Thursday, February 25, 2010

We went to DISNEYLAND!!

Ah yes. The trip I have been mentally planning since our last trip with Gregory when he was about 5, finally happened. We booked our 5 night, 6 day, 5day hopper pass trip to Disneyland via Costco Travel. We stayed at the Hyatt OC, which is where we had previously stayed and fell in love with. And NO it wasn't JUST because they have a Starbucks in their lobby, though that was definitely a perk. :) I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed my booking experience with Costco Travel. They offer fantastic rates, and include lots of great and fun extras. Such as a Character Dining Experience for each staying guest(we chose the princess experience at Ariel's Grotto for Ava since Greg REALLY didn't have a preference and said as long as food is involved he is down, what a good big brother! ;), travel tags, lanyards, pins, a $20 Disneyland gift card(yeah it pretty much bought the equivalent of a pack of gum and a drink) extra hours in the park, preferred seating for shows, etc.

So we were set to leave for Anaheim on Monday, February 15th. On Sunday, the 14th, Husband surprised us by announcing we would be leaving a day early, HOORAY! So we quickly got the kids situated and packed up and we were on our way!

The hotel actually upgraded our room from what we had reserved, a kid's suite(has the main part of the room, plus a smaller room behind glass doors that has a bunk bed, tv, etc for the kiddos) to the family suite. Which had the kid's room with an attached bathroom and vanity, the "living room" common area, and our bedroom with another full bathroom. It was newly renovated and plenty roomy for us four. And because I always get comments about how I never take photos of the hotel room(who thinks to do that?!), I actually have a couple to share, sorry...

our room

kid's room

family room

We arrived pretty late that evening, and decided to just take it easy so we could wake up early and ready to go the next day. The kids did really really well on the car ride. Ava luckily slept most of the second half, if not more, and Greg had his lifesaving Nintendo DS to keep him occupied.

Our first night in the room...

Day one we winged it and spent most of the time familiarizing ourselves with the parks again. The great thing about staying at the Hyatt is they offer a free shuttle that leaves every 30 minutes to and from the park. So we used that to our advantage most days and would go home for lunch/Ava rest time. She never really napped, she never really does, but the rest was MUCH needed, seeing as how we didn't return back to our room until after 10pm most days. Gregory quickly remembered which rides were his favorite, which new ones he wanted to try, etc. Ava did what we thought she would do, and wouldn't go 20feet anywhere near Mickey or his friends. Sigh. She has a serious problem with people in giant furry costumes. Not a fan one bit. Poor mamas. Actually, they don't even have to be furry. She equally loathed and feared the totally fur-less jelly belly thing that was dancing around the Jelly Belly Factory last summer. Sigh...

Day two was filled with rides, rides, food, playhouse Disney live shows, souvenirs bugs life shows, rides, food, parades, and more rides. FUN! We definitely brought back two VERY tired, very HAPPY kiddos to the hotel room that night.

On Wednesday Miss Ava had a date with a few princesses. She was SOOO excited. To see the glee and sheer happiness in a child's face like that, it's magical. Seriously. I used to wonder what kind of nutjobs paid that kind of money for their kids to "eat with their favorite Disney Characters" I am now one of those previously said nutjobs. AND PROUD. ;) It would of been worth it at double the price. And the food was actually pretty darn tasty, to boot. We also spent the day going on every princess ride imaginable, touring Aurora's castle, shopping up a storm in the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique(that place is pure evil), and going on It's a Small World only about a million times. :)

So the next day we made it more about G, as much as we could. While him and bigger G went on Space Mountain, and all those other rides, I took Ava to meet Tinkerbell and Silvermist. We waited in a line that took over an hour and a half to get through. To meet two characters. Yup. I think that was definitely the final nail in the nutjob coffin. Oh well. Ava was again, beside herself happy to be meeting TINK and the "blue fairy" they signed her autograph book, talked to Ava about her favorite color(she was head to toe pink but insisted her favorite color was "purplicious") and Tinkerbell even insisted on dancing with Miss Ava once she saw Ava's cute princess ballerina tutu(purchased from that previously mentioned evil store that is chocked full of the cutest princess stuff EVER). It was the cutest thing ever to witness, and the big smiles during and after made standing in line, in the hot sun, totally worth it! Later that night, after the parade, we wandered over to Downtown Disney with the sole purpose of taking G out to dinner at the ESPN Zone. Well...turns out that's another place you really should make reservations for. 75minute wait for dinner and it's already 8pm?? No, thanks. Gregory was pretty happy just browsing the store, picking out an ESPN shirt and game, and calling it a night, though. So we went back to the hotel and ordered in.

Friday we got to the park early, and headed straight to Toontown. Ava saw Mickey and Minnie's houses and was STOKED to meet them...thank GOODNESS. So we stood in really short almost nonexistant lines and took pictures with each character, let G chose if he wanted to partake and walked through toontown a little bit more. Then took each kiddo on a couple of rides until it was time for lunch! Which we had at the super yummy restaurant that is inside the pirates ride, Blue Bayou. Oh, it was SOO good. After that, we just let the kiddos do whatever rides they wanted to do, as many times as they wanted to do them.

The trip was fantastic. The kids both had a wonderful time. And we were EXHAUSTED. But in a good way. I am just super thankful that we are able to take a trip now with Ava and not have to worry about as much as we used to. In fact, this was our first real trip besides to San Francisco, that we have all gone on together since Ava's birth.

Greg was worried in the days before the trip that there wouldn't be much for him to do at Disneyland, but he quickly found out that there was still PLENTY that held his interest!Plus, he was a tremendous help with his little sissy. He never once complained if he had to accompany Ava on to a couple of her rides because she would request for brother to go with her, or when we went to the princess lunch. Ava overcame her fear of people in big costumes(hooray!) and had the time of her life, one she still talks about and reinacts with her dolls and any willing and able body. :) We owe our amazing time to the guy who works his booty off to provide for his family and never, ever complains about it. I married one incredible guy, and the best father around! Thanks hubby, we love you so much!!

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