Wednesday, July 15, 2009

California Fun

By getting married in San Diego on July 11, Josh’s sister, Christina, gave us the excuse we needed to take our kids to Disney Land, something we have really been wanting to do. Josh and I both LOVE amusement parks, especially Disney. We have been to Disney Land twice and Disney World twice in our seven years of marriage. (We celebrated our 7th anniversary while at Disney Land on the 6th.) We have always left the kids at home with the mindset that Disney Land is not the happiest place on earth for a toddler who needs a nap. It was so much fun to see the magic from the eyes of Caleb and Cara. (Thankfully my mom took Andy for the Disney portion of the vacation and then he flew to the wedding and home again with the Kirks.)

The trip started on July 4th with a drive to Las Vegas. The best part of Vegas was the swimming pool. Everything else we did we could have skipped.

We spent Monday – Wednesday at Disney Land. I will let the pictures do the talking. It really was magical.

Cara’s favorite rides were the Tea Cups and Dumbo. We arrived before the park opened every morning so we hit those rides before there were any lines each day. Five minutes – done!

Caleb loved Pirates, Star Tours, Space Mountain and Autopia (the car driving one). We were concerned about Caleb being brave enough to go on the rides but he did awesome. He even went on Indiana Jones and the California Screamer. He was so scaird on the Tower of Terror that in the first room he wet his pants, but he did it. Here he is riding "no hands."

Caleb’s goal for the vacation was to do Jedi Training and to fight Darth Vader. He was so excited! He would really like to use the force now, but I have to remind him he is not yet a Jedi. His training has just begun. In fact, as he got up to fight Darth Vader, Vader said, "The force is strong with you, but you are not a Jedi yet."

Cara’s dream came true too. We had decided we would not wait the 1.5 hours required to meet the princesses. It was our last day and we happened upon a show in California Adventure that ended with Cinderella, Mickey, and Woody. Everyone was invited to follow them into the building. People hesitated, but Cara went running up to Cinderella. Cinderella took Cara by the hand and walked with her into the building. Cinderella knelled down and put Cara on her lap and continued to talk with her. It as so so so fun for me to watch. Who says that dreams don’t really come true.

We saw a lot of wonderful characters. With virtually no line for any of them. (Going early in the morning is the only way to have such a great experience.)

Cara was great about falling asleep in her stroller when she got tired. Here we sat her up to try to wake her for a parade. When the parade came she perked up, but she was dead to the world.

I can’t make this post without telling about the great deals that I got. I had never used Priceline for hotels before. We scored the Anaheim Crown Plaza for just $59 a night and in San Diego we stayed in the 4-star Hyatt Winchester down town for just $69 a night. I hooked up with another family using the KSL online classifieds and split a six-day flex pass for Disney. They took three days and we took three days and paid just $20 per person per day. We also went to Sea World. We got our tickets off of Craig’s List San Diego. They were 30-day pass, including parking, for just $35 per person. I know! AWESOME! I love getting a deal.

We spent Thursday afternoon and Friday morning at Sea World with the whole Kirk gang. We all really enjoyed the shows even though we were totally exhausted. I guess Andy was the exception. It was so scary to him any time the crowed cheered or a dolphin or whale jumped he shouted out in fear. I was especially impressed with the night shows. Unfortunately there were not many picture opportunities. We did get these of the kids riding a ride with Grandma and Grandpa Kirk.

We will be getting awesome pictures from the wedding from Christina's photographer, but here are a few from the beach front wedding dinner. Even after eight days of travel the kids were ready to party and dance all night.

A word to the wise, don't let your baby get an orio cookie while sitting on white sheets. He may love it, but it can be a huge mess for house keeping. At least it was for house keeping and not for me - the usual "house keeping".

The kids were so awesome! The were great on the drive and through every part of the trip. I really couldn't ask for better sports - even when they had to do a little waiting. The are best friends and I love them so much!