Wednesday, June 17, 2015

California: Beach Day!

On Sunday, we took it pretty easy. We had breakfast at Denny's and then headed to the beach. I didn't know which beach to choose- there are a few within 30 minutes of Disneyland so I just picked Corona Del Mar and I'm glad I did! I didn't want a huge beach with a lot of stuff going on. Corona Del Mar was a nice size and had plenty of parking.

Seeing the ocean for the first time

The waves were pretty big so we didn't go out very far. Emilia was a little nervous, but had a lot of fun in the water.

We spent the afternoon playing in the water, eating snacks, and building sandcastles.

All too soon it was time to leave so we could get changed for dinner. We were all sad to go and Emilia has asked, "Go to the beach?" everyday since we've been home.

We decided to go to dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. It's kind of a silly place, but we wanted to get some seafood. We sat out on the patio and the weather was perfect. 

The next morning, we left for St. George where we had fun swimming and playing at the St. George Children's Museum. We all miss California and hope to get back soon!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Disneyland part 2

On our way to Toon Town, we met a nice employee who chatted with Emilia for a while. He gave her two honorary sweeper stickers.

Emilia really enjoyed exploring Toon Town. She met Pluto, but he made her a little nervous- he is a giant dog, after all. 

The Park in Toon Town is a nice, shady place to sit for a few minutes

Soon it was time to find a spot to wait for Mickey's Soundsational Parade. We ended up getting a perfect spot- right next to a roped off path and in the back so Emilia could stand up and dance. We had to wait a bit for the parade to start, but Emilia was happy to sit and play with a Cinderella doll. 

The Soundsational Parade was so much fun. It was definitely a trip highlight for all of us.

As we were waiting for our table at dinner, my poor exhausted toddler fell asleep in her stroller again. She slept through most of dinner, but did wake up for some macaroni and cheese and some of the limited edition diamond strawberry rhubarb shortcake.

After dinner, I went shopping and we went on a few more rides. We took the train to Tomorrowland and then made our way to the hub. There was a new night parade: Paint the Night that people had been saving spots for for hours. We didn't really care if we saw it, but we ended up being able to see some of it from pretty far back. There was a huge Frozen float that Emilia loved. We stayed where we were and got a pretty good view of the new fireworks show over the castle. 

After we found our stroller (which was a bit of an ordeal- employees often move strollers around) we headed back to the hotel. We were all exhausted and my feet were covered in blisters, but it was all worth it. I seriously can't wait until we can go back to Disneyland!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

California: Disneyland part 1

We got going early on Saturday because we wanted to get to Disneyland right when they opened, which was a good thing because unlike California Adventure, Disneyland was packed. The park is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and a lot of people want to see the decorations and the special shows.

Our first stop was the flower Mickey where we got our only (non selfie) family picture from the whole trip.

We got lucky because Minnie Mouse was meeting guests on Main Street and we got in line right before it was closed off. I was so happy that Emilia got to meet Minnie.

We decided to do the Jungle Cruise for our first ride. The line was pretty short and Emilia liked all the "animals." After, we spotted the special edition Cinderella popcorn buckets and I had to get one so we stopped for a snack break and visited with some cute duckies.

Emilia preferred meeting characters to going on rides so we decided to go to Pixie Hollow after snapping some pics of the castle. We met Fawn and Tinkerbell (my two favorites from the Pixie Hollow movies!)

Next was the Fantasy Faire to meet some more princesses: Cinderella, Belle, and Snow White. I had to get a picture with Belle too- she's my favorite!

After a ride on the Storybook Canal Boats, everyone was ready for lunch so we went to our favorite Disneyland lunch place: The Hungry Bear Restaurant. There is never a wait and you can eat yummy cheeseburgers while watching the boats go by. 

I had read that the Winnie the Pooh ride almost always had a short line and it was really close so we tried it out. That ride is pretty crazy, but Emilia loved it and shouted, "Again! Again!" when it was over, so we got right back in line. There was also a great shop nearby where we got a tasty rice crispy treat and a couple of toys.

Lots more Disneyland fun still to come!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Ariel's Grotto

We wanted to keep this vacation pretty cheap- we drove and stayed at an offsite hotel, but one thing we splurged on was the Princess Celebration lunch at Ariel's Grotto. Our reservations were for 12:40 and we didn't have to wait long before we were allowed to go down a winding staircase to meet Princess Ariel herself (with legs, of course!)

Ariel was the first character that Emilia met and we weren't sure how she would do. She tucked her little arms in and walked over very shyly, but then gave Ariel the biggest hug. 

Ariel's grotto was really pretty and the food was great. Joe and I each got the crab chowder and catch of the day- macadamia crusted mahi mahi. 

Over the course of lunch, Emilia got to meet 4 princesses: Rapunzel, Aurora, Tiana, and Cinderella. Each princess came to our table and gave Emilia a hug and signed her autograph book. It was really great even though Emilia didn't eat much. She just wanted to follow Cinderella around! 

Before we left for the trip, Emilia watched Cinderella a million times. She was so excited when she walked out.

After lunch, we got in line to meet Donald Duck. He was great! Here he is giving Emilia a huge kiss. She kissed him too, but I didn't catch that one on camera. 

Then Emilia started getting sleepy and actually fell asleep in her stroller which is something she never does. 

When she woke up, we saw the Disney Jr. show which featured The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sophia the First, Doc McStuffins, and Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Emilia LOVED that show. She sang and danced and had so much fun. I'm really glad we saw it.

After the show we decided to go back to the hotel for pizza and some pool time. We caught Goofy on the way out, but forgot to get his autograph :(

The whole day was pretty much perfect.