(our kids') California Dreams! (COMPLETE)

Jaina

Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
I really like those shirts. Im guessing custom made? Can't wait to see more. BTW, have you decided on a hotel yet?
Love love love the t shirts!
Thanks! Custom made by me, I guess. I just printed out mickey heads on cardstock, (different sizes for adults and kids) cut them out, and used a sponge brush to put fabric paint around the outside. They turned out neater than (though not as perfect, technique-wise as) I hoped!

We are staying at the Anaheim Plaza Hotel & Suites, in their "deluxe" (read: actually upgraded in the last 10 years) queen room. I read that their rooms are big, (nice, since the 2-year-old will be on a pallet on the floor) their pool is nice (always nice to have the option), and the walk is do-able. They've been very nice and accomodating the three times we've called with questions (and to upgrade to the "deluxe" room) so far...
 

Jaina

Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
(We leave for California in like 2.5 days. I am so very, very excited!:dance3: )

In other news, Photobucket is giving me fits whenever I want to edit anything. (Which is why it's been a little bit since I posted) Is anyone else having problems??

There were several years there where I got to enjoy Disney magic every single year. 1997 - 2001 was awesome!

In 1998 I qualified to go to a national competition for FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America). Normally all the fundraising involved to be able to afford nationals wouldn't have excited me, but that year it was being held at WDW. Um, yes, please! To make it even more exciting, one of my best friends also qualified, so we fund-raised and vacationer...er, competed together!


We stayed at the WDW Dolphin, which was awesome! (Though this is a picture is from the Swan, haha) We only had 1 full day and two 1/2 - 3/4 days that we could spend in the parks (before and in between events) so we finally decided to spend a full day at MK and half a day in Epcot and AK (which was pretty new). We had a great time in MK, but I struggled with this new (large) land that was so close to the map of DL that I carried in my head, but different enough that I kept getting us lost or hitting dead ends. Very disorienting and frustrating! I really enjoyed the Skyway to Tomorrowland, which hadn't been in DL for some time already, and I loved getting to hang out with just my friend and I for several hours that evening. For a 15-year-old that had never done the park sans parents, making decisions about what WE wanted to do was awesome!
We enjoyed AK, though we got soaked in a full-hour downpour at one point. We really had to rush through Epcot, as we just didn't have time to fully experience it. By the time we got to the world showcase, we had just enough time to walk through and take a picture in each land. (Which have our 90's bangs beautifully plastered to our foreheads, because it was 4th of July weekend and HOT and HUMID.) Sadly, though it was the 4th, that year they were under a fire watch and had absolutely NO fireworks. Really?




The next February, my parents (who were jealous of my WDW trip) visited too. :)


In 1999 it was time for my family to make our normal trip, and everyone was tall enough to ride everything this time! (Except my 14-month-old baby brother, who was left home with relatives. He was our surprise "caboose...)
My strongest memory from this trip was looking through lots of the little shops on Main Street. You know, the kind my parents didn't want to get within 50 feet of when we were all young, with the pretty breakables and expensive art. So amazing and fun! Also, one of my other best friends (also my cousin) and her family happened to be there at the same time, so we hung out with them for a few hours one day, and that was a blast!




In 2000 I was graduating from high school, and my school was small enough (graduating class of 42!) that we still do "senior trips" during spring break. The whole trip was a blast, but strangely enough Disneyland was the least fun day (we also spent a day at Universal and part of a day at Six Flags). Mostly because we had one friend who had a lot of problems and was in a wheelchair, and got really stressed not being able to get herself up out of Space Mountain, and refused to ride anything else, and we didn't want to leave her, but really wanted to have fun, and...add some HS drama, etc.) So that wasn't the best trip either, but I survived, cause like I said, we had an overall great time. (About 25 of us went, plus some chaperones)




In 2001 California Adventure (which we had been watching at all its stages of development for years was finally open! My parents went first in May (to "check it out") and then took us back in June. (That was the year they decided to get an annual pass, and snuck two other little trips in here and there!) I know a lot of people weren't that impressed with it when it first opened, but we've loved it from the beginning! Soarin', obviously, was our favorite, but we were pretty impressed with Screamin' too. That is still one of my mom's very favorite rides! I really liked the Paradise Pier area, with all of it's atmosphere and beautiful lights. :) I think we rode almost every ride (not all of "A Bug's Life" land, but everything else.) Pretty awesome.



Sadly, 2002 did not involve Disneyland. I -did- meet my future husband that year though, and I also moved away from home for the first time (to transfer to a University after I got my A.A.) so we'll still call it good. :)
 
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DLR29

We create happiness
Joined
May 30, 2006
This is so fun! You have some awesome Disney memories and great pics too!!! :thumbsup2 Also you are going so soon! Can't wait to hear about your trip.
 

Jaina

Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
This is so fun! You have some awesome Disney memories and great pics too!!! :thumbsup2 Also you are going so soon! Can't wait to hear about your trip.
Thanks! I clicked on the Disney blog in your link and was laughing a lot last night...:lmao:
 

Jaina

Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
When I was home from college for a summer break between my Junior and Senior years, I spent my 21st birthday at Disneyland with my family. It was the end of July, and HOT and CROWDED (we had usually gone in May-ish, even if we had to take a week off school). But we still had a good time, as usual. This trip was a little different because my littlest brother (15 years younger than me) was finally tall enough to go on the "big" rides (everything but IJ and Screamin') so this was his first trip (he was 5). Remember, our family never took kids to Disneyland until they were tall enough to do the rides commando-style... It was so fun getting to see him experience and enjoy everything! I took so many pictures of him (and this was before digital cameras finally had high enough quality that I was willing to switch)! I -think- we even waited a while for a halfway decent Fantasmic! spot, which we hadn't done in like 10 years! (My dad's not into waiting for shows, or the pressing crowds that accompany them) My friends' family (they are twins, the ones in the "senior trip" picture with me above) was there at the same time, but one of them (the one I went to WDW with) met up with me one of the days so I would go on Screamin' and the Maliboomer with her. NO one else in her family would go on a single mountain! I had a hard time figuring out why people would pay so much to not go on the very best rides! :rotfl2: I have discovered many different perspectives on these boards since...


We also hung out with the rest of her family and did some of the Fantasyland rides, which I hadn't done (other than PP and the Carousel) in a long time. I went on the Storybook Canal with them, which I hadn't been on since my first visit when I was 3! It was definitely a memorable trip, but we enjoyed the heat more when we hit the beaches for a few days after our 3 days in DLR. :)

Me with all my younger siblings (and my parents, most not visible in the back)

My darling little brother (who is now 6 inches taller than me, and just turned 15!)
 
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Jaina

Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
DH and I got engaged in February of 2005 (planning the wedding for May of 2005) and my family was already planning a DLR trip during spring break in March of that year, so there really wasn't much to do except invite him along. Darn. :cool1:


Except his family hadn't been for a long time (Prior to this, DH had been twice as a child and once on a choir trip in high school) and they decided to join in on the fun and come too. Slightly stressful in some ways, but definitely entertaining and with lots of memories and TONS of pictures (thank you digital!).
So there were 7 in my family: Dad, Mom, me (22), Brother1(18), Sister(16), Brother2(14) and Brother3 (7)


and 4 in DHs: Dad2, Mom2, DH (21), and Sister (17).


We stayed in the same hotel (Desert Inn & Suites), but DH stayed with our family, because his family stressed him out and with a big 2-room suite, we had more room. (No, we wouldn't have gotten our own room, we're very religious, and the wedding was still several months away!)
DH had a great time because both dads insisted on giving him money for food every day, plus my dad was paying for his ticket and stuff, since we invited him, so he actually ended up making money on this trip& Ah, the good old days, right?
We had a blast playing all over the parks, with all different family members, and especially enjoyed ToT, which was new even to me. CA was completely new to DH, since he hadn't been since mid-high-school, so that was a lot of fun. We especially enjoyed Grizzly River Rapids this time, since the days were pretty warm, but the crowds weren't bad.








In general it was just fabulous, despite little bits of scheduling stress trying to decide what different people wanted to do and who we were going to be with at any given point. I think it was fun for DH's family to go with so many other people - my siblings were all at a pretty fun age and we all hung out a lot. (Except Brother1 - his class was actually there on THEIR Senior trip for school, and though he didn't technically pay for and go on the whole trip, he got to hang out with them for the whole first day or two. Random remembrance.)

Another fun point was that we hadn't sent out announcements yet and got to take some engagement pictures at DLR. I still love them, as well as all the other pictures we took on that trip! Pictures and video really do make a difference in how well the memories are preserved!





(Only the first one is an engagement photo:) )
 
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  • Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    2005 was a great year. I got to go to Disneyland with my sweetheart (AND my family). I went to my college graduation. I got a job. I got married. got to go to Sea World on a last minute summer late-honeymoon-type trip. And I got to go to DLR AGAIN with 2 of my best friends in November!

    In early November I took a long weekend and met up with 3 of my wonderful college roommates at one of their Grandpa's beach house. We ate our weight in Chinese food, lazed at the beach (though not in the water), and sampled some amazing Italian food complete with decadent chocolate desserts. And then the fun began!

    One friend had to go back to work, but I convinced the other two to come to Disneyland with me for a day! One was from northern California and had never been, and the other lived in Brea most of her life, but hadn't been since she was quite little. "It's just too expensive!" So I, the out-of-stater, played tour guide for the day and made them have a little fun! It was a beautiful off-season day, the Christmas decor was just beginning to go up, and we had almost no lines! It was fabulous! It was a shorter day, hours-wise, but by 6 PM we had done everything we wanted to and decided to head out of the park for dinner. It was a fun time, and I'm glad I was able to show that that Disneyland could be far more fun than they thought!






    It was fun to see the holiday overlay for the Haunted Mansion. It's not my favorite ride (I'm not a fan of ghosts) and I enjoyed it so much more with all the bright cartoony stuff everywhere... ;-)
    The coolest part of the trip for me happened when we rode King Arthur's Carousel I was in love I was with the golden horse (for the 50th anniversary) and had already taken a picture with the photo op one. There were like 15-20 kids in front of us in line, and I was sure one of them would pick the beautiful golden one before I could get to it, but no one did! (And I didn't run and jump in front of any small children trying to get to it either, I promise!) I was on Cloud 9. So very excited! Magic is everywhere...

     
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    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    We live about 6 hours from Anaheim. Our trip today should have taken 7, tops, with three small children. Instead we left our house at 10:20 AM and didn't get to La Habra (Where we're staying the next two days) until 8 hours later. Even this wasn't a huge deal after we drove 40 hours (who the same 3 even smaller children) last July as we moved almost coast to coast. But it was a bit annoying and tiring, especially since we're all a bit sleep-deprived... (The kids because my attempt to acclimate them ti later bedtime/wake time the last few days backfired: they've been going to bed later and waking at the same time... The adults because DH had to work until midnight last night which means neither of us got to bed until 1-ish, but the kids were ul at 630 or 7...)

    We remembered something important 15 minutes into our trip and had to turn around for it, then we got stuck in a horrendous traffic jam where they had closed a freeway, (the 60?) presumably because of an accident, and left all the cars to decide for themselves how to best exit. That last problem cost us a good hour. DH was not a happy camper, but I found my spirits stayed pretty high anyway, because we only had one day of the driving (instead of 5, like this summer) and we were still on our way to Disneyland! :cool1:

    Staying with a dear college roommate tonight and get to hang out with her and another one tomorrow (same ones from my last post) before hitting the Park Wednesday morning. So excited!

    But what is up with the forecast saying a high of 87 on Friday? I am going to melt into a puddle and not look cute in my pictures with my kiddos! This is a serious problem, people!. ;)

    -----
    (Added in afterwards)
    I ran out of time before we left, but wanted to mention the two trips my DH and I took after we were married!

    The first one was in March of 2006. We had planned it and even booked flights (we usually) drive and 6 weeks before we found out we were expecting! I was almost immediately quite sick (a repeating theme with my later pregnancies) and we probably would have cancelled our trip except for the whole "flight" thing. Sigh. I got on some vitamin B6/unisom that helped me be a little more functional (because there was still the whole DH-was-a-student-and-I-was-the-breadwinner at that point) and we decided to go ahead with out trip.
    It was definitely a different one. I had a miscarriage scare about a week before we went, so I had zero temptation to ride anything with warnings. Except Soarin'. (which had a pregnant women warning at that point) I had been on it several times and knew it was gentle. But DH did a few single rider lines for Splash, Space, Screamin', etc. and we did a lot of things we wouldn't normally do. We did all of Fantasyland during our magic morning. We explored Toontown. We checked out the "coming attractions" thing over by the Trattoria, saw Aladdin (yay!) and spent a lot of time in the Animation building. We randomly ran into some friends from several years before and spent some time with them. We stayed at the Candy Cane Inn, and really enjoyed that.









    The sad part was that I was so SO excited to see the 50th anniversary fireworks, and had super planned for that, but it didn't happen. After 2 days of walking a lot, (instead of sitting or laying), my pregnant self was worn out, which always leads to feeling much sicker. I was kind of miserable most of the day Friday (the only day the fireworks were happening during our 3-day trip), and spent a lot of time resting in the big room of the Animation building, riding the monorail, etc. It was lame. We did get to add to our Disney potato head collection that we started on our first trip together when we were engaged. We really miss that! We also went through the (then) art gallery above POTC and hung out on the balcony for a while. Still, by about 6 PM I was so so done, and not feeling well at all, and we had to call my friend to come get us. (We were staying at her house for the night after before we drove home Saturday) So I never got to see the 50th fireworks, even though I was there TWICE during the 50th celebration. We did buy a cute Duffy bear for our baby (we didn't know boy/girl yet obviously).






     
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    Markie Mouse

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 20, 2010
    87•? Pretty warm, first trip with my baby girl was a bit miserable mid day, but only because it was 85• plus high humidity. Maybe mid day take a dip in the pool. Have fun Wednesday! Btw, what state are you driving from?
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    We drove from Mesa, Az. Yesterday was another good day. We did some fun errands, saw my other friend (while DH took the kids to Downtown Disney) and had a yummy steak dinner here at my other friends' house. I will write more about it and post some pictures when we get back. From now on I'll only have access on my phone, so I'll try to do a few updates from the park, but they won't be pretty or anything. We're headed to Disneyland in 1.5 hours!

    ----------
    Last "prequel trip" squeezing in here...


    In 2007 we were surprised to find out we were expecting baby #2. We actually already had tickets and were planning on a "redemption trip" that summer, but when I found out I was pregnant, we sold the tickets on eBay. I was not up to being sick at Disney again! That year we also moved to Iowa (from AZ) for chiropractic school. Iowa is so so far from Disney. There wasn't even a Disney Store anywhere near us (Davenport) to get my fix. So when DS1 was 2.75 and DD1 was 18 months, we came home for our summer visit to AZ, left the kiddos with their grandmas, and drove onto California. We had an awesome trip, but pretty much killed ourselves off. It was the last weekend in June/first in July of 2009, and it was hot, and busy, and the hours were long. We had to go buy me different shoes (pink Mickey Croc mary janes) at the Disney discount store the second day because I wasn't sure I could walk anymore! I wasn't in the best shape, and it showed, especially when we were walking to and from our hotel over on the block behind the Grand Californian. Actually, by the third day, DH stayed at the hotel in bed for a couple extra hours while I trekked over by myself. (Which was fine. We're cool like that. :) ) I was not missing rope drop if I could help it. Good times, but we completely exhausted ourselves, and then had to drive back "home" and jump back into Mom and Dad duties!









     
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  • Happy 2 B Me

    I have ears --just not Disney Ears.
    Joined
    Mar 23, 2011
    The weather is going to be perfect for your family trip. Have a wonderful time watching the joy on your childrens faces. Remember the character meet and greet is at main street plaza, near the hat store and the lincoln attraction. I just got back from a grandma solo trip-- my two grand kids said I can not go again without them. After spending 40 dollars each for DL hoodies for the grand kids I am so happy you were able to get your gifts and ready to wear for such wonderful prices. I love to see families wearing same color shirts.

    Have fun fun fun then some more fun.
     

    DLR29

    We create happiness
    Joined
    May 30, 2006
    The weather here is beautiful today! I hope you and your family are enjoying your Disneyland trip so far!
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    It is pretty toasty in the sun, but we are having a great time so far and the 2 year old is even napping in the stroller! We were 2nd in line at a gate this morning and got in quickly but they didn't take our pictures. It is plenty busy but lines aren't bad and it's not hard to get around. WoC is planned for tonight, but it's anyone's guess if we'll be able to tear ourselves away from Disneyland!
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Tiring, exhausting, amazing, wonderful, magical day yesterday! Thankfully we took lots of pictures and video so I should be able to piece it back together for my trip report. Starting the day at CA today...
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    In the FP line for RSR! Hopefully it doesn't break down again. :) Having a good day , but it's warmer and a little more crowded than yesterday!
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Day 1: Travel Day

    I was really hoping to get an early-ish start Monday morning, but since DH worked until midnight the night before, we were lucky to get everything done and get out the door by 10:30. And then 20 minutes out, of course, we realized we forgot something essential, and had to turn around. DH was already annoyed (since he’s the one that forgot something) but I was so excited that we were actually headed for Disneyland that I didn’t care! I was just super excited and positive the first several days anyway, pretty much no matter what happened! :cool1:

    We got set back another hour or so when the freeway we were on slowed to a crawl suddenly. And it continued to crawl (with no way off for us in the carpool lane) for the better part of an hour while we traveled just a few miles. We finally found that the entire freeway was closed (presumably for an accident that we couldn’t see and two highway patrolmen were standing there visiting, offering no direction as 4 lanes of traffic tried to decide who got to go next as they all had to exit… We then spent another 20 minutes a little confused in some small city (along with a couple hundred of our closest car-friends) until we finally found part of the freeway up ahead that was open. After that, thankfully, it was smooth sailing. :) We got to my friend’s house and were so glad to be out of the car! What should have taken us 5 ½ - 6 hours ended up being more 7 ½ to 8 hours… Her husband was working (he’s a firefighter) but we made a big “breakfast for dinner” and tried to get the kids to bed before too late. (They usually went to bed between 7:30 and 8 in Arizona, which was an hour ahead of CA still, but we had been trying to push their bedtime back in preparation for the trip.)

    Our friends have a decent sized house (for Orange County; they live in La Habra and are from Brea) but it’s still just 2-bedroom, so most of my little family crammed into their 2-year-old’s room (she slept in with her parents and their 5-month-old) and I took the couch. I sleep better not in close quarters with my kids. Every little noise they make tends to wake me! It was hard to go to sleep though, because I was thinking about all my plans and wondering how everything would work out! :idea:

    I promise that pictures (and even some video!) will accompany most of these posts!
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Jaina- that's crazy, ill be driving from Tempe in few months now. Are you a native Arizona'n?
    Missed this until now. :) Yes, we're from Arizona, which is why I grew up going to Disneyland so often. It was about an 8 hour drive from our hometown(s). Since we got married almost 8 years ago, though, we've lived in 4 different states: Arizona, Iowa, Utah, and Virginia (and moved 12 times, actually...)
     

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