I just LOVE that you guys are so ENCOURAGING about what is, I've decided, an Officially Bat@*#$ Crazy Idea! YOU ARE SO CUTE! Well, all of you except my friend Dan down there who was a major downer. First comment on my website and he's gotta be all DEPRECIATION and MARKET VALUE BLAH BLAH BLAH.
So yeah. It was this Very! Exciting! Thought! and then I woke up with a huge stomachache and a general sense of what-the-hell-are-we-thinking. How did we go from wanting to buy a fixed up turn-key house to considering rehabbing a super quirky 1921 house on a busy street next to a funky duplex and - I forgot to mention this part - a cemetery? HMMM? That said, we're still waiting on our architect friend to drop by and give us some educated opinions, but after talking to our agent last night (who herself was encouraging while also being completely honest and way helpful) I kind of feel like this sort of project is way out of our sphere. It's not just a kitchen remodel, it'd be a WHOLE HOUSE REMODEL. Did I mention that I'm supposed to have a new baby in October? OH YEAH RIGHT.
Anyway. Agent and I are off to see something like 10 houses tomorrow morning and I have kicked the House Prayer into high gear.
So now I'm going to write about our trip. Because I need to think about something else. Also: MY WEBSITE.
Disney! The happiest place on earth! I love it, I just love it and I don't care what you say. I will admit, however, that this trip was harder than the first. Here are the reasons why:
1. Spring Break. At least I THINK the reason it seemed SO VERY CROWDED (compared to our post-Labor Day trip a year and a half ago) was Spring Break and also (I heard) 3 conventions going on in Anaheim. (The Religious Education Congress was staying in our hotel, as evidenced by the giant "Welcome Religious Education Congress! Happy Hour at 2:30!" sign on the wall.) On our first trip we had a relatively easy time riding every ride we wanted, when we wanted. This time we didn't manage Peter Pan or Dumbo or Alice in Wonderland or the tea cups until three days into the trip, our first chance to arrive way super early, and even THEN Peter Pan was mobbed a half hour into opening. Like, an hour long wait. On our previous trip we felt like we had the run of the park for that first hour, so it was a little frustrating. (I should say that Friday, our last day, felt a lot different. Either the crowds were smaller or we were used to it!)
2. The Weather. I am not COMPLAINING about the weather, which was mostly in the low seventies/high sixties and SUNSHINEY the entire time. But it was in the fifties when we left the hotel in the morning, fairly warm by the time we headed back to the hotel for naps, and chilly again in the evenings. So I was constantly stressed about what everyone was wearing. I know that's the stupidest thing in the world, but I spent a ton of time deciding what everyone was going to wear and what layers we were going to pack in the stroller and whether they'd be warm/cool enough and... yeah, major source of mental exhaustion for me. Our first trip was easy: shorts! And maybe a sweatshirt if we stayed out late. This time I was not at all sorry I packed everything from down vests to sundresses.
3. Our Hotel. If this had been our first Disneyland hotel experience it would have been just fine. But I was TOTALLY SPOILED by the HoJo's giant kid suite rooms, their fancy spraypark (which we wouldn't have used anyway, but still) and crazy expensive but fully stocked convenience store. Our hotel, the Anabella, was great - separate room with bunk beds, ANOTHER separate room with a daybed and a TV (great for Molly's nap) - but lacking in space over all, with no microwave, no good breakfast eating space, a window that looked right out on the balcony walkway (motel style) and shades that didn't fully close AND curtains that didn't fully close. So you couldn't open the shades and curtains for sunlight, unless you wanted to give the world a full view, but you couldn't close them either to make it nice and dark at night. Annoying. Obvs not the end of the world, and we sort of liked the walk to Disneyland better from the Anabella than from the HoJo (and I'm sure it was cheaper too, have to look), but I had a hard time not letting a few things bug me.
4. My Children. On our first trip to Disneyland, Jack was TWO and Molly was ONE. Molly wasn't even WALKING. The first thing we discovered in Disneyland this time is that we had a runner on our hands. After the second or third time Molly disappeared on us, we became super vigilant and adamant about hand holding. They also decided to have Opinions, Jack especially. The first two days we couldn't get him to nap, and he was a TOTAL PILL in the afternoons. He kept asking to go to HAWAII. He wanted to go to the BEACH. Like THAT is a proper vacation. What are we doing in this BEAUTIFUL LAND OF MANUFACTURED JOY?!? I lost my patience a few times, I was tempted to give lectures on being ungrateful, I occasionally wondered why we even BOTHERED. Then the last two days he napped freakishly long in the afternoons and was, of course, an Absolute Delight. Cheered and excited by everything, willing to do whatever, totally happy to BE ALIVE. That's more like it.
ALL OF THAT SAID. I think we had a pretty awesome time. I feel like we did a lot more. Since the kids were older and also slept till nearly five or six in the evening, we stayed out pretty late which meant we got to see some fireworks and the World of Color fountain show, plus hit up some rides with super short lines before closing. Some of their opinions were fun - last time, no one gave a rip if we saw Mickey or not. NOW it was IMPERATIVE.
They didn't have any parades this time, which was a total bummer (since that's what the kids loved most last time). But we did get to see World of Color which was pretty spectacular, the fireworks, and a handful of live performances around the park. We also did a handful of not-rides: the dream house inside the Innoventions building was pretty interesting for a couple of computer dorks like Phillip and me, and I have to give five stars to Turtle Talk with Crush in DCA. FREAKING AMAZING. It's "live" animation. Seriously. You are having a conversation with Crush. I have no idea how they do that.
I guess the other thing that was different was food. I made sure to bring a TON of food with us - peanut butter and cereal and juice boxes - but we ended up just dropping a ton of cash on food in the park. I had to think about this for a while, and I think it's because we had a different schedule. We could stay in the park later, so we ended up buying lunch. Of course I could have brought lunch with us, and I did once or twice, but we always supplemented with something snacky from the park. And we ended up eating dinner there nearly every night. Part of it, of course, is that Phillip and I are totally those people who treat ourselves with food, so we are inclined to be spending way too much on things like mid morning snacks anyway. The good thing is that we'd decided ahead of time that it was okay to spend money, that this was Our Vacation and we weren't going to worry too much.
And I have to say that was the best part. I napped every day, even when Jack didn't. I slept GREAT. When both kids were sleeping Phillip and I just lazed around, and since the internet connection was so horrible we were forced to interact! It was just SO NICE to do NOTHING and do our nothingness in the same place. Molly wanted nearly nothing to do with me, and was always reaching for Phillip and I was just happy for her that he was around to hold her, you know? And on the last day when we could have stuck it out a little longer and crammed in a few more rides, we were both in agreement about heading home, turning on a DVD for the kids and calling it a night. It was low stress all around. Well, except for what everyone was wearing. I couldn't help that.
Besides, on the last day we got to hang out with Sydney InsideDog!
Jack likes blonds
(Chasing the three kids around Tom Sawyer's Island that morning was an unexpected blast for me. I can't believe we didn't go there on our first trip!)
I like her mom
Molly likes Dumbo
They ALL liked making me sick in the spinning cup
Jack liked the 20-second Heimlich Chew Chew Train ride in DCA, for which we spent an eternity in line (SKIP THIS!)
I THINK they like each other
P.S. If you would like excruciating detail about any aspect of Disney-With-Two-Shorties, I would LOVE to pontificate further. FYI. I had a really hard time finding reviews that fit our type of family, so email if you're interested!