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Bend 7.13

We had our annual 4th of July trip to Bend with the Haedrich’s earlier this month, and as always it didn’t disappoint! We look forward to this trip ALL year long. It’s been so cool to watch the kids grow and change each year (see 2010, 2011, 2012 posts), and watch the dynamics change as we add kids into the mix.

I had my hands full with the little guy most of the time, so the pics are mostly of our activities around the house – it’s often too much to wrangle the camera and a baby when we’re out and about!

Mastering the slip and slide. It was HOT so we did as many water activities as we could.
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A trip to the local pool. She got brave and actually wanted to do the waterslide!
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Backyard kiddie pool shenanigans. Doug spent his week telling them tall tales, which they totally believed. Now there is apparently a salamander named Curtis who lives on the tennis court. Classic.
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Happiness is kids and a cardboard box.
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Face paint! Please notice Colton the pirate. Love that kid!
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S’more time. The least flattering picture of the three kids but it makes me laugh.
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These two. Sweetness.
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An attempt at a group picture. You can see how well that idea worked out.
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Poor Joseph.

Litte guy loves hanging out on a blanket under a tree. I am so thankful for another summer baby!
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Killing it with cuteness. This kid is so smiley.
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4th of July sparklers.
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Can we please arrange this marriage? It really needs to happen.
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A farewell sunset.
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And an absolutely gorgeous return to Seattle!
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Thanks for coming, Haedrich’s. We miss you guys tons. Can we please be neighbors???

California 2.13

Well, I know that I’m about four months behind on this thing, so I decided to just start fresh (and *maybe* I’ll get back to the past months at some point). Anyhoo, we just came back from one last hurrah before the baby arrives – a week in California! It was originally going to be a girls trip, but my crazy/awesome husband decided to DRIVE down there and surprise us so he could meet us at Disneyland and join in on the fun. So sweet. His new car might have had something to do with the motivation to drive 1300 miles…

Here’s some pics from our day at Disneyland.
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{obligatory family castle shot}

I’m not going to lie, it started out pretty rocky. We got there and headed straight to Fantasyland, which is the most toddler-friendly area of all. I saw a Snow White ride that I thought she might like, but it ended up being dark and scary and filled with witches. So she basically spent the first hour crying and demanding to go home. Not exactly what you want to hear when you spend and arm and an leg on admission. But she soon warmed up to the whole thing (although she absolutely refused to go on any rides that went inside, really limiting our choices!).
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We made her ride five rides before she got to pick out a toy. Her choice? An Ariel purse and gloves, obviously.
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This is what happens when you decide it’s a good idea to walk around Disneyland in your third trimester and have already been having Braxton Hicks for a few months. Funtimes. Luckily there were a lot of benches to rest on.
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The highlight of the day was most definitely meeting some of her favorite characters.
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Especially the princesses! As you can tell, she was in absolute heaven. It was well worth the long wait in line! She hugged Tiana for so long that we basically had to yank her away. So cute.
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{side note: why do they set up the princesses in this awful sunny/shadowy area? Makes for terrible photos.}

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{please notice her leg kicking out – these were some serious hugs she was handing out!}

Showing Ariel her Ariel purse. Good times.
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Another highlight of the trip was a fabulous brunch with my besties and their kids. There’s nothing better than meeting up with friends who I have known since my post-college LA days (and Amy, who has been my BFF since elementary school!) and seeing all of the kids play together. It’s pretty weird/awesome.

This is Olivia and Carson, Amy’s little guy. Love.
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Morgan (Jen’s daughter), Carson, Olivia, and Natalie (Melanie’s daughter).
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I miss these girls!
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We of course spent lots of time with my family and friends, but did I get any decent pictures of that? Nope. Except for on my phone. Lots of time at the park and just playing and enjoying the nice weather.
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And now we’re home and on countdown – about 8 weeks to go until we meet our little guy. Woop!

Blueberries

Following a lovely morning run at Mercer Slough, Ali and I took the girls to pick some blueberries. This is one of those activities that I’ve meant to do since we’ve lived here but never quite gotten around here (even though it is only a few miles from home, call me lazy). Anyhoo, they were beyond adorable working together and we all loved it… And we brought home a decent pile of blueberries for less than $2. Can’t beat that. I never want summer to end. Never ever ever.

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Sweet Maren.
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And an absolutely terrible picture of Olivia for giggles. Double chin? Check. Crossed eyes? Check. Gut out? Check.
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It was all fun and games until the Blue Angels started practicing for Seafair, which is this coming weekend. I think they’re pretty rad, but the kiddos weren’t so sure about the noise.
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Well, that’s all for now. Olivia has stopped napping again, this time I fear it’s pretty much for good. {insert sad face here} Which means I get about 30 minutes of her having ‘quiet time’ before she comes out of her room looking for me to play princesses or some equally awesome activity.

Happy Birthday Mom!

We just got back from another trip down to Bend, this time with the Pearlstein clan to celebrate a very BIG birthday for my mom! It was a perfect trip and the best part of all was that everyone was together, which was exactly what my mom wanted for her birthday. Here’s a few shots from the week…

I did the 6+ hour drive down on my own with Olivia. Funtimes. Especially with a kid who NEVER sleeps in the car. Ever.
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It actually went pretty well overall, although there was a moment when I looked back and saw this.
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Bored much?

Before my family arrived Doug raced in a HUNDRED MILE mountain bike race up Mount Bachelor. Impressive, huh? He never ceases to amaze me (although I think he’s a bit crazy for attempting this sort of thing). 10+ hours on a mountain bike in high elevation and difficult terrain? Done. He rocks.
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We spent the morning of her birthday with the girls at Tumalo Falls.
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I tortured my family with a pre-birthday dinner photo session. And although the men all moaned and groaned and complained, I’m so glad that I did because I captured this gem:
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{Everyone actually looking at the camera with their eyes open? Check. It’s a miracle. Pretty sure you’ll see that pic on a Christmas card this year.}

We also took a trip out to Smith Rock. It was seriously awesome.
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Major points to Mark for hefting Olivia both down AND up the climb to get to the river. His gym workouts are apparently paying off big time.
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We, of course, did some tax-free shopping while we were there. Gotta love Oregon for that. Olivia picked out both this dress and horribly-overpriced heart glitter purse, which she convinced Grandma to buy her, of course. She was in heaven.
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As I think I’ve mentioned in previous posts, she is obsessed with her purse, and won’t go anywhere without hers. She literally won’t pee without it. In case anyone is curious what she carries, I stole it from her momentarily and captured the goodness.
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She was cracking me up all day in the dress. She put it on in the morning, posed for photos, insisted on wearing it hiking (you’ll notice it paired with running shoes as a “compromise” for our trip to Smith Rock), and then let me take a zillion more photos in the afternoon. She’s obsessed. She wore it yesterday as well, and is already begging to put it on today.

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{Mega sun-flare. Ooops.}

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Grandma love.
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Yet another awesome Bend sunset. They never get old.
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The drive home: apparently she decorated herself with markers and then spent several hundred miles sitting on one. Sweet
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And of course a stop at a killer eastern Washington fruit stand in Thorp. I now have more peaches & nectarines than I know what to do with. Cobbler anyone?
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The end.

Bend 7.12

I look forward to our annual Bend trip with the Haedrich’s ALL year long. It’s seriously one of my favorite weeks of the year. We started the tradition our first full summer in Seattle and have continued ever since. It’s been so cool to watch the kids grow up and change each year. This year the motley crew consisted of a 4 year old (Parker) a 3 year old (Olivia) and a 1.5 year old (Colton). As you can imagine, it was chaotic but SO much fun. Olivia and Parker are at great ages and spent the whole time playing together. And poor Colton, well, he just tried to keep up with the bigger kids. Good times.

Seriously awesome sunset on one of our first nights there.
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Olivia has become obsessed with her purse. As in, she carries it EVERYWHERE with her. Even into the bathroom. I have to check out what’s inside it when she’s sleeping because she seriously steals stuff and hides it in there. I found half a pack of strawberry gum in it after we spent time with friends who clearly left their purses within her reach. Klepto.
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Purse? Check. Wand? Check. Juice? Check. This is her happy place.

We meet up the week of the 4th of July every year. There is a pet parade & festival in town that the kids think is pretty awesome. As for the adults, well let’s just say that it wouldn’t be our first choice of activity. But the kids love it so much that it’s worth it to suffer, I mean sit, through it.
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Funny side note from the festival: I had let Olivia pee outside in the grass a few days beforehand (desperate times call for desperate measures), and for some reason she decided that she could repeat that performance on her own. In the middle of a zillion people. And being the awesome a parents that we are we pointed for all to see, laughed, and snapped a photo as quick as we could. Her face says it all – she totally soaked herself and peed all over her shoes. Stay classy, Olivia.
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4th of July afternoon Courtney busted out a fun balloon toy. I have no clue what it’s called but it involves pumping up balloons and throwing them up in the sky, then chasing them as they make a squealing sound and deflate. In other words, they’re toddler perfection.
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This face says it all.
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The dads doing what they do best while the moms entertain the kids. Classic.
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Everything about this picture makes me laugh. Crossed legs, ice-cream eating game face on, chocolate everywhere.
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Sparklers!
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{She was too scared to hold a lit one, so she just held one like a wand.}

We also spent a fair amount of time down at Shevlin Park throughout the week.
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And we took a hike (VERY small since there were three toddlers with us) to Tumalo Falls. Gorgeous.
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Until next time…
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Utah

Back at the beginning of June we headed down to Provo to see our very favorite people: the cousins! Olivia is finally big enough to really keep up with them, and she seriously had the best time. They taught her all sorts of important things, like how to make fart sounds on her arm, new potty talk phrases, and how to play crack the egg on the trampoline. It really makes me wish we all lived closer. Why did you guys have to move so far away?

We headed out to Sundance one morning for a little kid-friendly hike up to a gorgeous waterfall. It was rad.
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Happy hiker post-backpack escape.
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All of the rest of these pictures are from a side trip we all took to Park City. So fun.
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Goofballs.
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Chris & Owen. What a doll, huh?
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We decided to try out fishing at a little stocked pond.
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As you can tell, she was super stoked.
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She eventually got into it, and with the help of grandpa reeled in her first fish.
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But totally wanted nothing to do with it.
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And as luck would have it, while I was holding the rod for Doug and simultaneously taking photos, I hooked one too. Greeeeat.
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Wonder where O gets her reaction from?
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Fish are gross.

But how cute is my nephew Carson?
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That face! Priceless.

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The flight home was so pretty. As they say, there’s nothing more beautiful than a Seattle summer (and I’m pretty sure there’s nothing worse than a Seattle spring, but I guess that’s the tradeoff). I snapped a few shots with my phone because it was such a cool view.
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The end.

Lately…

We’ve literally been home for two days since Olivia’s birthday, hence the lack of updates. Since I’m sure you’re all tired of looking at the same old thing for the past 3 weeks I thought I’d post a picture that I took last week during our annual 4th of July trip to Bend. Just lounging on the grass with her ever-present Hello Kitty purse. This kid is such a ham.

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Updates soon… after I catch up on laundry. And housework. And life. And enjoy some of this fabulous summer that has FINALLY arrived in Washington!

SF Girls Weekend

Last weekend, for only the second time in three years, I flew down to San Francisco for a kid-free girls weekend with my very best friend, Courtney. Court was my roomie for years in college, we met freshman year and we knew instantly that we were destined to be close. Court has been by my side for the past 14 years (when did we get that old?!?), through good times and bad, weddings and babies, happiness and joy and sadness and frustration and all emotions in-between. And through it all she has remained my rock, a constant confident who I know that I can always rely on no matter the distance. Although we don’t see each other as much as we like (because, really, we’d like to be next door neighbors), it always feels like no time has passed when we see each other. I am so very blessed to have a friend like her.

The husbands were teasing us because we had no weekend agenda. And that was the point! No kid’s schedules to keep, no diapers to carry, no naps to work around or whining to contend with. We hiked and shopped and ate fabulous food and talked constantly (without interruption from children!). And it was beyond fabulous.

A few iPhone pictures of our aventures…

We arrived at our hotel to find this lovely surprise. And although my husband did attempt to claim the credit for such a good deed, it was Courtney’s mom who did this for us. She’s the sweetest.
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FYI – we stayed at Villa Florence in Union Square and it was awesome! A definite recommendation.

Pre-shopping pose in front of the trolley, a SF must.
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We had an amazing dinner at The Slanted Door. It was right on the water, and on a 70-plus degree day it was perfection. I am now obsessed with learning to make Viatnamese food, it was seriously so good.
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Makeup AND lipstick. Must be a kid-free dinner!
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Our sweet friend Kelly met us at dinner. She was also a college roomie, and following that we lived together in Santa Monica for years. I absolutely adore Kel and it was SO fabulous to spend time with her!
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A few other shots around town…
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How gorgeous is the inside of the ferry building? There’s a great market inside the building.
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The outside isn’t too shabby, either!
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These hearts are all over the city.
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Best. Breakfast. Ever. I love bread.
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Ahhh, can’t wait for another girls weekend! I came back feeling refreshed, revitalized, and ready to see this little one, who had a fabulous weekend of dad-daughter time!
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Weekend

Scenes from our weekend as seen through my iPhone (much easier than lugging around the big camera!). Two baseball games, a visit to the farm, and lots of outdoor play. Much needed fun times after a rather rough week with a little troublemaker.

Friday night – opening night! Spring is officially here and life is good.
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A Saturday morning visit to Kelsey Creek Farm Park.
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Saturday night baseball fun with a fondue monster.
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Snuggles!
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She has insisted on bringing her ‘purse’ and binoculars everywhere we go.
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Sunday livin’ in the front yard.
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Happy Monday, all!

California 3.12

Well, we’re back from yet another great trip to CA and I finally had a bit of time to sort through the Disneyland pictures! Since Olivia doesn’t take a nap anymore I’m relegated to doing anything that I might want to do alone by either getting up before her usual 6:30am wakeup time or at night (when, let’s face it, I’m usually exhausted from 12+ hours with a very active toddler and usually just want to collapse on the couch and watch awful reality TV). Hence the lack of postings in the recent months. Warning: this is going to be a long one, blogging is basically the only way I record my memories so I wanted to be thorough!

Anyhoo, as you may imagine she thought that Disneyland was pretty much the greatest thing ever, and still tells me every night that she dreams about it. We elected to surprise her by just going there and not telling her about it beforehand. Since toddlers have a very limited understanding of time, telling her about anything before hand lends to a barrage of questions about it every 10 minutes, whether it be a day away or a week away. I did a little “interview” with her on the way there:

Day One: Disneyland

Once we walked in she still didn’t really have a clue of what we were doing, but as soon as she saw the castle she jumped out of her stroller and marched ahead. I wish I had caught her expression when she first saw it because it was seriously priceless!
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{Can someone please photoshop all of these other people out for me? My skills aren’t that good!}

Most of the pictures I took were of her face reacting to the rides because she was just so darn adorable and excited about everything. The sparkle in her eyes tells it all. Plus there were hordes of people everywhere and it was basically impossible to get a shot that wasn’t full of strangers. Is Disneyland ever not packed? What a money-making machine.

We spent most of the morning in Fantasyland, as it’s the most toddler-friendly. Dumbo was a big hit!
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Storybook Land boat ride.
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Teacups! As you can tell, she really loved this one.
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Heading into It’s A Small World with the grandparents.
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We actually got stuck on this for about 10 minutes and we were all threatening to abandon ship. That song is enough to drive a sane person crazy. But she didn’t seem to mind at all.
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Autopia! This was one of my favorites when I was younger. I remember feeling SO cool that I could drive a car by myself. Never mind that it was a speed-limited car on a track, it was still the coolest.
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The Jungle Cruise.
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The thing that surprised us most of all was how patient she was about waiting in long lines. Disneyland definitely has it figured out – they keep you moving and always give you glimpses of the coming attraction.
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Showing off her beautiful ensemble.
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Day two: California Adventure
I have to say that I far preferred California Adventure over Disneyland. Cleaner, newer, good food, just better all around. They also had some rides that looked super fun for adults, but as we were on the ‘kid plan’ those will have to wait for another trip. When we got there it was pretty empty so we were able to do the Ariel ride on repeat. She has declared that to be her very favorite of all! It was pretty adorable…

I took a video of her riding Flik’s Flyers. She was cracking me up with her faces!

She was also a big fan of the Heimlich Chew Chew Train. We had to do back to back rides on this one.
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Sticker!
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And of course, ending the day with a Mickey ice cream sandwich.
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My only complaint was that we didn’t really get to see many princesses, which as you all know she loves. At Disneyland they’ve sequestered them in an attraction which you have to wait about 90 minutes in line for a photo with them and at California Adventure you can pay $40+ per person for lunch in Ariel’s grotto to see them. We actually were planning on sucking it up and doing this, but then she said that she didn’t want to (I think she might have been a bit scared of the life-size princesses?) so we decided to save the money and skip it. We did run into Snow White when we just arrived at Disneyland and at that point she was so overwhelmed by everything that she was NOT into meeting her. Otherwise, it was a blast!

The only other camera pictures I took during the week were of a random side trip we took to our old house on our way to drop Doug off at a friend’s place. We’ve both had dreams of the new owners doing bizzare things to the house (at one point I literally dreamt that they eliminated the back and built a grotto. Bizarre, I know). Good to see that old 3712 is being well taken care of!
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As you can clearly see O was not into this at all. It was after two full Disney days, so I guess I can see why.
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Other than all of the Disney fun, we spent a lot of time with family and friends – lunch with my bestie, a boy’s day of riding and sushi for Doug, dinner with old work friends, dinner with Danielle’s lovely family, and lots of playtime with grandma, grandpa, Craig & Danielle. I got to go wedding dress shopping with my future sister-in-law, and she found something gorgeous! And Doug and I escaped for our first ever overnight away to San Diego (an early birthday surprise for him!) – wine tasting in Temecula, a night at Rancho Bernardo, and brunch in La Jolla. So lovely and so refreshing! A few iPhone pics of our adventures…

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Ponte Winery lunch.
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Gorgeous morning in La Jolla.
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Whew, that’s all folks!