Tuesday, April 25, 2017

flying high for the last day of spring break

our last weekday of spring break 2017 was spent with friends who'd been stuck at home all week long while almost everyone in the family took turns being sick.  talk about worst break ever, boo.

and so we were excited to be able to hang out with them for at least one day, when everyone was finally well again.  after debating between a handful of different options, we settled on heading out to universal citywalk for some lunch and whatever else we might find along the way.

as many times as we've been here, we've never stopped at saddle ranch to eat.  i think i've been once or twice back in the day, but it was the bean's first time.

they played a little foosball while we waited to be seated.

the food wasn't bad, reasonably priced, and then everyone was excited when the server dropped off a plate of complimentary DIY s'mores to make at the fire pit just outside.  i never pass up a chance to roast some marshmallows.

and then we headed out to see what sort of mischief we could find.

for a friday afternoon, we were a little surprised to find no line at the newly opened voodoo doughnuts.

but no one was ready for a treat quite yet, and so we decided to keep walking and come back later.  just around the corner we found something that i kind of figured we'd (or rather, the kids would) end up doing:

the bean has wanted to try this forever, and her friends had both done it at least once before.  we decided to split a package and got two out of the three kids (the third wasn't really feeling it) into orientation and suited up.

they joined their group in the tunnel and listened to some final instructions before getting started.

they each got two turns, and i loved watching the joy on my kid's face as she floated.  she couldn't peel that smile off of her face if she tried, heh.

it was over all too soon.

we laughed at her goggle face, and then she went up to accept her certificate.

there was still just one person in line to get into voodoo doughnuts, and so we decided to get in while the getting was still good.  we perused the menu while we waited:

it only took a few minutes of waiting before we were allowed inside to join the (still short) line.  there was lots to look at in there:

this would make a pretty fun halloween party prop, with or without the donuts.

i managed to resist the lure of the merchandise, but we all had fun checking everything out.

 and then we were finally at the front of the line.

i already had a good idea as to what we were going to order, but it was still fun to look at all of the different flavors.

 with pink box in hand, i left one happy camper.

there's grape ape, voodoo double bubble, the loop, and the mascot in there.  yum.

it was a pretty warm day, and the kids had all come prepared with bathing suits and extra clothing because there's a super fun waterplay area in the middle of city walk.  after getting all warm and sweaty in those flight suits, they were pretty happy to cool off at the splash pad.

luckily, we didn't hit much traffic on the way home and ended up at a local sushi spot for dinner together.  we were seated in their back room, where we sprawled out at the giant table, the kids spread themselves out on the couches and got handed the remote for the tv.

sushi, comfy seating and nickelodeon on the big screen - no better way to end a fun day together.

Monday, April 24, 2017

disneyland monday, the spring break edition

so yes, the bean finally got to join me and the old lady on one of our "disney mondays" while she was on spring break.  we were excited to be able to go without any time constraints, since we usually have to rush outta there to get back home for one thing or another.  knowing that we wanted to stay for the main street electrical parade and fireworks, we didn't arrive till around noon.  it was pretty busy, but it was okay - we already knew we likely wouldn't ride too many rides that day.

we did go on autopia though - it had been recently renovated with new sponsorship by honda.  all of the cars had honda logos on them now.

from there, we headed over to see our favorite stage show, "mickey and the magical map."  we've seen this so many times that we know the order of the songs and even have some favorite performers.  i know i've mentioned this guy before, but he's my favorite because he looks just like my cousin, and this is my favorite trumpet guy.  ridiculous, i know.

i'd made a matching version of the top i did for the bean during that pattern testing, so i decided to recreate her modeling shot in front of the castle.

as we headed to the next thing, we caught a glimpse of one of the disneyland ducks and her babies crossing the street.

at the beauty and the beast themed "maurice's treats" kiosk, we grabbed a "grey stuff twist" with some grey stuff dipping sauce, plus the red rose lemonade freeze.  it was all very tasty.

the bean had received a "pick any snack you want at disneyland" coupon during her easter egg hunt, and she redeemed it at the gibson girl ice cream parlor on main street.  while she sat and ate it, we decided to wait for the parade and did a lot of peoplewatching.

this is "mickey's soundsational parade," which we hadn't stopped to watch in ages.

aladdin paused and blew a kiss in our direction, and i thought i was gonna bust a gut laughing at the old lady, who beamed and caught the kiss in her hand.

 whoops - one of the dancing princesses must've had a wardrobe malfunction.

when that was over, we headed over to adventureland for dinner.  we'd made a reservation at aladdin's oasis, where you can choose from a limited menu that will also get you a ticket to a special area for viewing the main street electrical parade.  definitely better than fighting for a spot with a bazillion other people.

i was pretty excited to see that our tickets were for the earlier parade at 8:30.  when we made the reservation, it said we would be seeing the 10:30 show, but maybe they had extra spots available.  score!

our meal included salad, entree and dessert plus a bottled beverage.  and the plastic flatware was nicer than that usually used throughout the park.

this was the lasagna entree:

and the kids' macaroni and cheese.

not long after that, it was time to head over to our special viewing area in fantasyland, up near small world.  you can see how insanely crowded the street already was, and this was an hour before showtime!

we found a spot that was a little elevated above the street behind this railing.

and this was our view once the parade began.

we stayed put for the fireworks, which would have started about a half hour later, but because of the winds that had kicked up earlier in the evening, they were cancelled.  boo.

still, it had been a pretty fun day and we were tired.  till next time, disneyland!
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