We did not think we would go back to Disneyland for a few more years but when the opportunity came up to go with family we decided to tag along. We are glad the Bensons allowed us to crash their party. Our kids love their cousins and it is fun to have other people to hang out with. Grandma Kay and the Stocks also joined us so it was a real family vacation. We started our trip by driving to SLC and celebrating our 10th anniversary. Then we drove to Las Vegas and spent the night with our good friends the Donats. We are grateful they were willing to share their mansion with us! Just kidding! We had a great time visiting with them and our kids loved playing with their kids. They had a great time swimming in the Las Vegas heat. We then continued on to Ananheim where the kids were excited to have bunkbeds in our hotel room. We had 3-day tickets to Disneyland and California Adventure.
The first day we went to Disneyland and hit Thunder Mountain Railroad right out of the gate. JJ is 39.5 inches tall and most of the rides have a 40 inch height requirement. So we brought along some old cowgirl boots made brown with shoe polish and hoped he was 40 inches by their signs.
Luckily he was and he only put up a little fight while putting them on the first time. We joked with the guy working the ride about the boots and he said he might have to report us to security. We learned our lesson and did not say another word. After that JJ knew to wear his boots with pride so he could do the rides. With the fast passes we did all the big stuff we wanted to do with little wait in line. I was so impressed with all my kids and their bravery. But JJ was exceptional! He did everything and loved it. After the ride he would give high-fives and say "that was awesome!" On some of the rides they take your picture and show you at the end. Mike snapped a quick picture of the picture on some of the rides to show how much fun the kids were having. Here are Eliza, Luke, and Abby on Space Mountain. They are so brave!
We also did the Jedi Training Academy.
Luke decided at the last minute he did not want to be chosen. But Eliza did it. We learned how to fight like a Jedi and then got to use her powers and fight Darth Maul. She did a great job and was the cutest Jedi I have ever seen.
The next day we did California Adventure. Eliza was so excited for California Screamin. She did it 5 times and loved it! The Tower of Terror was one I was nervous about. Luke also seemed very nervous and actually cried for most of the ride but after he said it was his favorite. I am so proud of him for going through with it. That night we got to see the Color Wonder show. It was awesome, we all loved it! The next day we went back to Disneyland to hit some small stuff we had not done yet and the Stocks joined us. Abby and Eliza got to meet Tinkerbell at Pixie Hollow.
They also met Minnie Mouse and got the traditional Disneyland photo by Sleeping Beauty's castle.
That night we met Grandma Kay for dinner and the famous Lego store that Luke had been waiting for. It was worth the wait. He wanted to spend some of his souvenir money and it was fun to check out the cool things made with legos.
That night we went back to California Adventure for more fun. We got the chance to do all the rides we wanted to again. Some of our favorites were Toy Story and Soarin over California. In Disneyland the boys loved Star Tours and Space Mountain. The first time on Splash Mountain Luke got the very front and he looked nervous. I wanted to move him but it was too late. He did not like the big hill at all.
We had to do some major convincing to have him do it again and he definitely wanted the back the second time. Here is JJ and Eliza getting ready for the second time, Eliza really wanted a chance to be in the front.
Everyone was very brave and well behaved. We did a lot of walking and standing and no one really complained. JJ napped two of the days and fell asleep on the walk back to the hotel twice. We all slept very well every night. Here are the kids on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and I even got the chance to meet Minnie Mouse.
After our long sunny days at Disneyland we got a short cloudy and chilly day at Corona Del Mar state beach. The kids still had fun despite the weather. Everyone enjoyed the waves and braved the chilly water.
The sand of course was also a big hit. We just did not stay as long as we might have if it were sunny.
That night we went to an Angels baseball game. JJ got to hang out with Aunt Tiffany and have a sleepover at her hotel with Taylor and Cameron who he loves. We went with Eliza, Luke, Sam, Belle, Jon, Brennan and Abby.
It was a great game and the kids had fun. Brennan won an Angels art set at the ring toss game and gave it to Eliza. He is a sweet boy. I love how all the cousins got along the whole time.
On Saturday we went to Long Beach and checked out the pier, it was a beautiful sunny day. That night we had a hotel in Newport Beach. The pool was awesome and we had it all to ourselves at the end. We walked to the mall and enjoyed a yummy dinner at PF Changs. On Sunday we left sunny California for equally sunny St. George. That night the kids enjoyed swimming again with cousins. On Monday Mike did the Subway hike in Zions with Kevin and the big kids. We hung out with Tiffany and Abby at the pool again and then drove home to hang out in Orem while the boys did the hike. Mike said it was one of the coolest hike he has ever done. We will go back when our kids are old enough to do it. The only bad thing about our trip was Tiffany got really sick with a kidney infection on Saturday and spent some time throwing up and she missed the hike. But other than that we had a wonderful vacation. We got home Tuesday at 2:30 in the morning, the kids slept in until 10:00 every morning that week. We are so glad we got the chance to go and hope our kids remember something about this fun family vacation.