Someone’s Happiest Place on Earth

Peter and I have been kicking around the idea of a trip to Disneyland since Baylor realized it was an actual place. Niether of us are big Disneyland people and anything that involves a line or crowd, we’re out. And not to mention the planning that goes into a trip – holy moly. That part alone made me want a nap. But after deciding that Auggie was going to sit this trip out, it became a little more manageable. And after surveying Facebook friends (hello 31 detailed comments) and the Disney Expert, Stephanie C at Many Hats Of a Mom,  I had a plan.

I’m going to give a lot of credit for our trip to PW. He came with his game face on – and by that I mean he was relaxed, easy going and up for anything. Which made me feel the same way. Long lines didn’t make us groan, prices didn’t make us cry and vacation rules were in full effect. The only negative thing I heard the whole weekend was when he was taking a work call standing in line at the Matterhorn, and really it was hilarious when he said “well, I’m standing in someone’s idea of the happiest place on earth”.

So. I’m here to pass along the favor and offer up my Disneyland trip tips – enjoy!

 

1. Ask your friends

FaceBook comments after asking for recommendations for Disneyland told me just about everything I needed to know. I was overwhelmed by the options available so asking for the do’s and don’ts from friends was a life saver!

2. Plan just a bit

I created a spreadsheet of all the recommendations and was trying to figure out how to fit everything into our two day trip. Instead, I decided to scale back. This was not going to be our last trip to Disney so fitting in every option wasn’t necessary. We decided to buy a one park pass (you can go to either Disneyland or California adventure, just not on the same day), book breakfast with the characters and the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. The rest we would leave to chance and book something spur of the moment if we wanted to.

2. Adopt Vacation Rules

Let it ride. Ice cream for breakfast? Sure! Skip a nap? Absolutely. Letting go of the day to day rules makes the trip more fun and a lot more relaxed.

4. Do the free stuff

It’s easy to forget how fun the free stuff can be. We stayed for the parade and it was great. It was a good excuse to sit down in the shade and eat ice cream to save our seats. We didn’t make it to the fireworks, but I’m sure the same rules apply.

5. Go to the pool

When Peter told me to pack a suit, I almost ignored him. I thought there would be no way we’d have enough time to go to the pool. But we did and B was thrilled. Plus there was a great bar making the most delicious boat drinks. We also met our Canadian counterparts. They had kids almost the same age as us and they were having some work done to their house as well while on vacation. We talked Restoration Hardware over margaritas and swapped Disneyland tips.

6. Bring a stroller

Baylor never rides the jogger so I wasn’t sure it was going to be necessary. But thank heavens we brought it. It made cross park treks so much easier and no one had to carry her along.

7. Pinterest

Because you needed another reason to waste a nap time on Pinterest, right? We were behind a little girl in line and she had a few board books of her favorite characters. She explained that she took them with her to meet the Disney Princesses and had them sign each book for her. Such a cute idea! I’m sure it could go to crazy town real quick, but it might be cute for some memory making ideas.

Disneyland!

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This picture sums up our whole trip. We were in line at the gates when the park opened Friday morning and were on the first ride of the day on the Astro Blaster. And this was our girl’s face waiting in line. It was all I needed to know that she was over the moon that we were finally in Disneyland!

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Man. Not sure if my look could scream “I’m a MOM ON VACATION!!” any louder. Oh wait, I was carrying the camera that Peter was using…

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If Autopia is any representation of how Baylor will drive at 16, we are in serious, serious trouble.

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Brave B rode the Matterhorn and then we ventured to Pixie Hollow for some face painting

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Since the day Baylor was born, all Mamie could talk about was taking her to ride the Tea Cups. So we saved a seat for her.

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On a recommendation, we hit the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. Thankfully part of the recommendation was to bring our own dress. She came in looking like Baylor and went out looking like Cinderella!

Before….

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 And After!

IMG_6453How cute are the clips?

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So the thing I didn’t know about Disneyland is that the characters don’t really walk around any more. You have to go to them and visit. Which is guess is nice because you know you’ll get to see them…but the fact you wait in line for an hour+ is not so fun.

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Finally, Minnie herself!

(Side note – B is a little bit terrified of the characters with costume heads. Good to know when you’ve just paid several hundred dollars to see CHARACTERS WITH COSTUME HEADS)

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And because we couldn’t get enough waiting in line, we saw Mickey too

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Thankfully the wait to see Tinkerbell was much shorter. And honestly more fun because Tinkerbell talks unlike Mickey and Minnie. Which was Baylor’s immediate response after meeting Minnie. We were really dumb kids and that thought never really occured to me. PW and I were tap dancing for answers…we landed on the fact that she’s a cartoon and can only talk on TV. The look on her face said she wasn’t buying it, but she stopped asking – phew.

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She is so our daughter. 10 seconds after these two girls sat down, she was in the middle of them introducing herself. IMG_6475 IMG_6480

By dumb luck, we caught Cinderella walking towards her castle!

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The new and improved Mickey Mouse Ears.

Until next time Disneyland! And by next time I mean like 3+ years from now!

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T-Town Bound

We made a quick trip to Tucson this weekend and had a ball. Normally I am opposed to overnight trips – they’re just too much work. Packing up the kiddo’s stuff, bedding and “just in case” supplies is a pain in itself, but I have to find someone to check in on the BearMeister, pack myself and PW…it’s just a lot of work for 24 hours. Not to mention that this weekend we had stuff scheduled on both Saturday and Sunday so we were litterally zipping in and out of town. But to my big surprise, it all went very smooth and was a ton of fun!

We arrived with enough time before dinner to walk around campus. It was so much fun to see The Phi, Peter’s fraternity house (which is currently being occupied by another fraternity and caused PW to hold back a few swear words), buildings that we each attended classes in, our favorite resturants, our respective dorms…the list goes on. It was amazing to think back and realized how much life has changed in the last *cough* eight years since we graduated. The campus has changed so much, yet all the amazing memories are still there. It’s even more fun that PW and I were there together so it wasn’t me showing him, but rather getting to tell each other our favorite memories. At one point Baylor sighed and asked when we were going back to the “HO-teeeellll”. Apparently memory lane was not as exciting for her.

Ah The Phi. I lived in the window right above the “Alpha Phi”

Next we were off to dinner with the family I babysat for while at UofA. It’s scary to think that Madi is now graduating high school and headed off to college herself! Amazing how she’s grown and I haven’t aged a day…to say that it’s wonderful to catch up with the L family is an understatement. They are truly amazing people and even when we haven’t seen each other in years, it’s like we just talked yesterday. Dinner was at one of our collective favorites: Rosa’s. I had forgotten how amazing the refried beans are and I said a little prayer of thanks that the morning sickness has passed so I could enjoy every stinking last bite of my enchilada and tacos!

After dinner it was the UofA baseball game – PW’s reason for planning the trip. The team has moved off campus to Hi Corbett Field which turned out to be awesome. The stadium was packed, they served beer and there was a jump house, what more could you ask for? Oh yeah, a win! We got that too.

Pretty sunset

We had to teach Baylor not to cheer for the other team. She broke out her signature “dirty look” instead.

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The Super Moon! The camera phone didn’t do it justice.

We headed back to the “ho-teelll” after it was looking promising that the Cats would pull off the win. We were impressed with The Lodge on the Desert. It was close to the hotel and campus, full remodeled and a nice price. Bay was excited to try out her new Pea Pod sleep tent and it went swimmingly. If you have any traveling to do with a toddler soon (especially one that sleeps in a crib but has out grown a pack and play) then I highly recommend the tent. It has an air mattress, is one piece that folds flat and doubles as a play area. It was perfect way to divide a room for her and us so we could do crazy stuff like brush our teeth and watch TV without waking her up!

We’re already talking about another slightly longer trip later this summer to one of the resorts. Sure there are two world famous resort just down the street, but there’s something about getting out of town, visiting places you haven’t been to in years and a long drive that make a trip even better.