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September 27, 2009

guess where we are

Disney sept 09 blog

We've sure been spending lots of weekends away from home this summer!  In June, we flew to England and Paris, July was Scotland, August was San Luis Obispo and Seattle and September was Vegas and Disneyland.  Phew!  It's fun and exciting to do this much travel but it's feeling pretty good to know that we'll be home for a good long stretch for most of the rest of this year. 

This weekend's adventure was scheduled for many months and part of the appeal of a late September trip to Disneyland was that it would be cooler and the park would be less crowded.  Well, surprise!  Neither of those two things happened. 

The weekend started off pretty easily.  We arrived at the airport in good time and made our way to the gate only to learn that our flight into Orange County Airport was canceled because of fog so we had to switch at the last minute to a flight to LAX instead.  For a while, we weren't sure our luggage (including car seats) also made the switch (fortunately it did).  

After landing, we straightened out the car rental snafu and headed for Mouseland and only got there an hour later than we'd originally planned.  That was the good news.  The bad news was that we then stood in near 100 degree weather for 45 minutes and sweated all over the fistful of hundred dollar bills that we eventually traded for park tickets.  Funny how the Happiest Place on Earth doesn't offer convenience and comfort until after you give 'em the cash and elbow your way into the park, huh. 

Okay, I know that sounds like a big fat complaint but it really didn't adversely affect our mood since we don't do stuff like this with any expectation that it'll feel like a warm and fuzzy blissfest.  If we wanted that, we'd go to a Yanni concert and not Disneyland.  Nope, we do this for the FUN and we've long known that the best kind of fun is pretty often accompanied by a certain amount of sweat and misery. 

We were supposed to meet a half dozen other families from the China adoption community.  Some we knew already in real life and others we were excited to finally be meeting.    But we were late and the park was insanely crowded so it took some time to finally get all of the kids together.  Hey, but it happened! 

It was really fun to get to meet Samantha and her mom and dad.   I've been a fan of their blog for years and my favorite part has been following the amazing transformation of Samantha as she poses on the same white chair every single month.  I can't help but regret that we didn't do something like this.  Seriously, it's amazing!  Obviously, they can't ever get rid of that chair! 

After a little nap back at the hotel, we grabbed a bite to eat and headed back to Disneyland.  It's the first time any of us have visited after dark and it was wonderful to be out there and see all the beautiful sights and not be sweating and constantly looking to stand next to anything that casts a shadow.  It was about 75 degrees at 9:00 PM and we couldn't have asked for a more comfortable way to walk around in elbow to elbow pedestrian traffic!   

The girls loved the fireworks and it was fun to watch them stare up at the sky in complete amazement.   The sheer number of people at the park was almost comical though and it probably took us a full hour to get to the exit when the fireworks ended.  Without the crowd, that walk would have likely been about 5 minutes.

A good night of sleep and an impressive breakfast buffet later, we were ready to hit the road for another day of fun.  This time we picked the Los Angeles Zoo since it seemed much less intense and carried the additional attraction of being about a fifth the cost of a 2nd day at Disneyland.  This is our favorite zoo and we had no regrets about spending an entire day here.   Six hours later, we were all loaded into the rental car and headed for the airport.  The kids were asleep almost immediately.

After an airport dinner, a 1.5 hour nonstop flight and a 30 minute drive home, we greeted a very appreciative kitty and kicked off our shoes!  We were HOME!   For what it's worth, I wore a pedometer for most of the weekend and logged a bit over 20,000 steps yesterday at Disneyland and another 15,000 steps at the zoo today!  Sigh.... almost enough to burn off all of that amusement park food! 


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