Thursday, July 23, 2015

From Lemons To Legoland

As I sit in our hotel room to write this next blog post I am smiling in private disbelief at the events that transpired over the past week. Even though there were multiple disasters and fails, there were also moments of relief and perfect timing.

Let me back up to last Sunday when there was an unusual prediction of afternoon showers. They may have mentioned the phrase "downpour" and issued a flash-flood warning but I've never paid much attention to that in the past because nothing ever came of it. Of course my family is still staying with my mother in a mountainous region just outside of San Diego so perhaps we should have been more alert. My mother has lived in her home for over 15 years and has never had flooding issues but at 2:30pm last Sunday the water came in from 3 separate doorways and completely saturated her entire house. We had quite a lot of boxes and tools stored in the garage and house that were damaged. My mother had just put in new floors and those were ruined. I could go on but I won't...

Pictures of the house after most of the water is gone:

Also, for a fun twist I had a 9 hour major dental appointment scheduled for the next day. So after the tiring events of Sunday where we worked non-stop for 6 hours to contain and then get rid of the water in the house, I was off to get my super fun dental work whilst my husband dealt with the aftermath. The dental appointment went fairly well which is to say I survived. To add a little more spice to the mix, I have to remain on a mostly liquid diet for the next week or so.

It is only after my Dental appointment that my husband relays the fact that will have to vacate the premises so the damage can be repaired. We don't have our fifth wheel yet because we are waiting for the owners to receive the title from their bank before the final purchase can be made. 

We are homeless again. 

My husband and I frantically look for hotels to stay at all the while wondering what we can do to entertain a 2 and 4 year old in such a small space. Suddenly my husband turns to me and says, "we might as well go to Legoland." Eureka! Let's just turn this disaster into something awesome!

We buy a cheap Motel 6 hotel room by Legoland and purchase tickets to the park through our local Military Base and we're off!

We arrive at our hotel and it's like a 10ft x10ft shoebox but we brush that off and set out to Denny's next door to enjoy dinner. The kids are acting up because they've been cooped up too long so we decide to make it an early night and start fresh in the morning. 

This is the picture of our hotel room from the website. It's deceptive because this looks more spacious than it actually is, lol.

We arrive at Legoland just after they open at 10am and foolishly went to the first ride we saw. We waited in that line for 45 minutes and only made it half way through. It was hot and our kids were melting down. I wish I had taken a picture of the pre-teen staff who all looked miserable to be there and moved like molasses. All I could think was "THIS IS NO DISNEYLAND!" We just left the happiest place on earth last week and now we're in HELL! I'll just cut to the chase, we did 2 reluctant days at Legoland (because we paid for a two day park hopper pass) where the kids managed to have a decent time and then we decided to return to San Diego and stay at a local hotel where I am currently writing as we speak. 

There were many times that my husband and I wanted to give up and break down but we just kept going because we had faith that everything was going to work out. Right on que, the sellers called to tell us they received the title for our 5th wheel and we will be taking it home on Sunday. With all the work that needs to be done on my mom's house, it's nice to know that we will have our own home now and just in time. 

Here are all the pictures of Legoland. Try and spot the annoyance, lol.

This picture says it all :)

Boys are having fun firing water at the passing pirate ships

Meltdown in progress

The best seafood restaurant in town! 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Disneyland Trip 2015

After several years of waiting, finally my husband and I made it back to Disneyland only this time we have two small boys in tow. We spent 4 days and three nights at Disneyland/California Adventures staying in the Anaheim Majestic Gardens Hotel. 

First off, our hotel was AMAZING! It's not a Disney Hotel but one of their affiliated good neighbor hotels (and significantly cheaper I might add) with the benefit of a shuttle running to and from the parks every 30 minutes. It was castle themed with a truly beautiful interior, but of course I love castles and dragons. We picked the room that had a queen bed and a castle themed bunk bed for the boys. I knew they would love it!

The Hallway had an old dragon tale that started on the wall and finished on the carpet. pretty awesome!

The Boys LOVED Disneyland and did much better than I expected for a cautious 2 year old and temperamental 4 year old, but I guess Disney knows their business when it comes to entertaining the little ones. It was very tiring for My husband and I but we were pretty smart and worked our plan. Here is what we did:
        • Arrive early by 8am and leave for the hotel around 12noon
        • Relax and take naps until around 5pm.
        • Arrive at the park around 5:30 and stay until 10pm or so depending on what nightly attraction we were planning to see.
        • Back to hotel for nightly baths and pre-order breakfast for the following morning.
        • Sleep.
We went in prepared and everyone had a great experience. I think the biggest success factors were:
        • Taking it slow, no rushing.
        • Staying hydrated with gatorade and water. My husband was wearing a CamelBak backpack that stores water that you drink through a tube. Great purchase!
        • We ate at regular intervals by keeping snacks on hand such as granola bars, string cheese, and crackers.
        • Letting the boys nap for 2 hours each day gave them the energy to stay up way past their 7:30pm bedtime.
Things we would do differently next time:

        • We would go between September and October or February because its significantly less busy.
        • We would go for 3 days instead of 4 because we were done by the third day.
        • We would schedule our days by sections of the park so that we aren't running all around the parks all day. We also missed a few sections because we ran out of time and energy.
Overall, we had an amazing time and I can't wait to go again. Here are a few pictures of the highlights from our trip.

First day on shuttle to Disneyland
Sleeping Beauty's Castle with me in orange in the lower right.
Mickey Mouse's House
A reluctant picture with Mickey, they were not interested in doing this.
Pixie Hollow
Mommy and Daniel on Mater's Junkyard Jamboree
Starbucks therapy mid-day
New spinning Mickey light
Paint The Night Parade
The look of amazement is worth everything :)
Carousel at California Adventures
Daddy is the best ride there is.
Caiden our 2 year old wearing the CamelBak 
World Of Color about to begin...
The Finale!
It was a success, we all loved it and are very wet now.
Last morning at Disney...
We're all a little rough around the edges :)
Last Day Sugar Binge....
Ice Cream Cone...
Mickey Mouse Lollipop...
It's yummy!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

We Found Our New Home

Last week we drove up to Anaheim from San Diego (about a 2 hour drive) to see a beautiful 2013 Palomino Columbus 385BH bunkhouse. From the moment I entered this 5th wheel I fell in love. It was gently used by a lovely family of 4 and somehow that gave it a comfortable and cozy vibe instead of the usual sterile feel of the dealership variety. We met with the owner April (wife/mom) who showed us around and answered our questions. She didn't even mind when my 4 year old decided to try out the toilet in what would be his new bedroom, lol.

There are a few repairs to be made but we were able to come to an agreed purchase price. So as of 11pm last night, we can stop looking for a new home for we have found it.