Monday, April 21, 2008

Our California Adventure Days 5-7

Day 5:
This was our "day off" and we used it to sleep in! Everyone needed it and we all took advantage of it! When we finally got mobile, we headed to the IHOP for breakie/brunch. I had eaten there years ago but for my pancake loving kids, this was there first time. Neither the kids nor Brian knew what they wanted after looking at the all seemed so yummy! I was happy because I had built this place up for them and I was worried they would be disappointed but that didn't happen...they loved it!!
After a hearty (and expensive $92...juice refills are not meal, we headed off on foot to check out the neighborhood. Found a Target but with our dollar just about as good as the US, sadly, no real deals. A few things but for the most part, I'd pay the same here. Back to the pool for a swim before heading off to the Medieval Dinner and Tournament.

This place was pretty cool.
As you arrive, you are given a crown to wear in a particular color and the color of your crown is the section you sit in and the Knight you cheer for. Turns out we got the green knight...he's the bad guy!!
You eat the entire meal with you hands!! We had baby dragon (half a chicken), ribs, baked potato, soup and garlic bread and a warm pastry for dessert. While you are eating, the knights compete in various activities such as jousting and they battle each other...sparks were flying as their weapons clanged together.
Even though I was reluctant about this during the planning stages of our trip, I'm so glad we went. All 8 of us had a fabulous time!

Day 6: Legoland
This was a must on the boys' to do list while in Southern Cali...they are lego maniacs and this was the pace for them. The stuff we saw built out of lego was mind boggling!!
Of course we had to do some shopping in the souvenir store here!!

We ate the most delicious treats here. They are called Granny Apple Fries...granny smith apples, cut into french fry like strips, deep fried and rolled in cinnamon sugar. To make them even better, they serve them with real whipped cream. OMG...worth every calorie!!!

driving home, I managed to capture the California sunset

When we got back, my Mom came over to our hotel and stayed with the kids so we could have a night off.
We knew exactly what we wanted to do with it...we went out to the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. for dinner. This restaurant is filled with Forrest Gump memorabilia and the food is amazing! If you ever get the chance to eat at one...go for it!! We bought the glasses our drinks came in and Bri got a t-shirt that says "stupid is as stupid does" was fabulous to have a night out...just us while we were there. Thanks ya!!

Day 7: Magic Morning at Disneyland

So with our park hopper pass, we were entitled to an early hour before the gates open up to the rest of the public. Today, that meant we could get in at after a 6:30am start, we arrived at the main gates to find this:

Once in, people were running straight to the Finding Nemo sub ride. It's a new attraction and does not have a fast pass. During the day, this line up can be 2+ hours long...can you imagine standing in line that long for a ride? Guess that's why people were going there on the magic morning. two of our boys really wanted to go on it so e followed the crowd and by the time we got there, the worker said the wait was already an hour! Are you kidding me? Brian did not want to wait that long but since the boys really wanted to go, we thought n hour was better than 2+! Turns out it only took us 30 minutes to be sitting onthe sub. It was hard to get pics in the dark and no flash photography is allowed. The boys that wanted to go on this ride really liked it but the other 2 and Brian did not. They were very happy that it did not take us any longer to get on it that it did!!
We met Buzz Lightyear today ad went on his Astro Blasters ride...that's good family fun!!

We left Disneyland and headed off to the Downtown Disney District to check things out.
Shopped a bit at the World of Disney Store...check out the inside:

Stopped in at the Lego store

and then headed for lunch at the Rain Forrest cafe. This place is amazing. The animals come to life every 15 minutes and every half hour there is a rainstorm with thunder and lightning (Gavin did not like that part).

check out these bar stools

We rode the monorail back to Disneyland and went on the Jungle Cruise in the daylight. There is much more to see but I'm still glad we went in the dark too.
Carsyn lost a tooth today...he's hoping TinkerBell will come take it!!
We went back to the hotel for afternoon naps an when Mom came to meet us, she was alone. Bud wasn't feeling well so she was going to stay with him. Carsyn and Gavin were pretty tired and asked if they could stay with Grandma instead of returning to Disneyland with the rest of us.
We made it back in time to catch the Disney Parade of Dreams

Without the youngest 2 we were able to move a bit quicker through the park. Briand Zack went on Big Thunder Mountain railroad and then we all walked right on the Pirates and the Haunted Mansion...again! The 3 guys went on Indiana Jones and I waited an hour for them to do that. It was nice just to sit and take it all in...saw the fireworks again and just relished the moment that we were really here.
Grabbed some subs on the way back to the room where we found Grandma and the boys snoozin'!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

our California Adventure days 1-4

Day 1: travel day
Our airplane ride was pretty smooth...I sat with Reilly and Gavin and they each wanted to hold my hand during take off. Reilly could not look out the window even though I think he wanted to. Gavin surprised us all and had his nose pressed up against it at times! Same with Zack and Carsyn across the isle sitting with Brian...they all loved it. The boys also loved watching tv on the way there...laughing out loud as they watched Just for Laugh was pretty funny!!
So, here are a couple of shots of the maps that WestJet has to show where you are, how fast you are going and how high you are them mixed up in the post though...the Montana one should be first followed by the Los Angeles one but!

I also had to take a pic of the wing of the plane high above the clouds...
There aren't any pics of us on the first day after arrival cause we were too busy navigating ourselves from the car rental place to our hotel...Google maps are awesome...especially if you read them! I made a slight booboo and we were headed the wrong direction and let me tell you...if you have never seen the freeways in false move and you could seriously be lost for days! Luckily, we were able to get turned around right away and made it to the hotel after about an hours drive. We checked in and headed off to scope out the hotel and the neighborhood. We wandered over to my Mom's hotel where they were just arriving, so the 8 of us headed out in the search for food. After supper, the 6 of us went for a family swim and soak in the hottub and were off to bed early so we would be ready to start our day.
Day 2: Disneyland & California Adventure
these are the palm trees that line both sides of Katella Ave...these were right outside our hotel
this is a map of the area that's part of the sidewalk...pretty cool huh?

Off we go...I cried as we approached the main gates because I couldn't believe the boys were finally here. There is soooo much to take in all at once we weren't sure where to look or go first when we noticed Mickey standing there signing autographs and posing for pictures. Met a few other characters on our first day as we went from one area of the park to another.

We did some rides we could all go on and we had to split up so that the thrill seekers...Brian, Zack, Carsyn and Grandpa Bud could do the things they wanted too and the rest of us could as well. It worked out well.
We headed off to California Adventure and again did some rides the whole family could enjoy. Monsters Inc is a must if you's so cute!
Again, we split up...the thrill seekers headed off to the Tower of Terror and the rest of us waited to see what they looked like when they got off. Zack and Carsyn liked it but Brian loved it!!! He wanted to make sure he went again before we left. After that, we wondered off to Bugsland. The whole area is designed for mostly younger kids and Gavin loved it. It's bsed on the movie, "Bugs Life." Check out this looks like it's made out of popsicle sticks! ah crap...with all the trouble's I've had getting this all put together...I deleted the pic of the popsicle bench...I'll share it later along with some other misc. pics.
The attention to detail and the lengths they go to to capture the theme of everything is amazing and almost mind boggling. How can you not get caught up in it all!!
While we were hanging out in Bugsland, Zack, Carsyn and Grandpa Bud went to get in line for California Screamin'. Grandma and Reilly went to watch and Brian stayed with Gavin and I...he wasn't sure he wanted to ride that rollercoaster. This is the one I'm talking about...

We went back to Disneyland after that. Went on the Jungle Cruise in the dark and then watched the fireworks...they were spectacular. If I can figure out how to insert a video, I will cause Brian captured the entire truly is magical!
Went on a few more rides after that and then tired and with sore feet from our 14 hour day, we walked back to the hotel to crash!
Day 3: California Adventure & Disneyland
Started the day at California Adventure...went on the Grizzly River run first. All I have to say is be prepared to get wet!!! It's fun though...even though I screamed!!
Spent more time in Bugsland, went on the Monsters Inc ride...again and saw the 3D show, "Muppet Vision."
We ate and did some other rides and then we saw the 4D show, "It's tough to be a Bug" and as much as I want to tell you all about it, I can't cause it would ruin it for you if you ever go to see it. I will tell you that we all loved it and it's totally amazing! You have to see it if you can!!!
Aren't we cute in our bug 4D glasses?

this is the sign into the theatre without the flash...
and with the flash...just so you can again see the details
After the bug show, we watched Disney's Electrical Parade...

pretty huh?

After that, we went to Disneyland to see Fantasmic. This show is another spectacular event.
We arrived a bit later than we had hoped and sadly we didn't get the best spot to watch but it was ok. If you plan to take it in, I highly recommend going early to get a good spot. Here are a couple of holograms from the show I managed to capture...

After Fantasmic, we were done for the day.

Day 4: Universal Studios

This was a great day! even though it was busy, it wasn't as bad as Disney had been the past 2 days!
If you visit, Shrek 4D is a must see! We saw the cars from the Fast and the Furious...the boys thought that was too cool!
They are opening a Simpson's ride in May and near where it's going they had this...

of course we had to go in and check it out. Brian was in his glory with all the Simpson stuff he could have bought. He did pick up a pretty cool shirt!
What else...had lunch at Mel's Diner, saw Beetlejuice and Frankenstein walking around the park as well as Zorro, Dora and Diego as well as the characters we met.
We took the studio tour...that was very cool to see the sets and experience some special effects.
On the tour we drove by Wisteria Lane...remember the pic in the slideshow...they were filming Desperate Housewives today people!!! I was sooo excited but sadly, they weren't on the street when we drove by...must have been doing a scene in a house! Oh well, I still thought it was cool that they were on set!!
On the way back to the van, we spent more time on the City Walk. Some of the pics I included in the slideshow were from the city walk, like Brian sitting like Forrest Gump...they had that set up outside the "Bubba Gump Shrimp Company" restaurant. I wanted to eat here...

but I was out voted so I had to settle for a picture of it.
Drove back to the hotel in some pretty crazy thick traffic but had a swim and a soak upon our return.

So there you have the first 4 days of our trip...this only took me most of the day to put together so that the pics and slideshows were in the right! Enjoy and please leave some comments...this was a lot of hard!!!
I'll get the next few days posted in a couple of days...I need to spend some time with Brian before he leaves town and I must do some housework before I spend another day in fron of my!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

we're baaaaack!

Hey everyone, we're, sound and exhausted!!!
We had the time of our lives and I'll be doing daily trip reports in the next couple of days! I have a mountain of laundry to tackle, sleep to catch up on, sick kids and household stuff to take care does ones house get so dirty when noone's even

We hope you all are doing well and I'll make blog rounds soon to catch up on what everyone's been up to!

Check back soon to hear all about our trip!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

the wait is over

tomorrow morning...this is where we'll be!!!
Have a good week and I'll post a ton of stuff when we get back!
Take care everyone.