Our California Adventure


DIS Veteran
Sep 14, 2008
Adventures are Awesome!

Hello, hello, hello, Disboards friends!!! It has been a loooooooong time since I have posted a trip report. Thankfully, the trips have been there, but the time to write about them has not been.

However, when I was planning this little adventure of ours I had one heck of a time finding good information about the first portion of our trip on here. So I decided then and there that when I got back I would make the time to supply this little portion of the interwebs with my take on life outside the magical gates of Disneyland. Oh, don't you worry, we'll get to that perfect little slice of fun too. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself here. As always. Jumping ahead, tangents and improper sentence structure. They're like my BFFs. You've been warned :rolleyes1

Anywho. Let's start with the basics, shall we?

Our trip started bright and early on the morning of Friday, July 28. The earlier the better I say! On travel days anyway. The rest of the days. Ehhhh, let's just say I have a lot of alarms in my phone that go off before I actually get out of bed. Ok. Fine. There were a few on that morning too. I'm not a morning person, what can I say? Moving on. The day we do not discuss. Ever. Well, that was Saturday, August 5.

We spent 2.5 days in Legoland California staying at the Legoland Hotel. Then there was a half a day at the beach with a small pit stop along the way. Finally, we spent 6 days at Disneyland staying at The Disneyland Hotel. Looks like a nice, long, solid trip written that way, doesn't it? It didn't feel that way. Trust me. Next time we're adding a day. Maybe two. Says the husband. I say three. At least.

Okay. Let's see. We've got the what, the where and the when. I will assume the why is self explanatory. Please don't explain to me what happens when you assume. I've learned that a time or two :sad2:. But if you're reading over here, well the whys just don't need to be explained. Heck, there doesn't even need to be a why. It's just what we do. #amiright Am I missing anything? Oh. I guess you might want to know about the who, too, huh?


The little cutie on the bottom left is Ellie. She is just shy of 4 and full of...shall we say personality? She's a little cuddle bug when she wants to be. But when she doesn't? Wooooo, she is a spitfire. Like most girls her age she is in love with all things princess and sparkly and girly. But she's a daredevil with a side of tomboy mixed in for good measure. This was her first trip to Legoland and the beach, and her 2nd Disneyland trip (her first was when she was 4 months old!).

The other cutie on the bottom right is Cinco. It's a nickname resulting from being a fifth generation with his given name. He is 6.5 and is the calm to Ellie's crazy. He has a stuffed Mickey that he got on his first Disney trip waaaayyy back in 2012 and he has slept with him every.single.night since. With that said, the Legoland portion of this trip was planned especially for him. He has wanted to go there his "whole entire life." Direct quote. 6.5 years is a very long entire life if you ask him. In reality, he has wanted to go there for about two years when he stumbled across a YouTube video about it. That he then watched on repeat for the entire two years. Literally. I think I've heard clips of that video daily since he found it. It's made by FUNnel Vision if you're interested :upsidedow. Let me just say, I hope that family makes A LOT of money from the marketing they give to LL, because it works. I mean, we went to California instead of Florida, but it worked just the same. Or it worked on us. Maybe we're just gullible :P. This is also his first Legoland trip, second trip to the beach (his first was to Castaway Cay at 14 months), and also his second trip to Disneyland (his first was for his 3rd birthday).

And right there at the top you've got the gullible ones. I'm Shannon and the handsome guy next to me is my husband, Candi. Another nickname. We've been traveling together since we started dating way back in 2001. It's kind of our love language. We often pick a travel destination in lieu of actual gifts for birthdays etc. This was also our first trip to Legoland (told ya that YouTube marketing worked!), our 5th trip to the beach (together, anyway) and our 4th trip to Disneyland (together).

So, there ya go. All the basics you (n)ever wanted to know! See ya next time when we get this little adventure started...
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DIS Veteran
Sep 14, 2008
Surprises Are (Not Always) Awesome!

As the countdown numbers got smaller and smaller, we started to get more and more excited. What started in the 300s was now in the single digits! It had been a tough summer of Candi traveling, but with his last business trip wrapped up before we left, we could finally breathe a sigh of relief and know that the next time he boarded a plane it would be with us!

And then it happened. I get the mid-day text that starts off with "You're not going to believe this..." You know what happens next, right? Yep. He was being sent out of town. Again. The Tuesday before we left. To Phoenix. But it was just for the day; heading there on the first flight in and leaving there on the last flight out the same day. Okay. No biggie. Except that last flight out was taking him to Seattle. We don't live in Seattle. He would probably only be in Seattle until Thursday. But there was a chance it would go into Friday and he would have to meet us in San Diego.

Here's the thing. This trip was a surprise. As in, the kids didn't know a thing. The plan was to wake them up to say we had to take Daddy to the airport for a work trip. Obviously a very believable scenario. How the heck was I going to explain to them why we were going to the airport at the crack of dawn without Daddy in tow? Oh yeah, and he would like to be a part of the surprise reveal as well. Minor detail there. Another minor detail? We were planning to hit the ground running. Since our flight was arriving so early (8:30ish in the morning) we planned for Friday to be one of our two Legoland days. So, the Seattle trip going into Friday would not only ruin our surprise reveal, but he would also miss out on a portion of our first day as well. Um, yeah. I might have had a meltdown. Maybe. Just a small one. Or a big one, complete with frustrated expletives and crocodile tears. I'll let you decide :rolleyes1

So, after I wiped the tears and went back to adulting, we did the only thing we could do. Said a prayer, hoped for the best, and made a Plan B for the reveal just in case.

In the meantime, we moved along with the weekend as normal. The kids went to their Grandparents and Candi and I had a date night.


What? Your date nights don't involve going to the gym? :rotfl:It's a fairly new thing for us, but I'm loving it. I mean, not during the 60 minutes that I'm there. But once I get my stats email? Well, then I love it. Plus, it made me feel slightly less guilty about all the food I was going to consume on the trip.

So, yeah, anyway. Weekend is normal. Date night, family night, laundry all the live long day. The usual.

Monday is normal too.

Tuesday Candi gets up before the sun and heads off to Phoenix. I try my darndest to go about my Tuesday as normal. But, do you know how freaking hard it is to know that you are leaving for vacation that week and not be able to talk out loud about it??? Extremely. But I do it. I manage not to spill the beans. And Candi gets to Seattle safely.


Wednesday was even more difficult though. Not only could I not talk about the trip, but I was also on pins and needles waiting to see what the work trip timeline was looking like now that he was there, and I had to pack. For a 10 day trip. Without the kids seeing what I was doing :faint:. Easier said than done. I figured my best chance to get away with it was while they were sleeping. Only problem was that I had to get into their rooms to get their clothes. And they're both pretty light sleepers. Time to problem solve. Hey guys, how about a movie night in your sister's room? Worked like a charm! I was able to get in and out of Cinco's room all night without any issue. I got myself and him completely packed. Right about the time I zipped up the suitcase I get a text from the Hubs. He would be home. Tonight! Well, I mean technically Thursday because his flight didn't land until after midnight. But, still. He said the meeting in Seattle went so smoothly there was no need to stay longer and he got to the airport just in time to snatch their last flight out for the night. We were both so flipping excited!! I also felt extremely bad for him, because I knew he had to be completely exhausted. And he still had to report into the office for a full shift on Thursday. I promised to sit with the energetic child on the plane :thumbsup2

That brings us to Thursday. Candi got home sometime just after 1:00 a.m. Quick kisses for us all and he was out cold until his alarm went off at 7:00. I got up as well hoping to get some more packing done before the kids got up. That lasted approximately 8.2 minutes before I heard tiny little footsteps coming down the hall with requests for breakfast following. After breakfast and teeth brushing we headed out for last minute errands. Sunscreen, post office hold request etc. Tried my best to dodge questions from the inquisitive mind of my 6 year old and at some point in the day I won a free sandwich, too.


Perfect timing!

Once we got home I tried to divert the kids attention with requests for block towers and cities and train track creations. And maybe bribes of iPad time and Netflix streaming of their favorite shows. Anything to keep them occupied outside my bedroom so that I could pack inside it. Since our alarm would be set for an absurdly early time the next day, I really did not want to be packing late into the night. It mostly worked. They ran out of steam before I could finish completely, but it was close, which made me happy. I spent the rest of the afternoon playing, reading stories and cleaning the house.

After the insane two days of travel, Candi's boss was kind enough to let him out of work 30 minutes early :rotfl2:. He then pushed Ellie and I out the door for what she thought was just a Mommy date, but what I considered to be the official start of vacation.



Polka dots just like Minnie Mouse at her request! I do not have cute little toes like Ellie, so I'll spare you that picture. But they were a nice bright pink, perfect for a California vacation!

Once we got back from our mani/pedi date we headed out for pizza night. Mama don't do dishes the night before vacation. Once we got back we set up the kiddos with a movie night and moved around like Ninjas trying to finish packing without being caught.


Soon enough we set up the kiddos with a sleepover in brother's room and headed to bed ourselves. Luckily, the kids fell asleep pretty fast. Candi and I, however, spent most the night talking about how excited we were to surprise the kids in the morning. We also decided to nix the original plan. They were more upset than expected with Candi's last minute travel earlier in the week that we decided we didn't want to start the day off with potential tears. So, we came up with Plan C instead...
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DIS Veteran
Aug 29, 2013
How fun! Can't wait to hear more about your trip! I'm following in your footsteps next month so it will be extra fun to see how yours went! I love your mother daughter date! How long has she been getting pedicures? I've been looking forward to doing that with mine but I wasn't sure she'd hold still long enough. Now you have me wondering about giving it a shot. Lots of mom points to you for working so hard on the surprise! Looking forward to hearing about the reveal!!