We had an amazing time in California! I feel so blessed to have the job I do that allows us such amazing and great experiences.
Tuesday night we headed out. It was exhausting and hard for me to leave for work Tuesday morning and then straight to a plane but the kids excitement was so fun! Lyse was beside herself with it!! Bart was super sweet and drove us to the airport from his hangar.
When we arrived at the airport we were early and decided to grab some food. When I asked Lyse what she wanted she replied, "Nothing. Can we go get on the plane now?" She was just so excited to get to California. We got on the plane, both girls were amazing. They got in and got in their seats and they just watched TV and hung out. I really do have amazing and great girls.
After landing and getting in our fun van (it was the same as our van, the Chrysler Town and Country except it was the touring addition so many upgrades and it was blue) we headed to Knott's Berry Farm for a yummy dinner. As soon as dinner was over Lyse was chomping at the bit to get to the hotel and get swimming.
The girls loved hearing the front desk clerk at our hotel tell us the pool and spa were 24 hours :) We, of course, got in our swimming suits and swam for a bit before hitting our beds. We had a big day at Disney the next day.
At about 6:00 I woke up on Wednesday. I let everyone sleep for a bit but at 6:30 I got them all up and started getting our Princesses dressed and ready for their day in Disney. Katy went dressed as Jasmine and Lyse was dressed as Aurora.
Disney truly was the perfect day. Lyse and Katy each had 1 melt down. We talked about it and moved on and it truly was amazing. After each ride the girls would say, "Let's do that again!" When asked their favorite ride Katy responded she loved Splash Mountain the most but she also loved Pirates. For Lyse her favorite ride was Splash Mountain or Space Mountain. Both of the girls loved Nemo and Lyse was mesmerized by Soaring Over California.
My dad was able to get us into Club 33 so we had a hopper pass and we also were able to eat at the club. I love that we have been able to have this amazing opportunity so many times in our life. It can't get much better to eat at a 5 star amazing restaurant and get into Disney and California Adventure for free! The food was amazing and the just treat the kids so good.
The day at Disney was not overly busy. We got on pretty much every ride. They closed "It's a Small World" just as we were getting ready to ride it (they had to get it ready for the firework show). We were a bit disappointed but honestly it was the ONLY ride we wanted to ride on and we couldn't.
Parades for Christmas in Disneyland are AMAZING and MAGICAL! The girls were in heaven. Princesses, Mickey, Minnie, Mrs. Claus and of course Santa. They loved it and so did I. It was so great experiencing the magic in their eyes. You could not have asked for a better start for Christmas. The Spirit of Christmas is just so amazing, so giving.
After the parade, we experienced a fun and exciting "snow storm" and music to which we all LOVED it! We tried to get on "It's a Small World" and when that didn't happen we went to Pirates for a fun ride before fireworks.
Fireworks are always magical. I LOVE them. Fireworks to Christmas music, especially Silent Night and Away in a Manger, brings much more! I am so grateful for my Savior and his birth. I am grateful for this time of year and that so much love and giving goes with it! The fireworks ended and "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas" came on as MORE snow started to fall. The girls danced and it was just so magical and perfect. I love watching them just enjoy. It was so magical. I know I have said magical a million times but it is true...it was soooo magical! After the park closed, we stayed and shopped for a bit (we bought Katy a Tangled Rapunzel doll and Lyse wanted the Sleeping Beauty little barbie doll) then headed back to the room. The girls CRASHED and were sound asleep FAST!
Thursday morning we got up and headed out to the favorite Anaheim Dollar Store then headed to the beach for the day. The beach was NOT warm but it was wonderful. Katy found a sand dollar and Ben later found one for Lyse. Isn't that amazing?!? While on the beach a nice lady stopped and told us about a free aquarium right there in Hermosa beach. We had to check it out and we did! FUN!!! Lyse was in heaven petting and touching so many sea creatures. We pet a sea cucumber, star fish, a bat ray, a horned shark and many other little sea life things. It was a lot of fun.
Following the beach we went down to Blue Grill and dock area to which we found Seals (or maybe it was Sea Lions) out in the ocean. It was COLD but so much fun watching them jump in and out of the water. As we got in the car Lyse said, "Mom I saw 2 seals dancing...then they kissed on the lips!" How cute is that?!?
We went back to the room and swam for a bit then got dressed and headed over to Downtown Disney for some shopping and of course that amazing Firework display! It was a blast and we had so much fun. We ate some french donuts and the girls fell in love with Build a Bear. Jana is so amazing. She always thinks of my girls and this time is no exception. She gave us a little money to get something special for the girls. Well we decided Build a Bear was just that so each girl picked a Bunny. Lyse named hers Violet and Katy named hers Rose. The girls LOVED putting them all together and picking out an outfit. Lyse loved bathing her bunny and did it for a long time. Katy much preferred a short bath and LONG shopping and trying outfits on her bunny time! I was impressed as each girl spent so much time making sure their bunny was happy and dressed in the outfit they wanted!
After getting the bunnies we headed back to our room. We raced across Disneyland and had so much fun! We laughed and the girls giggled as we raced. I have to say it was super fun. I am so grateful we can do that as a family now!
When we got back to the room and the girls in bed, I climbed in bed and was asleep in seconds. It was such a fun trip and so much needed! I feel so blessed to have been able to take my girls and family on such an amazing trip. We couldn't have done it without Jetblue and our flight benefits.
Friday morning (EARLY morning like 4:30 for flight check in and 5:30 for heading out the door) we got up and headed to the airport. We checked in and soon enough we got on the plane and headed home. The flight home seemed to go fast and it was great to get back home to Utah. While I love going on vacation, I truly love my home!! Jana was wonderful and came and picked us up and a big long nap this afternoon was the perfect ending.
Tonight I am sitting in my living room, finishing the laundry and thankful I get to go to work tomorrow (or at least I am telling myself that)! It truly was amazing and I am so grateful for a wonderful Christmas start.
Thanks Mom and Dad for Disneyland - Best Christmas present EVER!! :)
Pictures to follow later :)