Sunday, June 24, 2012

Carsland and a 4 year old daredevil

Last weekend we took the best little family vacation thus far.
We've been lucky enough to visit Disneyland several times before, but this time took the cake.

This time, there was CARSland.
Radiator Springs had come to life.

We found a good deal on a hotel room and decided to make a two day trip on Sunday & Monday.
Carsland had opened up to the public two days before....I had hear horrible crowd stories about the day before and we really questioned even going at all....

BUT. I'm so glad we did.  I don't know how, but we didn't even feel the crowds.
Yes, there were crazy wait times for some of the new rides, and by crazy, I mean INSANE.
Who is waiting 5 HOURS to ride some racing car ride (albeit, some AMAZINGLY cool ride), but not this gal.

Radiator racers posted wait times of 350 minutes while Luigi's Tires held this all weekend long.

We stuck to a 30 minute wait at Mater's Jamboree (very fun) and just enjoyed exploring a very REAL looking Radiator Springs.

My little car lover was in total heaven.
He would yell, "wook, it's Fwo's cafe!!!"
So exciting.
It would be like me meeting Adele and getting to have lunch with her.


We stood in line to get a quick picture with Red (who's eyes moved and shot water out of it's hose)

We did not wait in line to get pictures with Mater like that other little boy's mom did.
Time is money at Disney.
Nope, settled for a quick walk by pic and called it good.

Although we spent a good amount of time in Carsland, we did A LOT of other great rides while we were there.  Both Andy and I think we could finally put together a guide for Disneyland now....we finally figured out most of the hidden tricks to avoid the wait.

Here is a glimpse of what we were able to do in two days at Disney (on a weekend in June, nonetheless)

Carsland walkthrough
Mater's Jamboree
Character greet w/Red
Bugsland It's Tough to be a Bug show
Francis Ladybug Boogie
Flik's Flyers
Aladdin Musical
california Scream' (Andy and I rode this 3 times separately)
Aladdin Musical
Little Mermaid twice
Jumpin Jellyfish
Golden Zephyr
King Arthur's Carousel
Mickey's Fun Wheel
Goofy's Flying School coaster (Addison rode this 7 times, no lie)
World of Color show
Pixar Parade
Silly Symphony Swings
Star Tours ride
Buzz Lightyear
Sleeping Beauty castle walk through
Pirates of the Carribean
Thunder Mountain Railroad (Addison rode 3 times)
Space Mountain (4) and yes, Addison rode it!
Circus Train
Splash Mountain (daring 4 year old did it again!)
Astro Orbiter

and more....

obnoxious list, but that's why it was so great....we were able to do SOOO much!
And....we never waited longer than 30 minutes.....many times we walked STRAIGHT TO THE FRONT of the line!


Fastpasses, of course, but
We finally learned about the RIDER EXCHANGE PASS.

It totally changed how we do Disney now.

Other improvements since our last visit:

Our kids were troopers....
going from 9am until 10pm two days in a row

Addison is a daredevil.
She rode more rollercoasters than I did and screamed "faster!" on Space Mountain!

Graham was happy as a clam to stand 30 minutes in line to ride "Casey's Circus Train".
He was being a typical two year old, hanging on the rail for the umpteenth time, and I heard myself say, "Graham, you do that again...we're getting out of line!!"....but what I really meant to say was ...

PLEASE. Do that again.  So we can get out of this crazy line to ride a dinky little train that crams parents in cage of circus train.  Unfortunately, he listened to exactly what I told him.

Carsland really came alive at favorite part!

Finally checking into the hotel at 11pm on the first night....enjoying their promised chocolate chip cookie!


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dude, I think that's Spiderman!

Last weekend we got to celebrate Logan's birthday superhero style.
Graham rolled out of bed and came in his pajamas.....literally.
Well, truth be told, he woke up 5 hours before the 10am party....such as life, lately.

 The kids were having a blast and Karen of course nailed the party to a T with all the details, but it got REALLY exciting when Spiderman showed up.

 Especially exciting for Joy, apparently.
Ahem, Joy.

Spiderman was of course there to greet the birthday boy, himself.

  All the kids were completely taken with him.

And then Logan and Brayden started to see that Spiderman looked a little familiar.


Brayden gave him a little "atta boy".

One of my favorite parts was hearing "Spiderman" real the Superman story.
He would stop to interject his own opinions on how Superman was not really the greatest super hero of all time, reminding the kids that this story was a little biased and written from Superman's point of view.

Spiderman was stuck in his costume a little longer than expected thanks to a broken zipper
Luckily, he's a superhero, so he can figure that kind of thing out.....after calling for 10 minutes for his wife to come rescue him.  =)

Thanks Dassos for such a great party...
Happy Birthday Logan!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

unwelcome guest

A couple of nights ago, I was opening the backdoor to let the kids go play outside.
As I opened the door, Addison said, "Look mom, there's a bird!"
"uh huh" I replied, assuming she was talking about a hummingbird, or something....not really listening 

But then she didn't go outside and Graham said, "Mommy ders a bird out der!"

So I looked out and yelled for Andy....
to run fast and bring my camera while you're at it because this wasn't a hummingbird.
It was a flippin' ostrich in my eyes.

Ok, maybe not an ostrich.
But it was a BIG BIRD.

 just sitting there looking at me like it was completely normal for him to be hanging out in our backyard.
These pictures do not do a great job to emphasize the size of this thing.
Mainly because it had a really sharp beak and I for one was not willing to go outside just to capture some cool pics for the blog.
So I just stayed inside the safety of my door and snapped away.

However, when Andy volunteered to go outside for a "perspective" shot, I agreed it was a good idea.

And then the bird didn't leave.
He wasn't scared in the least bit.
Because he was there for a reason.

It became apparent he couldn't care less about us, just the 15, now maybe 14 Koi fish in our pond.
I don't think he got any, but the net had been off earlier that day so we could have it cleaned out so who knows.  He came back three times though and just sat there, perched, and waiting.

I started googling "strange huge bird trying to eat my koi" and then after some research retyped, "how to keep blue heron away from koi"

1. Put a net over your pond.

Excellent.  So glad that "Catch a Kid" net has more than one purpose.

Andy ran out and tried to "shoo" the bird away.  It's really hard to shoo a 3 foot bird.
He just trotted a few feet away from the pond and then looked back at him.

Finally, he flew up on the roof....and I started to breathe a little bit easier.

Because it's completely normal to have a 3 foot bird on your roof.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Last day of school

Summer is officially here, with school ending yesterday.
We were so blessed to have such an amazing teacher this year with Miss Amy.
Addison LOVED her.  She has set the bar very high for years to come.

The parents were invited to attend a little "promotion" where Miss Amy shared the kids' answers to some questions she had asked them. 
She also shared a "you are special" poster (not pictured) that we had put together way back in August.

I caught my breath when I realized there was a big 'ol picture of Harley under Our Family.
I was waiting for Addison to call me out in front of her whole class that Harley went to live with a new family.  Thankfully, she held her tongue.

For the blog book and grandparents, here are her answers to the questions.

Her favorite color is yellow. (Today it is orange. Yesterday it was grey).
Addison's favorite inside activity is playing with cars and princesses. (well rounded)
Her favorite outside activity is soccer, sliding and running.
When Addison was asked about growing up she said, No, she wants to be a kid forever.  (love that!)