Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Happy-ish Place on Earth

In April, (yes, I know it is June. Let's not talk about that...) we decided to brave "The Happiest Place on Earth" for our big family trip for the year. We figured we should go to Disneyland while the girls were still young enough that everything would be "magical" and because they are currently obsessed with princesses. Dressing up as one is an everyday occurrence at our house. Jane is always Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty because they are blond like her. Allie is always Jasmine because...both like to show their belly button. I always seem to be deemed Pocohontas which I think is pretty great. She is one tough chic. Cliff diver, kayaker, and her grandma is a tree. Pretty cool. (Although, Jevan and I have a long standing argument about whether Pocohontas is, in fact, a princess. Daughter of a chief? C'mon..that SO counts).

We went with some friends who also have 2 small kids. They were smart and decided to fly. We decided to save money and drive. I actually highly recommend driving to Disneyland - we made great time, kids were happy, all went smoothly. I just don't recommend driving HOME from Disneyland. Instead, board a jet that travels somewhere around the speed of light. It was over 12 hours of torture.

Overall, the trip was great. We loved our days at Disneyland despite a few days of cold and rain. The girls had a great time and even got to eat a very overpriced dinner with the princesses. We rode the girls' favorite rides over and over, which by the way were not Peter Pan or Dumbo. Nope. Splash Mountain and Allie's favorite, Tower of Terror. What the? The girl thrives on adrenaline.

We also visited Sea World (not so impressed...I think it's because they put all their money and resources into Shamu instead of having world class aquariums like I thought they would. And I dunno, there is just something that rankles in the back of my brain when I watch the Shamu Show knowing that Shamu EATS people.)

I know travel logs are long and lame so I will just let the pictures do the rest of the talking.

Let the magic begin! (Or something.....)

The must- have picture in front of the castle. Ya know, I've been to Disneyland lots of times and I never knew you could actually go IN the castle. I thought it was all for show - which I thought was pretty lame. It's good to know they are letting Sleeping Beauty live there. Here is also one of the many places we almost lost Allie. That kinda happened A LOT.

The key to getting a cute smile from the Allie is surprise. Fear and surprise. Fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, and an almost fanatical devotion to the pope. (Monty Python anyone?)

Meanwhile Jane always hams it up. They are both quite cute if I do say so myself!

Dad and Jane riding Dumbo.

Yay for Dumbo!

The girls were more excited for this visit with Tigger than for just about anything else. Allie was positively giddy. It was really cute.

In addition to fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, and a fanatical devotion to the pope, tickles form Dad will also get Allie to smile.

And at about 5:00 the girls zonked out. Which was perfect considering we had our dinner with the Princesses at 6:30!!!

In this picture, the recently awakened but still exhausted girls are trying their best to be happy...

... whereas here they make no such effort. Truly the happiest place on earth. I think Jane is particularly unhappy because Jevan woke her up from her nap and took her on the Grizzly River Run and got her soaked.

Ahh, the "Princess" Dinner. Never have the girls tasted such expensive macaroni and cheese. Nor will they again.

The girls really did get a kick out of giving each of the princesses a hug. It was cute to see them flip when they came up to the table.

She may have a dress like Belle on, but she was freaky. But not nearly as freaky as some of the other "Princesses". For example...

Meet Snow White! She enjoys cooking and cleaning for small men, long walks in the forest, and occasionally murders potential mates with an ice pick. But if you think SHE'S scary...

Jevan was (and still is) convinced that Ariel was either a robot or a giant cockroach alien hiding in a human's skin like the thing from Men In Black. She was truly terrifying. Not sure if they cast these roles based upon the individual's potential for violent crime but it certainly seemed like it.

Sea World! Gotta love the tide pools. Playing with sea creatures is always fun.


Allie has started this thing of putting her hands over her ears whenever a) there is something scary on TV or outside, or b) when she is being scolded. In this picture we were walking through a tunnel with sharks swimming above and there was some scary music playing.

Our little Allie actually nearly managed to jump into the seal pen at one point.

Unfortunately, the day we decided to go to the beach it was cold with gale-force winds. But hey, how can you not have fun at a beach? There is just nothing better than lots of sand and seashells to discover.

Jane got a little bit wet so needed to be covered with her towel to stay warm.

Jevan spent the day at the beach in his fleece.

Matt and Jen did as well. But we made it to the beach, dangit!

We sat through one of the parades and the girls got to go and dance with Buzz and Woody.

The girls with Tinkerbell and her vaguely effeminate brown-clad "friend". Jevan called him a "Mairy".

Yay for the Peter Pants ride! Note: calling it "Peter Pants" made Jane quite upset.

Jevan dropped me off in St. George on the way home to go hiking and ride bikes with some of the women from my neighborhood. It was nice to go from a week of non-stop family time to some girl time with friends. All in all it was a fabulous vacation!