Saturday, February 19, 2011

some pictures to remember it by

We got home from Disneyland on Thursday, but I was only somewhat coherent by that time. Today we have a memorial service to go to, and most of yesterday this computer was being used by Dan to make a video with photos from E's life to show at the service, hence my delay in posting the following.

We had to take care of lots of business first. Since I had bought our tickets to the park when I booked the hotel, we had to go check into the hotel to get our tickets to go into the park... this is where we started testing Austin's patience.

They no longer officially refer to Disneyland as "The Happiest Place on Earth," (they did for many years) but apparently they've let go of that particular piece of false advertising. Austin spent and unreasonable amount of time crying. Mostly because he didn't want to leave whatever he was enjoying at the time (ToonTown) or because he wanted very much to leave whatever someone else was trying to enjoy at the time (everything but ToonTown).

Ready to go. Finally.

We have a long standing tradition of riding Pirates of the Caribbean first, but I didn't get any pictures there because Austin was crying that he "wanted to get out of here" from the time the line goes inside (it's fairly dark inside) until the boat lurched forward to start the ride. I was just at that moment ready to get off the boat and give up on that ride, but it took off before the words were out of my mouth and Austin went completely silent for the duration of the ride, clinging to me like a baby. Upon disembarking he immediately and proudly proclaimed himself a real pirate!

From there we bought some pirate paraphernalia at Pieces of Eight, Dan and Maya went to the Haunted Mansion (Austin and I sat that one out, didn't want to push my luck) before we took the train to Fantasy Land.

There's a knowing cynicism in these "smiles" we were on our way into It's a Small World.

This one's kind of dark, but can you see his face? He loved Small World.

After Small World, we went around the corner into ToonTown. Had I to do it again, I may have kept ToonTown a secret until Austin was about 30.

The main reason for going to ToonTown is to meet Mickey and take a picture with him.

Each of the main, classic Disney characters has a house in ToonTown. Austin had to get is Pirate on in Donald Duck's house (boat).

Goofy's house is really cool for little kids, there's some stuff to climb on and over in a small space (as opposed to pirate island where they can easily get lost). But then it was time to leave ToonTown and the rest of day one was a blur of tears and pleas to go back to see Mickey.

Eventually we did successfully ride another ride (Toy Story Midway Mania over in Disney's California Adventure) and we tried to watch World of Color (a light show with "performing fountains" of water) in our "reserved" spot that we got with the hotel package, but that was a joke... couldn't really see a damn thing.

Day two started with the most expensive breakfast buffet in the history of the world where the kids ate cereal and fruit. And then the rain started.

Day two had it's rough spots. One of which was smoothed over by a very large lollipop for Austin while Dan and Maya went on Space Mountain.

We went to Captain EO and I was surprised that the song made me tear up... I don't really consider myself a big Michael Jackson fan, but it was very moving.

The Buzz Lightyear ride was having some issues (it kept stopping midway) and apparently so was I. Maya beat my ass 27,500 to 5,700.

Thankfully, Dan redeemed the Parents team by kicking Austin's ass, 172,500 to 4,500.

From there it was back to Fantasy Land for some classic rides... Peter Pan was a big hit with Austin... over all, Fantasy Land was where we had the most peace (as a family) all three days.

Anyone know what these flowers are? The petals were tissue paper thin.

Each restroom is decorated to match the theme of the area it's in... this one by Alice in Wonderland caught my attention with the heart shaped tiles and playing card stall doors.

Dan and Maya went on Matterhorn and I took Austin back to ToonTown... here he's on Minnie's couch with a mouth full of popcorn.

And back to Mickey's house... followed by Donald's and Goofy's and a bit of a meltdown on the way out of ToonTown (again) before we decided to go back to the hotel for a rest. We picked up smoothies and pizza slices to eat in the room. By this time it was about 3:30. At 5 we were just about ready to give it another go, when Austin passed out.

I hung out in the room while Austin snoozed and Dan and Maya went to DCA. Have I mentioned how much I love this hotel? I really do.

Austin slept on the trundle bed under the bunk beds for 13 hours that night.

Meanwhile, Dan got Maya onto a roller coaster twice.

The next morning we hit the pavement without breaking the bank at the buffet and indulged Austin his desire to stop and admire every fountain along the way. There are a lot of fountains in Downtown Disney.

Maya wasn't as enamored with the fountains.

Back to Fantasy Land... and I think the best hour or so we had as a family the whole trip.

After having a painful experience the day before on the rocket ships in Tomorrow Land, I sat out Dumbo... Maya and I are no longer small enough to sit together on the rocket ships... I didn't know if I would be able to walk after spending a very long 60 seconds with all of her weight on my bad knee.

The camera had a hard time capturing the speed of Dumbo... Dan's head isn't usually that trapezoidal.

That's probably why they have a stationary Dumbo off to the side for photo opps.

Death by Teacups.

After Fantasy Land we headed back to Adventure Land for the only thing besides Pirates that I had to do... the Jungle Cruise.

Maya wasn't really feeling it.

I think Austin wasn't too sure whether the animals were real or not...

We knew it was almost time to hit the road back home, so Dan did some shopping while the kids and I sat for a minute and had a snack. I had never noticed this Tattooing window before.

We told Austin we were going back to the hotel, and we were going to break it to him gently that it was time to go home once we were in the car... but Maya let the cat out of the bag while we were waiting for our bags at Bell Services. Remind me to kick her ass for that one.

The sky was a perfect blue with cotton ball clouds all the way home. We made amazing time on what can be a horrible freeway drive at the wrong time. Then we got in the house and were greeted with the smell of an entirely different kind of mouse shit.


michelle said...

Wow. Sounds like quite a ride. You are one brave mama.

I think those are azaleas.


All This Trouble... said...

Yep. Azaleas.

(My kids demand my attention. I plan to return with more to say. Later.)

Mwa said...

That looks like a great holiday!

All This Trouble... said...

This is the most of you and your family I've ever seen! YEAY! Austin and his grover shirt are killing me. And your descriptions of WHAT IT IS REALLY LIKE are helpful and I am filing them away for future use. My kids are requesting another trip to Pigeon Forge so I guess that's what it will be this year.