It's been awhile since we've taken a family vacation. Six months ago I needed to book a resort so as not to lose our points with our resort membership and Matt said, "Book something fun." No pressure, right? Like the other resorts we've stayed in hasn't been fun. Fun. Okay, so I got online and looked up Disneyland. The last time I did this they were booked solid. This time, expecting they would be booked solid, I was overjoyed and practically bouncing on the bed with excitement as I discovered there was one room that sleeps 6. I booked it as fast as I possibly could, then texted Matt, "We're going to Disneyland!!!"
I'm pretty good at keeping secrets, but this secret I could not keep. That night at the dinner table, we announced to the kids that we're taking the family to Disneyland. A chorus of "Hurray!" sprung from their seats and then the loaded question, "When are we going?" "In six months," was my response. "Ohhhhh. I thought we were going this Saturday." So sad.
For Family Home Evening (FHE) a couple days later, we each decorated a container for personal Disneyland savings! The kids and Matt and I diligently fed the containers as much money as we could sacrifice out of our allowance. This was particularly hard on the younger boys since they love to spend their money right away. I'm happy to say they each saved over $50!
After a week of great preparations, including vehicle maintenance and tons of laundry, the blessed day arrived. Our sweet dog, Nanna, was safely tucked away at the neighbor’s house with their dog in the kennel in the backyard so that Nanna had a friend to hang out with, and we all went to bed. At 3:30 in the morning, Matt and I arose, took a quick shower, and awoke the kids. We have found that nighttime driving helps the hours go faster for the kids since they sleep for about half the time we're in the car. But if we leave too early in the night, we arrive long before we can check in and we're too tired to do anything while we have to wait.
It took us awhile to get settled in, but we finally left the house. Matt takes the first shift and the kids and I are supposed to go back to sleep. Since I was up 'til midnight finishing the packing and some house cleaning, I was very anxious to go back to sleep; however, the kids and Matt are awake and excited and begin visiting. This I can handle, but then matt requests a song, one that is a family favorite when traveling, titled, "Are we there yet." You've got to be kidding me. One of the lines in the song says, "We can still see the house!" So funny. Somehow I talked Matt into waiting 'til later to enjoy the song so that I could go to sleep.
As I fell asleep, I start remembering everything we have forgotten to pack: Matt's pillow, my extra tennis shoes.... and the list goes on. We will have to live without those things for a week. And if we can't, I bet CA has a Walmart. We can always make a purchase for whomever's toothbrush got left behind. Somehow I think we managed to get everyone's toothbrush packed. There's a small miracle! I slept all the way through Utah. When I awoke, we were nearly to Vegas. Wow!
After passing Vegas, we decided to stop for an early lunch. Matt requested we have our picnic on a grassy area that's not at a gas station. We pull off the interstate, take a potty break and fill the gas tank, then head across the street to the last casino around in hopes to find a patch of grass. Luckily there was one, and it included large trees providing nice shady spots! After carefully unloading the trunk to unbury our cooler, we dig out all the lunch items and snack items and spread out on the grass to make sandwiches. While sandwiches are being made, the kids were picking car snacks for later so that I could be left alone to my driving while Matt napped. Then all of a sudden, “Spwesh,” and “Oh, you’re kidding me,” with a response from Matt, “No, not kidding.” The sprinklers were coming on full force. Matt thought quickly on his feet and covered up the sprinkler head with his foot so it wouldn’t pop up while the kids and I frantically grab all the picnic fixings off the lawn. So much for a relaxing lunch. Everyone takes their seat in the van to eat their sandwich or wait their turn to make their sandwich. Then instead of a lunch in the shade of the big tree, we hit the road and off we went.
Minutes later, Matt was fast asleep in the passenger seat and the kids were involved in a movie as we approached Baker, CA. I noticed a sign that said, “The largest…..in the world.“ I missed something. I managed to read the next sign, “The largest temperature gauge in the world.” So I pointed it out to the kids. Elijah says, “Why did you want me to see that?” My response, “Well, just in case you wanted to see the largest temperature gauge in the world.” Silly boy. Or maybe, silly me.
Once the movie ended, we kicked on some Bill Cosby to listen to. He is a great storyteller! The boys went back to sleep and time flew. We pulled into Anaheim much earlier than expected and realized we hadn’t figured in the time change to our travel plans. Needing to wait an hour and a half, we decided to find the nearest Walmart to begin our purchases of Disney paraphernalia.
Upon returning to the resort to check in, we piled all our belongings onto a cart and headed to our room. Normally we get a room that sleeps 8 so that no one has to sleep in the TV room, which typically has a murphy bed. But, as previously mentioned, this room sleeps six, so the kids weren’t sure how to divvy the space available. Then the concern was, “There’s no murphy bed.” Right, this room has a hide-a-bed. That is a new concept to my children who lead sheltered lives and they were quite impressed. Zack said, “I’ve got to get one of these for my bedroom!” I thought to myself, “Wait ‘til after you’ve slept on it to make a decision like that.”
So here we are, on vacation! Everyone has unpacked their bags and settled in. The kids turn on the TV and start flipping channels, which is lots of fun because there’s cable TV, which we don’t have at home. First thing I do is log into Matt’s wifi and check out my FaceBook! Ah, just like home. LOL!
Even though we brought lots of food, Matt and I were pretty worn out from the trip and decided to order Chinese. YUM! An hour later, dinner was delivered and we even have leftovers. After a nice shower to wash away the travel yuckiness, the little boys and I headed down to the pool. Knowing it was windy, I chose to sit at the side of the pool and not get wet. The boys probably only swam for half an hour and we headed back to the room. After changing clothes and bundling up a bit, we headed up to the roof to watch the Disneyland fireworks display!
One travel day down and everyone gladly hits the hay. Luckily there is no hay in my bed, otherwise I wouldn’t sleep very good.