Thursday, September 27, 2012

Disneyland 2012: The Beach & A Very Goofy Dinner (recap Pt. 2)

Again, I apologize for the long wait between updates. I'm going to try and plug out the reporting and have it done by the end of the weekend just so I can feel good about moving on with my blogging.

As stated back in part 1, the girls decided to sleep together in Haille and my room, so I spent most of the night listening for them to have meltdowns, or fall out of bed... Hailee Elizabeth was sick and had an AWFUL cough, which also didn't help as I am a super light sleeper. Both girls also snore and talk in their sleep.

As always, Haille tuned into the Disney Channel right away
our first morning in SoCal. So predictable!
Needless to say we woke up far too early and I was feeling awful. For me I don't understand why people get drunk enough to deal with hangovers the next morning. I don't need booze to feel that lousy, and I don't understand why someone would even WANT to make themselves feel that way!

The girls kept themselves entertained with the coloring books and crayons that I brought with me for them (that Haille found in my suitcase while she "helped me" unpack). Both were still tired as they were pretty zoned for most of the morning while we waited for everyone to get ready and decide on what we were going to do.

After a little debate it was decided we'd head to the beach before going to dinner that night at Goofy's Kitchen. The weather looked good for a day at the beach, but we all forgot it was SUNDAY, which meant we were in for a crowded beach. However by the time we realized it, we were committed. We took two cars as the rental car did not have enough seatbelts for all and we were going too far to "fudge it." So Judy, Haille and I went in the Saturn while Gaylord, Aana and Hailee went in the rental.

Haille was excited to be heading to the sun and the sand.
We followed Gaylord and... got lost. We ended up driving around quite a bit before parking well away from the area we were hoping to be in. We didn't get to lunch on the pier as we'd planned, and we got there to find it a tad windy and the water was rough. But we made the best of it. The girls had their pails and shovels and swimsuits and we hit the sand. Hailee Elizabeth does not enjoy the water, where as Haille is a fish. So one spent most of her time building sandcastles while the other one squealed in delight as the waves continued to crash on top of her!

I was unable to wear a  swimsuit to the beach (let's just say I was not feeling well), and Judy couldn't find a place to change so we were in full clothing and switching off to hold onto Haille as she crept further and further out into the surf.

Even with the inability to allow little miss fish to swim out into the water we all had a blast. At one point we had dolphins playing in the water just off shore. The girls were so excited to see them - though Haille wanted to swim out to them and swim with them. Weirdo. We wouldn't let her and soon after the dolphins went away and the wind surfers seemed to take over - which Haille also wanted to do. *facepalm* That's our little daredevil I suppose!

Gaylord and Hailee Elizabeth building sand castles.
Haille and Judy getting wet - and sand - everywhere!

Sleepy girl after a fun day in the sand and water.
On our way back to the hotel from the beach both girls crashed hard, which was good because once we got back to the hotel it was showers all around and getting dressed to meet up with some familiar characters. Haille knew what to expect so she spent the hour leading up to dinner giving Hailee a heads up on what to expect. I really do think having someone their age helped both girls deal with the intensity of Disney. I think having been there and done that also helped Haille not have the same reaction she did last year.
The girls dressed up nice to meet Goofy and his band of merry chefs as well as some extra surprises. With their homemade autograph books in hand the girls were on a mission to fill those pages with the signatures of any and all they could find. This, I think, also helped keep the apprehension at bay for meeting the characters.
The girls are natural besties, and told everyone that!
We got to the Disneyland Hotel and made our way inside. We had visited last year while they were under major renovation - top it off we came in a different door, too! - so we didn't know where to go. As always a friendly CM was there to help us out. While Judy waited in line to check in for our reservation (we were 15 minutes late, ugh!) I took the girls to go crush pennies to put with their autograph book. By the time we were done, it was time to get in line to get our pic taken with Chef Goofy!
While we stood there waiting our turn, Haille gave Judy and I a scare. She asked if Goofy was real, or if he was someone in a costume. We asked her what she thought and she said she thought it was a peron in a costume. My heart nearly broke. I was also playing the song "Age of Not Believing" in my head. She wanted confirmation if she was right, but neither of us gave a definite answer. We told her the beauty of Disney magic is YOU had to be the one to decide.
Our worries were for not, though, because after meeting with Goofy, getting her book signed and pic taken she came away saying that that was the *real* Goofy! WHEW! We were seated and immediately there was Pluto - Haille's favorite character from last year. She chatted with him, petted him, and then asked him if he remembered her (and, of course, he did). We also ended up with Minnie, Chip, Show White and Alice. When Snow White came to our table she asked the girls what their names were. Imagine the confusion that ensued when she realized they have the same name! She thought they were sisters, but we quickly explained it all to the Princess. Hailee was over the moon because Snow is one of her favorites.
The food was as good as we remembered it, and we gorged ourselves on prime rib, fruit, and all sorts of goodies. Their buffet makes sure no one - even the pickiest eaters like me - go hungry. Haille's only complaint is they cook the broccoli. Go figure. It was Aana's birthday that night so she got the song and cupcake, the girls each got a cupcake, too, saying "Just Graduated". They were pretty impressed with the buttons and wore them the rest of the night.
All in all it was a good taste of what was to come the next day, and we were all pleased with how the girls did. It was decided that they would sleep in seperate rooms that night so I could hopefully get some sleep. I didn't get much as Haille was feeling rather homesick (and would for several nights), so Monday was not the most fun... but that's for the next update.
Haille showing off her autograph book made by an awesome
person, wonder who that was? ;)
The one character that was not at dinner was
Mickey Mouse himself, so the statue was
the next best thing I guess!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Where I've Been...

Wow, I can't believe it's been a month since I started my trip report. However it was very difficult month. On September 12, my grandmother passed away. You may remember I mentioned that she was in the hospital in my last post - she never got better this last time. She was surrounded by family in her final days.

"On Wednesday, September 12, Edwina Jane Reitter, 79, left her beloved home in Anchorage where she had shared her life with family, friends and husband of 63 years. She fought the good fight and is now with her Lord and Savior watching in anticipation for others to join her in eternity.

Born to Clyde and Bessie Jones, in Meridian, California, on May 17, 1933, Edwina was preceded by brother Alvie Jones and sister Margarie Jones Taws. Edwina attended grammar school in Meridian and Sutter Union High School.

In the late 1940's, Edwina caught Bob's eye while babysitting his brother's children; soon Bob was stopping by to borrow the dictionary to work crossword puzzles. They married on December 9, 1950, and began their incredible journey together.

Edwina was ALWAYS ready to entertain or just add another plate for more people. She loved to cook the favorites during the holidays.

When Edwina and Bob arrived in Alaska on vacation in 1971, she embraced everything about Alaska. She was an avid fisherman, fish wheeling, clamming, salmon and halibut fishing. She loved to hunt, dropping two Caribou with one shot. She even tried a hand at prospecting in Chicken. She sewed parkas for each member of the female side of the family, adding mukluks and parka ruffs as well.

Edwina loved working for the Alaska Court System where she retired as Supervisor of In Court Clerks. She and Bob took motorhome trips visiting family, friends and sights throughout the United States. They extended their family to include the members of their local RV group.

Edwina is survived by her husband Bob; son Robert and wife Kathy of Grants Pass, OR; son Alan and wife Susie of Kenai; son Jeff of Anchorage; grandchildren Louisa and husband, Jim James of Tok; Toni and Duane of Kenai, and great grandchildren Trinity and Demitri of Tok.

A Service to Celebrate Edwina's Life will be held on Saturday, September 15 at 4 p.m. at ChangePoint Church, 6689 ChangePoint Drive in Anchorage. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to your favorite charities."

I'm now in charge of getting the family photos in order and scanned and ready for distribution at some point. It's been a challenge, but I love looking at all the photos! I even posted some on facebook and am learning the stories behind them and meeting family friends that way. (Also had an ex of my dad's contact me... which was awkward.)

Read more here:[]#fbID=733500663#storylink=cpy