Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Birthday in the Happiest Place on Earth-Disneyland 2014 Day 1

This school year has been a tough transition for our family. Going from the freedom of summer, swimming all day playing all night, to a school structured setting has been really hard. The kids hate waking up early, putting on their uniforms, going to school all day, coming home to 2 hours of homework and reading (no joke) and all their other fall activities like soccer, dance, karate, etc, it seems like there has been no time for us to be together as a family or for the kids to be kids.

So after much prayer and a lot of conversations with friends and family we decided to switch schools and take a family vacation. I know it is a little out of the ordinary and maybe not great parenting but I wanted to take my kids out of school for a whole week so we could enjoy a family vacation to Disneyland. We bought season passes and stayed at the Paradise Pier Hotel (a Disney resort) for a week full of fun, food, and I'll admit some whining.

We set off for the 5 hour drive thinking we would stop once for food and a quick break. 7 hours later we made it to the hotel (3 stops, 2 times to get food and one quick diaper change). Whoever said traveling with kids is easy has not met my kids. But we made it and decided to go straight to the park to see the nighttime festivities. It was a long drive but I am glad we went straight to Disneyland because the kids were ready for some fun and it got them excited about the upcoming week. As we watched the parade I remembered why we made the trip in the first place. All three of them were frozen with awe in their eyes, and I admit a few tears in mine watching the joy on their faces. I knew we were going to have an incredible week.

We spent most of the first day riding on the rides in Fantasy land, the Dumbo ride was a big hit for everyone. Elizabeth was really brave and went for a run with dad on the Matterhorn. She thought it was awesome except for the scary yetti. Then we headed back to the hotel for a much needed break. Christian took a nap while the kids and I spent time at the pool. The pool is on the roof of the hotel and has a kiddy pool and waterslide so the kids spent most of their off time swimming. I enjoyed taking a break in the sunshine (it was 90+degrees everyday).

 Part of the reason we planned the trip for Septemeber is because it was the week of Lizzy's 5th birthday. Elizabeth wanted to visit the Bibbidi Bobbidi Botique as her birthday gift for the week. Even though she has been there before, the magic and enchantment of the godmother's in training was too much for this little girl to ignore. She loved every second of it and was very serious about her visit, not wanting to miss a thing. She chose a Tiana dress from the shop because it wasn't what all the other girls were choosing and after she wore it several other little girls wanted to trade their dresses in for the same one as Liz. My little fashion trendsetter. I must admit my favorite part of the whole experience was when we were done and we saw the boys, Jackson stopped in his tracks and said, "Lizzy you look beautiful." A precious moment that took my breath away.


We headed back to California Adventure for an evening exploring Cars land and watching the Pixar Parade. Christian especially loved this part of the trip because he recognized most of the characters especially his favorite Mater. By the time the park closed at 8pm the kids were beat and ready for bed. I'll tell you sharing a room with 3 kids is not the most restful night sleep I've ever had but it was really nice to be all together.

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