Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Magic Kingdom

Our highly anticipated, carefully budgeted family vacation to Disneyland finally came to pass (thanks to Disney's "Give a Day Get a Day" free tickets!) this past weekend. Precious, happy memories were made. It was lovely to be free of schedules and discipline and just have joyful fun with my children and Spouse. It was not an extended stay; Friday at Disneyland, Saturday at the beach and Sunday on the road. Short, but very sweet. Come back tomorrow for beach photos and commentary.

The last time our family visited Disneyland #2 was just a few months old and #1 was not yet three. So this really was their first time. Can you see the anticipation in #2's face as we waited for the tram to take us to the park entrance? He knew he was supposed to be excited, but wasn't quite sure what to expect.

Growing up my family frequented Disneyland relatively often and so the place is full of nostalgia for me. It was gratifying to see some things haven't changed, like Main Street, The Matterhorn and The Tikki Room (and nearby Dole Pineapple Whip stand - yum!). Most of the changes to Disneyland since I was younger have been for the best, but I was truly saddened to see the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse turned into Tarzan's Treehouse - dumb!

In the above picture #2 is showing off what he chose to spend his hard earned recycling money on: a tiny collector's edition of the Millenium Falcon (from Star Wars - sheesh, people!) The set also included a tiny version of Luke's star fighter and a figure of Yoda. These three little pieces were lost and found so many times on our trip, each time accompanied by heart broken sobs. #2 even escaped from our hotel room one morning (don't judge, I was blow-drying my hair and Spouse was 'watching' the kids and apparently didn't see or hear him leave the room) in a determined quest to find the starship which had fallen out of his pocket the night before. The starship was found and then #2 decided that while he was out he might as well see the rest of the hotel grounds. Spouse found him in the basketball courts.

You betcha!

#1 had a little money to spend too. She fretted all morning about the perfect thing to buy, passing up treats and little treasures. Then as we were reentering the park after lunch (yes, we are the cheap-os who eat in the designated picnic area outside of the park. Best peanut butter sandwich of my life!) #1 saw a girl with beautiful face painting and determined that would be her splurge for the day. I thought it turned out lovely.

Pictured above is the most ridiculous ride in Disneyland. #1, #2 and Spouse waited in line for over half an hour for this 45 second thrill. That was longer than we had waited for any ride all day! And then it was determined that #1 was too small (or too scared) to ride alone, so at the last minute the three of them had to squeeze themselves into the rocket which was about half the size of a bathtub. Out of respect for Spouse I did not publish the "trying to fit" pictures. (Blackmail?) The one redeeming thing about this experience was just as the rockets ascended high into the air, the nightly fireworks show started and they got a spectacular view.... for about 45 seconds.

Beach tomorrow!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

More kid Star Wars humor

As I was traveling in the car with all three children I overheard #1 and #2 talking about Star Wars. They had decided that they were Princess Leia and Luke, respectively. I asked them, "If you are Princess Leia and you are Luke then what does that make #3?"

They debated for a few moments between R2-D2 and an Ewok. The verdict? #3 is R2-D2.

The assigning of Star Wars roles continued. It was determined since #1 was Princess Leia and #2 was Luke then it was only natural that Spouse would be Darth Vader. Many asthmatic, Vader-like breaths followed.

Seeing an opportunity to promote myself in my children's eyes I decided to probe this developing scenario further. I coyly pointed out, "So. If you are Princess Leia and you are Luke and Daddy is Darth Vader, that would make me Queen Amidala." Bat, bat, bat my eyelashes.

With a grunt of disgust #1 replied, "Ugh. No. You're C-3PO."

So there you have it folks. I'm the annoying, know it all, wimpy but sometimes loveable C-3PO, human-cyborg relations.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ho boy!

This morning I put in Star Wars VI for #2. I was forwarding it to the place he had left off when he instructed me:

"Put it on the part where Jabba the Hut takes off Princess Leia's clothes."

Ho boy.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Ragnariffic Relay

After years of dropping not so subtle hints to friends, neighbors, acquaintances and strangers I was finally, FINALLY asked to be on a Ragnar Relay team. Whoo hoo!

The relay was this past weekend. And the experience did not disappoint.

I got to see this lovely sight (running):

Vehicle #2 consisted of me and 5 people I had never met until just before this picture was taken. Don't they look nice? They were. We spent 30+ hours cramped in a jeep together, our respective sweaty stinks mingling. Could have been a recipe for disaster, but fortunately our respective coolnesses were compatible.

See what I mean about cramped? And that is with one runner on the road.

My teammate, a Ragnar enthusiast, brought a cowbell with him from Utah. I learned there is a right and a wrong way to ring a cowbell when you are cheering your runner on. Next time I'll have it down pat.

In case you were wondering, this is what the middle of nowhere looks like.

Would you be this excited to run 6 miles in the dead of night?

At this point I was freezing, hungry and ready to sleep. I eventually warmed up. We found a Subway for dinner. But I never did get to sleep.

Here I am coming out of the shoot, strapping on the baton (a bracelet, really) and ready to run up a steep set of hills.

The dudes in vehicle #2. All really great runners and super nice guys.

The finish line was a party. When our final runner came around the corner we all jumped in with her to cross the finish line together. Yellow is definitely NOT my color and I guess if I hadn't wanted to look completely chubby I could have taken off a few of the layers underneath. But I was really trying to go for the "appear the hugest possible" look, - I did it for all the cameras, you know?

So, who's in for next year?