Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Happiest Place On Earth

After almost a year of saving up the moo-lah...

Selling on Ebay and Craigslist...

Planning a frugal, family-friendly vacation...

We visited the happiest place on earth...


We took the kids out of school for a week and traveled to the park on the off-season.

We felt it was a fair trade-off to avoid the crowds and to get the house rental at a cheaper rate.

Once upon a time, we visited Disneyland in the summer. We swore never, ever to do that again. However, if you enjoy viewing a sea of sweaty humanity as far as the eye can see, in every direction...then please go ahead and visit in the summer.

We rented a house, close to the park, complete with our very own backyard pool.

Because we reserved the house in the off-season, paid in full, well in advance...we were able to save big bucks.  We paid less per night than a hotel would have cost and we had a private pool.

We also traveled in redneck style, meaning that we brought a freezer full of food with us.

We backed the trailer into the garage and plugged in the freezer.

Enjoying a home cooked meal every night and not having to buy any food at restaurants or the park helped save a lot of money.

There were some problems with the rental and we were promised compensation...that never arrived.

So...although I definitely recommend renting a house, I just can't recommend this one.

Every day we came back to the house to eat lunch and rest. Later in the day we returned to the park and closed it down.

Party animals, we are.

Can't you tell?

Because we were a party of 12 (we took my 10 year old niece too), and were bound to move around the park at a slower pace, we bought 6 day passes.

That way we were able to see everything that we wanted to see and still had time to go back and hit the highlights.
I think everyone that ever visits Disneyland is required to have a picture of the train station.

Here's mine.
We waved at lots of characters and stopped to talk to others.

Before we left on our trip, the older boys has sworn up and down, back and forth and diagonally that they would not be caught dead meeting a Disney Princess.

But, strangely, the magic of the park has a way of softening even the hardest hearts...
We attended shows...

The Aladdin musical is a must see.
We rode lots and lots and lots of rides.

Shockingly, our super shy, timid, sensitive, five year old, Hannah turned out to be a daredevil.

She rode every ride that she was tall enough to get on with Space Mountain being her favorite.

Hands high in the air, screaming through the dark on a twisty fast roller coaster...she loved it.


Thunder Mountain Railroad was another favorite.
After getting off of the Matterhorn, Hannah declared that the ride was, "very weak."
We rode Small World one time...just to say that we had.

Once you get that song in your's hard to get it out.

Come along and sing with know you want to.

It's a small world after's a small world after all...

I know...I'm being mean.
Favorite ride ever...Pirates of the Caribbean.

The older boys rode it close to 20 times.

See the big, upside down roller coaster?

Because I wasn't pregnant on this trip or forever more for that matter, I actually got to ride on it this time around.

Not all my kids were willing.

The autobahn was another ride that we visited multiple times.
See Josh driving the car?

We actually lost him for an entire hour in the park...

And no one noticed.

That's the danger of traveling in a large pack.

He'll need counseling anyway so no harm done.
Very fitting...

Levi kept crossing his eyes in all the pictures.

I didn't notice that until we got home.

Good thing...or I just may have left him in Toon Town.
Of course we had to ride the teacups...

Otherwise know as the "swirl till you hurl" ride...
Did you know that there is a commemorative Mary Poppins horse on the carousel?

We didn't either.

Lily rode it over and over and over.

We just hung out...

Of course the kids let me take great pictures of them...

At least some of them did anyway...

It was a lot of work...

But we all miss it there...

He just gets me...

Some husbands buy flowers or jewelry for their wives.

And that is sweet...


Flowers and jewelry don't make my lil' heart go pitter patter.

Corey knows me so well...

That when he decided to buy me a "just because"...

He knew exactly what to get.

Can you guess what he bought me?

Aren't they the cutest birds ever?

Don't ya just lurve the way their beaks are making a little heart.

Please ignore the milk spill splats on the cabinet behind them.

Because I am.
For the chicken snobs among us...

These are Black Copper Maran chickens from a french bloodline.

They are probably worth more then my kids.

Kidding people.

if they are worth me please

One rooster (the new sire of our flock) and three hens.

Just because...

I am one lucky lady.