Sunday, March 16, 2008

Want to see some vacation pictures?

I'm sure you're just dying to see all of our vacation pictures from Disneyland! ;) I've been meaning to post about our trip and have felt guilty about posting anything else til I get that done. With almost 300 pictures and videos (and the fact that blogger is only letting me download one picture at a time!?!) it's a big task. (WARNING: This will be a very long post! Hopefully family will enjoy it- and this a little exercise in journaling our family vacation so I can "remember" it better!) Actually the husband and kids keep saying- "Are you ever going to put our pictures on there?!" Kobe especially has been just dying for me to get this picture up so he can make his cousin Saroya (corn dog lover extraordinaire) very jealous. I just discovered we actually took many food pictures... Disneyland has yummy food.
But, back to the beginning. First there was the 6 hours spent on airplanes. It took a lot of work on Greg's part to get us seats semi -together. This airline actually had us in individual seats all over the plane. As if any of the kids, especially Jackson, would be sitting alone?! We survived it pretty well. The kids did great.

The limo ride to the hotel was a hit with the kids. Jack Jack rocked out in his seat.
At the hotel we ran down the hall to give hugs to Aunt Shannon, Grammie G and the kids. So good to see everyone after so long- a whole year for Shan & kids! Then off to bed to prepare for our first big day at...

This picture is for my sister Sunny, the horticulturist. Sun, they had little sparkly lights that traveled along the yellow pixie dust trail to Tinkerbell and then lit up Mickey's face with sparkly pixie dust lights. Very cute. I think Greg would like you to come out and do this in our yard, OK? :)

Oh! Just so you know- no these pictures were not all taken in one day. It was a 5 day visit to the "land Disney". We are wearing the same stuff every day though. While we knew what the weather would be like, we were in a bit of denial that it would feel cold to us after Buffalo's winter. We did get cold though. It was rainy and cloudy pretty much the entire time. We each had to buy an extra sweatshirt. Everyday was the same pair of jeans and the same 2-3 layers of t-shirts and sweatshirts. I was feeling pretty frumpy- and frizzy!- by the end of the week and was so ready to get everyone's clothes home and in the washing machine! The cold weather was probably the reason I ended up gaining weight despite walking all day long. I drank an awful lot of these during the week!
YUM! Probably the best hot chocolate anywhere!
So on to the rides... Lots of fun especially when we got to ride with the whole family. Nemo was an hour and a half wait. No other rides in the park made us wait that long, but waiting was a great time for the cousins to chat & have fun together.

(Except for Karly- at this point she had just lost her sunglasses on the Buzz Lightyear ride and she was very down about that. So sad for a cute 4 year old birthday girl! She was happier once we got on the ride!)
On a rare occasions Jackson looked like this on the rides... but almost all of the time he looked like this... We had no idea if he liked it or not until we got off the ride. He'd either say, "Want again!" if he liked it or "All Done!!!" in a terrified or anxious voice if he didn't.
Of course we took Jackson on just about every ride we could- and he's tall enough now to go on just about everything. We didn't take him on Space Mountain, but it was Kobe's first time. He was so nervous, but as soon as it was over he says, "That was AWESOME!" Other favs- Matterhorn, Tower of Terror, California Screamin, Soaring over California, Indiana Jones, Buzz Lightyear, Star Tours, Mulholland Madness, Grizzly River Run, etc... Side note: Another fav is It's a Small World but it was closed this year. They have to dig the trench deeper that the boats float in because the average human is heavier that when it opened! I guess the boats have been dragging! Anyhow, here's some more fun.
Autopia- Kobe drove me in his car. He was concentrating SO HARD! Every time I'd try to get a picture of him he'd say, "Mom! I'm trying to drive!" So we had to take a picture when we were all done...

Pirates of the Caribbean... a bit dark, but you can make out some faces.
Ferris wheel at California Adventure. I almost had to use the included "barf bag" this time! (See the Scorses?)
Maliboomer didn't bother me at all though. Reagan, Jillie, Greg and I were the only ones to brave that one.
Big Thunder Mountain with Grammie G.

Monsters, Inc. ride- I always think of Saroya when I see Boo.
Winnie the Pooh ride- we took Jackson on that 10 times! Always at night while we took turns taking the big kids on rides like Splash Mountain and Indiana Jones. This is a picture of the time the ride broke down and we had to be "rescued" by the staff bringing us a step stool to exit our beehive and walk out of the ride!
And can anyone explain to me why in the world the Peter Pan ride ALWAYS has a HUGE line?! I don't get it. Day or night, full park or empty park. ALWAYS a HUGE line!?
Attractions... Turtle Talk with Crush is a favorite. One of the times we went this week Reagan and I got to talk to him!
Actually we've discovered that one of our favorite places to be in California Adventure is Disney Imagination. We went to Animation Academy 3 times and learned from real Disney animators how to draw Tigger, Pooh, and Goofy.
Sorcerer's Workshop was a new find for us this year. Very fun interactive rooms to learn about animation- you even get to try to voice over a scene from a Disney movie!
California Adventure also offers a Broadway style show of Aladdin- so good! We got to sit right up in the front this time.
New to Disneyland is this Princess Fantasy Faire. Princesses (and princes) can come make a crown and be treated as royalty. They can stand in line forever to meet all of their favorite princesses (we did not.) They can spend buckets of their parents money on hair, makeup, and princess dresses and other finery (we did not.) Luckily our girls were a little past the princess stage to not care too much but I know some princess cousins who would LOVE it!
I wish I'd gotten pictures at the Jedi Training Academy- it was WAY cool!
Brother Bear's play area (or whatever it's called) is a place the kids could have spent a whole day in. Fun zip lines and rock climbing and rope bridges, etc. Lots of fun exercise. Good physical therapy for Jack Jack.
Don't forget... We love to sing along!

Parades... It's always fun to watch the parades- especially with cousins to visit with while you wait for the parade. The Disney folks also come along the parade route with games and activities for the kids to play- basketball, bowling, hula hoop. Sometimes the kids got special Disneyland "Year of a Million Dreams" pins. This really got the kids into pin collecting and trading. They spent most of their hard earned money on pins and had fun trading and trading and trading again with Disney staff and visitors. I'll have to have Jillie do a post on her blog showing their collections.

And now for our Disney lovin' cousins out there... Our own "Parade of Characters" from character meals, early opening at Toon Town, and a few others we came across along our way...

Kobe was never happy to take a picture with a princess! Jackson was not happy to take pictures with ANY characters...
But the morning that we got in early to Toon Town, Jack Jack changed his ways. He got very excited to take pictures with the characters he loves so much. He could've stayed in Toon Town the entire day. After we'd take a picture with all the kids, he'd run back in line to do it again by himself!
His favorite part of Toon Town was Minnie's house... because she had a computer of course!

One more side note: Here is the bottle of water that Kobe decided to open when he got thirsty in our room. No, he didn't get a cup and go to the sink. No, he didn't use one of the many water bottles we already had around the room. No, instead he opened the bottle of water they leave in your room in case you feel like spending $5 on some water! He didn't know though, but now he does! :)

We made a personal family record this year- 16 hour days at Disneyland! 8am til midnight, no breaks, no naps (except for a couple little ones for Jackson in the stroller).

I think these pictures from the ride to the airport say it all...
Well, I think that's it. Don't you feel like you just came over to my house and I sat you in front of my computer and made you look at every bit of our trip? Let just say, you're lucky I don't know how to download video from my regular video camera! :)


Greg Garrick said...

Thanks Bok, we'll be happy to have this documented so well in years to come.

JSG said...

This was a really fun trip, but there is much more!

Beth Soelberg said...

I loved this post! What fantastic photos. Sounds like you had a wonderful time...

Did it "feel" different than Disney World? What was the best part?

Too bad the weather didn't cooperate. That's one thing nobody can control! (It's like a week at Girls' Camp when it rains the whole time. Uggh.)

Greg Garrick said...

Actually, it rained very little and just in the morning on Wed, Thurs & Fri. It was overcast and chilly.

Angie said...

Wow, that was a lot of work for you to post! But it was fun to see your vacation. I especially love the pictures of the kids and characters, now that's a real trip to Disneyland!!

Nikki said...

Beth- It feels very different! We have always gone to Disneyland, except for one trip last year to Disney World. Greg is from LA so to him Disneyland is more magical. I think whatever you are used to- or experienced as a child- is what feels the best. He kept going around Disney World complaining that there was too much, too hard to get from one place to another, and it didn't feel magical. The familiar sights and smells weren't the same. I have to admit, when comparing Disneyland just to The Magic Kingdom, Cali has it much better. Toon Town is way better, It's a Small World is way better.. only the castle is better at The Magic Kingdom. Disneyland/California Adventure are SO much easier to do since it's all right there right next door to each other. Down side from out here is the time change and long flight.
Disney World has so much that it's a bit overwhelming at first I think (coming from a CA perspective). We will go back there next time though as there are alot of rides & attractions we missed- and the travel is easier from NY to FL.
There are so many best parts (like the price- cheaper than WDW becuase its so easy to stay off site, but still be right there.) but attraction- wise I think I'd have to say we enjoyed the Animation Academy the most this year. They don't have anything like that at WDW do they?

Nikki said...

Angie- yes the post was a lot of work- like 7 days and countless hours!!

Beth Soelberg said...

They do have an Animation Academy of sorts at DisneyQuest, which is part of Downtown Disney. It has a separate admission fee (DisneyQuest, that is) unless you buy the "You Can Do Anything You Want" ticket.

I've heard from lots of places that Disneyland (compared to the Magic Kingdom at WDW) is better in many ways. Still, to me, the MK is wonderful. But then I have nothing to compare it to! One of the best parts of WDW is that, b/c of its size, you feel like you've entered another world that can keep you completely separated from reality - not a bad feeling once in a while!

If we go to DL I can finally make the comparison!

Then there's a Disney Cruise...

And Adventures By Disney...

So many ways to lose large amounts of money to the Disney Corporation! :)

Sunny said...

Nik! We loved the Animation Academy too! It was one of our all time favorites! Especially for Derek! Had you never done that? We need to go back...but it probably won't be for awhile with Hy being so small. I'll be right over to do the Disneyland entrance garden! :) You'll have to build up your front flower bed. you could totally do it you know. Just need some marigolds and black pansys and light colored landscape cloth. although I don't know if they make light colored landscape cloth. Hummm. I'll work on it! :) Great post Nik!

Holly said...

Ok- Saroya was speechless when she saw the corndog and Nathan said, "THAT LOOKS SOOO GOOD!!" When Jaleigh saw the princesses she pointed to each princess and said, "I want to see her, and her, and her..." and then she pointed to Jillie and Reagan and said, "and her and her..." :) She thinks you are princesses! And that's a BIG deal when it comes from Jaleigh! :) Maybe we can go with you sometime?? :) Looks like a blast!

Nikki said...

Ok Hol- let's go to WDW for Thanksgiving!