Friday, October 26, 2012

California 2012

The second the Utah Football Schedule was released, my husband planned a trip to an away game. Luckily, the game of choice was UCLA-which meant DISNEYLAND! We started preparing Ellie early so that she would enjoy the trip as much as possible. We showed her movies, talked to her about the characters (she fell hard for Buzz Lightyear and Captain Hook), and made a countdown chain. After what seemed like forever, the day of departure finally arrived. We broke the drive into two on the way down and were able to stop in Vegas and see Paul's sister and some friends. We drove to Newport the next day and spent the next few days just relaxing, enjoying some pool time, and exploring the city.

Ellie is lucky her dad likes the water as much as she does. They swam every chance they got. 

We borrowed my Grandpa's van for the trip so we would have a little more room. Ellie LOVED everything about the van. 

We then hit Disneyland for the next few days. We thought we were being smart going the week before UEA and that we would miss the crowds. Boy were we wrong. Not only did we share the park with half the state of Utah but the state of Arizona was on fall break and decided to join us as well. Despite the crowds-the weather was great, timing for everything worked out well, and we had a blast! Ellie loved the carousels (seriously? you can ride those at the mall), Monsters Inc., The Little Mermaid ride, the teacups (I have to pat myself on the back for actually going on this one, pregnant, and not losing it), and Buzz Lightyear's AstroBlasters. She would crash every afternoon around 3-which was perfect for us. We would stake out our spot early for the parade, let her nap and either enjoy some ice cream in peace or Paul would sneak off and ride the big rides. Maybe it was the prime seating, maybe it was the music, or maybe it was seeing all of her favorite characters, but Ellie was nuts about the parades. We literally had to hold on to the back of her shirt to prevent her from joining the parade herself. Seeing her wave to all her favorite characters made the trip totally worth it...Priceless.

Now for a picture overload...

Loving the parade

We can't go to Disneyland without snacking on the delicious pickles.

Cars Land is quite impressive...and overly crowded

Monsters Inc. is Ellie's new favorite movie-we rode this ride like 20 times

Ellie loved the characters from afar-but got a little shy up close

We decided to enjoy the Halloween season at Disneyland by getting tickets for 'Mickey's Halloween Party'. I am so glad that Paul took the plunge and bought these tickets for us. It was by far our most favorite day at Disneyland. They keep the park open from 6-11 for those with tickets and have a variety of Halloween festivities. We got to go trick-or-treating, see a special parade, ride the rides, meet the characters, watch a special fireworks show, and dress up in costume. 

They limit the amount of tickets given out, which decreased the wait time for rides...SO NICE!

I think we found a favorite vacation spot!

After four straight days of Disneyland, we were ready for a change of pace. We met up with some friends for a fun beach day. What started out as a rainy, cloudy day quickly turned and we ended up having a beautiful beach day. On the drive home we asked Ellie what she liked better-Disneyland or the beach. Of course, the beach. 

Paul was so good to get down and fully play in the sand with Ellie. Sand and I aren't the best of friends so I limited my play to getting the hands dirty. 

Loved every minute of it

Paul rented a body board and spent half the afternoon catching some "waves"

And last but not least, the game. I had never been to an away game before and had all these concerns in my mind about people yelling at us or throwing food at us. I don't know what I was thinking. Everyone around us was so nice! We ended up scalping tickets and scored big when we wound up in about the only section with shade for the whole game and it wasn't squishy crowded-which kept us sane because Ellie could actually move around. Except for the loss, the game turned out to be best case scenario. 

After the game, we hit the road and decided to power through the night and make the drive in one day. We had such a good time, but there's no place like home!

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