We did it.

Feeling like we should have one last hurrah before baby comes we packed up our family of five and went to Disneyland.

Oddly enough my vote for Maui was not taken seriously.

Our kiddos have been blessed to go on lots of vacations as they’ve grown up.  However during this vacation we realized that our boys have also missed out on lots of vacation norms.  Like flying.  Staying in a hotel.  Little things like that.  We are vacation road warriors, and don’t think twice about driving 9 hours to our destination.  That way we can pack our car to the gills and be as loud as we’d like without bothering anyone else.  William was pretty darn confused about the whole rental car thing, and *our new house.*

Let’s play *can you spot the cowboy hat?*

See baby Coco…you’ve already been to Disneyland.  And the beach.  ;)

We had the best time.  Six full days together, just the five of us.  It was so much fun to play and laugh and see where each day led us.  And while our exhausted troopers could have used every excuse in the book for meltdowns, they were fantastic.   We were on the go from our 7am wake-up until we returned to our room around 9pm and once until 10:30pm!

On Tuesday my brother Jimmy joined us {which was apparently the same day we gave the camera a break?}  What a treat it was to spend the day with my brother and to watch him interact with his adoring nephews.

Wednesday we decided that three days at the Happiest Place on Earth was enough and called it a beach day.  We headed to Malibu and spent the day playing in the sand, eating a tailgate picnic, catching up with my cousin Jessica and stopping at In-And-Out for dinner.  Yum.

Yes, Disneyland was cliché.  It was overstimulating.  We probably could have just flown the commuter flight from our hometown to Seattle and back and called it a day.  {Seriously, that was probably a top highlight for the boys.  That and a pack of gum they split.}  I also felt like I should make a tater tot casserole when we got home.

But for all of those silly things, it was just right.  I’m so thankful for Alex who carefully planned every detail for our family.  And I can’t think of anything better than watching my loves play and laugh and be thrilled together.  Yay for family vacations!

A couple of Disney tips if you are headed that direction in the near future:

1.  If you are traveling with multiple little ones bring your biggest double stroller.  We might have gotten some funny looks at the airport, but there is no way we could have successfully done this trip without our trusty double bob stroller.  Even Henry would collapse into it on occasion.  It was the perfect place for the little ones to nap or just pull down the shade and take a break if it became too much.

2.  Bring your own snacks and water into the park.  We ate our lunch and dinners at the park {or right outside} but I was so thankful to have plenty of granola bars, raisins, water bottles, etc. to pass out throughout the day.  Not only did it save money but we were able to avoid standing in yet another line.

3.  Speaking of lines, we pulled the special needs card.  We’ve never, ever done this {quite honestly we try to avoid doing this at all costs} but this felt like the right time to do it.  I’m not sure if this is taboo to say or not, but hopefully this information will help another family out.  When we first got to Disney we checked in at city hall and received a pass that allowed us to cut to the front of almost every line and keep our stroller with us the entire time – right up until we boarded the ride.  Now before you start cursing my name, know that this was huge for Charlie.  {And let’s be honest, his very pregnant mama too.}  I’m pretty sure it allowed him to keep pace with the rest of us and avoid the way over-crowded and over-stimulating lines that might have led to some meltdowns.

4.  Go slow.  We spent 1 1/2 days in the Disney park and 1 1/2 days in California Adventure.  We didn’t see it all.  We didn’t go on every ride.  But by doing this our boys never felt rushed and we were simply able to enjoy what we did see.

5.  Take the ART shuttle to the park if you are staying off-resort.  It’s way easier {and cheaper} than parking and again, another unexpected highlight for our boys was riding the *bus.*

P.S. I have no idea why sometimes pictures post and why other times they don’t.  I’ve even noticed that some text occasionally gets left out.  I’m just not tech savvy enough to understand…but I’ll do my best to fix things as problems arise.


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