Friday, October 9, 2009

E is for eels, Eeyore, and (Mickey) Ears

Where to even start . . .I know, with a warning: this is a long post. I was almost testing it to see if there is a limit to how many pics can be in one post, so far I haven't found one. I considered doing multiple posts, but really I am being lazy and just want to lump it all in one. So here is our family birthday vacation:
We left early Sunday morning (I drove from Provo to Mesquite, yea me! while listening to The Lost Symbol) and arrived at the Aquarium of the Pacific about 10:30. We couldn't check in to the Anaheim condo until 4 so we planned the aquarium as something to occupy the time in between. Of course having just driven through the night we weren't at our freshest but I still enjoyed it. The boys were a bit edgy and we didn't stay as long as I'd like but it did serve it's purpose. Also, what a cool aquarium!

They had a Lorikeet exhibit where you could feed them and these were much more friendly than the ones at the Denver zoo.

The boys really loved having them on their hands and Lowell is so good with animals, he had 3 on him at one point. Carter was trying to take the nectar cup away from Lowell and a bird who was enjoying it and the bird bit him. That ended our Lorikeet adventure--though he wasn't hurt badly, he was over it by the time we moved on.

And who wouldn't when the next thing is petting giant rays and sharks. These were pretty docile fellows and more rough than I would have guessed. They also had a fun outdoor play area. Next we caught a seal and sea lion show and added another E to our week, eco-friendly. I am all for protecting the environment and helping animals but I wouldn't say I am much into the "green" movement. A little overboard for me. Next we got another E, eels. And jellies, sea turtles, dozens of different fish yadda yadda.

Forced photo in front of the aquarium--time for lunch (hooray for Jack in the Box! Those who live by one will think we are crazy but we love it whenever we get it. We ate there 3 times!).

Then on to our traditional beach stop (3 times now), Newport Pier. It was rather windy as you can see from my handsome guys above.

The water was pretty warm though the breeze was chilly. Didn't stop the boys from wanting to get wet and losing their shirts. Carter had some help getting wet when he tripped running from a wave and got rolled.

But he was smiling immediately after. Such a trooper, or just loves the beach. It was also a good look at the boys with structured (aquarium) vs. unstructured (beach) play time. Safe to say they do better with the unstructured.

And I ADORE beach photos so yea for me!
Possibly the best shot I've had all year. Hooray!
We love the ocean, they were shivering but we couldn't get them to leave. We kept playing in the sand, finding oodles of shells, and just enjoying the view.

Almost makes me want to move back to Cali I loved it so much. I didn't want to leave myself but we were pretty beat. We picked up some groceries, checked into the condo and crashed for a "nap" by 5 pm. Well, that nap ended up lasting until 6 am for the boys and I. Rob and Lowell got up for a while and then were wakened by us ready to go to "Dinneywand".

Waiting to get checked in, with hair spiked as high as we could hoping to get my ever so short children on to the good rides (it didn't work). We had hoped for it to be slow (of course) and even expected it to be based on the time of year. But it turned out to be quite busy. I don't know if it is the birthday promotion (we saw lots of birthday buttons), fall break at various parts of the country, or a Jewish holiday (lots of them too) but it was much busier than we would have hoped. So we used Fast Passes and planned around lines. I've decided the reason you need 3 days for Disney is just due to lines, you could do it all in one if it weren't busy. We ended up skipping Fantasyland in its entirety because it was just too crazy. Sorry Dumbo, we missed you.

But the Tigger/Pooh ride was still fun as was meeting the yellow bear himself.

And Goofy (good shot I'd say, thanks to Rob for saving me when my camera battery died)

And of course the man himself, Mickey Mouse. Insane to wait that long to meet him but the boys are SO into it. And there is only so long when he will still be real to them so why not. We met him several times in fact.

Captain Hook too.

And a shot at the entry plaza (Carter cut off, sorry dude). I caught my fav rides, Thundermountain and Space Mountain (transformed for Halloween to Ghost Galaxy) twice. I don't think Disney does truly scary all that well (except for kids, the boys are afraid of much of fantasyland) but it was still a fun ride. I love space mountain either way. It was a very full day, playing from opening to closing.

Davis even zonked out on the walk back to the condo.

The birthday boys were bubbly and ready for more fun the next day though.

The 40 minute wait for Nemo was lame but we found ways to entertain ourselves. I really tried to do what the boys wanted on their big day and Nemo was on the top of their list. I didn't do any rides without them that day, and did less rides than the other days as we also saw Disney Playhouse Live, had a Disneyland Birthday party, and played inside the castle.

And we waited to meet Minnie, plus got a good group shot.

Goofy's line wasn't as long and Carter says he's his favorite.
Back over to Disneyland we caught the boys' birthday party with Mickey and Minnie. We each got to decorate our own cake, here's mine:

And Davis with his:

Carter too:
Then the big surprise, M & M joined us and everyone sang and danced.

And took pics.

And got covered in frosting

But had a good time.
We went home for lunch and a little rest (very little) and headed back in costume. Oh my goodness did the boys get a lot of attention as Buzz and Woody. They were wearing pins saying it was their birthday as well, so between the two they were showered with people talking to them and wishing them a happy birthday. They ate it up naturally.

You've got a friend in me

With Rob on the jungle cruise

They had a special firework show for Halloween that was just awesome. Somethings Disney just does SO well. You can just tell there is a giant balloon to the left of the castle where characters were projected.

A quick video so you can enjoy the magic, I loved all the music.
Waiting in line for the Astro Orbitors playing with their Mickey light up swords (I couldn't go the day without buying them something . . .)

Space Ranger Davis with the big man himself

Daddy and Carter

Pilot Davey
We stayed until after the extended hours closing (9 pm) catching Nemo with only 5 minutes wait and then visiting the Disney store in downtown Disney to redeem some of the boys b-day money. So we went to Disney because the boys would be free for their birthday. But once I pulled some of my own Disney magic I ended up with 3 day park hoppers for all 4 of use for only $300, cheaper than if I upgraded their free pass. But I thought I would ask if they had any other options besides the free day and hooray they did! They could get a pass for another day in the year, 6 fast passes for multiple rides (tempting but they couldn't ride most of them so that seemed a little selfish), or get a gift card with the amount of a one day pass on it ($61!). So the kids had $61 each to spend at the park, quite the birthday present from DisneyLand. That night they went home with giant suckers and a "real" Buzz Lightyear toy.

Home again (yes at 10 pm) we had some more birthday cake

And partied in the condo. Then the boys crashed. This has been the easiest trip for sleeping, each night Lowell sat with them for 10 minutes and they were out cold.

The next day we started at Disney California and met Lightning McQueen

Rode the Zephyr and cheesed it by a 4 for my big 4 year olds.

Watched Daddy and Robbie on Screaming (I love their faces) after waiting only 25 minutes for Toy Story Mania. Then we picked up our free birthday tortillas, had some delicious soup in sourdough bowls (yes expensive but far better and more filling for the same price than the pizza we had a couple days earlier). We did the Monsters Inc ride again (line was short so we did it a bunch) and I caught my fav ride there, Soaring over Cali. Yes it made me miss it. More time at Bug's Life Land and we were ready to go.

Saying goodbye to Disney California.
Back at Disney we ohmygosh ohmygosh saw Jack Skellington. Oh how we love him and his voice was spot on. He was so kind with the boys (probably because when he left on break they screamed their heads off and then we waiting 20 minutes for him to come back). They also enjoyed The Haunted Mansion that Jack takes over for the holidays.

We saw the parade and the boys were invited to dance in the street twice, so fun! We caught It's a Small World one more time and were going to do Buzz Lightyear again, but the line was too long and we had done it like 8 times already so we just did some more shopping and said goodbye to Disneyland. Surprisingly I think even the boys were done, we were all tired of crowds and people and ready for some space and down time.

Traditional sucker on the way out (that they worked on until almost Nevada)
We love all things Mickey!

And one last goodbye to our friend who Davis was thrilled to see in costume.

And a last family shot outside. We then drove through the night again (I did Vegas to Fillmore this time and was SO tired, ugh!) which probably sounds crazy but the boys were out before they even finished their dinners and hardly stirred until we put them in their beds at home. That makes it worth it to me. Now having to work all night after we got home and again all night tonight is not as pleasant but I will catch up on sleep sometime.

Davis showing off his Disney booty, the Buzz plus a Pirates of the Carribean playset (and 2 suckers and a bag of gummies).
Our last E is still to come but I figured there was plenty of stuff for one post already! The (Mickey) Ears refers to the bubs' birthday party with Mickey cake, cookies, etc. More to come on that one.


Anonymous said...

I love all of the pictures. The one thing I can't get over is that the boys look so big now! How did that happen in 4 months time?! C and D have definitely lost that baby look. SOB! it goes so fast doesn't it?

Terri said...

That looked like so much fun. I love Disneyland!

Jillian said...

That looks like you guys had so much fun. We are heading there next month, and I'm so excited! I didn't realize your boys were only 4 or 5 months younger than my kids. Crazy! Happy birthday, cute boys!