Friday, July 27, 2012

Disneyland Trip 2012

I have dreamed of taking my children to Disneyland since before I had any.  And I have been counting down the years until they were old enough since they were born...

Her is the sampling of the 900 pictures we took.

The trip was amazing.  I was stressed in the weeks before the trip worrying about how they would do on the 17 hour car trip there and back, wondering if Madison would be freaked out by all of the characters, worrying about if Ellie would nap in the stroller or not, and trying to prepare myself for the fact that both of my girls might refuse to step foot on any of the rides.  I also spent hours and hours researching and planning for the road trip portion and for our days at Disneyland.  I wanted to maximize our time at Disneyland and avoid standing in any body likes lines.  

All of my worries were for nothing.  The trip went amazingly well.  I feel so blessed.  The trip down ended up taking us over 17 hours, we drove it straight through, and the girls were awesome!  I had spent weeks collecting road trip activities, snacks, and incentives.  I don't think there was more than 5 minutes of crying or whining combined from all three girls o the entire trip down.  Any they only watched 1 movie.  We don't even have days that good at home! 

We arrived at our good friend Drew and Stacey's house on Friday evening.  We spend Saturday at their place (the have the most amazing backyard), took a trip to a local children's museum, and bbq'd in the evening.  Drew and Stacey are incredible hosts.  They welcomed us into their home for over a week and made us feel extremely comfortable, even as we were in and out with long days at Disneyland.    They are two very special individuals and Josh and I feel so blessed by their friendship.  The girls loved playing with their little girl Aubrey when we weren't gone at Disneyland.

Jim and Corinne and 'Unkie' Jon also arrived in California on Saturday, staying at a hotel near Disneyland.  It was so fun to have them along on the trip to experience the girl's excitement along with us.  They were a HUGE help in waiting with one or more of the girls while others of us went on rides.   And because of them pushing the stroller, at a constant, steady pace, Ellie was able to take her vitally important naps.   

On Sunday we headed to the beach!  In Oregon the beach is freezing, so the girls had never before actually be able to wear shorts and at tank top to the beach, let alone go in the water! They loved it!

Monday was our first day at Disneyland.  We were at the park before 7:00, waiting for it to open at 8am.  My strategy was to beat the crowds and get most of our rides done before the heat came and the girls were cranky.  By 7:30 we had met both Mickey and Minnie with no lines.  It was the perfect start to a wonderful three days at Disneyland/California Adventure.  Madison's favorite ride at Disneyland was "It's A Small World", she kept calling it 'The Tiny Town Ride' though.  So cute.  Makenzie's favorite ride was a toss up between Dumbo and the Tea Cups.  Madison surprised us all by going on both Space Mountain and Splash Mountain.  Kenzie was not quite tall enough.  We finished our day with the parade at 4pm.  All in all we were gone from the house about 12 hours and all three girls did awesome. 

Tuesday we began the day at California Adventure.  The girls went on the Little Mermaid ride about 10 times this trip.  Every adult took turns going on it with the girls multiple times.  That evening we stayed and watched the show World Of Color.  Awesome.  We went home for a few hours for naps in the afternoon and then came back for the show, which started at 9pm.  After the show at California Adventure we headed back over to Disneyland for a few of the girls favorite rides, "Tiny Town" and Tea Cups.

On Wednesday we took a break from Disneyland and went to the Long Beach Aquarium.  Josh stayed home with Ellie.  This aquarium is awesome.  The girls spent the entire time looking for Nemo (clown fish) and finally found him at the end.  It was a great way to keep them entertained!

Thursday we headed back to Disneyland, this time at 6am.  We had a magic morning pass, which gets you into the park one hour early. We were able to ride about 6 rides, and get our pictures taken in front of the Castle and Mickey Flower thingy out front, before the park even opened.  So worth getting up at 5am!

Friday morning we headed home, stopping and Josh's grandmas house for the night.  The girls had never met her, and I had not seen her since the wedding.  The girls loved their time there and enjoyed playing with their second cousins. 

Saturday was a long 10 hours.  It is amazing how the 17 hour strip down felt so much shorter than the 10 hour trip home.  We arrived home around dinner time to a delicious home meal prepared by Josh's mom. 

I am so thankful that we were able to take this trip and for the memories made there.

4 am.  Leaving Oregon.

The trunk of our tiny little Yaris.  It is tight quarters with a family of five, but it is paid off and it get excellent gas mileage, so we don't complain.

She sees Princess Aurora

Kenzie's absolute favorite experience of the entire trip...holding Aurora's hand!

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