Good Luck, Pilgrim

As stated in my last post, we were playing a waiting game. My husband had pneumonia and we had a vacation and two races coming fast! Hubby seemed to be doing better but before we knew it, the day of our trip had arrived. At first we were going to keep the kids at home since it would be cutting it close to pick them up from preschool and then make it to the airport on time. Then we came to our senses and realized that preschool is exactly what they needed to keep busy while we finished last minute packing for this trip.

We spoke to my brother about picking us up at the airport since he decided to rent a car. He landed in Los Angeles, I think, and we landed in Santa Ana at the John Wayne Airport. He landed much earlier then us that day. Also my brother loves John Wayne. He thought he might come in the airport for a bit but decided against it since we landed earlier than expected. We actually didn’t see anything particularly John Wayney at the John Wayne Airport.

I can’t remember what kind of car my brother got but it was definitely a SUV. It was the perfect fit since we had a lot of luggage and people. We brought the kids Mifold car seats which looked like a dream come true on the website but as I watched my kids squirm and wiggle around I wondered if the makers thought that the child would sit perfectly still in these things. If you don’t know what they are, they are super slender and small booster seats that you can fold and even carry in the child’s backpack. They are also supposed to be legal and safe for certain ages and/or weight of the child. We discovered after our trip that we had the seat too far back for the kids to sit comfortably. Something we will correct for sure the next time we use them.

We didn’t really plan any rest days in our trip. Thursday we planned on checking in the hotel and going to the Expo. We decided to stay at the Howard Johnson and use a roll away with my brother as opposed to the Marriot right across the street that had bunk beds for kids and two queen size beds for the adults. It would have been nice to have individual beds for everybody, but our room worked out fine with the roll away and two queens especially since it was about eight hundred dollars cheaper.

After we checked in we walked to the Expo. It gave us an idea of how far we would have to walk for the parks and the races. We had a chance to use the shuttles, but decided it wasn’t worth it. It just seemed whacky that they would only take us two blocks to the start of downtown Disney instead of all the way around to the Disneyland resort. That was something I would say was in favor of the Florida races. Their shuttles take you all the way to the main stage area.

The Expo was alright. We visited a few vendors and got some free samples like Go Go Squeeze Applesauce. The NesQuik Bunny didn’t have anymore milk, but we did get a picture with the Bunny. Baby Girl won a little backpack from the Angels baseball team. I’m not sure what to do with that since we are Royals fans. I guess we will just let her play with it.

 

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Our blurry photo of us with the NesQuik Bunny

 

After the Expo we started to hunt for food. We found the Rainforest Café and the kids were in love. They told us the wait would be an hour and a half but my husband decided to join their dining program. They cut our wait to thirty minutes. T-Rex Café is included and we have one of those in Kansas City that we visit every once in a while since it is a little far up North for us. The kids fell asleep during dinner. I mean our bodies were still on Central Time so we were tired. My husband almost decided to leave our individual umbrella strollers at home since the kids are four and half. Boy was he glad we brought them after carrying them all the way from the Rainforest Café to the Howard Johnson. My brother volunteered to carry Baby Girl while I carried our souvenir cocktail glasses and other goodies we bought at the Expo. By the time we got back to the hotel the kids were awake and watched the fireworks at the park from our balcony. It was a pretty awesome view! Then we all went to bed.

Friday was a park day. We did Disneyland after my husband and brother got their second free breakfast of the day. Friday was Veterans day. They got up early and went to Denny’s for breakfast one. We met them at IHOP for breakfast two. They talked about leaving the park for lunch but it would have been a big hassle so we stayed in the park to eat. It was quite the ordeal. We looked a Café Orleans and it was packed. We tried to look at the Disneyland app and everything was booked. Then we happened upon The Golden Horseshoe. It looked like there was some wiggle room in there.

My husband and brother got in line while me and the kids tried to find a table upstairs. We came across one little and I mean little table. I tried to fit five chairs around it. I got them around it, but they were all touching. I knew with all the food we would have it would be cramped. The guys were in line so long that the people next to us left. I grabbed their empty table. I saw a few bigger tables downstairs empty out but I thought by the time I grabbed all our stuff and the kids it would be claimed by someone else. So I stayed put. I got the stink eye from a few people that came up to look at tables. I wished the guys could get through the line faster at that point. We saw a show while we waited. Soon Little Man was telling me he needed to potty. I looked on the Disneyland app for the closest restroom and saw the guys heading my way with food. They started to feed Baby Girl and I took Little Man to the restroom. When I got back they were not sitting at both tables but they had some of our stuff on the other table to free up room on the one they occupied. So I sat at the other table and ate. Unfortunately the person taking my husband’s order did not hear him say he wanted two salads. He was only charged for one and given one. Even though they got it wrong, they told him he would have to go through the whole line again to pay for another salad! Seemed like they could have just taken his money there and given him another salad like he asked. So Hubby and I shared the one salad. Thank goodness I had snacks in my bag!

I had a print out and such of what to do at Disneyland, but we kind of winged it anyway. We spent most of our time in Tomorrow Land and Fantasy Land. At first I had wished we had gotten their earlier to sign the kids up for Jedi training. Then the kids saw the show later in the day and said they would have been too scared to do it anyway. We did get them on the Matterhorn because they were the right height, but little did we know how scared they would be. Little Man did okay with me holding his hand, but Baby Girl was trying to lay down and wiggle under her restraints in the seat. Hubby had to yell at her to get her to stop and sit up where she would be safe. The seats were individual so he couldn’t just lean over and help her. We revisited the discussion we had earlier about theme park rides and safety after that.

The rest of the day went fine with the exception of missing strollers. Yup, that again! If you read about our trip to Florida you know about the stroller drama. Luckily after much searching and asking around we found them. Some worker moved them for one of the parades. Then there was the one little trip to New Orleans Square because Little Man LOVES the Haunted Mansion ride. That was where we had our little adventure with lunch. We did end the day back in Tomorrow Land for the special Disney credit card character visit. It was Darth Vader just like they had in Florida for the special character visit. If you don’t know what this is, it is special character visit for people that have a Disney credit card. The cool thing is that this Darth could talk and they said he would sign autographs, but like a dope, I forgot the kids’ autograph books. Darth tried to talk to them about the dark side and they both looked a little scared. I think the conversation went about as well as it did with his own twins!

After seeing Darth Vader they wanted to stand in line to see Chewbacca. The line wasn’t too bad. When we got in there Little Man gave Chewbacca a hug along with Baby Girl! Now Baby Girl has no problem hugging a character. Little Man, on the other hand, will hardly even get in a picture with a character without me there and he HUGGED Chewbacca. Later I saw a picture of us all looking very surprised. I’m not sure what happened there that surprised all of us. Maybe it was because this Chewbacca could also make sounds. They must have upgraded their costumes or something since our trip to Florida or the California characters are just more advanced.

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I guess Chewbacca did something pretty awesome.

We ended the day going to Mimi’s Café across the street from our hotel. My husband and brother went to find a CVS since Little Girl was coughing a bit. My daughter fell asleep and my son needed to potty while I was waiting for our table. Talk about a panic moment. I took a deep breath and asked the hostess where I could leave the umbrella stollers out of the way to go to the bathroom. She directed me to a little corner of the waiting area in front of a cabinet. Baby Girl was a little wobbly getting up and getting to the bathroom but she did it. By the time we got back, they called our name for our table and there was still no Hubby or brother. The waiter was sooooo nice and helped me with the strollers while I directed two tired and half asleep kids to the table. When my brother and husband showed up we decided I would take the kids across the street to sleep while they stayed to eat.

Hubby brought me back some food. I looked at the menu before I left the restaurant and had him order it for me. I believe it was a Quiche Lorraine because bacon sounded really good at the time. I got a salad as well. The kids were asleep when they got back in the room. I had my stuff ready for the next day’s race. It would be the first of two races that were are only half the distance as the Goofy we did in January. I don’t think we went out to watch the fireworks that night. We heard them but we were all too tired.

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