When the stress levels in our house get too high. Things get rough for our family. Little problems become big. Jayme starts to act-up more at school and daycare, Anthony starts looking for ways to be a stay home dad and Joshua becomes crazed housemaid. So identifying when our family is stressed is very important for our families well being.
Having survived the house move and all the drama that came with it, our family needed a break. We all knew it and we had gotten to the point where it just had to happen. So the dad’s decided to look for a weekend getaway.
We looked at renting a house on the beach, but it was all so pricy. For those prices we might as well fly to Disneyland! Huumm Disneyland….
So on a boring Thursday night, May 9th, we all arrived home and had a simple dinner. After dinner we all sat down on the sofa together and asked Jayme if he wanted to go to school the next day, he said no. So then asked him if he wanted to go to Disneyland and he said yes. We said… ok.
Having packed all the bags the night before so all we had to do was load the car and drive to the airport. It took him a few minutes to process it all in. But, by the time we got to the airport he was bouncing for joy. Clearly this trip was want the doctor ordered because by the time we got to the airport everyone’s mood was better and everyone was smiling.
We parked in long term parking and rode the shuttle in for our 8:30pm flight to LAX on Alaska Airlines. The flight was very short and before we knew it we were descending in to LAX. This flight marked Jayme’s 11th flight. He has become quite the seasoned traveler over the past two years.
We gathered our luggage and headed to the Thrifty car rental shuttle. It was here that the travel, excitement and hour of the day caught up with Jayme. He started to get a bit fussy and wanted to be held. Jayme is 8 years old and at times about 4. This was one of those times.
Once we had the car we pulled out our iPhone and headed off to the hotel. This trip Anthony found an unbelievable combo deal with the airfare and the hotel, the hotel being the Anaheim Travelodge International. Now…. we are not picky, as long as the room is clean and nice we can put up with just about anything. But we knew all was not well when we hit the elevator it smelled like someone had done well… you know in it.
The room itself at first glance looked ok, plain but ok. But in the morning we noticed in the bathroom huge water marks and mold told a different story. Anthony and Jayme tried to put on a cheery face, but Joshua was not happy. Years ago we had gone on a trip and stayed in a 2 star hotel, after that trip Joshua had a travel restriction on our family staying in anything other than a 3 star hotel or higher. The Anaheim Travelodge International was a 2 star. But we did get one real plus out of the hotel, Anthony is not allowed to book anything other than the Disneyland hotel for our next visit, per Joshua. So our next trip should be amazing!
What the Anaheim Travelodge International lacked, the parks made up for. We woke the next morning and skipped the nasty free breakfast in favor of Lenny’s…. ah Denny’s.
We arrived at California Adventure a min after rope drop. Knowing how long the lines can be at Car’s Land we decided to spend the morning there and made a beeline for Radiator Spring Racers. As we crossed the entrance the wait time sat at 1 hour. Normally we would never get in a queue with an hour wait, but know how long this line can be. In our last visit Joshua did not have a chance to go on RSR because of the long queues, so this was all new for him. Jayme passed the time taking photos of strangers; his normal vacation hobby and the dad’s had their first chance in weeks to just talk and relax in the warm sun. The hour wait turned out to really be only about 45 mins! We all loved the ride and once again, our car won the race. As we exited we noticed the wait time was hovering at 260 mins, so grateful we came early!
We spent the morning exploring Radiator Springs and the boardwalk area of California Adventure. But once lunch time arrived we had a real adult treat planned, lunch reservations at Carthay Circle.
Carthay Circle is the new fancy restaurant in California Adventure. We arrived and check in on the first floor, they asked us to take a seat in the lounge and all three of us sunk in to big leather sofas and waited in the dark cool room. After a few minutes a host arrived and took us to our table, which was on the second floor. We had the option to take the stairs or the elevator, Jayme chose the elevator.
The restaurant is very large but is broken up into many small dining rooms. We were taken to our room, which only had 7 tables in it. A few minutes later our waiters (note: waiters) took our drink orders and our dining experience began. We planned to take advantage of the World of Color reserved seating offered by the restaurant. To qualify for it each person in the party must to order a main course and a desert or appetizer. We met and beat this. Each of us ordered an appetizer, main course and desert. All three meals were AMAZING! Each of us ate of each other’s plates, with the exception of Jayme’s fish, which he inhaled in a matter of minutes.
But the best part was dessert. Each of us ordered something. Anthony ordered cheesecake, Jayme a chocolate brownie and Joshua ordered, but did not eat, the Strawberry Rhubarb tart. I say ordered and not eaten because Joshua mistakenly let Jayme try a bite before he tucked in. Before Joshua knew what had happened, Jayme had inhaled the whole tart and was asking for more! Anthony nearly fell out of his seat he was laughing so hard. After wonderful lunch we rolled our self’s down the road to our dirty hotel and took a long post lunch nap!
The 2nd highlight of the day was World of Color. This was our second time watching the World of Color show as a family, last time we arrived an hour early, had reserved standing space and got an amazing view. We had a front row view in section D3, we felt like kings. This time we seemed to have topped even that. The Carthay Circle reserved area was a little further back but was on a higher tier in section Y3. We arrived an hour early like last time and were the first group escorted to the reserved area. Over the next hour only 3 other small groups joined us. We ended up having a huge area almost to ourselves. This felt very awkward as we looked down at everyone else packed in like sardines. The show was outstanding and as we left the park we could feel that the stress bubble we had been living in for the past few months had been popped.
Disneyland park day! We again skipped the yucky free breakfast at our hotel, but this time we headed to IHOP for breakfast. The price was about the same as Denny’s but there were more food options.
People always ask what our battle plan is when visiting the parks. I tell them three things; Go early, use the fast-passes and take a nap. Today we did not veer from that strategy.
We headed right to Space Mountain, as that was the one ride Jayme loves above all others. As we entered the standby line we also grabbed fast passes. We had a 10 min wait, rode Space Mountain then walked over to Star Tours with a 10 min wait, then walked back to Space Mountain and rode again with our fast-passes. Within the first hour we had done the Space Mountain twice and Star Tours. As we exited Space Mountain the wait time was over an hour and Star Tours was the same.
This was Jayme’s third trip to Disneyland, so he has a little map of the area in his head now. We spent the rest of the day following that little map. Jayme was our junior park tour guide.
After our nap and dinner we had one more little surprise planned for our boy. Anthony had signed us up for the Fantasmic Desert party again. We ended our day again as Kings, being served deserts and drinks in our private reserved seats watching Fantasmic!
Today was travel day home, but our flight home was not until 10:45pm. So we had another full day at the parks ahead of us. We checked out of our flop house and loaded the car with our bags and left over desert party treats. We then drove over to the massive Disneyland parking lot structure and parked on site.
We had park hopper passes so we were able to visit both parks today and take in any rides that we missed or that Jayme wanted to ride again. We started in California Adventure were Anthony was forced onto California Screamer. He was promised that when the car went upside down, Jayme would hold his hand. Jayme lies…..
With no hotel to escape to for a nap, we were pretty hot and tired when we got to the car at evening. The car itself was roasting! Jayme passed out in the backseat about halfway to the airport.
For our return trip we flew back on United with a connecting flight in SFO. The flight home was uneventful until SFO, when we transferred to a much smaller jet. So small that we had to walk out onto the tarmac to board. We had done this before in Hawaii, but it was still a thrill for Jayme. Once on-board the thrill was over and Jayme passed right out.
Photos are online of our trip!