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.
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!
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.