Friday, October 24, 2008

Fixing the Disney Experience

After the debacle that was the combined family Disneyland outing earlier this year, we were left with a problem. You see, the Elquist family loves Disneyland. To have it tainted just wasn't sitting well. It seemed the only fix would be to get back down there and have a great time. A GetAwayToday flier arrived in the mail, showing a great deal on a hotel we hadn't tried, and before we knew it we were locked and loaded for another Disneyland adventure.

This time, we were all driving down. I was terrified of how Traven would react to spending that much time in the car. I bought a dvd player for the Suburban, and Lori picked up some of his favorite shows for him to watch. We were loaded with snacks and treats. We even picked up a hitch hauler, so we wouldn't have a mountain of luggage on top of the Burb. Even with that, we were loaded from top to bottom when we finally started off.

The trip down was smooth. We stopped in Fillmore for lunch, then Mesquite for fuel. After a dinner stop in Baker, we made it to the Staybridge Suites before 9:00 pm. I was amazed. Traven was so well behaved, and the other kids were nice to each other as well. The only time Traven complained was if both Kaylee and Alyssa tried to nap at the same time!

Some of my favorite memories of this trip are:

- watching Traven at the Pixar parade. He was on Braden's shoulders, and man did he love the music and action! He was dancing around on Braden, riding him like a bucking bronco!

- watching Traven when a ride would stop. He simply did not understand why it stopped or why he had to get off. He would pitch a 5 alarm fit, screaming, throwing his head around like a battering ram. It was ugly, but funny at the same time.

- observing Braden walk into a Mickey Mouse bench.

- observing Braden make fun of how noisy Jason was going up the stairs, then proceeding to trip on a stair and fall in a rather loud manner.

- forgetting to tell Alyssa that I was going to do laundry, Jason, Traven and Braden were going to check on the pool, and Lori and Kaylee were going shopping. Alyssa came out of the bathroom to find her family had vanished. She was not happy!

- riding the new Toy Story Midway Mania ride. The line was long, but it was worth the wait.

- watching the fireworks show with my family.

- going on the Haunted Mansion ride when it was taken over by "The Nightmare Before Christmas".

- riding Splash Mountain with Braden, Jason and Alyssa, and staying dry while Jason was soaked from head to toe.

- discovering there is something to eat in Disneyland besides a cheeseburger.

- listening to Alyssa and buying frozen lemonades on Friday. It was incredibly hot, and the lemonade did the trick to re-energize the gang.

We stayed so late on Saturday, that we didn't leave for home until close to 11:00 am. We made it to Las Vegas around 5:00 pm, and decided to crash there for the night. I think this was a great move on our part. I don't think I could have safely driven another 6 hours that day. I was so worn out from vacation!

My one regret is that we did not make it onto Finding Nemo, which is Lori's favorite ride. Next time, that will be a priority. I'd like to say that we will wait for a couple of years before going back, but I don't think I can resist the Disney magic for that long. All I have to do is hear a song from one of the rides and I am ready to go! Maybe I shouldn't have picked up that two cd pack of Disneyland songs.....

I guess my other regret would be not taking enough pictures. I need to invest in a quality, small camera that I can just carry around in my pocket.

This trip definitely fixed Disneyland for me, and I look forward to going again.