Monday, August 16, 2010

the happiest place on earth

August 12, 2010
3 whole months! Can you believe it??? They've been the best any girl could ask for! I love my husband to pieces and I love the fact that we were able to spend our quarter-mark at the happiest place on earth (now the only question do we top it? The bar's high baby...good luck!).
On Thursday we finally took our highly anticipated to Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. I could hardly contain my excitement as we boarded the Woody tram and started snapping pictures like a little paparazzi. I couldn't wait to get into the park and get going!

Then it hit us. We. forgot. the tickets. Bah! Luckily my "fast-talking" (Parker's name for it) paid off and we worked our way into the park with my little Blackberry, small talk about our honeymoon with an LDS worker from Hawaii, and two "Just Married" pins to kick off our anniversary.
Our first hours at the park were what I'd always hoped Disneyland might be but never thought possible. We scampered from ride to ride and boarded our favorites with ZERO wait time. Dreams do come true! My super trooper of a little sister had had surgery on her ACL just two weeks before and we learned quickly that wheelchair = fast pass. We flew from Indiana Jones to Pirates to Haunted Mansion to Splash Mountain & Thunder Mountain in less than an hour's time. Absolutely unheard of and so unbelievably awesome.
Parker and I loved maneuvering Little Miss Haley around the park.
Happy parents ready to board pirates. Argh!!!
No idea why I always do the awkward prom pose...sorry Mom.
My two favorite sugar fiends! I think they took their first churro run before 11...
Haley & Dad ready to take the plunge down Splash Mountain...
...only because they knew Parker and I would get the worst of it. Little chickens...
I cried over my hair, Haley her wet jeans, and Parker just cried...poor baby boy J

This luck wore off as the day passed on...more and more people sauntered in claiming "disabilities" and Disneyland's newest rides offered greater accessibility for the disabled which meant no special treatment.

I became frustrated as I watched more and more people taking advantage of the system—I know it's not my place to judge, but I almost guarantee a good 50% of the people in the wheelchair accessibility line at Space mountain were there under false pretenses. Many looked like lazies who couldn't bear the thought of walking a few hundred yards and others looked like clever college kids who'd figured out how to work the system.

My frustration grew as I fought my way through careless crowds trying to keep Haley from being trampled. I couldn't handle how clueless and impolite the little buggers were. You know what I'm talking about...the ones who park it in the very middle of the walkway to stare up at the sky or decide which ride to head to next...the ones who crash into you and don't even hesitate to utter an "excuse me", apology, or even a teeny tiny acknowledgement...the ones who fight to get their kid to the front of the character line...and the ones who refuse to inch even a little to their right so you or your stroller or wheelchair can get through. I just don't get it. My one frustration about the happiest place on earth is that common courtesy seems to go out the window. And not that I'm above it all, but I feel like I battle crowds without losing my sense of humanity. I say excuse me, I say thank you when people let me pass, I try to squeeze my way between people instead of barreling through them. Anyway...enough of my tirade. Just something to think about...

We cruised to the teacups and spun ourselves into a headache before heading to Space Mountain to soar through the stars (I love that one!). Jason & Ashlee met up with us just as our hungry bunch set off to California Adventure to munch on those 10-dollar corn dogs and burgers worth maybe a quarter that price. We giggled but sympathized as Ashlee & Haley tried to eat the four corn dogs they'd bought before they'd realized their eyes were quite a bit bigger than their stomachs. I think they've sworn off corn dogs for the next year or so now...

Before anyone had a chance to use their better judgment we'd joined the queue for the Hollywood Tower of Terror. I just LOVE this ride! I fell in love on my first and only trip to Disney World at the age of five and still get the chills every time I ride. I screamed in between giggles as the elevator rose and fell and reveled in the resulting adrenaline rush. Haley laughed like crazy and we both looked a little tipsy as we tottered off in the wheelchair trying to still our chins' quivering.
Jason & Parker put up with a few pics before their patience started to wear thin. I loved Ashlee's approach to it though—"You just have to ignore them. If you stop and listen they'll know they've won and you'll miss your opportunity. Just turn and smile and they'll be quiet and turn with you. Works every time!" And it does. Wise words Ash J
Like little druggies we kept our high with stronger doses of adrenaline. We took back-to-back rides on California Screamin', reached a peak, and then crashed like any other addict. I think it was more than our systems could handle.
Parker laughed as I expressed my dismay at having waited a moment too long to take my picture. blasted tunnel...
I had to laugh when I saw this picture. It was 100% unplanned and says so much. I tell Parker all the time how much he reminds me of my brother and anyone who knows us knows Ashlee and I are like two peas in a pod. proof! Little pills...
Now in our crashed-state daze, we decided we needed a little pick-me-up in the way of Grizzly Rapids. This is probably one of my absolute favorite attractions in the happiest place on earth. I love the uncertainty of it all! You never know who will come out with the worst of it. It's great!
We laughed and laughed as my dad, Parker & Haley took on wave after wave. Everyone came out with a few battle wounds, but they most definitely took the worst of it. It was marvelous! My dad's always seemed to have some invincibility to the water. He'd laugh as waterfalls soaked us or geysers nailed our unsuspecting noggins. But today was his day! So, so fun to see...J Love you daddy!
We bustled back and forth between the parks the rest of the night, squeaking in a few more rides on Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, and a new favorite...Toy Story.
Yes, Parker did beat me. And yes, he did almost double my score. But Haley and I still contend that had we been given one more shot at it we would've creamed him. I've included a pic of the only level that I smoked him on...just a sign of things to come sweetie J

One thing I'd wished we'd paid greater attention to was Disney's new water show, World of Color. We caught bits and pieces from the Toy Story line, but I know it would have been even more spectacular out in plain view. I suppose that just means we'll be making a trip back soon...any takers??? We love company!
All in all, we had one of the happiest days at the happiest place on earth. I was reminded time and again of why I love my family so much.

My parents are beyond generous with their time, their money, their love. Their first priority is and always has been to make sure that their kids are happy and they've done the best job. I feel so lucky to be their daughter.

Jason & Ashlee are the best! Jay's sense of humor kills me and Ashlee fits into the family so well that's it's hard to remember what is was like before she became a part of it. I couldn't ask for a sweeter big sister or someone with whom I could better relate. Haley is always all smiles and I love the bond we have. We've gotten so close these last few years and it's fun to be silly, let loose, and laugh at everyone and everything with her when we're together.

And of course, my husband. I love Parker so, so much! He makes everything better for me. I laugh with him just like I do with my family. I feel safer whenever he's near. And I always have and always will admire the person he is. He's so humble and always grateful for all he's been given and for anything else that may come his way. He inspires me to be a better person each and every day and I can't imagine where I'd be now without him. He's my very best friend and the love of my life.
Happy anniversary sweetie! Thanks for making my once-upon-a-time a reality. I love you!


  1. I love Disneyland! How could you not have fun? We are so looking forward to Lake Powell, it will be awesome! We also tried coconut frozen yogurt this weekend and it was the bomb. They also offered it mixed with pineapple, yum! I am glad you got to see your family:)

  2. Okay....I'm a little jealous right now. Especially because after all of this you're cruising off to Powell this week.
    Sounds like you had so much fun with your family though! Your poor sister with her leg, that had to have been a little miserable.
    So I was just looking at the calendar and I don't have any Sundays left to play games! I'm so sad! We need to hurry and plan for fhe game night next week!

  3. ya let's do it! Lara & Kirk might be sick of us by then though :) It's Parker's first day of school but better then than when the semester really kicks off right?

  4. Oh...I miss all of you kids! We had a great time running around Disneyland with you. I wish we could have squeezed in another run in Tower of Terror and Toy Story,too! We'll do it again before too long, I hope. Thanks for being so good about posting, you're the lone member of the family that takes the time to do it...I guess that makes you our official historian =) Take care and enjoy this last get away before school starts. Be safe and have you!