We got up and packed half our stuff, then left for Disneyland pretty early, and checked in early to the GRAND CALIFORNIAN. Holy cow. It was like the Yellowstone Lodge, only less rustic. Maybe a little more calculatedly rustic. But a pretty nice hotel. Our intent was just to drop off our bags and stuff, but of course the girls are completely enchanted with the hotel and it's hard to get them to leave.
Checking into the parks from the hotel was amazingly easy. The hotel was prohibitively expensive, and I kept telling Hubby that the Ramada across the street is just about as convenient, but I can't argue that this hotel is uber convenient.
We had three wonderful days at Disneyland. The way we do the parks we need all three days, as Hubby and I are a little driven to do stuff, but the girls are not, so it takes three days for us to get in everything we want. Though we never talked the girls into Indiana Jones, Space Mountain was out of commission, and we end up doing Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain more than he or I would choose. I do quite a bit with Thing 2 while Hubby and Thing 1 go to the animation academy and learn how to draw different characters. Thing 2 is not interested in that.
The girls love the bear playground thing in California Adventure. They have to hit this smoke jumper thing several times before we can do anything else.
They have to walk their lines up to the launching area on the right, then they ride the line to the end and it pops them up, and jerks them back a little. They love it.
Though she grows older, the Merry-Go-Round is still one of her favorite rides.
I brought some food in our backpack, which worked out well as some of the food lines were really long, and one which Hubby stood in for about 10 minutes didn't move at all, so he bailed and we had dried mangoes and beef jerky for lunch that day. We tried to eat in the park, really we did, but just kept finding it easier to eat what I brought. We met a friend of mine for dinner at the House of Blues on Tuesday, which was marvelous. It was wonderful catching up, he seems to be doing really well. On the last day, Thursday, we had lunch at the Blue Bayou because that was the only reservation available. Hubby was floored at how much that set us back. I figure it averaged out by our not buying much food the rest of the time we were in the park. Aside from a few ice creams and popcorn, we hardly bought anything.
We put the girls off on buying a souvenir until the end of the day, at least because I hate carrying those sacks around. Thing 1 has become a first class negotiator. I told them I would buy them each a souvenir of the trip. Thing 1 decided she wanted some Legos from the lego store, but then saw some club Penguin stuff she wanted, so she told me that she'd buy the club penguin stuff with her back allowance. I am terrible about remembering to pay them their allowance, so fine, they each get to pick two things. The trouble is trying to get everything to add up financially. But the first part of the negotiations went well. Thing 2 picked out a little doll thing like a polly pocket where the doll is Minnie Mouse.
The trouble came the next morning, Thursday. Both girls were so obsessed with what they'd spend their souvenir money on, Hubby suggested we just go do that first thing, then take it out to the car and then enjoy our day. Okay fine. We checked out of the hotel, then went shopping. Thing 2 heads straight to Build A Bear. I think they already have enough stuffed animals, they don't play much with them, but it's their choice, and I can't deny the lure of the build-a-bear ritual, and it ends up meaning more to them than just picking out a stuffed Disney character from the Disney store. Thing 2 picks out a bear and is going through the whole ordeal of stuffing it, rubbing the little heart on all her body parts as instructed before the helper drops it in the bear's back and sews him shut, and picking out an outfit. (I encouraged her to get something Disney related, she bought a Downtown Disney tee shirt)
Thing 1 was going crazy. She started jonesing for a build a bear. She started negotiating. She promised to eat meatloaf if I'd buy her a bear. What about the legos? The problem with the legos was that the set she wanted wasn't in the store, they were out. They expect them the day after we leave. Hubby finds them online on her iphone and we can order them, but she won't have them today. Well, she wants the legos too, but she wants the bear for something else. She is practically in physical pain about this, writhing around. Hubby starts looking at me with puppy dog eyes. He can't deny them anything they REALLY want and she seems to REALLY want this stuffed dog. I think. Okay. You can have this dog today, for your Disney souvenir. You can have the Legos in a couple of months, when you mark off all the days of your homework chart. Yippeee! Everyone's happy.
She gets her dog, stuffs it, puts the heart in it, picks out a sweater for it. We're standing in the line, the sales person has put each girl's stuffed animal and associated accessories into their little take home boxes which they're holding, they've swiped my credit card, I'm just waiting for the screen to come up for me to sign and she slaps her hand to her forehead and says "Oh No!"
I've made a mistake. A horrible mistake.
I don't want the dog.
.... Too late, honey, you've got the dog. I sign the pad, we go out of the store and I turn to her and say "What's going on?"
She says "I don't know how I'll play with the dog." This is something Hubby pointed out to her in the negotiations for the stuffed animal. She plays with legos all the time, but we don't see her playing with stuffed animals.
She admits she wanted the stuffed animal because Thing 2 was getting a stuffed animal, and because she likes GETTING the stuffed animal, the ritual (not her words). But she doesn't really WANT the stuffed animal.
Sigh. Well, she's got it now.
Hubby took the bear and dog to the car while I sat in the hotel lobby with the girls, assuring Thing 1 with all my ability how cute the dog is, what a good choice it was, why it made sense at the time she made the choice. She cried, she sniffled, she seemed resolved.
Then she started negotiating about when she's going to get those legos.
We fast passed a bunch of rides and had a very nice day at the park.