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December 01, 2016

THANKSGIVING 2016 + A QUICK TRIP TO DISNEYLAND

oh mercy, friends. mercy mercy mercy.

talk about a thanksgiving for the memory books. we saw tons of family, kaye is officially a bike riding master, we played by the ocean and saw a dolphin, we celebrated a birthday, saw more family, and snuck in a trip to disneyland to cap it off.

it really doesn't get better than that.

to make it even better - the girls shared a bed or a room each of the nights (i never thought i'd see the day), we all got great sleep, and quite honestly...it was the least stressful / best vacation our little family of four has ever had...minus the last three hours.

it started with a 3:45 am wakeup call the morning of thanksgiving. we had a flight out of boise to catch. the girls did great and we easily made our connection in san francisco to santa barbara. once in santa barbara the rental car guy gave us a nice, little upgrade and we were on our way to thanksgiving dinner with my sister, her husband and his side of the family. all this and it was only 9:30 am. we arrived to tons of hugs, and laughs, and a million appetizers - and i'm pretty sure i was immediately given a champagne...so...that never hurt a thing.


the best part? (well...an epic part.) my sister's sister-in-law has two kids the same ages as kaye and sawyer. well, she brought a bouncy house and i didn't see my children until dinner. they played and ate and played and laughed and played and...i relaxed. so glorious.

by the time we made it back to the hotel both girls were so pooped we put them in bed together and it was lights out.

we spent the next couple of days with kelli's in-laws (such great people!) eating, visiting the beach, bike riding, and yapping. lots and lots of talking. we eventually said our goodbye's and kaye was devastated. the black-haired boy (she could never remember his name - blake) was her new best friend and she immediately missed him.







we headed back into santa barbara to meet up with more family. that morning we hit up a birthday party and that evening we crashed our second thanksgiving dinner. it couldn't be helped. if we hear there's going to be a free dinner...we go to it.

barb and tom were the very best hosts. they had a beautiful table set up for the adults and the sweetest little table for kaye and sawyer. more mashed potatoes. more turkey. and i was made fun of, endlessly, for my celebrity crush - sam heugan. but friends - am i crazy? he's the most smokin' hot guy around! i just can't even...

anyway - after crashing another dinner and taking over two bedrooms in their home we made our way to anaheim...after a quick stop to pick up some new disney princess dresses at a costco. costco - no matter where you go it looks and smells the same.

we got to our hotel just outside the park and let me tell you - it had the very best set up! it was just a standard room. i don't think i paid anything extra, but when you walked in it had a nice bathroom and just beyond a king bed. then, you went through two sliding doors to a second bedroom where it had a mini sectional with another tv and bunk beds! yessssss. yes. bunk beds.

we were able to totally relax that night, which was great because the following day was disneyland. we bought the girls some popcorn and they took it easy watching cartoons until bedtime. meanwhile - the farmer and i were in the other room doing some christmas shopping and watching movies. i'm telling you - the room setup at the anaheim hyatt was amazing. oh! and before all that relaxing we hit up their pool / hot tub which was also glorious. so...if you find yourself in anaheim, stay there.

the next morning we checked out of that amazing hotel and checked into the grand californian at disney. you may be wondering why we didn't just stay two nights - well, considering the hyatt was more than half the cost...we saved a few dollars.


disneyland was an absolute treat. i'm pretty sure it was one of the least busy times - but it still seemed so so busy to us. so so many people.

kaye's lifelong dream of meeting nearly every disney princess was fulfilled. i played mom-of-the-year and got most of it on video. i also nearly cried from the pure, unadulterated, euphoric look of bliss on kaye's face as we went around each corner in the castle only to be greeted by another princess.


and i have to say - those princesses were the best. they hugged kaye and sawyer fully like it was their life-long dream to meet her. each one took their time and asked her questions and listened to her stories. it was the sweetest moment. anyway...

that evening was the parade...that we happen to magically catch at the very last minute. we had just gotten off a ride when i heard loud music. i was like, "oh! i think it's the parade!" but when we went to find seats there was nothing. it was just a sea of people. we could have never gotten close enough for the girls to see...except we did!

as we were walking around looking for a place to park it and looking pathetic i asked a guy if he knew of a secret place we could see the parade from. he said something on his walkie talkie and then looked at us and said, "follow me." so we did. we found ourselves in a roped off section with a few other guests with a front row seat by the it's a small world ride. it couldn't have gotten better. the girls danced and clapped and pointed and blew kisses and received kisses and waves. i swear i was happier than they were to see the pure joy on their faces.

now - i know at disneyland the fun goes until late, but we were shot and still needed to get dinner in the girls. so we left the park, grabbed some dinner, and saw the fireworks from our room.

the next morning we had character dining with ariel and friends at california adventure. we got to go into the park an hour early and to me, that was worth the price of the character dining. to see the park completely empty and snap a few pictures and to not feel on top of everyone...glorious. this may have been why i liked california adventure better than disneyland. after the breakfast we hopped on several rides immediately and met a princess with no line (the fifth princess of the morning).

the surprise of the day was kaye and sawyer rocking their princess finery all day long - including their sparkle shoes. there was no request to take it off. we just had two of our very own princesses escorting us to each ride.

as they day concluded we had a flight to catch at LAX at 8:30. we were just 30 miles away so we gave ourselves two and some change hours to get everything done - drive there, gas up and return the rental car, check bags, security, and walk to the gate.

well - it took closer to an hour and a half to drive the 30 miles and then another 30 minutes to find the rental car return. and then another 30 to shuttle from the car return to united terminal. i was fa-reaking out. we were definitely going to miss our flight.

luckily, the super nice gal at united expedited us, sent us to the front of security where our farmer was swabbed, again, for something suspicious on his hands?? we grabbed our stroller and took off for the gate. the most fortunate part? our gate was literally right upstairs. united had changed our gate an hour or so before, so as luck would have it, we were the last people to board the flight.

but wait! i realized at the last second i forgot the girl's blankies at security. i sprinted back down the stairs (luckily i had my activewear on) grabbed the blankies and hopped back onto the plane.

both girls fell asleep during the flight and farmer and i agreed we couldn't wait to be home. we landed, grabbed our bags and the car...and then drove the hour back to the farm.

you guys - longest day ever.

it was the best trip...and little does my farmer know...i'm already planning our next trip back to disneyland.

kidding - i think i'm all disneylanded out for at least four years.
8 comments on "THANKSGIVING 2016 + A QUICK TRIP TO DISNEYLAND"
  1. That really sounds like the most fun thanksgiving ever! I bet your girls will be talking about it for a long time. The airport at the end sounds super stressful though, I'm glad it worked out!!

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  2. Oh my goodness, the girls are so cute in their princess dresses! I was just reading tips on how to visit Disney with your family, and one of the recommendations was to buy the outfits before you go to save money. I will have to remember to visit Costco!

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  3. What a memorable and fun Thanksgiving! Y'all really did it big! The pictures of the girls are priceless. They look like they were having the time of their lives!

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  4. Sounds like the absolute best trip ever. So glad you enjoyed yourselves!

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  5. What a great trip! I was thinking, as I was reading the 2 hours before your flight, say what? There is no way they made it, haha...I unfortunately do that drive EVERY.SINGLE.DAY! It sucks up one side and down the other. Next time fly out of John Wayne...much closer drive and smaller airport :) Such a great time!

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  6. That sounds like a perfect trip!!! You described it so well it makes me want to have been on that trip with you haha! But my thanksgiving trip was prettty awesome cause I was in NYC so we both had great vacations!!!

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  7. Oh my gosh it sounds like you guys had the most wonderful time ♥ tons of food and meeting Disney princesses sounds perfect!

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