Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happiest Place on Earth

It seemed ironic to be shedding a tear at the Happiest Place on Earth.
But before I knew it, that's exactly what I was doing as we walked out on our last night there.

Shoot. There was no pregnancy to blame those kind of kooky emotions on. Just plain old nostalgic memories causing my quivering chin and watery eyes.

For 3 years we have had the southern california resident annual passes, and for 3 years Jack, Lucy and I enjoyed outings to Disneyland. Spoiled, I know. I really grew to love that place. Not in a lapel wearing/pin collecting/Mickey Mouse hat sporting sort of way. But in a fun/bonding with my kids/new mom experiences sort of way.

So on our way out I was remembering all of those fun outings as just the 3 of us, or with great friends like Amy and Heidi.

For our last visit (for a while anyway) to Disneyland, we got to enjoy it all together as a family. 4 wonderful days of sunshine, magic, and happiness. Really, it was THAT good! We stayed at a great hotel, generous compliments of Troy's dad, that had two bedrooms and a kitchen. Everyday we went to Disneyland from 10-1, then napped at the hotel until 4, then went back to Disneyland for the night shift from 5-8:30. That, my friends, was the recipe for success and HAPPY, less-grumpy children (or parents).

I carted around my big camera with the resolve to take lots of pictures and get lots of video footage, but just like EVERY other time at Disneyland, it just didn't happen. Disneyland happens to be one place I really dislike taking pictures. I always find myself too busy with lines, kids, strollers to add a camera in the mix. Not to mention, sometimes "documentation" takes away from the overall enjoyment of the experience.

But here are a few photos from our trip. Not pictured, but captured in video are:

1. Lucy getting chosen for Jedi training and not being able to figure out how to "activate" her lightsaber. Sooooo cute!

2. Jack taking DEEP nervous breaths in and out before his first ride on California Screamin' blasted up the hill.

3. Sam crawling around Wilderness Adventure Camp and grinning from ear to ear.

4. Lucy running away when Darth Vader appeared.

5. Jack and Lucy riding the toontown roller coaster and Lucy's expression of sheer TERROR the entire time.

6. Surprising the kids on our first night at the hotel with the news that we'd be going to disneyland in the morning. Quickly followed by disbelief, then erupting in excitement.

The obligatory family photo complete with harsh sun and squinty smiles.

A unique smile from Jack

Jack's first official roller coaster.

Me with "rollercoaster hair" and another photo of my childrens' unique expressions.

Mesmerized by a mermaid named Ariel.

The end to a great trip!