Monday, February 21, 2011

The Ultimate Surprise

Last week Brian and I surprised Chase and Clara with a trip to Disneyland and Legoland! We were like two giddy kids while we were planning the vacation without their knowledge; anticipating their excitement and surprise. The last time we were there Clara was just a baby, and although it was fun I vowed I would never take a baby to Disneyland again. About a year ago Clara came up to me and said "Mom, I want to go to the Disney place" and I knew it was time to start figuring out how and when to get there. Chase and Clara are at the perfect ages right now: Clara completely into princesses and exactly 40" tall (eligible for 90% of the rides), and Chase completely into Star Wars and Legos and exactly 46" tall (eligible for 98% of the rides). Brian fell in love with Ride Max at first sight and it actually worked just about as well as it claimed it would.

We didn't tell the kids the surprise until we were on our way to the airport, and they couldn't believe it! It was so overwhelming and they didn't really know what to think, but they were sure excited. We let them get a good night's rest, absorb the initial shock, and they were good to go by the next morning. We hit it hard for the next four days, getting up early to be at the park before it opened and staying late to watch the amazing shows and fireworks. We utilized the ride-max schedule to pack in as much fun as possible. Needless to say by the end of the trip we were all pretty much beat! I don't think we would have changed a thing though, it was so much fun!

Highlights: Clara and I went to the 'Princess Breakfast' where (as the name implies) she got dressed up and met all the Disney princess characters over breakfast. It was absolutely darling and she was in heaven! She wasn't shy with any of them. Clara's favorite rides: Small World (she sang the song the entire way both times we rode it) and The Haunted Mansion. For Chase, we went to the Jedi Training show and he was picked to participate and fight Darth Vader! He was on cloud nine (or the planet of Naboo) during the entire thing. He was so happy to find an R2D2 mouse ears hat too! His favorite rides: Indiana Jones (we hit it four times) and Space Mountain. Mom's favorite rides: Soarin' Over California, Thunder Mountain and California Screamin.' Brian's favorite rides: Soarin' Over California, The Train (yes, the one that goes about five miles an hour around the entire park), and Indiana Jones. He was also thrilled to find out that the Tea-cup ride wasn't working for the whole time we were there (it makes him sick). Other highlights; the weather was perfect, we got to meet up with our super friends the DeLongs, and we hardly waited in any lines. We also got to take the kids to one of our all time favorite spots: Ruby's Diner at the end of the Oceanside Pier. We watched the sun set and enjoyed the best milkshakes on earth.

Lowlights: Clara hated space mountain and was really disappointed in 'the real' Tinker Bell. I'm pretty sure she was expecting a teeny tiny flying fairy, not a full grown woman dressed in a costume. Chase hated Tower of Terror (Mom warned him) and called it the 'death elevator.' It gave him nightmares for several nights. Brian really disliked 'Autopia.' Mom's gun didn't work on the new Toy Story ride. Mom lost her iPod in the Redwood Creek Challenge rope tunnels. It had all the videos of when we surprised the kids with the trip, and the videos of Clara with each of the Princesses at the Princess Breakfast. So sad....

Our Disneyland/Legoland vacation was a trip to remember, and it couldn't have come at a better time!

11th Annual Superbowl Party

Bri's best friend Scott Mills and his family have been hosting a Superbowl party for eleven years! I can still remember the first one: small apartment, no kids, lots of treats, good times, had by all. Eleven years later: Large home, packed wall to wall with kids (17 and counting), tons of food and still good times had by all. We have enough memories of hilarious commercials, halftime shows, underdog upsets, favored team blowouts, wardrobe malfunctions, creative appetizers etc. to fill a football stadium. Thanks Mills'!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chats with Clara

Clara always seems to be losing her little metal hair clips, and I finally remembered to buy some more for her last week. When I brought them home she said:

"Are these for me? Thank you! I promise I won't put them in my piggy bank any more."

Mystery solved.