Vacation, Part I

Lots of vacation pictures ahead.   Just thought I’d start with that….

Our flight to CA was stressful in the usual travel ways.  We were flying Southwest, which had some major issues the night before our flight out.  Michael and I were stressed out and a bit snipey at each other, if that makes sense.  Kiddo decided halfway through that he was suddenly afraid of heights.  Fortunately, a quick closing of the window cover seemed to lower that flight to a manageable level.

Seriously, I was totally befuddled by this sudden phobia.  I have no idea.  But whatever…

We arrived in San Diego and as we drove by the convention center, we enjoyed the mini show of all the Comic Con attendees!   We found out later that Michael’s sister in law had two tickets that she’d given away to someone who wasn’t able to actually go!  I thought Michael was going to die of shock.

We took it easy Saturday night and most of Sunday.  We attended a (belated) birthday party for a ‘cousin’ at a local park.  Kiddo enjoyed the bounce house and unlimited sugar.  There was a beautiful tree in the area that was just perfect for climbing.  I managed to get Kiddo up there for about 2 minutes before he wanted down to continue running around with the other boys.

There was a lovely knot near one of the branches that I thought looked like a heart.  So naturally, I took a picture.

Monday we had a huge surprised planned, which I gave away in my mid-vacation teaser post.  I had hoped that we would make it to the park without Kiddo finding out, but Grandma K accidentally turned on her navigation and the destination was revealed before we left the hotel!

There was a bit of a plan for the day.  I’d done some research online (Hello, Pinterest!) and created a short list of rides/areas that I thought would be of interest to Kiddo.  I didn’t want to spend all of my day waiting in lines!  Naturally, Michael was all about the Star Wars area.  We signed Kiddo up for a Jedi training session – it was a good thing we went there first since two shows were already full within 45 minutes of the park opening.

Kiddo’s show was closer to lunchtime, so we looked around the Star Wars area and some of Tomorrowland in the interim.  I wanted Kiddo to do the Autopia ride so that was our first attraction.  The line was relatively short and we got into our car.   I convinced him to drive (since the car has limited movement) so I settled in to get some video.

About 2 minutes in, he decides that he can’t steer. It’s too hard.  Okay, I can deal with that.  Then a moment later the pedals are are just too much, apparently.  So I’m trying to steer with one hand, use the accelerator with my left (!) foot and video at the same time.  I had to give up and just put the phone down.  Eventually I managed to convince him to work the pedal so I could just focus on driving.  It wasn’t exactly the ride that I had anticipated.  But we stopped at the photo booth and got him an official Autopia drivers license anyway.

The Jedi training went well.  Kiddo confessed to me after that he was happy they’d given him some instruction in the use of the Force.  His battle was with Darth Maul.  Unfortunately, he was on the upper stage and I couldn’t get a very clear photo because of the cast member in front of him on the lower level.   He also opted to make his own R2D2 at the gift shop.  The Mickey ears were at my insistence.

Thanks to the Disney parks app we were able to check on the wait times for the rides that we wanted.   Our list included:

  • It’s A Small World
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Indiana Jones Adventure

We were able to also do Tarzan’s Treehouse and the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.  We all agreed that the Indiana Jones ride was the best.  Kiddo was literally screaming how much he loved it during the ride.

I love the details and atmosphere that Disney puts into its attractions – even the waiting areas lend themselves to the experience.  Being a former theatre kid, I really appreciate all those little touches.  Trivia:  Disneyland in Anaheim is the only theme park designed and built under the direct supervision of Walt Disney.

We also got to ride in the front of the monorail, which was really cool!

 

 

We also caught the Mickey’s Soundsational Parade while we were having lunch.  That was particularly special for me since the music of the Disney shows have always been my favorite!  I have a video of the parade that I can upload onto YouTube if anyone is interested.

I totally waved like a crazy person at Tinkerbell.  Michael’s mother surprised me while we were in the New Orleans area by gifting me with a Tinkerbell Pandora bead for my charm bracelet.  The back of the bead says “Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust” – it’s so perfect!

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By the time the day was over, we were all exhausted and a bit sunburned – but the experience was quite literally magical!  I’m so beyond blessed that we were able to share this with our loved ones!

Another post to come soon with the rest of the vacation details.  For now, I’m off to bed.  I think I’m still recovering…

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