Monday, August 11

Family Vacation (warning: long post)

We decided it was time to go on our own mini-family-vacation. We wanted to spend our stimulus package (what's left) in the (semi) local economy. And what better place to go, than Disneyland, the Happiest Place on Earth. We were gone from Thursday (8/7) to Saturday (8/9).
Thursday morning started off with a bang. The safe in our file cabinet got closed by accident. The combination worked but the spring to open the latch didn't. Unfortunately we needed some stuff out of there, so Danior got to use his power tools and brute strength to open the safe. The door is completely mangled, but at least it is open. I think the lock was just too old. Then we got a call from a tenant with a water leak, so we had to take care of that. Then the new RS Pres came by to pick up stuff she needed. We finally left home around 12pm and Del Taco for lunch (a good start to any vacation). By the time we were on the road it was 12:30pm.
The hotel check-in time was 3pm, but we got there at around 2pm and were hoping to check in early.

We stayed at the Best Western Stovall's Inn. It was actually within walking distance to Downtown Disney, but with me being pregnant and not wanting to overdo it by walking all day and to and from the park, we drove and parked in the structure instead.

After checking in, changing a dirty diaper, and packing water and snacks (for me mostly, some for the kid), we headed for D-land. We got into the park about 3:15pm, only 15 minutes until the "Parade of Dreams", and we just happened to score a super great seat on the curb... in the shade... yipee!!!

Rebekah loved the parade. She danced to the music, clapped her hands for the dancers, and waved at all the characters. Gina (Danior's mom) and Devon (Danior's sister) met up with us at the beginning of the parade and watched with us. Devon took some pictures including this one of Rebekah.

We went over to California Adventure and Danior and Devon went on some rides while Gina, Rebekah, and I went to the Bugs Land. Rebekah saw a row of chairs and decided that she had to try out each one, kind of like Goldilock's. I tried photoshopping one of them. I guess it kind of turned out okay, but you get the idea.

Danior and Devon went on the Grizzly River Run ride (the rapids one) and I tried to get a picture of them as they came down the big drop. Danior saw me taking a pic and cheered. Devon is sitting to Danior's left. She's hard to see though, probably ducking from the water. Later that evening we met up with Dalen (Danior's brother), Lisa (his wife), and Monroe (their daughter) and ate dinner at the wharf restaurant in Calif. Advent.. It was fun to see them again. That night we watched the Electric Light Parade and then headed back to the hotel.

Friday we went back to D-land. We were hoping to make it before the park opened at 8am so that we could hear the announcement that it was open, and make it to the Finding Nemo ride before the line got too long ... but... that didn't really happen. We didn't get there until after 9AM. Danior, RL and I rode the carousel. I chose one of the benches that doesn't go up and down, and Danior and RL rode one of the horses.

Then we went on the Casey Junior Train. I don't think I have been on that in at least 10 years, and Danior wasn't sure he had EVER been on it. We rode in the monkey cage... fitting huh? RL loved the train, and waved at everyone.

California Adventure opened at 10am and we headed that way to try and get on the new Toy Story Midway Mania ride before that line got too long. When we got there the line was already an hour long, but we braved it anyway because we REALLY wanted to ride it. RL was really good in line. She made friends with the people around us, and we snacked on dried apples, and lucky charms (mostly the marshmallows though... who really eats the cereal anyways). It was super hot, but there were huge umbrella's set up to keep the line mostly in the shade.

Here RL is modeling the 3-D glasses that you get to wear for the ride. She wouldn't exactly wear them, but she liked to play with them.

After that we ate lunch and went back to the hotel for a much needed afternoon nap. RL and Danior slept for about 3 hours. I was able to sleep for about 2, but watched tv the rest of naptime until they woke up. We went to Coco's for dinner (and had breakfast) then went back to D-land and met up with the rest of the family. We walked around a lot and Danior, RL, and I ended up riding the train around the park twice to get RL to calm down from all the excitement so that she would go to sleep that night. She slept like a log.

Saturday we tried to get to the park early again, but after check-out and breakfast, we didn't get there until almost 10am. But that's okay. We went to see Pooh and Friends so that RL could see her favorite Disney Characters. We waited in line for about a half an hour and were the next ones in line when they had to go for a "honey break". We waited since we were next and the kid played on the props. RL gave Pooh and Eyeore hugs, but was scared by Tigger (she likes him a lot from a distance, just not so much up close)... I think he was just too bouncy.

We stopped at the petting zoo on our way to Toon Town. RL had never seen real goats or sheep this close, so it was fun to take her in there and let her pet them. She was so excited. She just kept pointing at all of them.

We stopped at the Princess Fantasy Faire for some lunch and ice cream and found the best location to stop for lunch. Why was it the best? 1. It was in the shade, and 2. It was right where the cast member door was. So we saw all the Princesses (Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White) walk by and wave on their way to their "coronation breaks".
Then we went on to Toon Town and visited Minnie's house. It was fun to let RL play on all the "mini" (get it?) furniture. Although it was crowded she got to play on a lot of it and had a blast.
Here she is at Minnie's kitchen table.
Then we walked next door to Mickey's house. The line didn't look very long to get a picture with Mickey, so we decided to wait in the line and see Mickey (who RL lovingly refers to as "Mi Mo"). Again, RL got to play on all the furniture. It was tough trying to keep her with us in line because the line moved so slowly.
All in all it was a lot of fun. Here is our pic with Mickey to prove that we survived the hour long wait in line just to see "Mi Mo".
Overall, RL's favorite ride hands down was the Tram to and from the parking structure.

She could do all her favorite things on the tram:
1. Wave at all "her people"
2. Smile at everyone who was looking and waving at her
3. Try and go through the souvenir bag of the little kid sitting next to her
4. Sit on a bench like a big kid
5. Let the wind blow through her monstrous 'fro

We had a fabulous family vacation. Hopefully we can make this a yearly tradition to go to D-land for a couple days. The fiscally responsible side of us thinks these stimulus checks are bad for the nations overall economic health and the people shouldn't rely on them, but we had no problem cashing ours and spending it. And hey, we're (the nation) so far in debt already, what's another few billion for future generations to pay back later, especially if it means more family vacations now.
It was nice to not be so fast-paced. We were able to spread out all the things we wanted to do so we didn't get too tired or feel too overwhelmed. We may not make it back before the new baby is born, so it was nice to spend so much time there.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a great time. Disneyland takes on a whole new meaning when you get to share it with your child doesn't it? You probably had to miss all of the fun rides because of being pregnant. Next time!

Leanne said...

Wow, that was a fun trip. Makes me want to go to Disneyland now. loved the pics!

Bren said...

She is so darn cute. I want to go to Dland with her....

Suzanne Shisley said...

What a great vacation! The pictures and commentary are wonderful. I agree with Brenda, we all need to go to Dland with Mom Dad and RL

Karen S said...

You guys are so lucky to be able to go to Disneyland so often. Our girls, or rather- Morgan, is dying to go again. How fun.