Monday, August 8, 2011

Honk If You're Happy That We're Going to Disney

We didn't imagine we'd ever take another real vacation since becoming farmers but the Lord worked out all the details for us to spend ten days in California having fun and making memories at a family wedding and then at Disney, Legoland, and the beach.

The younger kids enjoyed the flights as much as some of the Disney rides.

We flew into Los Angeles and drove to Santa Maria where Taylor (my nephew - named after the ship that brought my mother to America) was being married to his college sweetheart, Sarah.
My sister, Teresa (named after my aunt who died as an infant), and my brother-in-law, Dan.
Sheridan and her cousin, Tucker, decided the occasion called for some fancy dancing.
Elliott and Oliver were groomsmen

With guitars, back packs, luggage, and a 50 pound suitcase filled with food, we headed to Anaheim, CA after the wedding to enjoy a great vacation.

We feared we were headed into the belly of the beast leaving our conservative, southern town in Virginia for carefree California but we were pleasantly surprised to see the places we visited were no different than our hometown in the south.

Disney always impresses us with their first class service, impeccable facilities, and family-friendly atmosphere.

During the evening turn-down service the housekeeping staff prepares your bed for the night and leaves a treat on the pillow. Our first night they surprised us with rice crispy Mickey Mouse treats with the ears dipped in dark chocolate. Yum!

One of our first stops was to the Lego store in Downtown Disney.
Stephen was never more than a phone call away - which Meredith really looked forward to each day.
Meredith looks so good expecting. Although little Maggie is measuring right on schedule, Meredith has the smallest tummy.
Welcome to Disneyland!

Meredith spent most of her ride time on the carousels in the parks.

Hey Oliver, there may have been a height restriction on walking through Mickey's miniature house.

Elliott and Oliver took Sullivan and Harrison to Legoland one day. They had so much fun!

Tim and the girls all went to enjoy a day in the sun while the boys were at Legoland.
Tim and Sheridan heading out to ride some waves. The California water was so cold that Meredith and I were quite content staying on the shore.
Sullivan celebrated his 12th birthday while we were at Disney
Happy birthday, sweet Sullivan. You bring so much happiness and laughter into our lives. We love you so much!
We made a make-shift birthday cake out of Little Debbie brownies and candles.
Sheridan never left the hotel without speaking to Goofy in the lobby.
The hotel had a movie theater where children could watch Disney movies.
The parks had great fireworks or light shows each evening.
That's one mighty nice big brother to hold a big 10 year old on his shoulders during an entire show so the younger brother could see.
Being an Alexander means that most nights have to conclude with a bowl of ice cream.
The hotel has an all Disney TV channel where bedtime stories are read to the children each night.
It sure made going to bed a lot more fun for Sheridan.

Raw milk can be purchased in the stores in CA. We loaded up when we arrived so we'd have milk to go on the many boxes of coupon bargain cereal we brought in our suitcase.
We cooked out for most of our meals. What great memories we made working together to fix meals each day.

We had so much fun swimming in the pools at the resort.

The older guys enjoyed 5am swims, some of us waited for the heat of the day and best sun, and Timmy and I looked forward to the hot tub at night.

Meredith and Maggie soaking in the warm California sun.
Everyone loved the wet rides.
Sheridan rode the "Tower of Terror", a fast-dropping elevator ride. It starts with scary Twilight Zone music so Sheridan would close her ears and eyes.
A trip to an amusement park has no shortage of waiting in lines.
We love those silly pictures they take while you're on the rides.
Meredith took Sheridan to the Princess Breakfast one morning.
Sheridan loved meeting all the princesses.

We are blessed to have some adoring princes and our very own little princess in our family.
At Sheridan's request, Elliott sweetly agreed to help her practice her fancy dancing.
On our last night in Disney, we enjoyed the big parade.
Oliver and I went to the parade area long before it began to save seats so we'd be able to see everything. We were very close!
Mary Poppins
After a fun-filled vacation, we headed home with many happy memories filling our thoughts. We are so thankful that the Lord allowed us to enjoy such a wonderful time together.