Thursday, August 06, 2009

Aunt Darlene and Anaheim

Aunt Darlene came to California for a week of meetings at Disneyland.
She flew in on Sunday, July 19th and invited the girls down to play.
We left the house headed to Anaheim when Aunt Dar landed at LAX to meet her at her hotel across the street from Disneyland.
The girls were enamoured with the fish tanks in the lobby which happen to have all the fish from the movie Finding Nemo (coincidence, I think not). No sharks or turtles, though.
We checked into the hotel, dropped off a couple bags and got back in the car to grab some dinner.
We decided on Red Robin- quite kid friendly.
The kids were pretty hungry so we ordered a kids meal for each of them.
Kennedy had mac-n-cheese.

Madison had a corn dog.

They ate almost every bite.
This may seem irrelevant, but you have to realize Madison rarely eats more than a couple bites of any dinner-at home, or out.
Murphy's law- if we order her a kids meal, she won't eat anything. If we don't she wants everything on our table and the next.
Sunday night the girls were eaters.
When the girls were (mostly) done (note the apple in Kennedy's hand), Aunt Dar kept them occupied so Mommy could finish her meal.

Madison got to pick out a balloon as we left.
We had a quick stop to make though.
We managed to get all the way down to Anaheim with no baby doll for Kennedy- the baby doll addict.
Luckily there was a Target across the street from Red Robin.
We stopped and got Kennedy one of the $2.99 mini babies and all was well with the world.
Back at the hotel, the girls played with Aunt Darlene while Mommy unloaded the car.
Turns out it takes a lot of stuff to spend a night or two in a hotel with two kids under 3.
Note their cutie red, white, and blue matching dresses. Too cute!

The night was better and worse than I thought it would be.
Does that make any sense?
Kennedy started out in her pack-n-play and fell asleep pretty quickly.
When she woke up she fell back asleep pretty quickly- in the king sized bed with Aunt Dar, Madison, and me.
Madison cuddled with Aunt Dar all night.
Mommy worried about Kennedy falling out of bed all night....
Soooo...the kids did great
Aunt Dar was still adjusting to the time difference, so she slept pretty well, too.
Mommy didn't sleep much.
Bright eyed and bushy tailed

Aunt Dar got ready for her first day of meetings, then played stickers with Madison.

Aunt Dar was off to work.
Mommy and the girls were off to play at Disneyland for the day (thanks to Aunt Dar hooking us up with a park-hopper)
We jumped on the shuttle bus from the hotel to the parks and high tailed it the Princesses.
The line starts long and gets longer so it's best to hit it as early as possible.
The great people in line around us helped keep the girls entertained 45 minutes.
Between Kennedy trying to walk, Madison admiring the many 'princesses' (lots of little girls in their favorite princess dress-up gowns), and yummy snacks we took with us time just flew.
Belle was both girls' favorite.
Kennedy was mesmerized by her.

She couldn't stop staring.
Madison was a hugger, as usual.
Ariel was happy to see Madison as well.

Since the Princesses are right next door to Mickey's Toontown, it was our next stop.
We ran into Goofy cruising the Town.
He stopped for a photo and held Kennedy's hand to steady her.
She couldn't figure out who was helping her.

Next we were off to Minnie's house.

Where the girls were fascinated by Minnie's dishwasher.

Kennedy thought the fish swimming in it were funny.

Then we ran into Mr Mickey himself

Madison did some driving

Then we strolled back down Main Street and stopped for a fun snack

Fun AND yummy

Kennedy was sleeping, so we saved a piece of pretzel for her.
As we left the shop, we ran into some more friends

Then exited the park and headed over to Disney's California Adventure for the first time.
Look who was waiting just inside the gate for us.
How did she get across the park and into new clothes so fast?
Good thing the girls aren't asking those questions just yet.

California Minnie was so cute!

Then we saw Snow White

Did you know she is Gramm's favorite?

She was happy to see the girls, too.

As we were going to park our stroller for a show, we spotted Woody and Cinderella.
We high tailed it back to watch a little impromptu show on the street

Then went inside to see Cinderella

and blow her some close up kisses

with both the little Princesses.

Then we went back to the show we were originally headed for- Playhouse Disney Live.

We sat down on the floor and got ready for the show.

Madison played along with the entertainers in the pre-show.
Then some of our favorite morning cartoon characters came out (in puppet form) to help plan Minnie's surprise birthday party.

Handy Manny made the bubble machine work and it blew bubbles out everywhere

Both girls loved it!
Then Madison helped "Pat, Pat, Pat, Pat..." with the Little Einsteins.

When the show was over we went to play in Flik's circus play area.
We rode a dumbo-like ride where the flying part was a chinese takeout box
Doesn't Madison look like she is glowing in this picture?

She loved flying around high up in the air

Kennedy wasn't sure how she felt about it.

Next we were off to a tea cup-like ride with Ladybug heads instead of tea cups.
Did I mention Mommy doesn't like to spin?
Clearly Madison does!

Pretty funny, huh?

Then we were off to grab a bite of lunch.
Chicken nuggets all around.
Madison started getting a little tired, but was easily bribed to eat a little more with the buzz light year straw cup she politely begged for early in the day.
No, we don't make a habit of bribing her to eat, but come on- this was Disney.

Kennedy enjoyed her time in the front of the stroller for a little while with 'Mr Litebeer' (one of Daddy's favorite Toy Story quotes) while we waited for the afternoon parade.

Don't they look just a little out of place this way?

Kennedy liked her new view, so did her baby.

Funny girl.

Madison got to hold the big bunch of balloons, but she was so tired she barely cracked a smile.
She smiles every time she looks at the picture now.

After the parade we caught the shuttle back to the hotel for a little pool time.
As we got changed into our suits, Aunt Dar got back from work.
She suited up, too and we all went down to the pool for a pre-dinner dip.
We met a fun family from Seattle with two high energy boys and a brand new baby girl.
The Dad was from Ireland, so they loved Miss Kennedy's name and her name-sake Aunt Darlene Kennedy.
Since the girls were still in good moods and everyone got a decent night's sleep the night before, we decided to stay another night with Aunt Dar.
So, after our pool time we got dressed

and snuggled a little

and jumped on the shuttle back to Downtown Disney.
We walked to the end to try and hit Rainforest Cafe.
The wait was way too long so we decided to eat at Tortilla Joe's again.
Kennedy played the drop game with her baby, but decided she wanted to get it.
We held Kennedy, she dropped her baby, we leaned her down and she reached out to pick it up on her own.
Then the process repeated.
Lots of bending occuppied our wait.
We were all pretty hungry when dinner arrived, but the girls were like ticking time bombs at that point.
No nap for Madison and very few for Kennedy throughout the day.
They shared an order of rice and beans.
(Mommy forgot to pack a bib, so Kennedy had a napkin wrapped around her neck)

Not sure how much of the rice actually made it INTO her mouth

Madison was happy to sit next to Aunt Dar and enjoyed her very first Shirley Temple.

On the way back to the shuttle Mommy held Kennedy in the sling and nursed her until she fell asleep.
Which gave us shopping time at the Anne Geddes store- it's the one and only in the world.
The girls got cute, new fairy shirts (Kennedy's has little wings on the back) and Kennedy got the softest pink jacket for this coming winter. Great clearance sale!
(No pictures to show, but Aunt Darlene ended up going back later in the week to get an amazingly gorgeous baby doll for her 'Somewhere in Time' room at home)
Aunt Dar and I decided it was a little surreal to be walking around Downtown Disney, but be in California together.
About the time I was thinking it-Aunt Dar ran into one of her friends and co-workers from back in Orlando who happened to be vacationing with her 2 daughters. Niether of them knew the other was in California.
Guess it really is a small world, afterall. (you know I couldn't resist!)
After purusing the shops long enough, we shuttled back to the hotel just in time to watch the HUGE fireworks from the front of our hotel. We were so close ash actually fell on us as we watched!
Kennedy slept thru it all- she was one exhausted baby.
Everyone slept well that night.
So well, in fact, the girls almost didn't get to say goodbye to Aunt Dar.
Kennedy woke up early morning so Mommy let her stay in the big bed.

The girls looked so sweet laying next to each other.
Each time one of them wiggled they smacked the other in the face.
Neither of them seemed to mind.
After a little proding, they woke up in time for last minute hugs

Before Aunt Dar had to go back to work and we had to pack up for home.

We were so thankful to have had special time with Aunt Darlene on her west coast trip.
The girls were so tuckered out by all the fun, they both fell back asleep on the way home!
We loved this trip so much, we booked the same hotel for the upcoming Shemenski August Birthday Extravaganza and decided to make another 2 night stay!
We miss Aunt Darlene already, but loved our time with her.
Looking forward to September when the girls are headed back to Florida for a visit.

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