Nailed It

On the second day of our Montana adventure, Peter took the kids to Baylor’s ridding lesson. When he asked me what I was going to do while they were gone was A. work and B. clean up/laundry/dishes.

So substituting “beach” for “mountains” this article nails it. Sigh. Oh well. At least it’s cool and the windows are open!

http://www.theonion.com/articles/mom-spends-beach-vacation-assuming-all-household-d,33431/

Advertisements

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!

IMG_6380

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!

IMG_6382

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…

IMG_6388

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

photo 1 (47)

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

IMG_6401

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.

IMG_6403

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….

IMG_6444

 And After!

IMG_6453How cute are the clips?

IMG_6447

IMG_6469

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.

IMG_6405

IMG_6410 IMG_6411

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)

IMG_6413

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

IMG_6417

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.

IMG_6465 IMG_6463

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!

photo 5 (14)

The new and improved Mickey Mouse Ears.

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

photo 3 (41)

Fish That

PW and were able to escape the banshees for the better part of a day and do some fly fishing on the Yellowstone River. The river is really spectacular and we were lucky that it was a great day for fishing. Our guide was none other than Matthew. Yes, the same Matthew that Matthew the deer is named after. He is as good a hunting guide as he is a fishing guide. His home is the wild Montana country so he is an expert at all things outdoors. Not to mention a good friend and very funny.

We started off slowly – the weather turned cold and we waited out a rainstorm for about an hour. The wait paid off as the fish were suddenly very hungry. Matthew said it’s because they know after the rain that the river is going to mud up from the run off so they eat a lot in anticipation of not being able to see their food for a few days. I didn’t care what the reason was, I was just happy that we were actually catching something! We caught so many that we stopped counting – it made the day really fun.

One of Matthew’s signature phrases is “yup, good, fish that”. He would tell me where to cast and then judging where the nymph fell, he would tell me to leave it (“fish that”) or to recast. The beauty of being in a row boat with Matthew at the ores is that he could maneuver the boat to make my cast work – and me feel like I knew what I was doing. I actually didn’t realize that was happening until PW pointed out after. Which is why Matthew gets paid the big bucks.

Point of Rocks

291

First fish of the day – and yes, it was cold enough for a hood!

294

296

298

Did you know that trout talk?? I did not. That fish was squeaking all over the place and freaked me right out.
305

310

Manly fishermen only hold their fish with ONE hand!308

This picture cracks me up. Matthew had on his trademark serious face (and was probably sick of my pictures and or bad fishing skills) and PW is heaven. 316

God Bless America

There are few things that feel as patriotic as the 4th of July in Montana. There are purple mountains majesty, amber waves of, well grass, but still and all the cowboy hats too. Hubbard’s always puts on a cookout that screams holiday and Mike has a fireworks show that is second only to professional displays. Watching the kiddos run around in their red, white and blue is really the best.

Aunts Sarah and Nancy. Auggie is a big fan.
158

Thank goodness we had a professional taking our picture. Vern (his real name is Eric. However the summer he worked at the ranch there were too many Erics so they started calling him Vern. Why? Because he’s just such a Vern) literally took 40 pictures and there were only FOUR where A) everyone is looking B) Peter’s eyes are open C) everyone is smiling and or not crying. I’ve realized also that Augg has inherited PW’s squint and head tilt.

206Seriously. Look at those eyes.

184

Again, the cuteness.

217

Cousin Madi, Sienna and Baylor with Madi’s patriotic press on nails.

fourth flag

229

fourth

Pig roast! It always tastes delicious, I just don’t like knowing what my dinner’s face looked like so I make Peter get me a plate.

160

This was the first year that B did sparklers and I didn’t have a heart attack. We were spelling out her name.
281 241

247

It really is Big Sky Country

263 262There were friends and friends of friends at the lodge for dinner and they thought that the sparklers were the fireworks. They about lost their minds when they saw Mike’s AMAZING firework display. Peter is always the fireman at the docking station. I’ve asked him not to tell me what happens down there because I never like hearing about how he almost lost an eye or a finger or is now deaf. Baylor always watches with her hands over her ears and I was anxious to see what Augg thought. Thankfully he loved them – and by that I mean he didn’t scream so it goes down as a win in my book. Fireworks? Check!

I Love a Parade

PW does not, however, which is why he’s not in any of these pictures. He claims that he doesn’t enjoy it, but I think the fact that he has a heart attack every time Baylor runs into the street to get candy has something to do with it. Which is why he goes fishing when we go the Livingston Parade.

I, on the other hand, LOVE the parade. I love the rodeo queens. I love the Costco “float” where they throw out rolls of toilet paper. I love the totally random groups of people that roll down the street and call themselves a float. I love the man who drives his truck through with a sign saying that he’s been in the parade for the last 65 consecutive years. I love that you can sit on the sidewalk outside of a bar and legally drink. It’s all around good fun.

The Noni with Ms.B and me with Augg.

photo 5 (9)

 

0702131611a

Ready to get started!
0702131425a

Love the rodeo queens. Actually, I think was a queen wannabe…
photo 2 (21)

0702131426

In my defense – it was empty and I didn’t know he was chewing on it…

photo 3 (17)

Baylor, Zoe and Siena trolling for candy

photo 1 (17)

The big man enjoying the wagon to himself

photo 4 (15)

Cowgirl Up

Ms. B has been dying to ride horse since taking the Mini Horse Hands class last summer at the zoo. When we went down to feed the horses some carrots, she began begging us to let her ride. Thankfully, Uncle Mike agreed to take both B and cousin Zoe for a spin around the corral.

The Barn Bar

046

Big man trying out a saddle

023

028

Star, Cahl and Seabass (my favorite)

017 016 010 007 006

Auggie was unexpectedly not a fan of the horses. He literally shuddered when he pet them. Hopefully it’s only a temporary reaction.

043 039

Ready to ride!

098100 103 106 110 125

Can’t stand the cuteness

127 As long as he was not actually touching the horse, he was happy131 132

Ring Around the Rosie139

138

This picture summarizes the whole trip for Baylor. She was loving her independence and cousins to pal around with!

145