Friday, October 28, 2011

DISNEYLAND - DAY 2 (finally)!!!

To start off today's festivities, please enjoy a little early morning video from Addy. Doesn't she look hung over? I swear we were not drinking the night before.

On Day 2 we were joined by our friend Mandy and her family (who also let us crash at their house), which included Mandy's 4 year old daughter, Sydney. Ohhh was Addy ever in heaven to have a friend, and especially ANOTHER friend named Sydney (this is her 3rd).

I tried to start the day off with something less traumatic than the first day, so Finding Nemo Submarine was stop #1. Survey says: kids loved, mom not as much. One of many taken for the team.

Hallelujah for the multiple adults thing again, because I got to hit my favorites - Space Mountain and Indiana Jones, both with Ethan. Maybe I'm getting old, but I.J. was way more exciting than I remembered. Space Mountain, on the other hand, scared the pants off me. The ride was the same, but they made some changes for Halloween to the images projected inside and they were terrifying! Maybe I'm a wimp, but giant red floating skeleton heads popping up while I whiz by at 60 mph tend to make me nervous.

Another fun Halloween change was the Haunted Mansion. AWESOME!!! This ride seems like it's always closed when I go to Disneyland, so I was thrilled it was open. And holy cow, amazing!!
Of course, we had to hit the Teacups again - this pic shows Addy looking a little nervous about riding with all the boys, so she hopped into our cup right after this was taken.

It's a Small World was a HOOT with these two! Sidenote - Sydney does not have a gold tooth - that's popcorn.

As you can see, these girls thought IASW was the best thing EVER!! Seriously, I thought they were going to climb out of the boat and hug all the puppets. I also quite enjoyed myself because it's a LONG ride and was a nice little chance for me to change my shoes (yes, I switched shoes), enjoy some Diet Coke, send some texts, and basically sit in a stupor for 10 minutes.

Not as big of a hit was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. I sort of knew this would happen going in, but it was the only ride in Fantasyland that had less than a 25 minute wait, so there it is. Here's the classic group pic: Tyler, Connor, Mandy, me, Sydney, Addy, Cassy, and Ethan.

We trekked back to California Adventure and Ethan and I went on the River Run with some hilarious little Japanese girls and their dad. Next time I won't wear jeans on this ride.

Our only major mishap of the day was losing Sydney for about 20 minutes inside the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. Apparently (this happened while Ethan and I were getting soaked on the river) Sydney is a jungle cat and blew Addy out of the water with her climbing skills on the ropes course. She got to the top and took off before Cassy could catch up with her, but luckily we found her before we had to shut down the entire park.
This is Addy meeting Russell (from the movie Up).

Heimlich's Chew Chew Train at Bug's Land. I know I complained about other rides being boring, but this one wins not only the most boring, but also the shortest ride ever award. I swear it was 7 seconds long.

Last stop was the Tower of Terror. And no, I did not take Addy on this. The funnest part of the whole thing was waiting in line, and getting laughed at by Ethan while I peed my pants in suspense. OK not literally, but it was close. Even being wheeled into the operating room for a C-section was not as scary as getting on that ride. The ride itself was also pretty darn one point I couldn't tell if we were going up or down or east or west or what but it was crazy. CRAZY!!. My blood pressure stayed at approx. 200/120 for at least 15 minutes after it was over. What a rush!

And that, you will be grateful to know, concludes our Disneyland travelogue. What a totally wonderful and magical vacation! It was so fun watching Addy experience everything Disney for the first time. I just loved it. And it was SO cute watching Addy with my Cassy and Ethan. She really misses out on a lot of good family time living so far away, so it was great for her to have a little bonding time with her auntie and cousin. Love you guys!!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Be still your beating heart! I bloggeth!

If anything deserves a blog post, it's definitely Disneyland (although I just realized that apparently the birth of my son didn't warrant one - yikes). This last weekend, Addy and I took a mommy-daughter trip to Disneyland!! And yes, I am a mean wife and left Ammon at home with Emmett, poor man. We met up with my sister Cassy and nephew Ethan at the airport and stayed with our fabulous friend, Mandy.
Disneyland was super fun and fancy for Halloween! But note to everyone - it was pretty darn busy. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as the best time of year to go.

As soon as we had a chance, I let Addy pick out a pair of Mickey ears, and of course, of all the Princess paraphernalia available, these are the ones she chose...

My daughter is so not a girly girl, and honestly...thank heavens. Some mom told me on the way out of the park that she paid $230 for her daughter to get a dress and her hair done (which consisted of a hairpiece that I swear had once been home to a flock of pigeons)...and she said it like it was such a bargain!

Our other California friend, Lisa, and her family joined us for Day 1 of Disney. Addy's FIRST RIDE ever at Disneyland was Autopia. She loved it.

Next we hit the Matterhorn, which I was SO excited for. This pic is waiting in line, where our friend Benjamin picked a little flower for Addy. Results on her first rollercoaster: not good. There was a lot of eye covering and screams of "make it stop!!"

Teacups - one of my personal faves, and thankfully not scary after the Matterhorn.

I took Addy and Lisa's daughter, Megan, on Dumbo and the Carousel while the older kids did something scary. Note - the Carousel is a motorized sedative. Be sure to bring your caffeine. After touring Sleeping Beauty's castle, Addy had her first Disneyland Churro. You must understand that this was a momentous experience (for me anyway), since I still remember my first one, also enjoyed at age 5. Note - Disneyland Churro's are NOT the same as Costco Churro's. Disneyland Churros are much, much better, and have 12 calories!

Apparently, I did not get the blaring "Addy is not ready for rollercoasters" message after her Matterhorn experience, and we went on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad anyway. I spent the 45 minutes in line (in blaring sun near some really pushy Portguese ladies) convincing her that"Fast is fun". This was our mantra as we were buckling in... "Fast is fun, Fast is Fun!", and as soon as the train started picking up speed, Addy quickly changed to "Fast is NOT FUN!!! Tell them to stop!!!!!"
Oy. That was an award winning Bad Mom moment - especially since she wisely tried to back out at the last minute and I wouldn't let her. I did not stand in that blasted line for nothing!!
I don't know if it was the speed or the noise or what, but apparently this girl is NOT ready for rollercoasters. I am seriously disappointed. I was so hoping my daughter would share my love for speed and adrenaline. Although, she is only 5. Perhaps I need to lower my expectations.

May I just insert my opinion here that Disneyland should never be attempted with less than 3 adults? Unless your idea of pure Disneyland bliss is rotating between It's a Small World and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, you will want to participate in some kid swapping. It was SO DREAMY to experience all the magical and cute little kid things with Addy, and all the scary stuff with my nephew Ethan and the other kids. He and I went on Star Tours together, which I wisely realized Addy would NOT enjoy - it was great, but seriously nausea inducing.

Dinner at California Adventure with Ethan:

The whole front entrance of California Adventure is under construction, which means that to get anywhere, you have to walk the whole length of the park one direction, and then back again. I swear it was a mile. BUT, I got to go on California Screamin' which was AWESOME and worth any amount of walking. That rollercoaster RULES!

C.A. was closing early for a show, so we trekked the mile BACK to Disneyland to hit a few more rides before Addy's bones pooped out (as she put it).
Ethan and I did Splash Mountain while Addy went on Winnie the Pooh with Cassy. By that point, it was getting late and dark and I think her nerves were shot. She didn't enjoy it.

To avoid a little walking time at the end of the night, we decided to take the Disneyland train back around to the front entrance. Here comes Mom mistake #2 - I thoughtfully warned Addy ahead of time about the fake but slightly scary dinosaurs we would pass by on the way, and she had a GINORMOUS meltdown. Sobbing, crying, pleading, begging, etc. ANYTHING to not go on the train. THE TRAIN. You know, that really super slow "ride" that goes all the way around the park in a speedy 40+ minutes? Yes, that is what terrified her most about our day at Disneyland.
By promising to plug her ears for her the whole way (which I did), we managed to wrestle Addy onto THE TRAIN, and made it safely, and with no dinosaur attacks, back to the main gate. She conked out on the way, and my heroic sister carried her almost all the entire way back to our hotel.

We stayed in a hotel just for that night, but it was SO WORTH it. Addy thought it was a marvel and proclaimed "This is my favorite hotel EVER!!!!" Day 1 down.