2005 Date Festival & Disneyland

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Date: Feb. 17 -24, 2005

Destination:  Coalinga/Date Festival/Disneyland

Miles Traveled: 680

Occupants: Rebel, Kickapoo, Suzann & David

The Limo was off again, this time to Indio's Date Festival Llama show. A nice easy trip. No problems, right? Yeah right.

This time Kickapoo would join us on the ride down too. We started out late Thursday morning. The intent was to make it to Indio around 3 AM Friday morning. This would time to sleep before the 12 noon check-in on Friday. The weather forecast called for rain through the entire trip. Again, no problem - it doesn't rain that much in Southern California.

The trip started off as planned. Rebel waited at the gate, knowing that he was going to go bye-bye. Kickapoo did not have a clue. We finished packing the Limo, brushed out our damp llamas and were off. Remember, we start the trip from the Northern California foothills, above Marysville. Dave drove to Santa Nella where we let the 'boy' out to go to the bathroom and socialize. Rebel is use to this stop. He has been there several times. It is a requirement to stop at Anderson's Split Pea Soup.

The weather was okay at Santa Nella. There was no rain. Everything was going as scheduled. We allow 30-45 minutes at every stop to allow for people to pet the llamas and ask questions.

I took over the driving. Dave took a nap. The 'boys' laid down in back of the Limo and started chewing their cud. As we progressed south the rain became more intense. We passed the stockyards and the Harris Ranch. Hmm, the radio started cutting in and out. Dave woke up in time to watch the windshield wipers go from warp speed to a snails pace. Headlights were now gone.

It's not easy being Rebel

Good, as sign for a Rest Stop ahead. Nope, too easy. The engine died. An embankment on the shoulder, uphill to the rest stop. Nope, we didn't make it. The Limo died on the side of Hwy 5 with under two feet separating us from the semi trucks. The call was made to AAA.


The sun went down and I watched the lights from the Semi's in the side view mirror before the trucks shook the Limo as they passed. I stopped holding my breath when I saw that lovely yellow tow truck pull in front of us. And still the "boys" chewed their cud. The tow driver hooked us up and towed us back to the auto store in Coalinga just as they were closing down for the night. We bought an alternator and the tow driver towed us over to his friends house. I wasn't even out of the Limo yet, when a man came up to us and said that his wife had dinner almost ready for us. He then worked on the Limo until 11 PM - checking to engine and going out to look for the correct sized alternator. He invited us to stay the night and said that he would work on it in the morning. We slept in the Limo with the llamas. Boy did it rain that night.


The next day Pedro left for work with our dead alternator. We had no idea how long it would take to fix it. He said it may be up to two days get a new one or to rebuild it. We called the Indio Fairgrounds to tell them we may not make it down there, They said it was okay to be late, just keep them informed. The rain stopped in the morning, so we took the llamas out on the town. We walked by people and got smiles. We walked by Starbucks and received coffee for pictures. A class walked down to see the llamas in a store parking lot. The principal then came down to ask us to come to the school for an assembly.

After the Limo was fixed, we were the focus of a school assembly

We walked back to the Limo and found that it was fixed and ready to go The hospitality of the people in Coalinga was heartwarming. It reaffirmed our belief in the goodness in people. We stopped at the school for an assembly and were back on the road.

Heavy rains, vehicle accidents, rollovers, rock slides and lots of traffic. We pulled in at the Date Festival after 9 P.M.

The Festival was great, very relaxing. The rain stopped for most of the llama show. As usual, Rebel placed in the middle of his halter class. Kickapoo found a new home with a member of the Temecula Police Dept. and may be used in the youth D.A.R.E. program.

Kickapoo resting by Limo

Rebel in Performance Class


After the show, Emilio & Patti Russi offered their home to Rebel while Dave & I visited Tijuana. We spent the day after the show being tourists in Tijuana. The following day we picked up Rebel & it was off to Disneyland for the day.

We pulled into a parking lot at Disneyland and was greeted by surprised faces and smiles. We were told that the last person to bring an 'exotic animal' to Disneyland was a Prince that brought his elephant. The parking lot attendant called a Manager after all of the attendants checked out the Limo. The Manager drove down and gave us a whole section of the parking lot. He offered the center patio of the kennels for our use. We decided that Rebel would stay drier in the Limo. Most of our entrance fees were 'comped'. They asked if we needed a place to spend the night but we were going to head back on the road after closing. If we let them know before we come down next, they will set up a space for Rebel at their ranch facility.

It rained the entire time we were there. In fact, Southern California had not seen that much rain in nearly one hundred years. We would come back every few hours so Rebel could have a bathroom break. Each time we walked Rebel, a different Disney employee would drive up for photos.

Rebel with Lot Attendant

Disneyland gave us a whole section of lot near security camera

A security officer at one of Rebel's breaks

A walk before we started home


We spent the night at a rest stop and went home the next day. When we got home an email was waiting for us,


I am the security Disneyland Cast Member you took some pictures with last night. ...

You folks made my night last night. Thanks!



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08/07/22 01:43 PM -0700