A lot of people have asked how the trip to Disneyland was, so I am taking the lazy, high-tech way out, and just writing a blog about it.
First, despite appreances, this trip was well thought out. We went with my parents, so the adults out-numbered the kids. I had reservations about taking a 5 year-old AND a 2 1/2 year-old on this kind of trip. Plus I HATE to fly. I don't have wings to flap if the plane goes down, and I get air sick. Daramamine will keep the nausea at bay, but it doesn't cure the "I don't feel so good" stuff. However, in the end, we went off-season for shorter lines, and we had the expectation of lots of breaks.
Second, we LOVE Disney. Anything after this is totally biased because we love Disney. Nick and I have been to Disneyland without kids about 4 times, and we went to DisneyWorld for our honeymoon. I have even been to Tokyo Disneyland, years ago in another lifetime. It was the first place I saw Captain Eo. Are the parks over-priced? Absolutely. Does the music annoy us? Sometimes. Buuuttt, you get what you pay for. I have been to places far less crowded that were filthy. Disney keeps a relatively clean park, there is staff everywhere to assist you if you ask, and I feel relatively safe. Plus the rides are fun and they have ice cream everywhere for purchase. Good times Dawg.
We left Sunday at about 7:00am. which means we were at the airport by 5:00am. Way to early for me, but it meant that we were standing at the gates of Disneyalnd by 10:00am. First slap of reality was Asa. I expected to wait on Noah- he is younger, slower, might need naps, etc. Asa refused to go on any ride he couldn't actually see the ride. Example-no arguments getting him on the huge Mark Twain Riverboat. Peter Pan's Flight-forget it. It was like that the entire trip. By Wednesday we told him if he went on 4 new rides, he would get a treat EVERY time. We had to pay up twice. Shoot-if that had been me, I would been on enough new rides to make me a sugar zombie, but to each their own. Second reality slap was the crowds. Off-season my ass-that park was crawling with people. Unless we hit it early in the morning or right before we left the park, most rides had at least a half hour wait. We did a lot of passing off between mommy and daddy and grandma and grandpa, because making my kids wait for EVERY ride seemed like a lot. In fact, if we had known there was going to be a national cheerleading competition down there at the same time, we would have picked a different time.
Tuesday we rented a car and headed up to the La Brea Tar Pits, and Hollywood. Hollywood is worth a trip once in a lifetime. I had been, Nick hadn't. But Disney has a soda fountaint up there I had never seen, and we ate at the Hardrock Cafe. And it was worth it to get the kids out of the rides scenario and show them something without lines. We saw turtles in the nature walk at La Brea Tar Pits, so we got some education in there too. My only big beef, and Nick rolled his eyes at me, was at Hardrock, they had music and the title so you knew who the artist was. When Jerry Lee Lewis was singing "Great Balls of Fire", they said it was Little Richard singing "Good Golly Miss Molly". I complained-if your business is music, do it right. We also saw Grauman's Chinese Theater and all the famous, and infamous, footprints.
Wednesday, my aunt and uncle drove down from their home in Vegas and met us for a day in the park. Hard to tell who had more fun!! I think the kids just liked having someone else to fawn over them. Since they hadn't been to the new park, we spent the day over in the California.
By Friday, everyone was bushed. Noah had a rash that made walking painful-I am guessing it was the water but I really don't know. We were all tired and cranky, and our flight didn't leave till 6:50pm. By the time we got luggage, got our car, etc., it was 11:30pm before we got to bed.
I never thought I would be one of those people who took kids to places they wouldn't remember. Asa might remember parts of this trip, if we are lucky, but Noah probably won't remember a thing. However, two things make it worthwhile to me. Well, three things. First, my friend Katie gave me some of the best piece of parenting advice I have ever received-your child might not remember, but you will. I have applied that to the first time I took both my kids camping when they were 8 months old, to Christmas morning with Santa. My memories are just as important as theirs, and I have some priceless ones. Secondly, even if the kids don't remember Disneyland per se, they know that they just had a fun time with family. I could wait till my kids are 6, before we do anything fun, and then they would be like "what the hey?". But now, at their young age, they know that we do fun things sometimes, and when the fun times end, another will be there to replace it in the future. We just build on those feelings.
The third, is that I love vacations and I love Disneyland. I just spent 6 days in warm weather, not having to cook, and having someone else make my bed. What's not to love?
Favorite ride for me is Splash Mountain. It was closed down. I did get on Thunder Mountain, which is my second favorite ride. Favorite ride we all could go on was Woody's Midway. You get a "gun" and you shoot at targets to rack up points. Buzz Lightyear is similiar and the kids really liked that too.
Worst moments were Noah's rash. Broke my heart watching that kid cry as he tried to avoid walking. Fighting with Asa over the rides was a downer, but hey, we took the little kids so we had to expect something. He also liked to scream in the bathrooms that he had just gone poop-I am almost positive I heard mom's snickering over that one. Why couldn't he say something quietly before we went in there?
We are officially ready to go again!