just like her mother a couple of weeks before, the bean kicked off her birthday week with a trip to the happiest place on earth. and just for her, we got the whole family up and out of the house super early for a rope drop sunday. yup, even the hub:
since we were there for her, she got to call all the shots for what she wanted to do. our first stop, as always, was the incredicoaster:
she was super stoked when we said yes to her request for a jack jack num num cookie...for breakfast.
we noticed people lined up at several snack carts around the park - ones that hadn't even actually opened for business yet. it wasn't until i actually stopped to look at what was being set up on them that i realized what the big attraction was. now, i don't actually get into this stuff, but lots of people do...these are the coveted, sells-out-in-a-snap thanos infinity gauntlet cups.
it's really funny watching all these grown adults walking around the park wearing that thing on their arm, sipping drinks out of them. i don't really get it, but to each his own, yes?
i'd secured us fastpasses for radiator springs racers, and for once our party was just the right size to fill an entire car. yay!
it was fun taking MIL onto guardians of the galaxy. it had been about 3 years since her last visit to the parks, and she didn't remember ever having ridden it when it was still the twilight zone tower of terror. she's always loved thrill rides, so she really had fun on this one.
soarin' around the world came next, and then the bean talked us into a ride that the old lady and her special friend just couldn't bring themselves to do: grizzly river rapids. yes, a water ride...damn near first thing in the morning. one that's totally unpredictable, and where she and i had managed to escape getting drenched the last three times we'd ridden it. the odds were totally against me here, and i'd even done my hair that morning but i went along for the ride anyway. before:
because of course, the huge geyser of water that erupts at the very end of the ride...the one we'd always been able to avoid before...got us this time. and got us good. i looked like a drowned rat, and of course it wasn't a hot day. heh.
next, the bean wanted to go to the animation academy to take one of the drawing classes. it's one of our hot weather go-tos because they always have the a/c going strong in there, but today i froze a little. still fun, though.
we decided to cross over into disneyland next.
we had a little time to kill before our fastpasses for space mountain, so we went into the gift shop to look around. and then outside, the bean was bummed to see that the giant ball didn't have the water turned on and wasn't working at all.
most of us were excited to be on the ride.
only for the bean would we head over to the finding nemo submarine ride. the hub opted out of this one, and then as we got in line and realized that the wait was definitely going to be longer than the quoted time on the sign out front, we decided to ask a cast member to let us into the "marine observation room." it just makes for a much nicer, easier experience in this ride that no one but the bean likes.
by then, it was time for our lunch reservation at the blue bayou.
and this time, we finally got a great table - right at the edge where we could see and hear the boats on the "pirates of the caribbean" go by as they started their ride.
the drinks were served with these fun glowing ice cubes.
the birthday girl opted for the classic monte cristo sandwich.
the catch of the day was sea bass, which both MIL and i ordered.
the old lady had the roasted chicken maison:
and this was her special friend's vegetable pasta.
the hub was on the opposite end of the table, so i didn't get to see what he ordered. oops.
our server brought a birthday treat to the bean at the end of our meal, and we all sang the birthday song to her as she beamed with delight.
i'd received a text from lilcee telling me that she and mini cee were there that day too, and so after we got off of the indiana jones ride they were waiting for us at the exit. the girls were super excited to see each other, as always.
by then the hub, who loves disneyland considerably less than the rest of us do, had reached his limit. but since the bean wasn't quite ready to head home just yet, he decided to make his way to the grand californian to find a spot to sit and relax with an adult beverage in hand. MIL, the old lady and her special friend all decided to join him and so lilcee and i got to hang out with the girls solo for awhile. after taking a trip on the jungle cruise, we headed over to big thunder mountain with fastpasses in hand.
and as much as i adore being at disneyland, i was kind of pooped myself. so when lilcee offered to keep the bean with them to ride a few more rides before taking her home, i accepted. they happily headed off towards star tours while i made my way through the park to find my family and go home.
that was a good day.