Monday, April 18, 2011

California Dreamin'

We had originally scheduled our trip to California for the first week of March but I *still* had to flu (after 2 weeks!) so we canceled our hotel reservations and decided that we would go during Spring Break, almost 6 wks later.  Let me tell you, that was a LONG 6 wks! We love this yearly trip and couldn't wait for a little down time. When Spring Break finally arrived, we packed up the boys (and nearly half our belongings) and headed south!

Day 1- We left Saturday morning and drove through snow (for 4 hours!) until we hit St. George. The weather was so terrible when we left home that it just made us feel all the better to leave it behind. Once we hit Cali, the sun was shining and the skies were clear. We knew we were in for a great week. That night we settled into our hotel room and got poki bowls from our favorite sushi spot.
Yum! Poki!   
Day 2- We had originally planned on going to the beach on Sunday but at the last minute we decided to do our first day at Disneyland instead. We figured it may be better to have a rest day on Tuesday, in the midst of all the theme park madness. This ended up being a really good decision.

As soon as our shuttle arrived at Disney, we went right to guest services to pick up what I like to call our Autism Fastpass. This little card is like GOLD! We get on every ride with no wait. Such a beautiful thing. I used to feel a little guilty using it but now I just see it as the universe's way of paying us back for all the struggles. Having a child with autism doesn't come with many perks so we really relish this one. Will and I joked with each other that some people would pay any amount of money for a card like this.  You wouldn't believe how much you can see and do in one day when you don't have to wait in lines.
We're at Disneyland!

Anyway, I digress. Where was I? Oh yeah, so we got our pass and started the boys out slowly on the kiddie rides. The boys took turns picking rides and we rode everything we wanted to ride in Fantasyland by lunch so we headed to Tomorrowland. We made it to the Jedi Academy show a few minutes early and made some signs while we waited.

They were the first ones picked!

Cooper takes the Jedi training very seriously and even stood solemnly with his hands clasped behind his back as the Jedis made there way out to the stage. It was his way of showing reverence and respect for them. All the other kids were jumping up and down yelling but not Cooper. He's a true Padawan. Haha! That kid cracks me up.  Coleman couldn't have cared less about it all.  This pic kinda shows that. Cooper is all ready to fight and Coleman? He is staring at his feet, off in a Fantasyland off his own, I'm sure.
Next, we headed over the other side of the park to explore. Coleman started feeling not so great while we were on Tom Sawyer Island so we rested for a while and I made sure he drank some water. He had been complaining a little about his tummy hurting earlier but I didn't think too much of it since he wasn't making a big deal of it. We then rode the Winnie the Pooh ride and I bought a treat next door to officially end my 30 day sugar detox. This was a big deal so I wanted something GOOD.  I bought a $5 Mickey chocolate and ended my streak. Not the best chocolate I've eaten but any sugar at all would've put a smile on my face at that point. Oh, happy day! I was back on the sugar-guzzlin' wagon! :)

A little bit later, we headed to Downtown Disney to look around and when we stopped to get the boys some cotton candy, Coleman, without warning, threw up right in front of the cart. No "I-think-I-need-to-hurl" look on his face. Not even a preemptive dry heave to warn us. It must have surprised him as much as it did us because he just stood there. I quickly pushed him over to the bushes behind the cotton candy cart to finish up. Poor guy. Throwing up at Disneyland. :( But not 5 minutes later, he said, "I feel way better!" and we continued on with our day. He is such a trooper.

Day 3- Disney's California Adventure- More rides. Coleman and I rode a lot of the rides together that Will didn't want to ride (namely the ferris wheel and, well, anything else that goes in a circle.) Cooper was still a little gun shy about most the rides in DCA.
We didn't split up too often, though. We rode the Toy Story ride together.
And the Bug's Land rides.
And we explored together at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.

Plus, we all happily learned how to draw Grumpy at the Animation Academy.
Well, most of us. One of us was "grumpy" about not being able to keep up.
Poor Cooper. He was so sad. Looks good to me, though!

We ended our long day with Soarin' Over California
 and a quick pic in front of the Tron lights.
Another day at the park, another night of pure exhaustion. Hotel beds never felt so comfortable. :)

Day 4- Rest Day!- Will and I love the rest days because we basically just roam around looking for unique places to eat. The boys went swimming that morning for a couple of hours at the hotel pool. (A side note: Cooper really swam! He was swimming underwater just like a little fish.) After swimming, we went to Trader Joe's and picked up some fun food- yuca chips, cocoa nibs, sprouted wheat bagels, peanut butter cream cheese. I love this store. So much cool stuff! After Trader Joe's we went to H&M and I bought some super stylish jeans for little Coops. Then, we drove to Newport Beach and ate an amazing seafood joint, Bear Flag Fish Co. So good! Then it was over to the pier to see the ocean and put our feet in the water. Although, the boys couldn't help but go in a little deeper. They weren't in swim trunks and we had no towels with us but how could I tell them to not go in. It's the ocean!
After a little frolicking, we grabbed a couple doughnuts from a boardwalk bakery and bought some smoked salmon from another seafood place and headed back to the hotel. Another full day of active resting. Loving vacation!

Day 5- Legoland!-
We had never gone to Legoland in the past but Cooper is such a Star Wars Lego superfan that we decided to give it a go this year. We had heard that it was great for smaller kiddos so we knew the boys would like it. All the rides were low on the intensity scale, which Cooper really liked. The lines were short and the park is clean and well-maintained.
Cooper also got his Star Wars Lego fix.
Coleman rode a semi-fast but still very small coaster here and was really warming up to the idea of riding some of the bigger coasters at Disney.

Day 6- Our last day in California. :( We spent the day going back and forth between Disneyland and California Adventure, riding everything that we missed the first couple of days. Coleman had finally built the nerve to ride the big coasters so he and Will started the day by riding Space Mountain.  Then Coleman and I tried out the Matterhorn. I totally forgot my camera in the rush to catch the shuttle that morning so I only got a couple pics with my camera phone. Here's a pic of a pic of Coleman and I on California Screamin'.  That was a big deal.
I was so impressed that he rode it. He was really scared while we were in line but afterward, it was all he could talk about and he even rode it again with Will. We were very proud of him for overcoming his fear. The day seemed to go by so quickly and before we knew it we were watching the World of Color show and enjoying our final moments at the park.
We arrived back at our hotel at midnight. We were all exhausted once again. Gotta' love an active vacation. ;)

Day 7- After sleeping in, we got all packed up and headed home. We were so sad to leave, as always.  What a blessing this last week was to us. So many fun memories were made. I loved being able to spend all this time together. I can't wait until the next trip we take together.

1 comment:

Nona said...

Wears me out just reading about it all....but I love the smiles!! What fun, and what wonderful memories you have made for your family.

Love you all!!


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