Tuesday, March 16, 2010

California, Here We Come

Mom: Scarlet, come on back in the house so we can go potty.

Scarlet: No mom, I don't have to go potty.

Mom: Come on! It's roadtrip time! You have to go potty before a roadtrip. It's the rules!

Scarlet: No mom, this is MY trip! It is my trip, right mom? Or is this brother's trip?

Get it? Rhode trip?

We took off for a few days in California right after the birthday weekend. Jon and I donated our day of service and scored two free passes to Disneyland. We had a very interesting service opportunity, it was a bit more publicity stunt than actually, you know, helping people. But three hours for two Disney tickets and two ugly but free t-shirts, who's complaining?!

Since Scarlet didn't officially turn three until Wednesday, we took advantage of her still-two-year-old status and planned to hit the park on Tuesday, when our whole family could get in free. So, on Monday, we spent some time with Jon's sister Krista and hit the beach.

But first, we met this lovely creature.

My kids are way tougher than I give them credit.

We had a beautiful walk down the beach. My kids were in heaven.
Rhode was torn between his need to show me the water and the birds. "Wa wa!" "Bud!" "Wa wa!" "Bud!" The excitement threatened to overwhelmed him.
After a good night's sleep we headed to the park to start our fun packed day. Did anyone else know the park opens early for the people staying at their hotels and not for the rest of us poor saps? You did? Well, you could have told us. Our Disneyland day started with a lovely 45 minute wait outside the front gates. There is nothing our two children love more than waiting.

I couldn't help but imagine our wait outside the front gate was a sign of bad things to come. We were soon going to be asking our children to wait in line after line for some promised form of entertainment.

To all you people who stayed home from Disneyland that day, keeping the lines anywhere from manageable to non-existent, I owe you. Big time.

We started the day on the carousel. It became the most requested ride of the day. Nothing better than coming all the way to Disneyland to have your kids begging for the ride you can go to at home just down the street.
After the carousel, we made the HUGE mistake of going on Mr. Toads Wild Ride. I knew it was a bad idea, but I couldn't remember why. It occurred to me about halfway through when we crashed into a train, died, and traveled to the hot and devil-filled place that maybe this wasn't the best ride for small children.

Scarlet held a brave face for the ride but afterwards was wary about all "cave" rides. Rhode was stuck under the safety bar on Jon's lap so he got a front row seat to all of the terror. He didn't take it well.

But a trip on Dumbo and teacups lightened the mood considerably.

Scarlet talked nonstop about meeting her favorite Disney characters, until she actually got the opportunity. I was so excited that Mickey, Goofy, and Pluto were at the entrance as we walked in.

No, there will not be any adorable child with character pictures to follow. She assigned herself a personal restraining order and could not venture within 20 feet of any character. No amount of persuasion made any difference. Even later, as we walked past the unmasked Alice in Wonderland, Scarlet still maintained a strict distance.

I didn't realize the severity of the situation until we attempted a trip to Toon Town. Mickey's house was line free so we assumed he wasn't home. We had a nice little tour of the facility but Scarlet was still a little hesitant about the whole thing. Even when we reached Mickey's movie studio, there was no one so we walked through the last set of doors without worry. Scarlet's worst nightmare come true in the form of suspenders and large black ears.

One sight of the large mouse sent her into a hysterical crying fit right back out the door we had just entered. Jon spent the next several minutes persuading her to walk by Mickey so we could actually leave. She finally resorted to being carried out with her eyes closed. Thank goodness I didn't waste money on a signature book.

Even knowing all we knew, we still attempted a trip to Fairy Hollow. Scarlet loves tinkerbell. I was really hoping that if any character could convince Scarlet they weren't there solely for the purpose of torturing her, it would be tinkerbell.

This was one of the only lines we waited in all day. When we arrived at the first fairy, Scarlet was interested and, for about a second, was willing to stand somewhat close to the orange fairy.

She didn't last long enough to get a clear picture, but a picture nonetheless.

Then, we got to tinkerbell and the boy fairy from the movie, the one that looks like Zelda. Once she came in view, Scarlet timidly watched her from behind a giant mushroom. I was gearing up for one great moment as Scarlet met her favorite make believe person.

Hopes were up, then they were thrown on the floor and stomped on a little. At Scarlet's turn, tinkerbell made eye contact and Scarlet threw herself to the floor and began to crawl toward the exit in a state of panic. Yeah, that is not embarrassing at all by the way. It took us a few too many times, but we did learn our lesson and steered clear of all magical beings come to life.

With only one stop to nap at the hotel, we had a full day of Disney and I am pretty sure we hit everything we could ever want to see. Doing Disneyland with kids is a whole different experience. For example, after all my years of Disney going, I had never rode the train around the park. Did you know you go to the Grand Canyon and travel back in time to the dinosaurs during your short trip? I sure didn't.

Scarlet, who skipped her earlier naptime, crashed in the stroller on the way to dinner. But Rhode the trooper made it all the way through our late night dinner. We met up with some California friends, the Mercuros and their daughter Zoe.

Rhode pulled out some of that boyish Nielsen charm during dinner and, before we knew it...

He can't help being so good lookin'.

So, now we can officially check Disneyland off the 'list of things you should do for/with your kids." So what if there is no chance of them remembering anything about this trip 5 years down the road? It has been captured and blogged, therefore it counts. So, enjoy the memories while they last kids!


Tyler - Danielle - Emree said...

How fun and not fun at the same time! I love Disneyland and I love learning patience lol. I love that Scarlet wouldn't take pictures with her favorite characters... Oh I do wish I could have seen her hiding and crawling away.

Peggy Dee said...

I'm with Danielle... why weren't the panic attacks captured on film? Now that would have been some good footage! I'm so glad you guys got to go. Hopefully Scarlet won't be traumatized her whole life!

Gui said...

That is awesome. I think we'll wait until Jane is 5 and still believes but not too much that she panics. I'm glad you all had fun.

Kristy said...

I laughed out loud multiple times reading this post. The way Scarlet reacted and the way you wrote about it was pure genius.

Samantha and Tyrel Ross said...

So cute!! Great pictures!! I know my kids would not like Disneyland based on all the characters walking around!!! They hate any and all dressed up people!! Hey but it was free right!! hahaha

Stacie said...

Ah! The trauma and drama created by Disney characters is so much fun! Glad to see Scarlet survived!