In November of 2011 we surprised the kids with a trip to Disneyland. We woke them up on a Saturday morning and gave them an envelope. It had a clue in it that directed them to several other envelopes, and along the way they collected clues. In the end they had to solve the riddle to figure out that we would be going to Disneyland. They were beyond excited. I think this was something they never really thought would happen, and to be honest neither did I. We decided since this is probably only a one time trip that we should map out our time and research the things that we wanted to see and do the very most. We made a brief list, packed our things and before we knew it we were on our way. The drive was long, but honestly one of the best parts of the trip. I think we made some of our best memories in that little car. We laughed harder than we ever have, and things happened there that we will never forget! California was beautiful, busy, and a nice place to visit. We spent three days in Disneyland and one at Sea World. The whole experience was so much fun. From our time in the hotel room, to our time by the pool, to our time in the park itself, I just couldn't have asked for a better trip. Seej got to celebrate her birthday in Disneyland with extra special treatment on her day. I don't think it's a birthday she will ever forget. Here are some of our favorite things about our trip.
- Riding Indiana Jones and listening to Doop yell over his shoulder from the driver's seat that he promised he would get us out safely.
- Peeling Lou's fingers off of the post to get her on Splash Mountain and then reaching the end of the ride and hearing her say, "That's my favorite ride!"
- Watching Seej wait patiently in line after line to meet and get autographs from as many Disney characters as she could.
- Seeing JM smile and laugh on every single ride, and watching the kids fight over who got to ride with him next.
- Riding the Tower of Terror with Seej and feeling the death grip that she had on my right arm.
- Watching World of Color in the evening and taking it all in as a family. It was amazing.
- Piling in on the hotel bed with everyone while we rested our feet and ate pizza for dinner.
- Driving around California, getting lost and laughing while we listened to directions from the Tom Tom.
- Sitting with JM in our sweatshirts and coats while we watched the hooligans swim in the pool with steam coming off of their heads.
- Hearing everyone say they couldn't wait to come back home
So here is a glimpse of our time in Disneyland. Believe it or not, I didn't take a ton of pictures. I made a decision before we left that I would enjoy the trip as a mom and not a photographer. I took my old camera and one lens. I wanted things to be simple, and I wanted to be able to enjoy my time without worrying about my camera getting broken, stolen, or lost. I'm glad I did it. Although there were times when I was frustrated and wanted to take better pictures, it was better that way. It forced me to just be. To enjoy the time with my kids and just capture things we really wanted to remember. I didn't get my camera out often, but when I did it was usually because the kids were pointing out things they wanted to remember. The images are few, but they stir good memories, and make me smile every time I look at them. These are the moments I really wanted to remember.