Sunday, May 24, 2015

Disneyland Birthday and Bittersweet Farewell

We celebrated Hallie’s 40th birthday with a long-anticipated trip to Disneyland. So much fun! Then we came home just in time to see our next door neighbors off on their own new cross-country move. Hard to believe that this time last year we bid farewell to Michigan, unsure of where the road ahead lay. Thanks largely to the friendship of our then-new neighbors, the transition went much more smoothly than it might have. And now, a scant year later, they’re gone. Such was our week of highs and lows.

We started the week off early Sunday morning by driving down to Anaheim. Then we spent the rest of the next three days at California Adventure and Disneyland partaking in the time-honored frenzy of over-indulgence that Disney does so well. Enjoy the pictures!

We spent the first day at California Adventure.

Meeting Elsa and Anna was a key priority for the girls.

Adventure was out there for the taking.

Radiator Springs in Cars Land is not only extremely faithful to how it looks in the movie, but the buildings are uncannily similar to the ones that we saw on the Mother Road during our December 2010 road trip.

By the end of Day 1, someone was a little grumpy.

On to Days 2 and 3 at the park that started it all!

Why so glum, chm? Get happy! 

"The castle! The castle!"

We had a special lunch at this place:
The newly remodeled Club 33 entrance

Well, we had lunch under Club 33, at Café Orleans.

The patio had the feel of a real New Orleans café, complete with river views and Dixieland jazz in the background.

Their famous Monte Cristo sandwich. To die for! Considering what it's made of, we're not exaggerating. Burrrp.

No birthday is complete without cake and candle! 

Then it was back to the rides! We did part of the park on one day, and part on another. No need to rush from place to place. The fast passes worked especially well for us.

Eliza got to meet more princesses. Her highlight was chatting with Cinderella.

"I love you. You're my favorite!" Awww!

Content and tired after a full day of fun
We went to Downtown Disney on the way back to the hotel. Had to see World of Disney and the LEGO Store!

The next morning, we got up bright and early for another full day of fun.
This is Landon's idea of a complete breakfast. "See? It's Mickey's ears!"

Work it, girl! 
 We spent more of this day in Tomorrowland and Fantasyland.

Star Tours and Haunted Mansion were Eliza's favorites. 

Landon was more a fan of the roller coasters and fast cars.

The kids participated in a Jedi Training Academy. Definite highlight of the day. 

Our children are now official padawans.

On to more fantastic adventure.

Tom Sawyer's island: An underrated but very effective place for little ones to blow off steam. Well played, Walt, old man. Well played.

All too soon, it was time to head back out into the real world, but not before spending a little time on Main Street, USA.

Anyway, we had fun. If you’re a real glutton for more pics of the kids, you can find the full album here.

. . . And then it was time to come back home to normal life.

Landon wrote his very first book, which was presented at the school's Young Authors Faire back in April.

On Thursday night, Bruce, Liz, Hillary, and Sarah were gone.

(Landon grabbed his camera to record the farewells.)

We spent Memorial Day weekend honoring the fallen and setting the house in order. 
I guess we can call this the boy's first mirror selfie.
Another tooth fell out of Landon's mouth. We're at 3 of 20. Eliza now wants to lose teeth and has fought us about brushing because she wants her teeth to fall out.

What a character!

Commemorative flags grace Constitution Park.

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