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Old 06-02-2012, 11:07 AM   #31
kaoden39
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Originally Posted by taymaesmom View Post
Yeah so excited! Love the pics, can't wait for the trip report!

Where was the first pic taken, its amazing!

I can answer this one. It is in Yosemite.
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:08 AM   #32
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What a great teaser!! I hope you had a wonderful trip and I can hardly wait to hear about it.
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:17 AM   #33
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What amazing pictures!!!! Can't wait until you are able to tell us about it.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:47 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by taymaesmom View Post
Yeah so excited! Love the pics, can't wait for the trip report!

Where was the first pic taken, its amazing!
Let me tell you, no picture in the WORLD does Yosemite justice. Ansel Adams spent his whole life trying, but he could spend a zillion lifetimes and not get it. It just surrounds you in a giant hug of beauty 24 hours a day.

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What a great teaser!! I hope you had a wonderful trip and I can hardly wait to hear about it.
We had a GREAT trip!

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What amazing pictures!!!! Can't wait until you are able to tell us about it.
Soon, soon!
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:26 PM   #35
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Top 10 Reasons You Know Your Disneyland Vacation Is Over

10) Your cloud storage is completely full due to the 1200 pictures and videos you took!
9) There are Disney shopping bags all over your house making you happy and sad at the same time.
8) Your pasty white family is suddenly tan.
7) The laundry! The house devoid of food! The pile of work at the office!
6) You hesitate way too long when people ask "Is it good to be home?"
5) You actually know what your kids are thinking and what they've been doing.
4) You start all conversations with, "When we were in California..."
3) You start that cursed diet you've been gleefully putting off until "after vacation".
2) You're excited that you finally can start planning your next Disney vacation.
1) You have guilt over not starting your trip report immediately.

So, we're back. Donald and I are pretty close to being caught up at work. By the end of today, we'll have it. The kids are seriously jetlagged, but I'm pretty much over it. Yesterday I was a bit off and my head KILLED me. But today I'm hopeful that I'm over the worst. Boo, on the other hand, slept until noon.

It will be just a little while until I start, however, as I didn't remember to switch my camera to the right time so we have to change the time on all those pictures so they slide nicely into place with the iphone pictures. I have to wait until Donald has time before I'll have access to our kajillion photos.

We ended up putting over 1,000 miles on our little rental car! I've done San Diego area before. And I've done Death Valley before. So with confidence I can say I've done southern California. I still need to do northern Cali. But we just had a grand time. It was a nice mixture of scenery, hiking, and Disney. And the best part was that other than 10 minutes landing in Denver on our way home when Boo burst into tears and couldn't stop crying (she fell asleep on the next airplane ride) we had NO meltdowns. None.
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:25 PM   #36
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There is nothing worse than the let down after vacation, its just like the day after Christmas as a kid, except as adult we dont have new toys to play with!

I hope your trip report include the whole trip, not just Disneyland (though I'm super excited for it too)!
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:28 PM   #37
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Oh man, that post brought me back to this time last year, when we were just home from Disney and so.sad. to be back and all of those Disney shopping bags strewn around the house brought me so much joy and so many tears!!

I cannot WAIT to hear all about it!
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:13 PM   #38
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I am glad to hear you had a great time!! I can hardly wait to hear all about it my lovely state!! Yes, I am bragging!!
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:09 PM   #39
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Can't wait to hear all about DL!
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:26 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taymaesmom View Post
There is nothing worse than the let down after vacation, its just like the day after Christmas as a kid, except as adult we dont have new toys to play with!

I hope your trip report include the whole trip, not just Disneyland (though I'm super excited for it too)!
Yes, we are including every single detail of our trip. Actually the non-Disneyland part might be more thorough as I took notes on my phone whereas at DL my phone struggled to keep a battery due to texting and searching for signal so there are much fewer notes. But if I get to going right quick on it, the pictures and our vivid memories should be enough.

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Oh man, that post brought me back to this time last year, when we were just home from Disney and so.sad. to be back and all of those Disney shopping bags strewn around the house brought me so much joy and so many tears!!

I cannot WAIT to hear all about it!
I finally threw away the bags today. Now all that is left is putting away my clean laundry. And, of course, sorting all the pictures. Once I get the photos sorted, I'll get started pronto!

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I am glad to hear you had a great time!! I can hardly wait to hear all about it my lovely state!! Yes, I am bragging!!
You will more than likely like 95-98% of what I have to say. But I do have a few harsh words for the adults who love Yo Gabba Gabba, and all of them live in California.

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Can't wait to hear all about DL!
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:23 PM   #41
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But I do have a few harsh words for the adults who love Yo Gabba Gabba, and all of them live in California.
Oh no, Perla - I love Yo Gabba Gabba! This can't be! Can our mutual lover for Disney and Weight Watchers over shadow our parting of the minds when it comes to YGG??
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:54 PM   #42
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Yes, we are including every single detail of our trip. Actually the non-Disneyland part might be more thorough as I took notes on my phone whereas at DL my phone struggled to keep a battery due to texting and searching for signal so there are much fewer notes. But if I get to going right quick on it, the pictures and our vivid memories should be enough.



I finally threw away the bags today. Now all that is left is putting away my clean laundry. And, of course, sorting all the pictures. Once I get the photos sorted, I'll get started pronto!



You will more than likely like 95-98% of what I have to say. But I do have a few harsh words for the adults who love Yo Gabba Gabba, and all of them live in California.




I live here and I probably say more bad than you do about some of the people that live here.
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:48 PM   #43
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Oh no, Perla - I love Yo Gabba Gabba! This can't be! Can our mutual lover for Disney and Weight Watchers over shadow our parting of the minds when it comes to YGG??
I'm sure we can work through it. I've been doing the WW points super plus plus. Or whatever the 12 version is called. I really like it. Much better than when it originally came out. I could NOT lose weight on it that first year. But they lowered my points by 3 per day and have tweaked the AP's and now I'm back to loving WW. Not as much as I love apple pie, but enough to happy with following it.

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I live here and I probably say more bad than you do about some of the people that live here.
I'm sure. But you'll just have to wait to hear anything I have to say in context now....

I uploaded pictures this afternoon. Chapter one will surely follow shortly.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:04 PM   #44
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Chapter One: Sequoia

This trip can really be broken into 4 parts. Sequoia, Yosemite, visiting our friends, Disneyland. And the driving to get said places.

However, the story, naturally begins at home.

Day One

Donald awoke at 3:30. Tossed and turned. Fretted. And finally got up. He claimed to have fallen asleep a bit on the couch. But mostly, he was awake at 3:30. I managed to stay asleep until 5:50. I laid in bed for an hour renting movies on my ipad for Boo to watch on the airplane and when she was driving me crazy in the woods. And getting books for myself.

Then it was up and at 'em and got the girls on the bus at 7:30. All of us were a bit of a mess as Ariel was worried about her speech. Mulan also had a ceremony and other things which her father and I wouldn't even be attending. We had mostly packed the night before as we knew this day would be crazy despite having the entire day.

By 8:15 I had to have Boo ready to go to the school. Donald had left for work way before we were even out of bed, so he just met us at the school. Boo kept asking what was for breakfast and I kept saying donuts. There normally are donuts after the honors ceremony and I knew for a fact that there would be because Ariel is the one to announce them at the end of her speech, which I had heard her practice. But I must agree, my tummy was grumbling too and donuts didn't really seem the ticket.

We patiently waited for all zillion children to get their awards. And then Ariel did AMAZING on her speech. Killed it. And then finally, we made a dash to our healthy breakfast. It's not that I don't like a donut every now and then. It's just not a very energizing start to a day. So despite being really starving, Boo and I only managed to choke down half each. She was really disappointed in apple juice being served with the donuts. And I was not enjoying having to socialize with all the other parents. I just wanted to go on vacation.

So I threw away our stuff and promised Boo something better and we headed on out after a giant hug for Ariel. We did pause to see if we could find Mulan on her way changing classes but we only ran into her cousin Buzz. It was fortunate we did, though, as he asked me to run by his house and grab the books Ariel had wanted to borrow for her trip.

So off we went to my sister's, Suzy's, house for the books. And then we headed off to get Boo's haircut at Wal-Mart. Normally I have a place we go, but in a pinch I'd just let whoever do it since it was just a trim. The girl we got I'd never seen before. She had an absolutely beautiful music note tattoo on her arm and I asked her about it. So while she cut Boo's hair I was distracted by hearing about her life, which she was very close lipped about. She's from Cleveland and was in the area just to finish her degree in music management. She'd been trained in beautician school for years and worked on the road with bands. Her hair, by the way, was quite the variety of colors.

I asked her that music management seemed like a really hard job to get and she said, "You have to know people to get into the business." So then I said, "And obviously you know people." To which she simply said, "My uncle is a manager."

No matter how many semi-sneaky questions I asked I could NOT get her to cough up any names of famous people she'd worked with. But the girls was UBER cool. Way cooler than anyone else living in my town. She just had a vibe. So I know that her uncle clearly was some real manager. And she had got a foot in the door through beautician's school in high school. I even asked her if she was going to have any college debt with all the schooling and skill she had. But even that I simply got a "No. No debt. I've always worked and pay for the college as it goes." So clearly not poor. And I've never seen in her in Wal-Mart salon before or since. I think she was just in there keeping her skills sharp like one morning a week.

Oh well, it entertained me and distracted me from the nerves that were building inside. After that I asked Boo if she'd like to pick out a new toy for the plane ride. What self respecting child says no to that??? So off we went to the toy department. I totally scored as they had a huge display of Lion King stuff on clearance and we got a Nala and Simba for $5.00. Best $10.00 ever as she played with those things ALL over Cali. She loved them.

After that I headed home and finished the packing 100%, changed the sheets, and cleaned the house all the way. We then headed over to work to see how things were going there. My sister was there and Boo explained to her all about how she'd been practicing climbing trees so she could climb sequoias. VERY funny.

At 2:30 I headed to the school to get the girls and help them clean out their lockers. Oh my Goodness were their bags and backpacks heavy. Ugh. We met Donald at home, dumped the school stuff, figured out which stroller we wanted. Since Boo is so big and such an active kid we never do the stroller thing anymore so we couldn't remember which of our 2 was truly superior. We rechecked the list. Donald turned off our water. And I got all the cat stuff ready for my dad to take care of the cat.

And at 3:30: we were out the door. We had a quick french fry break as there really hadn't been very much eating. And we were at my sister in laws house at 5:00. She lives a mile away from the airport so she always takes over. But she, too, was on vacation this week. So we met my niece there instead. Had a little catch up chat and were quickly on our way to the airport. It's so nice to be driven in your own car right up to the Southwest counter. Really takes the stress away. Not to mention the $100.00 saved.

We went to the counter to get rid of our luggage and there was no one in line. We then headed to Max and Erma's for dinner but it was closed for refurbishment!!! I thought that only happened at Disney parks. But evidently not. So instead we went through security and decided to take our chances. There was also no one in line at security. Sweet! In addition to the low crowds, kids under 12 don't have to take their shoes off. Super sweet! I canNOT even express how this made our lives easier.

Boo had been asking me all week what an x-ray was. So I asked the security lady if she could look at the x-ray. She was nice and said yes and Boo watched for awhile. Then she turns to me and said, "I FINALLY understand the letter X!" It was so dramatic it was like she had figured out the meaning to life.

The only real place to eat at our gate was a Chili's. We stood at the little welcome podium for what seemed an eternity before a girl welcomed us. And she said, "Do you have a lot of time before your flight? Because this is going to take awhile." Not exactly encouraging. But we had over an hour and were hungry so we were seated. Donald asked about his Viggle g.c. and she said they don't take them at the airport ones. No problem. We enjoyed our meals just the same.



Boo and I split an adult sliders meal and she thought eating a burger off a toothpick as an awesome idea. I ate mine the traditional way.



It really didn't take forever, and our flight was slightly delayed so we had about 20 minutes to wait in the giant waiting room. I found a quiet little corner with just one guy in it and we set up shop. I went to get a gate check tag for the stroller and then settled. The lone man sitting in our area had decided we were an adorable family and asked me where we were going. I said to California and Boo volunteered "Disneyland!" He asked if it was our first time and they all said yes. I didn't contradict and say I'd been once.

Well, we were clearly not in the know. And I'm not the kind of person to correct strangers. My own friends and family I will correct if they are getting something so wrong it will be embarrassing. But strangers I figure are already in the scenario where incorrect information could be embarrassing, so why bother correcting them? Anyhow, he says, "I've been to Disneyland. And my favorite ride is in Epcot. It's called Siri."

There were so many things wrong, I wasn't sure even how to respond. He was a really nice, well dressed and spoken business man who wanted a little chitchat with a nice mom while he was on the road. And I just couldn't bring myself to question this. But I also couldn't understand what we were talking about. So I said, "I've never heard of that. What's it like?" He replied, "It's wonderful. It's like you are in an airplane soaring over the world."

Gotcha. So I replied, "Oh, I think they have that in California too." Which baffled him. Because he'd been to Disney. But obviously no one had explained that he was in Florida when he was at Disney. At that point I decided it was time to bail and said I needed to head to the potty one more time before we boarded the plane and dragged Boo off. She said when we got there, "Are you gonna make me go potty AGAIN?"

Here we are in our little corner. The guy is directly to my right in a perfect conversation position.


By the time we got back I was grateful for everyone to be packing up to load up. The plane was completely full so we were split up. Not ideal, but we rolled with it. Boo was SO excited I cannot even explain. She was giddy.



We made her wear her own backpack and pull her own suitcase. Several people said, "You make your kids work for their vacation." To which Donald and I simply nodded. This is teamwork man. You wanna see the world? You're gonna have to carry your own load.





Boo loved flying. LOVED it. When we were up far enough that you could still see land but really high she said, "I'm LIVING Soarin'! We're flying over California." Of course we were only over Illinois or so, but it was really cute. See? Even 5 year olds know Siri is the lady on Mommy's iphone she fights with and Soarin' is a ride at Disney parks.

We had an hour layover in Chicago. Gate switch time!



Mulan got a strawberry gelato that she went on and on about. She loved it. My exciting thing was that there were fireworks outside our window! It was as if they knew we were going on an epic adventure. Boo and I watched them all. Boo said Disney was putting on fireworks just for us. Exactly, Boo. Exactly.

Then onto the plane. I had been so proud of myself for renting Boo movies to entertain her. Then on the first flight I wouldn't let her have my ipad as I was finishing a book and she had other things to entertain her. But she and Donald (who had awakened at 3:30!) were fast asleep before we even took off on this 2nd flight!



So I got to keep the ipad and watched a movie for myself. Ariel was going to watch with me but only made it thru 40 minutes before she was fast asleep.

So I watched by myself and happily ate my little airplane provided ritz crackers and poured my little bottle of pomegranate vodka in my coke zero. I did sleep the last hour. I have a super awesome blow up neck pillow and blanket but I'd had to give the blanket to Boo. So I tried to have my sweaters make due but it wasn't the same.

Floating above LA around 10 pm.


Out my side of the window you could see Staple Center where the LA Kings had just beaten the Phoenix Coyotes in a playoff game. I, of course, didn't know that but I knew they were playing and I could clearly see from the airplane that they had won from the mini-fireworks and lights. Fireworks in BOTH cities as we flew in. Yup. EPIC.

The guy in front of me had a 9-10 month old and he and his wife were not the greatest parents. He just kept asking her why she couldn't keep the kid quiet. But she was a new parent too and it was clearly their 2nd airplane trip
home from wherever they'd flown to so she was clueless how to help the kid. I wanted to help. He was just bored and tired and couldn't get comfy. But again, I don't really like to get involved that much in strangers lives.

However, when I said to Donald, "The Kings just won! I can tell!" This guy had a TON to say over the back of his chair. He suddenly was just full of energy. Don't know where that was when his kid needed entertained.

We then had to awaken poor Boo to get off the plane. We were a sorry lot as it was almost 2 am Ohio time and we were mid-sleep! Gratefully, the stroller was there and Boo dropped into it. I offered her the stroller with these words: "Would you like a ride, my queen?" This cute little lady yelled, "I'll take it!" I guess my family weren't the only tired ones.

The baggage was chaos as always, but ours were all there and pretty close to the first ones. We headed out to the rental car shuttles and Budget was the 3rd one. It was maybe a 2 minute wait.



When we got to Budget we were immediately taken to the counter. Our clerk was really nice but distracted as the other woman working was new and he had to keep bouncing to her to train her. Behind us this woman and her two kids come whipping in and she says to just the crowd in general (it really wasn't that crowded, her, us, and the other family with the woman) "I paid in FULL online, doesn't that get me priority service?" This caused all of us to turn around and look at her. First, everyone pays online these days. Whoopidy-do! Second, should they just shove us to the side? There was NO ONE in line in front of her. Not a soul and we already had our keys. When the clerk helping us said, "I'll be with you in a moment," she turned to her kids and said, "Well, I guess we'll just have to wait until THEY are ready to take of us on THEIR terms." It was really odd and I felt sorry for the kids. The kids said not a single word through any of this.

We then went and got our car.


We pretty much threw the luggage in, to be organized later, and headed to the hotel that was less than a block away. Boo had been nearly asleep through all of this, despite the multiple transfers and said as we pulled into the hotel, 'Why did we steal a car?"

And there I leave you. I will begin my next thread with Yo Gabba Gabba....
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:15 PM   #45
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'Why did we steal a car?"
And there is your new trip report title!

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