Thursday, July 26, 2007
I just finished reading the final Harry Potter book on Monday. It was brilliant, sad, wonderful, scary in parts, happy, and bittersweet all in one. I sobbed and sobbed when I was finished. I have been in mourning this past week, because the series in finally over. No more Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, Hogwarts, Quidditch, nothing! WAAAAH!!! The one good thing about books, is you can revisit them anytime you want. Once I have recovered from my "losses" I will have to re-read the series again.
The kids have been having fun with the sprinklers in the back yard. Soon we will be receiving a above ground pool in the mail. We can't wait for that. It is one of those Easy Set kinds that has the ring that you blow up and that keeps all the water in. It is 15'x42", so a pretty nice sized pool.
They've also been having fun at Mommy & Me. This last one we went to, they got to plant seeds. Two plants for each of them. Sierra planted peas, and marigolds. Both of her plants have grown really well. Dallin planted peas and a sunflower. His seeds haven't grown as well as Sierra's for some reason. But one of them finally sprouted the other day for him. So he is happy about that. After the planting, the kids played with sidewalk chalk, and had icecream, while the moms visited. Dallin wasn't interested for very long with the chalk. He was more interested in the Gameboy that one of the other boys there was playing with.
Dan and I will be going to Las Vegas in a couple weeks, just the two of us. It will be my first time there, so I'm really looking forward to it. Dan's parents will be coming here to watch the kids for us. Then we'll spend about 3 days there in Vegas. We'll do the usual, gamble, go to the strip clubs, get drunk, go to the Bunny Ranch, and buy some illicit drugs and party........
We have two shows we plan on going to. "The Blue Man Group", which a lot of people have recommended. And "The Phantom", which I heard is like a condensed version of Phantom of the Opera. I love Phantom of the Opera, so I am really looking forward to the Vegas show. We also plan on riding on all the scary roller coaster rides, shopping, eating excellent food, seeing all the sights, and going dancing at least one of the nights there (Yay!). We are staying at the MGM Grand. I'm excited, it should be a blast. And it will be nice to just spend all that alone time with Danny. :)
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Once in the park at 7 AM we headed to Fantasyland again. Today was our day to do whatever rides we wanted to go on again. So the kids said they wanted to do Dumbo, Teacups, Carrousel, and Sierra and I went on Alice again. Then we went to Tomorrowland and Sierra & I rode on Buzz again. Dallin decided at that moment that the robot in the ride was too scary for him, and wouldn't ride it that time around.
Then we went back into Fastasyland to ride the Storybookland Canal Boats. Once in line the kids decided they needed to use the bathroom. So we had to walk back out of line to do that. After that we decided to just skip that ride. We've never rode on it before, so maybe next time.
Instead we went on It's a small world. There was no wait whatsoever to ride this, which was great. It is a cute classic ride. Too bad the song gets stuck in your head afterward, and tortures you for practically the rest of the day. lol
Once Small World was done, we decide to just sit a few minutes and wait for Toontown to open up. It opens an hour after park hours open. Except for the days of Toontown Morning Madness. And then it just opens early for those that have tickets, which we did but didn't use the day before. We did a lot more sitting Thursday, than we did the other days. My feet demanded it, and it was nice to take it easy.
When Toontown opened up we walked straight to Mickey's House to meet Mickey Mouse. We had about a 15 minute wait until it was our turn. Then we got to meet "the Mouse that started it all". :) Then we explored his house, which was really cute. Then we checked out Donald Duck's Boat. No Donald there though.
After that we tried to get on Gadget's Go Coaster, but it wasn't working and wouldn't be for a couple hours. Instead we headed to Roger Rabbits Cartoon Spin. It has been a while since I've gone on that ride. It was the kids and Dan's first time riding it. We probably won't do it again anytime soon. None of us really liked it. It especially isn't that much fun, if you haven't seen the movie. The kids have not seen the movie, so it was not that great if a ride for them. When that was over the kids wanted to play at Goofy's playground. The kids played and Dan & I watched.
We walked all the way to Critter Country after that. The kids wanted to ride on Winnie the Pooh a couple more times again. We then decided to just wait in New Orleans Square and relax until our lunch reservations at Cafe Orleans. Our family met up with us there.
Cafe Orleans was yummy yet again. We ate there last year, and had to eat there again this year, we loved it last time so much. Grandma and I split the Monte Cristo sandwich. Which is the best sandwich ever! It is turkey, ham, and swiss cheese sandwich, dipped in a batter and deep fried. It comes with this tasty berry dipping sauce. Sooooo good. Dan got the seafood crepes. He said they were very yummy too. And the kids got Mac & Cheese, (do we see a theme going on here, lol) which also came with fresh fruit. Can't remember what the rest of our party had.
Once lunch was over Grandma, Dallin, and I wanted to go watch Billy Hill and the Hillbillies. I love this show, it is very funny. It is in the Golden Horseshoe, in Frontierland. Four "brothers" all named Billy, play instruments, sing, and do silly things for the audience. I highly recommend it. While we watched the show, Dan and everyone else went on Big Thunder Mountain. They even convinced Sierra to go on it. My brave girl!
After that Dan, Grandma, Dallin, Sierra, and I went to Main Street to shop for a minute. I needed a hat. My poor scalp was fried. I found a cute one that reads, "Princess..Pampered, Primped, and Perfect in Every Way". Too too true, lol. ;p When we were through shopping we went and sat down in the Plaza Pavilion area to wait for Alice and the Mad Hatter to come for Musical Chairs. Every day at 2:30 they play musical chairs with the kids. A lot of other characters like Bert, Peter Pan, Geppetto, etc. join the fun as well, depending on the day.
While we waited for musical chairs we had some delicious icecream and relaxed. Mary Poppins and Bert came along. So we got to meet them. I was totally excited, because they are my favorite characters and the ones I wanted to meet the most at Disneyland. Both cast members were spot on in their acting. Bert asked Dallin, "Are you a chimney sweep?". Dallin said, "No", and laughed because Bert was so silly.
A few minutes after meeting Mary and Bert, we spotted Alice coming along. It was time for the fun! Unfortunately she was the only one playing that day. No Mad Hatter or anyone else. The kids were disappointed a little bit. They were looking forward to meeting Peter Pan. But they did still have fun with Alice. It was such a blast to watch. Sierra was the second one to be an "un-winner". Dallin made it to the final three, before he became an "un-winner". When he lost, Alice let him tell everyone a joke. His joke was "Why did the chicken cross the rode?". Alice asked, "Why?". "To get to the duck on the other side!". What a goofy boy. :D
When musical chairs was finished, and the rest of our party joined us, we walked over to Tomorrowland to ride Space Mountain. We all had fastpasses for it, so we had only about a 5 minute wait. Dallin and Sierra didn't want to ride, so they stayed with Grandma. It was so much fun once again. Love that ride!
After Space Mountain we decided to head back over to California Adventure park. We wanted to catch the Block Party Bash parade. On our way out of Tomorrowland, who should we run into, but Buzz Lightyear! Dallin was so excited. Buzz is his favorite character. As we were leaving Buzz, Dallin said to him "Keep up the good work Space Ranger!" And Buzz gave Dallin a high five and then saluted him.
We walked over to DCA, and the kids wanted to ride Monster's Inc. again. While we were riding that Lindsay and Brandon ran over to Screamin' and picked up everyone fastpasses. When Monsters ride was done, we wanted to do Tower of Terror again. So Grandma, Dan, Laurie, Lindsay, Brandon, Makenna, and I went on that ride. While Erin took Dallin and Sierra over to the Animation Studio where they have Turtle Talk with Crush. Erin had never done it, and Dallin & Sierra wanted to talk to Crush once before our trip was over. So it worked out perfectly. On our way to our destinations the kids got to meet Jojo from "Jojo's Circus". Which is a kids show on Disney Channel.
Even without fastpasses Tower or Terror had a very short line. We only had to wait maybe 10 minutes at most. Since the wait had been so short for us, after we got off the ride, we wanted to go ahead and go on it again. But when we came out the line was all the way down the street. So it was a no go. :(
Instead we decided to rest for a minute, and then head over to Cali Screamin again. We decided to do that instead of watching the Block Party Bash parade. Dan and I wanted to fit the coaster in before our dinner reservations at the Napa Rose. Grandma took the kids and was going to meet all of us at Grizzly River after we were done with Screamin.
After riding the coaster again, it was time for Dan and I to go. We were just having a special dinner for two, while Grandma and everyone else took Dallin and Sierra to dinner.
The Napa Rose is in the Grand Californian hotel It is such a nice restaurant. Very fancy and romantic. The food was excellent. We had a sausage and pasta appetizer. And then Dan got a NY Steak dish, and I had a veal dish. Mine was very good. It had a nice flavor, but it was a lot more rare than I like it. It started to gross me out a little bit, and I ended up not finishing it. Next time I will make sure to ask for it a little more well done. Overall it was a very nice meal, and we will definitely eat there again if we get the chance.
With dinner finished we walked over to Disneyland. We met up with everyone else at Plaza Inn. They were in the process of getting dinner there. They said the kids were very well behaved the whole time Dan and I were at dinner. While they were eating, we decided to use our last two fastpasses and ride Space Mountain again.
Monday, July 9, 2007
We were ready and waiting at the special hotel entrance to get in the park by about 9:15. They unofficially start letting guests in at 9:30. At that time the only ride open is Soarin' Over California. Once inside the park, that is the ride we walked to. This is a very fun ride. You feel like you are flying in a hang glider, while sitting and staring at this huge IMAX screen. The ride moves with the scenery's changes, and it also shoots smells of what you are looking at as you "fly" by. It is neat to see all the different scenery of California. My one teeny tiny complaint is that they need to have some sort of tribute to Northern California. All the shots concentrate on the Bay Area on down to Southern California. And being a NorCal native, I wasn't feeling the love. lol Other than that minor complaint, it truly is an awesome ride to experience.
Once we were done riding Soarin', Dan headed over to Disneyland to get us some fastpasses for Indiana Jones. That way he and I could go on it later that evening. While he was off doing that, the kids and I met Lightning McQueen and Mater from the "Cars" movie. The cast member asked if one of the kids wanted to help, and gave Sierra a rag to polish Lightning up. After that I took the kids over to the Paradise Pier area to ride on King Triton's Carousel. It is a cute carousel, all the animals are sea creatures.
The kids and I then walked over to the SS Rustworthy to check that out. It is a little play water area, for children, in the shape of a rusty old fire boat. It was OK, but seemed a little run down. We probably won't bother going on it again. When the kids were finished checking out the Rustworthy, Dan had come back with his family. His mom; Cindy, three of his sisters; Laurie, Erin, and Lindsay, and his nephew and niece; Brandon & Makenna. They were there at Disney with us for the next two days.
After they arrived, I was off to get all of us some fastpasses for Soarin' again, and for Grizzly River Run. While they all went on the Jumpin' Jellyfish ride. Once I was back with the fastpasses, we all went on the Golden Zephyr ride. Dallin ended up loving this ride. And we ended up going on it quite a few times.
Once the Zephyr was conquered, the "big kids" went on Mullholland Madness, while Grandma watched Dallin and Sierra. Mullholland Madness is a type of coaster. It zips you quickly back and forth around the track. It was an alright ride, pretty fun. But nothing really impressive. I don't know if I'd take the time next trip to do it again, unless everyone else wanted to go on it.
When Mullholland was over, it was time for Dan, Dallin, Sierra, and I to walk over to Ariel's Grotto for our lunch reservations. The rest of our party went to do their own thing. They had had a later breakfast, so weren't ready to eat lunch yet.
Ariel's Grotto was a nice restaurant. You pay a flat fee for a three course meal. A salad or soup, the main course, and dessert. The food was about average, not terrible, but definitely not the best we've had at the park. The kids both got Mac & cheese yet again. This dish was themed very cute. On top of the macaroni it had goldfish crackers and a hot dog made to look like an octopus. They also had carrot sticks and celery with ranch, and for dessert Dallin had apples with a caramel dipping sauce, and Sierra had a berry and yogurt parfait. As for Dan and I, we both had a salad, I had a cheeseburger & Dan fish and chips, and for dessert Dan had a parfait like Sierra, and I had a scrumptious chocolate cake. It was the best part of the meal! :)
The restaurant is a place to meet the Princesses easily. We got to meet Aurora, Cinderella, Snow White, and Belle. And on our way out, we stopped and said, "Hi" to Ariel. She doesn't walked around with the rest of the princesses. You have to wait in line before you go in to eat, to meet her. The kids didn't want to meet her then, so we skipped it. But then, they decided when we were leaving that they had to see her. Which actually worked out better for us anyway, because there was no long line when the kids changed their minds. Dallin and Sierra both say that their favorite Princess was Cinderella.
After lunch we walked over to the Hollywood Backlot part of DCA and went to check in for the Aladdin show. We had special seating, that we got for buying our vacation package through AAA. We had to wait about 30 minutes before they let us in the theater. The wait was worth it in my opinion, because the show was great. It is pretty much like the movie, but they added a couple extra songs, and shortened the story a bit. The guy that played the genie was hilarious. He did an awesome job. I definitely recommend this show if you have the time to see it.
When the show was over we went and saw the Muppets 3D show. Dan's Mom met up with us there. The other members in our party had already gone into the show right before us, but Grandma went in with us. This was a funny show, although the preshow had me cracking up even more. I forgot how funny the Muppets are. I used to watch the Muppet Show faithly as a kid. This show is a 3D show, and my eyes, because I wear glasses, ended up really hurting by the end of it. And I started to feel nauseous. So I probably will stay away from all 3D show from now on. It wasn't worth it to me. The kids love this show though. Dallin especially was cracking up over some of the hijinks.
We got out of the Muppets theater and met up with the rest of our party. Then we headed into the Monster's Inc. ride. This is an adorable dark ride. The queue is also fun. They have a bunch of different posters and signs relating to the monster world that are too funny. The ride pretty much follows the story line of the movie. "Monster's Inc." is my favorite Pixar-Disney movie, so I enjoy this ride.
After Monster's we walked over to Grizzly River Run. Lindsay took Sierra to watch her while the rest of us went on Grizzly. Unfortunately Sierra isn't tall enough yet to ride it, and Lindsay didn't want to get wet. Next year Sierra should be tall enough. This is a very fun raft ride. It was Dallin's first time on it, so he was a little nervous. He did really well and decided that he liked it, when it was over. I actually didn't get all that wet this time, but enough to cool off a little from the heat.
When that ride was over, we walked back to the Paradise Pier area to use our fastpasses to go on California Screamin'. This is such an awesome roller coaster. The kids couldn't ride it, and didn't want to anyway, lol. So they stayed with Grandma, Laurie, Erin, & Brandon and rode the carousel again. While Dan, Lindsay, Makenna and I went on Screamin'. I love the start of the ride. It shoots you off really fast over the water. I also love the loop.
We walked over to the Maliboomer after Screamin'. Only Dan, Lindsay, Brandon, and I went on it though. The others decided to pass on it. This was fun. It is a big tower thing, and you get shot up, however many stories tall it is, really really fast. What a rush!
When that was over, some of our party went over to get some icecream at Burrrbank Icecream and relax. We let them take Dallin and Sierra to get some, while Dan and I took Brandon and Makenna onto Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. I love love love this ride. It is my favorite in DCA. It is the best, if you are into thrills. You end up going on this "elevator" that takes you to the "twilight zone" where you get dropped multiple times. It takes you up and drops you a little ways, and then takes you all the way up to the top, the doors open where you can look out at DCA and DL and then it drops you again, then up again to the top, and down a varied amount of times. Woooo such a blast!!! Here is a picture of us that was took while on the ride. We're in the second row.
After TOT we met up with everyone else from their icecream bonanza. They said the kids really enjoyed the icecream. Dallin enjoyed it so much he had it all over his face, they said. While Sierra was more prim and proper and ate the icecream with a spoon. lol Grandma and Auntie Lindsay took the kids over to the A Bug's Land part of the park to ride all the fun bug rides. While the rest of us, went to go on California Screamin' again. Then we went into A Bug's Land to meet up with the kids and ride the rest of the rides with them there.
We all went on Francis' Ladybug Boogie together, and the Heimlich's Choo Choo Train. Dallin and Sierra had already done the other rides right before we did those two. So after that we were finished with A Bug's Land. Grandma had to go and get her car, and then she was going to our room at the Grand Californian to relax, and so she could watch our kids later that night while we went on the bigger rides. The rest of us parted ways as well. Dan, the kids, and I were going to get dinner. And the others were headed back to Disneyland.
We did have reservations planned at Goofy's Kitchen, but decided not to use them. We weren't hungry at the time that the reservations were, plus we didn't feel up to walking all that way to Disneyland Hotel. So we skipped it. And instead when we did get hungry for dinner, we just went to the "walk up & order" places in Paradise Pier. Sierra and I got food from Pizza Oom Mow Mow. Dan and Dallin got food from Burger Invasion, which is actually just McDonalds. It was all OK, as much as fastfood can be. It was enough to satisfy our bellies anyway.
Once finished with dinner, we hurried over to Soarin' again. We wanted to use our fastpasses, that we still had, to go on it again, before the Electrical Lights Parade started. Sierra by that time had decided that she didn't like that ride anymore. Something about flying into the fireworks at the end that scared her (Plus I think it was a tired and cranky issue, more than anything). So she was kind of freaking out, about getting on it. I told her that I would ride right next to her and it would be alright. She calmed down enough to get on it, and was OK for the most part. On the ride Dallin was cold, and a nice lady next to us let him use her jacket while riding. I thought that was so sweet.
When we got off the ride, the Electrical Parade was half way over. We did walk over to watch the rest of it go by. This is such a nice parade. I am glad they brought it back, and put it in DCA to enjoy. I remember going to Disneyland the year they were retiring the parade at the park. So it has been especially nice to see it again these past two years.
After the parade was over, we fought the seas of people leaving, to walk back to the Grand Californian entrance to get to the hotel. It was time for the kids to go to bed. They were more than exhausted. Grandma was there in our room when we arrived. After the kids were in bed, and prayer said, Dan and I headed out back to Disneyland to ride some of the rides we couldn't go on with the kids. By this time though my feet were torturing me. I definitely recommend getting really good shoes, if you plan on spending as much time at Disney Resort as we did. I had brought Keds, and sandals which are both fine for wearing shorter amounts of time. But neither had good arch support, which I need with my high arches, so my feet were really miserable by Wednesday night and Thursday. I did not let it stop me from having fun though!
Here's a picture of the Paradise Pier area of the DCA park. I love the look of the Sunwheel ferris wheel. But you can't get me to go on that thing. You can't see it totally, but off the the left side of the picture you can see a part of the Cali Screamin' coaster. The middle has big Mickey Mouse ears. And the loop in the coaster goes around the middle of Mickey.
We met up with Laurie, Erin, Lindsay, Brandon, and Makenna in Disneyland. Our first adventure of the night was Pirates of the Caribbean. Since the kids refused to go on this, we had to, at least, go on it once while at Disneyland. It is one of our favorites. I love how they have added Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa to parts of the ride. But still kept the old ride pretty much the same. They also have a cool Davy Jones special effect, on a part of the ride, now. We only had about a 5-10 minute wait, because the fireworks had just got over. So that was nice.
After Pirates we used our fastpasses to go on Indiana Jones. I love this ride too. It is a blast. It is a jeep ride that takes you through the Temple of Mara (?). You encounter a bunch of dangers; a giant snake, bugs, arrows flying at you, a huge boulder coming straight for you. Crazy, exciting ride. The queue is cool too. There are objects that say "Do Not Touch" that when you actually touch them something happens. Another Disney touch that I love. When Indy was over, everyone else said goodbye to Dan and I. They wanted to go back to their hotel and sleep. Since Dan and I had two extra Indy fastpasses, we decided to go on the ride again. :D
Then we did one more ride, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It was fun doing it in the dark. And after that we decided to go back to our hotel. We did want to go on Space Mountain, since Dan hadn't gotten to ride it yet that trip. But we didn't have fastpasses, and we knew that even that close to closing that there still was probably about an hour wait in the Standby line. So we passed on it, and instead hobbled back to our hotel. Thank goodness the Grand Californian is so close, because my feet felt like they were about to fall off. lol
Our final day coming soon...