Phew! The past few weeks have been a whirlwind for my family and I. We went to Disneyland, I participated in Susanna Hill's "Would You Read It Wednesdays?", Jack started swim lessons, I got multiple rejection letters from agents, magazines and publishing houses, somewhere in there was the day job, I got elected Vice President of a local non-profit, we all saw Boss Bay (Jack sat for most of it-- can't wait to take him to Cars 3!), family photos, Jack punching and kicking Bobby and I as he got a haircut, a follow mom shared Annie as part of blog post about children's books that have math concepts in them and some other stuff I'm sure I'm forgetting. There are so many stories I could share, but I'm going to talk about our latest Disneyland trip.
I'm not a Mouseketeer, Mousehead, or whatever you call Disney mega fans, but going three times to Disneyland within a 6 month period might suggest otherwise (one time was for a conference, and the other times for family vacation). It's just that Jack is still free, Jack loves Disney movies, and clever and sly Disney saying, hey 40% off our hotels! Then next thing you know, you book another Disneyland vacation. D'oh!
This time we stayed in one of the Disney hotels, The Grand Californian, and at the club level. Club level means access to this room that has food, a patio to watch fireworks, movie rentals, and a couple of other perks. Jack enjoyed going into that special room every day, and not going to lie, so did I! We rented and watched a movie every day. The staff is so helpful and nice in that special room, and really in all parts of the hotel. The pool at the hotel was one of Jack's favorite things, although the slide wasn't ready/open when we stayed there. With all these perks and the pool, it was hard to convince Jack to leave the hotel for the park (Disneyland).
It was also great to go directly from the hotel into the park. There's still a security line, but it's much shorter. We also ate at one of the restaurants. While it was good food, it was slightly on the too fancy side for a toddler, meaning an hour is too long for dinner (when you're a toddler). There was a family next to us that had a four year old, and Jack and him became friends, so that helped a little. We also did character dinning at the Disney Hotel, which Jack loved.
Okay, okay, so at this point it sounds like we spent a lot of money on this vacation. Club level in a Disney hotel is usually expensive, but remember, we got 40% off. This trip did cost more than the last Disneyland trip, but it was not more than some our past trips (before Jack). Bobby and I agree we really want to stay at the club level in the GC for our next visit (I swear it will be a couple of years this time, unless another awesome deal is offered). It really made this vacation pretty awesome, especially since Jack had such high-highs and low-lows at the park this time (he liked the rides and characters, but really disliked the crowd, sun, and any line over 5 minutes). But there's no way we could do club level again unless there is a great deal. Or we win the lotto.
Besides the club level thing, there was one more thing that really made this trip special for me. Like I said, Jack seemed to be happy one minute in the park and then cranky the next. On our previous trip, he was pretty mellow, but had just turn 2. He was still a young toddler. I think he's entering the stage that most parents dread, the terrorism threes, so I think that was part of the high highs and low lows. He was pretty content and mellow for all the time we spent at the hotel (we had a half day at the hotel when we arrived, a rest day in between the park, and also a half day before travel to another hotel/home (we break up the drive by staying in Indio or such)).
So the last night we were at the park, he was pretty much done. He kept asking to go to back to the hotel as we stood waiting for the Main Street Electrical Parade to begin. I think we had been waiting about 15-20 minutes, and I was torn-- see the parade or go back to the hotel. I really wanted to see the parade, as it was one of my favorite things at Disneyland as a child, but I also wanted a well rested and happy toddler for the next day. Then the lights dimmed, and we heard the music. If you've seen the parade, you know the music. That synthesized bee sound.
Then Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Daisy, come around the corner on a lit up train, and Jack screams, "Train! Mickey! Train!" And I absolutely lose it. I'm just crying and crying, in the middle of Main Street at Disneyland, during a really fun light parade with horrible (or is it awesome) synthesized music! Bobby's all, "Are you alright? What's a matter?" I can't even speak. Jack's still watching the parade, ignoring his sappy mother, and Bobby put it together (he knows me well), "Are those happy tears?" All I can do is nod. I was so sharking HAPPY! To be able share something I loved so much and made me so gleeful as child with my own child and seeing how gleeful it made him, 30 years later. It just made me so sharking happy!
I could have died happy in that moment. So sharking special-- I hope to remember it forever and ever! I'll be on my death bed, and be like, remember when Jack saw the Electrical Parade just like I did, and I totally bawled my eyes out because of how happy that made me to share the parade with him? (Of course if his kid sees it 30 years, on my death bed it will be instead, remember how much Jack Jr, Jack and I loved the Electrical Parade?) And yes, I'm tearing up just writing about it. I'll just "zzz, zzz, doo, doo, doo" myself out now; zzz, zzz, doo, doo, doo!