Lots of chats with the younger cousins: Luke (25?) & Allison (24) - they also ended up playing with Kyle & Alani. Anne's guacamole dip had just the right mix of chiles in it. Yum! Kids ate lots of Lynn's yummy cornbread too.
Tuesday, we packed up the car and managed to get out of Alameda around 9:30am. Had onigiri, salami, pepperoni and grapes for lunch. K was surprised - we killed three cups of rice worth of nigi-nigi. Usually, there's lots of leftovers. After several breaks and one gas fill up, we made it to Anaheim around 6pm. Traffic had been bad on parts of 5 and of course, it was slow from Magic Mountain to just past downtown - that section alone took almost 2 hours.
Checked into the Park Vue Inn (same place the WorldCon group stayed at in August). Dinner at IHOP (kids eat free after 4pm!!!). The kids crashed and K & I went to pick up the Disneyland tickets. It took 45 minutes to get stupid tickets. We had managed to pick the problem line. First guy had issues with his credit card. He was on the phone with company. Finally ended up using another card. Second person had issues with tickets. 20 minutes at least. No other window opened. We were stuck. We cheered when they finally opened up another window. The next family quickly got their tickets and escaped. Of course, the next family wanted something extra. We could not win. Second person finally left. The next guy had problems because he had been sold the Southern CA special activity ticket and apparently should not have been as there were no more. We finally got to the window, picked up our already prepaid tickets and escaped.
Wandered over to Downtown Disney and did some window shopping. Saw some of the fireworks. Went back to hotel and had to go directly to sleep as the kids were already out and the room was dark. 10:30pm Ugh. Next time, I will bring one of those reading lights - I was so not sleepy.
Wednesday - 7am. Kids out cold. I got up and did the cult gym thing. Go Me.
By the time I came back, K & Alani had gone to check out the continental breakfast. Kyle was up and G was still out. K had the foresight to bring the kids' cereal and had picked up milk at the gift shop, so they could have their cereal in the room. Kyle was bouncing around. I took a quick shower and let Kyle wake up G. Made it to the park around 9am.
Chilly. Sunny at least - it had rained during the night. We checked out the Princess Fair (the photographer in the main square warned us that it was very popular and there could be as much as a 3 hour wait). Decided to skip it that day as it didn't even start until 10am. Rode It's a Small World. Then we split up. Kyle, K & G rode Pirates, Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain while Alani & I rode Winnie the Pooh (many times), Enchanted Tiki Room and the Jungle Cruise. We met back at Splash Mountain at noon. I had bought a popcorn for Alani and she was kind enough to give me "one" popcorn at a time. Now I know that I have to buy TWO bags of popcorn if *I* want any.
The park was getting very crowded at this point. We decided to have lunch outside of the park - we ate at Captain Kid's (next door to IHOP). Food was decent. Kyle had two corn dogs and Alani had chicken strips. G had a turkey & avocado sandwich. K & I had the buffet (which is how Kyle got that 2nd corn dog and G got her pumpkin pie). I have to admit - corn dogs are definitely a guilty pleasure for me.
Back to the park. G took Alani to Fantasyland. K, Kyle & I did Space Mountain and Star Tours (Kyle's favorite. Ugh). I told Kyle that he had to buy me popcorn. I hate that ride. Getting motion sick is not my idea of a good time. I did NOT go on the rocket ride with him this time.
Met up with G & Alani at the Jedi Training Academy show. It was cute. About twenty kids are picked from the audience to go through "light saber training" and then they had to fight either Darth Vader or Darth Maul. We had gotten there too late (had run just gotten off Space Mountain after the show had started), so Kyle never had a chance to be picked.
Sometime around 7pm, we headed out of the park to our "favorite" restaurant IHOP for dinner. It was just easier and quieter to leave the park for meals than it was to try and find some place within the park. It was also getting bloody cold and I, who had been wearing shorts, needed to change. It was just that cold. We actually got to leave through the back way as Main Street was packed because of the Christmas Parade?. It was cool - Alani was giving high 5's (actually high 4's) to all the attendants who were wearing Mickey Mouse gloves.
Kids went to bed. They were tired and Alani was getting cranky at that point. K & I headed back to the park and rode Indiana Jones, Pirates, Haunted Mansion and the Matterhorn. We made it back to the hotel around 11.
Thursday, I went to cult gym. Go Me! Came back to find G still out. K had gone to breakfast. Kyle was barely awake. Alani was munching on cereal. I took a quick shower and then Alani & I went to breakfast. Kyle didn't want to come, so I left him eating cereal. Woke up G. Poor Auntie Karen. We descended upon her like a pack of bees. She had been drinking tea (the coffee was instant nescafe ewww) and reading her paper in peace. Alani had a bowl of fruit loops, while I had a bowl of raisin bran. Brought G back some toast and fruit.
K, G & Alani headed off to Disneyland to do that Princess thing. Kyle & I went to CA Adventure to ride the Tower of Terror, Soaring Over CA and the big roller coaster - CA Screamin'. My adrenaline junkie nephew loved Tower of Terror and CA Screamin'. He screamed and giggled during both rides. He enjoyed Soaring Over CA too. Played a few games at the "Boardwalk" - he won a stuffed red crab and was very happy.
Back out of the park - it was after 1pm at that point. MacDonald's for lunch. While we were in there, we heard that Disneyland had hit max capacity and was not allowing anybody new in - any new people had to go to CA Adventure. By the end of the day, they had closed off CA Adventure too - no new tickets would be sold. We decided that we'd take break - with the parks being packed, the waits for rides would turn our two sweeties into cranky monsters. Instead, they got to go swimming! I had not brought my swim suit, but K had. I just sat on the sides, dangling my feet. I got very wet anyway. My little monster nephew had learned how to do cannonballs and was jumping in at the exact point where he could create the biggest wave to get me. Brat =) Just wait...
They got a bath ("but Mommy, I got all wet in the pool...") and then a two hour nap. Alani then threw a humongous hooey back at the hotel. Did not want to wear her jacket. She & G ended up staying at the hotel to work things out. K, Kyle & I went back into Disneyland for more rides. Matterhorn and *sigh* Star Tours. I had to buy my own popcorn again, but at least Kyle let me eat some.
It turns out Alani was upset because one of her toys had not made the move from the old house to K's. Have no idea what brought that on - maybe she'd seen something at the park? She & G had finally gotten to the park and had watched the Christmas Parade before meeting up with us. She was also sad because I'd gone on without her *sigh*.
45 minutes before, we found a place to watch the fireworks show. G & Alani had disappeared to find potty and some food. We didn't find them again until after the show. The park was packed and majority of the people had all camped out in the main square to watch the fireworks. (which had almost been canceled due to the windy weather). We did a lot of ooohing and aahing and calling G to find out where she was. (no answer, oh well)
It was 10pm at that point. Oooh kids were still up and energized. Oh boy. We ate turkey sandwiches and watched all the people flood out of the park (yes go home!) Alani & G went to Fantasyland to ride Dumbo while K, Kyle & I did STAR TOURS AGAIN!!!. We did a quick detour to Critter County so that we could pick up the baby Pooh that Alani wanted. We bought Kyle the Star Wars chess set that he had his heart set on. (not that he's playing chess with it - he is just playing with the figurines) I sucked at Astroblasters. We asked the attendant if Kyle could ride by himself and he said yes, so Kyle had a blast in his own ship. Things were soooo bad that K even beat me. That had NEVER happened. Oh well.
K, Kyle and I then went back to the hotel. Lo & behold, G & Alani were still out. It was after midnight... Alani was very happy with her new Pooh and also a new baby Tigger. She & Mommy had ridden on Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh and the Tiki Room!
Alani lasted about 10 minutes after that.