Sunday, October 17, 2010


The whole Spencer family went to Disneyland for a week in October, courtesy of Stan & Kathryn. (Do I have the best in-laws or what?) We had such a blast! Vacations are fun, but they're even more fun when you're with friends, and we were with the best.

We drove down over the course of two days, with a stop in St. George to hike and a stop in Vegas to stay the night. While in St. George we hiked the famous cookie mountains. (So named because Stan used to tell Chris & his sisters that Heavenly Father made a big batch of cookie dough that got ruined so he scooped the dough out here -- and the mountains really do look like mounds of cookie dough!)

{The cookie dough.}

Chris hitched Emme into the backpack and she loved the hike, once we got her to leave the hat on! She loves being outdoors and especially loves her cousins.

{The Spencers, Flanagans and Rogers}

{Stan & Kathryn}

{Annalisa, Emme, Chris}

While in Vegas, Stan & Kathryn took us to Rainforest Cafe for dinner at the MGM. The kids were so into the ambiance and had such a good time! The Flanagans couldn't get enough of the dessert "sparkler."

We hit up Disneyland hardcore three days in a row. It was a special challenge to get the whole gang to the park and to the gates by opening time, but we did pretty good. Lines were fairly long because it was the week of UEA, but we totally had the fastpass routine down, so we never actually waited long at all!

We were able to get on every ride that we wanted to, multiple times. And because we had strollers with people who had to sit out and switch, we got to use stroller passes (which are totally awesome) and saved us a lot of time.

{The whole gang in the happiest place on earth!}

Emme was absolutely in heaven. She is so social that she could not get enough of all the people there! She pointed and "oooh-ed" at everything she saw, and it was magical!

The whole park was decorated for Halloween -- (including Space Mountain, which is my fav).

Speaking of magical -- did you know that inside the Bibbity Boppity Boutique there is a salon where you can make an appointment for your little girl and they dress her up as whichever princess she chooses, and then they do her hair & nails and give her the royal treatment? Well now you do. It's freaking adorable. (Chris thought I was a total creeper for taking this picture, ha ha.) I'm so taking Emme back there in a few years! Oh my, so magical!

Emme's favorite ride would probably have to be the Jungle Cruise. That's the one where you ride on a boat and see mechanical jungle animals with a witty tourguide. She just oohed and ahhed and pointed like crazy. She could never decide which side of the boat to look out of, so she'd switch back and forth in my arms every few seconds. I think we did it at least twice.

On the morning we got in the park an hour early, we went straight to Fantasy Land and did all the fun little child rides. Emme loved the trains and boats, and especially loved Dumbo. Plus, since Chris gets a little motion sick on fast-moving rides, I got to do all of them with Emme!

{In line for Dumbo, holding his "feather."}

{I think I had as much fun as she did! Best ride ever.}

{On the train ride around the park}

{Loving the teacups.}

{Riding the carousel.}

We took Emme on every ride she was big enough to go on, including Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion (both multiple times). She didn't bat an eye, even when you go down a big hill in the dark on Pirates.

{In line for Pirates of the Caribbean.}

However, ask her to go on the Snow White ride with the scary witch and you'll get this face:
Seriously, the Snow White ride freaked her out so bad that she actually had nightmares that night! I had forgotten how dark that ride really is.

{Grandma with her cute line of kiddos.}

Grandma and Grandpa Spencer were such troopers the whole week, I don't know what we would have done without them. They were so awesome to sit with the kids so the adults could go on all the rides we wanted to go on as well.

{Just look at this girl's face! She was in heaven.}

{Splash Mountain}

{Tower of Terror at California Adventure. Rumor has it that Chris got so scared he actually grabbed his sister's hand during this ride. Just sayin'.}

{Buzz Lightyear. You can barely see the Emmanater in there with us!}

Kathryn was like my go-to woman for the hardcore rides at Disneyland. Since Chris didn't want to risk getting sick on some of the wild rides, he went with me the first time and Kathryn went with me the second and third times. We went on Indiana Jones twice, and Space Mountain twice in a row. Pretty much the coolest mother-in-law ever.

Emme did surprisingly well in her stroller all day long. She played and people-watched when we weren't on rides, and when she got tired we layed her seat back, pulled the shade down and she napped twice per day. (I don't know what we would have done without a reclining stroller.)

The time-change, however, was not as smooth. A combination of that with the stroller naps for some reason caused Emme to wake up at 5am EVERY MORNING of our vacation. (No, I'm not kidding.) She woke up ready to play and eat at 5am on the dot. Every. Single. Morning. Some days she would go back to sleep for an hour or so, but some days she didn't. Oy.

Shout out to the Disneyland people who created a Baby Center on mainstreet. You can walk in there with your child and change, nurse, feed, etc. They have curtained privacy rooms, changing tables, high chairs, filtered water & microwaves, cupboards of formula, food and extra binkies, etc -- all manned by sweet old white haired ladies. It was absolutely delightful. What do these people not think of?

On day 4 of the themeparks, we went to Sea World! Emme enjoyed the whale and dolphin shows, but loved the aquariums! I have a video of her ooohing and kicking her feet that is so cute.

During the shows we sat up high to avoid getting wet because it was a little chilly that day. But the adventurers (the Flanagans) sat down in the splash zone a few times. Crazy kids!

{Emme couldn't get enough of Grandma's necklace all week long.}

We got to touch star fish & man-o-rays, and we really enjoyed the shows. The kids zone (Elmo's world) was pretty fun for kids, and the animal show is a must-see.

{Us at Sea World}

On day 5 we hit Universal Studios, which was really fun. The backlot tour was pretty awesome (I got to drive on Wisteria Lane!) and I got to meet Doc Brown (from Back To The Future). Too bad I didn't have my flux capacitor tee shirt with me!

On day 6 the whole group (except us) went to the Animal Kingdom. We skipped out since it was a car-driven tour and we figured Emme wouldn't be able to see in her rear-facing carseat. Plus, let's be honest, she was in need of a nap in her real bed rather than the stroller!

(Did I not tell you we were hardcore? Six days of theme parks -- wowee!)

We had such a blast with the whole family, and we can't thank Grandma and Grandpa Spencer enough for taking us on such a fun vacation. It was such a treat to get to spend so much time with our family, even having breakfast every morning in the hotel was just fun. I think vacations should be mandatory every year, because a break from life and work is good for the marriage and good for the soul!


Emily Heizer Photography said...

What a FUN vacation! It looks like you guys had a blast!

Jessica Bath said...

Looks like the greatest of fun I am super jealous! We can't wait for our staycation next week for the same reason, it's good for the soul! ;D

The Whitney's said...

Sounds like a blast, we should go when our kiddos are little bigger!

Jess said...

So Jealous!!

Nurse Heidi said...

Aaaaaah, we LOVE Disneyland!! I never went there as a kid, so we've made up for lost time since - three trips in the last 6 years. We're waiting for Katie to hit that magical 40 inches before we go again. Looks like you had a wonderful trip (and it totally cracks me up that Kathryn is the daredevil. Who'da thunk?)