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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Vacation from Reality

We returned late last night from six days in sunny southern California.  The trip. Was. Wonderful.  It was a much-needed break from reality.  The weather ended up being absolutely perfect (70-80 degrees).  Our hotels (and their pools/water parks) were awesome and convenient.  The kids did really, really well with all the going, going, going.  To be honest, I didn’t want to come home. 
The trip did accomplish something – it was made very clear that I’ve missed my true calling in life.  I totally am/was meant to be Snow White at Disneyland.  I brought home a perfect coffee mug as a reminder.  There’s a picture of Snow White on one side (aka ME) and on the back it says, “Even in the morning I’m still the fairest one of all.”  True.
Zachary also has solidified his life plan.  In just my last post, I addressed Zach’s career plans.  Well, they’ve since changed.  He now has ambitions to be Peter Pan at Disneyland.  As his mother, I will do everything in my power to make sure his dream becomes a reality.  I mean how cool would it be to tell people that your son IS Peter Pan?!  (Plus, with my Snow White destiny, it’ll be a family business).
Zach got a jump on his competition.  Our last night at Disneyland (Wednesday), we camped out early on the curb for a great parade-viewing spot.  The crowds – as always – grew more and more massive as the start of the parade drew near.  I asked Zach if he would run some of our garbage across the street to the trash can.  By this point, they’d blocked off the road and very few people were walking down the street anymore.  Zach quickly ran across the mostly empty path, dropped our garbage in the bin and then made his way back to us.  However, instead of hurrying back to our spot, he did a robot walk down the middle of the street in front of tons of spectators.  It was VERY amusing and we could hear people chuckling around us.  When we told my uncle and aunt about it the next day, Uncle Phil said, “Well, I’m sure someone’s video of that has made it to YouTube by now.”  To which Zach responded, “I hope so.  I need to be famous.”  Project Peter Pan is off to a great start!
After our arrival to California last Sunday, we spent the afternoon visiting with Mike’s Dad Jim and stepmom Annelies.  They drove all the way over from the desert in Joshua Tree.  Our visit with Annelies had to be short because of her school schedule, but Jim allowed us to drag him all over the magic kingdom for two days.
Unfortunately, Disneyland wasn’t all magic.  It was wonderful, but we were VERY disappointed to discover that the ride that the kids and I were most looking forward to – Thunder Mountain Railroad – was closed…as was Splash Mountain AND It’s a Small World!!!  Are you kidding me?!!  The Indiana Jones ride broke down WHILE Matthew, Mike, and Jim were ON it.  Star Tours broke down right before we got on (after waiting in line for 30 minutes.  We did get to go back and do it later at least).  So, there were definitely some sucky let-downs, especially that first day.  BUT the night shows – Fantasmic, the fireworks, the parade and then the World of Color show at California Adventure were stinkin-spectacular.  I miss the magic already.  We’re already planning our (hopeful!) return visit in June 2015.  And those rides better be up and running or this Snow White may not be quite so cheery and pleasant.
On Thursday, we left Anaheim and went to the Santa Monica pier to meet up with my uncle Phil and aunt Helen.  Unfortunately, three days of amusement park magic had taken its toll and Kayliana was beyond cranky.  They definitely saw her at her most…spirited.  We rode the historic carousel, walked down the pier and ate at Bubba Gump Shrimp before parting ways.  We had a three hour drive (thanks to So-Cal traffic) down to Carlsbad where, on Friday, we visited Legoland.  The boys were SOOoooo excited to finally reach this destination.  Honestly, while it was fun, one day was definitely enough.  It’s small and there were quite a few rides that Kayliana wasn’t big/old enough to do yet.  Plus, one of the rides – again! – that we were most looking forward to (a smaller, imitation Splash Mountain-type) was CLOSED.  Annoying.  All in all though, it was a fun day!
Yesterday, we drove back towards LA, making a detour to visit Newport Beach.  The boys helped the “Bubble Man” make enormous bubbles.  Kayli danced along to the sounds of street musicians.  We ate Hawaiian shaved ice.  We got a good last dose of Vitamin D. We watched surfers and saw a seal swimming under and around the pier.  We bid adieu to the sunny Pacific Ocean.
Back to cold, gray Seattle and reality. Ahh, well. A vacation from it all was very nice while it lasted!

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