I was fortunate enough to drive there with the kids and Austin, Chelsea and Myah while Keith flew. Can you hear the sarcasm in that line? :) He had to work and it just made more sense for him to fly the next day instead of me and the boys getting there way later and waiting on him. I was actually happy he got to fly because he always whined about how I've been so many more places flying than him. I'm going to bank on the fact that he rarely reads my blog and won't see that I just admitted to everyone that he whines :) I can't help it if I had a job that let me fly sometimes...it is what it is! So this hopefully made up for it because it meant he enjoyed a flight (without me and the kids to bug him) and he got left later and got there a half a day earlier than us.
We started out just fine, following Mom and Al, the kids were awesome, it was nice to visit with Austin and Chelsea, what could go wrong? Well, as with any trip we take, the car broke down. Of course! I think it's the Cobbley curse! Luckily Austin was driving when there was a big THUNK! and the Tahoe started feeling weird. We pulled over, looked to see what it could have been and couldn't find a thing. Started out again, seemed ok and then THUNK! We finally pulled into a Big O' Tires (there weren't many options) and they took the car around while we waited. We thought when they took the car that meant it was our turn, but nope. We waited, and waited, and then I'm pretty sure we waited some more. This big group of people out on the lawn in front of Big O'. I'm sure we looked so ghetto. I can't express how wonderful the kids were though! I was so proud of them while we waited for hours. Long story short...they thought they fixed whatever it was. Everything seemed fine. Started doing it again and then Austin and Keith conversed over the phone and figured out something to do to get us to Vegas where we were planning on staying anyway. I was annoyed and stressed, but we made it.
When we woke up the next day everything seemed so much better...naturally seeing as how it was my birthday and all :) Mom and Al took us all out to a big Vegas style breakfast buffet in honor of the day and that was right up my alley! We headed out after that, the car was great and we just happily drove to Anaheim. Naturally as we were almost there, the Tahoe started acting up again. We made it though and then took it to the Chevy Dealership and had it fixed. I can't believe I just wasted 2 paragraphs on that but I wanted to remember the whole trip :)
That night my sweet sister Brittani said she'd watch the kids so Keith and I could go out for my birthday. I was excited seeing as how I'd spent the whole day in the car! We went to Outback Steakhouse which when we got there realized it was one of the places we had gone on our honeymoon. It was fun and nostalgic to remember how fun that was! While we waited for a table we walked through the hotel where we had stayed and had a good laugh as we remembered the breakfast fiasco....that's another story :)
FINALLY...the next day was our first day at DISNEYLAND! I can't even tell you how exciting it was! I was so thrilled for the boys to be there and experience it. Seeing their faces was what I was looking forward to more than anything. We had a bus that took us there from our hotel/condo place and the boys (especially Max) thought it was great to ride. This is where it's annoying that my pictures won't be in order (nor do I intend to upload all of the millions of pictures that we took) but we'll just deal.
As we got off the bus and started walking in I literally had tears rolling down my face. I('m not a crier either. What a dork. I was just so excited for the kids. We had to wait for Mom to get the tickets all figured out and the kids were so anxious waiting. Finally the time came and we decided to head as big group over to ride Pirates of the Caribbean because we could all go on that together. If you aren't familiar with Disneyland there are obviously millions of people and they are so good about trying to make your experience great for your group. There are obviously lots of places to park strollers as well. Well, Keith had Max in a stroller and I had Gav. We parked our strollers (keep in mind this is before even getting on our first ride) and I turned around and said to Keith, "Where's Max?" Seriously. In the 2 seconds of parking the strollers, before we'd been on 1 ride, we had lost our kid. If you have ever lost a kid, multiply that by 10 million and that is the PANIC I felt when Max was NOWHERE to be found in DISNEYLAND, the first week of SPRING BREAK, with a BILLION other people. My sister is always the level headed thinker and she grabbed the employee outside the line for Pirates and told her we were missing a child. I couldn't even think straight. I was bawling (remember I'm not a crier and this is already the 2nd time today....) and she just asked me what he looked like and was wearing and kept reassuring me that they would find him. I just remember saying over and over, "How do you know that?" I know. Ridiculous. I was full on panicking. I've never felt so devastatingly helpless in my whole life. I don't even know how long it was because it felt like an eternity, but I'm sure about 5 minutes later, an employee came walking towards me holding Max. He was grinning and saying "Hi, Mom!" I just cried and held him and then I finally asked him where he had gone. He just told me he went to see a truck. I have no idea what it was, but he was okay and back with me and that's all that mattered. It was awful, but the people at Disney were amazing and did everything the possibly could to help in that situation. I'm so grateful to them.
The rest of the days were a blur of fun and excitement. We had 6 day park hoppers and went back and forth to every park riding every ride. Gavin was just big enough for everything except the roller coaster at California Adventure and he wanted to ride it all. I loved how brave he was about it all! The only time he was even slightly worried was on Indiana Jones when he saw the big snake and the spiders on the wall. Keith was with him and just told him it was all pretend and so when I went to ride it with him, Gavin kept reassuring me that the spiders were just a movie projector and the snake was pretend. It was hilarious! It's ok mom, don't be worried, it's just pretend, he kept saying. I think maybe he was reassuring himself a bit :)
Max was an angel for a 2 year old. He was happy to go on rides, happy to be in the stroller and would just fall asleep when he was tired and take his usual 3 hour nap in the stroller. It was awesome.
Mom and Al took us to a character breakfast and the girls to a princess lunch. It was kind of fun that I had the only boys because we got Mom and Al to ourselves for our breakfast. The kids enjoyed it and the food was pretty good! Max was a little unsure about the characters at the breakfast (which was weird because he hadn't been in the park?) but they LOVED getting their autograph books signed.
One other thought I had about it was just how wonderful Disney really tries to make the experience for everyone. For example. Max threw his autograph book in the water while we were waiting for a ride. I have no idea why he did it, but he's 2 so go figure! I didn't really care (again, because he's 2) and he wasn't all that upset about it. Well the next day my mom was in a store and saw some autograph books and decided she wanted to get him a new one (I know, that's just how she is :) ) She laughingly was telling the cashier about how he had thrown his in the water when she went to pay and the lady told her told on for a second. She got on the phone then came back to my mom and unwrapped it, gave it to her and said it's taken care of. Have a magical day! Just a silly $7.00 autograph book, but I thought it was such a neat gesture of Disney. My mom was totally shocked and we all thought it was so nice. They just want everyone to have a wonderful experience and I loved that about being there. I really loved everyone telling me to have a magical day. It was like 6 days of pure magic for us and the kids. I can't thank my mom and Alan enough for taking us on this trip. We were so lucky to be able to have this experience and so very thankful!
|Max enjoying the bus ride.|
|Driving is tough...|
|Waiting while the others were on a ride...I thought this was so cute until I realized the granola bar shoved in his mouth!|
|Gavin enjoying the Tower of Terror (yes, my 5 year old favorite ride! He is so awesome!)|
|Our first Character sighting!|
|Fun time with Grandma and Grandpa!|
|Waiting at Big O|
|More boredom at Big O|
|They were VERY excited to see Handy Manny!|
|It isn't a real trip without me and Austin in a dorky picture together!|
|Love this one!|
|Waiting for the bus!|
|I think this picture is so pretty of Britt!|
|Some of my favorite girls!|
|There are quite a few people in Disneyland that day that had Chris photo bombing them in the background :)|
|Watching World of Color|
|Goofy's Kitchen for breakfast|
|He had no idea that Chip was behind him. My mom just told him to smile for a picture :)|
|I loved watching all of the characters sign their names :)|
|This cracks me up...he was so excited to see a princess. I'm sure he just thought she was pretty like his dad did LOL|
|This was supposed to be of us on this ride but turned into a nice big shot of me|
|Keith, Janelle and their 2 kids...oh wait, 1 is a surrogate :)|
|Max ADORES Kenna|
|This moment was PURE HEAVEN for Max!|
|And the picture that should have been at the beginning. This was literally moments before we were to walk into The HAPPIEST place on earth LOL|