Thursday, January 31, 2013

california vacation: balboa island finale

On our last full day in Newport we rode the ferry to Balboa island.  I loved this little area.  Beautiful little beach houses tucked up close to the sand.  
That's my manly man right there carrying my baby and my floral backpack.
Halle finally got to go to the beach even if we didn't get to go in the water.  
We ate Ruby's diner right off the pier.  
That night my parents were kind enough to watch our girls and take us down to Long Beach to see Andrea and the Los Angeles ballet perform the Nutcracker.  I enjoyed myself way too much.  I love seeing my sisters on stage, add the music from the Nutcracker and I am a giddy mess!  We loved our short visit with her.  
We came home to wake up early and head to the airport and back in time for Wes's surgery.  We loved our vacation and it sure felt well earned after the year we have had.
 Thanks again Mom and Dad for everything!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

california vacation: day four, disneyland

We went back to Disneyland to finish up the things we still wanted to see. 
 Over in California adventure there is a Little Mermaid ride.  It was the highlight of this little girl's day and we went again and again and again.  
We couldn't even get near the new cars land because of the crowd and none of us are lightning mcqueen fanatics anyway, so we said hello and goodbye to that area of the park.  
We waited and waited in line for princesses in Disneyland.  Luckily, we caught Miss Ariel, the one we really wanted to see.  All Halle could say was "you're my favorite princess."  
Mom and dad taking a smoochie photo.  
Right after that picture, this happened:
We finished up some last minute ride requests and headed back to the hotel.
 Thanks mom and dad for making our Disney dreams come true.
It really is the happiest place on earth!
Not pictured: Lily refusing to sit in the stroller and insisting on pushing it, Lily pulling and pulling my hair, Lily kicking her shoes off while throwing a tantrum and then making herself even more mad because her shoes were off, all delightful moments brought to you by Lily, the "I do it" toddler. Long days at the parks weren't really her thing.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

california vacation: day three, sea world

Sea world was a delight.  Upon entering the park we discovered they have a whole sesame street section dedicated to little kid rides.  Lily being the Elmo fanatic that she is was in heaven.  Elmo's flying fish was exciting.
And the giggling didn't stop on the spinning rides.  It's always more fun with dad, those girls sure are lucky.
We got to meet Elmo and Grover.  Lily, who wouldn't go near any other character unless she was safe in someone's arms, had no problem hugging Elmo.  A rare streak of bravery for that girl.
And we found some flamingos just hanging around, maybe getting a little too close for comfort.
The dolphin show is always fun to see.
The shark tanks are some of our favorites.
  Grandma was a big help throughout the day.
 For a limited time the park had a little snow land.  They filled an area with snow and sectioned off places for sledding and snowball fights.  While this is probably a novelty to those southern californians, I didn't think we would spend much time there since we see the stuff a little too much in Utah, but Halle probably had the most fun here.  She loved the sledding.  And Wes and I just sat there thinking we could do this at home for free, he he.
We took Halle off on her own to the dolphin tanks where they literally come right up to you and let you pet them.  The park was empty and so we sat at the whale tank and the trainer had the whale wave to Halle.  She loves whales and has even showed interest in becoming a whale trainer, so this was a real treat for her.  
The grand finale was the whale show at the end of the day that is always impressive.
We really love this park.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

california vacation: day two, disneyland

Ever since Wes was first diagnosed with cancer he has wanted to take our girls to Disneyland.  It was so exciting to be able to make this wish come true and to look back on just how far we have come.  It wouldn't have been possible without the help of Grandma and Grandpa.  There is no way I could have taken care of these people by myself while Wes was still feeling the effects of chemotherapy.  We were so grateful to them for taking us and helping us.
It has become a sort of tradition to ride Dumbo the flying elephant first thing.  It is still magical every time.
 This girl is really terrified of splash mountain.
We saw so many of our favorite characters.
 Both girls have a bizarre fascination with The Nightmare Before Christmas.  What a treat it was to find Jack Skellington out and about.  He was hilarious and a little bit spooky. Wes photo bombing in the back is a double treat.
 Christmas time at Disney means they transform the haunted mansion into the Nightmare Before Christmas.  The girls loved it and this is just one picture of the many special moments Lily had at the park.
 Lily's favorite character to meet was probably Woody.  She has always loved him and really couldn't take her eyes off of him.
 Lily didn't crack a smile on any rides until we put her on the carousel.
 And just as it got dark we left the park for dinner at Goofy's kitchen, but not without taking a picture in front of the castle with our classic "princess hands."
 We have such fond memories of taking Halle to Goofy's Kitchen when she was a few years younger.  It is always a fun atmosphere.  Halle barely ate a bite she was so excited to see what character would come to our table next.  Lily thought it was fantastic that Goofy "cooks."  And this was one of the few times she was happy to just sit on this trip.  We were so sad they got rid of the dancing with characters part of the dinner, but it was wonderful nonetheless.
 The highlight of Lily's day was getting a kiss on the cheek from Minnie Mouse.  She talked about it for the rest of the night.
 We finished the night with a few rides and some light up swords from Grandma.  A wonderful day was had by all.