A Year Of Disney Comes To An End

Mar 5, 2015

We have had Disneyland annual passes on and off throughout most of our marriage. Basically, we spend a year saving every extra penny so we can buy the passes and afford a few trips to the happiest place on earth, then we enjoy a year of Disneyland, let our passes lapse and start the cycle over again. October 2013-October 2014 was our latest "on" year. We made it to Disneyland a handful of times, with our very last trip being the end of September, right after Man Cub turned 2.

Despite how many trips we've made to Disneyland, this one was a first for me... the very first time I've ever gone to Disneyland without hauling my big DSLR camera along. I'd just upgraded my iPhone so I knew I had a great camera with plenty of space for all the pictures I could ever dream of taking, so I did it. I left my trusty Nikon at home and "did Disney" with just my phone. And it wasn't half bad! I kind of enjoyed shedding the 4 lbs of camera I usually carry and not having to explain back button focus to Disney employees.

As always, we left bright and early one morning and made the drive to California. Upon arrival, we headed straight to Disneyland and right onto Pirates of the Caribbean. I can only think of one or two of our dozens upon dozens of Disneyland trips that hasn't started out with a ride on Pirates. At this point, it is tradition. Ü

We spent the whole first day in Disneyland. We rode some rides, ate some Disneyland food and watched a parade. I'm not usually a fan of Disneyland parades (but can watch the Pixar Play Parade in California Adventure every day!), but Mickey's Soundsational Parade is pretty good. And it's hard not to love it when Man Cub is so incredibly captivated by it.

Day two was a mostly non-park day. We walked along the coast in Laguna Beach. There were several artists scattered along the path, each painting their version of the ocean that day. Sunshine and I loved watching them. We stopped by the Newport Beach temple in hopes of adding another temple to the list of those we have touched. Unfortunately the gates were locked so we just admired it from afar. The Newport Beach temple is my absolute favourite of all those I have been to, so I was a little sad we couldn't get closer. Man Cub was especially upset though... he hung on to the gate, crying to "touch temple! touch temple!". I love that at only 2 years old, he has such a great love for the temple. We then had lunch at our favourite burger place in the entire world (Slater's 50/50) and spent a few hours playing in the water at Huntington Beach.

After returning to our hotel, I decided I would really like to spend a couple of hours at the park with Beebs. In the past, Bruce has been able to take Sunshine for a little one on one time and I decided it was Beebs' turn. We decided to go to California Adventure so we could ride Ariel over and over again and we had such a blast together. We spent time in Cars Land, took tons of pictures and enjoyed bread bowls at the Pier. We also found a souvenir for Beebs and her best friend... Mater Teeth!  It was a perfect little mommy-daughter date and Beebs still talks about the time we spent together, just the two of us. I didn't realize it at the time, but Bruce's dad volunteered to watch Man Cub in the hotel room so Bruce and Sunshine could have their own little date as well. Both of the girls really enjoyed their one-on-one Disneyland time. And Man Cub got to bed early which was just what that little guy needed.

We split our last two days between the two parks. We spent lots of time in Cars Land... my favourite place! We watched the Pixar Play Parade a couple of times, just for Man Cub. We ate at the Blue Bayou restaurant... always delicious. I was participating in a little healthy eating competition at the time of our trip and was not eating sugar, other than one free day a week. I made the most of that free day, enjoying all my favourite Disney treats in one day. Ü Pineapple whips, cotton candy and caramel apples... it was heaven. And- Disneyland celebrity spotting! Of the non-mouse variety. At the very end of our trip, I happened to see Carlton from Fresh Prince as well as the girl who played Lucy on 7th Heaven. I was totally "that person", snapping away trying to get a photo of them. I love Carlton!

When we finally packed up to head home, it was very bitter sweet. We usually take a year off between Disney years, but we knew this break would be longer. Between a busy year of traveling in 2015 and knowing that we would hopefully be having another baby in the coming year as well, we are looking at a break of at least a year and a half, if not two years before our next year of Disney begins. Luckily, we ended this year with an absolutely fantastic trip and we are just treasuring these memories until the time comes that we can go again.

And Man Cub- he was just excited to get home and play with all his toys. Ü

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