Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Disneyland trip: Day 5, part 1

While we were waiting to check out of the hotel, we made an attempt to get some shots of the kids wearing their Disneyland shirts.

First Michela and Abigail....

Then our two....

And our unsuccessful attempt to get all four of them in one place....

We decided we would try again at the airport. To be continued.....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Disneyland trip: Day 3 and 4

We started Day 3 at California Adventure Park. We looked around a little and then we had a reservation at "Ariel's Grotto" for lunch with Princesses. Michela and Abigail were very excited about this.... let's just say, J.T. was not. :) Oh well, can't have it all....

J.T.'s day wasn't all bad..... he had some fun too. Some of us went on the California Screamin' roller coaster... the kids loved it!

We saw "World of Color" that night, after dinner. I think it was one of our favorite things of the whole trip. It's a cool show with colored lights and water.

After the show was over, the big kids got to stay out late, while all the grandkids went back to the hotel with Ma and Papa. Mary, Jeff, Andy and I rode on "Soarin' over California" at California Adventure Park first. What a cool experience! Then we tried to ride some rides at Disneyland, but a lot of the ones we wanted to ride were either closed down or the wait was too long. Oh well, we still had fun!

On Day 4 (Thanksgiving Day), we decided to go back to Disneyland. We had to get a picture of Ma and Papa with the grandkids in front of the entrance....

And then we found Minnie Mouse. The characters were kind of hard to find. They just sort of showed up and then you had to wait in line to see them and/or have your photo taken with them. Seeing the characters was a big highlight for all the kids.

We decided to go back to Downtown Disney for lunch because it was a lot less crowded. That day we ate at Rainforest Cafe which was fun. And look.... I even made it into one picture for the trip!

That night, for Thanksgiving dinner we went to Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen, which had a New Orleans type theme. It was really good, but the little girls weren't too interested in sitting and eating. Afterwards we walked around Downtown Disney. We even made a Build A Bear. By the end of the night, we were all pretty exhausted so we headed back to the hotel...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Disneyland trip: Day 1 and 2

On Sunday afternoon, we drove to Ukiah to stay over so we wouldn't have to get up so early on Monday morning to head to Oakland. The kids woke up at 3:30 on Monday morning anyway. After stopping at Mary's to consolidate vehicles, we went to Oakland airport, grabbed a quick lunch, and boarded our plane.

It was a quick hour flight down to Orange County airport. We then boarded the "Disneyland Express" which took us to our hotel, Courtyard Marriott. After getting settled, we decided to walk to Downtown Disney, which is an open-air shopping center next to Disneyland. I don't think we realized how far the walk would be, but we made it.

J.T. was very excited about going to Ridemakerz to create his birthday gift. You pick a car body, chassis, wheels, tires, etc and create your very own remote-control vehicle. He picked a black Dodge truck, which is probably hard to see in the photos. He loved driving that thing around the hotel room and hallway. We ended up going back to the hotel for dinner, due to everyone being tired.

On Tuesday, we headed out to Disneyland. It was a little chilly in the mornings, but it warmed up fairly quickly. I think most days got to around 70 degrees.

Our first ride was "It's a Small World." They had it all decorated for Christmas so it looked really cool. The little girls, Michela (3) and Francesca (18 mos) loved it.

Because it was so crowded, we decided to leave the park for lunch. We went to House of Blues at Downtown Disney. They had some really great margaritas! ;-) After lunch, we headed back to the hotel for some down time... naps, pool time, etc. We had dinner at Naples Restaurante & Pizzeria, which was really good. Some of us went back to Disneyland for the fireworks show and a few rides. Thunder Mountain Railroad, Haunted Mansion, and Autopia were the ones we rode.

And we got to see Mickey Mouse all dressed up for Christmas....

To be continued....

Sunday, November 27, 2011

We are home

We had a great trip to Disneyland with my family over Thanksgiving week to celebrate my parents' 40th anniversary. More to come later, but here's one out-take in our attempt to get a shot of all the kids wearing their Mickey Mouse hats...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

An idea for you

As we approach the holiday giving season, consider this idea. We've been doing this in our family for a few years. We decided that each year that we would buy our kids (who are in need of very little) one or two less gifts. We then buy gifts for kids in our area that are truly in need. Usually we pick a few tags hanging on a giving tree in a local business. In addition, here's another idea....
Fortuna Fire Department Co. 2 Santa's Sleigh Program is in desperate need of new, warm coats for kids ages 2 to 17. The goal is to give one coat to each child on the list this year. There are 380 children in need. Please donate to this wonderful cause. Get your employer, your friends, your family, everyone involved!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wedding guest etiquette?

For all my photographer friends that shoot weddings, you will enjoy this. It's a great blog post titled "What photogs want YOU to know: wedding guest etiquette" by Jen McKen. Or if you ever attend weddings, you may find it amusing also.