Monday, July 31, 2006
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Instead of Disneyland, we went to Universal Studios on my birthday. It was lots of fun! We went to a couple of shows (really, the shows are great at all the theme parks we went to! Especially when you need a break to nurse the baby), we met Dora and Diego, we visisted with Spiderman (he was SO nice, just chatted with Nathan about being a superhero) and I got to go on the Jurassic Park ride with Dave and my dad and brother. Nathan's almost smiling in this one. Ignore the guy in the background that never moved. Apparently he didn't notice the long line of parents taking pictures of their kids right in front of him.
And Aria's reaction to Spiderman....she's hiding behind my leg.
The next 2 days were spent at Disneyland and California Adventure. On Friday night, Mom and Dad watched the kids while Dave and I went back to Disneyland for a few hours. We had quite the adventure on Splash Mountain.
The line wasn't terribly long, so we joined it and waited. We got in our log and noticed some changes right away. Apparently, the ride has been revamped sometime in the last 6 years. So, we were enjoying the new Splash Mountain and were just about to go over the edge of the drop off when *thwumph* a gate closed in front of our log. A voice came over the loud speaker saying to hold tight and we'd be on our way soon, so we sat. About 10 minutes passed and a worker came walking up to our log and we were evacuated. I don't know what the problem was, but they took everyone off the ride entirely, and closed it down for the night.
So, we got to walk through Splash Mountain. We wandered along the little river, we touched the animals and saw everything close up. It was kinda fun! Then she opened a door that led....to the dumpsters.
It was like magical critter land, creatures, music, meandering river.....to.....concrete, trucks and trash. Someone that walked out with us commented "kinda takes the magic out of it, doesn't it?"
They gave us all a fast pass for any ride and sent us back into the magic.
There was one more activity of note.
Buca Di Beppo. The yummiest italian restaurant ever. They served everything family style, so we ordered several things, then dished up a little of each. SO good and a very cool atmosphere.
So, the first ride we took the kids one was....Pirates of the Caribbean. Yup. We'd been prepping them for a year about Disneyland...the happiest place on earth! Where all your dreams come true! It's magical and amazing! And what do we do as soon as we get there? Take them on a ride through the dark where they get shot at by pirates.
Parents of the year, I tell ya.
So when we loaded into the boat for It's a Small World, Aria was decidedly nervous. We were on a boat, entering a tunnel. This is her before we went in...
And this was her reaction once we got inside....
It ended up being her favorite ride. She said it was a happy ride.
We made a stop for Nathan at the video arcade so he could play Mario Cart. He actually wished to be able to play it while he was at Snow White's wishing well. So, of course, we had to make sure he got his wish.
This was the crowning moment though. I have lots of pictures similar to this. Experiencing Disneyland through my daughters eyes made it that much better. She was enchanted and it rubbed off.
Even with all his excitement, Nathan wasn't quite ready for the reality of meeting his hero. His first meeting with Buzz didn't go so well...
When we went back though, he was more prepared. His favorite ride ended up being the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters ride. I think he went on it 4 or 5 times.
A few more characters...
Seaworld.... I love Seaworld. When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to be a Dolphin Trainer. Now, Aria says the same thing. The only disappointment was not getting to pet the dolphins. We tried, and we got close, but they were just out of reach. Nathan and Aria loved seeing them up close though. (and I don't have pictures of it right now because MSN is being retarded and I can't get to my moms MSN space to get them off). We went to almost every single show and then spent some time just letting the kids run and play in the kids area before we left. And thank goodness for whoever came up with buying an overpriced Seaworld cup and then getting refills all day for $1. Kept us hydrated! (It was H-O-T)
The next day was the long awaited and much anticipated DISNEYLAND!
It was wonderful! The whole reason this trip even happened is because Nathan called my mom a year ago and turned on his 4 year old charm and asked if she would take him to Disneyland. Of course, she couldn't resist (and Mom and Dad have a time-share we all used) so a year later, Nathan had his wish! Both Nathan and Aria asked probably 300 times when we would be there. They talked and talked about the characters they would see. Aria would tell anybody that would listen about the princesses she was going to see and Nathan just wanted to see Buzz. I got them both little signature books/photo albums and they look at them constantly and say "'member when we saw.....insert character name here...."
Aria's dream being realized...
Ok...I can't put any more pictures in this post for some reason...more to come!
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Friday, July 14, 2006
Theeeen, the not so fun part. Have I ever mentioned that I don't like the zoo? I mean, the first couple times I went weren't so bad. But there are only so many times that I can spend hours and hours walking around looking at animals in cages. Especially when they're things like deer. Not so interesting when I grew up with them in my back yard.
So, we went to the San Diego Zoo. Translation = really really big zoo with lots of hills and lots of concrete and lots of animals far away from each other and incredibly overpriced drinks. We were there for an hour and we saw like 2 animals. That's when we decided to stop pushing the double stroller around and ride the bus. The coolest things were that cute bear and the bamboo.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
For some reason, lately when I've traveled to a temple to take pictures of it, it's been during the 2 weeks that it's closed and cleaning and maintenance is being done.
For this reason, I end up with unfortunate eye sores in my photos like you see to the left. The grass or flowers or whatever is usually in front of the temple is plain old dirt.
So, I had to come up with some creative workarounds to get decent pictures of the San Diego temple, which is one of my favorites.
This is what I came up with. Not too bad, in my opinion.
Incidentally, we also went to visit the Mormon Battallion Visitors Center. They were showing the new Joseph Smith movie. It was quite good! I caught some interesting things that were referred to in a book I just finished reading. (Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith)
Monday, July 10, 2006
The first step is - the flight.
This step is a doozy. Three kids = three carseats, a double stroller, 6 carry-ons (Nathan's bag, Aria's bag, the diaper bag, the food bag, the camera bag and the laptop bag), 2 stuffed animals, 2 blankets, a Mei Tai (baby carrier) and a kid leash. We had to get all of that through security. Fortunately, we weren't "randomly" selected for a more thorough search. We just had to do the regular thing. You know, empty all your pockets, remove your shoes and belts, take the video camera and laptop out of their bags, put everything (including the double stroller) on a conveyor belt, then go through the metal detector one at a time. Half an hour later (and only short one keychain pocket knife), we were at the gate.
By this point, Aria was hysterical. It took some convincing (and dragging) to get her on the plane, but we did it. Nathan didn't care what was going on because he had his gameboy, and Gabe was just going with the flow.
I gave them their "airplane suckers" to keep their ears from plugging up and we took off. Aria was okay by this point and even having fun. She said "it's not so bad!" Then we landed, took off, landed, took off and landed again. (Same plane, 3 stops). The suckers and snacks kept their mouths busy, and Dave's laptop kept them entertained.
As we landed Dave asked Aria if her ears had popped. She responded by touching her ear and saying "nope. They're still there."
We arrived and started the juggling act again, only this time it was in and out of a shuttle, then into a rental, then to the hotel. (remember all that stuff? Yeah, it took forever)
But we made it and then the fun began!
Sunday, July 09, 2006
After a total meltdown before boarding the plane, we got into the air and she says "Hey Dad, you were right! It's not so bad!" (she was petrified of flying)
"It's the magical kingdom of Disneyland!" (said breathlessly)
"The magic goes into his (Gabe's) belly and makes him bigger and then he'll be able to walk!" (ever seen that Disneyland commercial where the baby takes his first steps at DL?)
"Even the ground is magical."
"Nephi is here!" (Hercules, lol...but I let her believe it was Nephi)
"Mom, I don't want to be a princess when I grow up, anymore. I want to be a dolphin trainer."
"Disneyland is funner than the Temple."
"How do I look?"
"NO MORE PICTURES!"
Speaking of pictures....they're coming soon!