In our family it's become a tradition to take our children on a special trip when they turn 10. Ben went to NYC with Trent and I took Macy to visit the Mall of America a couple of years ago. You can read about it here. After much thought, Eleanor decided to go to Disneyland. We actually were going to go to Disney World, but getting any tickets with airline points was not an option. As it was, we had to do some fancy footwork to get enough points to go on this trip. It worked, tickets were purchased (you have to pay a small fee, but $20.00 for two, round trip, tickets to California is not too shabby!) and we just had to wait!
After waking up at 4:00 am, we were at the airport before we knew it! So far no mishaps, except we found out that a deer hit Trent on his way home. We are happy to report he is okay and we only had to replace a side view mirror-whew!
|Eleanor needed some hot chocolate to wake up and warm up!|
|Eleanor is excited to be winging her way to the left coast!|
We had a quick layover in Chicago. While we were there, we took some time to walk around and visit some of the sites that Macy and I enjoyed in the airport during our trip.
We finally made it to California!! My grandmother and her daughter, Cindy, picked us up at the airport and took us around the Newport Beach area so I could revisit some favorite spots from my childhood.
|Here we are crossing Balboa bay on the Balboa ferry. Fun!|
We spent a lovely day and evening with Cindy and grandma and by 6:00 that night, with the time change and all, we were beat. We were both asleep by 7:00. This was also the weekend to fall back and so we ended up waking up at 3:30 am unable to go back to sleep. It was going to be a long day!
That morning we said goodbye to Grandma and went to church the next morning with some friends. Afterwards they took us out for a yummy lunch and then dropped us off at our hotel. They quickly got us checked in and we were on our way to the parks!
|Hanging out with Stanley!|
|The Cozy Cone! It was a place where you could get treats, drinks, etc.|
One of our favorite rides was the Radiator Springs Racers. I didn't take any pictures of the ride itself, but here's a link to a video that gives you a good idea of what it's like. It was by far my most favorite ride.
|Eleanor waiting by the "original" Radiator Springs.|
|And still waiting. The first wait was about 1 1/2 hours!|
|Finally, on the ride and ready to go! Sad that we waited so long and the ride was over so fast!|
A fun trip on the swings!
It was soon time for Disney's California Adventures to close and so we went over to Disneyland. It was very crowded. Little did we know that earlier that day, the Backstreet Boys were filming a Christmas special and so the park was packed. It didn't help that is was a Sunday and a beautiful day. If you see the special, the band was wearing heavy coats to make it look like it was cold out, but it was actually close to 90 degrees that day.
Our first stop was the Pirates of the Caribbean since that ride was down when we went to the Magic Kingdom a few summers ago. We waited in line and got in a boat and moved up and then stopped and waited and waited and waited some more. Pretty soon they were making announcements that the ride would be moving shortly, except it never did. They finally had to turn on the lights and evacuate the ride. We went through a side entrance by one of the fake houses along the water. They gave us a free "pass" to be used in the fast pass lane of another ride.
So we went over to the Haunted Mansion and waited and waited and I realized the line was not moving at all. It was also broken down, but they weren't telling anyone that. We tried to leave and they had us kind of locked in, but we were finally able to go out. We worked our way through the crowds to the Thunder Mountain Railroad-finally success! It was dark and fast, but a lot of fun. Then we were somewhat lost as it was very dark and it had been over 15 years since I had been to Disneyland. We finally made it over to Fantasyland and were all excited to go on It's a Small World, but it was closed (they were decorating for Christmas). It was now almost over 2 hours since we had gotten in the park and we had only successfully ridden on one ride! We made our way to Tomorrowland and used our free pass on Star Tours.
We rode Buzz Lightyear on our way out of the park and made our way back to our hotel. We were tired (it was 2 am our time!) and Eleanor fell asleep before her head even hit the pillow.
Eleanor got some fun mouse ears with her birthday money.
We headed back over to Disney's California to enjoy a few more things over there before going back to the hotel. This Ferris Wheel was fun, but don't go on it if you are afraid of heights. What you can't see is that some of the cars do not stay in one place like on a regular Ferris Wheel-they move along a track. We did not go on those-they were too scary!!!
Saving Mr. Banks and it's about Walt Disney and his filming of Mary Poppins. If you look closely at this picture, everyone is wearing clothes from the 60's. They were taking a break when I took this picture.
Walt and Mickey were happy that we came to visit them.
|Phineas and Ferb!!|
Surprise! Christmas had arrived at Radiator Springs overnight!
We had to make sure we had a Mickey Mouse Ice Cream!
Waiting to watch the production of Aladdin. Front row seats. It was fabulous!!!
We spent one more night in California and then it was time to head back home. I'm pleased to say that our trip home was easy and uneventful. A rare thing when traveling with me!
Eleanor is sad that our trip is over.
Actually she's excited to go see Daddy and all her siblings. We brought presents!!!!
Although things did not go as smoothly as we had hoped, it was definitely a fun trip and one that I hope Eleanor will remember fondly for the rest of her life!