Summer time, and the living is easy…

Well, hello there, summer. Time for a vacation. And so we did; Disneyland style (Photo Gallery at the bottom of the page).

As soon as Annie ended her work year with school, we packed our bags, left Eloise with grandma, and took Frances to the happiest place on earth. Yes, that’s right. We ignored George Bush’s plea of “No Child Left Behind” and ditched our youngest for a little fun in the L.A. sun. It was by design though. We wanted Frances to have a little alone time with us, since she really hasn’t had any since Eloise was born. She’s been a great big sister thus far, so we felt like she needed a reward.

As you can imagine, a 5-hour car ride with an “almost” 3 year old can be interesting. The “are we there yet” question you’d usually expect was replaced with “I wanna get out!” about every 15 minutes. Good times. We eventually made it, and even without her taking a nap, there was very little crying, very few stops, and ZERO accidents. She’s a potty-trained princess now! All in all we only lost about an hour with our stops. Not bad at all. We made even better time coming back home. And for those of you wondering… No, we did not have to utilize iPads, DVDs, or digital video of any kind to keep her busy. Books and toys, my friends. Just like the old days. It can still be done.

Moving on… Like I said, we made it, and checked into our hotel that was literally right across the street from the Park. I highly recommend the Best Western Plus – Anaheim. Cheap rooms, but perfectly fine accommodations. After checking in, we drove about 20 miles to see our friends Cori and Mark, who recently had to move to Anaheim for business. Frances is very close to their daughter’s age, and loves playing with her. It was a great reunion for Isla and Frances, as we all enjoyed eating dinner outside and watching the kids play. Gotta love L.A. weather.

After a long day we drove back to the hotel and snuggled into bed soon after sunset. We wanted to get a good night’s rest for tomorrow’s adventures. Just as we were all about to fall asleep, we were aroused by the sound of fireworks. If you have time, watch the videos we took. The picture is pitch black, but her audio commentary is priceless.

The next morning we woke and made our way across the street into Disneyland. Getting there early is the absolute best thing you can do. We waited very little to ride the rides we wanted to, and by the end of the first day, we had rode practically everything that Frances was allowed on. Frances was initially scared to death of every single ride. And to be honest, there is an element of fear to all their rides. Whether it be the scary evil queens or the yellow eyes peering out from the dark, Frances did not enjoy Disney’s shenanigans and hid her own eyes at various times. But every time we would get off the ride, she’d say, “That was awesome!” or , “Let’s ride another one”. She’s a complicated woman, that Frances. Her personal favorites were the spinning tea cups, the carousal, and It’s A Small World boat ride. Not surprisingly, The Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion were not her favorite. However, I think the one that scared her the most was Snow White. Seriously‚Ķ That one and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, are some seriously messed up, acid-driven designed rides. Is that Hell you go through at the end of Mr. Toad? I was confused and a little scared myself. However, Frances loved that one because she could drive. Go figure.

We also discovered on this trip that Frances is deathly afraid of dragons, and apparently they come out right when the sun goes down. So day 2 at sunset, Frances wanted no part of Disneyland anymore. After we watched the parade and ate our ice cream cones, we retreated back to our hotel where we could still see the fireworks. Safe from the fire-breathing dragons that infest Disneyland after dark.

It was a great trip, but I’m not sure we can really call a place that doesn’t serve beer the happiest place on earth. Come on, people, priorities!

And really‚Ķ Someone MUST do something about the dragon problem. For reals…

Happy summer, everyone!