Friday, April 14, 2017

California Adventure Day 4 {2017}

I have plans to frame this picture for my home!

While Andrew was parking the stroller, I asked the kids to stop for a picture in front of Ghiradellis.
It wasn't until later that I noticed the photo bomber who definitely makes the picture! 
Prior to taking it, Eliza had been teasing Henry which is the reason behind that very genuine smile.
Meanwhile Lottie and Forrest were legit loving one another.
And then there's Dad.
Oh, I love it. 
I definitely loved this brownie sundae too.

The last day of our trip was sad! 
However, instead of focusing on the drive home that awaited us,
I tried to cultivate feelings of gratitude.

I was thankful for the beautiful weather, 
having my Mom spend the week with us, 
spending time with our Alaska cousins,
the many laughs and magical moments shared with my husband and kids
and that we had been safe and healthy throughout our trip.
It was so so good. 

We did, however, have one giant scare that day. 
We were in line for Toy Story. 
Forrest was swinging on one of those chains that connect the posts that form the line.
You know what I am talking about, yes?

It wasn't stable at all and clearly, we weren't paying attention.
Trusting in his swing, he fell backward. 
I heard the back of his skull meet pavement.

My heart and stomach sank! 
The sound was horrible.
He was so sad and I was so worried.
I was ready to jet to the emergency room.
Andrew talked me off that ledge and suggested we cuddle him and wait it out.

It wasn't long until he was ready for the next ride.
We gave him some Ibprofen and kept a close eye on him.
He did just fine!

At the beginning of our final day, we revisited our favorite rides:
Radiator Racers, California Screaming, Toy Story, Soarin Around the World

After lunch, the Mays crew went back to swim at their hotel. 
As for our family, we decided to check out the animation studio.
It was so fun! 
Eliza and Nana Marie ended up going back together later that evening to draw more Disney characters!

One of the sweetest moments of the day was when Forrest and Eliza met Sully.
Somewhere, in the middle of all the fuzzy blue fur, is Forrest!
We checked out the sneak peek to Disney's Beauty and the Beast,
rode the Monsters Inc. ride and then went to Ghiradellis!
That night we met up with our cousins for one final hurrah and then called it a night!

Thank you Andrew for supporting my wild wish to visit Disney again. I cherish these trips so much. I love you.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Disneyland Day 3 {2017}

My Disney Princesses

Our third day at Disneyland included some of my favorite moments from our trip.
The day began with a mad rush to the Peter Pan ride. 
I really do love this ride, but the crazy line that supports it always surprises me.
The secret of getting there "first" is no longer a secret. 
Even so, we made our way there as soon as the park opened. 

Forrest was looking comfortable and content up on his Dad's shoulders.
It makes me happy whenever I see one of my toddlers catching a ride in this fashion.
But what I love most about this picture is the happy expression on 
my Mom's face in the background that I captured unintentionally. 
The line is never too long when you are waiting with cousins!

Next, I insisted we visit Mickey Mouse!
This time, I was pleased to discover, a short line!
Disney magic was on our side because after our visit with Mickey,
he needed to take a quick break!
After hugging him goodbye, our family took a tour of Mickey's house.
On his way to take a short break,
I was excited to see that Micky was walking through the house with us.
Henry, however, didn't notice.
With his back turned away from Mickey, I hollered at Henry to look at me.

Mickey positioned himself just perfectly.
As Henry turned around to look,
he found himself staring right at Mickey's nose!
"Ah!!" Henry cried!
As we laughed and enjoyed the moment,
Mickey put his arm around Henry, pulled him in for a hug and rubbed his hair!
And the best part was I captured it on my iphone.
It's somewhere on this video:

Henry is so great. I LOVE him.

That afternoon we made a first time visit to the Tiki room.
For Lottie's tap dance this year, she is dressing as a bird and dancing to the tiki room music.
Dole whips were also involved!
That visit was for her and I think she really enjoyed it.
On our way there, we found Moana.
We stopped to listen to her tell her story.

After that, the girls (Nana Marie included) and I made our way to the
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique!
It is a definitely a splurge but the moment I sat down to watch my girls
begin their exciting transformation,
I felt so happy I made the appointment! 

Real quick though...
on our way there, we bumped into the Fairy Godmother.
I thought that was nice timing. :)

We also ran into Alice and the Mad Hatter. 

With my Mom seated beside me,
we watched as Eliza and Lottie became acquainted with their
"Fairy Godmothers in Training."

"I have been in training for eight years!" Eliza's fairy told her.
It was clear right away that Lottie hit the jackpot with hers.
Her fairy was named Lettie!
And she liked to talk!

She was warm, charming, interested in Lottie and incredibly funny.
My Mom and I giggled as she tried to break Lottie's serious surface.
I could tell Lottie was enjoying herself,
but because she was feeling a little shy, she didn't express much emotion.
Lettie didn't let that stop her.
She was well prepared with Disney related jokes
and had a quick wit that led to some funny banter.
Whenever a smile escaped her Lottie's lips, we all cheered.
As quiet as she was,
Lottie's big brown eyes twinkled; assuring me that she was loving every second.

As for Eliza,
she was polite and engaging as she interacted with her fairy Godmother in training.
I was happy to see Eliza sitting in her chair.
She had wavered as to whether or not she wanted to participate.
I wanted the decision to be hers.
A week or so before our trip, she asked with excitement if she could go with Lottie.
Her inner child had prevailed over the tween I live with now.

Eliza completed her transformation first.
As she waited for Lottie to be finished,
I noticed that she kept sneaking glances of herself in a nearby mirror.

It wasn't a stroke of vanity, in my opinion,
but rather, what I saw was a return of my six year old Eliza.
It made me so happy to catch a glimpse of her again,
but now as I type these sentences, my heart feels a bit achy. 

Here's a link to a post I wrote when Eliza visited the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique as a six year old.

We made our way to the castle for a few photos.
Next, we found some soft pretzels for dinner and jumped in line to meet Belle.

Here's a fun video of our visit to the bibbidi bobbidi boutique:

We watched a Tangled inspired musical and then were reunited with our boys.
Andrew took the kids on a few rides while I made their souvenir purchases.
Having sometime to myself, I sat down on main street to soak in the ambiance. 
It was then that I decided that we would be staying to see the parade again.
It was the second showing and it was getting late.
However, since I was already parked in a great spot, I decided to go with it.

The kids and Andrew joined me a while later.
There were some complaints of fatigue at that point, but once the parade began
I was happy we stayed.

Princess Lottie fell asleep like this on our walk back to the hotel.
It describes Disney perfectly. 

And finally, here's a photo of the kids with their Disney treasures.
I took it the following morning... on our last day!

Monday, March 27, 2017

California Adventure Day 2

Our second day was spent at California Adventure! 

We were so pleased to see the sun!
There wasn't a rain cloud in sight!

We did a better job of staying close to Mark and Jen's family this day.
One of my favorite moments was riding radiator racers for the first time.
The Flegal's raced the Mays crew and I am happy to say...
with as much humility as I can muster...

The Flegal's won! ;) 

Our first ride that day was Toy Story.
Look at all that awesomeness.

I had fun riding this with my Mom.
The two of us bring out a competitive spirit in each other.
Pretty sure that it was confirmed that these two cousins are soul mates.
Kaitlyn and Brynn were darling with Lottie and Forrest.

 We had lunch together and then enjoyed the ride, 'Soarin around the World' together.
That was really cool.
Later that afternoon we made it to the Frozen Musical.
The musicals at Disney are always so well done!
It affords you the opportunity to rest your feet, relax in a comfortable chair,
in an air conditioned theater while enjoying
incredible musical talent.

I looooooooved it.
Forrest slept through it so it's also a lovely little napping spot.
After the musical, the older kids darted off with their cousins (and Andrew)
to ride some coasters.

The smaller kids, Nana Marie and I went to see Captain America and Elsa and Anna.

They had a darling conversation.
Lottie asked Anna where she hides her stash of chocolate.
When talking about this a few days later, it was Forrest, not Lottie,
who could recall the precise spot she shared with them.

 Captain America was equally charming.
He asked the kids to find out if Elsa would join the Avengers.
After meeting our new friends, we went back to Cars Land.
We hit the Cozy Cone motel for some dinner eats and treats before reuniting with rest of our family. 

We had one more fast pass to use at Radiator Racers before we called it a night.
As we walked back to our hotel that night Eliza lamented,
"I already feel sad." Knowing what she was about to say I smiled as I waited for her to finish her thought.
"We only have two days left!"


This video shows the kids meeting the characters; including Elsa and Anna.