May 31, 2010

Disneyland 2010 - Day 4

Just as on day 2 and day 3, Ava wanted to wear her Snow White dress on day 4 also. We started the morning with the obligatory pictures in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

After about a dozen pictures, Ava finally decided it was time to go on some rides.

So, we spent the rest of the morning going on all of Ava's favorite rides, including her most favorite ride of all—It's a Small World. After lunch (and a quick outfit change for Ava into some street clothes) we strolled through the Downtown Disney shops and saw Granny O and Freddy O off to the airport. We then returned to Disneyland to ride on (you guessed it) It's a Small World—over and over and over again.

In the late afternoon, Ava went on some more rides with the girls in California Adventure Land while Larry pushed Christian around in the stroller so that he could take a much-needed nap.

As the evening approached, we noticed an increasing number of park patrons dressed as goths. Curious by the phenomenon, Larry asked a group of them what the occasion was. As it turned out, day four of our family vacation just so happened to fall on Bats Day in the Park. (Had we known in advance we would have brought along our black lipstick and fishnet stockings to wear!) To commemorate the occasion, we asked our new gothic friends (who were extremely friendly—in fact, several of them were Disneyland park employees!) if they would be willing to pose for a picture with Ava. They happily obliged and even offered to let Ava wear some Mickey Mouse bat ears, but she would not consent. Nor was she very happy to have her picture taken with them either. Apparently she's not ready to trade in her all of her pink outfits for a wardrobe consisting solely of black.

We said goodbye to our Goth friends (who were all congregating by the Haunted Mansion for a group photo) and headed over to the Sleeping Beauty Castle where Betsy and Owen were saving us front row seats for the evening fireworks show.

Then Krista headed back to the hotel with a very tired Christian, while Larry, Ava, Betsy, Owen, and Owen's brother and family stayed until closing time hitting up all the kiddie rides once more. (As it turns out, late night is the best time to ride the kiddie rides—no lines!)

And thus ended our Disneyland vacation. We had such a wonderful time and are so happy we got to spend it with Freddy O, Granny O, Betsy, Owen, and Lauren. We're already looking forward to our next trip there.

May 28, 2010

Disneyland 2010 - Day 3

We started day three of our Disneyland vacation at Pixie Hollow where you can meet Tinker Bell and her fairy friends. Ava decided she wanted to wear her Snow White dress just as she had on day two, but it was a little cold in the morning so she kept her hoodie on while we waited in line.

It was a long wait in line, but well worth it. Tinker Bell was very fun and showed Ava how be pixie-like.

Christian also thought Tinker Bell was a lot of fun.

Next we went on Alice in Wonderland (one of Ava's favorite rides). However, Ava's favorite ride of all probably ended up being It's a Small World. As you can see here, Christian was quite enthralled by it as well.

Next we went over to the Disneyland Princess Fantasy Faire to see some more Disney princesses, but the line was very long. So while Larry waited in line (with Christian napping on his shoulder), Krista and Ava headed over to Mickey's Toontown. Minnie was very happy they came by for a visit.

Ava really enjoyed driving Minnie's mini...

...and cooking in her kitchen.

By the time Krista finally drug Ava away from Toontown, Larry had made it to the front of the line at the Fantasy Faire and Christian was feeling quite refreshed from his nap. Here we are with Jasmine.

We also got to meet Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Ava's time at Disneyland made her a true believer in all of the Disney princesses.

After an exciting morning, we relaxed back at the hotel that afternoon and Ava took a little swim in the hot tub with Larry and Uncle Owen.

Betsy, Owen, and Granny O were kind enough to watch the kids for us during the evening so we could go on some rides together the night before our final day at Disneyland.

May 23, 2010

Disneyland 2010 - Day 2

After having spent all of our first day at Disneyland in Disneyland proper, we decided to spend our second day in California Adventure Land. We started out in A Bug's Land on Heimlich's Chew Chew Train. Christian was feeling a little groggy and Ava was somewhat bored... Larry took Ava on the bumper cars next to get her a bit more invigorated.

After the bumper cars, our little thrill-seeker was ready to up the ante. So we next went on Francis's Ladybug Boogie, which quickly became one of Ava's favorites... we went on it again...

...and again.

We then decided to calm things down a little on Flik's Flyers, which had left Ava mesmerized the last time she went on it. This time, however, she had her aunts Betsy and Lauren along for the ride to make things more fun.

Afterward, we got our 3D bug eyes on for It's Tough to be a Bug!, which is one of Larry's favorites, but absolutely terrified Ava. (What kid doesn't like giant animatronic spiders dropping down from the ceiling?)

As we exited the show, Pluto arrived on the scene.

Christian thought Pluto was pretty fun (or perhaps he was just happy to be out of his stroller).

We did and saw many other fun things throughout the day, but the main event was later that evening when Freddy O and Granny O joined us for dinner at Ariel's Grotto where we got to see Ariel in person (and with legs).

To say Ava was completely and absolutely excited would be an understatement.

And if meeting the Little Mermaid was not already a delightful treat, Cinderella was there too...

...along with Belle and many other Disney princesses.
Stay tuned for a video of all the Disney princesses Ava met when we highlight day 3.

May 16, 2010

Disneyland 2010 - Day 1

It's been two years since our last visit to Disneyland. Ava didn't really remember the trip and was super excited when we told her we were going back again. Our first day there started out perfect. We had just walked in through the front gates when Goofy and Mickey Mouse appeared out of nowhere.

We knew that Ava would enjoy seeing the Disney characters, but didn't expect Christian to get so excited too. Mickey really took a liking to our little guy.

Here's the whole family with Mickey. Guess we were under-dressed for the occasion.

The last time we visited we did not get a chance to go on the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage ride. So this time we headed there first. It ended up being one of Ava's favorite rides of the entire trip.

After terrifying Ava on Snow White's Scary Adventures (guess it's called scary for a reason), we decided to go on the much more kid-friendly Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Christian had fallen asleep while we were in line, but Ava had a blast.

After that we went on the Mad Tea Party ride. It was especially fun for Ava because she was joined by Betsy, Owen, and their nieces Lily and Sophie. (As a side note, Ava was so happy to have some kids her own age to play with during our trip and keeps asking us when we can go play with "Owen's friends" again.)

Here's Ava on King Arthur's Carrousel.

And here's Krista and the kids exploring Tarzan's Treehouse. Ava was a little nervous about posing for a picture on the rickety and swaying rope bridge. Christian, however, thought it was exhilarating.

Of course we had to take the obligatory picture of the kids sitting among Pooh's honey pots.

We ended the day with the Olsens making our own pizzas at PCH Grill. Ava took her pizza-making very seriously.

Stay tuned for pictures of day 2...

May 9, 2010

Spring Fever

We had an abnormally cold and rainy spring this year.

However, the weather eventually warmed up...

...the flowers bloomed...

...and we had a few sunny days that provided opportunities for spring dresses and frolicking outside.

Ava became enamored with watching ants and potato bugs...

...while Christian became obsessed with going outside—gazing longingly out the window any time he was forced to stay indoors.

After such a long winter, you might say that we all had a little bit of spring fever.

The spring fever apparently went to Krista's head and she decided to go brunette.

She has since returned to being a blond.