Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Arabic Fun

I am still working on getting photos up from our visit with my grandparents in California. For now, here is a cute video of my grandfather playing a little game in Arabic with Gabby.

Early Mother's Day Breakfast

Kenton's step-sister Micki will be out of town for Mother's Day, so they invited us to celebrate early at a girls' breakfast this morning. We met up at Cracker Barrel and had a good time (in between my daughter's short whining and crying fits...oh 3-yr-olds...). Here's a pic of just the girls!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pretty in Pink

Friday, April 16, 2010


Day 2 began early as we headed to Disneyland, aiming to get there close to when it opened. We were pleasantly surprised to see Mickey and Goofy walking around near the main entrance, so we quickly got some autographs and photos.

The photo above is one of my favorites. She just looks like she is in awe of Mickey!

Unfortunately, there were so many people around, I couldn't get a really great shot of Gabby with Goofy.

The whole point of going to breakfast with the princesses was so we could spend our one day at Disneyland doing something other than waiting in line to see the princesses. What did we end up doing as per our daughter's request? Yep. Waiting in line to see the princesses. An hour+ later, we saw three of them (they rotate who is there throughout the day) - Snow White, Sleeping Beauty (much better than yesterday), and Jasmine!

Notice how none of us are actually riding in the teacup ride? Gabby refused to go on it since I wouldn't go with her (I get motion sick). It was the only ride I wouldn't go on and since Mommy wasn't going, either was she. You have to love the lady on her cell phone in the blue teacup above.

One thing we did wait for was Princess Tiana's New Orleans show she does a few times a day. She performed for about 15 minutes and even invited the kids up on stage. Gabby reluctantly went up, but you can see she isn't that happy about it below.

After the Tiana show, we headed over to the Winnie the Pooh ride and character greeting area. Gabby LOVED the characters in full costume (unlike the princesses who were more "human"). She especially liked Eeyore and Tigger.

Kenton & Gabby in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle. You can actually walk through the castle and look through a lot of glass window displays that take you through the whole story of Sleeping Beauty. It was pretty dark and creepy in the castle, so Gabby got a little scared because she thought Maleficent was going to pop out at any second around a corner. Haha!

Waiting in line for Autopia...

All 3 of us rode in one car and we let Gabby steer. She couldn't really stay on the track well, so we just kept bobbling back and forth from left to right. Each time the car hit the track that keeps it in place, we would jolt and then laugh. It was probably my favorite ride of the trip because we did it as a family and Gabby had SO MUCH FUN driving that car! It will be a fond memory of how much we laughed while riding in that smelly, seemingly diesel-fueled car.

We stumbled upon Mickey's house thinking the line looked fairly short. What we didn't know was that once you get in the house, you go through a VERY long maze of rooms, lines, and more before you actually get to Mickey. We thought he was right inside the house. What fools we were. We had already seen him that morning and would NOT have waited in line had we known how long it was going to be. We still got a cute photo of Gabby touching Mickey inappropriately.

Gabby took the photo above before the fireworks at night. People were all walking around us to give her space to take our picture. They all thought she was so cute holding my huge DSLR Nikon. Then once she took the picture, a few people saw it come up on the screen of the camera and said, "Hey! Not bad! She did pretty well for a little kid!" I have to agree!

This photo makes me laugh. We had settled onto a park bench and Gabby curled up in her stroller under a blanket, waiting for the fireworks to begin. It was painfully cold and she closed her eyes, exhausted from the long day but determined to see those fireworks. We were all just waiting around when Kenton said, "Hey! There's Minnie!" Minnie came around the corner and Gabby flew out of that stroller faster than she's moved in months. She ran right over to Minnie and stood right by her leg, staring up at her and smiling. We quickly jumped into a short line of about 5 people and were able to get some photos with Minnie in her polka-dot dress.

Look at ALL the PEOPLE! There were probably about 50,000 people there that day.

After a long day, we called it quits about 2 minutes into the fireworks show. Gabby had fallen asleep and despite our attempts to wake her up, she stayed asleep until we got on the bus that took us to our hotel. Poor thing was just exhausted and Kenton and I were freezing. We were very happy to go home to our warm hotel room, but enjoyed our trip to Disneyland. It's not someplace I would want to go to annually, but one or two trips while your kids are young is appropriate. Gabby definitely made a lot of memories and this trip was one we will remember forever.

Our California Adventure

For Spring Break this year, we decided we were long past due for a trip to Santa Barbara, CA to see my grandparents. Since Gabby is in her "princess" phase, we thought it might be cool to made a detour down to Anaheim to visit Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. I took about 600 photos over the course of the trip, so I am breaking up the posts to ensure that I capture everything. Today's post will be focused on Disney's California Adventure, which was the first thing we did on vacation. Gabby took her first airplane trip (that she remembers), which she was very excited about. You can see the smile below!

These trees are literally what you see when you step out of the Santa Barbara "airport." I use the term airport loosely because the whole place is about the size of a large ranch-style house. It is open-air and teeny tiny. I love that place because you never wait in line that long. They don't even have a baggage carousel, just a few guys who throw your loot onto two steel tables!

After a quick visit with my grandparents, we headed to Anaheim, had dinner, and got up the next morning for our fun day at Disney's California Adventure (on the same property as Disneyland). The first thing we did in the morning was have breakfast with the Disney princesses. Gabby loved it, although you will see that she did cry at first. I think she was overwhelmed that after all of the build up and excitement, she was finally meeting them!

Gabby's favorite, Ariel! Too bad she was blurry in this one.

Sleeping Beauty was the only princess who really stunk. She barely talked to Gabby and looks like she is about 35 years old. If I remember correctly, isn't Aurora supposed to be 16? Riiiight.

Cinderella rocked. She was SO sweet!

After this family photo op, we headed to the Aladdin show (about 40 minutes) inside this huge theater that held 700 people! It was massive. The show was SO cool. They even had a flying carpet that Aladdin and Jasmine rode on for "A Whole New World." The genie completely stole the show, though. He was hilarious and had very current jokes, which made the show even better for the adults!

Gabby riding King Triton's Carousel. What can I say? The girl really loves carousels.

We did ride this very unique ferris wheel later in the day. Some of the cars were stationary, but others actually slid along these tracks (blow up the photo and you will see them) and then the cars would sway. We opted for the non-swaying cars, and I'm glad we did because it was really windy at the top. Other rides we went on that are not included in the photos were Monsters Incorporated (Gabby's favorite ride), A Bug's Life train, and we saw a Muppet 3-D movie. It was so cute and Gabby kept reaching her hand out in front of her to touch things she thought were in front of her face. Overall, our day at CA was really fun. We left a little early to rest, eat dinner, and attempt to adjust to the 3-hour time change! Next up...Disneyland!