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Old 11-18-2007, 01:20 PM   #16
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Made lunchtime PS for Blue Bayou, and latest breakfast PS for Storyteller's.

DH was given an extra day, so now he'll be going back home on Sunday, the same day that my brother and SIL will join us, so they can take me and DS to San Diego. yay!

I'm so glad DH has that extra day. It was getting really stressful, trying to figure out how he could see all the shows, parades, fireworks in Friday and half-day Saturday, along with riding ANY rides! Now he has one full extra day.
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:21 PM   #17
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I want to know how your trip went!!!
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Old 12-19-2007, 03:43 AM   #18
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I shall be turning this into a trip report as soon as I can.

We spent 9 days after DL down in San Diego, and for some bizarre reason I didn't take my computer! So we are finally home, and I'm hoping to get all my thoughts down as soon as I can.

But overall....Anabella Hotel was close enough, but too dang far with a 3 year old and NO STROLLER. I really must learn to slow myself down, or take solo trips, b/c I have a funny feeling that I was kinda making my kiddo a tiny bit miserable some parts of some days. I want to go back. It gets surprisingly cold in southern CA, even if you've lived in western WA for 10 years. Good trip. Want to go back already.
-molly + robert + eamon (10!!)

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Old 12-19-2007, 04:16 AM   #19
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I'll start a bit. Not sure I'll actually get us TO Disneyland, b/c I'm getting tired...

I have traveled quite a bit in my life, starting when I was 17. The last couple years have been a bit sparse, but before that, I flew lots and lots. Never had a flight delayed or canceled.

Until December 5th. My early AM flight was delayed delayed delayed...my 3 year old was tired, I was carrying my carry-on + smaller personal item, as well as DS's little backpack, plus the carseat + carrying bag for it. Couldn't go anywhere without hauling all of that, for fear of it being considered abandoned luggage... I could hear every announcement in the gate area, except for the ones being generated by the people AT my gate. So all I got from "my" announcements was that there was fog in Sacramento, so it was delayed and delayed some more.

At last they said, basically, "well, since it's been half an hour, and since those of you going to Ontario only had an hour between this flight landing and your next flight leaving, you'll need to go over to THAT desk to get a new flight."

So we went. And found out that there was no dreadful fog, but that Sac'to's weather-info system was wonky, so they had no way of KNOWING how much fog there was (guess the control tower doesn't have windows, or something?), which is why it was closed to flights.

Had the most uncommunicative employee, ever. And compared to the usual Southwest employee, that means he came across as downright surly! I was trying to chat and figure out what was going on, but he just stared at his computer. I knew there was a flight to San Jose at the gate right there, but when it was 5 minutes from leaving I said "ha ha, well, I guess we won't be on THAT flight!" And then 3 minutes later he handed me boarding passes to THAT flight.

So we had to haul, erm, behind (difficult with a recalcitrant 3 year old), I had to find a spot (relatively easy, as there were only 60 of us total on the flight), install carseat, blah blah blah. Up in the air, peanuts and coffee, down into San Jose. Get off plane, walk a few gates down, get on plane. Up in the air, peanuts and more coffee, down into Ontario. Only interesting part of it was that DS's ears hurt this time, on both descents. I didn't expect that! It's never happened with him before, and I was unprepared for it. He did like it when his ears "popped", though; it almost made the pain worth having that neat feeling.

Flying into Ontario was about $100 per person cheaper than going into SNA. Getting Super Shuttle was $51 plus tip for me and DS, then another $41 plus tip, each way, for DH (he flew in and out separately from us). Ultimately we saved money going through Ontario. But it wasn't worth it. Just too far away. Next time, I'll plan better for SNA, I'll save longer, I'll do whatever...time at DL vs time in a shuttle is worth FAR more than the money we saved.

Got to Ontario, got ALL my bags, got outside and were set to cross the little street to get SuperShuttle when....DS had to use the bathroom. I almost cried, I was sooo tired by then. I was right next to a SmartCarte thing, so I threw my debit card at it to pay $3 for less than an hour's use of the thing, and it was worth it. Put the bags on it, DS insisted on riding on it (totally unsafe but at that point I let him), went to the bathrooms, he did his business, and we went back out to the shuttle area.

Uhoh, it's...hot? Now, remember, this was the 5th. The week before, people had been complaining of the bitter cold, the rain, the weather...I had planned for THAT. Not for hot! I was wearing all black! And worst of all, I had forgotten to bring sunscreen.

Got on the shuttle, had a weird time as the guy drove, talked on the phone in the earbud, the phone on the dash, and there was a third phone, all while texting on the phone on the dash. Again, while driving. We drove around the airport, and even before I realized it, DS asked why we were going BACK to the airport. I guess he wanted to see if there were more customers...kinda annoyed me. I pre-paid the tip, I had a reservation, and despite the delay I kept them informed of my timing...I felt that he should have just GONE. Got on the road, and I tried to ignore his extreme multi-tasking and wondered what would happen to the shuttle drivers once all the states get anti-texting-while-driving laws like WA is about to start.

Got to the Anabella! DS had been asleep only 15 minutes. Poor thing. And poor me, too, b/c he'll take 15 minutes and pretend it's a full nap...

I got the Anabella for a nice rate through Travelocity (through *************** so I got some nice credits back, yay). It's so pretty! I love the archway over the entry, I love the look of the check-in area. Big squishy couches, a fireplace, it was nice.

We had a first floor room, which looked kinda "bleah" from the outside, but the first floor rooms have wood floors, and it turns out I love that in a hotel/motel!!! Even at the Westin, I'll never look at a carpeted hotel/motel room the same way again. I felt like the floors were CLEAN. I wasn't afraid of walking barefoot on it. And it was pretty.

I just liked everything about our stay at the Anabella, except that their keycards are very sensitive, and I demagnetized three keycards in 4 nights. It just didn't like the digital camera and cellphone it was being carried next to, poor thing.

We didn't get to use the pool, or even SEE the main pool (walked past the pretty adult's only pool on the way to/from our room, though).

DH used the laundry room, and didn't come back talking about how horrible it was, so I assume it was fine.

The bellhop guys are super-sweet, especially Ken and Scott.

Their restaurant, Tangerine, had a fairly good peach cobbler that I got "to go". It was nice that they did "to go", rather than making you go through "room service" (like Paradise Pier did), b/c it made me feel like I had choices, and that they didn't feel the need to nickel and dime me. A couple days later DH went by and got me a "to go" drink from Tangerine, the Bella, which has something like 4 different rums in it. It was lovely. I hadn't had a drink with liquor in it in AGES.

CoCo's is right nearby, and we got to go from there too, one night. Excellent veggie burger, they give a nice big soda, and they have a cute kid's menu that DS enjoyed. They also have pies and cakes. They were a bit forgetful with my order, but I just reminded them and they apologized and got what I reminded them of, no one felt the need to check my bill to make sure that I was telling the truth.

Well that's the discussion of the Anabella Hotel, a place I would stay again (but only if I bring my stroller for those relatively long walks to and from!). Any questions about that, I'm happy to answer if I can.

But we'll have to wait to find out if I convinced DS to nap more, or if we just went gung ho to Disneyland...bet you can guess which one we did, though...
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Old 12-19-2007, 10:00 PM   #20
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Well, of course we went to Disneyland as soon as I could wash my face, change our clothes, and get out the door.

We walked out the main hotel doors (which were opened by Ken and friends), went left on the sidewalk, crossed the street (man that's a long crosswalk!), walked down past Paradise Pier Hotel, turned right into Grand Californian Hotel, went in the pretty doors, made an almost immediate left down that long, poorly marked hallway...which ultimately led us out to DTD, and a hop skip and jump to the bag check!

I wrote all that for anyone who might not know that way. And considering how every single day we helped some lost family find their way to the parks without having to go ALL the way through DTD, I'm sure there are people out there!

The first walk I nearly cried when I saw that easy way. When we were at PPH last September, we followed their handy-seeming signs, went out the back, near the parking garage, past DLH, and ALL the way through DTD. Every day. Ugh.

This shorter way was so much nicer.

And we got to see palm trees.

However, I won't ever do that with a little kid again, if I don't have a stroller. If for some reason we have to go without a stroller, we'll just shell out for ART.

We got dropped off at the Anabella at 2:09, and the time on the receipt for waters at that water and fruit cart on main street is 3:13. So it's not far away, not really, at all!

Eamon was courting illness by grabbing ice cubes from the water-bottle tubs at the cart, while I tried to pay. Grabbing and eating said ice cubes. Bleah.

Any possible plans I made for this trip were absolutely blown out of the water by DS's opinions. He was either enthusiastic about things I hadn't yet planned, or vehemently against things I *had* planned. So...my plans were thrown out the window every day. Oh well. Such is life with an opinionated 3.5 year old.

So we wandered, and the only thing he wanted to do then was...Star Tours!

On our last trip, the CM got really tweaky with his height, and passed a piece of paper between his head and the measuring thing, and declared him too short. All the while a tiny girl wearing high-heeled cowboy boots sauntered by with her family...since the important part, IMO, for that ride is the torso, not the legs, I think it's ridiculous that high heeled shoes should be allowed to pass a kid through. I personally think that the rides with height restrictions b/c of the person needing to fit the restraint should have a measuring system based on sitting-down height. Of course, that's self-serving for DS, b/c he has a VERY long torso and would have been allowed on long ago (he was out of his infant seat, by torso length, before he was 4 months old, to give you an idea).

Well, this time he made it! It was an easy walk-on, and I felt pressured to go go go before another CM changed their minds, which in retrospect was a mistake. I wish I had slowed down with him, really shown him the queue. Oh well.

Someone in line with us was excited for him, and told me to keep ahold of him, b/c when their kid was his age and height, he slid under the lap belt, LOL. I did hold him with an arm, but he still slid quite a bit!

During the whole ride (which is my fave alongside of IASW, by the way) he had the blankest, wide-eyed, no emotion expression on his face. He just kept sliding and staring and not overtly reacting at all. I thought OMG he HATES it. I expected tears.

We got out of the ride and I heard some kid saying "I loved that ride, I loved that ride!" over and over. We got out of the crowd, and I realized that it was MY son saying that, and he was trying to talk to ME! Wow! he loved it!!!

Alas, he refused to go on it a second time.

Which was bad b/c although DS was excited to ride his "star wars ride", my husband was even MORE excited. And he wasn't there yet. Oops.

Of course you end up in the store, and I was just SO excited about his being tall enough and brave enough, that I had to buy him something to commemorate it.

The problem is...I know my kid, and I wasn't going to get him ANY kind of proper light saber. He would whip it around and I would have to take it away from him. Plus, we are VERY strict about the suggested ages on products, and most, if not all, of those light sabers are for kids 5 and up. I do NOT get products that are "too old" for him, EVER. He sees kids younger than him with toys I won't get him, and I have to remind him that they have different parents who have different rules, and this is a rule that I am very strict on. So no light sabers, no blasters (they are also mainly for 5 and up and the Buzz type blasters for 3 and up do NOT appeal to DS), etc.

Luckily, he saw a Jedi Mickey that was perfect. We snagged him and got in line. In front of us, a cute scene played out...cute even though the gift-recipient was younger than DS, and the gift was something for 6 and up, but whatever...as long as he doesn't give the toy to DS, if others want to give their kids things that are "too old" for them, go for it. But when there's something chokeable on it, or some actual reason for it to be for older kids, well, don't come whining to me.

Anyway, a family was in line...the mom was tattooed, wearing nightmare b4 xmas stuff, dyed black hair...very similar to the actress who plays Abby on NCIS. She had a very mainstream stroller, with two cute kids...the difference was striking to me, and I enjoyed watching them. She was having a transaction with the CM, but was distracted by the older boy (younger than DS). Suddenly I noticed the CM telling the little boy that he needed to help his little sister clean up her cheerios, and I thought "whoa, that's out of line!" B ut the little boy ducked down in front of the stroller, therefore out of sight of the adults, and while he was helping, the CM gave a big box in a bag to the mom, who whipped it behind the stroller, hung it from the handles, and covered it with a big blanket she had on the handles. It was the big "build a light saber" set that the boy had just been going ON about.

Well that inspired me, especially b/c I had just noticed small keychain light sabers, that were labeled for 3 and up, right there. DS noticed them too, and talked about the green one. I let him know that he was getting jedi mickey, and that was his gift, and wasn't that exciting! Well of course I distracted him and slipped the keychain to the CM, who totally got that I was doing a similar move as the woman before me. He was very good at that.

DS had his Jedi Mickey, I had a secret, we took pictures of DS and Jedi Mickey in front of the store window, and moved on.

After that, I think we went on Buzz, and he got scared in line! I know that he was tired, and that we were hungry, but ya know, we were in line, there was a crowd, and after a bad experience exiting a ride in Oct of '06, I figure that quite often the quickest way off of a ride is to go ON the ride. So I reminded him that he loved the ride, that he'd get to blast things, that it was fun, he had to defeat Zurg, etc...he did protest the whole way through the line, but once he had his blaster in hand, he was fine. As the door thing of the ride vehicle shut, he almost lost Jedi Mickey, but I correctly interpreted his excited yelps, and the CM caught on quick too, and we saved JM.

He was fine blasting things, and though our scores were abysmal, we had fun.

Then we went to Tomorrowland Terrace for lunch. Ahhhhh. That was better.

By then the sun was going down, and there was a cool pre-twilight light on the Jedi training as we made our way to Autopia. We watched the end of the show from behind, and it made me cry. I can't wait until he's mature enough to do that, to listen to them and do what they say, to enjoy it in the moment and really interact. I think he's still a bit young for all of that, though he's maturing quickly! He wanted to do it, and that's a good step!

Went over to Autopia, with a listed 40 minute wait. I tried to talk him out of it, but hey, it's Disneyland and I didn't want to *cause* sadness just b/c I didn't want to wait, so we went. OMG never again. Even with fastpass Autopia with a wait is awful. It's best in the very early morning with NO wait, and that is the only time I ever want to go on it again. At least until DS is 10 and more able to deal with the wait.

Interminable wait, but ultimately we were on, and it was nice to ride at twilight, and he love love loves that ride, so it was fine.

I think we just went wandering at that point, and suddenly found ourselves in the pre-pre-pre-parade waiting time, and we were right there at the Fantasy/Tomorrowland bathrooms, which I've heard are great for parade-watching, so...we decided to wait for the parade! And he was actually really good, waiting for almost an hour.

Saw the Enchanted carriage, though honestly the pooper-scooper CM following behind was more amusing to me. She kept a plastic rose at the top of her can, and pretended that the can smelled of roses.

The family chosen to be in the parade was a family of 24! They were on top of a tall bus thing.

The parade was very lovely, despite a very very LOUD woman yelling things to her child, who was 2 feet away from her. And she kept getting things wrong, too. I mean, yeah, my 3 year old said that Pluto was Goofy, but he did it quietly. She did it, well after DS and I figured it out, and she did it far more loudly. When her husband corrected her, she realized her error verbally, and again, at top volume.

Weirdest part of that parade was that I was surrounded by very tall people. Yeah, I'm only 5'3", so I'm used to being shrimpy, but this was weird. Men and women well over 5'10", all around, and they were not all related to each other (unless they were a really unhappy, not speaking to each other, extended family).

I'm not big into christmas, we're more Yule types, but it was really cute. And it was the first parade we *really* saw, rather than just "oh there's the parade let's go watch the end of it". Eamon liked it quite a bit, especially seeing Mickey and Minnie skating on their float.

Having saved all those receipts is making this easier to remember! At 7:17 we had a snack; I had the "trio of fritters" from Royal St Veranda (very very good) and DS had a chocolate chip cookie. We sat on a brick ledge to eat them and I peoplewatched while DS snarfed half of his cookie.

As we walked on through Adventureland, we ended up on Jungle Cruise in the dark. I was amazed that he wanted to do that! While in line he made "best friends forever" with a woman and her three daughters. They all had curly hair (different varieties of curls, from just barely wavy to near curliques) and that was something to start the in-line conversation. DS just lloooooves making friends while waiting, especially friends with girls or women, and I think he was ready to push me overboard and go live with them. We all rode together, and the middle sister adopted him for the ride.

The skipper was really funny! Alas I *never* remember what the jokes are when I like them, and it was so dark I couldn't see his name. But he had a very high voice, and the one joke I do remember was something I've never heard as we approached the tribal dance. Usually they just say something like "oh they never do celebration dances, oh no, it's an ambush". Total yawn. But this guy said something, then said "let me stop and see if I can translate." We stopped, and stopped, and stayed stopped....just to the point where it was getting weird (especially in the dark!), and then he just said "nope" and started the boat again. It was truly hilarious to all of the boat.

While we were on the boat, the fireworks started, and we could see a bit of that through the trees. It was ending as we got off the boat, and we rushed to main street to try to see the end, but didn't quite get there. We saw the snow, though! E liked the bubbles. And then of course the park was closed and we were in the slow-moving crowd. But that was OK; by that point I was moving slow, too!

Finally made our way out, and by the time we got to the hotel I was hungry again (hmm, am noticing an explanation for the vast tummy I noticed in my photopass pictures) and since Tangerine's dessert fridge was broken, all they had was a peach cobbler so I had that, and it was good.

DS slept all night long, which is shocking for him, but he did each night at Disneyland. Nice.

Last edited by bumbershoot; 12-21-2007 at 03:14 AM. Reason: accuracy and adding pictures
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:05 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by bumbershoot View Post
we were right there at the Fantasy/Tomorrowland bathrooms, which I've heard are great for parade-watching, so...we decided to wait for the parade! And he was actually really good, waiting for almost an hour.
I believe this is where we watched the parade last week! We just stumbled upon it on Thursday, around 5:50pm for the 6:30pm parade.

Is it the little alcove on one side of the parade route, with some trees and bathrooms, directly across the parade route from the Matterhorn? So, when looking across the street, you're seeing the posts-and-chains which are used for one of the Matterhorn's queues? Just "down the street" from Alice in Wonderland?

If so, I also highly recommend this location for parade watching. Having the bathrooms right behind you is convenient, although we took a seat on the bricked pavement right next to the street (for front-row viewing), and during our wait for the parade, lots of people needed to get by us to get to those bathrooms, but we didn't mind scooting over momentarily so they could go in/out.
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Old 12-20-2007, 07:58 PM   #22
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Yep, that's the place! It was really great to watch from there, though in the future I might not plant us with a tree smack dab to the left of us. Made watching the floats come down the street difficult, as foliage was in the way!
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Old 12-20-2007, 08:27 PM   #23
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Day 2, the 6th!

Well, let me digress a bit...I was reading other trip reports, and noticed that someone had spotted Gwen Stefani on the 4th. Can I tell you how painful it is to think I was just a day and a half late to maybe see her in person? I adore her and her music, and would have loved to spot her. Oh well.

Back to the 6th.

DS slept 10 hours, all through the night. Yay, little one!

We got to the park and headed straight for the stroller line. While in the long line, I was spotted...I don't know the exact username and I forgot the name-name, but she was lovedisneyland, or iluvdisneyland? She recognized us from my avatar...probably helped that I was holding DS and therefore we were posed almost like the avatar picture, LOL. It was fun to see a Dis person, even if our placement in the lines made it hard to have an actual conversation.

Decided at the last moment to get a length of stay stroller pass. It doesn't save you money, but it saves you time, because you just waltz up (yes, you have to *waltz*, you can't just walk ), give them one of the slips of paper they hand you in a little envelope, and take a stroller. It's even faster if you kept your name"tag" from the first day, like I did. If you know you're going to need a stroller for more than just one day, it's worth it in the time-savings.

I don't know what I had planned, but DS refused it all. Sigh.

So we headed out to ToonTown, thinking he'd love Roger Rabbit, since he loved it in September! I forgot that TT doesn't open with the rest of the park, and we had about 10 minutes standing in a stroller-filled crowd outside the gates.

Parked the stroller and headed into RR, but Eamon just flipped out. We were in front of a family with a littler girl, and they totally understood that kids change their minds AND that sometimes it's OK to keep a kid in line b/c you know they'll enjoy it...and they tried to get him excited for the ride, but that queue is long even when empty, and NOISY, and by the time we were almost to the ride vehicles, he was almost screaming, there was an easy way to exit right there, and I just left. With him, of course.

He decided that he would much rather mess around with the various noise-making things outside, so we spent about an hour with him pressing doorbells, opening the door to the power plant, trying to pick up the dumbbells, getting into other peoples' pictures in the "jail", and so on.

Went into the gift shop to check out their Mr Potato Head selection. ooh boy is it pathetic, compared to EnginEars! Along with wrangling Eamon away from all the souvenirs I wasn't going to buy him (at least not that day), I bought a gift card. Not for anyone else, just for me...both as a souvenir and as a way to sort of budget myself. It worked out pretty well, using the giftcards, though in the future I would make sure I only had one "going" at a time. Maybe buy them ahead of time in maybe $100 increments (I like the different cards you can get, otherwise I'd just get one huge one), and if I run out of money on one, supplement with another...and so on.

Decided to go to Minnie's house, and it was very cute!

He had a blast, especially in the kitchen, twisting knobs and making the dishwasher go, causing the cake in the oven to fall, and so on.

We left there at long last and went to Mickey's.

We went to Mickey's in September, and on that day (which was MTTMM, so that might be the reason for the difference) they had MANY characters throughout the house, and I actually thought that's the way it would be this time!

But nope, this time the house was much more obviously a queue, and we ended up in that screening room with the old cartoons playing. The CM at the exit to the room didn't believe in speaking up, so even though she did her spiel 3 times while we were in there, I never actually *heard* what on earth she was saying. They let people through the exit one small group at a time, and even when she was letting us know that we would be the last of the next group and was right in front of me, I still had to ask her to repeat herself, b/c she had such a tiny little voice.

We were finally let through (she had actually told us we would be first in the next-next group, but then when we got there, she let us in last ahead of that), and it turned out to be a "private" meeting with Mickey. Since we were last in, we were last to have pictures, and the Photopass guy got some cute pictures of Eamon and Mickey. I especially like the one where Mickey had the two of them touch noses. I can't wait to get in and start messing with the Photopass pictures, but I did something very very stupid with one of the cards (re-used a card, which is OK, but it was linked to the sept photopass "share" account that is NOT my own account, so the site won't accept it...I have an email in, and if they don't reply in 4 business days thanks to bradK I have their phone number to get it moved off of that now-defunct account) so I don't want to edit ANY of my pictures just yet. But even without editing, we already have 40 photos without that other card, so I think I'll get my money's worth with the pre-purchase of the photopass CD!

We left there and went to....chip and dale's treehouse.

Oh. My. Buddha. I had read disparaging things about it. I had I had! But I, for some reason, thought people were wrong. Thought "what could be so bad? Treehouses are fun!" Oh man I was wrong.

You walk up narrow spiral stairs (DS liked that), you go out, and then you go down, either a ramp or stairs, I don't remember, and that is IT. There isn't even a place to play, or a place to hang out like in Donald's boat. You just go up, and then down. Even DS, who is easily amused by the simplest of things, had no urge to go back through, and walked easily and quickly away from it. It is soooooo ridiculous, and now I understand the disparaging comments!

I tried to get us to leave at that point, but he desperately wanted to play at Goofy's, so, OK, fine, we went. And the kid just went nuts in there! He loved the piano in there, and I had to work all my diplomacy skills with the other kids that he kept asking to leave b/c they were interfering with his piano-playing. He takes turns, in general, better than the only children I knew while growing up (sniffle sniffle, I don't want him to be an only), but when it's something that he LOVES, I gotta step in.

Got him out of there (I know, I know, I must find a way to be more Zen at Disneyland, but I am so stinkin' excited to be there that it's hard to meet both of our needs, ya know?) and he ran and ran and ran around the outside area. He made a friend with another kid, and they chased each other. The other mom didn't seem to care that they were running, but I don't like it when DS runs into other kids, so I looked like the worst helicopter mom ever, trying to keep him from slamming people to the ground. The other kiddo was a bit older, so steadier on his feet, and not in as much danger of doing harm to others... So if you saw me, I was trying to keep *other* kids safe, not DS (the kid can hurt himself while trying on clothes, literally, we got an ambulance trip to the ER from trying on gloves and a winter hat, so I know that it's almost impossible to keep *him* from hurting himself, LOL). I'm hovering over your kids.

We finally had enough of that land and went to a favorite of both of ours....It's A Small World!

I think I'm running out of smilies for this post, so I'm going to end this reply here and continue in another.

Last edited by bumbershoot; 12-21-2007 at 03:13 AM. Reason: clarifying and adding pictures
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Old 12-20-2007, 11:35 PM   #24
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There was a photopass photog in front of IASW, and I hovered, waiting for her to be done with the person she was working with. I was looking around, and when I looked back, a group of people had formed a line on the opposite side from me. Grr. And since I hadn't looked like I was officially waiting, looking around and all, they seemed to be quite settled in to their line. The photog had never seen me, so I decided we'd have pix taken after the ride.

I didn't expect SO many changes with the holiday version! I liked it, though. Then again, I just flat-out like the ride. I used to have the album of the song, and I played it so many times I nearly drove my then-new-stepmom to stepkid-icide. Didn't know that until I was over 30...she was good at keeping those feelings hidden.

I wish I knew the ride better, so I could figure out what is behind the black curtains, though!

Oh, my one problem with the holiday version is that they have the Korean dolls hidden! And they are being hidden by a big dragon apparently made of ice...according to my half-Korean DH, that sort of symbol is Chinese, not Korean, so it really doesn't have anything to do with anything. I liked seeing the Korean dolls in their wedding outfits, so to have to crane my neck as we go *past* the ice dragon just bugged me.

When we were done with the ride, the photopass person was gone.

I have *no* clue what we did next, and that is bugging me! Last trip, I took notes. Literally, took notes on a little notepad, even while walking. But this trip I didn't and it's bothering me. Oh well!

I know that I stopped at the coffee and cookie cart in the hub, I suppose it's called. They told me that they are the only cart that accepts cards, so that was lucky! However, I guess we were chatting so much that they gave DS an oatmeal and raisin cookie rather than the chocolate chip he requested (he ordered it, he just loves ordering things!). But I didn't know that then.

I noticed he was just nibbling at it, but I was so enamored of my latte that I didn't question it. I was *really* surprised at the coffee during our stay! I kept hearing "nescaca" and the like, and figured I'd just drink it to stave off the caffeine-withdrawal headaches, but I actually liked it.

We decided to go to DCA, and it was as we were on our way towards the gates (passing under the train track bridge) that DS finally spoke up, asking why there were so many raisins in his cc cookie. He didn't mind the oatmeal (note to self, start making oatmeal choc chip cookies), but he's not big on raisins right now. I looked at it, and yep, not the right cookie. Promised him we'd fix the problem, and tried to get him to understand that the CM didn't mean any harm, she didn't *choose* to give him the wrong cookie, but that mistakes happen. Ah, life lessons at Disneyland...

Hopped over to DCA, and I decided that I wouldn't mind an oatmeal raisin cookie, so I just got him a cc cookie at Baker's Field Bakery. And a water.

I figure we *must* have gone to Bug's Land at that point, because I know we rode Heimlich's Chew Chew Train approximately 8000 times during our trip.

But maybe we didn't. Hmm. Maybe getting my photos off the memory card and onto the computer would be good at this point...hmm. Might have to take a break in the story to get the pictures squared away!

Well, the basics of that afternoon/early evening (it was early in the week so the hours were shorter) is that we had a late lunch at the Pacific Wharf Cafe, where DS had an uncrustables kid's meal (and we realized they have high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup, which DS can't have) and I had the very lovely vegetarian chili in a bread bowl. YUM. DS also noticed that they had a Woody "souvenir sipper", just like the Buzz sipper he talked me into at Tomorrowland Terrace. I told him that he'd have to take his father aside, once he joined us, about that, but that I wouldn't be getting it for him.

It was getting colder and threatening rain, so we stopped to by "just in case" ponchos.

I know that we went back to the hotel to get into warmer clothes, which meant we had to leave our stroller. On that day, I didn't realize that we could leave the stroller in the esplanade, near the bag-check, so I turned the stroller in with the intent to get another one later. The guys at the stroller place in DCA were hilarious. Eamon had gotten nervous about leaving "his" stroller behind, so when we went into the stroller place, I gave the CMs a significant look as I told DS again that we would leave it there, they would take care of it, and he would get the "exact same stroller" when we returned. They took the hint and went with it, and I found that VERY nice of them.

And then DS wouldn't get out of the stroller. Even warm clothes wouldn't convince him. I finally managed it, and we went back, changed, walked back to DCA, and even though there had been a shift change while we were gone, the new CM totally got it too, and told DS that he was indeed getting the same one, that the other CMs had told her about it, and it was all good.

I like DCA. I like bug's land!

I think that we went on Heimlich's 8 times that night. About 3 times in a row, then we got off and did other things, then another 5 times in a row. I now know the "can we go around again" hand signal, and they were VERY gracious about it. The only thing they asked was that we sit in the back, and I found that to be totally reasonable. I also learned that Heimlich's vocal track changes. The first round through he burps only once. Second time he burps twice. And the third he burps three times, and then it goes back to the first version. I *think* there are other differences, but the burps were the most obvious for my poor beleaguered mind to take notice of.

We also rode Flik's Flyers, Francis' Ladybug Boogie, and Tuck and Roll's Drive'Em Buggies.

You know, the Astro Orbiters are hard enough to get into with a kid, but MAN are those buggies a pain! The way the bar comes down is so difficult, when you have a child who wants to steer but isn't tall enough to push the petal down.

That's all I remember, and we went back the the Anabella, got take out from Coco's (veggie burger and kid's grilled cheese, and a slice of cake).

DS slept all night again.

Last edited by bumbershoot; 12-21-2007 at 03:26 AM.
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Old 12-21-2007, 03:06 AM   #25
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I'm adding a couple pictures to my posts above.
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:23 AM   #26
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Those are great pictures. Your son is adorable. I read your last trip report. I can't wait for more.
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:35 PM   #27
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Right now I've been focused on Yule (we'll open the presents from our Christian friends and family on Christmas 'cuz we're sweet like that), on entering all our disney movie rewards from the Yule goodies, and on editing all my Photopass pictures.

Photopass, ah, glorious Photopass...how I love you so. And how I love the cast member, Deborah, who helped me today. She added the missing Stitch to my cutesie "point at Stitch coming out of the ground" picture, and she moved my pre-used, on another account, card over to my current account. Lovely lovely person!
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Old 12-23-2007, 04:29 PM   #28
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At around midnight, DH (Robert) arrived. Yay!

We got up and running to DL. As we walked through, heading to Fantasyland, I saw an official looking person. I gave her a big smile, and we all got to talking. She then asked if we liked Billy and the Hillbillies, and if we'd like to see them. We let her know that we had not seen them, but had heard good things, and would like to see them at some time. She gave us a Magical Moment certificate (not quite a Dream, LOL) for special seating at the 4pm show that day. That was very cool!

We went on from that to FL, and we were official "I'm doing this for your own good and you'll thank me for it" Mean Parents who "forced" DS to go on Peter Pan. He loved it in September, he's loves pirates, loves Peter Pan, and we knew he was just weirded out by being tired, and that he would like it. He did, indeed, like it. We were glad for the relatively short line of the morning, because any longer with him insisting that he "hates" PP would have driven me (and those around us) utterly insane!

After that, Dumbo. And Alice..no, he opted out of that one, too, at the last minute. For some reason I insisted that Robert go alone on Alice, and for some unknown reason he agreed, even though he didn't really want to. Our communication is bizarre like that, and his upbringing made it hard for him to say "no" when he wants to say "no".

Realized hunger was overtaking us, and went to Tomorrowland Terrace for breakfast. The CMs there were great, because they actually asked each guest if they had an AP for the discount! I liked that, b/c sometimes I feel like a goof asking "do you do the AP discount?"

Got the french toast sticks (no syrup or meat) for DS and the croissant sandwich (no meat) for DH, and I was an idiot and didn't get food. Though I did get coffee. Both breakfasts were quite good! I snacked off of their plates. I also got DS a Stitch straw to match his Buzz straw from last year, and even though I would call it merchandise, the CM gave me the 10% AP holder discount as though it were food.

The reason I didn't get food was because we had 11:50am reservations for Blue Bayou. We were just going to get dessert, so we could enjoy the ambiance, but not have to deal with the horrid kid's meal like last time (nuclear orange, plasticy mac and "cheese") or the bleah portabello mushroom dish. But then, we were all in funky moods, and while DH and I can control ourselves, DS was having a hard time with his emotions. We decided that in close quarters like BB, especially since Eamon wasn't enjoying even being in proximity to the POTC line, it just was too nerve-wracking to keep our PS. So we stopped by to let them know we were canceling. They were snotty, not b/c they don't like cancellations (from the line, I'm quite sure they would fill our empty spot!), but because it seemed like they would have just preferred that we not show up, and be considered a no-show, rather than telling them at any point inside of an hour from the PS. It was odd.

Then we did another bit where we looked like clueless, internet-less guests, of just wandering wondering what we were going to do next. Someday I'm going to get a Plan, go by myself, and follow that plan absolutely. Just so he disney universe knows that I DO know what I am doing, even if I'm not actually doing it at the time.

I have in my notes that we tried to shop, but that didn't work. However, I do notice in my pictures that a Stitch light chaser showed up at that point, so I think DS made out yet again (two presents, Stitch-based, before noon!).

We went past Haunted Mansion, and the line was nonexistent. Robert urged me, almost pushed me in, to go on it. We knew that DS wasn't going to go (despite promising me for months), so he took Eamon to Critter Country (is that what it's called?) while I went on HMH. First time I'd been on HM at all since I was a child! And I've never seen Nightmare Before Christmas.

And...I kinda hated it. I look forward to going on the "real" HM, without the NBC overlay.

Meanwhile, the boys went on Pooh, then got in line to meet some characters. Same ones DS met in September, but he doesn't care, he loves them.

While we were apart, Robert texted me something about "another pass", and I thought "OMG he got dream fastpasses", but then I got a second text and he meant the Photopass cards... They had PP people with the characters, and he figured out that he could just get another card from them, rather than all the pictures being on ONE card.

I got over there as they were finishing up, actually, just as they got to Tigger. Tigger didn't have a PP person, so I was just in time to take some pictures!

Then the three of us went on Pooh b/c we all like it.

Caught these while still on the hunnypot vehicle.

We then went on Jungle Cruise, and it was fun, but our skipper was an older guy who did this really weird fake-voice spiel, and while it was all right, I preferred the hilarious guy that DS and I rode witih the first night!

And then we hopped over to DCA for some lunch. Our intention was to introduce Robert to the vegetarian chili, but that didn't quite work out.

Last edited by bumbershoot; 12-23-2007 at 04:37 PM. Reason: I didn't mention why I didn't get food for b'fast!
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Old 12-23-2007, 06:21 PM   #29
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Eamon is adorable! And we had that chili in August 05, and were just comparing WDW's to DCA's.
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Old 12-23-2007, 07:23 PM   #30
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So we crossed to DCA and took some pictures with Goofy. The statue of Goofy, that is, attached to the letter (whatever letter that is).

It was getting rather cold, and we had some shopping to do, so we stopped in at Greetings from CA. Picked up a sweatshirt for DS (even though he had a sweater, various hoodies, a windbreaker, and a warmer coat), a cute purple zip-up for me, some pins for DH and DS, and I think some other things. I had the AP coupon giving me $20 off a $100 purchase, and I wanted to use it! Bought them, she took off the tags, and after she rang me up, I questioned the total. She asked if it was too much, and I am a basically honest person, but not one to just scream "no, charge me more!", so I said something like "um, no, not too much, but different, oh no, never mind" (putting on a Jon Lovitz Liar voice to make it CLEAR that I was being silly) "no, you've overcharged me, here's a dollar to pay for it". Or something like that. She didn't look closely at the receipt, and I was frazzled and didn't either, and I paid and we left.

We went outside, where we were stopped by that HSM thing that seemed to happen every single time we were in that area. Stood next to the building while I put on my sweatshirt, and while DS absolutely REFUSED to put on his new sweatshirt. And we realized what a silly purchase that had been, because he doesn't like over-the-head sweatshirts b/c his head is always a bit too big to easily go in to the necks (DH's head is the same), and because he had so many Disney gifts and so many warmer clothes that we already owned.

I pulled out the receipt in preparation to return it, and noticed that the sweatshirt was NOT on the receipt. She hadn't charged us! No wonder it was so low. I realized even later that it was more bizarre, because we hadn't reached the $100 threshhold of the AP discount, but she had given me the discount anyway. WEIRD.

For a millisecond we thought about just running away gleefully with our free sweatshirt, but alas, we are honest folk. And, of course, it being free wouldn't have made DS wear the ding-dang thing. So we went back in, and the CM was still there. I told her that we were going to return it and buy a blanket, but we noticed that she didn't charge us, so "here you go, here's the sweatshirt". She just about fell over. I'm serious, I don't think she had seen such an honest person in a long time! Or maybe SHE was a dishonest person and thought we were chumps. Either way, she got on the phone to her manager and told us to wait, and then bemoaned the fact that she had taken off the tags for us and now had to find them. OK, that last bit sounds like I think she was whining at us, and it didn't feel like that. Just that she had done that for us, and now needed to find them, and it was FINE for her to talk about that in front of us, it wasn't weird.

Meanwhile, Robert went off to find a blanket (geez those are overpriced) and came back, and we bought that. I'll admit here, and only here, that, well, I did expect *something* like a little discount. But it was not forthcoming. However, we had gotten the $20 discount when we hadn't bought $100 worth of merchandise (it would have been over 100 if she had included the sweatshirt...that was not our fault that it was under)...but on the other hand we did end up meeting that b/c we bought the almost $40 blanket. So yeah, I sort of thought that maybe she'd through a 5%, or a 2%, or a free poncho, or *something*.

As it was, her manager came out and bestowed "you did a nice thing" Tinkerbell pins on us. Though they only gave us the set, and one is supposed to be kept and the other given to another guest who you "catch" doing a nice thing...well, us going back in was a mutual decision made by me and DH, so I felt that we both deserved them. Therefore, I "caught" Robert being an honest guy, and gave the other pin to him.

We went from there and were off to feed ourselves. The line for Pacific Wharf was insane, and it was well after lunch, so that was annoying. Well, Cucina Cucamonga was right there, and they had decent offerings, so DS and I sat down while DH got into line. Ok so DS and I sat down in the baby center there, because DS needed some quiet time and their rocking chairs were perfect for that.

Ah, lunch. I think DH had the veggie tacos, and I had the veggie burrito or enchilada, and DS had the bean/cheese kid's meal. DH was a sweetheart and also bought Eamon the Woody souvenir sipper, which made him a very happy camper!

However, the pictures we have from that lunch do not look like he was so happy.

We really spent our time eating , which was nice.

We must have done *something*, because an hour after that picture we were wandering and I snapped this picture.

But then we realized that time was short until Billy and the Hillbillies.

We tried, we really did. But we found ourselves getting into DL after 3:30, which of course meant we were slow-going with everyone waiting for the parade to get to that area. And, ultimately, we knew we were going to be late. So instead of fighting the crowds to go to a show for which we would be late (and we doubted they would seat us after 4 with the Magical Moment special seating), we decided to take the bird in hand (parade), and we ducked under the handy rope designating watching vs walking areas, and watched the parade. Remember, Robert hadn't seen it, and since our day had been so weird already, we didn't want to pass it up thinking we would catch it later, b/c the chances were strong that we wouldn't be there to see the 6:30 parade.
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