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Old 03-01-2012, 04:08 PM   #76
brookelizabeth
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This is the plane ride that never ends, yes it goes on and on my...wait? We're there?

Wednesday, January 11

Joe and I woke up a bit earlier than normal and sent Henry off to school, as we do every weekday. We hadnt mentioned the D-Word (DISNEY!) in a couple days, so he was unsuspecting that today was THE Day! While Henry was at school we finished up things around the house and the last minute packing - it all took longer than we expected, doesn't it always?! But we got it done! Joe went and picked up Henry from school and we took off shortly after at 11 AM...about 30 minutes later than I wanted to.

We took the bus near our house to the train, and it actually arrived fairly quickly - that bus NEVER runs on time, so it was a pleasant surprise!



The transition to the train was easy, but the ride took a bit longer than expected. We finally arrived at the stop that connects to JFK, but then we also need to take the AirTrain to get to JFK...and that too took longer than expected. We needed to hurry and pray for short lines! Thankfully the terminal wasnt too busy.


Henry hitched a ride on the suitcase as we zipped through JFK!

The JetBlue gals that checked us in were incredibly friendly and sweet with Henry....it helped improve our frantic and nervous moods.

We were pushing time, but we had to get something to eat considering our flight was over 5 hours long and right over meal time. $42 later we had 3 sandwiches, a yogurt, grapes and two drinks. At least it all tasted good!

We went straight to the gate and we were the very last people to board the plane, which I dont mind a bit! I am already going to spend enough time in that little seat, Im more than happy to board last!

There was a slight delay before we took off to arrange baggage under the plane, but soon we were taking off.

Five hours in front of us.

With a 4-year old.

Hoo boy.

My bag was stocked. Books, MagnaDoodle, the iPad, coloring crayons, stickers and more. JetBlue also has TVs in the seat. Wed be okay, right?!!

Right?!?!?!

We had some really nice stewards on the plane who were more than generous with the snacks. The insisted we take more than a few! We all watched movies, ate (and ate, and ate!), I worked and napped.



Henry played with nearly everything in the bag. It seriously could have gone disastrously with a 4-year old, but it actually went very well!!

We were soon flying over the mountains




I was SO excited to see the mountains! I've never seen them before!

and we knew we were close. Henry started to get a bit antsy at the end of the trip, but we all were!



And before I knew it, the pilot was announcing we were in our final decent. It was almost over. That was a breeze! Weve had 3 hour flights that were much worse!

We landed at 7:42 PM and literally walked off the plane.

There was no terminal!





The JetBlue terminal at Long Beach is under refurb and it was so strange - a bunch of temporary (until May 2013!) buildings housed everything... Baggage claim was even outside.





At least it was easy to find our way around!

Soon we had all our bags, Henry and I hugged a palm tree



and were across the street at Alamo for our rental car. I had snagged a nice rate of $134 for the week. Since we had a couple off-site days planned we wanted the car, otherwise we would have likely hired car service or taken a taxi. Parking at the Disney Resorts (and most off-site) does have a fee, so its quite the additional expense.

Long Beach (as well as LAX and John Wayne) is very close to Disneyland, about a 30 minute drive and VERY easy to get to. Long Beach to Disneyland is literally 2 roads. I wasnt too nervous about the drive.

Anyway, back to Alamo, the agent told us all he had left were minivans or Tahoes.

Say what?

Yikes.

I dont drive regularly, so having a BIG vehicle in LA traffic had me a bit nervous. We chose the Tahoe



and loaded up our stuff. I was completely intimidated by that thing...but I had to admit, it was very nice and comfortable.

Soon we were pulling out and my nerves calmed. I quickly got more confident with Carzilla, it was actually pretty easy to handle and had some nice get-up-and-go...necessary for LA drivers!

Before we had left I had Google Mapped where a Target was and we found it without any problem. We picked up some breakfast foods and water for the hotel room and were surprised at the lower costs. I figured the area would be on par with NYC, but it was a bit cheaper! Score! Next stop was In & Out Burger, we were HUNGRY! I have heard of this place for yearsssss and trying it was a Must Do! Plus we were more than ready to get some food in our bellies.



The place was hoppin'!



There were no free seats when we walked in, but we figured we'd either eat outside or just wait for a table...but a young boy saved us a table.



It was SO nice and unexpected! He saw us coming in with a young child and grabbed the booth when it opened. I was in awe. So, so kind.




Excited!!!!





YUM! Soooooo good, and $15 for all three of us to eat! Cheap! We talked about going back before we left California, but we never did.

And finally, finally, finally it was time to go to our hotel, Disney's Paradise Pier (PP...he he. I have a 4-year old boy, potty humor!). Henry ended up falling asleep in the short car ride from In & Out to PP.

Overall, the drive from the airport to the Disneyland Resort area was very, very easy. We avoided the highways (recommended) and there were a lot of stoplights, but it was simple. I wouldnt hesitate to recommend driving if you prefer, or have off-site activities planned.

Continued in next post

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Last edited by brookelizabeth; 03-04-2012 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:12 PM   #77
brookelizabeth
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....and....I lost my post.

And I don't have time to re-do it!

Hang tight in the car on the drive over to Paradise Pier and I'll be back tonight!
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:35 PM   #78
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Hi I lurked all the way through your last trippie - wow those hyper links are cool - but thought wowser, made it in at the start of this baby so better come out of the shadows and say Hi

I have never been to California, but OH has, so I am really looking forward to this report. I've also never heard of In n Out Burgers so its all new to me.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:03 PM   #79
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Yay you're on the way! Henry looks so tiny in that first picture beside Joe! and liking the nickname for the Car Carzilla
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:09 PM   #80
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I am sitting waiting for Claire at dance class.....starving to death, as we will eat after she is done....and those burgers and fires look like heaven!!!! I think it will be a burger night
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:15 PM   #81
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Glad the 5-hour flight went well. I love the picture of Henry with the ketchup - he is looking so grown up!
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:20 PM   #82
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I In-N-Out. A big reason why I want to go back to DL!

Jill in CO
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:30 PM   #83
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In & Out Burger is the best place ever. I wish we had them on the East coast.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:46 PM   #84
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Glad your flight went well...

I had to laugh at your carzilla comment. I thought "score" when you were offered those two vehicles. I can not handle driving the small...low to the ground things. I would feel too much like I was going to get run over by the other cars (especially in LA traffic) So I bet you can guess that I drive something big... how big... suburban big. Now she is my beast.... maybe not carzilla.. but a beast for sure.

I have only been to an In and Out burger once and it was in San Fran... and... it kinda scared me.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:02 PM   #85
Woth2982
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I LOOOOOOVE In and Out. I always hit it up once when we are out in LA. One trip my brother's only requests were the San Diego Zoo, Jack in the Box and In and Out. Needless to say his trip wishes were filled in 24 hours lol. We did the zoo first since we were all jet lagged and up super early anyway. Sounds like you had a nice smooth flight! I can't imagine keeping a 4 year old occupied for that long. Esp because 7 pm Cali time is probably way past his bed time!
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:08 PM   #86
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I'm glad your flight went well!
And Oh my gosh In-n-Out! I love that place! It's really the only fast food restaurant I will buy a hamburger from!

Your trip sounds pretty magical already and you haven't even arrived at DLR!
I can't wait to hear more!
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:44 PM   #87
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Why is it that all I remember from the post is the burger!

Kidding! I'm glad the flight was good. Our flights from Milwaukee to MCO only last 2 1/2 hours and it's long enough for me. I just hate sitting that long.

Love your Carzilla! They are fun to drive, plus they're so big I feel pretty safe!
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:09 PM   #88
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Glad Henry and ( you and Joe) made it through the flight.

I laughed at Carzilla too. Glad the ride was short. I was going to take the Disneyland Express but I am wondering if I should get a car for a day or 2.


How sweet that a boy got you seats at In N Out. Restores my faith a bit when I hear things like that.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:14 PM   #89
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What a great day! An easy flight, a delicious looking meal, and one super duper cute happy kid Cant wait to read more
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:29 PM   #90
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I'm glad the flight was so easy!

I've never heard of In n Out Burger, but it looks really yummy!
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