We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams . . .
yet we are the movers and shakers of the world forever, it seems

Monday, February 15, 2016

Disneyland Days: 2

On Tuesday, we slept in unit 7:00, so that was an improvement, and, it was also the day we used our Magic Morning Pass to get into Disneyland at 9:00! Even Better. Even less of a line in, a little else people at the park, and a little warmer, Tuesday was so great. 

I told you that Archie didn't mind waiting in line; he always finds something to do.

Every day we rented a stroller for Archie that doubled as our pack-mule too. Lucy and Archie are waiting for me to arrive with it here. Not a bad spot to wait!
 After arriving at the park early and catching a few fast-passes, we RUSHED to Paradise Pier Hotel barely making it in time for our character breakfast with Papa and Gramma. I'm told I'll laugh about it someday. We all snuggled up to some characters as we enjoyed Mickey waffles and lots of fun. 
Archie with his first crush. Of all the princesses and characters he met, he was most smitten with Daisy Duck.  She wrote, "Love, Daisy Duck", and when I told him, he said, "she loves me!" Even now, when he sees her signature in his book, he gets all abashed. 

Here's the crazy one...and Stitch too!
She managed to get Elliott to blush too.

After breakfast, it was back to the fun. Mike and I had a great unspoken system: one of us would go with the big kids, and one of us would go with Archie. Lucy, Elliott and I wanted to ride the Matterhorn, so Mike took Archie to Toon Town to party for a bit. 

Here we are waiting for the Matterhorn. It was probably the longest wait we had because they were doing some maintenance, but I promised the kids an iconic Disney experience, so they stuck it out. The abominable snowman freaked them out; mission accomplished. 
Then Mike took the big kids and Archie and I did the teacups! Another classic Disney experience. He liked this one! There was never a line, so we were able to do this one a lot. 
 And this picture is just because I love the face Archie makes when he's tired of smiling. 
 Then we went and found Sleeping Beauty's castle. 
 We accidentally happened upon the 3:00 parade, and since we LOVED the last one so much, we grabbed a Dole Whip treat and settled in for the show. The parades are magic.
 Thanks to the park-hopper passes, we were able to go back and forth between the parks, so, with no lines to stop us, we had to give California Screamin a try and the river raft another go. Thanks Papa for watching the kids while Mike and I had a mini date on the Screamin, and Gramma for going on the raft ride with the big kids!
(we learned our lessons and brought ponchos today)

 We couldn't miss another chance to be Wilderness Explorers of course. 
 Around dinner time, we found a nice Cafe in Disneyland and sat to eat. We watched crowds gather and realized we had accidentally found a prime spot for the Light Parade and firework show! We bought a few blankets, more hot chocolate, a few more churros of course, and enjoyed parade and the most amazing castle-projection and fireworks display!
 (photo credits to Elliott for these)

Cudos go to the kids for their stamina and attitudes on these long, tiring days. Elliott was so brave trying the scary rides! The only one he "swore he would never ride" was the Tower of Terror, but he tried, and retried and tried again, California Screamin; he loved it! And Lucy walked and walked and WALKED with us and never complained that she literally had holes in her shoes and her orthotics worked like a charm! We averaged about 12 miles and 8 hours a day! Archie stayed awake in his stroller and loved every minute of it. Mike was patient and generous with his time and hard-earned money ($8 a corndog!). We spent more time together, interacting and enjoying each other in these 2 days than we would in a month at home and school and work. And that's why 
Disneyland really is a magical place!

Disneyland Days: 1

Finally! I was so excited that the chain was done, that I forgot to take a picture! But trust me, all that was left was a beautiful little Mikey Mouse shaped paper loop, which means.....It's time to go to DISNEYLAND!!

The perks of flying with an adorable 4 year-old

this too. 
 We flew to Annaheim on Sunday, rented a car, then headed to the Carousel Inn. The trip was great, Elliott's ear started hurting him a bit on the plane, and his throat was sore that night, but he woke up ready to go on Monday morning! The last time we went to Disneyland, Lucy was 3, and Elliott was not quite 2, so the kids don't remember anything. We went in February then too, so we were hoping for no lines, and great weather. Well, to start us off, we touched-down during a coastal wind and rain storm. Our flight crew and pilots were champs, so it wasn't as traumatic as it could have been. Luckily, the rain was supposed to stop on Sunday, and it was going to be 60s and windy on Monday. After a quick trip to the grocery store for food, we found our hotel; the same one we'd stayed at two other times.

Monday came, and the kids woke up at 6 AM out of pure excitement. Now we're all crowded in a motel room with no wifi for 4 hours waiting for the park to open; things got hostile pretty fast, so we headed to Trader Joes for some groceries, then to the park a little early.
It's a good thing we did too, because the security line was pretty long, and then, of course, it IS Disneyland after all, there was another line to get in. At this point, after a rough morning of anticipation and lines, our older kids were wondering why this was supposed to be "fun". We kept telling them it was going to be great, but they weren't feeling it for the first little bit. 
Archie, however, got right into the fun.  Being 4 years old, even waiting in line can be an adventure, so he didn't see a problem. Once we rode the Buzz Lightyear ride, and headed towards Pirates, we found our first character to hug: Woody.
 Archie played high-5 keep away with him for a while, then we headed to my favorite ride...
 Pirates of the Caribbean! I assured Archie that it wasn't scary and after no wait, we all boarded our boat.

 Mom-Fail, I forgot about the 3 big drops. Archie was not happy, and would remain traumatized for the next 3 days, not trusting my judgement on ride-scariness any more. We had to convince him it was a "soft" ride, not a dark ride, or like the Ariel ride.
The older kids were still not convinced of Disney's magic, so, after having lunch with my parents (didn't I mention they joined us there for 3 days!?!?!?) we decided to try California Adventures.
Immediately Archie found a few more friends to hug.

Papa, Lucy and I watned to scare the "pee-woddle" out of ourselves, so we went to the Tower of Terror because Mike's awesome app that we would rely on the entire trip, told us there was no wait, and the others went to the Disney Jr. Live show. 

Archie loved the show, and Elliott still was wondering what was so great about this "Disneyland". 
Meanwhile, Lucy and Papa and I had a 3-genenration adventure. We decide Papa needs to make an "I survived the Tower of Terror at 70" shirt. 
We wandered over the to river raft ride and found the Wilderness Explorer park. Elliott, Archie, Lucy and I climbed the rope course several times, and Elliott found the magic! From there, he and Lucy rode the river raft repeatedly while Archie and I continued to explore. This would become a  common scene for us; the kids loved the rafts, and Archie loved to explore the rope course. 
 We left Papa and Gramma for some rest, and we continued to explore the pier.

 Archie's favorite ride (and the only one he would try for a few days) was the Ariel ride. Outside the ride, we found the green, plastic soldier street-show. This picture made me smile because somewhere, we have one like this of Elliott on Habi's shoulders at Disneyland.

 The kids were wet from the raft ride, there were 50 mph winds and the sun was setting. We decided to wait for the Parade, warm-up with hot chocolate and churros, then call it an early day.

Turns out,
Disneyland is pretty magical after all.

Birthday Bonnie

The weekend before my birthday, Morgan and Sommer got married!!! I took a solo trip to AZ to celebrate with them. Maybe it was the no kids...maybe it was the waking up at 4:00AM....maybe it was the Dr. Pepper....or the Thrifty ice-cream...whatever it was, things got a little crazy that first day!

(me saying goodbye to my sleeping kiddos at 4:30AM!!!!!)
See, even Kimo looks a little crazy! 
but, things calmed down enough for a beautiful ceremony, a beautiful bride, and a beautiful experience for these two.

After a hurried weekend, I headed back to Boise to get ready for my birthday, and to get ready for DISNEYLAND!!
On saturday, I turned 37 years old, and I mean O-L-D!! To celebrate, we went to Lucy's first Ignition volleyball tournament. I unfortunately didn't get any pictures, but I DID find a picture online from her MCO Choir concert in December, so I'll post that one instead. (She's just right of center, second row from the top!)
 The kids were so sweet and made me birthday presents this year. Elliott worked all week, and even though it didn't turn out quite like he wanted, I love it so much. Archie followed his example and made me a masterpiece too.

 To celebrate, we nixed the birthday cake, and had birthday caramel apples instead. It was kind a low-key birthday; after all, DISNEYLAND is tomorrow!!! We can celebrate there, right?!

 (Archie sneak-attacked my candles for me)