CALIFORNIA ADVENTUREThis was the first time we'd ever gone to California Adventure and we had so much fun. The boys loved Cars Land, especially Phineas. It was his VERY FIRST TIME going to any theme park. He had a ball! They were excited to see the cars driving through the streets to their photo op spots.
They saw the army men from Toy Story as well as Phineas and Ferb. Goofy conducted the water orchestra and later did some swing dancing in the square. Cousins Addison and Aubrey on one of the rides.
Jaren was conked out in the stroller so Ed and I walked around with him and Finn in A Bug's Life area. Finn loved going on all of the rides. He stayed on a few of them for multiple rides since there were no lines late at night. Ed sporting some Mickey ears, Eden getting sassy with her light up Michael Jackson gloves and finally ending the evening in their bunk beds.
The kids had a blast at Storyteller's Cafe. We ate breakfast while many characters walked around greeting the kids at each table. I had to get a photo with Dale, who I love! The bear came around and gathered the kids for a conga line and dance party in the lobby of the restaurant. Such a cute place!
This was the Grand Californian Resort and Spa. It was such a pretty place to stay. They had story time near the fireplace and it was just really spacious, but cozy at the same time. The bed in the corner is where I spent many hours as I had a touch of the flu while we were there. Awesome. It was cool because you could enter both theme parks from here and we got to enter the parks an hour before everyone else. We stayed overnight... or maybe two nights. Heck... I can't remember since it was over a year ago that we went!
The kids playing around after we ate breakfast, Finn was having fun driving the car, Eden and cousin Nat holding hands while walking (too cute) and Jared cringing... reminding us NOT to wipe your butt with white princess gloves on!!!
The kids with Aladdin and the Genie.
Since this was Finn's first time at Disneyland... it was also his first time meeting Mickey Mouse! Some fun snapshots around 'Mickey's Movie Barn'. Ed sticking his finger in a butt crack. We just can't help ourselves. Our nieces, Addison, Natalie and Aubrey relaxing on Mickey's couch.
Sassy Eden and the boys in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle. It was the first time we ever walked through it as well. The boys trying their hardest to pull the sword from the stone. Ollie used to love that movie. I have a similar photo of him trying to unearth it as well!
It was the first time we'd been to Mickey's Toontown during the day and actually got to really see it. The kids had fun with the interactive parts of the buildings.
Ed and me outside the fairies garden. I didn't realize that Ed was wearing his Iowa Hawkeyes pj's until later. Oi. Eden and her favorite fairies. You'd have to ask her their names. I only know Tinkerbell! Finn was so cute when he was meeting all the characters!
Jaren the Jedi Master! He was picked out of the audience to participate. Oliver would have LOVED this. I'm sure he was looking down smiling. Jaren was fun to watch on stage, but was the first one they wanted to go up and he was scared, he didn't know what they wanted him to do. They had him sit down and I saw that he was trying to tell them he wanted to go, but they must have thought he had already gone. He had fun anyways! I think the boys were in awe to see these guys in 'real life'!
Our good friends live in DeKalb so we stopped there to see them for a few days on the way home. The two photos on the left are to their neighborhood "Eden's Garden" and "Eden's Gate Dr.". The upper right picture was from the hotel we stayed at the night before our flight. We got a kick out of "Eden's room". There was a local frozen custard shop that we had to stop at on our way out of town... "Ollie's Frozen Custard" and yes, it was delicious!
Our friends... Kael and Jaren, Eden-Kael-Jaren-Cullan, Phineas fell asleep with his ring pop stuck to his forehead, Jaren and Briea, Eden-Kael-Jaren, Jaren and Cullan. For some reason I don't have a picture with little Ayla. She was most likely making a mess somewhere! *wink* Her and Finn are the mess makers of our families! I just realized Cullan was wearing his "Team Ollie" shirt that day! Our friends have since moved to North Carolina and we miss them terribly. A short trip to DeKalb was only about 4 1/2 - 5 hours for us. We were happy to have been able to make memories with them and look forward to some beach trips in the future!
HOME, SNOWY, HOME
While the weather was rainy at times on our trip it was pretty sweet for the most part. This craziness was what we came back to! It was nice to have a trip to plan and look forward to during one of the most difficult times of the year. Thank you to Jared, who always opens his home to us when we go to California, and the Gillespies who do the same! We love you guys!