Well, we made it. Two days driving (there and back), two days at the parks (Disneyland and California Adventure) and a good chunk of one day at Goofy's Kitchen and Downtown Disney. Three tired, but happy kiddos and four tired grown ups. And we'd do it all again!
We truly had a blast and we even learned a few things along the way.
Our youngest sure does shine when she gets tired. By that I mean she gets punch drunk, downright loopy and cuckoo the later it gets. We learned this as she entertained us at a late dinner our first night at Disneyland. She sang songs, she made faces, she danced around and she did this at about twice the volume that was required for the space we were in. She entertained us and everyone in about a five foot radius. This really made one last ride on Dumbo that much more fun. I think everyone on the ride could hear her belly laughs.
We also learned that our middle child is not a princess, she is a rock star. She was quick to let any cast member know this, you know how they call every little girl princess at Disneyland. Despite this fact she still loved meeting the princess. She was also our most adventurous kid, willing to go on more rides than the others.
Which brings me to the reminder we got about our firstborn. We were reminded of the fact that he generally does not like loud noises, the dark, the unexpected and the unknown. Which there is a lot of at Disneyland. By the end of the second day he was finally warming up to the idea of rides and he really liked most things much more the second time around. Despite this he loved being able to watch the Jedi Academy and get a new double light saber, and Mike and Sully's ride was a favorite for him.
Zac and I were reminded of a few things too. We were reminded of the wonder and magic that is Disneyland. We sometimes forget the power of imagination and the joy of childhood in the midst of the daily grind. We recapatured some of that this week. There were lots of looks between us, looks that said "Wow, this is so cool." It was so neat watching the kids experience everything. Seeing the wonder in their eyes. Listening to their laughter (when they weren't crying). Watching them experience it for the first time. It was pretty special.
We also remembered that we just aren't as young as we used to be. And we were pretty tired by the end of it all. But we're also grateful for two amazing grandparents who made the trip possible and who gave us a break to ride some grown up rides all by ourselves.
All in all, it was an amazing time. We'll for sure do this again (in a few years!)