I am not much of a landscape photographer. I like people, and I like them in my pictures. Sure, I'll take pictures of other things, but I prefer a person in my picture most of the time. This works well since I usually have five very cute subjects with me. However, when I went to Disneyland with my mother, Miranda, and Tim, we were lacking in the usual child cuteness. Not to be deterred, I took plenty of pictures since I knew my kids would want proof of my adventures. But that means you get a LOT of selfie pictures. That is just the way it rolled that week.
Let's start at the beginning. My mother turned 65 this year. If you make it that far, you should be able to choose what you would like to do for your birthday. She chose the happiest place on earth with her children. I was sad that I couldn't bring my kids along, but I enjoy seeing my extended family, so I was very much looking forward to the trip.
My mother left early for her vacation. A week in advance, she was traveling through CA visiting family and friends. We 'kids' didn't join her until later. She booked flights for us that met up in Oakland, so we could finish the trip together and she would only have to make one pickup at the airport.
My flight arrived first and I spent a little time exploring the airport so I would know where to find Tim and Miranda. I saw something that I had never seen before. A vending machine with makeup inside. What a novel idea. It even had a big mirror on the side so that when you buy your cosmetics, you can apply them instantly.
The best part of the vending machine was that it reminded me that I needed to keep my camera at the ready. Which means I was ready when Tim and Miranda arrived. Airport selfie.
Tim was not sure about the camera time, but I told him he'd better get used to it. I think he had a very good attitude about pictures the whole time, despite his skeptical look here.
The flight was short and we made it safely. There was a small mix-up since my bags arrived before I did, but we found them eventually. (Glad I didn't have to wear the same clothes for a week.) Our first priority after checking in was dinner, since we were all very hungry. Here we are at IHOP.
Our motel was right across from the park. I think it is the closest I have ever been to the entrance and that is including when we stayed at Paradise Pier. It was great. There was a continental breakfast each morning at a neighboring restaurant, so we got up early the next day so we could enjoy the Magic Morning at Disneyland.
Magic Morning has changed quite a bit since I was a kid. I believe that now the park just opens an hour early and you can go wherever you like. We opted to start with Space Mountain since Tim had never been on it. We had Miranda in a wheelchair so she could last the whole day. Space Mountain has a very cool wheelchair access maneuver. There is a separate car that you enter and then an entire platform shifts over to allow that car to enter the ride. I had never seen it before. Very cool. Needless to say, my selfie on Space Mountain was too dark.
But I got a picture on Finding Nemo.
Small World is one of Miranda's favorites so we went there while the line was non-existent.
Next stop was Adventure Land to get on Indiana Jones before it got too busy. No surprise that there was already a long line. They gave us a return time. (Wheelchairs are now asked to come back after a certain amount of time if the line is too long. It is only for certain rides and it really depends on how long the queue is to begin with. We never had to wait too long. As extra information, all of California Adventure is planned for wheelchairs. You never get a back entrance. You just wait in line like everyone else.) While waiting to come back to Indiana Jones, we went on the Jungle Cruise.
The guide was pretty funny. At one point he told us not to make banana noises to attract the attention of the ape. I was pretty good at not making banana noises since I don't know what they sound like in the first place, but he did frown at me for wearing yellow. (He's lucky I didn't wear my banana shirt that day. Look for that one on day two.)
Next stop, Indiana Jones. NO go. It was broken down. Thus began a very long list of rides that broke down on our trip. Everywhere we went, something was malfunctioning. Here are the ones we ran across, although I'm sure there were more.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Alice in Wonderland
Tower of Terror
Midway Mania (Toy Story)
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
The Mummy (Universal Studios)
And even two machines - The Pineapple Whip Machine (so sad) and a smoothie machine at Universal Studios
Since Indiana Jones was a no go, we went to Pirates. It broke down while we were on the ride. We were stuck in one section for 20 minutes. It wasn't so bad since we were nice and cool, but we did have to listen to a blaring version of "Yo ho ho ho, a pirate's life for me" right next to us. That song was stuck in my head for hours afterward. I know this picture is dark, but this is where we were during that time...in the section where the town is in flames.
In the Haunted Mansion, we were also stopped a few times. That seems pretty normal. It is not the first time my 'doombuggy' has been delayed.
Tim and I took a picture outside the mansion since it was too dark inside. You could barely see Mom and Miranda on the ride.
On Splash Mountain we were completely soaked. It felt like someone had dumped a bucket of water over my head.
(I didn't dry out all day. When I got to the motel in the evening, I was still damp in places. Well, come to think of it, we got wet all over again at World of Color, so maybe that had something to do with it.) Upon leaving Splash Mountain, mom said one of the funniest things. "Well, do we need to eat or do we need to poo?" What?!? Clearly she is concerned that we stay regular on the trip. When questioned, she had actually said, "Do we need to eat or Winnie the Pooh?" We chose to Pooh!
We saw Eeyore over in Pooh Corner. (One of Ivory's favorites.)
Before lunch we decided to give Indiana Jones one more try. It was running so we headed on. I have never taken a wheel chair on this ride either. We reached a certain point and they told us to take the elevator. Okay. Hey guys! We are on an elevator!
At the top, you walk a few yards and there is another elevator that takes you back down. Hey guys! Another elevator!!
After barely saving the day for Indiana Jones (you're welcome Indy) we headed over to California Adventure. Lunch was the first stop. It felt so good to eat and relax. I feel renewed and refreshed.
You guys ready for more? They look ready.
We went to the Aladdin show first. Got to love sitting in a cool theater during the middle of the day. But first, wait in line. (Always.) Miranda and I are doing our Aladdin faces.
Tim and Mom are hanging in there.
The show was fantastic. We had great seats and the Genie was hilarious as always. They always incorporate jokes from pop culture. Definitely worth going. (p.s. See that scooter there? Mom is crazy on that thing. She zooms around like nobody's business. If she gets a clear path, good luck catching up to her.)
We had some time to kill before dinner. We worked our way toward Midway Mania. I really like California Adventure. I'm not sure it could replace Disneyland, but there is so much great stuff. Although...not the Ferris Wheel. That is for looks only people. Never go on that evil thing.
Midway Mania was really fun. I didn't make it there last time, so it was my first time going through. Miranda and I are all set with our glasses. (Oh. The ride broke down while we were waiting in line, but we just stayed until it got moving again. And it rained while we were there. It was all overcast and it finally started sprinkling.)
I barely outscored her. Tough competition.
We shopped a bit before dinner and Miranda bought Anna. She is so cute. One of the best doll faces I have ever seen on a princess.
Dinner was fantastic. Mom took us to Ariel's Grotto. It was so yummy. Their crab chowder was amazing. Look at this other yummy stuff. Mahi Mahi.
Even dessert was fun with three little decadent items each.
My phone was dead by now. (Thanks mom for the dinner pictures.) So I didn't get any pictures of World of Color in the evening. Because we ate dinner at Ariel's Grotto, they give us tickets for really good seats at World of Color. Good enough that we were pretty wet by the time the show finished. (It helped that there was a nice wind blowing in our direction. The attendant said he had never gotten that wet before at a show.)
As we walked out of California Adventure, we caught the tail end of the Disneyland fireworks. But we were headed to bed. What a fun exhausting day.