Saturday, April 21, 2012

California Day #2: DISNEYLAND

6:00 a.m. The alarms went off. Once again I could not believe how quickly the kids jumped out of bed and immediately began getting ready. We wanted to get to the park nice and early so we could go on alot of the rides before it got too busy. 

There really is NEVER a dull moment with my family. LOL... Mitch is going to straight up MURDER me when he finds out I posted this picture, but dang it, he posed for it! lol... Chantel, my little protege' captured this one. I think if this photo had a name it would be "creeper".

We made it to the park at around 7:30, only after going up and down the escalators 3 times for things that we had forgotten in the car. Jackets, Tickets, Water... heavens, you would think after 28 years I would have learned how to use my brain, but alas... it seems to be getting worse, rather than better.

Through the gates we go!!!! WOOHOO!!! We are all smiles and excitement!! Right away a sweet little lady scooped us up in her bus and drove us down main street so we could get right to the rides. We told her we were celebrating birthdays and she took that ball and ran with it! She got on her loud speaker and we all sang happy birthday and she tooted the horn... it was awesome. She dropped us off at the "information" booth and told us to go get "buttons"... and get buttons we did! So fun!

Then we hurried on to the rides. Indiana Jones was the first ride we came to. There was no line whatsoever... SCORE! As we walked down the windy corridor that leads to the ride Drayden's face went from excited... to FEAR!!! He was crying and saying he didn't want to go and we had to physically FORCE him onto the ride. He proceeded to tuck his little head down and squeeze his eyes shut... 

After the trauma of Indiana Jones we decided to go on a relaxing Jungle Cruise. Everyone really like it. The tour guide was pretty silly, but it was all good and fun.

On to the HAUNTED MANSION... *dun dun dun* Yeah, Dray was pretty scared of this one too... once again we had to beg and plead and poke and prod... I couldn't remember this ride very well, so I didn't have much to offer in the way of what to expect. He was uptight through the entire ride, but about the time the ghosts started hitching a ride with us we got a smile out of him. =)

Winnie the Pooh... Yeah we had already begun mocking Dray about being scared... hence Brittany's face... lol... I guess you can tell how much fun Mitch was having... HAHA... After Pooh bear we hopped over to the infamous SPLASH MOUNTAIN... I am sure you understand why I didn't get any pictures on that ride. Drayden was once again protesting... {at this point I was wondering if we should have left HIM with grandma} But he braved up and decided he would go with us.  Drayden said that his "butt cheeks puckered" when we went down the big drop, but it was "pretty cool". Next was Thunder Mountain Railroad... well you can really SEE the screaming people on that one and Drayden flat out REFUSED to go on it. I was done fighting him at that point and told him we could sit it out. The line was long and so Dray and I busied ourselves with feeding the birds and mapping out what we would do next. After about 30 minutes we walked over near the exit of the ride. Drayden and I were discussing how he needed to quit being a big baby and "what did you expect Disneyland to be?" when Brian {a very nice Disneyland worker} overheard us. He could clearly see that I was not getting through to this child and he needed to intervene. Brian proceeded to tell Drayden all about how Thunder Mountain was his very favorite ride and so on and so forth... He even offered to take Drayden and I straight to the front of the very long line... Drayden was still not convinced. Then Brian walked away for a few minutes and came back with 2 fast passes... good for any ride in the park! The only catch... Drayden had to ride Big Thunder Mountain. At this point I am ready to just pick his little butt up an put him on the ride... we still had lots to see and those fast passes would be mighty helpful. Drayden and Brian talked things over for about 5 minutes, and after MUCH convincing he was ready to RIDE!!! Of course as soon as he got off he said that was his new favorite ride... lol... what a silly kid. But I guess I shouldn't complain because his being a big baby got us 2 fast passes... lol

After lunch we decided to slow things down a bit with the carousel... It did not do kind thing to my tummy.

Then on to star tours. This was the longest line we waited in, about 45 min. Which, from what I am told, is really not that bad. It felt like an eternity. Drayden LOVED this one... I am leaving out everyone else. It was Brittany's ACTUAL birthday... I think they all loved wearing their birthday buttons because at least 100 people told them happy birthday. It was really cool. Chantel was an absolute doll all day long, and Brittany is always pleasant. Mitch was VERY VERY tolerant. Disneyland is NOT his idea of a vacation. =)

Next we went on nemo which Mich and I both fell asleep on... lol...

Then we cooled it down with pineapple soft serve... AKA my new most favorite thing ever! The kids LOVED the Tiki room {of course}.

Then we wandered over to TOONTOWN and got a churro... went on inspector gadget's roller coaster... and best of all........

MICKEY MOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3

We played around in the little cartoon houses and had a really good time.

Then we hit AUTOPIA... the kids LOVED driving the cars!

Then we went over and watched Mickey's music parade...
HERE is a video of the kids... and HERE is a video of a few minutes of the parade.

By this time it was almost 9:00... We were FAMISHED, so we walked the 3 miles... {it felt like} to Goofy's Kitchen. It was so much fun for the kids! They had PB & J pizza, yummy icecream, and so much fun food! Plus they got to see alot of the characters they missed in Disneyland. 

The kids got even more buttons at Goofy's Kitchen... I think they ended up with at least 5 each. 

All in all it was worth doing. But I have to break some hearts here and say that Disneyland was NOT even close to my favorite part of the trip. I suppose there are ways to make it more fun, and we did cram everything in, but I still don't think I could do it every year... maybe every 10... Who knows, maybe it was just a once in a lifetime thing. Maybe Disneyland is like child birth, you forget all the bad parts and that is what makes you crazy enough to do it again? 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

California Day 1... The Drive

Well... I suppose there is no better place to begin than, well, the beginning. The alarms went off promptly at 7am. I have never before seen the children LEAP from their beds. {seriously, it trumped Christmas morning} They were dressed and standing ready long before mom and dad had even finished packing. With one last glance to make sure we hadn't forgotten anything {oh ya know like moms toothbrush, dad's shoes, Drayden's underwear... I forget, but we forgot much more.} We were off. We didn't even make it out of St. George before the "I'm Hungry" bug bit. So we stopped for the first of MANY fast food meals.

I was Dreading the drive. We all get car sick and I made every last person gag down a Dramamine. Thankfully we dodged the barfing bullet. I was also dreading it because our family doesn't generally travel well. We can't even make it to Costco without several hollow threats against their lives. "If you hit your sister one more time I am gonna tie you to the bumper." So 7 hours in our rented Nissan was daunting.

We got just outside of Primm when the fighting really started. {which was pretty good if you ask me.} We had to do something to distract them. To take their minds off the fact that their little butts were getting permanently stuck into the seat with every passing mile. *Side note: The first 4.5 hours of the drive to California are desolate... I would recommend taking a laptop for movie watching in the future. Anyway, So we decided to give them their birthday / spending money to get them excited.

IT WORKED!!!! for about 4 minutes... lol...

We hung in until Barstow where we stopped at the Train Car McDonalds. It was super fun for the kids. I didn't enjoy it much because I would rather eat gum off the bottom of high school desks than McDonalds, but I humored them.

Brittany and I ventured off into the other train car areas... I just love hangin' with my Britt. We are alike in so many ways. She makes me laugh.

And well... Laughter makes the best memories.

Then I spotted the JELLY BELLY stand!!! I freaking LOVE LOVE LOVE Jelly Bellies. I got 1/2 pound of cantaloupe and juicy pear... *aaahhh pause for the bliss

This is the "ok, now lets stand in front of the train car and get a picture." moment. I swear if I gauged my photography skills on my own family I would be a hopeless failure. They are all jaded and don't listen to me anymore. So here is our "BARSTOW, CA" picture. lol... after this I gave up and put the camera away, but we made it to our hotel safely and it was actually really nice. I would definitely stay there again. We got to go relax in the hot tub, where my husband actually said out loud, "I should have brought my test kit, so I could make sure the PH isn't off." lol... The man can't take a day off, I swear.