Thursday, June 30, 2016

California Dreamin' {Day 3}

You might say that day #3 of our California adventure was the most "magical" of them all. We arrived at our hotel in Anaheim late on Tuesday night got a good nights rest before heading to Disneyland the next morning. Knowing that we had a pretty jam packed itinerary for our trip, Matt and I made the decision to just spend one day at the park. There is so much to see and do at Disneyland, and while our there was limited, we really didn't want to rush our way thru. Instead we let the boys dictate the flow of the day and I have to say that it ended up being absolutely perfect.  Yes, there are things we missed along the way, but the grins on their faces and stories that they still tell about our time at Disney show me that to them it was the best day ever.

Our first stop was the Jungle Cruise.  Matt remembered loving this ride when he was little and it was so fun watching him relive it with our boys. Harrison will still tell you that this was his favorite part of the day - mostly because of those "silly fish" (piranhas) that jumped out of the water and sprayed us.
No trip to Disneyland would be complete without a quick spin on the Teacups.

No way we could skip out on Grandma Debbie's favorite - even if it meant having "It's a Small World" stuck in our heads for the rest of the day!

The boys would have ridden in the rockets all day long!
Pilot and co-pilot
Our first "celebrity sighting" of the day. 
The Mouse himself!
After a full morning of rides, snacks and exploring, it became quite obvious that we were ALL ready for a little break. We made the short walk back to our hotel to get the car, grabbed lunch nearby pizza place, and then retired to our beds for a late afternoon nap.

Re-charged from our naps, we made our way back to the park at around 5:30 and did our best to squeeze the most out of every minute of remaining daylight.  First stop - Nemo's Submarine Voyage!

Practicing our surprised faces. The actual ride hadn't even started yet ;)

By request of both boys, we made our way back to the rockets.
Nothing like naps to bring out their inner crazy.  They were refreshed and ready to go - with an extra dose of silliness.

"Hey mama! Remember that time when I helped Buzz Lightyear fight that naughty Zurg with my laser gun?"  Yes baby. I remember. And I'll never forget the ear to ear grin that you had on your face the entire time.

We went...and went...and went...not even giving ourselves time to grab a good seat for Disney's nightly parade and fireworks display. Instead a hoisted little boys on our shoulders for a better view and ate late night hamburgers as beautiful colors lit up the sky.

That, my friends, is the sign of a good day.

As we worked our way thru the crowd of visitors leaving the park, I couldn't help but think back on the details of our day and smile. I knew that the boys would love Disneyland - but I think that I underestimated how their PURE JOY would translate to Matt and myself. There is something so insanely special about watching your children soak in the magic of that place.

Thank you, Disneyland, for an amazing day. We'll be dreaming of you for years to come.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

California Dreamin' {Day 2}

Day two of our great California adventure was an extremely special one. We woke up early and hit the Pacific Coast Highway for a drive north to spend some quality time with the boys' great grandma Delene. Harrison and Max were more tuned into cartoons than scenery, but Matt and I passed the time soaking in the views of the quaint coastal homes, strawberry farms, and wide-spread vineyards that surrounded us - just slightly different than the corn and beans we are accustomed to in Nebraska!
The first of many highlights to the day included picking oranges from a tree in the backyard. We picked, and ate, and picked, and ate....then ate some more. It was an unexpected treat and we ended up picking enough to enjoy for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of the trip. 
 A trampoline in the living room!? YES, PLEASE!
 After lunch we took a quick drive to a local beach to give the boys an up close experience with the ocean.  Unfortunately for Max, "up close" was veeeerrrry up close.  Within seconds of dipping his feet in the frigid water of the Pacific, a wave knocked him over, soaking him from head to toe. Luckily we had all of our luggage in the car and could change him into dry clothes, but this first impression of the ocean may have scarred him for life.

 Wouldn't you know that big sister would make her presence known throughout our trip. We found the most perfect little butterfly shell propped up in the sand. Teeny tiny, but impossible to miss. 

We spent the rest of the day playing, running around a "race track" in grandma's neighborhood, and just enjoying each other's company. We ate a big family dinner, gave much overdue baths, and got everyone snuggled into their jams before hitting the road again. It was a perfect day filled with so many memories that we will forever hold dear to our hearts.

{Next stop - DISNEYLAND!}