Wednesday, December 17, 2014


(Disclaimer... longest blog post on record!)

So to say my girls were excited about our trip to Disneyland would be an understatement...

They'd been counting down for a while and our adventures did not disappoint!

Thanksgiving week we checked the girls out a little early from school that Monday and headed to the airport... all of us + our favorite friend Lisa Astle.  Josh and Joe joined us Wednesday but for a couple days Shane had a 7th female to deal with. hahaha

The next 2 days were spent @ Disneyland... we took about a million pictures you'll probably be able to tell from this post ha... but we had an amazing time together.  I don't think that the girls ever squabbled once.  The only complaining may have come from the fact that we walked... like 10 miles a day, but even little Lydia's legs held up!

It was crowded, but Disney always is, and it wasn't nearly as crowded as we thought it might be.  We made great use of the "fastpass" system by getting a new one as soon as we could, thanks to Shane who did most of the running around the park for us on that!

The weather was PERFECT!  high 70's/low 80's we LOVED it!

We even captured fun moments like this in ToonTown...


Seeing everything decorated up for Christmas was awesome.
Disney's attention to detail is AMAZING!
There was Christmas stuff everywhere...

Lydia did much better with the characters than we thought she might.  She didn't want to stand right next to them the 1st day, but by the end she was much more confident!

If I was to name Tayler's favorite food item it would be Pineapple Dole whips...
so yea we had a couple of those!

+ a few churros and of course Mickey Bars...
(We're looking forward to more of those soon Mom and Dad ;))

I don't remember being in Disneyland and seeing so many characters without having to wait in long lines to see them... that was AWESOME!

(we loved Pluto's photo bomb)


Short lines for MOST characters.
With the exception of the most popular "Elsa and Anna".
O MY...  that was crazy.

They are SOOO popular that they had a special "ticket" for them.  The 1st day we checked at 8 am and the tickets were already gone.  So the 2nd day Shane ran ahead of us... and got in line for the chance to get a ticket.  The line went from the carousel... down to Big Thunder (if you are familiar with Disneyland, that is a long way!)  
1.5 hours later 
he had a return time for us later in the day.  We returned at that time and then waited ANOTHER 45 minutes.

I'm not sure what we thought was going to happen, but definitely not what we got...  that line moved SOOOO slow that we figured amazing events were taking place!  Now we think they were just on some extended break.

Because what we got were a couple of not so personable princesses... who awkwardly spoke to our girls and 54 seconds later (literally) we were ushered out.

The only disappointment of the week honestly.
Word of advice unless you are a frozen FANATIC... blow this one off!!!!!

Something that I was so happy that we did was purchase the PhotoPass+.
We definitely got our $70 out of that...
Everytime there was a "Disney Photographer" they just scanned my card and we got ALL the pictures they took + all of the ride pictures they took.  I ended up with 200 GREAT pictures + got in more pictures on our vacation than I ever have before. hahaha

I think by the end... mainly Shane (and Joe and Josh who only had to put up with it for one day) were sick of it... but it made me happy. :)

They added special "magic" to some pictures too...


We were exhausted after the 1st day...
we entered the park @ 7 am and left at 11 PM.
But it was fantastic!

The fireworks show was the most amazing thing I have ever seen!
It was set to Christmas music...
I can't really explain it but when they played Silent Night and you could hardly even hear the boom of the fireworks, it was the most peaceful, spiritual fireworks show I had ever seen.


The second day we were wearing down a little.  Around 2 we decided to leave the park and go to Tony Roma's for lunch, then back to the hotel for an hour or so rest.  It meant more walking but in the end made the rest of the night MUCH more enjoyable.

Lydia spent a good chunk of time seeing Disneyland from this view.  Thanks Shane. :)

Tayler had a plan.
It involved getting a picture with Woody.
So we made sure to ask where we might be able to find him.
Woody looks remarkably similar to her missionary Hayden. hahaha isn't that funny!!
And Woody wasn't mad at all about getting a kiss from a cute girl. ;)

I think we went on every ride at LEAST once.
Jadyn and Lydia were fine on Space Mountain, they liked that actually.
But there was one ride at Disneyland they did NOT like...

Jadyn LOVES roller coaster but was freaking out and crying REAL tears this whole ride...

 And Lydia didn't like it much more than her...

They would NOT go again!

The 2nd day Lisa offered to take them on their favorite ride "Winnie the Pooh" a couple of times while we went again.

Saige calls this face her, "my family hates me face".  Because none of the rest of us wanted to ride in the front and get wet. And none of us would go until she volunteered...
Gosh that was fun!

we headed to California Adventure.
Joe and Josh were here now, and that added even more fun for us.
The weather was beautiful.
And the park was hardly crowded at all!

There was one other ride that Jadyn and Lydia DID NOT APPROVE OF.
That was Tower of Terror.

So much good stuff going on in this picture.
We call this face of Jadyn's her "my family hates me face".
Seriously could she look any more ticked off????
Honestly, she didn't speak to us for almost an hour after this ride.
She was MAD!
Even Lisa, Josh and Joe couldn't get her to talk... that's when you know it's bad!  hahahaha

Yet she loved California Screaming... she probably went on that one four times, go figure.

Josh really perfected the "Duck Face" this day.
He was cracking us up!

 Cars Land was adorable.
We loved the "Radiator Springs Raceway".
So fun, but definitely the busiest ride of the day.
My suggestion get the fastpass for this as soon as you are there, and get another one for it 2 hours later.  Fastpasses were gone for the whole day by 10 am.

I loved the Toy Story ride.
And I just think this picture is funny. :)

"Soaring over California" is always a favorite.
We went on it twice.
The 1st time after we got off Joe handed Lydia an orange and said something to the effect that he had "picked it for her when we flew over the orange fields".
She looked at it in amazement before eating it.
The 2nd time we got off she asked Joe, "if he was fast enough to get an orange again."
And sure enough... he had!
That was a cute moment.

It was Thanksgiving Day...
we missed having the traditional meal.
And missed being with our extended families,
But this wasn't a half bad way of spending the day + several huge turkey legs (which are actually emu legs) + a big loaf of "turkey" bread and some fruit  made for a pretty great feast!
And the Thanksgiving photos we were hoping for!

Have I mentioned that the Astle's are the most positive, fun family to travel with, gosh it's a good time when they are around!!

It was a terrific day,
our legs were exhausted after 3 days at the park.
But who cares... it was a good time!!

Friday we woke up ready for a day at the Beach.
While eating breakfast at the hotel Jadyn was acting weird, I told her that she needed to eat, so she tried, then I saw her face go pale and I ran with her... we only made it to the lobby before she threw up all over.  Poor kid... poor maintenance guy...

Lisa wasn't feeling so well herself so she offered to stay back at the hotel with her.
Did I mention she is the nicest friend ever???

So I basked in the sun, while my friend sat in the hotel room while Jadyn slept + puked.
THAT is a true friend!!

It was a great day for the rest of us, but we missed them both.
By that night Jadyn was feeling better and much to my fear was chowing down in-n-out fries.
So glad it was a quick sickness because the next morning we had to head home.

And this was how we all felt about that...

Such a fabulous week!
Filled with oodles of memories!
It just might have been our most memorable Thanksgiving yet.