Friday, March 26, 2010

California Vacation:Day 2


We finally made it back to Civilization (also known as WiFi and cell service). We spent a couple of days up north in the mountains (more on that later). But we're back in L.A. now, and on with our story...
We stayed our first 2 nights in Anaheim at the Fairfield Inn & Suites/Disneyland resort. It is across the street from Disneyland's walls, and it was about a 5 minute walk down the path to the front gate. It was our goal to stay as close to the front gate as possible. I took a mental note of a few that were even closer for next time, but this one was just great, too. It was easy to get back to the room for naptime, and it was really affordable (only around $100/night).
Something amazingly spectacular happened as I was standing in line to purchase tickets. Before I tell that story, first I will talk about how Tornado and I got 2 free Disney tickets for volunteering at a food bank recently. It was a part of the Give a Day/Get a Day program that Disney was offering. There were many volunteering opportunities, and I think Disney gave away tickets to one million participants. (THANKS again, Michele, for telling us about this!) We got in on it a week before they closed down the program.

Not only were we THRILLED to save around $135, but Tornado and I had a great time at the food bank. It was the PERFECT volunteer opportunity for him. We taped up and stacked empty boxes, labeled cans, filled boxes...just the types of things he loves to do, anyway. I am sure we will do it again sometime.

Back to my next amazing story. I had just told the man at the ticket counter that I needed to purchase one adult and 2 child tickets. Then I saw a man ask a lady if she needed any tickets because he had an extra one. My eyes got wide as she said she already had hers. I meant to say something calm and intelligent, but I think something like, "AAAA!! Me!" sputtered out instead. I may have even made some weird arm motions. The man had a leftover hopper ticket he wasn't going to be using that day, and it was going to go to waste. That saved us another $72. I was so grateful!
The kids got to meet lots of characters, like Buzz Lightyear (Sissy chose to sit this one out)...
Minnie and Mickey,
and even Chip & Dale, among several others. We got to the characters right at the start so there weren't a lot of people around yet, thankfully.
The line to meet the Disney Princesses, however, was NOT short. (It was close to an hour. Daddy and the boys had to step out of line to ride a ride then come back; they were too antsy.) I thought there were going to be more activities waiting for us in the "Princess Fantasy Faire," other than just taking pictures with 3 princesses. I may not have stood in it, if I had known that...maybe hearing Sissy thrilled voice say, "I going to see the princesses!" (over and over and over again) made it worth it, though.
Sissy was a little hesitant upon meeting the first one: Snow White. I had to walk up there and take my picture with her, too. However, she was mesmerized by Princess Aurora. It's amazing what a little pink will do for Sis.

There was a lot of smiling anticipation all day...

lots of squealing and pointing...

and lots of oohing and aahing...
There may or may not have been an incident involving losing our 4 year old...and let's just say, security may have been involved...

Yes, we are terrible parents who lose their child at Disneyland. In our defense, this is the child that has always ran or wandered away from us from the time he was able to walk. He is just arrogant enough (he may get that from me) to assume he doesn't need our help or instruction. (To clarify this point, this is what he said to me the next day, "But Mom, it wasn't my fault. It was your fault because you should have watched me better.")

He was only gone for about 5 minutes, but it was 5 minutes from you-know-where for me. My heart was racing, and I felt chained down, wanting to run with all my might until my baby was found...but I couldn't leave my other children while I did that. Ryan was looking, and I went up to an employee and asked, "What do you do if you can't find your child?!" He called security. Soon, another employee came up to us and asked us if we were looking for someone. She took us to him; he was sitting with another employee nearby. I was proud that he had told an employee he was lost, and he calmly told them his age, who he was with, and how to spell his name (but he left out the "a").

He stayed with us a lot better after that. I'd like to say we didn't take our eyes off of him for a second after that, but I lost track of him for about 30 seconds later when it was dark...I freaked. I just started yelling his name like crazy. I was screaming, "He's 4, and he's wearing a blue shirt!" to anyone who would listen. :) He really was only a few feet away, and Ryan said I unnecessarily panicked on that one. I don't care. I was not going down as the Mom who lost her son twice in one day at Disneyland.
While we were IN Disneyland, Dash kept saying he wanted to go to Disneyland. What he meant was the castle, which is what he associates with Disney.
Sissy was in desperate need of a nap by midday. One wonderful thing about Sis is this: she is perfectly aware of when she needs to sleep. Her brothers will fight it/deny it/do whatever they can to prevent it. When she gets tired, she says, "I need to go to sleep now." or "I'm ready to go to bed." Then she's happy and smiling when her head hits the pillow. We love that about her.

Anyway, since we had made it into the park that morning by 8:45, we knew we were going to take a break, then go back later for the rest of the day. Ryan took the 2 little ones back to the room to get a head start on resting while Tornado and I drove 15-20 minutes to Costa Mesa to pick up the order we had called in to Native Foods. That's the round building. I love the little, pretty area where it is located. We had eaten there on our last trip to Cali. (It's all vegan!)
Tornado plowed through his veggies, fruit, nuggets, dip, and rice on the 15 minute drive back to the hotel. We also shared peanut butter parfaits, chocolate pie, and cheesecake. What none of us liked was the watermelon juice...I love watermelon, and I've never tried a juice I couldn't drink...but I couldn't get this one down.
Ryan and I ordered the Chicken Run Ranch Burger and the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger with kale and sweet potato fries. (We usually always order 2 things and split them. Much more fun that way.) We also ordered the quesadillas as an appetizer, but in our excitement, we had really ordered too much food. That was okay, though; I had cold quesadillas for breakfast the next morning.

I think we spent close to the same amount of money on Disneyland snacks as we spent on our filling Native Foods meal. An orange, 2 bananas, and a Dasani cost $8.
The boys are here, playing with their bubble guns they purchased with some of their Googie fun money. And that's Sissy, dancing to the jungle sounds in Tarzan's treehouse. She literally danced her way through Disney. She did ballet along with the princess music. She skipped, tapped her feet, and floated along anytime she heard music, which was most of the time. (It's all she does lately; she's starting dance lessons in a few weeks.)
MY favorite Disney ride - and I think it's now the kids' favorite (Isn't it everyone's favorite?): It's a Small World. After Ryan saw Avatar (3 times), he just knows he wants to live in Pandora, which is his idea of a perfect world. I want to live in It's a Small World.

The boys LOVED driving the cars on the tracks. LOVED it. They really felt like they were doing something.

Tornado could barely walk back to the hotel he was so tired (as we all were). His eyes were totally glazed over. If you have never been to Disneyland or Disneyworld, you MUST go. I guarantee you will have a smile on your face almost the entire time. (Even you, Matt.) There's just something about it. I even almost had tears in my eyes during the narration of the fabulous fireworks show at the end of the night. (It was even grander than the ones I've been to in the past.) Fun day!


Matt said...

Two things: He did get that from you. I remember getting lost running through the countryside in the darkness because I thought you had been abducted...and second, it sounds like you went "Aunt Patsy" with the "he's wearing a blue shirt" rant. Remember "is there a doctor in the house" when you were choking on that chip so many years ago????

Cary said...

What is Googie fun money???

Jenny said...

Yes, I was a little bit like Patsy. It's true. Are you trying to figure out how to get a little Googie fun money of your own?

Lori at The Davidson Den said...

I miss Disney World. so. much. :( It's going to be a long, long time until I see it again. Love all the pictures. Tornado looks like he's high as a kite.