Sunday, January 26, 2014

DL Trip with Hannah day 1 (Fri)

Note- this trip was back in July but I got very busy then essentially lost all my photos when my portable hard drive crashed.  It took a LONG time to recover everything so now here we are lol.

So we hadn’t planned on another Disneyland trip in a while but the family I nanny for was leaving for a week and we had annual passes so….we changed our minds without much thought:) This time we invited Hannah, my little sister (not my youngest sister though that came with us in Feb).  We were planning a little different kind of trip though – we came so often that our focus was going to be on relaxing, pool time and adult nights out instead of trying to ride every ride, see all the shows, etc.  We were all excited to get away for a week.

The day before we left it was pretty hectic in the morning because I still had to work.  The family that I nanny for was also leaving the next morning so I had a lot to do to help them out since both parents were also at work.  By late morning all errands were done and I brought the girls I watch over to my house and we waited for my sister to arrive.   Hannah got there around lunch time and we started getting our luggage and packing stuff organized and we ran a couple little errands for last minute things. 
Around 5:00 I dropped the girls I watch off and I was officially on vacation!  The evening was fun- us girls did our nails and we all watched Disneyland travel shows.  After dinner we all watched Cars to get us in the mood for the parks- Hannah hadn’t been since Carsland had opened and the movie definitely helps you appreciate it. We tried for a semi early bedtime for the kids and Hannah crashed in the living room watching tv. Matt and I fell asleep pretty early too- we had the mentality of “the sooner you get to sleep, the sooner vacation comes” :)

DL Trip with Hannah day 2 (Sat)

Our flight was at 10:30 so we didn’t have to get up obscenely early today. It seems we always end up booking really early morning flights or flights during rush hour so a late morning Sat flight was great! I got up around 6:00 and everyone else got up a little after.  We headed out the door around 7:30 for Seatac.  There wasn’t any traffic so we got there in great time and even got a decent parking spot close to the elevators:)  We had about 2 hours until our flight which is normally plenty of time, however we have had bad luck with security at times so we never cut it too close.  Lucky for us though we literally walked through security with no wait at all! 

We found our gate and got settled by the window (the kids still love to watch the planes, no matter how much they fly!).  We then took turns doing Starbucks and breakfast runs, as we were starving.  Then Hannah and I did a bookstore run and found the book Aidan has been wanting to read for a while and got Piper a Where’s Waldo book to keep her busy:) We hung around our gate for another half an hour or so and then it was time to board! 
Our flight was really smooth and we had great flight attendants who gave us multiple snacks and drinks without us asking (we LOVE Jetblue).  The kids watched cartoons on tvs (each seat has its own tv in the seat in front of it with direct tv and music stations).  It was a short 2 hour flight and then we landed in Long Beach, CA which is about a 20 min drive to Anaheim (where Disneyland is).

We didn’t check our luggage so we grabbed our carry ons from the storage above and we headed off the plane.  What’s great about landing in Long Beach is that you walk right off the ramp onto the tarmac at the airport.  No big confusing airport, no lines!  We walked across the street to the taxi station and hopped a ride to the hotel.  For this trip we went back to our favorite of the 3 onsite hotels- the grand Californian.  We love the closeness, the pools and the onsite kids club:) 
We arrived at the hotel shortly before 2 pm and we checked all our luggage with bell services to hold for later.  We did keep our pool bag with all our sunscreen, swimsuits, etc out though- as that was our first stop!  We got checked in without issues (and got our room keys) and we headed to the bathrooms to change into pool wear.

For our arrival day we wanted to relax (plus our annual passes were blocked since it was a Sat in the summer) so I had pre booked a pool cabana.  It was $110 for 4 hours (we chose the afternoon block) and you got a tented cabana with a fan,  flat screen tv, phone, a cabana attendant, a fruit plate, a fridge with waters, 2 couches and a table, towels and 2 reserved sun loungers.  It was WORTH IT!  I was on the fence but so glad that we did it.  Especially since it was 100 degrees that day! 
We walked up to find a very misspelled sign but figured it was us (it was- we checked with our sign in guy).  We got settled and the kids played in the water while we ordered lunch for all of us.  We tore through lunch so fast, and were also enjoying yummy tropical drinks:)

Kids swam for a big chunk of the 4 hours and us grown ups alternated between laying in the sun and reading in the shaded cabana. 

Around 6pm we headed back after thanking our wonderful attendants and headed to our room.  Matt realized he left his wallet at the pool (eek!) and Hannah and I stayed in the room with the kids getting them back into normal clothes and waiting for our luggage to be delivered to the room.
Bell services didn’t take long getting them up to us and we also had ordered groceries from the local safeway for all of our breakfasts to eat on the go each morning.  After we got unpacked and settled we all decided to head into downtown Disney for dinner. We all got some grab and go from multiple places (Mexican and Italian) and then ate in the lounge area in our hotel.  By then we were getting tired so we headed back to the room and crashed for the most part. 

I took Hannah though into downtown Disney and she went into Ca. Adventure park to get our photo pass plus lanyard so we would have it in the morning for our pics first thing. We then wandered through a couple shops and headed back to the hotel for bed!

Piper Cam:


DL Trip with Hannah day 3 (Sun)

We got up super early today (ok so we will get up early every day this trip!) because as a perk of staying in one of the 3 Disneyland hotels onsite you get early entry privileges into one of the parks each day.  Today it was early entry into CA Adventure park.  It was extra exciting because Hannah had not yet been to the new Carsland part of the park. We waited in line for a bit but we were really close to the front so we got in pretty quick!

We headed right to Carsland and rode Racers first thing which we all love.  We rode the other couple of carsland rides and then headed out of the park to hop to Disneyland.  On the way though we stopped to get coffee at the only Starbucks in Disneyland:)


We headed into Disneyland, which had opened just shortly before; and enjoyed a sunny walk down main street USA.  We skipped Fantasyland though which has the longest lines (saving for another morning) and went to Adventureland instead.

First stop there was Indiana Jones.  Piper sometimes has a little issues with this ride (gets scared at some parts) but today she seemed fine!

After Indy I had to go to the bathroom so I skipped the next ride.  Everyone else though hopped on Jungle cruise and I waited for them when they got out.

Next up was Splash Mountain!  Aidan really hates heights and I can take them or leave them so I sat out with him while Matt and Piper rode.  Hannah decided it was too early to get wet so she hung behind with us:)
While Matt and Piper rode Splash mountain, we went over to the closest ride which was Winnie the Pooh.  Aidan was not impressed lol.  It really was a baby ride but it was nice to get out of the sun for a few minutes!  After that we waited by the Splash mntn exit for Matt and P and took a look at their ride picture!


We then decided to split up before lunch and meet up later. We had some differences in what we wanted to do so the boys went one way and the girls went another:)
Aidan and Matt went to go see the Star Wars show in Tomorrowland and then checked out the Iron Man exhibit (real costumes and props and things). 

Us girls went to see the Princesses (never too old!) and then see the Rapunzel (Tangled) show.  The show was super cute but a lot of kids seemed bored as it was basically a 2 man show done in traditional theater in the round old style (and they took on lots of characters).  It was very funny though!

We then ended our time for the day in the parks by getting lunch in Frontierland at Hungry Bear restaurant.  The kids were WIPED out- I was worried about even walking back to the hotel lol.

We got back to the hotel and the kids suddenly had renewed energy and wanted to go swimming.  It was nice to just sit in the sun and us grownups had a couple drinks too:)  Piper (my sun seeker) laid out and slept a bit and Aidan stayed in the water to keep cool.
After some pool time, it was nap time! We all rested a bit (kids slept) and  relaxed until it was time to get up again for the evening.  Around 4:30 or so we all started getting up and getting ready again.  We took the kids to the kids club at 5:00 so we could enjoy some time to ourselves:) The kids love going to the clubs though so it was no big deal to them- they even get fed dinner there!

Hannah, Matt and I headed through downtown Disney after dropping them off.  First stop was Trader Sams over at the Disneyland hotel.  We love this tiki bar- the inside has many surprises and is so much fun!  We all got yummy drinks- Hannah’s even lit up lol.  We ordered a few appetizers to share as well.

After Trader Sams we headed to Uva bar, which is in downtown Disney.  We shared more food and got more drinks:)  yay for grown up time in Disney!

We picked up the kids after a couple hours and decided to hit the parks for a bit before going in.  We went to CA Adventure park right as the sun was going down and walked around a bit.  We stopped for some fun photo ops in Carsland as well:)

After the parks the kids wanted to go to the hot tub which was fun and then we all went up on the roof of the hotel to the World of Color viewing deck which was neat.  The kids got tired and cold though so Matt took them down and Hannah and I stayed behind to watch it alone. Then it was off to bed for everyone!

Piper Cam: