Thursday, June 27, 2013

Disney Trip: Photo Tour

Home again, jiggity, jig. Ahhh.

We had a wonderful, exhausting, fantastic, non-stop, dazzling family vacation. This trip is epic for us because we've never done a family vacation that wasn't simply a family visit or tagging along on one of Brian's work trips. So we were newbies and I'm easily overwhelmed. The fact that this turned out well is a wonderful surprise. 

My biggest concern personally, was remembering my antidepressants (I've either forgotten them or lost track of them on multiple trips) and staying chill in the face of lots of people. Not only did we stay with people, the two days we weren't staying with people, we were surrounded by crowds at Disney. From past experiences, I know this wears me out. When we honeymooned in Honolulu, I was amazed at how people made a bee-line for where they were going and didn't navigate around others. I felt I was dodging everyone and wanted to scream, "Do you mind?! I'm from Nebraska!" You know, where we watch where we're going and don't bump into people constantly. I wailed to Brian, which I'm sure made him glad he'd tethered himself to me for life, "I just want people to stop touching me!" 

Now, to be fair, I'd just come off the biggest event-planning, emotional extravaganza of my life: my wedding. And I'd given all of myself to the three hundred people who came to celebrate with us, but this gave birth to the dream of a deserted island. 

Which Honolulu is not. 

Much like Disney.

This was my thinking as I prepared for the trip. I was pretty sure I'd run out of nice by day three. That's what introverts do, you see. They say we have a limited amount of energy, which is true, but mostly we have a limited amount of nice energy. After that, anything we eek out is irritable, cranky energy which had no place in my Disney fantasy. 

I guess I decided I would not allow this. I knew I needed to be "up." The kids would be tired and if I was swept into the grumpy mire, there'd be no getting any of us out. We were going to have a good time. No matter what. And we did. I'm still not sure whether to credit my stubbornness (or my husband who also stayed positive and gave me breaks) or if it was a straight-up miracle. I'm guessing it was all of the above and I'm deeply grateful. 

Here's a brief photo tour so you can see how we spent our days.

We packed up and drove seven hours to Colorado. We spent a relaxing evening 
with friends before going to bed early, since we knew the next day would be a long one. 

It got a bit longer when this tire blew. We got it switched out though, with the full-size 
spare and were on our way again, arriving in California around 2 am, our time. 

The friends we were staying with took us to the beach, where we played all day.

(Day four has no photos, but it was father's day, spent with the friends we were staying with)

My friend and I enjoyed lunch at my favorite restaurant, The Old Spaghetti Factory, where they make great food, but struggle with taking pictures. He thought he took three, but this is the only one my camera recorded. Later that day, we checked into a hotel, nice and close to Disneyland.

This was our first day at Disney, where Merida told Chandler and Cadence a secret...

...Chandler got his Star Wars fix...

...and Cadence lost a tooth!

On our second day at Disneyland, we met Sully...

Explored Radiator Springs...

 ...and experienced 3D for the first time!

The next morning we drove seven hours north, to Muir woods, where we met up with our west coast cousins for a walk through the Redwoods. We ate dinner with them and spent the night at a hotel in San Fran.

Here we are at Lombard Street and overlooking the bridge. We drove to Rio Vista that afternoon, stopping on the way to take a free tour of the Jelly Belly factory. 

We were staying with Brian's aunt in Rio Vista, so we spent the day with her family except the evening when we drove back to San Fran to see Brian's cousin and his husband from Canada! We didn't expect to see them on this trip at all, so it was a great surprise. 

We drove then. All day and all night (at least until 4:30 am) and crashed at our friends' house in Denver. We lazed around a day before driving the last leg to Nebraska. 

So thirteen days in all, each one filled to the brim. At the end of it, I'm jazzed to be part of this little family. So many memories and smiles when we weren't fighting over the big Ipad. So glad we decided so long ago to do a No Spend month and set a goal. None of this would've happened otherwise. 

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