Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Happiest Place on Earth


We went to Disneyland at the end of February with some of the Bronson Family. Mark's Mom flew in from Reno and met us too. We all stayed at the same hotel and it was a blast - I mean what could be better than being next door neighbors to your sister for 3 days?!? It was the first time for Jack and Madeline - but certainly not the last, if they have anything to say about it!

We decided to drive. I'm not really sure what craziness was going on in the our household when we made THAT decision, but it definately added to the adventure.

First of all both Jack and Madeline decided that comfort was of utmost importance on this trip. When we left at 5:30 am. Madeline insisted that she bring her mouse slippers to wear. I was not about to argue with her at such an early hour, so I put her shoes in the car and carried her out - mouse slippers and all. The funny part was that she would put her shoes on to get out of the car at pit stops and then as soon as she was back in the car the shoes would come off and the slippers would go on.


Jack decided that he needed a neck pillow - which I originally brought for me to sleep when it was my Dear Husband 's turn to drive. So much for THAT!



We did pretty good until we got to Primm, NV. There is an awesome outlet mall there and I really wanted to check out the Juicy Couture store. My Dear Husband was kind enough to stop - I think that it being lunch time had something to do with it, but I'll take it! After we spent about 1 1/2 hours eating and looking around, it took us about 30 minutes just to get back on the freeway! AAGGHH!!

Then as the day progressed, things slowly started to go downhill. During one stretch of 100 miles I think we stopped 3 times for potty breaks! Just so you know, there are NOT that many rest stops along the freeway in California. This means that we were pulling over and "going comando" along the side of the road. Jack of course thought this was fabulous, Madeline was a different story!

As we get closer, my Dear Husband is driving and I am reading my book. We get to a point where we have about 500 yards before the freeway separates and he says to me "Hey which way do we need to go here?!?" WHAT?! I am digging around looking for the map I printed out on Google and he is saying "Hurry, which way do we need to go?" I am royally ticked off at this point and sarcastically ask him "Is this the first time you noticed that the freeway was separating?!? I have been READING MY BOOK and NOT paying attention to where we are going - that is YOUR job!" (OK, just in case you are wondering, this did not help the situation at all and only made my Dear Husband more frusterated)


So, of course we took the wrong road! Now he is mad for the next 30 miles or so, thinking we are lost. I am trying to find a real time map on his Blackberry (which I NEVER use and so I don't have mad skillz) hoping we can get back on track. Eventually we got to our hotel, after the 30 mile detour, and kissed the gound when we finally stopped.

Anyhoo - the next morning we went to the park nice and early. We had the obligatory picture taken in the front and Madeline put her hand out so they could put Tinkerbell on it. I don't know if you can see it very well in this picture, but for the next few pictures she would put her hand out like that - thinking that Tinkerbell would appear!


The first thing Jack wanted to do was go on Finding Nemo. Madeline of course, wanted to go to the castle. I tried to explain to her that you don't really go TO the castle, but you go through the castle.

We went to Finding Nemo first since that tends to get crowded. After that we were spending some time in Tomorrowland and Madeline was pretty patient for a while. Then as we were walking towards another ride, she pipes up "Hey! This is NOT the quickest way to the castle!!" It was pretty funny.

Both of the kids had been looking at the autograph book with pictures that McKenna got when we came for her 5th birthday and so both wanted to get one of their own. Jack was pretty hesitant about getting autographs and even more adamant that he did NOT want his picture taken with some of the characters. Madeline on the other hand filled up her entire book and gladly posed with anyone and everyone!

When we met Mr. & Mrs. Incredible, I practically had to drag Jack over to get the autograph and then physically hold him to have his picture taken. Here he looks as though he is being held hostage and in a way he was!


Madeline loved Fantasyland and demanded that we go on the teacups. I was pretty apprehensive since I hate that ride and didn't really want to spin around crazily for 2 minutes. (what sadistical person thought up THAT ride?!?)

First we had our picture taken in a stationary teacup, but Jack declined to go on the actual ride.


When we got onto the ride I decided to leave the big wheel that turns the teacup alone and just let the ride do it's thing. Madeline loved it and put her hands up as if she were on the rollercoaster! She always makes me laugh!

While we were on the teacups, Jack decided to check out the car from Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.


One of the highlights for me was taking Madeline to Ariel's Grotto for lunch. This is where you get to see all the princesses and have a fabulous lunch too. Mark and Jack declined lunch with the princesses and so Mark's mom and I just took Madeline.

It was really cute. They had a duke who gave each princess a little introduction during lunch and she came out with all kids of fanfare and then went to every single table, signed autographs and had her picture taken with each girl. Madeline was in awe the entire time. It was priceless to see her face each time a princess came out. It was pretty spendy, but well worth it to see Madeline's excitement and awe.

Here are some pictures:

Upon arrival we met Ariel.



Here is MY princess with Cinderella showing their beautiful dresses.
After having her picture taken with Aurora (Sleeping Beauty - Madeline's favorite) she turned around and gave her a HUGE hug. It was adorable and of course I missed it with my camera!

I have to tell you one thing about her dress. She deperately wanted to buy a dress in the little shop that is just outside the castle - cause that's where the princesses shop! I had packed several of her other princess dresses hoping to avoid just such a thing, but she was NOT going for it. When she picked the white wedding dress with all the princesses on a button at the top and made the argument that she didn't have that one, I gave in. (I'm getting pretty soft in my old age and with my "second batch"!) I also sprung for a new crown - as I patientely explained to her Dad "If you get a new dress you HAVE to have a new crown to go with it! Duhhh!"

She wore the dress all that day and the next day as well. Everywhere we went people would stop and point at her and comment how beautiful she was. She was quite the spectacle and it made her feel like even more of a princess. There were several people who asked to take her picture along with others who just snapped a picture randomly. I'm sure she is in quite a few oriental people's vacay photos - they were going crazy over her! We thought it was quite amusing and I guess the dress was worth the cost.

The next day Madeline got her face painted. Later that day while in California Adventure we ran into Aunt Norma who had also had her face painted! Aren't they cute?


On our second night we thought it would be fun to take everyone and go to the beach, roast some hot dogs and hang out. As usual things like this always sound better than they actually go.

When we first got there the wind had picked up and it was a little chilly. No big deal. However, I had put my kids in flip flops, thinking if we were on the beach that would be the best thing. What I failed to take into account was how super freaky Jack is about his feet. He went into major melt-down mode about the sand in between his toes. Here he is still melting down about the flip-flops:


To keep us warm and give us something to cook our "dogs" on, my B-I-L Curtis came totally prepred. Here is my Dad, Mark and Curtis stoking the fire that they made big enough to signal the space station! (Curtis is also the Scoutmaster in charge of all campouts for the YM in his ward. Concidence?!? I think NOT!) Thanks for taking care of us Curtis - you ROCK!

You'll notice that the beach seems a little deserted. Weelll, there was one other couple trying to have a romantic evening when we first arrived and shortly after we put our stuff down they quickly left. I'm sure they were thinking "Of all the places on the beach ya'll have to choose the one RIGHT NEXT to us?!?"
Here I am with the love of my life. We had a good time despite the wind and the neurotic child's meltdown!

On our second day as we were going into the park Madeline turned to me and said "Oh, McKenna is here." I said "Oh, really?" and she just said "Yeah, she is." She was really matter of fact about the whole thing and so I said, "Well, McKenna loved Disneyland." And Madeline said "Yep, I know."

It made me cry a little, since for McKenna's 5th birthday (which we knew would be her last) we told her she could do anything she wanted to for her birthday. She choose Disneyland. (I was thinking more along the lines of Chuck E. Cheese or something), but when you know that there won't be anymore birthdays to celebrate, it doesn't really matter how much of stretch it will be - you just do it.
On our way home we stopped in Las Vegas for lunch at In and Out Burger. We all ordered burgers, etc. The total came to just under $18. Mark said to me "Wow what a DEAL! Only $18 for lunch for the 4 of us?!" I guess you just get used to paying the crazy monopoly money prices at the Magical Kingdom and forget what it is in the real world.
We decided to walk down the strip and show the kids the fountains at the Bellagio. As we were waiting for the light, this is what we saw. . . . check out the dog! Only in Vegas!
Later we were feeling parched and Mama needed a drink, so we stopped at the Coke Factory.


Overall we had a GREAT time. There were a few hiccups, but like I always say "If nothing bad or crazy ever happened, you wouldn't remember it!"

Madeline and Dad gave our trip two thumbs up and Jack is already plotting for our next trip!

5 comments:

Dave & Sherri said...

OH Jana! It looks like your trip was a blast! I'm so glad you got to go! Thanks for sharing the cute stories and the adorable pictures!

Karalee said...

Finally you're back to blogland!
Looks like a fun trip...I'm SO jealous:)

russellandmindy.blogspot.com said...

What a fun trip!! Man I cant wait to take my kids back so that they can have a true Disney Land Experience, Our trip was so terrible when we went.

Us Craven's said...

I love reading your blogs-what a fun trip-I am jealous that you still have a little princess! Jack is as funny as ever! You guys all look so great! You are an awesome blogger!

frontporchfriend said...

on my way there as we speak...looks like the trip was a blast!