Thursday, May 16, 2013

we love the land.

with the teen's birthday and mother's day just a couple of days apart, we made some good use of our disneyland annual passes over the last week.  you're shocked, i know.

now, although all four of us have passes, the hub's is a little different from the rest.  because he doesn't necessarily love the land as much as we girls do, he opted for the lowest tier of the four pass levels.  this means that he has a shitload of blacked out dates, which include just about every weekend and the entire month of july.  so damn near every time i try to rope him into joining us for a trip to the happiest place on earth, he can't.  last week after suggesting that we go for a few hours and getting shot down by one quick glance at the blackout calendar, i said to him "dude, your disneyland pass BLOWS."  we both got a good chuckle out of it and moved on to the next topic of conversation.

when i picked the bean up from school on friday, i told her that we were going to head down for a little disney fun and threw in that "daddy's coming with us, too!"  i turned around to see her reaction to the news and caught a super confused look on her little face.  when i asked her what was wrong, she said "but i thought you said daddy's pass exploded."

it was my turn to be thoroughly bewildered by her comment for a few minutes until i remembered what i'd said just days before.  in her mind, "blows" = "exploded."  oh em gee, i still crack up whenever i think about it.  kids, man.  their mind processes stuff in such comical ways sometimes.

just inside the main gate at california adventure, the teen stopped at the guest relations center to pick up a birthday button.  i was given a handful of these to pass out to the rest of the group:


the bean and the hub spent some quality time together while the teen and i headed off to enjoy a few "big kid" attractions that we don't usually get to ride.  a few hours later, we all met up at wine country trattoria to have a nice dinner.  after spotting the birthday buttons, our server surprised the teen with this:


we sang the birthday song really loudly, and then the bean waited anxiously as her sister spent an inordinate amount of time making a wish before finally blowing out her candle.


parking on the very top level of the gigantic "mickey & friends" garage really sucks...unless you time your departure to coincide with the fireworks extravaganza.  nobody does pyrotechnics quite like disney, and we were treated to a pretty fantastic view with zero crowds to contend with.


two days later, on mother's day, with the hub called away to work, we decided there was only one way to celebrate.


the disneyland resort agrees.  both parks were stocked with these, for all of the mamas in attendance that day.



it was a stupidly hot day - we're talking in the 90s here - and we managed to talk the bean into trying something new:  the grizzly river rapids ride.  she was pretty hesitant, but since the time on our fastpasses was several hours away, we eventually managed to wear her down.

but first, we did a few of her favorite rides and then headed over to bug's land to cool off with a little waterplay.  she got good and soaked here, along with a ton of other littles.


i don't know if it was the holiday or the heat, but it was surprisingly uncrowded at the parks that day.  we were able to squeeze a pretty decent number of rides into the five hours we were there.



and then, it was time.  those fastpasses cut our wait time to less than half, and before we knew it, we were strapping ourselves into place on a raft.  doesn't she look excited?


she clung to me for dear life through the entire ride (which, of course, only lasted a handful of minutes).  we both managed to get soaked to the skin, which felt lovely after all the sweaty walking we'd done.  and while she admitted later that the majority of the ride had been pretty fun, she absolutely hated the drop at the very end.  it wasn't actually a very long drop at all, but it was enough to scare the shit out of her for 3.2 seconds.  and yet she managed to muster up a smile for a group pic.  that's my girl.


to cap off a super fun day, we swung through the drive-thru at the hat for some dee-licious grub.  i despise the thought of going out to eat on mother's day - overpriced food, overcrowded restaurants, overworked servers.  no, thanks.  and so our celebratory dinner consisted of piles and piles of thinly sliced pastrami sandwiched into a french roll dipped in savory au jus, plus thick-cut fries with gravy for dippin'.

just the way i like it.

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