Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Disneyland 2012

Jaxen loved these "moving roads". Just getting to Vegas!
One of the few kid friendly things in Vegas
Enjoying some delicious floats
Going for a walk in Vegas
Just getting to the Hotel
I love my family

Sunset at Huntington's Beach

Thank you Shamu rain coats!!!

Tired after a long day at Sea World

Picture speaks for itself
I love his face!

I love Space Mountain. Ava went on it later and loved it as well!
Ava was so happy to see the Castle
Splash Mountain, Ava was terrified! Look at her poor face.
Jaxen flying a helicopter
Tower of Terror. Scary!!!
Bugs Life Train
California Screamin' Roller coaster. Too fast!!!
Princess float at the parade
On our way to the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Redwoods were beautiful! The trees were HUGE!!!

Our huge van 11 of us travelled in for 2 weeks!
February 16, 2012 we headed off for our two week trip to Disneyland. We were picked up in a beautiful 15 passenger white van. The passengers included, Mom, Dad, Cam, Alicia, Brody, Zoey, Elly, Myself, Kyle, Ava and Jaxen. Eleven people stuffed in that van for two whole weeks. I was so worried how awful the drive was going to be but in all honesty it was just fine. Elly is only 7 months and she didn't cry EVER. She would fuss and Alicia would do what she needed to do and she would stop. I just can't get over what a happy baby she is, it is amazing. Jaxen was the one who cried the most but I just blame his sensitive little heart on that.
We left a day earlier than expected so we wouldn't have to drive all the way to Salt Lake the first night. The first night we rolled into Idaho Falls and spent the night. The hotel was nice but we only slept 7 hours and were on the road again. We then continued our way to Salt Lake and met up with my Aunt and Uncle there and had some lunch. We were supposed to spend the night at their house but it was so early in the afternoon that we decided to drive all the way to Vegas and stay there two nights instead of one. So glad we did! I do enjoy Vegas but it definitely is not child friendly. The first night we it was late so we just went to bed, we stayed at the Luxor Hotel. We got up early in the morning to do what? Eat and walk the strip. We walked that whole dang strip and I am telling you I was dying near the end, my feet hurt so bad. There was some seriously strange people out there but I am a people watcher so I was seriously entertained. It was Kyle's birthday while we were in Vegas so my parents took ALL of the kids and Kyle, myself, Cam and Alicia went out for supper. We went to a Mexican restaurant and it was delicious. I just couldn't get over the people drinking and walking around everywhere. I kept asking myself, is this legal? Obviously it is. Then the women "dancing" on the tables while people gamble. It was hard walking through there, which we had to to get to our room. It was hard to explain to the kids what they were doing. Vegas really is sin city!
We made it to Anaheim on Saturday. It was later in the afternoon and we didn't want to waste one of our days at Disneyland or anywhere else so we decided to go to the beach. We went to Huntingtons Beach and it was beautiful. It was getting late so it was a tad bit chilly. We went to supper and then played in the water for a little while. Once it got dark, which it tends to quite early, we returned to the hotel. Our room looked right over Disneyland so each night we could watch the fireworks from our window. The kids loved it! In the morning we were up by 7:00am and headed to Sea World in San Diego. We happened to get there just as it was opening. We were lucky because we got good parking and didn't have to wait in any line ups. Sea World was amazing. There was so many animals and fun rides. Ava went on a roller coaster as soon as we got there. I was nervous that she would be terrified but she loved it. She had her hands up the whole time. Jaxen was too small for any of the rides but there was a pet show we went to. The show was called "Pet's Rule", it was great. I have never seen animals so well trained. I mean dogs yes but cats and pigs? Jaxen saw a chocolate lab and was convinced it was our dog Mikka. You couldn't change his mind so I went with it. He missed his puppy so I didn't mind letting him think he saw his very own dog in a "dog show". The Killer Whale performance was awesome. There were so good but I couldn't help feel sad for them at the same time. They need to be in a big ocean and not in a tiny pool. I think it had something to do with the music, it was depressing me. They need to look into changing that. Maybe I will write a letter...j/k. It was getting late so we headed back to the hotel. We went for a soak in the hot tub and headed to bed.
Universal Studio's was next. I had been years ago, like 22 years ago. I didn't remember anything. This place was alright, I didn't love it though. We walked through a haunted house when we first got there. Holy smokes!!! I seriously pee'd my pants a little bit. I went through with my dad, mom, and Brody. Alicia and Zoey turned around. It was so scary and things were making noises and jumping out at you. I was screaming and Brody was scarred for life. The poor little guy was crying by the time we got out of there. It seemed like it wasn't ever going to end. I went back in with Kyle but everytime I would squeeze his hand he knew something was coming so I ruined it for him. It wasn't as bad the second time because I knew what was going to happen. Again the kids were too small for any of the rides so we took off on our own and let them play at a jungle gym they had there. We saw lots of characters that the kids knew so it was fun for them. We also say a movie star. Kyle recognized her first. We couldn't think of her name so we didn't say anything. It turns out it was Marcia Gay Harden. The only movie could remember her from was Flubber. She has actually been in a lot of other movies. That was exciting. After we did all we could do we headed back for some supper and bed time.
It was Tuesday by now it it was time for Disneyland. It was so hard for the kids being right across the street and not being able to go until now. We had mapped it out and we went land to land. We started out in ToonTown and the kids loved it. Jaxen loved it and so did Ava. They were able to meet Mickey Mouse after walking through is house. Jaxen even got to go on a mini roller coaster. We then went to Fantasy Land where all the Princess' were. Waiting and waiting for rides began here. I was so happy my children had patience, it made it so much easier on me. We actually made it through all the area's in the first night with only a few rides we didn't make it on due to the line ups. I went on Space Mountain with Kyle the first night, it was so fun! Ava joined me and my dad on Space Mountain again later that evening and she loved it. I was worried but she insisted on going so I didn't argue. She was laughing and her arms were in the air again, such a little rebel. We had gotten to Disneyland at opening which was at nine and we didn't leave until closing at ten that night. My kids were little troopers and were going strong until the end. We went to bed close to midnight and were up early to head to LegoLand.
LegoLand was fun. It was so hot that day, I thought I might die. I even had to buy a tank top seeing as I dressed like it was spring not summer. This place was made for Jaxen. He was in love and didn't stop one time. There were so many rides just for him, he just couldn't believe it. We didn't spend much time there because we were going back to Disneyland in the afternoon. After a few shows and rides we had some lunch and headed out. We went back to the hotel to regroup and we were off again. It was so nice at Disneyland in the evening, it was too hot and it wasn't too busy. We ended up doing the things were weren't able to do the first night. The rides are truly amazing, the detail the put into everything. We stayed until closing again and my kids were in heaven. Another late night and another early morning.
Thursday was the last day we were there. We went to California Adventure Land. Again it was fun but I wasn't amazed. I truly feel in love with Disneyland. One ride we went on in adventure land was an airplane simulator ride, amazing. It felt like we were flying and when we flew through the mountains you could smell pine trees and then when flying through orange trees we could smell oranges. We then went on the Tower of Terror. I was scared, I mean really nervous. I didn't know what to expect but it turned out really fun. Cam came on as well and he was nervous, like poop his pants nervous. He loved it too. We then headed over to California Scream' roller coaster. That roller coaster was too fast and I almost blacked right out. I didn't hate it but I didn't feel right for awhile after I rode it. We then went of some rides for the kids. The little Mermaid was really good. Ava loved it, Jaxen looked worried. Everything looks so real. It was time to head back to the hotel to do a load of laundry and go for a swim. We needed a little break before heading to the parade. The kids got rested and changed into some warmer clothing for the evening. My parents saved us some seats for the parade and it was fantastic. The music, lights and all the characters were great. The kids sat still and didn't move the whole parade. It was getting close to closing time so we headed back to FantasyLand and went into the castle and bought Ava some princess dolls. Everything is so expensive in there but you got to splurge. Ava got her Rapunzel doll and couldn't be happier. It was time to head back to the hotel and try to pack everything up. It was sad, I didn't want to leave. I was happy we had such a great time and there were no serious melt downs or fights between anyone.
Friday morning we were up at 6:30, I wanted to die. I HATE getting up early. We were heading home. My dad wanted to drive home on the Oregon Coast. I have never been in Oregon but it was amazing. The ocean and the waves crashing made me happy inside. We were planning on sleeping in Lincon City but when we tried to get a hotel, EVERYTHING was booked. It turned out it was a seafood festivel that weekend. We kept driving and finally found a MOTEL. I don't remember the name but when we walked in it reminded me of a 1970 porn room. It was gross! The room was freezing and never warmed up and the beds were sick. The bedspread was old and you know what the means. In the middle of the night I woke up and I was laying on the mattress, NO SHEETS. I almost started crying. I was so happy to get out of there in the morning. We then continued on to the Redwoods. I have never seen trees so bid. We stopped at a hotel in the middle of the woods and it was so nice. It was peaceful and beautiful. We drove all day until we got to Cranbrook at 8:00pm that night. It was nice to get back into Canada and know we were so close to home. We got up and headed home. We got home around 1:00 in the afternoon. It was nice to be in my house again. We put in a load of laundry and hopped back into our car and headed to Lethbridge. I didn't want to but we needed food and I had to run to work to fill out my time card.
All in all that was one of the best holidays I had ever been on. It was fantastic and I am so happy my mom and dad did that for all of us. There are so many memories that will last a life time. I love my mom and dad and I am so thankful for everything they do for us. We will be doing a family holiday again for sure. It just might take us a few years and we will be flying for sure next time!!!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ava's 5th Birthday

We had a low key Birthday for Ava this year, I can't believe she is 5 already. I felt bad because all of her friends at school had "friend" birthdays but Ava only got a family one. She didn't seem to mind, she didn't even mention it at all. We had sloppy joes, which we ran out of and Kyle had to run uptown to get a pizza. My sister Alicia made Owl cupcakes that were so cute and tasted delicious. We were lucky enough to have my whole family there, Kerrie and Aydin lived in Raymond for about 6 months but are now back in Vancouver. My Aunt Renae and Nelson came for a little bit before Nelson went to a party of his own. And my Grandparents on both sides came as well. Ava had a blast like she always does, she is always in a good mood. If you feel like viewing some pics, they are on my facebook page. I will tell a secret, I am at work so I actually don't have any access to my pics. It's Sunday and my pod is slow, don't judge. I love my Ava to death, she is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Sometimes she makes me want to scream and pull my hair out but I am glad she chose this family to join. I love you Ava Beth!!!