Sunday, April 14, 2013


 I have to preface this blog with saying that we took Shayne up to the MTC right in the middle of our Spring Break and I had told the kids to pack a bag because we were going to spend the rest of the week there having fun with the cousins.  In all reality we had been planning, with Brad, for months to drop off Shayne and turn around and start driving to California to go to Disneyland as a surprise to get the kids happy again after sending Shayne off.  The last thing we wanted to do was come home and go to work and leave them here to sit and think about Shayne being gone and cry all week long.  But, we ran into a problem after we put all of Shayne's luggage into the van...nothing else fit.  So we made up the excuse that Joel had to come straight back to work Wednesday and that they needed to just get out a change of clothes and pj's and leave there bags by the front door because we didn't have time to move them because we were running late.  Well, by the time we got back home they had forgotten all about the bags and it was around 5pm.  So Joel went in and started to get things together and started repacking the van.  The kids were wandering around and I asked them if they wanted to go out to eat.  Then Josh said, "Why is dad reloading the van?"  I said, "OK,  here's the thing.  We are going to Disneyland and you have 10 seconds to get your pillows 1, 2, 3...  Then Sophie said, "Are you serious?" and I just counted louder and they all screamed and ran around grabbing what they could.  90 seconds later we were back on the freeway.  Ben asked how long it would take to get there and when I told him 5 hours he moaned until I told him we could turn around and go home.  We never heard another complaint the entire way there.  At 9:30 we pulled into Brad and Ashley's place, unloaded and crashed.  I am so grateful that I have such a wonderful sister-in-law who lets us do this.  She willing give up her house so we can save money and not have to get a hotel.  Ashley is incredible.  Incredibly talented, gorgeous and patient to put up with Brad.:)

Brad called in sick to work the next day (he teaches at the local college too) and spent all day in California Adventure with us.  We immediately got fast passes for the new Cars Land Racers and strolled around Radiator Springs.  It was awesome!  We immediately ran into Lightning McQueen and Red who actually talk to you.  These vehicles are worth a million dollars each and talk and are driven with one person inside and a person outside with an earpiece talking to them giving them directions.  It's crazy.

As you walked down the main street it's as if you walked into the movie.  It was amazing.!  You could eat at Flo's V-8 Diner or go over to the Cozy Cone and each cone had a different treat like Ice Cream Cones, Pop Cones and Cone Dogs.  It was great.

They even had the statue of Stanley at the end of the street in front of Red's Fire Station.

Then we went on Mater's Junk Yard Jamboree.  It was so much fun.  It was little tractors that went around in figure 8's and you were in carts behind them swinging around while Mater sang funny country songs. We went on it twice.

Then we went on Luigi's flying tires.  It was like space-aged bumper boats.  You actually were hovering above the ground and in order to move you had to lean that direction.  Which with 3 people in a tire could be hard.  It was interesting and had a learning curve but like everything else was fun.

Then we headed to the main ride...the Radiator Springs Racers.  The landscape was amazing.  They did a great job making it look like our red dirt desert and they had every piece of the movie fit to a T.

We fast passed this ride the first time and loved it so much that later that day we went back to stand in line but it had a 120 minute wait.  So we came back later when it was only a 70 minute wait.  We have always been lucky with the lines here and Disneyland.  We've gone on days where they haven't been busy I guess because we've never waited for longer than 20 minutes for anything so we thought 70 was forever but this ride was worth it.  Brad said that he had never waited in line so it would be a new experience for him and we were able to see all of the really cool things they had decorated for you to look at while you where going through the line.  Here's Brad by the BUTTE Gas Pump holding his noes.  You'd think he'd be use to that smell by now.

 Here is Stanley and Lizzie's wedding picture.  It was darling.


 Then we made it to the front.  Sophie, Brad and I went in one car with Joel and the boys in front of us.


As you drove out you casually drove around and drove past the waterfall that McQueen and Sally drive past then you go in through these doors and the ride is like Winnie the Pooh or Mr. Toad's Wild Ride where you twist and turn and go around inside a building as it tells the story.

 And then you end up either in Luigi's getting new tires or over at Ramone's getting a paint job to get ready to race and you line up on the starting line next to the car that was in front of you which was Joel and the boys.  Then you race around this incredible track so fast and go on turns where you are basically horizontal with the ground.  It was phenomenal.  An instant favorite.  The 3 of us got new tires both times we went on the ride and beat the boys both times.

We went to Soarin' Over California and then to Grizzly River Run.   

 This was after the River Run. We barely got wet but by the look on Sophie's face you'd think she was soaked.  I think I'd better say something about these glasses.  They were the glasses that we got when they ran the Color Me Rad 5 K.  We ended up with a bunch of different colors.  They are pretty well made too.  We left the green ones at Brad's and he wears them all the time.

Then we went over to California Screamin'.  I wasn't sure what Ben and David would think because neither of them went on it last time we were there so I wondered if there would be tears.  But as you can see we went on it many times. 3 in fact.  Later in the day we got ice cream Mickey's and the line was only 15 minutes long so we hurried and jumped in line and had just enough time to eat our ice cream and as soon as we got off it said the line was only 10 minutes long.  Well, it takes about 10 minutes to walk up to the ride so we basically walked right up to it and got back on.  As soon as we got off the line said 5 minutes but after going back to back we were a little queasy and needed a break so we went to Toy Story Mania and waited about a half an hour which seemed like forever but was really short for that ride.  I think all of the people were in Cars Land so the lines everywhere else were super short. 

Next we headed to  Mickey's Fun Wheel.  We had to basically pay Josh to get on.  It's one of my favorite and he hates it.  But when we were up at the very top Goofy came out down on the sidewalk and conducted the dancing waters.  It's called Instant Concert...Just Add Water.  It was cool!

At one point we spilt up from the boys.  They went and did Goofy's flight school that I don't like and we went and did Tower of Terror (MY FAVORITE) that they don't like. Sophie and I had gone on it earlier that day and then Brad got us all fast passes for it before he had to go check on work things.  So, when he got back we used 3 of the passes and went.  Here is the funny story about this picture.  When the ride was over and we were looking at the pictures the guy and his 3 kids behind us said, "Oh man someone held there hands up and you can't see us."  We felt awful and it was getting late and Joel and the boys were in Bug's Land waiting for us to go get inline for the World Of  Color.  So Brad and I decided to give them our left over fast passes.  So I told the guy that it was us and we felt bad and wanted him to have our other fast passes.  Brad asked him how many he needed and he said 4 and that's exactly how many we had.  They were happy and we felt a little better for ruining their picture.

 The next day we went to Disneyland.  Brad was already in California Adventure working so he just came out to meet us and walked us in and we got Fast Passes to Cars Land Racers for later and left to go to Disneyland.  Brad stayed and worked but later that night he and Ashley caught back up with us for dinner and the fireworks.  Here's the traditional picture that everyone has to take before they can actually go into Disneyland to prove that they were really there.
 Main Street USA!  David always had a map.  He made sure that we didn't get lost.
The one and only character we got our picture with was Pluto because David just happened to be wearing his Pluto shirt that day.  We walked over and got in line and Pluto saw him, pointed  and gave David a big hug.  It was so cute.


 We headed for Tomorrow Land first.  I don't really care for this ride so Joel and I got in our own rocket so we didn't have to go up at all.  It was great.
 Then we went to Space Mountain and only waited 20 minutes.  I think I was about Ben's age the last time I rode on this ride.  Every time we've come it's been broken or I've been pregnant.  Then it was off to the Mater Horn.  They have new sleds/carts and more of them as well so the line went super fast.  It seemed like you were never standing still.  Here's a cute story...While we were standing in line there were 4 or 5 boys and a couple girls that had shirts on that said, "Mountain View Ballroom Dance Team" on them.  I was telling the kids that Mountain View was in Orem by Lehi when one of the boys pointed at Sophie and said, "Hey, I know you!"  We were all taken back a bit because we had no idea who this kid was then he pointed at her YW medallion and said ,"well, I know!  My name's Aaron.  What's yours?"  It was hilarious!  I was expecting her to say something like "Who am I?" and for him say, "a beautiful daughter of a King!" or some cheesy pick-up line like that.  It was awesome.  We gave that kid a lot of credit.  He had a lot of guts to say anything and the fact that he knew what a YW medallion even looked like means he must be a pretty good active member or he has a lot of sisters.  We never saw him again but I told Sophie that she should have gotten his last name and they could have been Facebook friends.  So, if you know Aaron who is on Mountain View High School's Ballroom Dance Team tell him Sophie from Disneyland said hi.

It's a Small World
 AUSTRALIA - for Shayne

It's another tradition for us to get those HUGE Funnel Cakes from the place right
 in front of the Golden Horse Shoe.  YUM!

So many traditions...Sword in the Stone.

 I don't know what it was about this year.  The fact that all our kids were big enough to not have to hold our hands the entire time or what but this was probably one of the funnest times Joel and I have had.  We even got our own Tea Cup!  We didn't spin it at all.  It was another awesome experience. 

 Usually there is a big line at Buzz Lightyear too but we waited 10 minutes and when got off it said the waiting time was 5 minutes so we ran back on.

 Splash mountain is always fun.  Look at Josh.  HAHAHA!
   Can you see Ben and David?

Then we ran back over to California Adventure to use our Fast Passes for Cars Land Racers.  
Definitely a new favorite!  This time we ended up at Ramone's for a paint job and lost the race.  So if you go on the ride hope you get new tire's from Luigi instead.  They make you faster!


This was one of the best vacations we've spent.  I don't know if it's because it was a surprise for the kids or because they are older now so we don't have to worry about losing one of them or what but I do know that it wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for my incredible brother Brad.  Thanks so much Brad.  You have helped us create wonderful memories with our kids that will last a lifetime.  That is a gift that I can never repay.  Although I"ll try.  What can I do for you?

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