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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Entry For November 14, 2008

So, as promised, a more detailed entry for our family vacation to Disneyland...

I have to say, Disneyland is one of my favorite places in the world--for me it truly is a magical place. The last day, when we were leaving and I mentioned to Joe that I really wanted to shop more, he just stopped the stroller and looked at me. "Okay, where's my wife and what have you done with her?" he asked. Mind you, this was after experiencing four days with me in both amusement parks and seeing a decidedly different side of me than usual. "Don't you know we're in Disneyland?" I said. "This is a place where the world as you know it is in reverse. I'm perpetually happy; I'm have patience without limit--even with cranky, tired toddlers; I am an iron man (woman) when it comes to walking; I can endure 14 hours in the park without complaint; and I like to shop. It's a magical kingdom." He just shook his head.

We had a wonderful four days. Joe was a little sick but my endurance made up for it as I was able to do a lot more with the boys. As expected, Asher was afraid to ride most everything. He would cry, scream and through fits, but I made him ride some things I knew he would like. And of course, he did like them once he got on and realized it wasn't a death trap. I purposely didn't put him on anything that would frighten him. So, we pushed his limits and he enjoyed himself. The one exception to that was Pirate's of the Caribbean, but he still enjoyed it and even went on it a second time a few days later. He ended up riding Dumbo, the Merry-go-round, the train, the monorail, Buzz Light Year's Astro Blaster, Mark Twain's Steamboat, Autopia, and Finding Nemo submarine ride. We did most of those more than once. His favorites were the treehouse (that he climbed about 10 times with me or Joe in tow) and Autopia (he loved to drive, even though it gave us all whiplash).

Cainan was tall enough to do some of the more exciting rides. In addition to those we went on with Asher, Cainan rode Thunder Mountain Railroad a couple times, Star Tours, Space Mountain a couple times, Splash Mountain, the Haunted House and Soaring Over California twice (in California Adventure). He loved all of them. His favorite ride was Pirates of the Caribbean, which he wanted to ride at least once each day. He likes to sing the pirate song now (yo, ho, ho!).

On Friday, when we first got there, we noticed they were building sets and were already decorated for Christmas. I was very glad for the Christmas decorations; I figured we would miss that by a couple weeks and it makes the park even more beautiful looking. We found out the sets were for their Christmas Special that they were recording the next day and would air on Christmas day.

So on Saturday when we arrived there were several live performances and events planned for the day. It was not previously advertised since it was not for the guests--it was for the taping of their special. So, the park was not over crowded at all. We missed the Jonas Brother at 8:00 AM (we got the the park at 9:00), not that it really hurt my feelings. We did watch Jose Feliciano perform Feliz Navidad and we got to watch the Christmas parade. I don't believe we were in any of the shots, but I'll be watching Christmas day to find out. We also saw Ryan Seacrest on the main stage MCing the event. It was a nice bonus to the trip.

That night, our friend Mark and his daughter came over to babysit the boys for us. Joe and I got to go out and celebrate our 8th anniversary. We rode the roller coaster in California Adventure then headed over to Disneyland. We had a wonderful dinner at the Blue Bayou, which included a pirate ship dessert made out of all edible parts. It was very nice to have some times to ourselves and celebrate our marriage.

In addition, on Monday, I was walking through the park and got stopped by their dream team (this is their "Year of a Million Dreams"). I won four dream fast passes for our whole family. This was a pass that let us go to the fast pass line of about 8 different rides in Disneyland as well as California Adventure. Their was no time limit on the Fast Pass, we could use it throughout the whole day. It was perfect for us because that happened to be our last day and we planned on pushing hard and staying late; plus it was also the more crowded day; and it included rides we could take Asher on like Autopia and Buzz Light Year, as well as bigger rides for Cainan like Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Space Mountian and Roger Rabbit. That's really how he got to ride most things twice.

In California Adventure we took the boys to their live production of Playhouse Disney. They loved it! It's interactive and they got to dance along and play with characters from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Little Einsteins, Handy Manny and My Friends Tigger and Pooh. It was a big hit.

On the last day of our trip we took the boys to Newport beach for an hour. That was wonderful! They have only been to the Oregon coast in Brookings and Asher is deathly afraid of the ocean. Cainan likes to run from the waves but the water is soooo cold and the waves are big. He's been overtaken a time or two. Southern Cal beaches are a whole other story.

It was flat, the water was warm and clear(er) and the waves were minimal. Cainan, literally, ran for the entire hour we were there, laughing, waving his harms and having a blast. Within 20 minutes, even Asher was running in the water and letting the little waves hit him. They both loved it and it was hard to leave when we had to head for the airport.

I got some great pictures of Disneyland and the beach. We also had our pictures taken in the park several times by their photographers. One of our pictures, which will be our Christmas picture this year) was chosen by the photographers as picture of the day. They told us when we went to view/buy our photos. They said we didn't get anything for that, but it was posted in their employee break room and had been chosen out of all the pictures as the best for that day (I think the photographer gets a prize or something). Anyway, I was glad to come away with a good family shot that had some Christmas and Disney element in it. All the photos are posted at Photobucket and of course, the videos are at Search for molzer77.

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