, 2011

Summer Vacation 2011: Car Day

Friday was Car Day.  We started off the morning visiting the auto mechanic shop that is literally across the street from Joe and Jenny's house.  The mechanics there love Cate and they revved up an engine for us and chatted.  My boys loved looking around in the shop.  Like Doc's shop from Cars! 

We drove into L.A. to go to the Petersen Automotive Museum.  Can I just say my boys (all four of them) were in heaven?!  So many cars, so little time to drool...

We arrived later than we originally planned, at about 11:00am.  L.A. traffic is no joke!  There were so many cars and exhibits to explore.  The boys were completely mesmorized and I was a bit surprised at how well behaved they were with all the looking and no touching.  It helped that there was an escalator and an elevator and few people inside so they had a wider area to explore under our supervision.

There is a classic car area at the beginning of the museum that takes you through a history of the automobile, with lots of vintage automobiles and a Southern California streetscape.

We saw lots of super cars.

I would like one of these please!

This photo is for Clayton, the Lamborghini Countach.

Mike would like this one under the tree from Santa...

We even saw one of Elvis's cars that he shot in frustration.  The bullet holes are still there.

There is a whole Hollywood exhibit with famous cars from films.

A car from The Great Race.  Classic car movie.

Of course, one of the Batmobiles.

We even saw the Speed Racer, but somehow forgot to snap a picture of it.   

There were lots of motocycles and scooters.

Then there was the Hot Wheels exhibit. 

All time seemed to stand still for a bit while the adult boys reminisced about past cars and childhood adventures, and the little boys dreamed of playing with all of the cars. 

They had every model ever made from the beginning of Hot Wheels on display (not every paint job, but every model).  They had some molds that were used to cast the cars and videos showing the process. 

The boys were mesmorized by the giant tire track in the entrance that lit up and had hundreds of cars adhered to the tracks. 

After peeling the boys away from the Hot Wheels, we headed back downstairs to Johnny Rockets.  It was perfect to have a diner inside the museum.  With the weather so beautiful, we ate outside.  This is a great choice for families.  The prices were reasonable, and what kid doesn't love diner fare?  Hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, fries and shakes all around!

Hmm... What to get...


Peanut butter fudge shake heaven!

Mr. Three is plain worn out with all this eating and looking at cars.

With everyone happy and fed again, we ventured to the third floor of the museum with the kids' exhibits. 

There was a police motorcycle to sit on (we all had to have a turn), hot wheel and pinewood derby tracks, and other interactive opportunities.

Mr. One and Mr. Two loved putting on a helmet and riding in a real race car.  Mr. One sat in this a long time, dreaming of racing on a track. 

Mr. Three liked the mini fire engine, but wouldn't stay sitting for a photo once he discovered the bell in the front. 

There were markers to color on the walls, toy cars to play with, and car books to read.  This was the perfect last stop for our car day.

Reluctantly, we gathered the worn out, but happy children and got a quick souvenir (a flat penny with the museum name and a car or motorcycle imprinted) and a promise to let them choose a Hot Wheel at the nearby Target. 

They slumbered, dreaming of roads and speed as we navigated the thick L.A. rush hour traffic to get back.

That evening, after our Target stop, all of Mike's family that are in California came over to celebrate Cate's 2nd birthday with a pizza dinner at the park, singing and presents, with cupcakes afterwards.  Joe and Jenny even found Cars cupcakes, so my boys were beyond happy.  It was fun to have everyone together and to visit some more.

The next morning, we packed up and headed for hot Arizona again, thankful for a fun vacation with family and the memories we were able to create together.  We are so blessed to have family that graciously welcomes us to stay and for the good times we always have.

1 comment:

  1. I must admit, I was a little worried about Cate (ok, and myself) being bored at the car museum. Cate loved all the space to explore and she and your boys were all really well behaved! I thought we'd be pulling them away from touching the exhibits all the time. I enjoyed myself too. There was a lot of interesting history and just some plain really cool cars. It was fun seeing the kids enjoy themselves so much too. I've recommended the museum to several friends already. :)