Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Getting There...

Finally getting the blog caught up.

Three new posts:

The Summer of the Mouse

Summer Cabin Trip

Fourth of July

And more to come soon!

The Summer of the Mouse

We'd been watching Cars Land be built (and dealing with the construction walls for it) for our last fews trips to Disneyland.  So, of course, we needed to go check it out once it had opened.  Plus, I wanted to take Jackson one more time before he turned three and we have to start paying for him to get in the gates too. :(

My mom, Heidi, sister, Whitney, and the kids and I were going, and I decided that I was going to use Jeremy's flight benefits and fly standby.  With both kids.  For Jackson's first plane ride.  It seemed like a good idea months in advance, but the closer the time came, the more nervous I got.  What if we don't get on the flight we want?  What if we're in the airport all day?  What if Jackson is awful on the plane?  What if?  What if?  Turns out everything went really, really well.  The flight from Salt Lake to Los Angeles was looking pretty full the night before, so instead we flew into San Francisco.  We also made it on the first flight out after that from San Francisco to Los Angeles (on the last three seats of the plane), and some very, very nice people even traded some seats around so I could sit by Jackson AND Hayley. (Hayley would have been fine even if she wasn't right by me.)

Once we were there, the fun could begin.  Jackson thought so too, as he got right to planning out our day:

It kind of did seem like he had planned it when the very first character we saw was his favorite: Donald


Next we headed over to Cars Land, only to find out Radiator Springs Racers had had an electrical short the day before in all the rain (It was so hot and humid!) and would be down all day.  Bummer.  We did ride Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, which was really fun.  Kind of like the teacups, without as much of the nausea.


Speaking of the Teacups, Jackson liked them just fine.


But I think his favorite was It's a Small World.
That look of wonder... :)


And Hayley met Merida from Brave.  Funny, because we hadn't even seen the movie yet.  That's the second time that's happened, that she's met the character at Disneyland before seeing them in the movie.  Happened with Rapunzel from Tangled too.


Jackson even warmed up to Minnie Mouse back at her house in Toontown.
He really did much better all around this trip.  I think a year ago when we took him, he was just too young.  He didn't seem to like it at all.  I'm glad to see that he's changed his tune, since Hayley and I won't be stopping going anytime soon!


We also went to Goofy's Kitchen.  Yummy food and characters direct to the table.  It was a great way to relax before heading back to the park for fireworks and some more rides, including Autopia, which people were calling the "Poor Man's Radiator Springs" since the real thing in Cars Land was *still* down!


Jackson was actually excited to see characters by this point!  Yay!


Hayley was lovin' livin' it up at Disney too.


Then next day on our way into the park, Hayley spotted Mary Poppins walking down the street.  She really wanted to catch her for an autograph, so we made a run for her, and got a picture and an autograph  as she strolled down Main Street.  I have to say, that Hayley is a good character spotter, and a good fast, look-over-here-and-smile!-er.  Bert was there too, but, well, we have priorities.

We spent the day riding so many rides.  Turns out Hayley, the little daredevil, will ride just about any ride she is tall enough for.  She only chickened out on the roller coaster that goes upside down in California Adventure, and her favorite ride of the trip ended up being Tower of Terror.

On our way back for our break at the hotel, we saw the White Rabbit, who we had never seen before in all of our trips.  Of course, Hayley wanted an autograph, but when I went to grab her book from the diaper bag, it was gone.  I would love to think it just fell out, but I'm pretty sure someone took it.  Now, I am super careful about my purse at Disneyland, and always keep it on me, with the chest strap on, but the diaper bag, not so much.  I guess I didn't figure that someone would steal something that obviously means a lot to a little girl.  So sad.  Hayley was actually a really good kid about it, and borrowed another notepad that I had to have him sign, but I was kind of worried and stressed.


It did lighten the mood a bit when she saw the Queen of Hearts next and handed her my notepad that just happened to be open to the packing list I had used for vacation.  We all couldn't figure out what was taking her so long while signing her autograph, until we got the book back.  She had added to my list: hearts, crown, croquet set, unbirthday candles, more hearts, and a bunch of other things.  That character cracks me up whenever we see her.


After that, Hayley and I sent my mom, Whitney, and Jackson back to the hotel for a break, while we stayed to possibly buy her a new autograph book, and possibly re-hunt down some characters.  I was not happy about that situation, and decided to see what Guest Services could do for us.  I was very nice, polite, patient, and grateful, and so was Hayley.  She ended up with a new book and pen, replaced by Disneyland for free!  What a great bit of Pixie Dust!  Little did I know it was about to get even better...

We headed back to Main Street to see who we could see that we needed new autographs from.  We spotted Pluto, headed up to his handler, and explained our situation: that we didn't need a new picture, just an autograph.  He was sympathetic and happy to help.  After having Pluto sign the book, he told us that if we could wait a few minutes, that he would take Hayley's book back to the Character Breakroom and could take care of almost all of our missing autographs for us!  Score!  So we waited, and he did just as he said, and came back with all the autographs we had needed and a few more.  He said that the characters were just back there having their break between parades.  Whether this is the total truth or not, I'm not sure, but it could be as we were right between the times for both of the parades.  Honestly, it didn't really matter, as long as Hayley was feeling better.

I guess the Pixie Dust wasn't quite worn off yet, because next up at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree we caught these two.  Together.  And with a line of about three people.  Hayley danced with Mickey, curtsied with Minnie, and we got to watch the goats from the petting zoo be taken back for the day.  Mickey and Minnie were also done for the day, and as they walked off holding hands, Hayley said, "I bet they're going somewhere where they can kiss.  Because they love each other."  So cute.


Really Jackson, would a smile in a group shot kill you?


He did love, love, love the parade though!


After the parade, Hayley and her eagle eyes spotted Aurora headed for her meet and greet near the castle.  They walked together and Hayley was first in line for an autograph and picture.


On our last day we headed over to Downtown Disney for a while before heading into the parks.  Instead of a souvineer from Mom, Hayley decided to have a rock star makeover done at Studio Disney 365.  It turned out super cute, and I was glad we did it, since I don't know how much longer this little girl will go for the makeovers.  She's already outgrowing the whole princess thing. :( My only regret is that we didn't do the makeover earlier in the trip, since that hairstyle stayed in for about five days!

We also splurged at Build-a-Bear, since Grandpa Dame had also sent along some souvineer money for the grandkids.

Then on to the parks for one last hurrah.  What can I say?  We may have ran them a little ragged. :) This was at the end of our last long night, right after Hayley and I finally rode Radiator Springs Racers, and while we were waiting for my mom and Whitney to ride. (We couldn't all rided together since Jackson is too little to go on the ride.)  It was a great ride, it was great to see Cars Land, and it was a really great trip.


We headed back to our hotel, Parkvue Inn, for a few hours of rest before a very early flight the next morning.  We made it on the first direct flight home, and everyone, including this mom, took a long, much needed nap.  Which mostly just made me feel like I was ready for another day of Disney Fun!  Hopefully sooner rather than later.

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Summer Cabin Trip

Of all the things to do and places to explore at the cabin...

playing in Daddy's truck is sure way up there on the list!

Especially for this little monkey!

Guess they were just warming up to cheese it up for the camera.

Love these cute kids.

Fourth of July

The Fourth of July was really fun.  We started out the holiday by decorating up Hayley's bike and Jackson's stroller and walking in the neighborhood parade in my mom's neighborhood.


Jackson was so into it, he couldn't be bothered to look at the camera for a picture.


He brightened up once we got to the park and he got a cookie from the treat table.


And he was mesmerized by the magic of the fishing pond.  He got a miniature rubber duckie that he carried around in his pocket and took out to kiss every so often.


Hayley got some snazzy shades.


We had good intentions to BBQ and go see some fireworks, and ended up not doing either.  After the parade in the morning, and Hayley being in the Magna parade that afternoon with her dance group from Jazzle Dazzle, we were kind of tuckered out.  The kids were already asleep, and Jeremy and I were in bed by the time the neighbors on our street started lighting off their fireworks.  I was getting annoyed until I realized that it was only 10:30 on the Fourth of July.  Then I just felt like an old lady who was trying to sleep at 10:30 on the Fourth of July.  Oh, well.  At least part of the day was fun!