We are at the airport where I've bought a connection in order to get a hold of Laura's phone number which I meant to put in my cell phone before we left on our trip. She is in Austin right now and we are planning to meet up on Sunday, and were possibly going to meet tomorrow. I just got off the phone with her and am SO EXCITED!! Her cousins go to our church (surprise, surprise - although our church is so big and well known if somebody doesn't go there they at least know about it) and we're going to meet up for service and then go and have fun afterwards!
So, our trip. Wow. Crazy. Fun. Exciting. Insane. Awesome. Tiggerific. Way. too. much. fun. There are so many pictures I'm going to have to create a whole (online because I'm way too lazy to do it the other way) scrapbook just for them! The kids and I flew in to LA Saturday and all nineteen of us had dinner at Mimi's Cafe at 10:30pm at night. The next day we check out my Mom's old stomping grounds - where she grew up in Garden Grove, where her first job was, where my Dad and her met, where her Mom and Dad are buried. That was really special to experience a small part of her childhood and time before she became known as Mom with her.
My sister had planned a dinner at Pirate's Dinner Adventure on Sunday for Shawner's birthday. It was similar to Medieval Times, only with pirates. Who sang. And talked about being drunk. A lot. And called a lot of volunteers. Including me. Who forgot to rig the Christmas stocking when I was supposed to. Oops. Let's move on shall we. The kids loved it and we re-experienced childhood saying "Aye, matey! Arrr!" with red snowflaked pirate bands around our heads.
Our first day at Disneyland was SO MUCH FUN!! We hit Frontierland first with Pirates of the Carribbean arrr matey, Indiana Jones, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the pirate show and ship, and Jungle Cruise. From there we conquered Disneyland land by land, well that was the idea any way. By the end of the trip we had gone on It's a Small World (only they sang jingle bells and the mermaids sang Jingle Shells for Christmas), Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Peter Pan, the teacups, Astro Blasters, Star Tours, Autotopia, Tomorrowland, the rocket ships, Space Mountain, the Matterhorn, Splash Mountain, the Haunted Mansion and who knows what else.
Yay! Two photos I found in my email for you:
Over in California Adventure Land we checked out California Soaring where we soared over all the beautiful spots in California, smelling the orange trees and feeling the ocean breeze. We rode the giant orange peel swing, checked out the 3D Bug's Life show where an acid bug sprayed us with water, spiders came down from the ceiling, and maggots crawled on our seats underneath our butts (ew). We also checked out the Muppets 3D show, the Honey I Shrunk the Audience 3D show, and the robot show. The 3D shows are so definitely worth it. They are amazingly real to life! I reached out my hand to touch what was in front of me so many times I couldn't begin to count. Hollywood House of Terror was absolutely terrifying. It was set in the movie setting of the same name and it takes you up in a maintenance elevator shaft. You wave goodbye to yourself in a mirror as you watch yourself disappear and then watch your dissappearing figure get electrocuted. Then you go up to another level where you watch the original four people in the Hollywood Tower Hotel disappear and get electrocuted. Next you enter the Twilight Zone right before you get dropped. Twice. Then you go up for a view of all of California Adventure land and get dropped again. Go back up to another level for another view and get dropped again. Then, for good measure, once more. By the time it was over I was curled up in my sister-in-law's lap and losing my voice from screaming. California Adventure Land was less Disneyland and more theme park like, but it was amazing just the same because it was all Disney and Disney technology, all in a beautiful California setting.
Shawner's birthday is tomorrow and since we won't be around family tomorrow we celebrated all week. We started with the pirate dinner on Sunday and a birthday song there, wearing a birthday pin on Monday at Disneyland where every other Disneyland employee told Shawners happy birthday, and then again on Wednesday where he got told Happy Birthday again and had another birthday lunch in California Adventureland at the winery. His loot included a bag of goodies: pirate treasure, swords, noisemakers, twirlies, from Grandma on Sunday, a Build-A-Cheetah from mommy and daddy, complete with Skechers, skateboard, and army shorts, a Mickey mouse with an I Heart You t-shirt from his 16 yr old cousin, Bre, and a Perfect Petzz sleeping Border Collie from Grandma and Grandpa, and let's not forget the trip to Disneyland. Pretty sure he made out like a bandit.
We had Thanksgiving dinner at Madonna Inn, where my Dad ended up getting us all hotel rooms to stay the night. This place is insane gaudy in mostly pink and red with each room being completely different from each other - some of the more fun ones with rock waterfall showers, and so much fun if you don't mind a little outdated richness. Our room was Morning Star. My good childhood friend came over from her house a few minutes away and we stayed up until 11:30am reminiscing and chatting like the closest of friends who haven't seen each other in a long time do. We drove to Santa Cruz this morning and then headed straight to the airport.
There are so many special memories from this trip that will come to me in the next few weeks as any of the family drama memories start to fade and the special memories get permanently implanted in my brain forever, to wistfully remember and wish for the day we get to do it all again.