Thursday, August 5, 2010


Feel free to take this post in small doses. Reading it all at once may cause an instant desire to nap and correct my grammar.

Yes, it is true. We went to Disneyland.

Sunday July 18th (our 24th wedding anniversary) we woke the boys up at 6:30 a.m.
 We told them to wake up and get packed because we are going to Disneyland!

We gave them a list of things to pack like 7 pairs of socks, swimsuit... you get the idea.

Gordon does have PJ's on.... trust me.

I'd spent some time earlier in the week making duffle/travel bags for them to pack in. Before now, we've had them pack in the same bag. Cruel, I know.

Once we were all packed, we took Penny to our good friends the Esmonds. They wanted to keep her at the end of the week but we explained the danger of Ellen (Garth's Mom) hoping on the next flight from Taiwan and disinheriting us for giving away her baby.
Thank You Esmonds!

We piled in the packed car, said a prayer and we were off!

We spent the first night in a Days Inn in Lathrop, California. It was one of those hotels where you feel like you need to wear your shoes in the room and you don't want to touch any of the corners in the bathroom.

This is where we discovered the dangers of not checking that Jensen checked everything on his packing list. There was the pool just waiting for two boys to jump in and.... no swimsuit! Dang. We decided to have him use one of the extra pair of shorts he had along and that worked just fine.

The next morning (my birthday, I am now old) as we were eating our free hotel breakfast, we used our iPhones to search for a Walmart or Target along the freeway so we could buy Jensen a swimsuit.

We scored one for $6.00 at Walmart and the best part of all in Jensen's opinion is that it is camouflage! Of course in the days to come we did tease him about not being able to see that he had a swimsuit on at all. Just one of the reasons he will need therapy in the future.

Once we arrived at our Hotel we checked out our room, dropped off our luggage and we were off to the park. We had 5 day park hopper passes. Just in case you are one of the 3 people that doesn’t know what that means, we can “hop” between Disneyland and California Adventure parks. They are right next to each other.
This was not a good hair day for me...

I don’t think Gordon and Jensen’s smiles could have been any bigger. Mine too for that matter!

As we walked to Disney’s Main Street, they were roping off an area for a parade to come through. We stood there and watched characters riding in a car and men dressed in different colors dancing down the street with music playing. I stood there and bawled. It was overwhelming. Just the fact that I was standing there with children of my own was enough to get me boo-hooing.

Our first ride was Star Tours. We enjoyed the entertainment and ambiance of the “standing in line part” of the ride. Once we got into the ride itself, we were seated/strapped in the first row. It was LOUD and of course jerked us all over the place. Kinda cool that was our first ride as a family now that they’ve closed to rebuild something bigger and better.

Poor Jensen came out of there with a bit of a headache. It was very loud.

Our next ride was Pirates of the Caribbean. Oh, my goodness! The animatronics were amazing! We got into the boats and started our leisurely ride through the water when all of a sudden we go into a dark tunnel and then we are racing down fast with water splashing all around us. When that happened Jensen, who was sitting right next to me yelled at the top of his lungs “HOLY CRAP! Holy CRAP!” I was laughing so hard at his reaction!

Just a small lesson I learned while riding the Matter Horn…. Go potty first.

They gave me a big button pin that said Happy Birthday Julie on it. All the park workers that saw it said “happy birthday Julie” along with random strangers in the crowd. I felt special.

We spent our days like this:
Wake up
Walk 3 blocks down the street for breakfast ($20.00 for all of us instead of $30.00 per person for the buffet at the hotel)
Spend several hours in the parks
Back to the hotel for lunch and swimming
Back to the parks for several more hours
Back at the hotel and fall into bed exhausted with smiles on all our faces.

After a couple days of Disney food and snacking I was dying for some fruit. We had to walk right by a Jamba Juice on our way back to the hotel every day so we started getting a big all fruit one and we all shared it. Yum!

Standing in line for California Screamin

They got me to ride “California screamin” at California Adventure just once. I’m glad I did it though. Jensen was yelling “yes!, Awesome! All right!” through the whole thing. Garth and the boys each rode it 5 times.

I can't believe they got me on this thing!

Both Gordon and Jensen said they didn’t want to leave the park without Mickey ears with their names on the back and to hug Mickey. We were able to do both. It was fun to see my nearly 6’ tall 13 year old walk up to a much shorter Mickey and give him a big hug!

You may now enjoy the video of the obove pictures being taken.  I'll understand if you get distracted over there on youtube looking at more interesting videos... 

Garth and I were asked to participate in a focus group that lasted an hour-ish. We were recorded talking about our experiences at the hotel. They gave us each $150.00 cash! We had to do it at different times the same day but that was just fine with us. While Garth did his, I swam with the boys and while I did mine, Garth took them to ride rides I didn’t want to ride. We were able to say to the boys at one of the souvenir shops “boys, what do you want?” It was awesome.

We left Saturday morning and made it to Medford to spend the night with the Jarvies (Garth’s sister and her fam). They fed us and gave us nice beds to spend the night in. Thank You Jarvies!

We asked the boys if they would rather have known about the trip or surprised like they were. They adamantly said they loved the surprise and were glad we did it that way.

When we were doing the “cattle drive” leaving of the parks at night, we saw lots of exhausted children asleep on their daddy’s shoulders. We saw lots of crying children as well. We asked the boys if they now realized why we waited until they were older to bring them and they both said Yes!

We all want to go back.
Next time, we will fly.
How many times can you say “keep your body to yourself” anyway?
Random Photos from our trip:
You can click on them to see them bigger if you dare.