Three Kids and a Dog

Sunday, August 06, 2017

California Dreamin'!

We just got back from an 8-day trip to California so sorry for not posting last week (I haven't done that too often) but we were spending 12 hour days exploring Disneyland, Legoland and more so I took a true vacation from the blog.

The kids had never been to California so we first went to visit their cousins just north of Los Angeles. The kids were in heaven playing with their cousins and swimming in their awesome pool while we soaked in some California rays and caught up with Tom's brother and wife as well as his older niece.

Cousins hanging out!
Swimming and bomb pops are the best!

Cousin time!

After two nights there, we moved on to Disneyland. Now if you can remember, I detested Disney World so I wasn't so sure about heading back to a Disney park but Hailey absolutely loves Mickey Mouse right now so how could I say no. I have to say I'm glad I didn't say no. Disneyland was a much better experience than Disney World for a few reasons. 1) My kids are a little bit older this time 2) Austen went on more rides which allowed Tom and I to enjoy some of the roller coasters too 3) I took better advantage of the fast pass especially the mobile version so we didn't have to wait in line 4) The parks are much smaller although still plenty to do/see 5) I reserved a bigger room so we could all enjoy a good night's sleep after a long day at the park.

Hailey loved Mickey Mouse which was so much fun to see. She took pictures with him and Pluto and pretty much anyone except Goofy (she wasn't a huge fan of his). She rode roller coasters that were appropriate for her size and proclaimed the Mickey Mouse ferris wheel as her favorite ride. She danced her butt off with Mickey Mouse at breakfast and at the Disney Junior dance party (and didn't care that her siblings weren't doing the same). She loved her wake up calls from Mickey and bought and wore her Mickey Mouse hat the entire time we visited the parks. I'd say she had a good time.

Mickey pretzels!

Disney Junior Dance Party - Hailey is whooping it up!

Hailey riding the ferris wheel next to Austen
Bumper cars with daddy

Awww...Mickey is the best!


Peyton loved Goofy and pretty much all the characters. She knew all of them and their names (who knew Goofy had a kid named Max - although Peyton said it was weird because Goofy didn't have a wife!). Ha! She went on more rides than she did when she was 5 at Disney World but we still had to convince her to go on most of them even a roller coaster that Hailey did and told her it went slow but she cried and said she didn't want to go on it anyway (she did but didn't like it). It took all we had to get her to go on the ferris wheel so we could ride together as a family because it was too high for her. Still she did have a good time (buying stuff) and going on some of the tamer rides while occasionally surprising us by going on the Cars ride (super fast race car ride with stomach dropping hills) and the Grizzly water ride (think Great America Roaring Rapids).

Ferris Wheel that Peyton was petrified to go on but Hailey loved!

Captain Hook snuck up on Peyton!

 The Peter Pan ride broke down while we were on it and I was the lucky one who had to calm Peyton down as she realized we were up high when they turned on the lights!

Peyton's favorite character - Goofy (Hailey - not so much!)

Austen got our money's worth out of Disney hitting up Thunder Mountain (roller coaster), the Matterhorn Bobsled (super fun!), the Cars ride (multiple times), water rides, and more. His favorite was the Cars ride, bobsled and Soarin'- which was a very cool ride through many continents that we all did together - making you feel like you were flying right over them. Super fun and real!

Cars Land!

Austen was a good sport about meeting all of the characters


Our view from our hotel balcony!

After Disneyland, we headed down toward San Diego stopping in Carlsbad to visit Legoland and spend a day at the beach (Del Mar). We needed a day at the beach to break up all the amusement parks! The waves were plentiful, the weather great and the kids had fun riding the waves on their boogie boards and building sand castles.

Boogie Boardin'

I love the beach!

Legoland was another full day with more rides and entertainment. Miniland was a highlight where they had real replicas of major U.S. cities. We rode rollercoasters, watched some shows (where Hailey once again danced her butt off) and visited their sea life aquarium.

Finally! Legoland!

Driving in his car...beep beep!

Weird guy!

Sweet photo of our kids all tuckered out.

It was a great vacation but I'm glad to be home. Disney redeemed itself in my eyes. Next up - the Disney Cruise for spring break 2018! Can't wait! I heard it's even better than going to Disneyland!


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