Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ringing in a Magical New Year: 2013

This year we spent half of the holidays in Southern California with both "Gommas" and "Papas". We are truly blessed to share our time and make memories with both sides our our families. I know we will always treasure events like these forever!

We started our adventure at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library... and bonus! Uncle Ronnie met up with us there :) However, due to the nature of chasing an almost 3-year-old in the museum, my experience (and my Mom's) was slightly different than the rest of the family's.

They had a good number of hands on activities for Ethan to play with: build your own presidential flower arrangements, riding a pretend horse, stepping up to the presidential podium... but none-the-less, it was a chase. I averaged 1-2 information cards per room... so, I felt somewhat in the loop ;)

In addition to "all things Reagan", the Library also let Disney set up a temporary "Treasures of the Walt Disney Archive"exhibit. It was super interesting walking through it with my Uncle Ronnie who worked at Warner Bros for 30 years! And really, how fitting? Actor turned President... why not add some motion picture action?

We walked through Air Force One!

Costumes used in the real movies...

The next day was D-Day. 

You know what I'm talking about...

Disneyland Day ;)

What's better than going to Disneyland? 
Going with Grandmas and Grandpas!

Grandparents play too!

Low 5 on the "shaky-shaky bridge"

Our little character loves characters!

A Disney First:

After getting off Pirates of the Caribbean {Ethan's personal favorite} we wondered into the pirate store. 
Naturally, Ethan picked up a sword and started dueling Daddy.
"On guard!" "You be ____ and I'll be _____"

Ethan's vivid imagination caught the attention of the lady behind the counter.
She started asking questions like, "What's your name? How old are you? Do you like pirate treasure?"
Still in his own world, Ethan continued playing and dreaming out loud...
Next thing we knew, she gave Ethan some pirate gold AND a sword... on Mickey! 

This was an absolute first in Disneyland history for our family.
No wait, that's not true.
Once the soda cart guy dropped all of his sodas and I helped him pick up the bottles.
He threw me one as a thank you.

But Ethan? He didn't even have to work for it!


Sweet Memories

Taking a break for story time by the fire.

Now, before I go any further, I have to pause and tell a sweet story of my own!

At this point, we were waiting for our dinner reservation and we decided to split. 

I wanted to sit by the fire and kick up my feet - as did my parents.
Mark wanted to go to the Disney Store in Downtown Disney -as did his parents.

So we spit... planning to meet up soon.
By the fire, Ethan, Mom, Dad, and I got cozy... kicked back... and listened to the story teller.
Soon after, Mark shows up.
Confused, I asked what he was doing here?
He answered in all sincerity, "It wasn't the same without you."

And that is what I call a verbal bouquet of flowers :)

Dinner at the Rain Forrest Cafe

Auntie Christie met up with us!


Lego Fun :)

Fireworks show on New Years Eve.
The castle was stunning and beautiful... the crowds were none like I'd ever seen or care to see again!

And a quick iphone picture collage

And... the #1 reason why we planned this "Magical Vacation"...
The Rose Bowl Parade!

Now we can check this one off the Bucket List!!

Fireworks, Flowers, and Family...
Not a bad start to the New Year! :)