Hey! Hey! I am back from my super sunny vacation in California. I would love to say it was the best trip ever but I can't lie, I'm not a fan of Disneyland. There I said it. I really don't think it is the happiest place on earth. Don't get me wrong, we had lots of fun, the kids had a great time, we got to do the Disney Avengers race, we got a great dose of vitamin D but we are just not that in to Disney. Let me explain...
Leaving on Vancouver Island can make travel plans a little tricky. We know this. It always takes longer to get places because you either have to take a ferry across or a plane. My husband is cheap like you wouldn't believe which is probably a good thing because it means more money for me to spend on triathlon stuff.
Anyways, because of his frugal behaviour we decided to take the ferry over to Vancouver and fly from there. Problem is the ferry from Nanaimo does not go as frequently as it does in the summer. Another big issue is we get big storms in the winter that also affect the ferry running. Rumour was there was a storm brewing so we headed over to Vancouver the night before our flight to play things safe. Well, the storm actually started while we were on the ferry. I have never been nervous riding the ferry, it is a large boat. That night I was nervous.
We got in to our hotel at midnight (way too late for my kids) and we got right to sleep for our big day.
The kids were awesome packing their own luggage. There were no complaints. Everyone was happy.
Our flight from Vancouver to San Francisco was uneventful. Things were great. Then we arrive in San Francisco to be told our flight was over booked and only 3 of the 4 of us will be making this trip. What? Really? These tickets were booked months ago and they have the ages of our kids. Our car rental in Orange County is in Jordi's name, the kids won't fly without me. How the hell is this going to work? Needless to say we are not fans of United Airlines anymore. Luckily a very nice lady volunteered her seat so we could all fly together on the plan but not together for seating. Awesome!
Finally made it to OC and the weather is just lovely! I needed a big dose of sunshine.
Another awesome thing was eating at an all vegan restaurant. Be still my heart, I don't have to worry about anything.
My parents were anxiously waiting for us to arrive at the hotel. Again it's another late night. Kids have 10 min of fun then right to bed just while the fireworks are going off at Disneyland. Don't worry I promise we'll get to see them before we go home (famous last words...)
We arrive in Disneyland to celebrate the diamond anniversary. This is purely coincidence. We are actually here for the Avengers half marathon that my sister insisted we do. Regardless there is so much to see and do.
The park is all decorated for Christmas and looks amazing.
Top priority is to hit as many rides as possible. Because my parents, sister and my bother in law are all with us it gets a little tricky to hammer out a plan. After some deep discussions we get it figured out. If I have any tips or advice for hitting Disneyland. Take someone that needs a wheelchair. My mom isn't able to walk very well so we got her a wheel chair and we seriously got on most of the rides instantly! Some of the bigger rides we would get a pseudo fast pass but usually only 20minutes. It worked out great for us.
Because we were a group of 8 we got split up on some of the rides. Most notably Splash mountain, but again this actually worked in our favour.
Some nut job decided to stand up on the ride right before it does the big drop, this entails the staff doing an emergency shut down and then evacuation of the entire ride. Since this happens you get handed a super duper fast pass. Basically you go to any ride in the park and hand them this ticket and you get immediate access. No line at all. Because we got split up we got given 3 of these passes. It was awesome!
We did end up going back to splash mountain later on in the evening:
Team Soas hat made the cut!
And because the kids loved Splash Mountain so much, we did it again!
With the park being so busy we didn't get to meet a lot of the characters. I'm just not in to standing in line for 2 hours just to get a pat on the head from Mickey Mouse. My rule was it had to be less than 30 min wait. So we managed a visit with Eeyore.
We of course did the token It's a Small World (still makes me cry after all of these years). Again the line up was huge...
The teacup ride
We got to see Olaf but again to meet him would have been a 70 minute line up. Seriously, who has time for that?
With us living on the Island we don't get a lot of snow (if any). I think in the 6.5 years we've lived here we have had 2 snow days?? So when we went to Olaf's snow place or whatever the heck it was called the girls went nuts for the snow (as did the other hundreds of children that never see snow).
Funny thing is though is that the snow of course gets packed down after 10 min of playing in it so that actually have staff that come out with shovels and fluff the snow back up. Maybe it's just amusing to me because I grew up around lots of snow.
I can't boast enough about the weather. It was so nice out. We went from 5 degrees to 28.
So our last day we decided to take in more shows then rides. We saw a frozen play, all of the parades and the most important the fireworks. So Sunday night we kept the kids up extra late. The light parade that is only on for the diamond celebration started at 9pm. My kids are long since in bed by that time, but hey we are on our last day of the happiest place on earth. The parade was pretty awesome and the kids really enjoyed it.
We thought the timing was perfect because the fireworks start at 9:30. Yay for mom for planning the timing out perfectly! So the parade finishes and we wait, and wait. Finally an announcement comes on that there are issues with the fireworks show so please stand by. By 10pm the fireworks got canceled. Normally this would not be a big deal. We see fireworks all of the time. The problem is I
1. Waited till the last day
2. This has happened to us before
3. I should have known not to wait until the last day
Yup! The last time we brought the kids to Disneyland the exact same thing happened. We waited until the last night and due to some wind the show got cancelled. Ugh! So with some very disappointed kids we hall them back to the hotel.
We definitely enjoyed the races though despite almost being late due to the extremely unpredictable and unreliable bussing. There was a bus stop right outside our hotel but we could wait anywhere from 5 minutes to 85minutes. Normally I would say lets just walk but there was no way my mom would have made it.
Anyways we squealed into the kids different corrals when little one says she has to pee. I look at her and say like right now? She says yes, it;s urgent. I may have used some choice words under my breath and quickly located a volunteer who could point us in the right direction. Problem was the race was going to start in less than 5 minutes and the port potties were way across the parking lot. So we ran. We ran probably more than a kilometre to get the bathroom issue felt with. She did awesome and ran so fast that we got back right in time to get the race started.
My little super hero was ready to go. She ran the hole way. I couldn't remember what her distance was and it turns out it was significantly shorter than what we had just ran to go use the bathroom. Seriously, we ran well over a kilometre and the race was 200m. She looked at me at the finish line and said "That was it"?
Big sis did awesome! She made her own super hero cape. The announcer even called her out at the finish line for being super speedy and awesome!
After the kids race we decided to hit the beach and try and have a relaxing afternoon. I have my big race coming up and I was feeling super exhausted.
After a lovely day down at Newport Beach and Crystal Cove we headed back to the hotel for an early dinner. My sister and I had to be up at 3:30am. I don't even get up that early for triathlons.
So I tried to get to bed early. I laid down about 8:30pm but could not fall asleep. Every time I was on the verge to sleep someone would make a noise and it alerted me. Needless to say I'm 99% sure I did not sleep at all.
So 3:30 the alarm goes off and I'm almost happy to be done torturing myself willing to sleep. I get up, make some tea, have some oatmeal and my sisters texts me from next door that she is not going. I kid you not. She is the one that wanted to do the race in the first place. She did the 5km on Friday, the 10km on Saturday and decided she just wasn't up for the half today. So I finish getting ready and head down solo. No one was keen on watching me (even though I was running by the hotel). I guess sleep is more important at 5:30am.
We had to be in our corral by 5am. This was my very first running race that I was in the first corral. I was feeling awesome! Race started at 5:30. I ended up right beside a guy from Victoria. So we chatted and killed time together.
When the gun went off I was feeling pretty good. I was aiming for a pb today since this was a flat course. About 1km in I just had nothing in me. I could barely hold a 5:15/km My legs felt like cement. My time just kept getting slower. I had to change my plan of action otherwise I wasn't going to finish. I slowed it down to a 5:30-5:35/km. I was feeling a little disappointed in myself but then I reminded myself of how terrible I had been eating, how little sleep I had been getting, how much walking we had been doing. What was I thinking? I was totally tapped out doing this race.
I finished the race in 1:56:34
At this point I really didn't care what my finish time was. I was exhausted. Once I got home though I had a closer look at the final results and I'm torn on my feelings. I placed significantly better than I though I had. However if I had ran what I was capable of I would have been in the top 15 of my age group. That is out of over 1000 females age 35-39. I have never placed that well in a large race. Even my 37th is a great result. Still though, it's not about those nu,beds, it's about what I know I'm capable of and I just could not pul it together.
Despite all of our hiccups on our trip (I haven't even told you our trip home, I think I will leave that completely out) we did have fun. I am going to be honest, I think our money would have been better spent going to Costa Rica or Hawaii. We spent way too much money and the trip was far from relaxing. It was nice to get away with the family and the girls continue to tell us how much fun they had. Me, I'm just glad I got my Avengers finishers medal because this thing is worth way too much money to not go through that race.
I'm curious though, anyone else like me who just doesn't love Disneyland?