Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Happiest Place on Earth, Part 1

Ever since we moved from SoCal, I have wanted to go back. Steve even had a job interview in LA when the babies were 2 months old (obviously, it didn’t work out), and I was really hoping we would move back.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being in Utah: Close to family, affordable housing, no traffic, among other good things.  But I miss the beach, the weather, the people, the character, and especially Disneyland. 

William opted to do a flu shot study in which they would pay him enough for us to go to Disneyland.  Steve opted to stay home with the babies (even though he would be in Rancho for work the next week) so it was just me and Silly Billy.  It was a blast!

We flew out Saturday morning, and met my friend Kyle (from Progressive) for lunch at the Counter. It’s my favorite burger place in SoCal and I’m bummed there isn’t one here. William refused to speak to Kyle, so that was a bummer, but I did get a sweet Progressive tote as a parting gift.

After lunch, we drove down to Santa Monica Beach to spend the afternoon in the sun and sand.

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Our William is a total beach bum.  I even got him to jump in the waves. He could spend all day in the sand and water.  Guess we need to come back this summer.  Or build a sandbox.  One of the two.2014-02-22 Beach Day 010

2014-02-22 Beach Day 017 2014-02-22 Beach Day 018 After the beach, we went to Westwood for Diddy Riese and to drive by UCLA.  William was tired and not feeling well, so we just shared an ice cream sandwich and hit up the grocery store for supplies…like Disneyland tickets.

We stayed with Steven’s Uncle Dave in Reseda that night. William was a huge fan of Dave and Mary Lou.  I think the toys helped, lol.

The next morning was our tour of SoCal.  We drove from Reseda out to church in Rancho Cucamonga to see some old friends. I don’t think a lot of people knew I was coming even though I announced it on FB, because I got a ton of shocked (but pleasantly surprised) faces and so many hugs. I’ve never been so warmly received in my life.  Makes me want to move back.

After church, we visited my 89-year-old Grandpa in West Covina. William is into rockets and space right now and was really excited to meet a real rocket scientist. It didn’t hurt that he gave us some lemons and limes to bring home. My grandpa has Celiac disease and between that and his age, can’t travel much, so this was the first time we had seen him since the move.

2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 002 Next stop was Irvine with the Bouslogs. William and Macey picked up right where they left off. They had a great time together.

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He even drew her a picture. He said it was Daddy and Caleb and Lily and William and Mommy with a baby in her tummy. 2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 006Not an announcement, though I did get a little baby hungry at church after a day without mine.  I had to borrow babies from friends. :)

The other side was a dog and William and Macey, I think.2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 007 

After dinner, we were off to the Bode’s place in Grand Terrace.  It was 3 hours of driving that day.  Ick.

William LOVED Gwen and Audrey. They weren’t entirely sure how to combine bad guys and princesses, but they still had a lot of fun and we were sad to leave.

2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 008 2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 010 And I would have been sad to miss out on seeing Rebecca (and little Nolan!). After someone cooks you dinner and drives 20 miles to clean your house multiple times, it really cements a friendship, I think.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Happiest Place on Earth, Part 2

Magic Kingdom

Disneyland is my favorite place ever.  After getting used to going once a week with my oldest son, it’s been hard to wait 2 years for a trip.  It was a great experience for some special time alone with my big boy.

We made a beeline for Tomorrowland to hit up some popular rides and avoid some long waits.  We were lucky and only waited 5-15 minutes.

Star Tours

We started off with Star Tours for 2 reasons.

1: William LOVES Star Wars.

2. He has a tendency to be fearful of new experiences and I wanted to get in at least one big ride.

And after Space Mountain next, we were done. I asked if he wanted to do it again…the answer was a definite no.

Luckily, Liam was still fascinated with storm troopers after his trauma, and we took the opportunity for some photo ops.

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After the Astro Orbiters, we hit up Buzz Lightyear. 

Silly Billy beat me by a mile.  :)2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 052 Then we explored Fantasyland.  Liam wasn’t a fan of the dark rides, but he did love Peter Pan (especially since we ate lunch in line), the carousel, and the teacups.2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 016 2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 018Carousel

Next was Hat Time.  William LOVES hats, so I told him he could pick one toy and one hat.  He chose the darling Woody Hat you see here. He got a lot of compliments and didn’t take it off all day.

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Our next stop was Toon Town.  It was tons of fun. Liam could not contain his joy as he ran around and explored.2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 036 2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 037


This fountain was his favorite part.  It made silly noises and phrases.  I had to pry William away.Fountain Fun

Liam was brave enough for another roller coaster.  It was fun, but Liam declined a second ride.

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We attempted a chance to get out of the heat and went to see Mickey.  Liam was having a lot of fun in the house, but didn’t want to wait to see the Mouse.2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 043

I wish we could have spent hours here, since it was by far the biggest hit, but we had a schedule to keep.  I wanted to take him to the Jedi Training Acadamy show, but William was starting to get grumpy and didn’t want to stay.  So we took a ride on Autotopia instead.

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After Autotopia, we hit up the Tiki Room for a Dole Whip and the show.  I had never tried one (criminal, I know!), and it was a big hit for both of us.  Liam has always particularly been a fan of pineapple juice.

This is going to become a wonderful tradition.

We then went to Adventureland for the Jungle Cruise, since it has always been one of my favorites.

After a break running around in Tarzan’s Treehouse, we went on Boat Ride #2.  That was my big mistake. It was starting to get late but I wanted to hit up a few more rides so we went to the Casey Jr. Train.  Liam was super grumpy. I thought he was just tired and hungry but after the train ride, Liam lost his lunch…all over Fantasyland.  Luckily, the cast members were awesome about the whole thing and I had brought an extra shirt William in case he got cold. But the day was then over.  I grabbed dinner on Main Street, but by the time I went to sit down and eat, Liam was looking like this:

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So I let him sleep while I ate and watched the parade, only waking him up to pick out a souvenir. I wasn’t sure if he had gotten motion sickness or if this was the start of a stomach bug, so we picked out a Buzz Lightyear gun (over a lightsaber! I was shocked!!!) in case our trip was over, and headed to the Titeras to get to bed. 

I carried him in from the car mostly asleep, laid him in bed and caught up with Mike and Bri until late into the night. When I went up to bed, I found Liam like this:

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So I covered him in a blanket and snuggled up next to my sweetie for a good night’s sleep.2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 049 

Liam seemed to be feeling better in the morning, eating several pancakes and a whole lot of strawberries, so we decided to head back to the magical California Adventure.

We got there early enough to be one of the first in line to get into the park, and by the time we entered, my little boy was looking an awful lot like last night:2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 053

It was 9 in the morning and my son (who hadn’t napped in 3 months) was asleep in the stroller.

I had to wake him to get in line for the Lightning McQueen ride, but he was happy as long as I held him (which I did for almost the entire 30-minute wait). 2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 056

It was a great ride.  William was terrified because our car went the “wrong way” on the highway and didn’t want to go again, but it was still fun.  2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 058

Liam was still grumpy while we explored Cars Land. It was like pulling teeth to get this picture.2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 059 2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 060

My little farmer did enjoy the tractor ride, though. 

Next stop, snacks! William wanted ice cream and I wasn’t about to deny him after yesterday’s fiasco so we hit up the Cozy Cones for a treat.  I got a Pair of Dice soda.  Prickly Pear and Sprite.  One of the most delicious drinks I’ve ever had (and I’m not really a soda drinker). I just ordered a bottle of Prickly Pear syrup because I can’t stop thinking about that drink.2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 063

I also let Liam pick out a Lightening McQueen toy to boost his spirits, and between the toy and meeting Red, my little boy was acting like himself again!2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 067

Next stop was Bug’s Land. William is fascinated with all things bug, so this was a big hit.2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 070 2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 071 2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 073 2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 075

After the bug rides, we met up with Steve’s uncle Dave and aunt Mary Lou to see Aladdin, and then Mary Lou took Liam back to Bug’s Land while I got the opportunity to go on Tower of Terror with Mary Lou’s sister Connie. I knew Liam wouldn’t be up for it, and was glad to get a chance to go on my favorite ride.

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We also hit up the Muppet 3D show, and Monster’s Inc.  Liam wasn’t too sure about the 3D part of the Muppet show and was a little scared. And the Monster’s Inc ride wasn’t much of a hit, but I enjoyed it anyway.

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We then met up with Bri and her kids, Celia and Roger.  William had so much fun with Celia. He really wanted to go on the swinging cars in the ferris wheel, so that was our first stop. This was one of his favorite rides.  I was shocked he even wanted to go on it, but glad that his grumpiness was finally turning into some smiles.

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Bri was due with their 3rd child the next week, so I was super impressed that she wanted to go to Disneyland.  What a trooper.

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We also went on the Toy Story Ride, The Little Mermaid, Jumping Jellyfish, and the Golden Zephyr before the Titeras had to get home for dinner and bed.  We ate dinner and had time for a few more rides.  2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 083

William picked Jumping Jellyfish---he has a fascination with all things Jelly, and had been wanting to go on this ride since he saw a picture of while planning the trip.

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Our final ride was an encore performance of Toy Story Mania. I won this time.

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We picked out some treats and souvenirs for the family at home. Steven got a Dusty antenna topper, Caleb got a baby Simba, and Lily got a baby Lady.  They love their new toys, and sleep with them at night now.

The next day we woke up around 5 to get to the airport to come home.  I had to carry my bag, our suitcase, William’s car seat and stroller, and William helped out by rolling his backpack.  One lady at the airport mentioned how cute he looked, but William was not in the mood.2014-02-23 SoCal Tour 089 

He’s been in an anti-stranger phase lately and only will talk to family members or people he is really familiar with.  And sometimes not even then.

Even with a motion-sick boy and a crazy week, I enjoyed our trip.  Hoping it won’t be another 2 years until we can make it back with the twins for another magical trip.