There's nothing like spending a 14-hour car ride filled with excitement and jelly beans on a pilgrimage to the happiest place on earth. Klive was on a mission to meet the very special Lightning McQueen and his best buddy Mater.
We lucked out and got two grandmas on this trip. And a grandpa Babe too.
We splurged and bought 3-day passes this time. We've been impressed over the years by how these kids never get tired legs, rarely have hungry bellies, and never throw any form of a tantrum in Disneyland, so we hit it hard for 3 days! We ran into this lovely lady mouse right out the gates.
I was most excited to see this boy react to the magical grandeur of it all - meeting his favorite cartoons, riding the awesome rides, eating pounds of mouse-shaped sugar. He LOVED it!
He has talked about his vacation to "Dizzy-land" every day since we got home, and keeps asking to go back. Success!
Even waiting in line isn't too bad in Disney. That's good, because the parks were much busier than we anticipated. I guess everyone had the same idea to vacation before spring break. We had fun anyway!
We stayed busy in California Adventure for most of our first day. Klive did the usual flirting. That girl to his left never saw that kind of charm coming.
June let go of her roller coaster fears and rode everything - including California Screamin' after swearing she would never go near it again.
Yaya and the Babe fueled up with a trough of Mexican salads.
Winnie did some crazy driving in the bumper cars.
After spending a long winter stuck inside, it was so nice to enjoy the sunshine and 78-degree weather. We even had to find shade to cool off! Thank you California!
The girls haven't been much for character hunting these days, so I was a bit surprised when Winnie wanted to wait in line to meet these guys. I guess it was important to introduce herself to a fellow Winnie. There are so few of them in this world. She was so cute! She told him her name and he scooped out a handful of his special hunny to share with her.
Like I said, the lines were longer than we wanted, so we spent some time in the shops and settled for photo ops, rather than hitting all the busy fantasy land rides. Klive didn't care that Dumbo stayed on the ground.
We walked to and from our hotel, which was about a mile away, and so we slept hard after the first two days. My mom said we walked over 20 miles in 3 days! Who knew walking could be so much fun?
We finally braved the crowds of Cars Land on our last day.
We stuck it out in line and rode all 3 rides . . .
Including Winnie's new favorite, the cars race track. She was so nervous, I doubt she enjoyed a second of the leisurely tour of Radiator Springs. It only went fast at the end, but she couldn't keep all that fear pent up after standing in line for 75 minutes. She screamed like she was being murdered.
The scenery was amazing. Disney definitely does it best!
Klive loved Mater's tractor ride. He had no fear of any ride on this trip. He'd start each one the same way, with his hands in the air waiting for the fun to begin. I think he's going to be Daddy's riding buddy.
And his Disney dreams came true when he got to meet these two dudes.
3 days was great - we got to check out things we have never had time for. June and Nana got to take a sketching class with a Disney artist - June's favorite part of the trip. She drew an amazing Donald Duck. And I'm sure Nana Deb put everyone else to shame with her Donald. She's so talented.
We had time to do some posing with a few more characters. And Winnie got chosen out of the crowd to gab with Crush the turtle. She was almost frozen with fear when he called her name, "Waikiki Winnie."
We really enjoyed spending time as a family. Best part if you ask me.
We ate loads of cotton candy. I think that's what got Lovely Little Lillie in trouble.
And we hit every ride! Seriously, other than the back breaker they call the Matterhorn, we did it all! Klive loved pirates and asked to ride it again and again, Winnie braved the wilds of Indiana Jones and had the thrill of her life, and June had a heck of a time on Splash Mountain.
On our last night, we enjoyed the beautiful scenery atop the carousel. Dad couldn't trick us into riding in the swinging carousel cars like last year. I think Winnie still has nightmares about flying off the track. Just a nice easy ride this time.
And we finally got tickets to The World of Color show. It was amazing! Nothing better than watching our favorite movies projected onto walls of water.
We snuck in a quick trip to Newport Beach before we headed home. The water wasn't warm, but we didn't care! It was warm enough for a bunch of Idahoans.
Things started out easy, a toe in the water, a scoop of sand in the hand . . .
They soon progressed to full-bodied dunking and rolling in the mud. Klive dug a hole, filled it with water and then fell in it.
If I was a smarter mom, I would have packed a change of clothes. Instead, we toweled off with napkins, pulled some dry clothes out of the dirty laundry bag, and rode home commando.
Thanks, Disneyland! You keep the magic alive!