Saturday, June 20, 2009

Disneyland - Day 1

We left San Diego at 1:30pm and drove North to Disneyland. Arriving at 3PM on the dot! It was a pleasant drive as all of the kids slept (Randy too!) And Mom and I chatted and the traffic again was not too bad. This is according to my Mom, not me.

We pulled into the front of the Disneyland Hotel and unloaded the bags and all of us, then Randy parked the car while we went in to the registration desk. Luckily, since we are staying at the Concierge Level, we went to a different line and got checked right in. We are in the Dreams Tower on the 10th Floor. The girls and I are in one room and Mom and Randy are in the adjoining room, kind of like a 2 bedroom suite. Our room is a bit bigger, which Randy can not get over, "Why do you get the bigger room?" Well, maybe because I am sharing my room with 4 little girls and there are only 2 people in yours!

My brother called us from the pool to see if we had arrived yet and ask when we would be down there. Randy called for our bags and as soon as they came the girls changed into their bathing suits. Then we decided to check out the Concierge Lounge and get some drinks and snacks for the pool.

The Concierge Lounge is on the 11th Floor and has all sorts of things to drink and eat during the day. They have a nice breakfast in the morning, snacks all day, happy hour fare and drinks, and a late evening dessert bar. It's a nice perk!

We then rode down the glass elevator (only for Concierge Guests.) to the lobby and walked over to the pool. We met up with my brother Damon, his wife Suzanne and daughters Courtney and Kaitlyn. Also, my cousin Sherrie who's daughter Tamara is the bride in tomorrows wedding. Since a lot of our family lives here in California, they are just driving over tomorrow for the wedding and not staying overnight. Others are staying at less expensive hotels. Since this is also our vacation, I wanted to do the whole thing up right! Plus I just love Disney and besides Katy, my other daughters have never been to Disneyland or Disney World.

The pool is awesome with a big slide for the bigger girls and a little one for Madyson. After swimming for a couple of hours we went back up to the room to shower and change for dinner. There is no special rehearsal dinner for us. Usually they invite the out of town guests to the rehearsal dinner, but not at this wedding. Oh well, no biggie. We loaded into the car and drove to In-and-Out Burger. Only 6 days left and we want to get in as much good California food as possible!

We arrived back at the hotel just in time to get some great seats in the Lounge for the nightly fire works over Cinderella's Castle. Mom and I had coffee and a few desserts (Yum-yum!) and then we all went back to the rooms to get to bed. Tomorrow morning the Magic Kingdom opens at 7am for our hotel's guests so we want to be ready. We are planning on getting up at 6am and having breakfast in the lounge at 6:30am. We'll see if we can accomplish this. I think we can!! Have a Magical night!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stephen Birch Aquarium

Standing outside the entrance, everyone was really excited to see the fish!

Okay, we haven't even gone in yet and Ava is already bored! Just kidding, she just isn't used to the time change yet and she is ready for her nap already.

I went scuba not really, this is just a really big fish tank!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fish, fish and more fish...

Yesterday we went to the Stephen Birch Aquarium in La Jolla. It was a lot of fun. As Madyson said, there were ", and fish, and some more fish! Is that all they have here?" Yes, that is why they call it an aquarium and NOT a zoo. Madyson thought we were going to see some elephants too, even though we had told her many times there were no elephants there. We may go to the zoo tomorrow or next Monday.

We ate lunch at their outdoor area which overlooked the ocean which was quite beautiful yesterday. As expected, the clouds burned off and the sun was bright and the sky was blue. The girls and even Randy enjoyed looking at all of their exhibits. Especially the Giant Seahorses, the different species of Jelly Fish and towards the end, the brightly colored fish where we all looked for Nemo and Dori, and found them. Mackenzie assured us all that these were in fact the REAL Nemo and Dori that appeared in the Disnney movie. Apparently they have retired to La Jolla...not a bad life.

Afterward we drove to Mira Mesa, a suburb of San Diego that Randy's Dad lives in, we dropped Randy off so he could spend time with that side of the family and go out to dinner with them. Then we stopped at a Farmer's Market there that my friend Annette had a Pampered Chef booth at. We stayed and chatted with her for a little while, it got terribly hot out there and everyone needed to cool off and get a cold drink so we left to go over to one of the big box stores in the mall across the street. We also stopped in at the Dress Barn where they were holding a couple of dresses for me to try on and I found a great little black dress for the wedding.

We headed home at 4pm, which apparently is in the middle of rush hour traffic, yikes! It was awful and I just kept closing my eyes. My Mom said it wasn't bad at all! I also kept my mouth closed, my Mom does not like it when I mention things I do not like about California. But I will tell you I hate the traffic. Not that we don't have traffic in Kansas City too. But it is different. Here I felt our lives were actually in jeopardy. People drive so fast, even when there is only a fraction of an inch between cars and they seem so mad at the other cars that are slowing them down.

When we arrived at home we talked about what we wanted to eat for dinner. Originally we were going to have chinese food from our favorite restaurant, but we had promised Randy not to go there since he had to be gone with his Dad for dinner. We found out that Rubios Fish Tacos were only $1.25 on Tuesdays, so we decided to do that. Mom went over and bought 8 Fish Tacos and 2 Shrimp Burritos and we had a great traditional San Diego fast food feast, again. I know you may be thinking, fish tacos, yuk. But they are marvelous and everyone, including the baby ate all of their taco, and Katy had 2! They are kind of like a taco with a big fish stick in it, but not as crunchy. I think I might try making them at home.

It was a pretty quiet night. My had to run some errands, so while she was gone I took the girls into their room to change into their pj's and while we were in there we found a set of Paddington the Bear books, so I started to read from the first one and 2 of them, Mackenzie and Katy dropped off to sleep while I was reading. I finished the first chapter, tucked Madyson in and then put the baby to bed. By the time Mom got home I was in a comfy chair in the living room reading my book and we decided it was so quiet we were tired enough to go to bed too.

Tomorrow is the get together at my Mom's house. We are expecting about 45 people now, so it should be fun. Mom bought some ready made Lasagna's and we will do a cheese tray, veggie and chips and dip and a big salad. Should be very easy and give us lots of time to chit-chat with everyone. I also want a lot of pictures. I'll post them tomorrow. I don't know what we will do today during the day, I think the girls want to help Grandma in her garden and I will relax and maybe finish this book I am reading. I am so close to the end.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Waking up in San Diego

We arrived in San Diego last night. It was a non-stop flight, thank goodness! The baby was awake the entire trip and did very well. We sat in two rows and passed her back and forth. The other girls were pretty good, not too much fighting. I even got to read my book for a few pages.

My Mother's wonderful friends Mary and Kathleen drove down in a car and a van to pick us up. We had the 7 of us, 10 bags plus carry ons, Ava's car seat and the umbrella stroller which I wish I had not brought. I should have just brought her regular stroller as the umbrella stroller is hard to push with just one hand. Oh well, it served it's purpose for in the airport and Mom has another nicer stroller, a Pergo, for our use here and we will bring that one to Disneyland.

Mom had planned a nice light supper of grilled cheese sandwiches and fruit. We landed at 6:05pm which is 8:05pm Midwest time so we knew our crew would be hungry but didn't want everyone to eat too heavy a meal. That works in theory, and was a very nice idea, but then you have to consider Randy's position. We are only here for 9 days...and there are a lot of different meals and restaurants that Randy wants to sample. So...he talked my Mom into going to In-and-Out Burger for our supper. Suffice to say it was not the light fare that we had planned. No one went to bed until well after Midnight central time!

We are all up and getting a groggy start. It is gray and overcast here, moist and cool. If you had never been here before you would think that it was going to be a rainy day or at least cold. But the sun will burn through the clouds in a couple of hours, and it will be sunny and warm until late afternoon when the clouds, called the Marine Layer, will roll back in off of the ocean and it will be cool and moist again. This is the California weather that I think of when people in Kansas say to me, "You moved here from California? Don't you miss the weather out there?" And I think, not in the least! I like to wake up to a sunny day from the very start. And if there are clouds...then I want rain! Real rain that drenches my lawn and plants. I love green, green grass, green trees, green bushes. Out here in San Diego it is too brown for me. Oh there are lovely palm trees, and flowering bushes that are pretty year round, but they would be so much prettier against a green backdrop rather than this brown color that is so predominant out here.

But I don't visit San Diego for the weather or the flowers. It is my family that draws me here, and that is enough. I love to see them and be near them, if only for a week or two. I can not wait to see some of my oldest and dearest friends. My Mother is planning a bar-b-que for Wednesday evening here at her house. We are expecting quite a few friends and their families. I am really looking forward to that!

Today we are going to La Jolla to visit the Scripps Aquarium, then downtown La Jolla to visit Jane's Fabrique which is an awesome fabric store that I used to go to all of the time!! I am looking for some unique fabric to make a few dresses for Me! Then, after lunch we will be going out to Mira Mesa to the Farmer's Market to my friend Annette Robino. She has a booth out there for her Pampered Chef business. Tonight we are having dinner at our favorite chinese restaurant, the Panda Inn. Oh how delicious! I am excited for that House Special Shrimp!

The girls are getting restless, they are playing with a giant doll house that my Mother sets up every time we come out here. Each time we visit she gets some new pieces for it and the kids love to play and use their imagination. But they are getting louder now, they are asking when we can leave to go to the Aquarium. I'll try to check back in and download pictures later.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Last Dress Rehearsal!

The girls have been rehearsing for months and tonight was the last Dress Rehearsal for The Lion King. This is a full dance production, music and dance only, no words. We attended this last year when the Culture House had The Secret Garden. The girls loved it and that is when they started asking to take Ballet Lessons.

Katy is in Ballet 1, they are Chameleons and she is breathtaking on the stage. When she reaches her arms out and then lowers them they are so perfectly rounded. I don't think this girl could not look graceful even if she tried! I am so proud of her.

Mackenzie is in Beginning Ballet, they are the Lion Cubs and so they are in the production almost the entire show. Mackenzie has had to attend many more rehearsals than her sisters, so she has missed the most swimming so far this summer! She really gets into her character and she looks so cute in her little lion costume.

Madyson is in Creative Movement, she is a Baby Elephant! To say that their performance is too sweet and too cute is such an understatement. Their music is very jazzy and upbeat so you can't help moving along with them. And when they do "the Swim" it is sooo funny! Madyson does not like to wear the trunk on her costume, it is made of felt and she says it is itchy!

I will post pictures of all of them soon.

Other news, my Mom is flying out to see the show tomorrow. She loves to see the girls in their shows, she definitely gets the award for the supportive Grandmother. We will also be traveling back to San Diego with her for a little while. The girls are excited to be able to go back to the beach as they had such a great time when we were there 2 years ago. My cousin's daughter is going to be married at Disneyland while we are there (Obviously the main reason we are traveling out there!) so we will of course be spending a few days at Disneyland!!

I am looking forward to being out there, mostly to see all of my family and friends that don't ever seem to make it to Kansas...ever! But also to enjoy the girls enjoying the beach! They talk about the beach a lot, so I think it was quite the hit last time we were there. Mom and I made it really easy on everyone, we didn't try to do too much or stay too long. We would go down to La Jolla Shores in the morning, after breakfast, bring some snacks like grapes or cereal bars and apple juice and just let them play in the sand and in the waves for about 2 hours. Then we would pack them back up and go home and shower everyone off for lunch and then do something else for the rest of the day. Then the next day we would do something else in the morning and go down to the Shores at 2pm, and again only stay 1 or 2 hours. Now the girls are a little older, but Ava Marie is still only 18 months, so we don't want to get her too tired either.

Well, the girls are home from their rehearsal and I have to give them a little light snack before they go to bed. I've cut up a newly ripened peach and I'll serve it over some vanilla yogurt with a littlegranola and some blueberries. That should help them have sweet dreams. Good night.