Thursday, September 29, 2016

never a dull moment

the hub surprised us one saturday morning when he got up and said "you know, i kinda miss disneyland.  i think we should go today and ride some rides!"

he's the lone wolf in this family with the fact that amusement parks aren't really his thing.  he happily buys our disney annual passes every year knowing how happy it makes us, but he hasn't bought one for himself in ages.  but we weren't going to give him any time to change his mind, and so we bought him a one day, one park ticket online and hopped in the car to head down to anaheim.

given the choice between the two parks, he decided he wanted to visit the california adventure.  the old lady and her special friend were already there, celebrating their 2-year anniversary, albeit in the disneyland side of the resort.  and so when we got there, we took this and sent it to them so they'd see what we were up to for the day.


because daddy was there for a change, the bean took advantage and managed to squeeze an ice cream cone in right as we went through the turnstiles.


and then while she spent some time running around through the redwood creek play area, we hung out and took selfies.  you know, the usual.


the bean is no stranger to photo ops, either.


it was a really warm day, and without the old lady to complain about not wanting to get wet, we talked the bean into going onto the rapids ride.  she's always pretty leery of it because of the sizable drop you can see when standing near the ride, but she sucked it up and off we went.



we managed to get just a little bit wet, which made everyone happy.  next up, tower of terror.  the ride is going to be closed down at the end of the year for a while as they work on re-theming it to "guardians of the galaxy," and so we're trying to ride it as often as we can while we can.  i was a little surprised to hear singing coming from inside, and we found this group performing for the crowds in line.


the bean's expressions always crack me up on this ride.


in cars land, we headed right for luigi's rollickin' roadsters.  it's a cute little ride that rarely has a long wait and he'd never been on it, so he let us drag him there.


radiator springs racers always has an insane line - usually around 60 minutes or so.  but the single rider line often goes much faster than that, and since the bean is okay with riding it solo we usually go that route.  we got lucky this time though, because not only did we get placed in the same car but the family we were sitting with decided to rearrange, letting us sit together.


we caught the second half of the pixar play parade, which we hadn't watched in forever.


and the hub decided to grab himself an adult beverage...or two.


it was fun to watch them together as the bean soaked in the experience of having her daddy at the 'land.



she took this for us...and a few more.


for dinner, we'd made a reservation at wine country trattoria.  the hub was a little less than impressed with his "flight" of wine.


and then on our way out, we stopped at the lego store in downtown disney.  i'm not gonna lie, i would kind of love this disney castle set.  don't know where we'd put it, but it sure would be fun to put together.


we sure do love unexpected disneyland days with the hub.  maybe one day he'll get a pass again...but probably not.  heh.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

best. sleepover. EVER.

with all of the traveling we did throughout the summer, i never got the chance to fulfill a promise i'd made to the bean and one of her BFFs, my co-leader's daughter.  after the bean had a sleepover at her house, we'd vowed to reciprocate and have one at our house.  she loves having friends come over to hang out (i mean, who doesn't?) and once school started and our routine was back in place, we finally found a good time to have her over for the night.  the old lady was off visiting her special friend for the weekend, the hub was out for poker night, and it was perfect.

there weren't any good movies out for us to see, and i didn't really want to have them glued to a screen the whole evening.  and so while the bean was at school that day, i headed out to target to do some brainstorming and find some activities to do.  i found some cute looking craft kits on sale, so i scooped those up, along with a bunch of fun erasers from our local daiso store.


the next thing i tackled was going upstairs into the attic.  i knew we had to have a tent smaller than the massive 10-person one we'd brought camping, and i was right. i found it tucked way back in the corner, still packed in the original box, just waiting to be used.  i dragged the air mattress down too, because why not?  and then i proceeded to spend the better part of the next hour trying to figure out how to put that damn tent together.  because it's several years old, it wasn't one of those quick and easy ones that you just toss up in the air and it pops open.  nope.  this one had poles.  lots of 'em.  i was so proud of myself when i finally got it all assembled with the air mattress in place.


although she was already super stoked about the sleepover, the bean was over the moon when she walked in the door and saw all of my prep.  she ran right over to the tent with a book in hand and spent a little time reading while lounging on the air mattress.

it ended up being a crappy way to find out that the air mattress i'd lugged down and inflated had a hole in it somewhere.


gah.  i was so annoyed.  i know we have another one somewhere, but i couldn't find it after a quick glance around the attic on a second trip up.  and so i grabbed the only one i found, which was only twin-sized, and texted my co-leader to see if she could bring theirs too.  luckily, she had easy access to it, and the sleepover was saved.


after her friend arrived and they spent some time catching up and hugging and squealing and all that kinda stuff, we dove right into the first activity of the evening.  i'd printed out the recipe for nestlĂ© toll house cookies and told them that they were going to make a batch of them all by themselves.  of course, i stuck around to supervise and to offer assistance if needed, but for the most part those two huddled over that recipe and measured out the ingredients and mixed the batter and got everything done all by themselves.  i handed each of them a cookie scoop and gave them each a cookie sheet and let 'em go to town.


while the cookies were in the oven, i showed them how to roll ground beef into little burger patties.  i'd already seasoned it, and they had a blast making their own sliders.




they were beyond excited and about as proud of themselves over those cookies as i'd been with that tent.  as they should - they came out perfectly, and were super delicious.


by then, i was done for the night.  i reminded them to brush their teeth and then i left them alone to bond and do their thing for the rest of the night.  in any other case i wouldn't have cared what time they went to bed, but unfortunately they both had a somewhat early morning and had to get some sleep.


everyone was out of the house by 7:30 the next morning, headed off to saturday activities, but i managed to send BFF out with a couple of eggos and a promise to do it again when we didn't have to rush around the next morning.

you know what that means.  next sleepover, they're making me breakfast.  muahahahahahahahaha.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

the year of second place

the l.a. county fair has come and gone, and i can't believe how fast the time went by this year.  we debated going on opening day - mostly because the bean and i were dying to see how our entries fared in the competitions - but we decided to hold off and wait for sunday morning as soon as the gates opened.



because i'd bought a groupon for our tickets, we got to bypass the box office...although there was no line anyway because of the early hour.


first stop, breakfast!  we shared some cheesy bacon bombs and french toast bombs to start off with from here:




it was blessedly overcast and rather cool that morning.



after devouring those little fried pieces of heaven, we headed right into the culinary showcases to find my cookies.  as i expected, my idea was nowhere near clever nor original:


and we were pretty surprised to see that the wooden benches had been replaced with these comfy pleather chairs.


the old lady and the hub found my cookies first, and although i'd gotten a heads up from my friend AMP on opening day, i was still pretty stinking stoked to spot that red 2nd place ribbon next to them.


i've now taken 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.  i wasn't even aware that there was a 4th place ribbon until i saw it in another case in all its pink glory.  is it wrong that i'm kinda hoping to take 4th next year?


next it was the bean's turn.  we walked through a few buildings before we finally figured out where her drawing was, and she was beyond excited to see her art on display.



but first - did you know that there was a category for entering collections of stuff?  like, some kids actually turned in their prized shopkins collections to have them put on display and hopefully take home a ribbon.


there were tons and tons of pieces of art to look through as we searched for the bean's pencil drawing of judy hopps from zootopia.  the old lady found it first, and then brought her sister over to see it.  it was up high, so the hub picked her up for a good close-up look:



the other half of the building was set up with all sorts of fun stuff for the kids to play with.  there were fun photo ops:



big areas for dress-up and other imaginative play:





 and even a few simple but fun games.



 all the while, we were being side eyed by the bunny in the cage.  kinda creepy.


in the next building, we found all sorts of sports-themed games and exhibits.






of course, there was lots of shopping (i really want an embroidery machine):





and more food.




 plus a lot of cute animals:




 and the bean decided to partake in her sister's annual henna tradition.




with our feet throbbing, we indulged in $.50 worth of foot massages on the footsie wootsie:


 took one more look around:


and bounced outta there.


 i'd call that one pretty productive fair day.

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