It had been a few moons since we'd been away for a family trip and we were ready for a break and some together time!  We'd never been to Disneyland as a family and we figured the kids were at a good age.  We caffeinated up, stocked the car organizers with legos, coloring books, and new novels, and implemented snack stop quarters (someone's genius idea that I LOVED!).  Six quarters at each full gas up per kid that they could spend at the next fuel up if they hadn't lost any for fighting or disobeying.  It was a big incentive as they never get to roam the snack aisle with cash like that.

Disney was hot, busy, happy, exciting, exhausting, thrilling.  We started out at a low on our first day (insert screaming headache, disappearing husband with cell phones and backpacks while I was in line to see Mickey with kids, and anxious crowds running in at'll see us looking less than thrilled in those pictures!).  However, it definitely got better from there.  We stuck with the plan in the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and it sure helped prioritize us and we got to do a huge majority of things in the parks.  We were glad Theo was 40 inches as it meant he could go with us on the big rides, though for many, he'd look at the attendant frantically and say, "I don't want to do dis!!!" Then he was exulting at the end.  It was h.o.t. so we took our breaks at the hotel pool each day.  We ate fantastic gourmet pizza right outside the park at Pizza Press each night.  We really loved the World of Color show (and did get soaked) and so enjoyed the parade at Disneyland.

We packed up our souvenirs  and headed north six hours to Santa Cruz, where Ben grew up and we spent our first year of marriage.  It was fun to visit friends, go boogieboarding, travel the boardwalk, eat Pacific Company Cookie Company treats and work hard in the sand and tidepools. Lots of great memories there!

Then we powered back up to home, sweet home, doling out quarters as we went.

I have a boatload of pictures to share so if you want to see a peek of what we did, grab a coffee and start scrolling!

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