It’s the first family trip with us as a family of four. Lincoln’s first night out of his crib, first flight, first time at Disneyland. Chandler who’s been to Southern California before almost three years ago, is returning to celebrate his fourth birthday (albeit a bit early) in the park. Grandma Waker and Aunt Michelle are already down in Anaheim for the Expo convention and will be meeting us at Disney’s Grand Californian on Sunday.
Our day began early, four AM early. Lincoln woke us up with his middle of the night cry for a bottle. Dad went back to sleep, Mom, not so much. We had a flight at 7:55 AM on Alaska into John Wayne Airport in Orange County. After getting the kids dressed, Lincoln first since he was already awake. Chandler woke up and was very excited. Grandma Brown picked us up at 5:15 and drove us to the airport. With 2 big suitcases, 2 car seats, 2 strollers, and the carry-ons, we were loaded up to the max in the Volvo.
The kids did great on the airplane, not much sleeping, but content children was perfect! We arrived and got the luggage and the rental car (Toyota Mini Van). We made a stop at In-N-Out Burger for lunch (it was 11:30 AM) and popped on the freeway to make our way to Encinitas where we were staying in Great Uncle Rob and Great Aunt Sue’s Beach house. We arrived without incident. We made a stop to get groceries and beverages then went to the house.
After unpacking, we hung out, watching the surfers in the water, and the beachgoers in the sand. We played with a frog puzzle and sat on the floor playing as a family, without the television being on! After a while we decided to head to San Diego to eat dinner (early) at Hard Rock Café. After a nice dinner, we went to the mall across the street to get a book for Mom. Then we headed back to the house to put the kids to bed. By 7:15 PM Chandler is sleeping in the bedroom in a sleeping bag, another first! Lincoln on the other hand is being a bit more difficult, but he will go to sleep…eventually.
Day 2: Sunday, March 8, 2009
Today we began the morning around 8 AM. It was day light savings time so we lost an hour of sleep. But to wake up in the morning and go out to the baby and see 50 surfers having a blast during high tide; it was cool. We got dressed and headed out to find some coffee or breakfast. At 10 we were meeting some of Mom’s friends at Moonlight Beach, which was right down the street. We ate breakfast at Coco’s and headed to the beach.
Chandler played on the play structure and in the sand. It was a treat for him because at home Mom doesn’t like playing in the sand. Mom’s friends, Stacia and Amy, showed up with their husbands and kids in tow. Chandler got to play with Carter (Stacia) and Collin (Amy) while Lincoln got to hang out with Lilah (Stacia). We had a nice time, chatting and talking about the kids. We went down to the surf and watched the surfers and the other kids and adults swim in the COLD water.
We packed up the car after play time was over and started the drive to Anaheim. We made it to the hotel by two and checked in. We had time to kill before our room would be ready, so we had lunch at Storyteller’s Café. Once we were done, we went to our room where we had some time to unpack and relax. Trying to coax a four year old and an eight month old to nap was very difficult. Chandler surprised us by pooping on the potty without a potty seat. We were very happy, since Mom was worried about it.
Chandler and Mom took a walk around five to see what was in the gift shop. Once we were done we stopped by the pool, but Chandler didn’t want anything to do with it! We walked back to the lobby and there was Grandma waiting to check in. Not seeing us, Chandler went up to her and poked her to surprise her! It was so cute. About 10 minutes later Auntie and Butter arrived. They checked in and we hung out a bit.
Then around seven, we decided to go to Disney’s California Adventure (DCA). We headed in through the very cool, super fast, special hotel guest entrance! We walked around and did some shopping, making sure to stop and get Chandler his Mr. Potato Head accessories. $18 to fill the box with as much as you can! Very fun!!!!
Next stop was Disneyland (DL). We got our pictures taken in front of the “what will you celebrate?” display (also had them taken at DCA in front of the Golden Gate Bridge). Then we were off to the DL Railroad to ride the train. Chandler enjoyed it, but was afraid when it got pitch black. We got off at Tomorrow Land and went to ride Buzz Light year, a 5 minute wait. Chandler says he liked it, but had his eyes closed most of the time, per Dad. Mom and Lincoln hung out and shopped while the boys played.
Next up was Autopia. Chandler got his driver’s License, and really loved driving the cars! Meanwhile Mom and Lincoln were waiting and the “Remember…Dreams Come True” Fireworks show! What an amazing show!!! It was spectacular! Mom videotaped the whole thing! Realizing it was near ten PM we made our way back to the hotel, going through Downtown Disney. We ordered some room service, since we forgot to eat, and put the kids to bed. Buy 11:30 they are finally asleep and Mom is about ready to do the same! Dad is studying.
Day 3: Monday, March 9, 2009
Today we began the day with breakfast at Storyteller’s Café in the hotel. It was a character breakfast with Chip and Dale, along with some of the characters from Tarzan and the Jungle book. Chandler hated it. He had no interest in the characters which was fine. Lincoln loved looking at the random visitors that joined our table, but Chandler wouldn’t let us take pictures of him. Oh well, Lincoln hammed it up! Grandma and TT joined us and then we headed to the park with Grandma.
We started at Disneyland for the day. Chandler was obsessed with the Disneyland Railroad, so we hopped on the train and rode to Mickey’s Toontown and Fantasy land. There we rode It’s a Small World, which Chandler was a bit scared of in the beginning; it was too dark; but warmed up as we went through. It was neat because they had redone the ride adding in Disney characters in certain parts, which Chandler picked out as we rode. Lincoln enjoyed it, watching the lights and things above, almost mesmerized. Chandler called this the “singing boat” ride.
We made a brief stop at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and took some pictures. Then we were headed down Main Street, USA; Shopping along the way, enjoying the sights and sounds of The Happiest Place on Earth. Lincoln loved watching all the lights and seeing the people and the balloons! We ended our afternoon at the park and went back to the hotel to relax before coming back later to watch the fireworks. This time bringing Grandma, TT and Butter along! They had to see it!
When we got back to the park, we had to do the cars again, surprise. Grandma kept Lincoln and we got to go ride the cars. We thought we were cutting it close to the fireworks, but Mom was wrong, they didn’t begin until 8:45! So Dad, Chandler and Mom rode the cars, Chandler with Dad again. It was fun, and we finished just in time to make our way to Main Street to watch the fireworks over the Castle. It was neat to see from the other vantage point! Again Mom videoed it so we could watch it again, it’s that good!
After we were done, we made our way back to the hotel, taking some pictures as the flood of people made their way out of the park. It was an early night for the boys, making it to bed by 9:30 and Mom and Dad having some time to relax.
Day 4: Tuesday, March 10, 2009
This morning we got up and made it to the park by 8:20 to get into the Magic Morning! It’s were Fantasy and Tomorrow Lands are open for select people. It was awesome. What a way to knock out some rides that can be a long wait. We hit Dumbo twice, the teacups and the Rockets in Tomorrow Land. Chandler thought the Rockets were too fast and high, but didn’t freak too much. Lincoln rode the teacups with all of us and it was nice to having him doing a fun ride with Chandler.
We then headed to Adventure land and Frontier Land to ride the Jungle Cruise. Chandler thought it was so neat to see all the different animals, especially the elephants. He later referred to this ride as the “duck boat” ride, luckily Grandma figured it out later when she took him on a few rides while we napped a t the hotel. While there we figured out that we can do Indiana Jones via the Single Rider Line. So Mom went and then Dad when while the other watched the boys. It was nice to do a “grown up” ride while letting the kids have fun.
After our time in the “old” lands, we hit the Carnation Café for a bit of breakfast. Chandler enjoyed Mickey waffles while Lincoln slept in the stroller. A nice time relaxing in shade and having a diet coke. Once the food was settled and the drink all gone, we were off again!
This time Grandma and TT joined us at the teacups and afterwards they took Chandler to ride the “Singing Boat.” We decided to make way to Tomorrow Land for some more rest and shade. We got there at the right time, the Jedi Training Academy was going on and we got to watch the kids be trained in the ways of the Force. Then once their training was complete, they were to fight Darth Vader and Darth Maul; Very cool! While watching all we could think about was how much Chandler’s best friend, Alex would love this. J Chandler arrived after it was over, which was good since the characters were VERY good actors and would have scared him really well. Butter arrived about the same time Grandma and TT showed up, and TT treated Chandler and Mom to an ice cream bar.
Grandma decided to take Chandler to the “Duck Boat” ride and “Mickey’s choo choo” and would bring him back to the hotel. Lincoln was tired and so were we. We had been there for six hours by then. When Lincoln, Dad and Mom got back to the hotel, all crashed! A nice two hour nap was very helpful! We woke up regenerated and ready to go eat some dinner!
We got Chandler, Grandma, Lincoln, Dad and Mom all together to go have dinner at Rainforest Café. We walked with the kids in the strollers to Downtown Disney. Of course on the way, Chandler falls asleep in the stroller. This kid NEVER falls asleep in the stroller, never has! But he wasn’t just sleeping, he was out cold! We tried to coax him awake once we were at our table and ordering, but no dice! He wasn’t getting up. We enjoyed a nice meal and walked back to the hotel, but not before hitting ESPN ZONE to do some shopping for Rob. Good thing he hadn’t spent his “allowance!” We all got some nice stuff there, but Rob really scored (pun intended)!
Day 5: Wednesday March 11, 2009
Today Grandma, TT and Butter all headed back to Portland. We headed to California Adventure. We walked around the park, shopping, snacking, and just exploring. Chandler loved “It’s a Bug’s Life” part of the park. Chandler and Mom rode the bumper cars and really had fun. Mom thought it’d be more fun if it went about 5 MPH faster. J
We stopped and had lunch at the Wine Country Trattoria, which was nice Italian food. We celebrated Chandler’s birthday with a pirate’s treasure chest, while came with a compass and flag…and of course a cake. He enjoyed it and even blew out the candle himself (a challenge due to his Apraxia).
Afterwards we headed over to Disneyland for some last photo ops and a couple more souvenirs. Then we rode the new Monorail back to Downtown Disney. Mom really wanted to ride the whole loop but we were already late to go to Whittier to have dinner with Rob’s grandparents.
We got to the Wark’s house and were surprised to see Rob’s aunt and uncle (Rob and Sue) were there! We were very excited to say thank you in person for letting us stay at the beach condo in Encinitas. We got to catch up on family news and introduce Lincoln to his Great Grandparents. We enjoyed a great meal and headed back to Anaheim. We got home to the hotel and got the kids in bed and began the packing. Meanwhile Mom got to watch the fireworks one last time. This time she took some still shots, and some were quite fun.
Day 6: Thursday, March 12, 2009
Today was our last day at the “Happiest Place on Earth,” which was a catch 22. On one hand it had been a blast, on the other hand our own beds and nice tasting water. We got up and had the bags taken to the minivan and we headed off to Newport Beach to see where Mom was born (Hoag Memorial Hospital). We made our way to Balboa Peninsula and saw the beach, but Chandler’s eyes were only for an airplane. He couldn’t wait to get to the airport. So we made our way back to Costa Mesa, and to Santa Ana. We stopped at In N Out burger for lunch. Man do we wish they had those here. It is good and cheap!
We dropped the car off and made our way with a whole ton of luggage to the Alaska counter. With only one bag over the fifty pound limit we were able to fix the problem and get on our merry way. Chandler loved watching the planes take off, and Lincoln enjoyed crying. He was a tired boy and soon crashed.
The flight was easy, both boys were fine. No ear issues or crying issues. We arrived in Portland early with no baggage mishaps. Grandma picked us up and got us home safely. All was well. And the kids were sleeping in their beds by 7:30 PM! For the record, Mom shot over 700 pictures while on a 6 day vacation. About 100 of them were keepers. Thank goodness for digital cameras.