Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Long Road Home

We left our condo with two more destinations before we could head home...

Olivia loves her American Girl dolls and we thought it would be fun to surprise her with a stop at the American Girl store. As we walked through the store she said, "This is a girl paradise!" It was fun to see her get so excited about all of the girly things they had there.

She was so excited to be there! Times like these I wish I had a load of money to dump on meaningless things just for the sake of buying them. I know that happiness doesn't come from stuff... but I still think it's fun to buy things.

Our last stop was for Coleman. He kept telling us that he wanted to see the Hollywood sign and although it wasn't really on the way, we made a special trip for him.

We thought this sign was hilarious close to the viewing spot.

When we got there Coleman unleashed his plan (that I know had been percolating in that little brain of his for a long, long time). He wanted to "hold" the Hollywood sign (a la Pyramid stealing from the movie "Despicable Me") so we took a few pictures until we got it just right.

Here are our cute kids that did great on the ride home.... Soph-a-Loaf did okay too, save for one minor meltdown somewhere between Vegas and St. George.

We had a fun, fun trip! Thanks to all of our family that made it extra special!

Disneyland! 2011

Santa was good to us and mailed us three day park hopper passes for Disneyland and California Adventure! We had a lovely time and played hard in February. We were excited to spend time with Ryan's family and my dad and my sister Heather came up for a couple of days too! Here are a whole bunch of pictures, in no particular order, because I'm not committed enough to organize them.

Sophia and I rode on King Triton's merry go round a few times while the big kids were on California Screamin'. She doesn't look too happy in this picture... but I think she really did like it.

Cute kids in front of the castle...

Sam and Coleman were happy to strike a pose at any given moment, whether a camera was around or not.

We went on the ferris wheel and my dad thought it would be a good idea to go in the rolling car.  It was hilarious when we started rocking and Olivia got a panic-stricken look on her face and tried to hang on to anything she could. I was laughing so hard... until the nausea set in and I thought I'd lose my lunch. Coleman was happy to hold the motion sickness bag that they so graciously provided for me. Thank goodness I didn't actually need it, but I was humbled and stopped laughing at Olivia.

Coleman, Sam, and Alyza were waiting to get in line for the Toy Story Mania ride... one of our favorites. They LOVED spending time together.

I love that they have a teacup especially for taking posed photos.  Bruce thought it was a great place to rest and realized that it was a photo-op spot when a young dad asked if they could please take a picture.... I wish I had a picture of Bruce lounging away, oblivious to the line of families waiting for their turn :).

My dad and Heather were so fun... they have annual passes (SoCal discount!) and go often enough that they were happy to do whatever we wanted to do. We loved hanging out with them.

Coleman and Olivia were trying to pull the sword from the stone... when I was 10 or 11 I was invited (by Merlin himself!)  to pull it out. They couldn't figure out how I could have been strong enough to do it. Hydraulics, baby.

We loved the Buzz Lightyear ride too.

We used Fast Passes for everything... hooray for the Fast Pass and for rider swap. Here we were in line for Space Mountain.

Heather and I in the same line.... do we look alike?

Closing time!

Sophia enjoyed the flowers in Toon Town.

Toon Town doesn't have a lot that I loved, but the bright colors were fun for pictures.

Sophia looks a lot happier on the merry go round with Ry.

Our whole family fit in this tiny phone booth!

Scott and Kristen were formidable opponents... but I'm pretty sure Ryan and I won :).

Olivia and Coleman had fun on the teacups with Bruce and Terri.

Oh no! TNT!

Not sure what Ry was doing... but it was a funny picture.

Olivia and Grandpa Cole had lots of fun together.

Liv got invited to help with the Incredibles Street Party... she is so strong!

I love this picture of us getting ready to take off on California Screamin'.
One more shot at the sword in the stone.

Soph and I rode on the rocket... she wanted to dive out of it!

We spent some time our last afternoon in the play area at California Adventure. Alyza and Liv were buddies.

Here's that picture of Soph that I love so much!

And a great picture of Coleman, too!

We had so much fun at Disneyland. We did most everything we wanted to and were exhausted at the end of each day. We are already talking about what we'll do when we go next time!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Good Friends and a Sunday Surprise

On Sunday morning we surprised the Reis kids at church. Carrie Beth told them they needed to be on time to church because they had to sing in Sacrament Meeting. They were shocked when we walked in (a bit late) and sat on the bench next to them. I love fun surprises like that.

Madison and Olivia could spend hours and hours together...

...and so could Carrie Beth and I...

...and Brandon and Coleman could too. Just look at those happy smiles!

We were so happy to spend the day with them! Good church time, yummy lunch, and great conversation.... what more could we ask for?

Newport Beach

We spent an afternoon at Newport Beach. Our good friends introduced us to the ferry that goes to Balboa Island a few years ago, and we thought we'd do a repeat with Ryan's family. The ferry is a quick ride, but still fun!

I love this picture... it shows what Sophia was trying to do during our whole trip (and usually succeeded). She wouldn't keep her hat on for anything... which wouldn't have been as big a deal if it weren't so chilly!

Traci and Wade and their cute kids came from Washington. We don't get to see them often enough--but it was fun to spend some time with them during the week.

We stopped at a park when we got there and the kids had a fun time playing. Sophia loved going down the slide with Liv.

Then we walked along the quaint little streets and looked at the amazing waterfront homes and dreamed of days when we might own such luxurious weekend homes. We arrived at our destination (Dad's Bakery) for Hippo Cookies and ice cream (it's always about the treats, right?).

Sophia was in heaven with the hippo cookie... she only got to eat a few bites of it, but she enjoyed every one.
The ice cream was pretty tasty too...

...Coleman and Sam got more blue on their faces than in their tums. Why can't I ever remember that bubble gum ice cream is never a good idea?

Then it started raining, so we ran to catch the ferry back over to the "mainland" and there was a beautiful view of the homes on Balboa Island.

We played on the beach for a bit, too.

Sophia loved the feeling of the cold sand... until she did a face plant in it and then tried to use here sandy little hands to wipe the sand off of her tongue. It was sad and hilarious at the same time.

Coleman thinks that jumping off of sand dunes might be the best thing ever... the "dunes" were maybe 8 inches high, but that didn't deter him in the least.

Liv quite enjoyed it too.
Love the action shots!

Sophia was getting excited to go to Disneyland! I love that expression on her face.

What's a cold trip to the beach without kids trying to outrun the waves and getting soaked?

They loved it!

Finally, we drove to see the Newport Beach Temple--it is such a beautiful, unique building. The gates were closed, but I was still so glad that we took the time to go there.

I think I could get used to SoCal life...