Thursday, October 8, 2015

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


I am openly and Disneyland grinch. I just don't get why people love it so much. I mean it's fun and all, but dude, the cost is ridiculous. I have been a couple times as a kid and didn't really have a desire to go back because, been there done that. I did want to take J though, because she is a princess loving girl and just the right age for magic. Yet whenever I calculated the cost, I couldn't pull the trigger. I mean, Disneyland for three days, or a cruise to the Caribbean for a week. Two trips to Disnleyland or one trip to Europe? And all the money to stand in lines with a toddler? No way. 

But then there was this epic roadtrip where we would be paying for gas and hotel anyways... might as well right? We could never do it cheaper. So away we went. I knew my aunt Cheryl has a love of Disneyland and an annual pass and would love to watch my kiddos experience it so I shot her a text. I was also fairly certain she was in California at the time too. It all worked out perfectly! They were even able to shuttle us to the car repair place to get the AC fixed. (There is a car repair shop a mile from Disneyland with 75 positive yelp reviews. Talk about a niche market!)

And then Aunty had to spoil us completely with all the snacks and food and watching M. J and I waited for Peter Pan's flight and M hit 10 kiddie rides in Fantasy land in the same 40 minutes. His time was much better spent. He went on Dumbo and the train with us a second time with us.

Tea Cups!

She had been dying for one of these suckers since Monterrey Bay aquarium. I had to give in because I remember desperately wanting one as a kid and the joy of actually getting one.

M needed one too even though I had no delusions about how long he would actually spend eating it.

Cheryl the Great around means you can get an ice cream AND a churro.

M requested to watch "Toys!" over and over in the car. He wouldn't keep the headphones on so he spent almost 40 hours watching movies without sound during the trip. But boy, did he get excited to see Buzz!

They really enjoyed ToonTown. I did too because there was plenty to explore that didn't involve waiting in line.

I debated on whether it was going to be worth the time to see Mickey. Would they freak out? Would the line be terrible like every other line (yes, we went in the middle of summer when it is packed and HOT)? The answer is yes, yes it was worth it. They both were delighted to meet Mr Mouse himself.

Our kids love carousels and this wasn't very crowded so they could ride multiple times.

Captain Hook showed up too!

Look at that smile!

 Not the chosen one today.

I didn't get a picture, but M and J both loved Star Tours. M is so tall he was able to ride several rides that were a little above his maturity level, but he enjoyed every single one. I would never have made time to watch the parade, but Cheryl camped out and got us great seats. I'm so glad she did because watching J experience it was my favorite part of the whole day. Such excitement! And so many cast members interacted with her directly.



And then there was popcorn and cotton candy.

 Look at her riveted face!

M was completely passed out at this point and missed the whole thing. We kept going strong all through the evening before heading back to the hotel around 9. We completely wore them out :)

It was a really fun day and I'm glad we went!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Monterrey Bay Aquarium

Somewhere between Eureka and MOnterrey our AC decided to stop working. It definitely put a wrench in our plans. We decided to push on because the weather was fairly mild. We finally made it to the famed aquarium. Neither of us bothered to look up the admission and $50 a person really threw us a loop! Not quite worth it to me, but the kids had fun. There was crying walking in and lots of crying as we left, on top of the car trouble stress, but during was pretty fun. Oy, it was so crowded though. I did manage to grab a couple pictures of the magic moments though.

They really mastered the funny faces after two weeks of mom taking pictures of them. Always spontaneous.

They would have been happy to play at this little playground area with dress ups the entire time.

We almost got a full family picture but low lights and squirming children make it tricky.

Husband was willing to pose though.

Jelly fish intrigue and terrify me.

The coolest part of the aquarium is how it is right on the ocean. You can do outside on the balconies and sometimes see dolphins and sea lions. We were later in the day and didn't see any, but it was still cool.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Redwood National Park

This was my favorite part of the trip. I wanted to spend a week there exploring. And I loved not having to corral my children or control their behavior. Finally they could just run free!

The trees were so awe-inspiring. I'd seen Sequoias before, but the Coastal Redwoods are just SO. TALL.

This guy has a rather unimaginitve name, but is impressive all the same

My tree huggers

The kids didn't really get what we were doing.

This was our try at a panoramic shot. You just can't do them justice.

This is actually inside the tree stump pictured above, but it's one of my favorite shots.


This is what the base looks like tipped over.

The tiny humans look even tinier in the landscape.

I couldn't resist buying a little children's book about the redwoods and it has a page with banana slugs. We found one!

 And the coast! I half expected to see a pirate ship pop out like in Goonies.

We decided to pull over and get our feet wet at the beach. Of course that led to the kids getting soaked, but still worth it.

 J was yelling, "this is the best day EVER!"

 I loved her little footprints

 Then they turned into quadriped prints.

 We grabbed some delicious clam chowder for dinner and headed to the hotel in Eureka. Before we left we stopped to see the Carson Mansion, which the Haunted Mansion was inspired by.


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