Monday, September 21, 2015

notes on travel: disney land and huntington beach

last week we took a family vacation to disney land and huntington beach. it was much needed, especially after the health scare from last month. it was so wonderful to spend quality time together as a family!

easton had been looking forward to spending his fourth birthday in disneyland for MONTHS. this was our first trip to disney, since having kids (tony and i hadn't been to disneyland since we were kids, ourselves) and we were so excited to experience the magic. before we went, however, we made a quick stop in huntington beach. we stayed at the Kimpton, Shorebreak Hotel right on the water. as soon as we arrived we grabbed the hotel supplied beach toys, blankets, and beach towels and headed straight to the beach. the four of us played in the water for hours. i couldn't believe how warm and how clear the water was. easton and sailor loved digging in the sand, building sandcastles, and letting the water wash over their tiny little bodies.

 as always, there was a lot of jumping on beds during this trip...

we ate dinner at the hotel (which was amazing) and went back to our room for an early bedtime. in the morning, my dear friend (from elementary school) met us at our hotel. we chatted and hung out on the swanky patio while the kids played a large game of chess and dug in the sandbox.

then, we were off to disneyland! we picked up our friends at the airport and went straight to the park.

 day one of disney was full of fantasyland. we road snow white, pinnochio, dumbo, tea cups, small world, and lot's of others. easton was NOT a fan of the snow white and pinnochio rides. they were too scary- but that kid was a roller coaster king. he went on every single ride (minus space mountain, the matterhorn, and indiana jones). we also didn't take him on the haunted mansion ride, because snow white scared him. no explanation required.

Sailor loved meeting the characters. he especially loved pooh bear, he had a very special moment with him, holding hands and rubbing noses. true to form, sailor takes a while to warm up- so whenever we got on a ride, sailor would cling to me and whine but by the time the ride ended he would try to stay on, trying to go for another. he loved the little mermaid ride and winnie the pooh ride the best!

we went to disneyland with the idea that we would buy each kid a shirt, a stuffy, and one toy. however, a very special fairy surprised us with four day park hopper tickets- and wouldn't let us pay her back, so we let the kids get a few more trinkets. it's something that we will probably never do again, but it was pretty cool to say yes (for the most part) every time easton asked for something. he was quite surprised, actually. easton's favorite character is minnie mouse (just like his mama). he even wanted minnie mouse ears to wear around the park. he loved meeting minnie and seeing her "house," and she loved seeing his minnie mouse ears!

tony and i got to spend the morning with our friends, anica & chris. they met us for some adult rides and lunch at disneyland. we had a great time, until we picked up the kids at a ride and listened to the one and only melt down from sailor on the entire trip (but it lasted for about 3 hours).

 tony and i on the indiana jones ride, and cynthia and i taking a selfie while our kiddos played in the "street."

we watched the light show, hit the parades, saw the frozen sing along, the mickey mouse club house show, and even got caught in the rain one morning. we wore rain parkas, minnie ears, and lots of smiles!

easton's birthday was two days shy of our disneyland trip. so we did what any normal parent would do…we lied. we told him is birthday was on our last day in disneyland (which was september 16th, when his actual birthday was september 18th). we celebrated his birthday at the park, and ate dinner with all of our friends at Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland hotel. we even had a special minnie mouse cake made, just for him! he was a little off kilter by that point (8pm on the last day in disneyland), but it was still extremely special and extremely magical! we bought him a mickey mouse watch for his birthday and "slink dog" (from toy story).

we ended our trip the same way we started. huntington beach. tony flew home on thursday, and i drove on, to visit with anica (for a third time!!) and then to karen's house. karen is one of my closest friends, she and her family moved to huntington beach about six months ago (and we miss them dearly). easton and sailor love their buddies, neena and bear (and play so well with them, it's honestly a joy to watch). we spent the night and hung out all day with them. it was a wonderful end to a wonderful trip!

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