The first day we drove halfway there, and mostly made good time except for an accidental detour south where we were closer to Rocky Point than Anaheim that may have been my fault. We stayed in Blythe, which isn't a place anyone willingly visits otherwise, but it worked out well because it made our next day of driving a lot shorter. The first place we went was the beach, because at some point we had to show our children the ocean. We typically avoid the beach, and probably will in the future also. Alana went down too close to the water despite my warnings. Then she got knocked down by a big wave (I really wanted to say "I told you so" right about then). So she cried, then Witten got wet when I had to get her, so he cried. Then Ava cried because she's Ava. So no more beach visits from us in the near future.
I will now present to you the worst castle picture in the history of ever. Bad enough it didn't make it to Facebook. I'm betting half of you have given up on this post by now and won't see it, that's the only reason I will post it. Its bad-ness is determined by how dumb I look. I should've found my sunglasses. Lesson learned.
Since we did not buy park hopper tickets, and everything Frozen was at California Adventure, we only spent one day at regular Disney, then two at California Adventure. So we basically went on a string of rides all together till we were too exhausted to walk anymore. We did Buzz Lightyear (one of our favorites of all time), then Dumbo, the teacups, Its a Small World, Pirates (where David and I happened to see Robin Thicke getting on the ride in the handicapped entrance because famous people get to skip lines which is bs), then the girls went on the Jungle Cruise with my aunt while the boys napped. Later the girls and David went on Big Thunder Mountain, then we went on Haunted Mansion and Buzz Lightyear again. That seems like a lot typing it, it was even more exhausting in person. I tried my first Dole Whip, which I just thought was eh (I don't know how I call myself a Disney fan if I don't like it), we had some churros of course, and corndogs which are always amazing there, and David and I split a plate of awesome carne asada and enchiladas. We accomplished pretty much all we could while our feet would still carry us where we wanted. We skipped parades and rides that we know are a waste of time to wait in their lines (I'm looking at you Snow White's Scary Adventure), and then ended our first day with a magical spin on King Arthur's Carousel.
The last day we went to Ariel's Grotto for the princess breakfast. I have to say, this meal used to be so much better. It used to be family style, all-you-can-eat. They would bring huge amounts of bacon, sausage, waffles, eggs, potatoes, fruit, bread, cheese, everything. Now you get one entree, but for the same price. We made sure to tell our girls that this would be our final visit to the princess breakfast, but they are getting older (sad face) and are more interested in the rides so they were okay with that. They still loved seeing the princesses, but next time they can wait in line if they want to meet them.
Late in the afternoon of our last day we decided to go back to our hotel for a little while, since Witten needed pain medicine for his wrist. That was about when Ava decided to announce she wanted her face painted. Right as we were about to leave. I wish she would've mentioned that earlier, because she would've looked so very cute with some fairy princess face paint. Next time I will make it a point to ask her on the first day if she wants face paint. We ran into a couple of characters on our way out, most importantly Mickey!
Later on our last day we went back to the park for a few hours. We wanted to ride Toy Story Mania one more time and we really want to see Cars Land at night. It was awesome, by the way. We slowed walked through the park, ate our last churros, bought a few mouse-shaped treats and an amazing s'mores bar for me that I keep thinking about, looked at the lights (its so magical at nighttime), and bought the last of our souvenirs before bidding the happiest place on earth goodbye. Its always sad to leave, no matter how tired your feet are, how exhausted the kids are, and how much you just want to sleep in your own bed. Life outside of Disneyland is just not as magical. If somebody offered me a churro every 100 yards or so I could see things looking up. Until then, real life isn't as fun, that's the brutal truth.
I'm so glad we had this vacation and time as a family. It was fun having my aunt there at the same time as us, and for a few brief hours my cousin and her boyfriend. My kids still get excited about everything there, and honestly, I feel like a kid again when I'm there too. I feel nostalgic just walking into Main Street, and seeing the castle all lit up at night is seriously magical. If I could go more I would, and I don't think any of the magic would ever wear off. This trip had a couple of low points, like our super fun visit to first aid and an unplanned detour, but the high points outweighed those by far. Frozen sing-along, meeting Anna and Elsa, Witten hugging every character and looking at everything with such wonder in his eyes, those things all made it worth it. My advice for other Disney vacationers is to eat as many churros as you can, and never pass up a rare character if you see one (if that's what you're into, I know my kids are). When you see a character, if there is a cast member at the end of the line, do not waste your time trying to get into line. That person has the worst job there, they are at the end of the line to let you know Mickey is about to take a potty break, so better luck next time. You should also savor every second there, try a corndog, and get in the back line for a Dole whip, its literally 5 people long, when the front line rivals the one to Space Mountain. I can't wait till our next trip, I will never outgrow my love of Disneyland!