Saturday, November 30, 2013

Caroline's Holiday Visit 2013 - Longest Post Ever

I think we say it each time......our best trip yet......but it was!  It was!

Many photos:

She's here!

We started off with lunch in Orange County with the California family.

We next visited my grandmother's house in Irvine.  Lots of tears.

This was the first time both Caroline and I had been back to see it since she passed in 2006.  

My grandmother and Caroline had a very special connection.

I adored her, too.  Blake, Carter and I visited her in 2002, on our first family vacation.....which cemented our love for this beautiful place.  I only wish she were still we could spend time together, now that we live here.  

We moved further north to check into the hotel near Disneyland.  Spent that afternoon and evening at Downtown Disney......saving energy for the following big day!

Caroline, Carter and I took the Walk in Walt's Disneyland Footsteps.....a behind-the-scenes tour of his impact on the park. In one word - amazing.

Started that morning at the Market House, enjoying checkers and coffee.....sans JacknLainey, who were at the hotel with Blake.  He took the train up that morning to help out.  We're grateful!

This was a 3.5 hour tour with attractions, lunch and rarely heard sound bites from Walt, himself.  It was fantastic.

The keepsakes from the tour:

Walt's apartment, which overlooks Main Street!

We booked another tour on the Lilly Belle, which is a beautifully decorated 'caboose' that Walt's wife designed and enjoyed after Walt's passing.

Littles were included in on this one.

Here we go!

Here is the outside of Walt's place:

And, the window he looked out from onto Main Street.  A light remains on 24 hours a day in honor of him.

Enjoyed the first ever "Jingle Cruise"!

And, we loved every minute of this Disneyland Christmas dream.  

Back at the hotel, presents were opened.

Jack opened this candy bar, ate HALF OF IT, and later threw it up as we entered Adventureland.

Poor family of 5 watched in horror, as I tried to shield the disaster, and Carter ran up shouting, "Oh my God!  Is he throwing up?!"

Always the spectacle.

The remains:

Lots of myths were cleared up during our tour.  Here is the wall Walt Disney tested out brick on for the park.  Kids fascinated?  No.  Caroline and I enjoyed it.  :)

Carter managed to snag us a visit to the pet cemetery at the Haunted Mansion.

It was awesome.  

Jack and Lainey told the cast member who took us all about our ghost hunting adventures.

Never scared to wave our freak flag.

After enjoying the corny dog above, we took off for the Matterhorn, leaving lamby behind.  We figured it out across the park and I ran in hysteria back through our footsteps trying to find her.

Lord help me.  I'm going to surgically attach this to Lainey soon enough.

All the girls sported Mickey ears.  

Tuesday was a day for Santa.

Littles stood nervously, waiting their turn.

Oh, how I adore these three.


Always crazy Caroline with her arms up.

Lainey follows Caroline everywhere.

And, Caroline treats the kids with too much.  :)

Carter's almost as tall!

We visited Pixie Hollow for the first time.

And, explored Tom Sawyer's Island for the first time in a long time.

Gingerbread beignets!

My two Carolines.

Arms up!

Lainey planned out most of our days.

She's a list maker.

There was dancing after the Christmas parade.

And, finally.....more gifts at home in Oceanside.

Lainey now looks like a teenager after Caroline's contributions to her wardrobe.

It was an awesome visit.  I feel so lucky to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with Caroline each year.

And, now we're already planning Spring Break!