I’m back! So sorry it’s been crickets around here! The kids are officially off of school and we started the summer with a trip out west! So… this post isn’t home-related, but I thought I’d share our trip in case you’re headed to Vegas with kids, or Disney, and may want the scoop about where we went and what worked for us:)
I have a sister in Vegas, so we flew there on a Monday and stayed with her so we could get as much time with family as possible. The kids adore their cousins, and I hate that we live so far! It’s non-stop face-timing over here, so they were so excited to have some real-life time together! Flying a family of six, AND paying for Disney is quite an expensive trip to plan, so it was a total bonus staying with my sis. Not to mention she cooked non-stop. Clearly, she got the cooking gene in the family.
So, we started out heading to my sister’s neighborhood “lagoon.” It’s like a manmade beach and it was so fun! We hopped on some paddle-boats and had some good laughs. Tuesday we headed out onto the Vegas strip. My husband and I have done Vegas a few times, but never with the kids. As you can imagine, Vegas isn’t the most kid-friendly city, but we definitely filled the day! It was HOT, so while we may have walked the strip, we tried to mostly stay indoors. We started at the Bellagio hotel. I love the Chihuly ceiling in there and wanted to show it to the kids. There was also a really pretty flower display. I was hoping they’d see the dancing fountains, but we left before they came on at night. We went to a place called Circus Circus- perhaps a bit of a glamorized Chuck E. Cheese (ugh, I hate even typing out those words) but honestly, the kids loved it. Lots of games to play, lots of large stuffed animal prizes we had to shove into our suitcases home, and even a cool pirate tumbling performance that my eleven year old gymnast loved. Then we walked through a nice shopping center, hit the M&M store, took photos with characters on the streets (don’t forget to tip them! They’ll follow you! Lol), and hit In-N-Out because the kids had never been. Successful, full day!
The kids and their cousins:)
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Cousin selfie with an awesome ceiling as the backdrop!
This about sums up the heat. Lol!
So, Wednesday morning we hopped in our rental car and headed to California! It’s a four hour, smooth ride. And the brownist, most beige drive you’ll ever make! Lol. I love seeing different parts of the country, so to me it was beautiful no matter what, but my eyes were missing the green back home! Happy to report the kids were great in the car and everything went smoothly. We arrived in Anaheim around dinner, so we went to Rainforest Cafe because it’s one of the kids’ favorites, and then walked around downtown Disney. It was fun! There was live music (always a plus), we picked up some Mickey ears and tshirts for the kids to wear the following day, and Zane of course loved the Lego store. Just a nice, “chill” evening without a lot of expectations.
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Thursday was Disneyland day. I wore converse, but I gotta say, I think I would’ve been more comfy in flip flops or sandals. No matter how comfy tennis shoes are, at the end of a LONG day of walking, confined feet are gonna start to hurt eventually, and that they did. Another tidbit of advice…. even if you no longer have a baby, I say rent a stroller! Little ones get worn out, legs start to tire, and even though Zane is past naps, there was a point that he fell asleep on my husband’s shoulder, so I’m glad we decided to go for a stroller. It’s also nice to have a spot underneath to throw some belongings.
Some highlights of Disneyland:
1. The Jedi training!! Zane and Maleah (ages 4 and 7) did this, and it was the cutest thing EVER! Just a heads up- you can’t just show up. You’ve gotta sign them up ahead of time. They dress them up in cloaks, give everyone a light saber, and they get a quick “training” and a chance to “fight” Darth Vader. I laughed so hard. It was hilarious!
2. There’s a ride called Soarin’ Around the World and it’s an absolute MUST!! We went to a 4th of July BBQ, and my husband proceeded to tell the entire family about how he looked over at me in the middle of this ride and I had tears streaming down my face. LOL It was that amazing! It’s not a roller coaster. You sit in this contraption with a HUGE screen in front of you, and once the ride starts, it basically simulates parasailing around amazing parts of the earth. IT WAS SO REAL. I swear, I’m not crazy! Ok, maybe a little bit, but I’m still gonna go ahead and say I freaking loved it and everyone should experience it!
3. Beauty and Beast skit. It could be that this is my favorite Disney movie, but this little play/storytelling was adorable and funny.
4. Meeting Mickey Mouse! Always a highlight of Disney! If you can’t afford a character dinner, just find the characters throughout the park! There may be a line of sorts, but it’s worth it. Also, speaking of lines, see #5.
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5. Get the Disney park app! You can look at a map of it and at any time it’ll tell you how long the lines are for all rides and character meetings!
6. The night time light show! It was awesome!
Extra pix from Disney…
Family pic on the It’s a Small World ride… I think Zane has reached his limits. Lol!
Ok, so, after our day at Disney, the following day we drove into Santa Monica to enjoy some time at the pier and the beach. Fun day! The weather was perfect. FYI, there’s people on the beach trying to sell sand toys for $10. We got ’em down to $5. Still way too much to pay for what’s probably a set from the dollar store, but worth it to have some toys/buckets to make sand castles with, as we didn’t bring any.
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Oldest and youngest:)
Big sisters helping Zane with his seatbelt:)
We had lunch at North Italia. Loved the vibe of the decor in this place! The food was great and so was my drink!
After lunch and the beach, we drove the kids into Hollywood and showed them some fun touristy things along Hollywood Blvd. They liked seeing the stars along the ground, the theater where they have the Oscars, etc. What’s funny is, it started getting dark (and a little crazy), so decided to head back to our hotel in Anaheim. On our way out, we typed the Hollywood sign into our GPS thinking we’d drive the kids past it for a quick view. For some reason I was thinking it was lit up at night. Anyway, suddenly our GPS was taking us up the actual hill. We were stuck following a crowd and we realized it was leading us up to the actual observatory at the top of the hill. There was no turning back. Lol. Which was fine really. I gotta say, as the traffic came to a halt up this hill, I’m so glad I got out of the car to see what exactly we were leading to. I was thinking it leads us right up to the sign, but in actuality, it just leads you up the top of this hill with an amazing view of LA, and the Hollywood sign is far in the distance! So I ran back to the car, grabbed the kids (actually just the girls, Zane had fallen asleep at this point), and we ran, snapped a quick pic, and ran forward to find my husband, as he had to keep driving with the slow traffic. Does all that make sense? Lol. Anyway, I would suggest this during the day. It was beautiful at night with all of the city lights, but for a great pic, and a view of the Hollywood sign, since, by the way, it is NOT lit up at night, going during the day would be perfect!
Pardon the phone quality photos!
So the next morning, we drove back to Vegas. It was WAY cheaper to fly home from Vegas than it was from LA, and we figured we’d give the kids one more night with their cousins. I should warn you, the ride back was NOT as smooth as the ride there. I’m sure some of you heard my complaints in my Instagram stories, but let’s just say we hit the WORST traffic ever, and a four hour road trip turned into a 7 hour road trip. No joke. And no one napped. Hooray.
Our last night in Vegas we took the kids and their cousins to a trampoline park called Gravity. It’s a bigger/cooler version of Sky Zone, if you have one of those. And we flew home the next morning!
There it is in a nutshell! Thanks for allowing me to share a personal post with you with family photos! And photos from my iphone no less! My hubs talked me out of bringing my nice Nikon. I resisted, but in the end he was right. Probably would’ve been annoying lugging that thing around! I love seeing the smiles on these kids’ faces when going through my photos! We had a great time, and I hope they remember this for years to come! If you have any questions about something I may have forgotten to chat about, please feel free to leave a comment!