Aug 10, 2011

Vacation - there and back again

The three of us just got back from vacation yesterday.  We went to Disneyland, for our daughter it was her first time.  She did really well with all of the walking we did (we figure we averaged about five miles a day), all of the waiting in line and the boredom that ensues with the waiting.

Cast of characters:

  • My husband - J
  • My daughter - Z
  • me
  • Grandma

On the drive out, she asked probably about seven or eight times “are we there yet?”, half of which was asked before we had even crossed the state line, and the first being barely an hour into the drive.  Overall she did really good on the drive out.  We’ve been lucky with her being a good traveller.

We arrived in the early afternoon on Friday and got checked in to our hotel, slathered on the sunscreen, grabbed our cameras and tickets and headed over to the park.  Some of the rides we did that day - Jungle Boat cruise (Z liked), Haunted Mansion (Z did not like, too scary), Pirates of the Caribbean (Z was undecided on this one, kinda scary, but she liked the short drops the boat does), Star Tours (she liked this one), and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (she liked, as long as I held onto her).

We were there until after the first showing of Fantasmic, so probably about eight hours, and then crashed out back at the hotel.

We slept in a little bit the second day, had breakfast at the hotel, and went back to the park for some more rides, including Autopia and probably some others that I don’t recall.  But, this is the day we did Splash Mountain and were pretty much soaked from head to toe.  We made sure to buy the picture for this ride.

We left early enough to have dinner out at a restaurant, then early to bed, since we would be waking early for the Magic Morning entrance into the park an hour before it officially opened.


Being able to get into the park early on the third day, we were able to ride Star Tours twice in a row (hardly any wait), the Buzz Lightyear blaster ride twice in a row, and then Autopia once.  Then it was time to leave the park and head to the airport to pick up Grandma.  After picking her up (and Z having a cat nap on the way to the airport), we dropped her bags off in our room since it was too early for her to check into the hotel yet, slathered on sunscreen again and headed off to the park for more rides, this time with Grandma.

We did a few rides in Disneyland (Star Tours again, via Fast Pass for J, Z & Grandma) and then headed over to California Adventure for the rest of the day.  We did the Tower of Terror (I am not a fan of this one, but I went at least once to show Z it was OK), Soaring over California, Monster’s Inc (Mike & Sully to the Rescue),  and Tuck & Roll (bumper cars).  We also saw the Aladdin show.

We decided on the fly to pick up Fast Passes for the “World of Color” show later that night, which turned out to be their last showing.  Then we had lunch at Ariel’s Grotto, where we had been seated at the table nearest the “entrance” for the princesses as they arrive, so Z was the first child to get pictures with each of them. I thought that was pretty neat. 

By now, the three of us had three full days of walking under our belts, and I don’t know about my daughter, but both my feet and J’s were SO sore.  By the end of the night after standing with a mass of people waiting to see “World of Color” for at least an hour, and then another thirty minutes while the light show played (during which I held Z the entire time - all 50 pounds of her - O.M.G.), it was a struggle to walk back to the front of the park to the shuttle bus area to get back to the hotel.  It was all I could do to tell myself “left, right, left, right, left, right” to force my feet to move. LOL I half wondered if I’d get to the hotel and remove my shoes to find nothing but bloody stumps.  Even though Grandma had only been there the one day of walking, her own ankles had gotten puffy and angry, too.  It’s no wonder though, I think that day we had been at the park a total of thirteen hours at least, and that is not counting the extra hour and a half that J, Z and I had been there before we left to go to the airport.

The fourth day, Grandma, Z and I got to the park at about 8:30 to get into Toontown before it officially opened (which is normally an hour after the park itself opens).  Our timing was fairly ok, when we arrived the cast was just finishing up their Mayor Mickey opening act.  We got pictures with Mickey and Goofy (missed Minnie and the Chipmunks), and rode the small roller coaster while we were there.  Afterward we went off to ride Dumbo, the Teacups (only once and with little spinning - mommy can’t handle that!), and the Astro Orbitor.  Then while I waited on a bench for J to arrive, Grandma and Z rode the Carousel.  Afterward they joined me on the bench, and once J arrived, off we went for more rides.  The last day is kind of a blur, but first J & Z went on the Teacups again so J could spin them really fast for Z, then we bought Z some Minnie ears (pink & black) and had her name & the year stitched on, then we went to California Adventure so Grandma, J and Z could ride the Tower of Terror a second time (she liked enough to want to ride it again), then I think we watched Muppets 3D, and went back to Disneyland for ice cream and to go wait in line to see Rapunzel (which took about 45-60 minutes).  Then we called it a day to head back to the hotel and relax a little bit before dinner out.

The last day, was breakfast at the hotel again, then a little relaxing afterward before checking out, taking Grandma to the airport and then starting our drive back home.  Z only asked twice on the way back, “are we there yet”.  We stopped in Quartzite for some “Really Good Jerky” (and some sour gummy worms for Z), which we deemed to be really good.  If it’s not the consistency of boot leather, then it’s not good, but this was!  Then finally we arrived home and back to reality and two cats that seemed quite happy to see us.