Sunday, September 27, 2009

California Day 3

After a late night dinner on Day 2 of our adventure we woke up and Kelly and Julie practiced a lovely yoga pose for us.

Julie, unfortunately, had to go back to work so it was back to three of us to go adventuring this day. We started our morning in Disneyland...

Now, I haven't been to Disneyland since I was in 5th grade, but I seriously don't remember the rides being so jerky. Yikes, that was a bit hard on the back! But we did go on two rides that were closed the last time I was there, the Matterhorn and Space Mountain! The Matterhorn was particularly jerky, but Space Mountain was awesome! A roller coaster in the dark with tons of crazy lights everywhere! The funny part about this ride was just as we got to the end... it broke down on us! We were stopped in what we could tell was a tube-ish thing funneling back into the beginning of the ride with a car in front of us, but we could hear people still screaming on the ride behind us... I was a bit worried that we were going to get slammed in to!

Finally they turned all the lights on (bummer for the people out in the middle of the ride, take all the mystery out of it!) and said something on the intercom about there being an electrical failure. Some employees showed up and pushed the car in front of us around the corner and then pushed ours. We were super glad we weren't still in line and waiting to get on the ride...

Which reminds me. Have you heard of the Fast Pass system they have there? It rocks! At first I thought it was a pay extra thing where you got to go to the head of the line and I didn't think that was fair, but it is. You don't pay extra, it's part of your ticket. You get to use your Fast Pass once every 2 hours for some of the more popular rides (Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones, Space Mountain). It gives you an extra little ticket and tells you to come back in a certain time frame. When you do you get to skip about 3/4 of the line! Very cool. And in the mean time you can ride some of the less popular rides. Or go visit Innoventions like we did...

This was new for me. It's a large round building that has all kinds of new technology inside that you can play with. Some are practical and we'll be seeing them mass market soon I'm sure (touch screen computers?) others, probably not. But it was fun (and also air conditioned!).

Then we headed over to California Adventures. This park is literally right across a plaza from the entrance Disneyland and new since I'd been there (it was a giant parking lot before!).

(Getting up in this A was harder than I thought!)
The coolest ride at California Adventures was the Soarin' over California. You sit in a suspended hammock type chair and face a screen, like and IMAX screen. Then it shows you a video of hang gliding over California while gently rocking your chair and blowing wind on you (complete with orange grove and sea scents!). It was super cool!

After that we did the Single Rider line and rode the Grizzly River ride. We had to go in separate boats, but it saved us most of the hour+ long wait that we would have had going together. Once again, if you don't have small children and can afford to break up your party, this is a fabulous way to ride more rides in a short amount of time.

This time we got totally soaked and since it was late afternoon stayed wet most of the evening. After climbing around in the little kid's Adventure Trail (or something like that) we wandered out to the far end of the park.

We got a Fast Pass for California Screamin' and then got on Mickey's Fun Wheel. It looks like a ferris wheel, but only every 3rd car is stationary. The other two are on an elliptical rail so that once you go up past 9 o'clock on the wheel you slide in towards the center and swing like crazy! The same thing happens on the way back down. Super fun!

California Screamin' has to be one of the best roller coasters ever! It starts out by launching you uphill rather than ratcheting you up. So when you reach the top you are already at full speed and go flying over and down into the rest of the coaster. It was super smooth and insanely fast, but awesome!

After that we did dinner and headed back over to Disneyland for ice cream and watching the fireworks show.

Here's my favorite picture of Jamie with what I've learned from Ree is called bokeh (the lights in the background).

Then I found a spot in the middle of the crowd to try and get fireworks pictures... this is definitely my favorite one!

Getting enough light for the castle to show up yet not having too long an exposure (since I didn't have a tripod and was getting jostled) was tricky!

Yes, this is how many people were all crammed in to watch the show...

We got back to our room and I had to pack, but I wasn't supposed to fly out until 10 am so I could sleep a little bit... no such luck. We discovered that for some reason ALL the standby flights were booked suddenly for the next day and I was going to have to be there at 5am to hopefully get on any flight out! Yuck.

When I got there in the morning I found out that the reason all the flights were full is because the last flight in from Dalles the night before connecting to Seattle had been late. So there were a dozen people who needed to get on before me...

I didn't make the first flight, but the second one had room at the last minute. So I got in to Seattle 2 hours earlier than I expected. I wandered around in the terminal before going out to baggage claim because I knew there was nothing once I left the security area...

Once I'd claimed my bag I sat and people watched for awhile... until I realized that I was missing the Mickey ears I'd hand carried home for my son. I immediately burst into tears! Oh the joys of little sleep and losing something! When I finally remembered where I'd left it (on the back of a bathroom stall - behind security) I went back to the exit and to see if they would have pity on me. There was a woman there and I'm half talking half crying to tell her that I left my son's Mickey ears in the bathroom. She yelled to the lady at the other end of the hallway that I was crying about Mickey ears. Thankfully the bathroom was just around the corner and that lady went and found them easily. She said she wouldn't normally do things like this, but she loves Mickey Mouse too...

After that drama my college roommate found me (and I watched a grandma and grandson meet their new adopted sisters from China!) and we went to the mall to hang out. We actually got to talk for about 3 hours, uninterrupted, until Brian could come pick me up (from training)! Fabulous!

And so ended my California adventure.


  1. Looks like you had lots of fun! Thanks so much for sharing and for stopping by!

  2. Would love to go back to Disneyland—this time with my kids. Sounds like you had tons of fun.

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  3. I'm so jealous! I love Disney! It's my favorite place on Earth!

  4. I love the fireworks shots! You guys do look very crammed in :)

  5. Love your pictures! Your ones of the fireworks turned out great. Glad you had a fun time!


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