This past weekend I took the kids to Disneyland.
I kept it to myself until 3:30am last Friday morning when I woke them up and said, "Wake up we're going to Disneyland."
Man, that's seriously the best.
Last weekend marks about the half-way point between their two birthdays (Simon on January 21 and Anna on February 10) so the timing was just right, along with it generally being a less busy time of year to visit which makes it a little easier for Simon to enjoy.
We took a couple flights to get down, landing around 9am and headed straight to the hotel and then straight into California Adventure.
The last time Anna was at Disneyland was in 2012 (blog post about that adventure here). She had just turned four and remembers a few things about being there so it was really so great to take her again.
They are both such good travelers and really up for seeing and going and doing.
I'm one of those people that alternates quickly between being in the moment and reflecting on the moment. As we were walking around, riding rides, standing in line, having snacks and generally enjoying being there one of the phrases that kept going through my head was "be the kind of people that __________."
Be the kind of people that go on adventures.
Be the kind of people who are compassionate and patient and kind.
Be the kind of people who make time for fun.
Be the kind of people that make space for people to be who they are.
Be the kind of people that take breaks when we need it.
Be the kind of people who stretch and reach and work through fears.
I've been so happy to be able to take these two a few times over the years at very different ages and stages - all have been great for one reason or another. But this time, with both of them being older, it was definitely easier overall.
And so darn fun for it to just be the three of us.
I love that they like to just hang out.
They don't mind going back to the room for a rest and they don't have the "I have to do every single thing" mindset. It was a good pace and flow.
I love that they are excited and silly and want to see stuff.
Simon could have definitely stayed in Tomorrowland the whole time - especially with the new Star Wars focus. I know one of the reasons I love to take him is because he really does light up in the fantasy and the stories and the characters.
Anna wanted a photo with every character we passed. I loved it because I know that doesn't last forever either.
We stayed at the Grand Californian. I love being able to walk out the door into California Adventure.
They both loved the water slide.
I did take my big camera along but this is really the only shot I took with it. My phone worked just fine for this trip.
Simon was really patient - something he's been working on and yes the phone does help with this - while waiting for Anna to be able to do the things she wanted to do and see.
Like Elsa and Ana.
Gah. So great.
Thank you Disney for bringing characters and stories to life for my kids.
Apparently they are good at following directions when I say "serious face." And apparently I cracked.
I'm telling you - the best. I can't wait for more trips with these two as they grow older. They are awesome.
We happened upon this "Jessie" hat in the shop over by the Toy Story ride and it was perfect for Anna.
I think we rode Big Thunder Mountain five times while we were there this time. It was all of our favorite on this trip.
I took this shot with my iPhone - just holding it out in front of me and hoping for the best. I think I took about six shots and this one was the best of the group.
Be the kind of people to hold on tight for the wild ride of life with a big smile on your face.
On Sunday it rained like crazy.
We are not afraid of rain - come on, we live in Oregon. But by mid-morning it was enough and we were soaked. We headed back to the hotel and hung out and talked about our options and changed clothes and then went and saw Kung Fu Panda 3 at the movie theater at Downtown Disney. I'm a fan of that too.
We flew home on Monday morning.
And as soon as I saw this photo I immediately remembered this one from 2012, also at the Orange County airport - also heading home from Disneyland:
The best. Seriously. Love seeing yesterday and today collide like that.
Oh my sweet kids - let's always be adventurers.