Saturday, November 22, 2014

Family Vacation 2014

So anyone who knows us, knows we are pretty spur of the moment.  We make our plans for the weekend on Friday.  I thought the kids were out of school for harvest holiday only on Thursday and Friday, but when I found out they were out for a whole week I said to Chantry, "If I would have known the kids were out of school for this long, we could have planned a vacation."  His reply, "What's stopping you?"  So the next morning he went to work and asked if he could have the following week off.  When his boss said that would be good, I asked for a few days off too.  Things just kind of were falling into place. Chantry asked me what I wanted to do and of course I said Disneyland.  I love Disney and I could go over and over again and never get sick of it. I think Chantry was wanting to do something more like camping/Grand Canyon/Yellowstone or something, but he humored me and we went to DISNEYLAND!!!
Everything worked out so well.  I think every family vacation should be spur of the moment.  No worrying about if it would work out for months, no trying to count down with the kids keeping them from going crazy, no extra expenses of -we might need this or that for our vacation-.  It really worked out just right.
We headed out Friday after work.  We packed a cooler to save with eating expenses and that was actually super nice. Not only did it save us money, but it was so nice being able to just go back to the hotel after a long busy day and make food. 
We drove until we got to Barstow the first night.  We stayed in a pretty low-end motel that I would not recommend staying at again, but it got us through the night and we were there for only about 8 hours haha.   
We decided to look into what was around Barstow before we headed on to Aneheim.  We found a little ghost town called Callco Ghost Town.  It was fun and cheap.  I really enjoy old history things so it was fun for me and the kids really enjoyed the gun show, train, hiking, and the fact that they thought real ghosts were there was fun. 

 The boys HAD to have a picture with the headless horseman. 

 She was plugging her ears because she did not like the loud gun shots.... 

It was a fun and interesting place all at the same time.  They had an RV park there and it was full.  Chantry and I thought that was so weird...  That either there was a lot more to do in that area than we knew about or people just enjoy staying in a campground with no trees out in the desert by a ghost town ha.

We then headed to Anaheim which was only about another hour and 45 minute drive from Barstow.  We timed it right during Randilyn's nap and it worked out perfect.

We checked into our motel, Best Western Plus Raffles Inn and Suites, which felt like luxury after the one we had stayed in the night before.  I was actually really pleased with the motel and would definitely stay there again.  The rooms were no nice and clean with a microwave and fridge.  The staff was friendly and they had shuttle service to Disneyland.  They had a great hot breakfast in the morning which saved us that expense. 

We had some time to spare before bed, so we went for a ride.  We rode over and got on the Balboa Island ferry.  It was cheap fun for the kids.  They thought it was cool that our car was on a boat.  We rode down around Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach just for something to do.  The kids of course wanted to go swim right then, but we saved our beach day for the next day.

Sunday, we had a beach day and free day to do whatever we wanted.  We got ready and headed to Huntington Beach.  The boys were in heaven playing in the sand and jumping the waves.  Randilyn surprisingly loved the water too.  I liked it for a minute but it was a bit cold for me, so I sat back in the sand and basked in the sun and enjoyed every second of watching my whole world play in the ocean.  They were all so happy and that made me happy.  I had lots of moments that day of thinking about my dad. It was a great day though. 
Took a picture of the family at the motel before we left for the beach...  Chantry was just cleaning his ears lol.... 

We walked along the pier, played in the ocean and rented a bike..  Kids loved it all... and we had little lunch in the car before we went.:) 



After a fun day at Huntington Beach, we decided to go watch the airplanes land at the John Wayne Airport.  It was good cheap ($2 for parking)e fun and the boys were fully entertained while Randilyn took a nap. 

That night we ordered pizza and went back to the motel quite early, so the kids could rested up before Disneyland....we did let them swim a few hours in the motel pool though. 
Monday was our first day at Disneyland.  First of all I have to say, we picked the PERFECT time to go.  The crowds were minimal...  The longest we waited for anything was around 20 minutes.  I have learned you don't go on a weekend.  Also, the weather was absolutely perfect.  We wore shorts/capris and short sleeve shirts the whole time, never even needing a jacket.  We of course ran straight to California Adventures to get on the Cars ride.  The last time we went, the wait for that ride was over 2 hours.  This time Chantry and the boys were on in 10 minutes and then we got a stroller pass and the boys and I went again.  We spent most of the first day at California Adventures.  The kids seem to love the rides and characters there more.  We went to Disneyland for a little bit at the end of the day.

We went back to the motel, ate some dinner and right to bed, so we could do it all again the next day.
We started out at Disneyland on the second day.  We went straight for the one ride we wanted to ride for sure...Pirates of the Caribbean.  It was a favorite for sure.  Things at Disneyland seemed a little more crowded, but we still did not have to wait for a ride longer than 20 minutes.  We went to Toon Town and made sure that Randilyn got to see her favorite Minnie.  She LOVED all of the things in Minnie's house, the kitchen with the fridge and dishwasher etc.  She say right down and had some tea. We waited in line for quite a bit and the whole way through she said "I want to see Minnie"  when she saw Minnie she started saying "I want to hug Minnie"  She was so excited.  Then, the kid in front of us cried when Minnie tried to hold her and Randilyn was immediately scared  :( So she only kind of said hi to Minnie.  We had some lunch and the boys begged to go back and ride the Toy Story ride at California Adventures, so we did.  We spent the rest of the day over there, watching the parade and riding more rides. 


The kids were completely worn out by the time we left at 8:00.  We went back to the motel and called it a night. 
The next morning I did not even want to wake was the day we had to go home :(  We got up and took our time getting ready, went to breakfast, packed up and headed for home.  The drive went pretty fast, especially because we headed home mid day, I thought Randilyn would be horrible.  She slept quite a bit and for the most part the kids were great. 
I asked the kids what their favorite part of our vacation was....Channer said "The Toy Story ride and the ocean"  Chestyn said "All of it, but especially staying at the motel"  I know what Randilyn's favorite part was....The Little Mermaid ride...she seriously LOVED that ride.  We went on it like 4 times right at the end of the night just for her. It is a ride you can just get right on to, no lines and to see her face was adorable.  She loved Ariel and all the singing.  Even the boys loved that ride just because they loved hearing Randi get so excited. 
I would have to put this family vacation in the books as the best one yet.  The kids were at a great age, things just seemed to work out, we did not spend months planning and stressing, we just went for it.  I love my family and I look forward to our next vacation together.  Chantry said California is off the list for a while, so it is time to look at other fun places to vacation.