Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Los Angeles

This past February Phil and I thought that it would be nice to take a "family" vacation. Disneyland would be on the agenda and so with the help of our friends we made reservations in Anaheim. October has traditionally been my favorite month to visit Disneyland. The attendance at the park is quite a bit lower than during the summer or spring months and the weather is usually wonderful...pleasant and cool.
The weather was exactly what I was hoping for...we even had rain and yet only at night. The place we stayed at (The Dolphin Cove - a Worldmark resort) was very nice. And, the extras that we did were as fun: a trip to Hollywood, a trip up to Chino and Claremont Graduate University where Phil is getting his PhD., and a trip to Torrance to visit good friends and enjoy the beach.

I have not been a baseball fan in the past but I see baseball as the athletic event of the future for our family since Phil is an A's fan. It's not that we like the Angels...buuuutttt...the stadium was right down the street from where we were staying. They sure have a cool stadium...thanks to Disney!

We went up to the Griffith Observatory to show Phil around. It has one of the nicest free museums that we have been to. Sad to say, it was closed that day but who could resist a picture of the Hollywood sign!

Next was Hollywood...at Grauman's Chinese Theater we had fun finding all of our favorite hand prints. Daisy had found out that Harry Potter's three main characters had recently put their prints into cement...the kids were excited to find them.
Some of the greats were John Wayne (which Lucille Ball tries to steal in one of the I Love Lucy episodes), Roy Rogers with Trigger's hoof prints and a print of his gun, and one of our favorite actors, Jimmy Stewart.

Then it was a walk down the Walk of Stars. We took quite a few photos of the ones that were special to us. Brown Sugar had to have her picture taken with one of her favorite characters. We found so many!
We also enjoyed walking through part of the Roosevelt Hotel which has quite the Hollywood history. It is said to be haunted by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable.
I personally enjoyed the architecture. It was amazing!

Aw...Daisy giving big kisses to the most famous mouse of all times!

Andrea Bocelli...ahhhhhh...such amazing music!

Now, when we reserved the hotel and started making plans for Disneyland we had no idea that I would be pregnant. Sad to say, there were very few rides that I could go on but this year Brown Sugar was able to go on all but Screamin' California and Indiana Jones. Now, Brown Sugar doesn't like to be scared so I figure that there was no chance to get her on Indiana Jones even if she was the right height. But, Screamin'? Oh yeah, if she had been tall enough she would have easily gone on it. She is a girl after her mother's heart! She loves the thrilling roller coaster rides..and she is only five years old!
We don't buy a lot of stuff within the park. Disneyland is great about letting you bring in food which cuts down the food bill quite a bit. But we did buy a couple of treats. The Mickey Mouse ice cream sandwich was one of my faves!

We did something that we haven't done before. We went to one of the Disneyland Halloween Party nights. I am telling you that this was the best bang for your buck when it comes to buying Disneyland tickets. The tickets are about half the price of the regular admission...you get to go into the park at 3pm and stay until 11pm, the park closes to regular customers at 6pm, you get a bag that they fill with candy all night long, and you get to dress-up (something that you can't do any other day unless you are under the age of 9).
I did have some reservations on how spooky the park would be and about the costumes that some would be wearing...those reservations were unfounded. Disney did what it always does - create a family atmosphere! The costumes were very tightly monitored and the "spookiness" was very Mickey Mouse style.
The bonus? A park with very few people in it. We walked onto all the rides and enjoyed the people watching.

Daisy's oldest sister, Becca, created a dress based on the new Alice in Wonderland. It really worked!

Brown Sugar went as a princess...everytime someone asked her which princess she was she had a different answer. Tiana, Cinderella, Aurora...

This is a traditional spot to take a picture of the kids. The last one we took was had all six kids in there. The next one will have a whole new look as well!

We also enjoyed a day at California. We had never been on the Tower of Terror so my older kiddos really wanted to get on it this time. There was no line so everyone went on it again and again. Yep, even Brown Sugar!

The beautiful park! We also enjoyed an amazing new creation by Disney.."The World of Color". Oh my goodness! It was breathtaking! A water and light show. The water creates a wall which they show clips of Disney films. It was just really, really amazing.

While some the rest of the gang was riding the roller coaster, Brown Sugar and I waited in line to meet Mickey. This picture is seriously taken quickly because she ran up, greeted Mickey, and then posed! What a ham!

Brown Sugar, Mickey, Baby Olsson, and me!
This picture makes me look sooooooo big! I really am not that big! I promise!

We had so much fun on the new ride based on the Toy Story series. What a fun interactive ride!

So, I couldn't go on the roller coaster rides because of Baby Olsson and I wouldn't go on carnival rides. I can do the upside down, fast speeds, and twists and turns of rollercoasters but I can not do the spinning of carnival rides and the cages on this ferris wheel made me cringe with claustriphobia. So, I did a lot of sitting, reading, and enjoying the beautiful weather. But, I was happy that everyone else was enjoying the fun.

Um...Daisy, I think you definitely make the height requirement!

Big smiles from Brown Sugar...

Splash Mountain...oh, the ride of choice this time around. Brown Sugar loved this ride as well as all the other kids so Phil and I sat on a bench talking and enjoying the beautiful weather (again) while the kids went on this ride over and over again.

We always end our time at Disneyland with a sweet treat. The kids usually get a Mickey Mouse cookie...this time it was in the shape of a bat.

Daisy and I shared this fun cupcake with a Mickey Mouse head on it.
I promise that Foley and Miss M actually did go with us! I just could not find any good pictures of them without one of their siblings with them.

While we were down south we were able to meet and visit some of Phil's friends from when he lived down south for school. We were able to attend two great churches and meet some wonderful Christian brothers and sisters.
We also enjoyed a day at the beach and some wonderful time with one of Phil's groomsmen and his family.
All in all, it was a great week away...



Nan said...

Lovely! Nice to know the inside scoop in case we ever get to go! :^)

rmslil said...

Looks like a fantastic time. Lots of memories.