A year and a half ago, we (my parents, sister, brother-in-law, their two kiddos, and our family) began to plan a family trip to Disneyland. I honestly believe that from the moment my mom first found out she was going to be a grandparent she had been planning this trip. It was such a special thing to get to share together, and we were excited. So when you have so many people involved and have planned for so long, the flu isn't going to get in the way.
We spent four days in Disneyland and California Adventures, and one day in Legoland. It was a wonderful, exhausting adventure. We tried to get to the parks as soon as they opened, ride as many rides as the kiddos were up for until lunch or early afternoon, then head back to the hotel for naps. The evenings were spent either back at the park or hanging out in the hotel rooms, where we could watch the fireworks every night.
In the interest of total honesty, this was a little bit of a strange vacation for our family to take. We've chosen to not do "licensed characters" in our home, and our boys don't really watch movies (most still feel too scary for our oldest). So, to go somewhere where it's all about character and movie recognition was a little strange. While they enjoyed the Peter Pan ride, they know nothing of the story it is based upon. They really don't recognize most of the princesses. The things that they knew (the main Disney characters that they have seen on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and the characters from Toy Story) they really enjoyed, but everything else had no context.
This didn't stop them (or us) from enjoying everything. They were braver than I expected and tried all sorts of rides. They didn't mind the lines or the crowds like I thought they might. They did a fabulous job not begging for treats or toys at every turn, and "thank yous" were constant. Really, I was so proud of how well they handled it all. And yes, we did break our characters rule for the souvenirs they were allowed to choose at the end of the week. Each boy ended up with a Mickey Mouse Christmas ornament, a stuffed animal (Pluto and Perry), and a watch.
The best part of all was being with family. While the time to just hang out was way too short, watching the cousins play together was worth it all. They each have a fun connection to each other that was only heightened by riding Dumbo together or playing in the hotel pool. And I got to see my sister. That was pretty darn great, too.
SO, here's the photo overload! It's just a few highlights of a great time.