Going to California

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, March 21, 2011 at 9:18 PM


Last week, I packed up my kids and my mom, and we set off for the City of Angels to visit my sister and top up on Disneyland.

(I love Disneyland).

Last time I went, 7 months ago, it was just me and the kids and my sister. No grandparents, no menfolk, just one big slumber party. It was totally awesome, supernaturally peaceful and easy, just a dream trip. So, I don't know, I sort of thought it might be that way again this time.

It wasn't.

But, as always is the case for me, once I adjusted my expectations so they roughly aligned with reality, things went much more smoothly, and it ended up being a great trip.

Let's take a little photographic journey, shall we?

We had a couple of matchy-matchy sibling moments, courtesy of Aunt Holly's recent trip to Washington DC:

And St. Patrick:

We're not as Irish as we look:

(Incidentally, if you ever see Eve making this face, you should RUN as far away from her as you can. Nothing good happens when we see this face):

And really, all the rest of the pictures are from Disneyland. I have my priorities straight!

Just before we head into the gates. This photo is actually pretty representative of the day as a whole. Devlin had a terrible time with his allergies that day, Iris was happy as long as she was cocooned in some kind of carrier, and Eve took every opportunity to slide that dress off her shoulders like Belle:

It really is just too perfect: Eve in front of a field of yellow tulips:

And who should we run into, literally not 5 minutes inside the gate, but Iris's current obsession, "Icky Mouse":

She doesn't look happy or anything, does she?

On this trip, the kids and I had a little meeting and they decided that the fun of choosing souvenirs first thing out of the gate outweighed the wisdom of waiting until the end of the day and choosing from all the available options.

Sometimes it pays to let your kids talk and really listen to them. They were so right. We went directly into the Emporium, each child spent their budget very carefully, and that was the end of it. They loved their choices, played with them for the entire trip, and most importantly, I didn't have to spend another moment on the issue.

Iris chose Icky Mouse ears, which actually ended up being too big for her. This would have been tragic, if not for the fact that they fit ME perfectly. I may or may not have worn them for the entire rest of the trip:

Eve selected a Baby Minnie Mouse, which she cares for more lovingly than I do for my own human children:

(Don't worry, I didn't just steal Iris's souvenir. We got her a Baby Dumbo the next day that is just absolutely the cutest thing I've ever seen. It has hardly left her clutches since.)

Although I think she might have been equally satisfied with chain-consumption of ice cream:

Let's face it: a baby doesn't get to be in the 100th percentile by standing back and watching other people eat.

Devlin chose Mickey mitts, which will probably feature prominently in his next stand-up comedy routine:

A couple of beautiful Iris shots:

These are not great pictures, but doggone it we waited in line for 90 MINUTES to see these princesses, so you can take 90 extra seconds and look at them:

I did take the opportunity to ask Belle for advice on her singular hairstyle, since Eve is always asking for me to recreate it and apparently my skills are lacking:

We also met Peter Pan, who was very sweet and even inspired Dev to a little hands-on-hips action:

(Are you seeing Baby Minnie in all these shots? She's getting more action than the Travelocity gnome.)

We went to Disneyland on Wednesday, spent the next two days recovering, and then my dad flew in to join us on Friday night. Because my sister lives in town, we had access to known, reliable babysitting and so we decided to go to a grown-up restaurant that night. Jacob decided we should eat at Mozza, one of Mario Battali's outfits. Trouble is, you can't get in without a reservation, and you can't get a reservation on 2 hours notice.

Unless, you call and say that you are your own assistant, and that "Mr. Moffat the film producer" would like to dine at 7:30. Then, apparently, you get a reservation.

It was awesome. Until we arrived, and they only had us down as a party of 4, and we were a party of 5. We couldn't even argue the point because, as the hostess reminded us, "your assistant" made the reservation so it didn't seem prudent to blow our cover and tell her that we darn well knew "the assistant" told her five people, because "the assistant" was standing right there.

We got it all sorted out. Fried squash blossoms, fresh mozzarella, and pizza featuring goat cheese and fennel sausage (not on the same pie) will persuade hungry foodies to put up with quite a bit of runaround, as it turns out.

(That "assistant" has been fired, by the way.)

The next day, we drove back down to Orange County and went to California Adventure for the second of our two-day passes. I had never been, and while it doesn't yet hold the nostalgic appeal for me that Disneyland does, it was very enjoyable and I'm very glad I gave it a shot.

My favorite rides were Soaring Over California, Midway Mania (the Toy Story arcade game ride - so fun) and California Screamin'. If you love roller coasters then you simply must try that one!

My kids were initially pretty miffed that we weren't going back to Disneyland so they could ride Space Mountain and watch Captain Eo again, but they can usually be placated with a well-placed bribe, and this day was no exception.

Eve saw some girls getting their faces painted while we were in line for the princesses at Disney, and talked about nothing else for the next 3 days. I figured a little face paint was a small price to pay for her silence (sorry, I meant "innocent childhood happiness").

However, this being Disney, there is no such thing as a "small price".



And luckily for my wallet, Iris was content to gaze upon her siblings' newly adorned visages:

(That's Baby Dumbo's blanket she is holding there).

I almost choked when they told me how much it would cost, but Eve said it was her favorite part of the whole trip and it was well worth it to me.

What can I say? I'm a great big softie and I love to make my kids happy. If $30 worth of face paint is all it takes to make a memory they will have forever, then somebody hand me a pen and show me the dotted line.

You can't take it with you, right?

Comments (10)

i am SO jealous that eve got to meet & take a picture with belle!
but then again... i've never had enough patience to stand in line for 90 minutes to do so. maybe I shouldn't complain???

Looks like you all had a great time!!

Wow! Looks like a grand old time for sure! And I'm totally laughing over Jacob Moffit the film producer getting you in to the restraunt. HAHAHAHAHAHA
Oh, and I thought the Princess pictures were just fab.

So much fun! Only a little jealous! I think that I'm going to have to hold off on Disney for a little longer, until my baby is a little older. But my girls would love to go back. And my Savannah has a baby Mickey that she picked out on our last trip and totally loves too.

Such a fun time. Glad to get a glimpse of what you did!

So fun! I just wish I could have actually met you in person. And it's a good thing you fired that assistant, he is a little sketchy (and I may as well throw creepy in there too). Ha!

Awesome-sauce Rach! I can't wait till we finally get to take our kids to the happiest place on earth! It looks like just that (plus, I'm super excited because we just found out that because of Taryn's hearing loss, we can get a fast pass! That makes me dang excited!I am definitely one to take advantage of whatever perks we can get). I love the travelocity gnome analogy. That cracked me up. Glad you had a great time!

what a fun trip! We went to disney in october and Leah has the same Dumbo that Iris has :)

so fun! i love your writing style...wish i had your mad skills.

You can't put a price on that face paint. It was priceless.

As was the rest of the trip. Someone asked me today if I'd recovered from having my family in town and I thought, I need no recovering, except perhaps for the little hole in my heart that's left with their absence. Sounds like a line, but it's true.

Love you sister and your sweet little munchkins! And I'm glad your sweet hubby can have you back now. Maybe we'll be lucky enough to have him next time, too.