Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Welcome Back To Reality

The days after a big trip feel so surreal. On the one hand, it's great to be home. 

Fritzie glued himself to my lap. 

On the other hand, we had medical appointments to coordinate, mountains of laundry to tackle, a leaking toilet, a broken sink faucet, banking and homeschool and grocery shopping to do... You know... The usual. 

Curly and I took a little time out from all the chores to make some earrings with the beads FemmeCa* gave us. 

And Abi has improved a bit. I think she is happy to be home in familiar surrounds. 

SoCal Trip Day 10

Day 10 - Flying Home

We were tired, and so very ready to head home!

I'd packed us up the night before, but it was a long morning of busy freeways, returning our rental car, finding the right gate for our flight, which was late, causing much anxiety over missing our next flight, which turned out also to be late. 

A high five upon reaching Spokane!

Roads that are NOT packed freeways!

And home again! 

SoCal Trip Day 9

Day 9 - Californa Adventure

Bean was excited to ride the giant Ferris wheel. 

Of course we rode the car that swings! Thank goodness for Dramamine!

The memorable part of the Cars ride was waiting in line for 80 minutes! Whoa! We couldn't get a fast pass, because the return time was later than we planned to leave. 

We decided that Los Angeles people do nothing but wait in line. The freeways, the restaurants, the theme parks, the WalMart... They all had insanely long, slow lines. 

While we waited for Cars, we made up little games and told stories and passed the time as best we could. Once we were done, we waited in line to get ice cream!

Next, we rode the carousel, but the fountains in front of it ended up being more fun. 

We finished the day with the big Aladdin stage show. 

SoCal Trip Day 8

Day 8 - Last Disneyland Day

Saturdays are much, much busier in the park! 

We decided to forgo the audio description device as it was way more trouble than it was worth. So we were free to explore right away. 

One of the coolest things we did was ride the monorail over to Downtown Disney for lunch. We found an awesome LEGO store with a wall of bricks and a build your own minifig. I think Little Mister was in LEGO heaven. 

Another fun moment: Mister lost a tooth. At Small World. 

Because there was so much time spent waiting in line, the kids all practiced magic tricks, like pulled-apart thumbs; and Curly mastered saying Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. 

In the afternoon, the girls decided to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, while the boys headed to Tom Sawyer Island. The California drought gave way and the rain poured on us, the whole time we were in line! Unlike home, it was a warm rain, and the three girls huddled under one plastic poncho. 

That night, we wanted to see the fireworks, so we left the park to get dinner and a bit of a rest. 

More like Zonk! I was reported to have snored. 

But, I was back awake for the firework show. It was nearly canceled due to wind, but we got lucky. 

We did a last, late-night ride on Pirates (my favorite), and then home to bed. 

The step counter on my phone reported 12,409 steps that day, and that was just when I was carrying my phone!

SoCal Trip Day 7

Day 7 - Rest Day

We were all so tired we lounged in bed all morning. 

Abi's stinkerhood reached new lows when I called the kids to come eat breakfast: muffins that Daddy had made. She ignored me and refused to come eat when the other kids did, so in an effort to push back, I just let her stay in bed. She was expecting a personal invitation and some coaxing, but instead she simply got to skip breakfast. When she figured it out, she was dismayed, but when the call to lunch came, she didn't ignore me! 

I took a walk to the nearby WalMart, where I found Disney souvenirs for a fraction of the price they would be in the park. 

In the evening, the plan was to drive to downtown LA to explore, but instead we ended up getting stuck in rush hour traffic. So we settled for Chinese food and a narrated movie while we crawled back down I-5. 

In the evening, Matt downloaded "A Little Princess" on his phone to read to the kids. Part of this choice was due to the fact that he and the kids absolutely loved "The Secret Garden," and partly because our little Princess Abi could use a little of Princess Sara's attitude that princesses are polite! Mostly though, it's just a wonderful, magical story, perfect for our magical adventures this week. 

SoCal Trip Day 6

Day 6 - Disneyland

For nearly an hour I stood at the counter at City Hall trying to get working audio description devices. It turned out to be worth it, though, because we got Fast Passes to a bunch of the big coasters. 

While I waited, Matt took the kids around Main Street. The barbershop quartet hopped onto the street car they were on and sang Disney favorites. 

I actually took a picture of the device's number. As in THIS ONE DOESN'T WORK. I'm thinking we may not bother with them for our subsequent days. Nice idea, but not well executed. 

Later, Abi and I waited in line for... you guessed it: PRINCESSES! Princess Rapunzel to be exact. Abi's favorite. 

Abi loved visiting her and proclaimed to anyone who would listen that she, Abi, was also a princess. (This turned out to be too much of a good thing as she was crabby and demanding the rest of the day, wanting all of our attention and pampering.) 

Today, we wanted to ride some of the big coasters: Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain and Splash Mountain. Curly called them The Mountains and I think Abi was the only one that actually enjoyed them. The other kids were all scared. Little Mister was so scared on Space Mountain that he cried. Oh well, guess maybe when he's older he might like them. 

We rode the Riverboat, drove the cars, watched Star Tours again and rode Alice in Wonderland and the tea cups. But the absolute highlight of the day was eating dinner in the Blue Bayou restaurant, right inside the Pirates of the Carribbean ride. 

After dinner, we tried a few more rides, but the kids were pretty tired. Abi in fact was so tired she started to cry, an act that seemed to me more princess dramatics than actual exhaustion. Since she still had the energy to be a stinker, I kind of took the whole thing with a grain of salt. 

SoCal Trip Day 5

Day 5 - Disneyland

We took the obligatory First Picture, then headed into The Land. Our first stop was to City Hall to obtain the audio description devices. I was initially excited about these, but I should not have been. As is usual in movie theaters, the staff did not know how to work them, tried to give us captioning devices for deaf people, and took forever to find devices that were charged. Even after we got them, the ones we got didn't work and we had to exchange them later in the morning. 

Technology issues aside, we had a magical day. The kids loved the rides and exploring all the different lands. Little Mister thought Star Tours was about the coolest thing he could have imagined. 

I got to enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean, my favorite ride from 30 years ago. Abi met a princess, and Bean liked anything that spun in circles. Curly couldn't pick a favorite, but decided she loved the whole thing. 

It was a tired crew that we drove back to our host home, thankfully only a couple of miles away. My iPhone reported that we'd walked 13,563 steps. We all slept so well after walking so much!