we waited until the day before our trip to let tristan in on the news. he was thrilled, of course even though the only time he's been was when he was 2 and he doesn't really have many memories of it aside from some pictures and videos we took. on wednesday morning we were in the car by 7am, making the 2 hour drive up to anaheim. we had The Largest Bag of Snacks Ever (turns out we didn't even eat half of them) plus lots of coloring and story books for the boys which we didn't even end up needing, since they pretty much zoned out and dozed off during the drive. we found our lovely hotel easily, registered and then set off in the shuttle to California Adventure Park.
i am such an organizer and planner, you're gonna laugh at me, but i had gone online ahead of time and written down every single ride that both boys could go on, plus the ones that tristan would enjoy and put them on a list according to each park map so that we wouldn't be walking around aimlessly. i also thought that i had picked the perfect days to go....middle of may, post-spring break, pre-summer vacation....so that the parks wouldn't be terribly crowded. well, the list of rides worked out pretty well except that we forgot to check ahead of time to see which rides were closed and walked straight to the furthest end of the park only to find that "toy story mania" was closed until the afternoon. josh took advantage of the 20 minute lineup to see woody and hopped on the "california screamin" roller coaster by himself while i coached the boys on how to pose quickly and happily next to woody while mommy snapped some pictures. my instructions obviously fell on deaf ears since, when it came time for my boys to see woody, samuel hugged him and would NOT let go, while tristan stood next to him without cracking a smile.
the boys loved the bugs life area full of little kid rides (though i didn't hold onto samuel tight enough when i went on the spinning ladybugs with him. he went flying and bashed his little head) and then we hit up "monster's inc" which tristan declared his favorite, before grabbing a bite to eat. i got to go on "soarin' over california" with tristan and loved it; he was totally lifting up his feet so they wouldn't get wet when we were flying over the river and he ducked so quickly when the golf ball came flying towards us. josh got to go on the river rapids ride with him, which he also loved while me and sam waited on the bridge to watch for them floating underneath us.
samuel took a little 30 minute nap in his stroller while josh and tristan played some midway games. tristan won 3 little stuffed animals and chose one to share with his brother. after that we grabbed some ice cream while pondering whether samuel could handle the 40 minute wait for the "toy story mania" ride that we had wanted to try for the first time. we figured we'd regret it if we didn't go on it, so we stood in line and when samuel began losing it, i pulled 2 large lollypops out of my purse that i had been saving for just such a time. samuel immediately calmed down as he slurped on his sucker and i gave myself a pat on the back for being such a brilliant mom, until it became obvious that most of the lollypop was being left on samuel's face and all over his hands, arms and shirt instead of going into his mouth. i knew that taking it away would result in the loudest of screams, so i just did what i could with a napkin (which didn't do much) and prayed for the line to move faster. when we finally got onto the ride, adorned with huge yellow 3D glasses, i could hardly concentrate on the games inside the ride because samuel looked like a bobble-head about to fly out every time we spun around and he was getting lollypop sticky all over the ride. so i just sat there and laughed until tears rolled down my cheeks. wish i could have captured it on video. i felt so sorry for the person sitting in samuel's seat after we got off the ride.
even though we would have loved to stay and watch the "world of color" water show, we know our boys better than that. sure enough, after trekking out to the parking lot, waiting for our shuttle and arriving at the hotel, it was only 6 pm, but they were both completely knackered and ready for bed. i don't think they even got a proper dinner unless you count their lollypops! our main criteria in choosing a hotel was that it had to have a separate bedroom with a door for josh and i so that we wouldn't be held captive in a dark room, unable to watch tv lest we awaken the kids. tristan slept on a futon and samuel in his pack-n-play (which he has so outgrown) in the separate living room and josh went out to buy some del taco for dinner, which he and i ate while watching tv. i know, so romantic, right? even though the boys fell asleep quickly and easily, samuel kept waking up and crying over and over throughout the night. i figured he was just uncomfortable in such a cramped little bed, but didn't want to move him to the futon for fear he'd embrace the freedom of an open bed and wander around the room at odd hours of the night.
the next morning we enjoyed a delicious, large, free breakfast before packing up our room and grabbing the first shuttle for disneyland! the plan was to hit the "buzz lightyear astro blasters" ride first thing, and that was the only plan that really succeeded that day. we got to the park the moment they opened and went on the buzz lightyear ride twice without waiting a single minute in line, much to tristan's delight. (monster's inc. was a thing of the past; the "buzz lightyear shooting ride" was his new favorite) then he and i went on a rocket ship ride together that goes around in the air and he thought he was just the coolest thing ever, pushing and pulling the lever so that we went up and down. meanwhile, josh was noticing that samuel wasn't his normal self. there were horses pulling carriages and statues of mickey and minnie and samuel just didn't care. he sat in his stroller with the saddest face ever and didn't make a sound besides whimpering now and then. when i reclined the seat in his stroller, he gratefully lay down, closed his eyes and immediately fell asleep.
we then headed to fantasyland and were dumbfounded to see that the ride for "peter pan's flight" was already 30 minutes long....at 9:30 in the morning. my attempt at choosing the least busy time of the year didn't pan out so well, as the park just got more and more crowded during the day until the point where i started feeling claustrophobic and told josh "i am just so done with other people and their kids!" the fact that samuel had a fever didn't help at all. we took him down to the first aid station where they told us that we'd have to walk all the way to downtown disney (the monorail wasn't working) to buy him some tylenol because he's not quite 2 yet, so they couldn't give him the children's tylenol that they had. we decided not to waste the rest of our day in walking there and back, but instead tried to keep him as cool and comfortable as possible and just cut our day a little short. the only rides he went on was the winnie the pooh one (you know that samuel is sick when tigger can't even coax a smile out of him), the "jungle cruise" and the train that goes around the park, which we saved for last. tristan however, got to go on "mr. toad's wild ride", "pinocchio", "pirates of the caribbean" and "big thunder mountain railway" (the last 2 he didn't terribly care for). and then, when it was time to go, tristan got diarrhea. which was wonderful considering we had a 2 hour drive home ahead of us.
was it fun? so much fun. still, if i could do it all over again, i'd go a week earlier when the park was apparently empty, leave samuel behind with whoever would take him, not bring jeans as my only wardrobe choice (it was hot!) and ditch the del taco dinner in favor of taking tristan to "bubba gump shrimp" which was just down the road from us. next time we go, i think we'll wait until our youngest is 4 because tristan seemed to be just at the perfect age to get so much out of it. and if you've made it to the end of this Longest Post Ever, congratulations!