Dallin and Disney: The Review

I finally get a chance to tell you guys about Dallin’s birthday and my recent trip to Disneyland.  I just uploaded a ton of pictures on Flickr, some of which you can see if you aren’t one of my contacts, but a lot more to see if you are.

Dallin’s birthday was fun.  We ended up only having two kids over… Aiden’s friend Carter, and Carter’s little brother, Gage.  They brought Dallin a present, and poor little Dallin worships both Aiden and Carter.  He follows the older boys around and just wants to play with them, but they always tell him to go away and shut the door in his face.  He’s just too young for them, I guess.  It makes me sad for Dallin.  He really, really likes Carter.  However, Carter is Aiden’s friend.  Oh, well.

So anyway… back to his birthday.  Earlier in the day we had picked up Ches’ mom from the airport, so it was fun for the boys to have their Oma here.  I ran out of time in doing everything, and ended up decorating the cake at the last minute.  I had to borrow some mini loaf pans, and they were really mini.  Next time (if I make this cake again, that is), I will use a larger mini loaf pan.  If you wanted a really big cake, I bet you could use regular size loafs.  That would be yummy.  Anyway, Dallin really likes trains, so I made him a choo-choo train cake.  Here it is:


After that, Dallin opened presents. He was really excited about all the Spiderman stuff that Grandma and Uncle Richard sent him from Ohio (the boys can’t wait to use the cool sprinkler!!); he loves all the bubbles from Oma; Carter brought an awesome fish puzzle with magnents in the fish so you can pick them up with the accompanying fishing rod; and from us he got a bubble lawn mower (it was waaay on sale at Toys-R-Us! I love getting good deals) and a train set (from Ikea… it’s sooooo fun!). So he’s pretty happy with all the stuff from his birthday.

On Friday morning, Ches and I set out with his 8th grade band for their annual trip to Disneyland. I was pretty excited to go. Oma was with the boys, so Ches and I decided to count this as our anniversary trip. No kids = we can ride all the rides we want! Wo-hoo!

The trip started out a little slow. The bus was late picking us up, then there was an air conditioning problem (it didn’t work!), so we had to switch busses in Phoenix. We were running 2 1/2 hours late. All the kids on the bus were sooooo anxious to get to Disneyland. Luckily, after switching busses (with some kind of Nazis running the show at the bus depot! Grrrr.) we had no other major problems. We got to Annaheim only about an hour and a half late (yay for making up time!), and once we were all checked into the hotel, we walked over to Disneyland. Ches and I rode some rides and did a little window shopping, and had to buy me a jacket (I didn’t think it would get cold!! I only brought really light-weight t-shirts and capris to wear!). It’s a really cool jacket: black with silver pirate pictures. I’m all about the pirates. I really wanted to get something with Tinkerbell on it, but nothing really grabbed me.

Waaaaay back in college, Julia’s mother-in-law (before she was Julia’s mother-in-law… I only knew her as Paul’s mom at that time. heh) met me and commented that I reminded her of Tinkerbell. Paul started calling me Tink, and I got a little obsessed with being Tinkerbell. Not a lot, just a little. I want to be Tink for Halloween each year, but it never works out. Oh, well. So that’s why I wanted something with Tink on it, but I couldn’t help but love all the Pirates gear. Thanks a lot, Cara. I love Pirate Ninjas, too. Wish they had those.

Back to Disney.

We walked around a lot, and met up with the kids at 11 pm and headed back to the hotel. I crashed so hard. It was really nice to be able to sleep without one (or two… or ALL) of my sons waking me at some point during the night! 🙂 Now, I have to tell you that I am an idiot. I brought one pair of sandals to wear. That’s it as far as shoes go. Sandals are NOT the smart thing to wear. Not by a long-shot. My feet were killing me after just a few hours in the park. I had an entire day and a half to go!!

Saturday morning we got up, had breakfast, and went straight to Disneyland when it opened at 9 am. Most of the kids went to California Adventure, but Ches and I wanted to hit a few things at Disneyland before it got too busy (what with it being a Saturday, Cinco de Mayo, and Disneyland’s 51st birthday!!). As we walked through the park, we saw a bunch of cameras all set up. They were doing a taping for the Oprah Winfrey Show at 10 am! Cool!! We didn’t want to stick around and wait for that, though, so we kept going to Tomorrowland to ride Space Mountain. We heard a sound check coming from where they were doing the taping, and this big voice said, “And now, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome… Oprah Winfrey!!!!” Some people thought it was really the introduction and these girls started to scream and run towards the taping area. It was so funny.

As we waited in line for Space Mountain, we looked over at the winding line and who was there, but some friends of ours from Nevada!! Our good friend Dan (we got to be friends with Dan and his wife Amy) is the guy I worked with back in Reno. He was there with his band and choir and the orchestra from his school. In line with Dan was this guy Paul, who Ches went to school with in Reno. Paul is finishing up his student teaching with Dan this semester, so he was also on the trip. It was so crazy! What are the chances, really? So we hung out with Dan and Paul all day.It's A Small World

I won’t give you the complete low-down, but let’s just say it was an extremely fun day! We walked around a lot, did some shopping (oh, how I wish I were a millionaire! I found things I would have bought for each and every one of you! I’m not even kidding about that!) and went on a lot of rides. My favorites are Indiana Jones, Tower of Terror, Soaring Over California, the Matterhorn, and Space Mountain. Pirates of the Carribean used to be one of my favorites, but I’m not too impressed with the recent changes. Yes, having Jack Sparrow in there is quite cool, as well as Davy Jones in the mist, but the whole ride seemed so much more tame than it used to be even just a few years ago. I was pretty disappointed. Oh, well. Oh yeah, I really liked the Grizzly Run ride at CA Adventure, even if I was the one who got wet the most out of the eight people in the raft!!

At the end of the day on Saturday, my feet, legs, and lower back were killing me. I didn’t think I could walk! I was in so much pain. Again, I went to bed and completely crashed. I don’t think I woke up for anything!
What a Cute Couple!

Sunday morning we were back in the parks, but only for a couple of hours. Ches and I finished up our souvenier shopping at that time, and we also got the coolest picture of the two of us from Star Tours. I’ll get Ches to scan it in. Seriously, you have to see this. To have me describe it won’t do it justice. It is THAT awesome!

At 11 am we were able to attend a recording session with Ches’ band. What happens is the Disney people take us through Toon Town, and then “backstage”. We went into a recording studio, and it was all set up so the kids could experience what it is like and what it takes to be a studio musician for Disney. I was really, really excited for this because one of my dreams is to be a studio musician, but I had no idea what it was really like. Well, Disney has clinicians to work with the groups, and ours, this amazing band guy named Bob, was just awesome. He really knows his stuff, and the kids seemed to really take to him. He was engaging, funny, informative, and just plain good at what he does. More than good. I don’t know. I could go on forever. Anyway, the kids sightread three pieces and got to record them. They did music for some short scenes from Beauty and the Beast, Atlantis, and The Emperor’s New Groove. What an amazing experience it was!

After the recording session, we took the kids out to lunch, then headed home. It was a great trip: the kids were really good, the chaperones were fun, the bus driver was an interesting (in a good way) guy (he’s a huge jazzer!), and it seemed like everything was a success. I still couldn’t walk (do you know how hard it is to walk up and down the stairs to a charter bus when you are in that kind of pain! Ugh!), but after a good night’s sleep and a lot of rest the next day (thanks again, Oma!!!), I recovered. Mostly. I think I’m still recovering!

I missed my kids so much. Everything we did reminded me of the kids. We were constantly saying to each other, “Aiden would love this!” or “Don’t you think this is perfect for Dallin?” Since Aiden will be 5 (almost 6) next year, we think we will take him on the trip with us. It will be soooooo much fun! 🙂 The kids seemed to do really well with Oma, except that Parker refused to drink anything. Luckily, he’d still eat food. Just wouldn’t drink. I nursed him not long after we got home, and he was one happy baby! I don’t plan on leaving any of my babies for a while, though. It’s good to get a vacation, but I missed them a lot.

11 responses to “Dallin and Disney: The Review

  1. I am so jealous! That looks like so much fun! 🙂 Great job on your cake by the way – I was thnking of doing one like that for Jacob this coming year. 🙂

    I’m glad you had such a grand time!

    Thanks. It was fun! 🙂 Oh, and I got the cake pattern from Family Fun (I think the website is http://www.familyfun.com). They have tons of cute cake ideas. It would have been really hard to choose which one I wanted to make if I hadn’t already decided on doing a train!

  2. Ahhh, so much to say! I’ll try to be brief:

    Your cake totally rocks. You make wonderful cakes for your boys. I, on the other hand, make cupcakes. 😛

    We have the same fish puzzle, but the “rod” has been banished as one of our little friends was using it for an unintended and very dangerous purpose.

    I’m glad you had a great time at Disneyland. Sorry you got so sore. Definitely, definitely, the biggest rule is to take footwear you wear the most when you’re walking. (I recommend a good pair of Merril’s, they’re made for the way women walk.)

    Thanks for the compliment on the cake! I hope to just get better and better at it. I just found a pattern for a really cool dragon cake that I want to try. Wonder if Ches would like a dragon cake for his birthday…

    Yeah, I can’t believe I went to Disney in stupid sandals. I’m such an idiot! In my defense, however, is that since moving here to AZ while so pregnant, my feet swelled up and haven’t gone completely back to where they were, so the only shoes that are really comfy these days are my slip-on sandals. Not a good excuse, but it’s what I’ve got. I just feel so dumb. It’s not like I haven’t been to Disney SEVERAL times in the past few years! Sheesh. I would love to get some Merrills, but they are NOT cheap. I have to go for whatever is at Payless or Target right now. 🙂

  3. I agree–the cake rocks!!!

    What a FUN vacation!!!! I remember going to Disneyland in 10th grade and it was just so much fun! The kids will remember that trip and you and Ches for a LONG time!

    Bummer on the shoe problem!!! When we went to DC back in 2001 we walked so much that I thought I was going to die. I guess it wasn’t the walking, I did fine when we were walking, it was the standing in one spot for long amounts of time looking at all the museums and things. I remember going into museums and just sitting down for an hour while Nathan went and explored! My feet and back hurt so bad and I missed seeing so much!!! I hope you didn’t miss anything on the trip!

    I’m going to girl’s camp next month without the kids (they’ll be together with friends in UT). I have NEVER been away from Jenacy, even for one night! And she’ll be 2000 miles away for a week! I’m probably going to be a mess missing them so bad! It’s not as bad with Jaedin because he’s so independent, so much older, and he understands so much more. I’m worried that Jenacy will think I’m abandoning her or something!

    I’ve been away from Aiden before (for 5 whole days when he was just 18 months old!! And for girl’s camp, but Ches was home with him), and we all came out okay. Ches was with me in Ceour d’Alene. I’ve been away from Dallin before, but he was home with Ches and Aiden, and he was just 6 months old, took a bottle just fine, and I was only gone 2 full days and one night. He did great (except I missed him getting up on his hands and knees!!). I was scared out of my mind to leave all three kids… both Ches and I would be leaving! It’s not like one of us was staying! Except for Parker refusing to drink (he ate just fine), it went well. And now I can know I’ll do it again and we’ll be fine. Just not anytime soon, because Parker’s a little clingy these days…

  4. Sounds like you had a blast! That’s great, I can’t wait to go later this month.

    I got Jago a bubble mower at Babies-R-Us, he loves it, so does his best friend. It was a great purchase for us. How does Dallin like his?

    Wish we could be there the same time as you. That’d be so fun! But we still had fun with our friends. Dallin loves the bubble mower. So does Aiden. Aiden thinks Dallin got great presents this year.

  5. Sariah,
    lest you start believing I’m hiding buckets of money under my bed, let me explain that I had an amazon gift card. I needed a good pair of walking shoes even more than I needed good books. I don’t remember what I paid, but I remember thinking it was a pretty good deal, and now that I have then, I definitely think it was worth whatever it was I paid. They’re worth the investment.

    But seriously, even a good pair of flip flops (reefs or cobians) can help you through a long day at the Magic Kingdom.

  6. Wow! I knew you were a talented girl all along…but that cake! I don’t care if it was from a pattern. Do you remember the birthday cakes you kids got? Always had to have a sloped theme because that old apt-sized oven [stress on old] would only bake things on a slope! Hence, hilly roads, ocean waves etc! And from a cake mix–that was the treat for the birthday–not one of Mom’s from scratch cakes. And I can’t even imagine decorating anything like you did!

    Disneyland sounded fun, but ALWAYS take a sweater/jacket and an extra pair of shoes if doing a lot of walking [and a skirt–just in case you want to be a bit dressier at any point.] Advice from your Grandma I thought I had long ago passed on! 🙂

    Oh, and for Feathersky: It is an amazing fact, but when you raise well adjusted kids, it works! They can survive without us for awhile. It’s the other way around that is usually hardest. I used to cry for an hour whenever my kids left with their Dad for a weekend!

  7. Still jealous you went to disneyland,I haven’t been since ’01, I think it’s time to go again…without chloe so we can ride whatever we want and then go again when she is older 🙂

  8. What an awesome cake! That’s such a great design. I guess I should start thinking about what I’m going to do for Sydnie’s birthday. It’s less than 2 months away now.

    So jealous you went to disneyland. How fun! Especially since it was just you and Ches. Shane and I reminisce about the times we used to be able to wonder around Home Depot for 2 hours at a time. Now we’re lucky if we get 15 minutes in the store before someone freaks out. I’ve never been away from my kids. Not even overnight. I don’t know what the experience would even be like!

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