Monday, March 23, 2009
We spent the day in Universal Studios-Hollywood. As a family, we love movies and so we had to spend some time here. It has changed quite a bit since I went there 10 years ago. More rides and since the fire last summer, the Studio Tour has changed too. I miss the King Kong – but what can you do? The new Mummy Ride was probably my favorite of the rides. Beth was SO scared on the Shrek 4D Ride at Universal Studios. With her 3D Glasses on – the spider looked WAY TOO REAL. She screamed and screamed and screamed and we had to take her glasses off. For the rest of the trip, every ride we went on started with, “Is there any spiders on this ride?” Poor Bethie. JJ was excited to see all the Spiderman stuff and we were able to get photos with Scooby Doo and Shaggy and Curious George. Beth and her Daddy shared a special memory of going on the Simpsons Ride together. The kids all had a fun time shooting water and balls at the Curious George Playpark. Lots of fun things to do. Since Universal Studios closed at 6 and we were back to the hotel by 7:30pm, we decided to have a date night. My parents watched JJ and Beth (and took them to Denny’s for dinner) and we went with Cody and Becky to STEAKHOUSE 55, a fancy restaurant. It was really nice to have a little time to be together and visit and the food was good, although expensive. But a really great end to the day! We came home to 2 happy and sleepy kids!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
We visited Knott’s Berry Farm today. It was a nice change of pace. A lot less people and not too hot. We mixed it up a lot and went on all kinds of rides. I went with Cody on the BIG ride – the Xcelerator and it was a blast! I really enjoyed that one. Joey got to go on one of his favorite kinds of rides – this one was called the Supreme Scream. JJ really liked the rides and got to play with some remote cars for awhile. Beth went on the Ferris Wheel TWICE. It was her favorite ride for the whole week! And we went on the famous log ride and a Stagecoach ride. Lots of fun things!
We got back early to the hotel again so we decided to use our extra ticket and head over to Disneyland. Unfortunately, it was SO CROWDED, that we just got really frustrated, so we ended up just seeing the Castle and riding the monorail to Downtown Disney and walking home. Kind of a waste of a trip, but the kids got their first glimpse, so I guess it was okay.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
We went to Sea World today. Beth completely loves dolphins, so we watched the Dolphin Discovery Show the very first thing and both the of the kids really loved it. We also visited several of the aquariums, including the amazing Shark Encounter where we walked underneath the Sharks – really neat experience. We also saw the Clydesdale horses, the Sesame Street Lights, Camera, Imagination 4D Show, the Wild Arctic, Shipwreck Rapids, and my favorite ride, Journey to Atlantis. It was a cross between a roller coaster and a raft ride and I loved it. I wish I would have had the time to go on it again! The last show we saw was the Shamu BELIEVE show. It was amazing and I am just in awe of what they can do with these amazing sea creatures. Beth spent the next few days going around the room doing the “Shamu Slam”, which they taught us at the show – except Beth keeps calling the whale “Shampoo” – and when the show ended, JJ said “Dad, I don’t want to go on anymore rides, I just want to watch Shamu again.” Unfortunately, that was the last Shamu show of the day. We finished our time at Sea World at the Sesame Street Bay of Play with a couple of kiddie rides and running around.
Before leaving San Diego, we made an impromptu stop at Mission Beach for a little walk in the ocean. Most of the kids had never seen the ocean so even though it was dirty and messy, I’m glad we did it. We arrived at sunset and splashed around for about 45 minutes. The ocean at sunset is a beautiful sight to behold and I’m so glad that JJ and Beth were able to have that as their first beach experience!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
We headed out bright and early for Disneyland. As we were walking to the bus stop, Beth put her right arm forward and said, loudly, “Disneyland, here we come!” From a 3-year-old this was just hilarious. We got in line early and we were one of the first groups of people into Disneyland. We headed straight to the Finding Nemo Submarines. We were able to use JJ’s special access pass at the Fast Pass Lanes and/or exits to get on the rides sooner. This truly made our day so much better as JJ was overwhelmed. We went on the Matterhorn Bobsleds, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Buzz Lightyear, Space Mountain, Star Tours, Autopia, Honey I Shrunk the Audience, the train, and the Winnie the Pooh rides, as well as toured the Sleeping Beauty castle. I also took Beth to the Princess Faire where we were able to see Cinderella, Aurora, and Pocahontas, while JJ and Joey went on the Indiana Jones ride. The longest line we encountered was at the Princess Faire. We waited in line for almost 2 hours. Bethie and I were definitely tired and my feet were killing me by the time we actually got to the Princesses – too bad we couldn’t use JJ’s pass for that. 🙂 But it really was worth it to see Beth’s face as she hugged the princesses. The Cinderella was the same Cinderella we met at Goofy’s Kitchen and she recognized Beth! Out of all the little princesses she sees everyday – what an amazing moment to have her remember our little princess, Beth! We also got photos with Buzz Lightyear, Pooh, and Tigger. My only regret is that we didn’t get to go on some of the other rides like Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Dumbo and the rides in Toontown, but still a really great day. We were starting to really feel tired and worn out so it was good that we didn’t push it too hard. I think we could have used just one more day in Disneyland to see everything. We took time to have some pizza in the park and even went back to our room for dinner (we ordered chinese food) and had a nap for about an hour before heading back to watch the amazing firework show. We picked a wonderful spot right on main street, in back of the Walt Disney and Mickey statue. I think it was the perfect spot to have the best experience because it was right in the center of the action and we had fireworks going off around us! Truly magical!
Friday, March 27, 2009
We spent most of the day in Disney’s California Adventure. We were pretty tired today as it has really been a busy week. So we definitely took it easy today. Today was our Red Shirt Day, where all 34 of us wore our red shirts that has my castle design on it. We got some great photos taken in front of the Mickey made out of flowers. We took in the Playhouse Disney and the Aladdin Shows in Disney’s Hollywood and they were amazing! We had great seats for both and the kids really enjoyed it! We spent some of the day with my parents, brothers, and nephews and I really enjoyed that. We also did the Monsters, Inc, Muppet Vision 3D, Grizzly River Run, Toy Story Mania and the Soar ‘n Over California rides. We got photos with Sully, Pluto, Lightning McQueen, and Mater. The Soar’n Over California ride was a big hit. It is a simulator attraction that has you lifted up into a huge movie screen and you feel that you are gliding over some of California’s beautiful scenery. It felt so real to Beth, that when we glided over the ocean, Beth put her feet up on her seat because she didn’t want to get her feet wet! We went on the ride TWICE! We had the perfect seats for the Pixar Play Parade. We sat on a bench and watched the fun Pixar Characters go by and the kids just really took it all in with joy! We then did a little shopping and returned to Disneyland for the Fantasmic Show. While Joey saved our spot for the show, JJ and I took my brothers and went on the Indiana Jones ride, since I didn’t get to go yesterday. I didn’t have very good seats for Fantasmic, but Joey lifted JJ up on his shoulders and it was still a really awesome show – in one part of the show, Capt. Hook and Peter Pan sail by on a boat, and this must have made a really big impact on JJ because he spent the next few days using Capt. Hook as the “bad guy” in all his imaginary games with his sister. Sadly, Beth missed the entire show because she fell asleep in her stroller before it started. When it was over it took a long time to get out of the park since the fireworks were going on, but we finally made it. We were all so tired, but really so excited and happy that our trip has been so wonderful!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
It was kind of sad to be packing all of our bags into the bus again. I can’t believe that our trip is over! I think even the bus didn’t want to go home yet, since we had a delay of about an hour since the bus driver locked the keys inside and we couldn’t get in. But we were finally on our way. We started our vacation with a buffet dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen and we stopped in Las Vegas and ended our vacation with a buffet dinner at Circus Circus. We arrived in St. George in the dark and my parents and brothers and sisters still had to drive home. But the Bakers side of the family and us stayed in the motel for a night. The kids were beat and went to bed with Joey and I went over and played some games with my Aunt and Cousins until past midnight before finally turning in.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
We stayed at the Rodeway Inn in St. George again and then finished traveling home. What a trip! I’m so glad we were able to do this as a family. I hope that my children will remember this. We had such a wonderful time and did so many fun things. I wish it wasn’t over, and yet it was good to see home again too. Joey and I plan to save up some money and go back in a few years. We really had a great time!