• Arose early, finished packing our bags and some snacks & cheeses, grabbed some breakfast burritos from Carl's Jr. and headed south on I-15. We listened to music, talked, played Yes & No and only had a minor incident with the Iron County Highway Patrol (he seemed quite unfazed to report that he had been passing out tickets to several out-of-towner families on their way to southern California).
SNOW in southern Utah. Amazing!
• Still made it to Anaheim in good time, checked in to the local Travelodge, took a few minutes to recover from the long drive.
• Made our way over to Huntington Beach for some quality seaside sunset time. It took a while to find somewhere to make change for the parking meter, but we had plenty of sun left by the time we laid out our beach towels and hit the water. It was pretty cold at first, but we're not afraid of a little initial shock. We took a walk down to the pier where we had last summer taken some honeymoon pictures, and then headed back to the hotel.
• We tried to catch Survivor while we were getting dressed, but couldn't find the channel. What kind of hotel doesn't have CBS?
• We visited Downtown Disney dressed in our finery, did a little shopping and had dinner at the Rainforest Café. We thought about getting something different from the last time we went there, but the ribs (for me) and the fajitas (for Julie) still just sounded like the best thing on the menu, so that's what we ate.
• After a nice, much-needed rest, we walked the fifteen or so minutes to the entrance of Disneyland! We redeemed our Give a Day vouchers with no problem whatsoever, were handed Honorary VoluntEAR buttons and passes to the park and entered! (Though Julie rightfully pointed out that we aren't "Honorary" volunteers, we actually DID volunteer. Still, the buttons had Miss Piggy and Kermit wearing hard hats and holding tools, so I was satisfied.)
• The passes were not park-hopper passes, so we spent the entire day at Disneyland. We made really good time in the morning and went on a lot of popular attractions before the crowds came. We did Peter Pan first (which is a good idea, considering its popularity and how the lines seem to form there first), then made our way through Fantasyland and crossing over into Tomorrowland.
Dumbo! How did I not go on this ride for so many years?
Princess and the Frog decor!
• We spent the day riding our favorite rides (Splash Mountain!) and sampling some of our favorite treats (turkey leg!) and it was glorious. The crowds were fairly minimal, it being a weekday, and we never had to wait longer than around 15 minutes for anything, even in the stand-by lines.
These are photos of Americans who have made significant contributions to the music industry. Well, I guess they're photos of some Americans who have done that, and one embarrassment. You be the judge as to which.
Now back for an indefinite period, and because he's dead, Captain EO! It's still cool.
This is how a turkey leg looks before you eat it. So barbaric!
This is how a turkey leg looks after you eat it. So dainty!
So our wishing well proposal locale was being worked on, so this is as close as we could get this trip.
She just loves that little Dumbo.
Will I ever pull it out???
Nothing like a late morning nap inside a teacup.
A woman appreciates a man who's comfortable behind the wheel.
Ah, the Blue Bayou foyer.
• We watched the fireworks show. It's so romantic to watch fireworks with a loverwife.
• We walked back to our hotel and rested up for one more Disney day.
• We grabbed some muffins and cereal from the continental breakfast and ate them on our way back over to the parks just in time for opening. The passes I bought through work also worked perfectly and we had two park-hoppers in hand.
• As it was our nine-month anniversary, we picked up some free souvenir buttons at the entrance to Main Street and wore them proudly throughout the day.
• We hit a few popular rides at Disneyland before heading over to California Adventure. We saw the Aladdin show, became honorary bugs, rode the non-swinging gondolas on the ferris wheel, rode California Screamin' (which may or may not have ruined me for a couple of hours afterward), saw the ongoing construction for the upcoming World of Color show in the lake, and took two turns on Midway Mania (my gun didn't work for the first time so my score was too embarrassing--they let us ride again right away, and it was much better. That ride is so fun.). Of course we also visited Soarin' Over California, the Tower of Terror, Monsters, Inc., the Muppets and our beloved Disney Animation building.
I think it's the most awesome seahorse in all the land.
I can't wait to get the new Julie Doll!
Ooooh, I hope it's good!!!
• We went back over to Disneyland when we had finished at California Adventure and took our time rounding out some of the attractions we had missed and reriding some of our favorites. The crowds were a little thicker, as it was Saturday, but we still managed to have pretty short waits and had no problem entertaining ourselves (sometimes people behind you in line don't realize they're in a public place and say the most amusing things).
• We were allowed our very own boat for a private anniversary cruise through "it's a small world." It was very romantic.
Meeting the Mouse.
As it should be!
• We stuck it out until closing at midnight, though at times we didn't think we would make it, and after midnight we finally trudged back to our hotel.
• We woke up semi-casually, made ready and headed out of Anaheim.
• We stopped just half an hour north to visit a friend I know from the Survivor podcast I listen to, which was great. It's so funny how people meet other people these days.
• We had a blessedly uneventful drive home. The ride back is always less exciting, what with less anticipation, and vacation fatigue in you, but we made it just fine, and of course had to immediately sit down and watch the Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains finale. It was EXCELLENT.
So there you have it! It was a great trip. So, erm, sweetie... when are we going back?