We can Double Dip Because We're Family- A Dorky Disboutiquing Diser Sista Trip Report

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by HeatherSue, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. HeatherSue

    HeatherSue Join Date: March 2004

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    This may not be a grand 1000 posts long trip report that is my usual fashion. But, I just wanted to share with my friends how our Disneyland trip went. Our trip was from May 22-May 30, 2010. This is who went:

    Me and Henry, my Disney-hater husband who only agreed to the trip because he wanted to see his brother. I forgive him for his Disney-hater-ness because he's really cute. ;) Plus, he's a great husband!:
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    My 7 year old daughter, Tessa:
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    My 3 (almost 4) year old son, Sawyer:
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    My sister-in-law, Shawna and brother-in-law, Jeremy. It was Jeremy's first trip to Disney! Shawna used to live near Anaheim as a kid, so she had lots of memories of how it used to be:
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    My almost 8 year old niece, Shylynn. This was her 1st trip to Disney, too!:
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    My almost 13 year old nephew, Trace. Yep, his first trip to Disney as well!:
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    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Henry and I had been to Disneyland with my parents when we were 17 years old, back in 1992. So, we didn't remember much about the place. I remembered loving it when I was a teenager, though!

    We spent 2 nights in San Diego and then 6 nights at the HoJO Anaheim.

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    Part 1: Sea World

    Part 2: San Diego Zoo
     
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  3. HeatherSue

    HeatherSue Join Date: March 2004

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    We woke up bright and early to get to the airport in Detroit. But, first, we had to put the last sticker on the countdown calendar.

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    Yeah, they were a tad bit excited.

    Thankfully, there was no puking on the trip to the airport. This was a step in the right direction, compared to past trips. We made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. So, we let the kids run amok at the airport.

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    The flight was pretty nice, but completely full. Luckily, Henry had to sit by strangers while I sat by the kids.

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    This was Sawyer's first flight without a car seat. I wrestled with this quite a bit. I wanted to bring his safer Britax Boulevard seat because we'd be driving around a lot in California. But, it doesn't fit on the airplane very well and he would be constantly be kicking the seat of the person in front of him for 6 hours. We usually bring a smaller seat for the airplane, but I don't like that one for the car. So, I decided to go with the safer option for the car and no seat on the airplane. He's as tall as the average 6 year old, so I felt fairly okay with it. Can you tell, I'm a bit obsessive about carseats?

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    Anyhoo, Tessa took some awesome pictures out the window. We're guessing this was Colorado?

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    Our layover in Colorado was only supposed to be 30 minutes. So, I was freaking out and thinking we'd never make it to the other gate in time. :scared1:

    Thankfully, our airplane landed almost an hour ahead of schedule!! It's a good thing because we never would have made it on time otherwise. That place was big and the other gate was nowhere near the one we landed at.

    Jeremy was there to pick us up when we got off the airplane. It was great to see him again after so long. It had been 2 1/2 years! They live in Arizona and the last time we visited, we all got sicker than dogs with the flu. So we spent the whole vacation throwing up and moaning. Good times!

    Our hotel was close to the airport, so the drive there wasn't too bad. But, we were pretty packed in with all of our luggage and the carseats and stroller. I kept getting hit in the head with a suitcase every time he took a corner. I was very glad the airport was close to the hotel!

    We stayed at the Courtyard by Marriot in Hotel Circle. It was a very nice hotel. Shawna paid for it using her Marriot rewards. But, they ended up taking her rewards and then charging her for both rooms, too!! She was on the phone constantly during the trip trying to get them to give her money back.

    At least the rooms were nice!

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    Parking was $16/night and there weren't enough parking spaces. What a ripoff! It just irks me when hotels charge an arm and a leg for the room and then rip you off on parking, too.

    But, Jeremy and Shawna drove an extra car for us so we'd have something to drive while we were there. So, we saved big time!

    We had a great time seeing each other again. The kids hit it off right away. It had been WAY too long since we had seen each other. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures at all. I was SOOOO tired!

    We went swimming in the nice pool, which had an even nicer hot tub (it was cold out).

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    Then we ate the fabulous tamales that Jeremy had bought from a local woman who makes them by hand. MMMMM.... I dream about those things.

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    After that, we went to bed. There was a 3 hour time difference and we were feeling every minute of it. We planned on getting up pretty early so we could get to Sea World in the morning when it opened

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    However...it didn't quite turn out that way. We got a pretty late start and it was really cold! It was around 60 degrees and very windy. The in-laws had forgotten to bring jackets for everyone (except Shylynn). So, we drove around looking for a store that sold jackets. We did this for about an hour and then Shawna said that we should just take Shylynn with us and go to Sea World while they kept looking.

    You know it's cold when the Michigan girl has her hood up. It was 25 degrees warmer in Michigan than California for the first few days of our trip!

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    I made my kids cute Sea World outfits, but we didn't get to see them much. They were covered with jackets and other tragedies befell them later on... Here's some pics from home:

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    I made this shirt for myself:
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    We spotted this super cute VW painted like a killer whale, so we stopped for a picture. This is my "When are you going to take the picture?" face.

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    I will admit right now that I was not in the best of moods at this point. I was really tired from traveling the day before (I like to blame that on my autoimmune disease) and I was disappointed that we were getting there so late and that it was so cold. I was just being whiny.

    Yeah, I admit it! :cool1:

    Sawyer had a similarly whiny attitude. But, I threatened him with something like "We are at Sea World because you love killer whales. You WILL have a good time and stop pouting, or ELSE!"

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    You know what? It worked! He lightened up and had a good day after that. Sawyer has loved killer whales since he was about 1 1/2. So, we planned this part of the vacation just for him. For a year or so his favorite things were killer whales, Peter Pan, and Buzz Lightyear.

    Unfortunately, he was pouty when we saw Shamu and didn't want to meet him. We didn't see him again for the rest of the day, so we couldn't get a picture after Sawyer's mood improved. But, I did snap this picture. Look at that cute little girl! At least someone was having a good time that morning!

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    Shylynn and Tessa were just so excited to be together and to be at a fun place.

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    We thought we'd spend some time petting the stingrays while we waited for the rest of the in-laws to get back. This area is SO cool! The girls and Henry had a great time feeding them. I refuse to touch dead fish. So, I just took pictures.

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    Their sleeves got pretty wet!

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    Look at that thing coming right out of the water!

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    Henry spent $18 on little dead fish to feed the stingrays. This is absolutely unheard of for Henry!

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    I tried to dry the girls' jackets off as best as I could and then we headed over to check out the "Believe" show.

    As we came to a bathroom, I told Henry I needed to use it and asked him to wait there with the kids.

    I came out a couple of minutes later and they were nowhere to be found! I looked all over the place! The show was going to start in about 15 minutes, so I went up to the entrance to the theater, thinking I would be able to find them. Well, that stadium is HUGE! There was no way I could see them. I would have called them on my cell phone, but it was in the stroller. Yes, the stroller that was supposed to be waiting for me with my family when I came out of the bathroom.

    As time ticked away, I started to cry. Yes, I really did. I had tears in my eyes, at least. I couldn't find my family, the show was about to start, and I had no cell phone. I was afraid that they were in the stadium and I was going to miss Sawyer's very first glimpse of a killer whale. I was heartbroken.

    I kept searching for the stroller and I FINALLY found it!! I grabbed my cell phone and called my idiot...I mean husband. They were in the stadium!! How he ever thought I would find them is beyond me. I guess he thought I had my cell phone with me.

    I finally found them in the stadium....sitting in the SPLASH ZONE!!!

    It was COLD!!!

    We had just got there and we were going to get soaked and cold!! I couldn't stand the thought of walking around in wet cold jeans all day. So, I tried to talk them into moving further up with me. But, no one would come with me! So, I stomped my whiny butt up the stairs and sat up above all by myself. Then, I saw this:

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  4. HeatherSue

    HeatherSue Join Date: March 2004

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    ...and I realized I had just missed Sawyer's first glimpse of a killer whale.

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    How stupid of me! So, I stomped my whiny butt back down the stairs and sat next to them again. I tried to put on my happy face and just forget about the fact that I would be freezing and wet in a matter of minutes.

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    Right around this time, the rest of the family showed up with their brand spankin' new gray hooded sweatshirts. It only took them 5 stores and several hours to find them! Apparently, Californians like to believe it doesn't get cold there! ;)

    Take a look at the people sitting next to Henry. Yes, that is a newborn baby sitting there! We were in the THIRD row- prime splashing seats!

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    Around this time, the performers asked "Are you ready to get wet?!" Jeremy yells out "NO!" and starts walking up the steps. But, I stupidly stayed because I couldn't really get out. But, check out this view we had!

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    But, this is the price we paid for it (notice the baby is gone).

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    We were SOAKED!! Those stinkin' whales kept splashing us a LOT!! It was COLD!!!

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    I was really concerned about the kids' feet. I didn't want them getting blisters on the first day of our trip! We tried to dry them off, but it didn't work too well. They didn't have blow dryers in the bathrooms, just paper towels.

    It was lunch time, so we went out to the car to eat some sandwiches.

    If you've ever read any of my other trip reports, you know this is something that I absolutely despise doing. When I was a kid, we always went out to the car to eat sandwiches at amusement parks. It's one of my least favorite memories. Taking a tram out to eat soggy sandwiches in a hot parking lot.

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    While in the parking lot, I suggested that Shawna and I go back to the hotel to get dry clothes for everyone. The hotel was only 7 minutes away.

    Being rather miserable in her cold wet jeans as well, Shawna readily agreed.

    Henry just said I was whining, which I suppose I was. But, it sure didn't help the situation.

    Anyway, we went back to the hotel and got warm and dry and I was much happier! The rest of the day was so much better after I got comfy again!

    While we were gone Jeremy and Henry took the kids on Atlantis. They were very excited in line!

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    Sawyer was a little apprehensive, but seemed okay with the ride...

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    ...until the big drop!

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    Lets just say he didn't want to ride it again.

    Henry stayed with Sawyer while Jeremy took the other kids back on.

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    When Shawna and I got back, we were surprised to see that my kids looked wetter than they had when we left!

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    This is why!

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    They were standing where you get splashed when the ride comes down the big hill. They seemed to be enjoying themselves!

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    Shawna and I decided to get in line instead of waiting for Jeremy and Trace to get off the ride. Shawna handed Henry her purse and asked him to watch it for her. I was hesitant to get on the ride because I REALLY didn't want to get wet again after just getting dry. But, I noticed that most people didn't look too wet getting off the ride.

    There was no line at all, so that was a plus! The ride was great! It was really unusual and fun. I especially loved when the part of the track our car was on separated and took us up on an elevator type thing to the top. That was awesome! We didn't get too wet at all, so I was able to maintain my non-whiny new attitude.

    We all headed over to the Wild Arctic area after that. We wanted to see some polar bears! But, once we got over there, Shawna realized that Henry didn't have her purse! Apparently, he didn't even know she had handed it to him! So, she and Jeremy rushed off in search of her purse!

    We got in line for the ride that "takes" you to the polar bear exhibit. It seemed like we waited a long time, but it probably wasn't more than 20 minutes or so. The kids didn't mind. They were just having fun playing together.

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    Apparently, Trace never takes that Kermit hat off. Him mom HATES it! :rotfl:

    Sawyer was very apprehensive about riding this ride after riding on Atlantis. But, I told him he'd like it and that it was like Star Tours at Disney. He ended up liking it quite a bit.

    After the ride, we started looking at the animals. I was pretty excited to see walruses. They were so cool! I loved how these birds rode around on their backs!

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    We saw the polar bears, which were pretty neat! But, Trace had taken off and Henry had to go looking for him.

    I stayed with the kids and we had some fun. They loved running through this cave that was supposed to be a polar bear cave.

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    They played for a bit until they heard the sound of a polar bear growling.

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    They shot out of there so fast-it was hilarious!! They definitely thought it was real!

    I can't remember what was in this tank, but I do remember Shylynn asking me why I was wearing blue lipstick (the water made us all look blue). LOL!

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    We finished up in the exhibit and the kids wanted to take the elevator back up (there was no one else around, so I agreed).

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    Who would have thought an elevator would be so much fun! They had such a good time going up one level in an elevator. Crazy kids!

    We met up with the rest of the family, including Shawna's purse, thankfully! Then, we went to look at the penguins. They were too cute!

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    The kids spotted the Sesame Street play area after that and we had to let them go in and play.

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  5. HeatherSue

    HeatherSue Join Date: March 2004

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    That has got to be the worst set up play area ever! There are exits all over the place that go out to different areas of the park. The play area is huge, so it's really hard to keep track of the kids. We were all nervous wrecks the whole time we were in there.

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    I didn't get many pictures in there because I was too worried about watching the kids.We headed to the shark exhibit next. I have an unnatural fear of sharks. I am convinced that sharks live in any body of water where I happen to be- lakes, swimming pools, puddles (okay, maybe not puddles). But, you get the idea. I also saw Jaws 3, so I KNOW what can happen at Sea World! So, I am a little skerred of the shark exhibit.

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    I did surprisingly well and didn't hyperventilate much at all.

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    We got a little snackish after the sharks and stopped a bit to eat the snacks we had brought. Henry and Jeremy went back out to the car to eat more sandwiches. But, the rest of us declined.

    The girls were being silly, as usual.

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    Trace showed me his "jerkin" dance moves, which were actually pretty cool! But, I promised him I wouldn't share the video.

    We walked around for the bit while the guys were eating. Nothing says Sea World like a cow in Jams and sunglasses.

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    We saw the first of MANY flamingos we would encounter on this trip.

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    We went back to the stingray area so Trace and Shawna could see the stingrays. I don't think she was quite as impressed with the area as I had been. But, the kids enjoyed it again.

    By this time the boys had caught up with us and we went to find the little place where the kids can pet starfish and sea cucumbers. I remember the sea cucumbers from when I was a kid, so I was looking forward to Tessa getting to see them.

    But, when we got over there, it was just starfish. It was still pretty neat!

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    Sawyer was quite taken with this statue thing and kept running around singing "Polka dots, polka dots, it has lots of polka dots"

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    Next, we went to look at big ugly fish in the freshwater aquarium.

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    Shawna seemed to like them.

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    Crazy kids!

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    Jeremy and Shawna were itching for some adventure. So, they wanted to go ride Atlantis again. I stayed with Tessa and Sawyer because they didn't want to ride it again (Tessa had already rode it 3 times and once was enough for Sawyer).

    We had a nice time looking at the dolphins that look like killer whales and making squished pennies.

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    I relaxed on a bench and called my mom and told her of the day's adventures. She sympathized with me and made me feel better. I can always count on my mom! :love:

    The line must have been longer because it took quite a while. When they came out, they said they were all going to ride again. So, I told them that I would take the kids around to look at more things and told them to call me when they were done.

    Sawyer had been asking for a stuffed killer whale because they had them practically everywhere. So, we went in to one of the stores to "look". I knew I was going to let him get one, but he didn't. So, when I told him he could buy one, he was ecstatic!

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    Look at that face! So worth $12 (that was a pretty cheap souvenir compared to Disney)!

    Sawyer spotted a ride that he decided we MUST go on. It looked like Dumbo, but with Elmo. Elmo was shaped like a fish, but wearing different costumes. Yeah....it was a little odd. But, the line went pretty quick.

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    There was only enough room for 2. So, Sawyer sad with me and Tessa got to ride by herself!

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    As we "landed", we spotted the family- perfect timing!

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    We were all pretty tired and hungry, so we decided to call it a day. I still wanted to try and find the underwater area where you can see the killer whales (I wasn't sure if there was one). But, I didn't want to push it.

    So, we went on a search for a place to eat. The first three- yes THREE places we found on the GPS were closed (permanently)! We finally found a Chili's to eat at. There was a arena next door to it that was having a concert.

    We soon found out that it was hosting the positively dreamy Chayanne (who I had never heard of).

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    But, there were LOTS of fancily dressed ladies eating at Chili's who had heard of him and they were very excited about the concert!

    We had to wait a LOONG time to get a table.

    While we were waiting, Tessa started saying her foot hurt. I took a look and she had a gash in her foot about 1.5" long and deeper than I liked. It was from her shoes (and wet socks, I imagine)! UGH! We let her take off her shoes and walk around the restaurant in her socks.

    We finally got our food after what seemed like days (we were SOOOOO tired, it was 11:00pm Michigan time).

    As soon as Sawyer took a bite of food, he got "the look". I jumped up, picked him up and RAN to the bathroom. We made it just in time, but all of the stalls were full of fancily dressed Chayanne fans and there were more lined up waiting to get into the stalls! So, I told Sawyer he was going to have to throw up in the garbage. He was NOT pleased about this. But, what could he do.

    So, the perfect end to a perfect day- holding Sawyer while he pukes into a hole in between 2 sinks, surrounded by people (some of them ewwwing).

    Up next: San Diego Zoo
     
  6. DizNee Luver

    DizNee Luver Luver of all things Disney!

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    Wowsers.....so much happened in just the first part of your trip!!!!
    :thumbsup2 good flight & actually ahead of time!!!
    I'm hoping things got figured out with the motel.......and I agree, paying to park at the motel/hotel you're paying for seems a bit ridiculous & then to not have enough parking spots!!! grrrr baby grrrrr

    We've never been to Sea World...we had planned to go this trip (in 3 weeks), but had to cut a couple days out of our itinerary since a few people needed to be back home for work. Seeing your pics makes me sad we're missing it......again! I'm with you on walking around wet all day.....yuck!! I'd be whiny & grumpy myself...... :rolleyes1

    The kids really looked like they were having a great time & can't wait to see more of your report!!!:woohoo:
     
  7. jessica52877

    jessica52877 DIS Veteran

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    Love the start to the TR! I really would love to hit Sea World in San Diego and the Zoo! Not sure how I can get all that in, along with Disney and Legoland! But it just all looks so fun!

    I am sorry you had to eat sandwiches in the car. As a kid we used to take a picnic to Cedar Point, but so did everyone else and there were lots of big picnic areas. I do remember one of the last times I went though that we just ate in some grass by the car. But I don't remember hating it! Although I am not sure what I would think of today. I do love me a good sandwich though! Much better then greasy anything! Most of the time atleast!

    Sorry Sawyer didn't like the Atlantis ride. He didn't look so happy at the end.

    Can't wait for tomorrow! Enjoyed today's!
     
  8. DisneyMom5

    DisneyMom5 DIS Veteran

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    I'm here, I'm here! :cool1:

    Nice to hear the story with all the pics I've seen on FB.

    PS - I've updated my trip report recently...hint, hint....
     
  9. kdzbear

    kdzbear DIS Veteran

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    I jumped over to read about your trip. The last time I was there my oldest daughter was 3 and she is now ten and has two siblings. I went to the Sea World in Ohio a lot when I was little so I did not want to go. I did discover at the time that there was free beer at the hospitality pavilion and it helped! I really drink rarely, but that was the highlight of Sea World for me. I have heard that they took it out now. I also must have missed the Elmo ride or it is new. We saw many of the shows. I love how easy it is to get around San Diego. Is that the airport you flew into?
     
  10. HeatherSue

    HeatherSue Join Date: March 2004

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    Thank you for commiserating with me on all of my grumpiness! I promise I'm not ALWAYS like that! Just most of the time. :thumbsup2

    I think Shawna got things figured out with the hotel eventually. She had to spend a lot of time on the phone getting it worked out, though. What a pain!

    This TR will be a cautionary tale not to try to fit all of that into one trip! It's TOO MUCH!

    I really like sandwiches, too. But, there is just something about leaving the park to go to the car to eat that I can not stand!


    I read your update! Sorry you got rained out!

    I went to Sea World in Ohio and Orlando when I was a kid. But, I don't remember much about either one of them. We wanted to go to the one in San Antonio a few years back, but it was closed when we were there. I love that free beer was the highlight of your trip! LOL!

    We only got to see the one show. I would have liked to see more of them, but I had to go along with what everyone else wanted to do.
     
  11. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk DIS Veteran

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    Hey HeatherSue! I haven't been on the Disboutiquer thread much since getting back. I popped in for a moment and saw the link to your TR!

    I can't wait to hear about the rest of your adventures! Sounds like one of OUR vacations! Katie vomited at Disney at the breakfast at Paradise Pier the day we were headed out of town (in 2005) for the San Diego Zoo.

    I sure hope things picked up for you!

    I started a trip report on our recent trip west. I put it on the photography board. The link is in my signature.
     
  12. Stephres

    Stephres Likes Disney and Scrapbooking<br><font color=deepp

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    Poor little Sawyer's face at the end of that ride! LOVE those Sea World outfits; they are the cutest. Can't wait for the next installment!
     
  13. kaoden39

    kaoden39 <font color=peach>Prayers and pixie dust from your

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    I love your trip report and the fact that you admit to being whiny. I love the thrill over the elevator aren't kids funny? They love the simplest things.
     
  14. maryr1oz

    maryr1oz Mouseketeer

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    Your report is fantastic - can't wait to read more!!

    :cool1::cool1::cool1:
     
  15. Granna4679

    Granna4679 DIS Veteran

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    Following along!! Sounds like fun so far. Since we just went to Sea World (San Antonio) a month ago and we are headed back this weekend....all the pictures look so familiar. My DGD5's favorite thing was not riding Atlantis (although she did go 4 times) but it was standing where the boat comes down and you get splashed. She thought that was great.

    I hope our hotel turns out to be a good situation. I am a little worried...it will be like the Clampetts coming to town. We stayed in a Best Western last month (we like to be able to carry in ice chest,etc). However, they doubled the price and I was able to get the Hyatt cheaper this time than the Best Wester (believe that?). Anyway, not sure how they are going to take to us bringing the ice chest, blankets, snacks and two little ones into the Hyatt!!! Ha!!!

    Can't wait to read your next installment!!
     
  16. HeatherSue

    HeatherSue Join Date: March 2004

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    Hey there! I haven't been on the Disboards much at all since our trip. I'm trying to get back into the swing of things, though!

    Sawyer has always been a puker and he seems to puke much more often when we're on vacation, for some reason. He has absolutely ginormous tonsils (they meet in the middle) and we're wondering if that has something to do with it. He's having them removed in a few weeks, so we'll see if that helps.

    I guess I never mentioned that we only wore our Sea World t-shirts for an hour before we got soaked. :(

    Oh yes, I will readily admit that I tend to be whiny. I believe I have "whining" listed as one of my hobbies on my facebook profile. :rotfl:

    When we go to Disney World it seems my kids like the ducks that are all over the place better than the rides at the parks! :confused3

    Thank you so much! I need to start working on my 2nd installment. I always finish my trip reports, so I promise not to leave you hanging!

    We've stayed at many a fancy hotel and hauled in grocery bags full of food, a fan, and whatever else we decide to bring with us! Just wave and smile as you go by the front desk. :wave:
     
  17. Belle Ella

    Belle Ella DIS Veteran

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    I don't have coherent thoughts at the moment to say much, but wanted to say that I am definitely following along. I loved going to Sea World and the San Diego Zoo back on my trip in 2007 when I had a SoCal City Pass. it just added so much more to the experience. I just wanted to add that I think believe the tank that you weren't sure who it was home to was the Belugas, if I remember correctly from my last trip there.
     
  18. HeatherSue

    HeatherSue Join Date: March 2004

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    We were all pretty tired and we didn't necessarily want to spend the whole day at the San Diego Zoo. So, we decided to sleep as late as we wanted (which was about 6:00am for us with the 3 hour time difference :rotfl2:) and head to the zoo whenever we were ready.

    We had to check out of the hotel before we left because we'd be heading to Anaheim after the zoo.

    I remembered to get some pictures of the kids in their matching outfits before we left since I didn't get any good ones of them in their Sea World outfits. Shylynn is wearing the Simba dress that I made for Tessa 3 years ago. She is 9 months older than Tessa, but she's a tiny little thing! She loved the dress so much that I ended up letting her keep it at the end of our trip.

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    It was a pretty short drive to the zoo and we found it easily with our handy-dandy GPS (we LOVE that thing). This is the only vacation we've ever been on where we didn't get lost once!

    When we got there, the parking lot was PACKED and we had a hard time finding a place to park. We finally found a spot and started the rather long trek to the entrance.

    The weather was fairly nice this day, not too hot and not too cold, thankfully.

    Right inside the entrance there was a woman who was the zoo's equivalent of a photopass photographer. She took some group shots of us and then I asked her to take some with my camera. She happily obliged.

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    I think that's the only group shot of us from the whole trip! Notice that I tricked Henry into matching with the brown shirt. Ooooh...I'm so EEEVIL!

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    We took some more pictures of Henry taking advantage of the gorilla and such, but I will spare you the sight those pictures. :thumbsup2

    Cutie pies!
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    The first thing we noticed is that this place is HUGE! We got the map out and spent a good while studying it. Then, Jeremy decided he was going to take charge and lead the way.

    We found out that we got free access to the sky ride with our Southern California Citypass tickets- YAY! So, we headed over there first to take a ride on the Skyride.

    We left the stroller there because we had planned on taking a round trip ride on the skyride. Then, were going to hop on the double decker bus and take a tour of the zoo from the upper deck. But, it turned out that we stayed over on the other side. So, we didn't have our water or a lot of our stuff for the whole day. :sad2:

    Let me just say, I am REALLy scared of heights. I am especially scared of skyrides. I'm always afraid that somehow we won't go over the posts right and we'll just fall! So, I always hold my breath when we past the posts. The girls were fine, though.

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    I don't think Shawna realized how close I was to having a full-out panic attack. She kept trying to get me to look down at stuff. Wasn't gonna happen!
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    It was pretty cold up there and my jacket was in the stroller.

    Look at how HIGH we were! I get panicky just looking at the picture!

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    I was starting to think this "free" skyride wasn't such a bargain!

    The boys were in a separate car and I was just praying that Henry would make sure that Sawyer sat on his little hiney and didn't lean over the side. :scared1:

    It looks like he did:

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    I'd never been so glad to have my feet on the ground, and to see my boys down there with us!

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    When we got off the skyride, we immediately noticed that this was a rather mountainous zoo. Well, they looked like mountains to me at least! Yikes!

    The first animals we saw were these little deer-like creatures. They were so cute! I can't remember the name. But, I do remember it sounded like an inappropriate word. So, Henry and Jeremy kept repeating the names of the animals over and over, in very loud voices, for the rest of the day. :rolleyes:

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    Next up was the polar bear exhibit. That's fridge is supposed to be holding what a polar bear can eat in one day, I believe. Eww!

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    I believe it was poor planning on someone's part to have this huge polar bear available for picture opportunities. You will notice where the children's heads end up in relation to the bear. Well, you can be assured that there were several more inappropriate pictures of taken by Henry and Jeremy.

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    But, we also got one of my favorite pictures from the whole trip. They had these little tunnels with holes where the kids can pop their heads up and be next to a seal. I just love this picture!

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    And this one, too!

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    And this one! You can see how much fun they were having!

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    There was a helicopter back in this exhibit area for some reason. Shawna told me to come over and lift her legs up so it looked like she was hanging onto the helicopter. I passed. :rotfl2: I must look stronger than I am!

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    Sawyer really liked the helicopter!

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    After this exhibit we walked through a little gift shop with a squished penny machine. Uncle Jeremy got each kid a squished penny and then we were on our way.

    Up next were some zebras. I have to say that we're pretty spoiled when it comes to zoos. We have a wonderful zoo in Battle Creek called Binder Park Zoo. The exhibits are so nice. The zebras roam around in a huge area along with ostriches and giraffes. They don't look like they're penned in like they do here.
     
  19. HeatherSue

    HeatherSue Join Date: March 2004

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Messages:
    3,250
    The one thing that I really wanted to see at the zoo was the panda bears. My mom said that this is the only place (or one of very few) in the US that you can see panda bears. So, we had to see them! It seems like we walked for quite a ways through the mountainous terrain to get to the panda bears.

    When we finally arrived, there was a very long line just to get into the exhibit. I thought about skipping it, because no one else seemed to enthused about it. But, Shawna said that my mom said I had to see the pandas and that we were going to see them! I love her!:lovestruc

    The line moved very quickly and we were soon greeted with our first sight of a real-live panda!

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    Yep, he was pooping. :rotfl2:

    There were several pandas in the exhibit and we got lots of pictures.

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    This one was my favorite. How cute is he??

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    After the pandas, the kids were playing around in this little area.

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    That's when we saw a sign that pointed to a different areas saying "Panda exhibit". We were curious, so we followed the arrow. There was another side with more pandas and no line at all!

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    We were pretty tired from all the walking after that, so we hopped on the double decker bus.

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    It was pretty fun sitting way up there and looking at all of the animals as we passed by!

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    It was so nice to see Sawyer warming up to his Uncle Jeremy. He was a little wary of him at first.

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    We were going to take the bus back to the entrance to the skyride (since it doesn't stop anywhere near the entrance of the park, or where we left the stroller, which we found odd). But, Shawna spotted the elephant exhibit. So, we thought we'd take a peek at them real quick and then head on out.

    Sawyer was getting pretty tired with no nap and no stroller. But, he was being a good boy. Just look at those blue skies!

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    The girls sittin' on a big 'ol cat.

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    We didn't realize what the girls were looking at in this picture until we got home. *sigh*, they take after their fathers. :rolleyes:

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    Tessa saw some adults pretending to get attacked by this, so she had to try it out, too.

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    Scattered about the elephant exhibit were these totally lame cutouts. I can NOT figure out why they were there. This place sure isn't Disney!

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    At least we got to see what Trace would look like as a black and white girl.

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    Aaaah!!! A giant bird!

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    Watch out girl!

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    Around this time, we realized that we seemed to be walking quite a bit and weren't coming to the end of the exhibit. We took a look at the map and realized that it didn't look around as we thought it did! It ended up in a totally different part of the park! Ooops! But, we saw some elephants.

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    This elephant looked reasonably happy. But, they had several others locked up in cages. They were rocking back and forth and looked so sad. It made me want to cry. I don't like zoos that look like zoos, I guess.

    So, when we came to the end of the exhibit, we had to take the bus around the entire zoo again to get back to the sky ride, so we could take that back to our stroller. We were just too tired to walk all that way.

    The kids were so tired, they took a seat in this while waiting in line.

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    Then, it was back on to the Skyride of Terror!

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    It just goes to show how tired I was that I would rather ride on this sadistic thing again than walk!

    We did a little shopping for some souvenirs. I bought a magnet for the fridge and Trace got himself a mood necklace. He had a lot of fun with that thing throughout the trip. I love that kid!:lovestruc
     
  20. HeatherSue

    HeatherSue Join Date: March 2004

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Messages:
    3,250
    After we left the zoo, we were all feeling pretty hungry (we hadn't eaten anything since all the snacks were in the stroller). So, we looked up a place to eat on the GPS. We found a Jack In the Box and headed out. We don't have Jack In the Box around us and I remembered their yummy shakes from the last time we visited Arizona.

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    YUMM!

    I ordered the teriyaki chicken bowl.

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    It looks a lot better in that picture than it did in real life. It didn't taste so good either. I also got an eggroll, which was surprisingly tasty!

    Once we got inside the restaurant, we realized that perhaps we had stopped in a bad part of town. They looked surprised to see a family in there at all. The clientele was questionable. Plus, you had to be buzzed into the bathrooms. Hmmmm....

    This became a problem when several of us were hit with gastrointestinal distress after we finished eating. YIKES!! Lets just say we hung around the bathrooms for quite a while after we were done eating. Poor Sawyer had it the worst. At least he wasn't puking! :thumbsup2

    We left the Jack In the Box with me really wishing that either Henry or Jeremy had brought their guns on the trip (they are both officers of the law). Yikes, there were some questionable characters around there.

    We consulted our GPSs and headed towards Anaheim. Jeremy really wanted us to drive on the Pacific Coast Highway a bit and to stop and see the ocean. I was all for that- as long as there was a bathroom where we stopped! :rolleyes:

    The drive was really pretty! It was so cool to drive along the ocean like that! Luckily, our tummies were all feeling much better during the drive.

    We stopped to get out and see the ocean. My kids have never seen the ocean, so I thought it was pretty cool!

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    However, Tessa was unimpressed. She said "I saw the ocean with Daddy when we went on a bike ride at the campground. The campground she was talking about was in Michigan and it was a pretty small lake. :rotfl:

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    I'm ashamed to say that even though we live in the "Great Lakes State", I don't think my kids have ever been to a beach before. I'm not a fan of the beach. In the immortal words of The Dead Milkmen "I don't wanna be on the beach- no fun!" However, I was enjoying this beach because it was too cold to wear a bathing suit. :thumbsup2

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    I love beach pictures! I'm so glad we finally have some of our own!

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    Aunt Shawna or Uncle Jeremy wrote Tessa's name in the sand for her.

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    Shawna kept trying to write "Shawna loves Jeremy" in the sand. But, every time she'd get "Shawna" written, Henry would come along and write "is stupid" or "is a nose picker" after it. But, she finally accomplished her goal. Awww....

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    I told the kids to try and stay dry because it was pretty chilly. But, Sawyer got caught by a wave and fell down. Henry rushed over to help him up and he got soaked, too.

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    I love this picture- dirty wet kid and all!

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    Unfortunately, Sawyer and Henry were wearing the 1 and only pair of shoes I brought them. Actually neither one of them had more than 1 pair of shoes at home when we went on the trip!

    Tessa also got fairly soaked after this picture was taken!

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    It was all a lot of fun! We laughed, ran around, and had a great time!

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    We had an hour or so left on our drive to Anaheim. So, we wanted to get a move on.

    We found our way to the HoJo Anaheim with surprising ease! I was shocked when we pulled in that we had found it so easily!

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    Shawna, Jeremy, and I went to check in while Henry stayed with the kids. The lobby was really cool!

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    They even had cool pirate hats for us all to wear! Too bad I left my camera in the car!

    I had booked a premium Disney-facing room and I had told my SIL that if she wanted to be in the same building as us that she needed to book the same kind of room. She told me that she had requested that kind of room, too. So, I thought we were all set.

    However, when we checked in, they had us both in building 2, which is quite a distance from building 1, and not in premium rooms!

    Shawna was NOT happy! But, I guess she had just requested adjoining rooms, but didn't pay the extra for a premium room.

    The woman at the desk kept looking and she found a 2nd reservation for me in a premium room in building 1. I have no idea how that happened because I only made 1 reservation!

    She asked if I wanted to just stay in Building 2 with the family. I didn't really want to do this, so I told her to keep us in our premium room. I was really looking forward to being able to see Disney from our balcony! I had requested a top floor room with high ceilings and a big dome window over the sliding door, too.

    But, when we got to our room, it looked like a plain 'ol regular hotel room. The view was nothing to write home about either.

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    So, we thought we'd just go ahead and tell the front desk that we'd rather have the standard room in building 2.

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    We ended up liking the room better. It was a little bit bigger feeling than the premium room. Plus, we had rooms right next to each other. Here is the layout of a premium room in building 1 and a room in building 2. They're almost identical, except that the cheaper room has more usable space!

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    We were very happy with our cheaper room. If you're staying here, I would highly recommend not paying for the premium room, unless you're guaranteed one on the top floor.

    I still had the problem of Sawyer and Henry's wet shoes to deal with. So, we found the laundry room and stuck their shoes in the dryer. That poor dryer will never be the same. :rolleyes1 Unfortunately, neither were Henry's shoes. But, he's had them for 11 years, so it's really time to get some new ones anyway. :thumbsup2

    Shawna and I made a run to a local grocery store to pick up supplies for the week. The rooms had little fridges and microwaves, so we saved money on meals!

    When we got back, we all headed to bed. We were going to Disneyland in the morning! We planned on getting up early so we could be there at opening!
     
  21. thebeesknees

    thebeesknees DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,511
    Enjoying your trip so far! I keep drooling over the customs you made for the kids. Someday, I'd love to get an embroidery machine. In the mean time, I shall live vicariously through everyone else's creations!
     

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