It's Never Long Enough: Summer 2010 Disneyland TR


#1

So as the last of my pictures are traveling to imageshack so I can post them, I shall start my TR with my disclaimers. I actually wrote most of it a while back, I just had to get the pictures together.

First: Let’s talk about the pictures. Most of the pictures are of my kids (taken by my mom), or of random items like trash cans (taken by my 9 year old son). I do have some nifty hotel pics that I took, though.

Second: There is nothing so minute or insignificant that I can’t go on about it for 3 or 4 paragraphs. I can’t help it- I’m writing and I can’t shut up. I suspect this is not the TR for everyone.

I am not succint. :laugh:

So… let us travel back in history (Remember Sam the Eagle from America Sings?)… back to the last Monday of June…


#2

YAY!! I wanna hear more!!!


#3

Well now I’m just going to start swearing because after all that, I’ve only got 17 pictures on the hosting site. Off to work on it…


#4

3:30 am.

No one should be up at 3:30am.

Even I didn’t need to be up at 3:30am.

My alarm, it may or may not interest you to note, was set for 6am. Our “we gotta leave the house by or we’ll be stressed at the airport” time was 7:30am.

But there I was, lying awake in bed, at 3:30am.

Sleep! I wanted more sleep! I knew we had a long, long day ahead of us, and I was going to need more than 4 hours of sleep.

I told that to myself a LOT of times between 3:30 and 5:30am. At which point I got out of bed and took a shower, then put on my assigned clothes.

And because I know you people can’t go very long without a picture, here’s one of my shower. I recently took out part of the frame and recaulked the whole thing, so it’s shiny and clean.

Assigned clothes? Absolutely. Everyone in the family had a pile of “assigned airport clothes” waiting for them to put on this morning. Having been told in NO uncertain terms that I was allowed two suitcases, no more, everything that had been packed or that was coming with us in any way, shape, or form was carefully orchestrated.

And just who was it making these hard and fast packing rules? That would be my dad. Who shall be known as “Ahpa”, which is what my kids call him. This entire trip was the grand plan of Ahpa and my mom (“Ahma”). As they would be picking us up at LAX, driving us to Disneyland, and then driving us all 600 miles north to their house after all of the Disney-ing, Ahpa was entitled to make a few rules about just how much luggage was going to fit in his vehicle.

Not just any vehicle. He just bought a new vehicle. Theoretically it wasn’t only because of this trip, but that seemed to have a lot to do with it. That’s Ahpa for you. A Chevy Tahoe will transport 7 people; we were only 6, so it could transport 6 people and enough luggage for, maybe, 4. Thus my luggage restrictions.

Having a large enough vehicle did not prevent Ahpa from making lots of pre-trip jokes about Everett, age 9, having to ride strapped to the roof rack so there would be enough room for all the stuff. Good times. Everett was less amused than the rest of us.


#5

So. By 6:30am I was completely ready to go, all of my toiletries packed (and you know that was on THE LIST… the list of things that had to be done on departure morning), and I had prepared bagels for our lunch on the airplane (because I am that cheap and what they sell on the plane is that bad). I woke up Everett, who tells me he was awake. Mmmm, maybe. The kid never admits to sleeping or to even being tired, so his veracity on this matter is suspect.

The best bagels I can get:

I helped him get his last-minute things packed, got him some breakfast, and around 7am I got the baby.

Now, on a good day, our Miss Genevieve, 22 months old, wakes up around 7. Usually it’s a little bit before 7. So today, of course, when I got into her room, she is deeply asleep, slowly rouses, and makes sure I am aware that being awakened is the worst thing that has ever happened to her. EVER.

The scene of the Genevieve’s weeping and wailing…

I managed to get some breakfast into her, get her dressed in her appointed outfit, and pack her last minute things.


#6

And where is Rob (DH) during all of this? Well, before I get into that let me reiterate a conversation we had several weeks before we left.

Me: “Are you going to need jeans? I’ve got to pack as little as possible. Will you wear shorts on the plane?”
Him: “Fine. Whatever.”

And then the night before we leave:

Him: “Are these the clothes I’m supposed to wear tomorrow?”
Me: “Yes.”
Him: “I want to wear jeans.”

Grrrrrr.

Because the thing is, I do all the packing. This is for several reasons. The first is that Rob cannot be trusted not to look dorky (I love you, honey!), and has a rather haphazard attitude toward clothes that match. The second reason is because he used to pack for himself, which resulted in a conversation we had many years ago, once we had already arrived on vacation:

Him: Honey?
Me: Yes?
Him: Did you hide my underwear?

:laugh: So you see why I do all the packing. Not only do I like being super-organized, I don’t forget to pack underwear.


#7

Back to Rob. He was spending the morning taking his own shower, putting on his JEANS, and taking care of the cat arrangements.

Ah, the cat arrangements. We have three cats. One who is getting more annoying the older she gets, one who is just plain crazy, and one who is loveable and dumb. Well, Mr. Loveable-but-dumb Spike also has to live outside due to an unfortunate spraying problem. Mostly he hangs out in the garage, but I open it a little bit during the day so he can wander in and out, and find nice shady and cool bushes during the day but come inside when the thunderstorms hit.

Since the cat sitter couldn’t be expected to hang out here all the time and adjust the garage door according to the whims of the cat, Spike was being forced to live in a bathroom while we were gone. It wasn’t the greatest thing for him, but I figured it was a lot better than dying from the heat and humidity in the garage. And it had to be the bathroom because of the spraying problem not being compatible with carpets. And it couldn’t even be the big master bathroom, because the master bedroom/bathroom is the domain of the crazy cat, who is the only cat in the world that Spike can’t get along with.

SPIKE

So Rob gets everything ready, and gets Spike. Spike is dumb but apparently not THAT dumb… he spends his life wanting to get into the house, but he knew something was up. Rob puts Spike down in the bathroom upstairs, and approximately 2.7 seconds later, Spike has run downstairs.

This goes on for some time. Rob brings Spike upstairs… Spike escapes and runs downstairs.

Well, Rob HAS been trying to get more exercise.

We finally work out a system of closed doors and get Spike imprisoned (poor orange baby).


#8

At approximately 7:30, we all got into the car with our two suitcases (one big, one carry-on), and we didn’t forget anything. I repeat: An on-time departure from the house, and we didn’t leave anything behind. That’s got to be some sort of miracle.

Getting to the airport was uneventful. Exactly how you’d want a drive to be. Uneventful. :happy:

Hmmm… Economy or Daily parking? Daily is outside, a longer walk… Economy is covered. It comes out to $4 a day more… that’ll be about $50 more than Daily. I argue that after a long flight with the baby, we’re going to want to have parked closer. So we do. (Which was a fantastic decision- we arrived back home during a huge thunderstorm.) We parked in section F21. (I came up with an obscene mnemonic… which I won’t share… but which worked because I did remember where we parked!)

Parking where we did also took us through an alternate entrance of the airport. Best entrance ever. No lines, no crowd, no wait at all to check our bag. And if you’re at all familiar with the Atlanta Airport, you know that there’s no such thing as “no lines, no crowds”.

Going through security: always a mini-circus with a toddler.

Genevieve was a little scared on the train that connects terminals at the airport. Uh-oh… At this point I worry even more that this Disneyland trip is just going to be a disaster, and she’s going to be afraid of everything. (My dad has spent the last month telling me it’s going to be “perfect”. That no matter what she does, she is perfect and the trip will be perfect.)

We only had to wait a little while before boarding. Once again I ask Everett if it would be okay if we put him in the seat next to Genevieve way at the front of the plane, while Rob and I sit in the back of the plane by ourselves. Surprisingly, he doesn’t think this sounds like a particularly good idea. :laugh:

The entertainment system on the airplane was broken. It seems to me that they ought to have offered free wi-fi. But of course not.

It’s a long flight from ATL to LAX, but could have been worse. Entertaining a toddler at what would normally be her nap time is a challenge. She got difficult a few times, but it wasn’t too horrible. Everett is a seasoned traveler, watching Harry Potter movies on his portable DVD and reading his books.

Everett heard the words “ice cream for sale” and perked up. I bought him ice cream for his lunch and he ate that instead of his bagel. The rules go out the window on vacation. :happy:


#9

Finally- LAX! My parents were waiting at the bottom of the escalator in baggage claim, but we came down the elevator. No problem, about the same place, except that we were severely reprimanded for greeting them where we did, because we were blocking traffic. No, Mr. LAX man, we would have been blocking traffic if we had stopped at the bottom of the ESCALATOR. We just got off the elevator and weren’t in anyone’s way. No one behind us, no one needed to get by. We were off to the side. Honestly, a little perspective, dude.

LAX has a cool thing at this baggage claim terminal. I looks like a big touch board, with a big twilight picture of Los Angeles. Only it wasn’t a touch board, which you would discover when you touched it and nothing happened… It’s a motion-sensitive board. You’d move in it’s general direction, and it would ripple like it was water.

We didn’t take any pictures of it, and you’d think that somewhere on the web I could find one…but no. This was about the image that showed on it.

We had to wait forever for our one checked bag, so the motion board got a lot of attention, and kept Genevieve occupied. (You’d think for $23 dollars that bag would be hand-delivered to me with a bouquet of roses… :glare:)

Getting all of our stuff into the Tahoe, along with my parent’s stuff that was already there, plus the junior-sized wakeboard and the junior ski-trainer that were also there… well, that was quite the jigsaw puzzle.

Most importantly, I was able to keep my bag with me, so I could feed us all peanut M&Ms on the drive to Disneyland. (I have a peanut M&M problem.)


#10

It didn’t take us long to get to Disneyland from LAX- about an hour. We listened to the Official Album of the Disneyland Resort. We do that a lot under almost all circumstances, so not doing it when we were actually heading to Disneyland would have been wrong.

I just love seeing that “Disneyland Drive” sign. But I do miss the old days when spotting the Matterhorn and Space Mountain meant it was time to get off of the freeway!

Lots of sign-following, lots of turns… and then we’re approaching the Disneyland Hotel. We spotted the big Mickey statue at the end! Hooray! We’re here!

At the gatehouse, we said we were checking in, and the CM asked, “For the Disneyland Hotel?” Um… yes. I wonder if a lot of people turn in there, figuring that “Disneyland Hotel” means “Any Random Hotel Near Disneyland”? Because otherwise it seems like a rather odd question.

The first CM we encountered was helpful and friendly and funny. My dad misspoke, saying that he knew we probably couldn’t check in yet, and the CM was so jovial, “Oh, you can check in anytime! It’s Disneyland! Of course, you might not be allowed to actually go into your room… but you can check in!” Which we knew, and which we had planned on… but he was fun.

The much younger CM, the one who helped with the unloading onto the great big luggage cart, immediately thought we were cool because we had the wakeboard with us. (Me, I’m a skier and find wakeboarding kind of annoying. But I do recognize that it’s considered much cooler than water skiing.) Now, I’m not sure why merely carrying a wakeboard in your vehicle makes you cool… but I guess it does! But he too was friendly and nice.

They put our poor, overloaded cart into storage and we went inside to check in. (Which you can do anytime! It’s Disneyland! :laugh:) My dad got in line, everyone else waited outside the check in line ( I think there was one person ahead of us), and I flitted back and forth between them.


#11

See… I was giddy with anticipation. I had to make sure everything was going the way I hoped it would at the check-in desk.

Yes, we got the connecting rooms. (Score! Makes it easier to put the baby to bed early or for naps when you’ve got another room to go into.)

And then the room assignments. All I had to hear was “Dreams Tower.”

SCORE!!!

I could barely contain myself. We were in the very recently renovated tower! I’d seen the pictures… and I just couldn’t wait to see the rooms for myself. Last year the hotel had been wonderful, but the rooms had indeed been a little worn and rough around the edges. I’d asked my dad to request the renovated rooms, but I don’t know if he actually did. But either way- hooray!

Yay yay yay yay! Everything was exactly what I’d been hoping for!

Now… one of the rooms was ready, the other one wasn’t. No problem… we went up to the ready one… with strict instructions that yes, the other room was the one right next to it, but he couldn’t give us the number yet and we were absolutely positively NOT supposed to go into that one until it was ready. We solemnly promised.


#12

This is sooo funny I love all the details!!! Keep it going, can’t wait for more!!


#13

Entering the Hotel…
(I don’t know who the random running girls on the right are!)


#14

You are making me laugh, this report is very entertaining!! Keep it coming!!:laugh:


#15

I’m working on sizing the pictures down to less annoying sizes!

ETA… some of them I can shrink, some I can’t… will shrink the rest fully before I link! That seems to help, although I can’t imagine why. Annoying!


#16

My photographer is pretty sure he took this on a hotel wall somewhere…

Mickey in the carpet…

Love these lights…

And don’t you take pictures of every trash can you can find?


#17

Thank you, I try!


#18

You’re in luck, because if there’s one thing I’ve got, it’s details! :laugh:


#19

So, after alerting the luggage cast members, we went up to see the rooms.

Oh… :wub: :wub: :wub:

They really could not have been more beautiful.

Desk Area

King-Size Bed (in case you were having trouble identifying it)

Closer look at the headboard. There’s a switch that you hit, and the headboard plays “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” and the fireworks and stars light up.

Remember this pillow. We’ll be discussing it later. :wub:


#20

[QUOTE=Andrea;1047763]Finally- LAX! My parents were waiting at the bottom of the escalator in baggage claim, but we came down the elevator. No problem, about the same place, except that we were severely reprimanded for greeting them where we did, because we were blocking traffic. No, Mr. LAX man, we would have been blocking traffic if we had stopped at the bottom of the ESCALATOR. We just got off the elevator and weren’t in anyone’s way. No one behind us, no one needed to get by. We were off to the side. Honestly, a little perspective, dude.

LAX has a cool thing at this baggage claim terminal. I looks like a big touch board, with a big twilight picture of Los Angeles. Only it wasn’t a touch board, which you would discover when you touched it and nothing happened… It’s a motion-sensitive board. You’d move in it’s general direction, and it would ripple like it was water.

We didn’t take any pictures of it, and you’d think that somewhere on the web I could find one…but no. This was about the image that showed on it.

We had to wait forever for our one checked bag, so the motion board got a lot of attention, and kept Genevieve occupied. (You’d think for $23 dollars that bag would be hand-delivered to me with a bouquet of roses… :glare:)

Getting all of our stuff into the Tahoe, along with my parent’s stuff that was already there, plus the junior-sized wakeboard and the junior ski-trainer that were also there… well, that was quite the jigsaw puzzle.

Most importantly, I was able to keep my bag with me, so I could feed us all peanut M&Ms on the drive to Disneyland. (I have a peanut M&M problem.)[/QUOTE]

  1. LOVING your TR so far! I always enjoy your writing:biggrin:

  2. R2 and I share your peanut M&M problem