Tuesday, February 26, 2013

california trip: day 7

Saturday, my family left first thing in the morning, but we had a little time to kill before our afternoon flight.  So, what did we do?  We went to Newport Beach for the third time that week!  I just love that place and it is the perfect place to soak up the sun, listen to the waves, and enjoy the last few hours of vacation together.

Kade and Ky were having a blast chasing these birds away.   (What is it about chasing birds that entertains little boys?)

At the airport, Krew had a great time watching planes take off.  There were tons of little planes that we could see, and Krew was fascinated with them.
We were sad to see such a great vacation come to an end. The week went better than I had hoped, and I can honestly say that I have never wanted to stay on vacation more than I wanted to this time!  I was so sad to leave my family, the warm weather, and Disneyland!  I hope we can go on more great vacations like this as a family, and soon!

california trip: day 6

Friday we headed to the aquarium in Long Beach.  It was the perfect day for it because it was a bit rainy and chilly. The first thing we saw there was this huge tank with the most colorful fish.  We were all fascinated (especially Krew) and we could have stayed looking at that one exhibit for hours.  In fact, Krew was mad when we finally pulled him away, but when he figured out that there were more fish to see he settled right down.

There were lots of different kinds of jelly fish, and these ones we got to touch.

These lobsters were huge!  I bet they would make an amazing dinner dipped in butter, yum!
This petting display was awesome!   Starfish, urchins, prawns, anemones.  If the water wasn't so cold, I could have played there for a really long time!

HUGE crabs!!

 When we were done with the aquarium, we took our chances on a little crepe cafe for lunch, and it was delicious!  The lunch crepes were so good, and the dessert ones were amazing!  In this case, taking a chance on an unknown restaurant paid off!
The rest of the day was spent with a little window shopping at the mall, visiting, packing and getting ready to say goodbye the next day.  It was a great way to spend the last day of such an exciting vacation!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

california trip: day 5

The last day of Disney, we were determined to ride the new Radiator Springs Racers.  So, we got to the park even a little earlier than before.  In fact, once we got through the ticket gate, we still had to wait inside the park for them to open up the main street.  Most everyone in that crowd was headed for the same thing, and the line started a ridiculously long distance from the ride entrance.  But, we decided to stick it out and we are so glad that we did.  Actually, since Krew was too little to ride, Bart and I waited out with him while everyone else waited in the real line.  They got a stroller pass for Bart and I which allowed us to go on the ride with no wait at all.  They really only waited about 30 minutes, which is amazing for how long we had seen the wait during the week.  Plus, that meant that Bart, Krew and I had some time to kill just the three of us.  Our first stop was meeting Lightning McQueen!

We had walked past him several times over the past few days, and again, Krew loved him from a distance!  But, he wasn't so sure about him up close.  Then, one of the coolest things that happened to us the whole trip happened.  The cast member who was taking pictures of people with McQueen said, "McQueen, this little guy is a little scared, can you turn off your engine for him?"  I hadn't even really noticed before how loud the car was, it just sounded like a running car to me.  But, right away, he turned it off and he was quiet!  He said something to Krew like, "Don't be shy."  Of course if Krew was a little older he may have really thought a talking car was cool.  But, as a mom of a nervous little one, it meant a lot to me that someone thought about the little detail of having McQueen turn off his engine so he wasn't so scary.  Way to go Disneyland!
He did get brave and when McQueen told him to give him a high-five on his headlight, Krew did it with no hesitation!

Next, it was our turn to ride the racers!  Let me just say that this was the most incredible ride.  It really felt like we were in the movie, and had just enough speed and thrilling turns and dips to make it really exciting!  One of the best rides I've even been on!  Plus, it was nice to be able to enjoy it with this handsome fella!

For lunch the last day, we felt like we could splurge, so we let the twins pick anything they wanted.  They watched their uncle Andrew get a giant turkey leg, and that's what they both wanted too.  And no, they did not finish the whole thing.
The end of the day was spent going on the racers a second time (thanks to the fast passes we got earlier that morning), catching a few minutes of a couple of parades, and shopping for some souvenirs.

Bart, Kade, Ky and I were all able to ride this one together.  It was fun to see the ride in the dark too!
Ky pretending to be an ewok while Kade built his own (double) light saber for his souvenir.

Krew and I at the end of a long, fun day, waiting for Mickey Mouse to come by in the parade.

As we left the park that night, I could not believe that we had spent 3 full days there!  It went by so fast, and I was not ready to be done!  Hopefully we'll be able to go again some day!

Our favorite rides were: the Radiator Springs Racers, the new Star Tours, Buzz Lightyear Astroblast (Kade and Ky made everyone take them on this ride over and over any chance they got), and Soarin'.  We had some yummy food, but not near enough, and I wish we would have seen more of the parades and taken a million more pictures!

california trip: day 4

Wednesday morning it was back to Disneyland!  This time we started the day just the five of us for a bit.
I originally took these 3 pictures as a sort of "if my child is lost, I have a photo of what they look like and what they are wearing" pictures, but they are too cute not to share.  Notice that the twins are both wearing their Star Wars shirts.  They had been waiting months to go to Disneyland, and the one thing they were most excited about was fighting Darth Vader.  There is a little Jedi Training Academy where they pick a few kids from the crowd, give them a Jedi robe and light saber, teach them a few moves and then they get to practice their moves on either Darth Vader or Darth Maul.  I have been telling them for months that there is a really good chance that they would not get picked to be on the stage.  And sure enough, neither of them were (which is probably better than only one of them being picked.)  Ky seemed only mildly disappointed, but Kade was crushed.  My heart broke a little for him to because I know how excited he was for months about the chance to fight Darth Vader.  Granted, we could have waited for another show and tried again, but I knew that chances of being picked the next time were just as slim, and I don't know how well he would have handled being disappointed twice.  Plus, by the time we were done watching, they had mostly decided that they already knew more moves than what they were teaching, and since you only got to use the "baby" moves on Darth Vader, it wouldn't be that cool.  Still, it was quite a hard lesson for them to learn about things not always going your way.
One of the first things we did that morning was meet Mickey Mouse.  I had hoped that Krew would either a)  have warmed up to the characters after meeting a few already or b) just be so excited to see his favorite character that he would forget to be scared again.  Neither of these things happened.  As soon as I set him down for his turn to run to Mickey and give him a big hug, he tensed up, froze, and started whimpering.
He's not sure if he should be excited or scared...  (and please ignore the lumpiness of my pockets.  Wow, that's so not attractive, but I have to keep my phone,  park map, and I don't even know what else I'm carrying in there, etc. with me somehow--sheesh.  Next time I go to Disneyland, remind me to wear cargo pants instead of skinny jeans, or at least wear a fanny pack :))
And now he is clinging to me like his life depends on it...
Kade and Ky get their turn with the famous mouse...
And by the time we are ready for a family shot, he won't stop looking at Mickey, but you'd better believe that he did everything in his power to make sure that his elbow didn't touch him!

All three of the boys tried to pull the sword from the stone...with little success.

Grandma and Krew!   Krew was even making all the right sounds as he pulled with all his might!

The day went by way too quickly!  By the evening, we had made it back to Cars Land and were excited to see DJ throwing a little street dance party.  It was pretty fun!
Another great day!

california trip: day 3

Tuesday we took a break from Disney and headed south.  It was quite a bit chillier than the past two days had been, and we weren't exactly sure what our plans were, but it was a great day.  Our first stop was the beach in La Jolla.  It was so neat to see all the seals and watch the waves crash against the rocks.  

We drove around up the hills in La Jolla gawking at the amazing homes and the killer views they must have from inside!  We wondered why some people get to live there and not us :)
On our way back up north, we stopped at Laguna Beach.  It was different from the other beaches I had been to in California, and the area around there was so interesting.

As we left Laguna Beach to go out to dinner, we drove through the most amazing area.  One minute we were at this fancy beach, the next minute we were driving through this cute canyon with the most quaint little shops and houses.  Then, just a few minutes later, we were in a big city again.  That is seriously my dream geographical location.  It would be awesome to live there!  I guess I'm just going to have to come up with my multi-million dollar idea soon.
For dinner that night, my parents treated us all to a delicious meal at Benihana.  Kade and Ky loved watching them cook their food right at our table.  Bart loved our Hispanic chef trying to use a Japanese accent.  I loved the yummy grilled lobster and other seafood.  Krew did not love much about the evening.

The whole family, minus my brother Andrew who flew in the next morning.  Too bad we never got a whole family shot, especially since we have no idea when we'll all be together again!  (Don't you love how the camera picked up the specks of steam from the hot table?)