Monday, June 9, 2014

Disneyland Vacation

Next we headed to Disnleyland!  Thursday night we checked out Downtown Disney, ate at Rainforest Cafe and got an early souvineer at the biggest Disney store ever.  The next day we got to the park when it opened, and stayed until 10:30pm!  The kids loved every minute of it.  There was a perfectly timed nap when we had to save a shady parade watching spot anyway and everything was great.  Liberty only disliked one ride - Snow White - she just simply told me she didn't like it after she rode it.  Her favorites were Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a rollercoaster she got to ride twice (once with me and once with Cam), the Radiator Springs Car ride at Cali. Adventure, and she really liked meeting the 3 princesses and the parade was AMAZING.  I didn't realize how close we'd be to everything - high fiving all the characters and having Cinderella catch the kisses Liberty was blowing her.  We ate 2 awesome meals and had 2 awesome snacks (dole whip!).  Henry really liked dancing at the Tiki Room show and he enjoyed every ride (teacups, small world, pirates of the Caribbean).  We actually rode 16 rides that day! WHEW!  After watching the Fantasmic show and Fireworks we decided to expand our trip and get a ticket to do California Adventure the next day.  So we headed back to the hotel and let them sleep in, loaded up, checked out of the hotel and went to play at California Adventure until 6pm!  Highlights at California adventure included an Undersea Ariel adventure ride and a Soaring Over California ride - and again the PARADES are just amazing.  One of my favorite parts was the parades and watching my kids faces. Then we gassed up, got McDonalds and drove all the way home - they were both asleep by 7 and slept the entire way. Memories to last a lifetime.  It was a wonderful vacation and the Gates were the ideal Disneyland guides since they've been the park 50+ times!  What great company they were, this trip couldn't have gone better.

My own notes:
DISNEYLAND - 16 rides, 3 shows/parades, 5 characters, 3 meals, 2 snacks = 22 things
Met Mini Mouse, Peter Pan ride, Carosel, Snow White, Tea Cups, Castle Boat Cruise, Thunder Mountain, LUNCH - corn dogs, Tiki Room, SNACK - dole whip, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of Caribbean, NAP - Parade, men Indiana Jones, Parade, Princess Meet and Greet, Small World, Met Mikey Mouse, Thunder Mountain Railway Again, DINNER - fried chicken, Buzz Lightyear, Fantasmic show, Fireworks, Star Tours.  9am-10:30pm
CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE - 10 rides, 1 show/parade, 1 meal = 12 things
Toy Story, Goofy Rollercoaster, Ariel, Soaring over CA, LUNCH - Chinese, Monsters Inc., Crush Turtle, Carousel, SNACK - coffee, Ariel, Radiator Springs x 2!!, Parade. 9:30am-6pm

Catalina Island Vacation

We drove on Memorial Day to Long Beach, CA to catch a ferry to the lovely Catalina Island!  We were traveling with our good friends Maria and Scott Gates, and their kids Kinley and Emery.  We rented an amazing house with unbelievable views (71 stairs to our door however) and were able to cookout, make glorious breakfast meals and enjoy cocktails on the deck after kids went to bed.  We spent 3 nights on the island and it was truly a great fun and relaxing trip.  The first day we spent at a private beach on our chaise lounges, ate ice cream and walked around this quaint town.  The second day we toured the historical casino and did paddleboats.  The third day the kids spent more time playing on the beach and we watched them and couldn't believe this is our life - surrounded by such joy.  On the hour long ferry ride back to mainland the boat was slowed so we could gather and watch 50+ dolphins play in the waves of our boat!  Then we headed to our hotel in Anaheim to continue the fun with the Gates family - as they showed us the ropes at their beloved DISNEYLAND!