Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mickey's HOUSE!

This year for Christmas, Santa gave the kids a trip to Disneyland! Since the trip was last weekend, we had to explain ourselves a little more than usual. We told Bridget this trip was from Santa and she said, "You called him?!" Obviously we hadn't planned to answer any questions, so... Yes? "So he doesn't have cameras at school to watch us?" What? I hope it goes without saying that I would never tell my child that Santa has cameras watching her every move at school. Creepy. Anyway! We decided to break up the drive to California and stop over in Las Vegas for one night. Angelyn told me about a great childrens' museum on the outskirts of Vegas. The kids got out of the car and RAN for about three hours.
The museum had lots of interactive displays. Colin spent most of his time with the airplane stuff. (Brian and I had to run after one of the boys in order to keep track of them. I was totally sweating after a few minutes of chasing Colin from one display to the next.) The cockpit of this plane was one of Colin's favorites. He used the radio and turned the dials and buttons like a real pilot. :)
Then he took some time doing air traffic control. A step down, I think, but he was okay with it. I didn't get photos of Emil managing the auto shop. Brian said other kids would come in and leave tires and lug nuts on the floor and Emil would put things back in their place. 
They were lifting something by hanging on these ropes, but I didn't see what it was because Colin had disappeared from my peripheral vision.
Angelyn advised me to go to this water display last and I've never been more grateful for any piece of information. The kids LOVED it, but they got soaked! That slicker Emil is wearing is just a handy way to get more water on your clothes. (We changed diapers right before walking into the museum and both boys pooped the minute we got inside. That was the start to my adventures in changing diapers in public restrooms.) After some jumping outside (look at Emil's pants), we headed to the hotel in Vegas.
The next day we were off to Anaheim. I'm going to wonder later how we fed two 2 year-old boys while on vacation and the answer to that is - we didn't. They took bites here and there, but mostly it was running around the table, getting up and down off seats, crying and complaining. We went to Buca di Beppo in Anaheim after checking into our hotel. The boys had been in the car most of the day and they were hungry, but not hungry enough to sit down on their chairs and eat. Brian and I were trying to keep our cool and eat between chasing the boys when a young man showed up and asked us to scoot together for a photo op. He had us move several times and get photos of different combinations of the five of us before he went away. Twenty minutes later when the boys were covered in sauce and Brian and I had reached the end of our ropes, the young man returned with all our photos in paper frames, each one in color and black and white. We politely passed them around the table before handing all of them back and saying no thanks to buying any of them. Why would I want a picture of that moment in time? These are the times I'm working very hard to forget.
Why so hard, kids?
The boys didn't sleep very well the first two nights. We forgot to pack their blankets and Colin's Pooh Bear, so that made things extra hard. Both boys would climb into bed with us and I'd end up going with one of them to Bridget's bed. Monday morning it was time to go to MICKEY'S HOUSE! (Every day for about a week Emil would ask if it was time to go to Mickey's...HOUSE. When I answered "not yet" he'd say, "Okay.") The boys were pretty excited just to get on a bus, nevermind walking into Mickey's actual house. Maybe that can be their present next year - riding a city bus.

First we had to go on the merry-go-round, of course.
I think the boys were prepared for this level of awesome, but maybe not the Toon Town Awesome that came next. We got to meet Minnie Mouse! Inside her house! WHAT?! Look at all her cool stuff!
This is as close as Emil got to any of the characters in big costumes. He started over-thinking it and got freaked out.
Colin gave Minnie a hug.  Because he loves her.
Pluto also got a hug.
While we waited in line for Goofy, the pen Bridget was holding exploded all over her hands. Ah! I helped her clean up a bit, so I missed Colin's big hug for Goofy. He's still hanging onto Goofy's leg, though. Emil is only in this picture because I am holding his hand. Everyone in Toon Town had their Christmas decorations up. Adorable!

We rode the roller coaster in Toon Town next. Bridget sat alone in the front car, Emil and I were together in the next one, then Brian and Colin. Emil laughed maniacally and loved every second. Colin was brave, but we could tell he was scared.  Afterward he said, "Fun." When he actually had fun on other rides he would do fist pumps and yell, "FUN! AGAIN!" But we didn't know that at the time. :)

Bridget was anxious to ride something cool, so Brian took her to the Matterhorn. The line for Autopia was pretty short, so I decided I could handle taking the boys by myself. I let Emil steer our car while we drove all over the pretend highway. Brian and Bridget joined us to go on it again and this time Bridget drove one car with Brian and Emil and Colin steered our car. Colin and I kept spotting Daddy and Bridget and Emil and Colin yelled and yelled their names, but they couldn't hear us. We went around a third time because Emil was on the verge of a nervous breakdown not getting to drive. When Bridget got behind the wheel of our car she warned me that it was only her second time driving, so she hoped she would do a good job. :)

We headed over to California Adventures after eating the lunch we brought and riding a few more rides to see about getting Bridget on California Screamin' and Bridget met Daisy Duck on the pier while the boys did some of this:
Too bad. Daisy would have gotten a hug from Colin for sure. Bridget was too short for California Screamin'. Rats. Two more inches. So I took her to the Mickey Mouse gondola/Ferris wheel thing.
The boys woke up while Brian and Bridget went on another ride, so I got them in line to meet Woody.
Emil WOULD NOT like to meet Woody in person. I kind of get that. He has a big wooden face. After Colin gave Woody high fives and hugs and we were walking away he said, "Where Buzz?"
Zeppelin ride off the pier.

Pixar Parade in California Adventures. That Ariel ride next to Elastagirl is really cool. FUN! even.
Can anyone tell me why The Incredibles isn't a bigger deal? I didn't see any Incredibles merchandise anywhere and this appearance in the parade was all we saw of them. And Dash wasn't in the parade. I watch/listen to too many kids movies. I see that now. We went to Cars Land next and I was the one who wasn't prepared for the awesomeness.
It looks exactly like Radiator Springs in the movie "Cars"! Every single detail. Mater was hanging out at the Cozy Cone Motel, so we got to meet him and his punchy handlers.
It looked and sounded like Mater was talking to us. Amazing and hilarious. I peeked in the window of Sally's office and there were several traffic cone-shaped gingerbread houses. What?!! You know Sally would totally make those if she was real. Guys, I think she might be real.

When we came limping back into the hotel, the bell man stopped Brian and gave him a voucher for a free movie and also a bag with lots of small popcorn bags. Nice! All three of the kids fell asleep eating popcorn in our bed, so we put the movie off for the next night.

The first thing we did on our second day when we got to the park was split up - Brian went to get fast passes for Radiator Springs Racers and I took the kids to meet a princess. Belle was standing on a bridge with hardly anyone waiting for her, so we took some photos.
Oh yeah, Bridget chose her souvenirs the first night - a tiara and a Minnie Mouse necklace (she found them after she and Daddy got to ride Splash Mountain twice in a row with no waiting). I did her hair up in a bun so she could be a real princess on our second day. :) For some reason Colin was not having this meeting.
What is that about?! Emil walked right up to Belle and handed her the autograph book and accepted her compliment on his hair while Colin cowered 12 feet away. Are they trying to be this different from each other?

We did more family rides together - It's a Small World was all decked out for Christmas and playing Jingle Bells instead of their signature song. We could fit our whole family into one tea cup at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Then Brian took the boys to shoot at Zerg again while Bridget and I waited in our longest line yet for Tinkerbell. (We talked to a nice family from Australia. Everyone working at Disneyland and all the many many people who came to play were very nice. I like that about Disneyland.)
Speaking of nice, Tinkerbell's line was so long because she was talking to each child that came to see her and taking as many pictures as they wanted. Bridget commented that it was okay to wait for Tinkerbell because she was just being nice and spending time with everyone. There were so many moments that I was proud of Bridget during this trip. And every day, for that matter.
Juice break. Emil had two of those while we sat there. Foreshadowing. (He doesn't need no stinkin' straw!)
After we rode the Winnie the Pooh roller coaster I noticed that Pooh Bear himself was ready to meet people. Colin totally freaked out when he saw Pooh. He waited so patiently to meet Pooh Bear and he had his book ready to sign. (While we were in line Colin swiped his finger across the top of one of the fake honey pots that were everywhere, then he licked his finger. :)) After Pooh had signed the book, Colin put it on the rock wall, then ran back to Pooh:
Every time we stood in line to meet one of our friends there were a bunch of teenagers and adults in front of us getting photos. I have to think that Pooh Bear appreciated getting this hug from a 2 year-old who LOVES him. Right?!
This is what Emil did when we got in line to see Pooh Bear.
No hug from "Mo" - just a head butt. (Colin calls Emil "Mo," so now all of us do. Including Emil.)
Bridget and Brian went on big girl rides while the boys and I wandered around California Adventures. (I was shopping and Colin was sleeping.) After Star Tours Bridget asked Brian if they'd really gone to space. :) Since Emil wasn't sleeping, I let him out of the stroller to check out the frat house on the Monsters University set. A family came over and asked me to take their picture. While I was waiting for them to get in place and I was holding the mom's phone/camera, I saw Emil run away in my peripheral vision. RUN away. It was one of those Twin Moments that I've had - when I'm hopelessly outnumbered and they are winning. I hurried and took the picture, asked the nice mom and dad to watch my sleeping child in the stroller and I ran like an Olympian after Emil. I barely caught sight of his shirt ducking behind a Cast Only curtain. My heart!!
High fives for BUZZ!
Emil, once again, would not meet Buzz Lightyear. I include this photo only because I have Crazy Eyes and you can see that Emil is soaked. In pee, in case that wasn't clear. I should have taken a photo of him in a diaper, socks, and Superman hoodie, sitting in the stroller like a boss while I bought him a new shirt and looked for an air hand dryer for his pants for the next half hour. I could have gone to space with Bridget!
The parade at Disneyland was remarkable. Most of the princesses were in it with their princes. We had terrible seats, but we were sitting down eating when we should have been finding a good spot. I don't regret that as much as I regret paying $50 for four slices of pizza and three drinks the night before. Brian and Bridget ran from the parade to Space Mountain (fast passes) while I changed diapers and got birthday presents for the boys. I told the cashier to keep the toys on the DL because they were birthday presents and she whipped out a couple of birthday buttons for Emil and Colin. I wish I would have done that earlier in the day just to see Colin's face every time someone wished him a happy birthday and called him by name. (Of course Emil wouldn't wear the button.)

From Space Mountain, Bridget and I had to high tail it to Radiator Springs Racers to catch our fast pass time. We were only in line for about 15 minutes. While we waited, she explained to me that it was only her third time driving, so she hoped she wouldn't crash our car. :) It had been a rough afternoon for me, but that Racers ride made up for it. I was actually laughing hysterically through most of it (psychotic laughter, maybe). So fun! I wish the boys were tall enough to go on it - they would have been in heaven. While we were on it the boys and Brian met McQueen at the Cozy Cone Motel. After Brian did the Racers by himself, we went to Luigi's Tires. Colin came out of that one fist pumping and yelling, "FUN! AGAIN!" There was no line, so we did it again. :)

We started a movie for the kids when we got back to the hotel, but all of them fell asleep (eating popcorn again - Brian and I had to open their mouths to make sure it was all gone) after three minutes of watching the movie. It was a long, long, long drive home the next morning.
This is a very long post. I had to record the details because I know Emil and Colin will forget all about this wonderful trip. Santa had a good idea. :)


melissa said...

Oh! The happiness! Santa is a flippin' GENIUS! What a fun time of year to go. Also, you're the funniest. (Sally is real. HAHAHA)

Wendy said...

I hope this means I am a die hard fan. What a super fun trip. Santa is bringing our kids a trip to Legoland and Seaworld this week. Thanks for the tip on the stop in Vegas. I was going to take the kids to a strip club, but I guess the childrens museum will be better. :)

allyn said...

Disneyland is the most magical place on earth. The details are amazing. I love that Bridget took the rides so literally and that Colin had so much love for all the friends. Can't wait to see what happens at your house Christmas morning.