Sunday, June 24, 2012



We had the opportunity to go to DISNEYLAND May 22nd - May 24th and I am only just blogging about it.  I. am. lame.
I have had a few good excuses to justify the delay, but I'll spare you all the nitty-gritty details of my life.  Let's just get to the good stuff!
Brandon's parent's were AWESOME and treated our family to this trip along with his sister and her family. So in essence, it was a Zamaroni, Reed, Soiseth family reunion!  Pretty darn good place to have such an important event if you ask me.  ;)
I took 495 pictures, to be exact, and have narrowed it down to 89 to post here on the blog.  Sorry, I just couldn't cut anymore out!
Our kids were never super cooperative when it came to snapping a family picture, so here's one of the best.  Most of us look happy.  :)

 Day 1:

Our first day we spent mostly traveling and getting settled into our hotel (the Paradise nice staying right there at the Disneyland Resort.)  But after getting all that squared away, we wasted no time and headed straight for the park.  From there, it was like a whirlwind playtime on steroids.  SO FUN.  I cannot even put it into words.
Brandon and Gavin

Carter and Papa Z.

Trey, Jade and Taylor

 We even got to meet up with my sister Natalie, bro-in-law Brian and their daughter, Kyrie.  They live about an hour from Disneyland and gave us the Down-Low of how to navigate the parks and squeeze the most fun into our 3 day stay. 

Brian and Natalie getting ready to rock Star Tours.


Kyrie and Jemma prepped for the ride.  :)


Toontown is by far my least favorite part of Disneyland...aside from the cool photo ops, it's down right lame for adults...the kids sure love it though, so I kept that secret to myself while there. 


It sure was fun for our kids to be able to interact with their cousins so much while we were there.
 Both Jemma and Kyrie and Carter and Trey and have semi "Best Frienemy" relationships with one another, so it was AWESOME for them to mostly get along during this trip.  :)

Gavin on Mr. Toads car and Jemma riding the train.

 Day 2:

On Wednesday, we headed straight for Fantasyland.  Jemma was dying to meet the princesses and Trey wanted to see Sleeping Beauty's Castle, so off we went.

Left: Nina and Jemma headed toward the castle and Right: Brandon with his mom and sister.

 The Princesses:

I waited in line for the princesses while the others went on It's a Small World, and it was totally worth the 50 minute wait.  Jemma was in heaven, and although Carter was too shy to get in the picture until we met Arielle, he was pretty impressed too.  If I could get a job as one of these gals, I would DIE.  I can't even imagine how fun that would be!  :)

Left:  Cinderella given Jemma a squeeze and Right: Tiana tellin' Jem about New Orleans.

Left:  Jemma with Merida, the newest of the Disney Princesses.  She was DARLING.  I was in love with her Scottish accent.  And Right:  Arielle, who, by the way, was quite taken with Jemma's hair bow.  :) 

 Teacups:  Gavin hated this ride.  He wanted off the moment we started spinning.  Poor kid!

I LOVE the carousel.  I just think it has such a charming appeal...I had planned to ride with Gavin, but he pushed me off his horse.  Apparently he's too big for a chaperon and when I tried to stand next to him just to make sure he didn't fall off, he leaned down and gave me the signal to back away; he could handle it, and he did (but not without me still hovering.;) 

 Left: Brandon and Jem on the carousel.  Right:  Brandon and Carter getting ready to ride on Peter Pan.

 Poor Carter was just a quarter of an inch shy of making it onto Thunder Mountain.  The top left photo was his facial expression when he realized he had to stay behind with me and Gavin while the others went to ride the train.  :(  Poor guy.  It wasn't until later that we realized if we switched shoes with his cousin Trey, he was tall enough!  AWESOME.  Thanks Trey for sharing your thick-soled-shoes.  :)
Gavin, on the other hand, didn't give a hoot when he didn't get to go on a ride.  He made his own fun.  :)

Couple of Random Photos:

The boys watching the steam boat and playing on some big rocks.

Brandon in front of the door to Club 33...maybe someday we'll get to go inside!  And, sporting a Grad hat.  Very becoming, don't you think?
 Jemma smooching her brother and trying to remove the sword, Excalibur from the stone.

Riding Jungle Safari:
It's pretty incredible how realistic the animals look, and I don't remember the Safari guide being so funny!  She was really quite witty (despite the fact I'm sure it's all scripted.)  :)

 Carter could not WAIT to drive the cars and still talks about how he drove a real car and how, if I want, he can drive the van for me.  LOL.  Not yet sweet boy. 

 We ended day two with the water/light show "World of Color".  Very cool.

 Day 3:


We got into the park an hour earlier than the general public on Thursday, so we did our best to get there early so we could beat the crowds.  Although we didn't get there as early as we'd hoped, we did get to meet a slew of characters before the general public came swarming in.
 Gavin was mesmerized by the giant Mickey and Minnie Mouse, but was terrified when up close, so this is the only picture I got of him up close on his own.

While waiting in line to meet a lame chipmunk, I noticed Mary Poppins and Bert standing off to the side with NO ONE in line to meet them!!!  Golden opportunity.  I ushered Jemma on over and she got to chit-chat with them all by herself without the pressure of a line behind her!  Bert even guessed her favorite color; pink.  Don't think the sweater was a clue, do ya?
 This is primarily where Gavin chilled while Jemma and Carter met the different characters.  So funny.

 Our family with Goofy.  Gavin still looks wary.

Jedi Academy:

I had been really looking forward to this particular show, and was hopeful that Carter would get chosen to participate since he LOVES Darth Vader.  I even bought him a bright green hat (don't worry, it was on clearance for $0.50) so he'd stand out.  Didn't work.  And of course, Jemma got picked instead.  He was a tough cookie about it though.

 There he is in his green hat.  :(  Still makes me sad just thinking about it.  Maybe next time.

 The most AWESOME part was when the storm troopers, Darth Vader and Darth Maul show up and the little Jedi who have been training get to try out their new skills against those who use the dark side of the force. 

Jemma battled Darth Vader.  His description of her was "The Force is strong with this one".  :)
 When the show was over, we took Carter over to build his own Light saber.  (We let each of the kids choose a souvenir, and that's what he picked.)

 California Adventure:

I love this park.  And it is going to be so much cooler when they open the Cars portion. We were a smige bummed that it wasn't open yet, but, that just gives us a reason to come back!  :)

Bumper Bugs...when we were waiting in line, these didn't look that fun, but once we got goin' it proved to be quite an entertaining ride!  Brandon was especially serious about it all - silly boy. 

 That's Carter next to me...little guy couldn't even see over the steering wheel!

 Gavin loved this caterpillar ride.

These pictures crack me up.  Jemma loved California Screamin' and Splash Mountain, but her facial expression on Splash Mountain doesn't look like she's having fun.  Carter looks less nervous, but after it was over, he told me Splash Mountain was a dumb ride.  He was also not a fan of Space Mountain and Soarin' over California.  Perhaps we should have never switched shoes with Trey?

 We got to meet up with my sister Natalie and her daughter Kyrie again on Thursday and Kyrie was super sweet and brought Jemma a costume to wear.  They were in heaven!  Everywhere they went, they got comments on how pretty they were and people were calling them by the name of the character they were dressed as.  Several times, I heard them telling each other what good acters they were. :)  I think they thought they were legit Disneyland Characters now that they had costumes on.  SO CUTE.


Brandon was AWESOME and went and saved two benches right next to the street so we could comfortably watch Mickey's Parade.  Best parade I've ever watched, and I attribute 90% of that to our stellar viewing conditions.  THANKS HONEY!

 Gavin has recently discovered his nose, and I caught him double-digit-style while waiting for the parade to begin.  Super attractive.

Again, Jemma and Kyrie were so cute all dressed up.  While waiting for the parade to start, they gathered up all these little children (complete strangers mind you) and hosted a dance/ring around the rosies/story time primarily centered on a Tinkerbell/Rupunzel theme. 

 Left:  Sa-weet drum line.  
 Left:  This costume gets the award for being the ugliest, weirdest, most "intriguing".  Right:  Those costumes win the "cute award".  Gotta love a good flapper costume.  :) 
 More princesses!

 Left:  Stilts walker with the Lion King float.  Right:  Captain Hook - Carter is diggin' on pirates these days.  He likes the villans.  Should I be concerned?

Again, it was SO GOOD to see and hang out with my sister Natalie.  She is fabulous. I miss living close to her cuz she is so darn fun!  I love you Natalie!  Thanks for taking the time to drive out TWICE to play with us!
 Wow, even after 89 photos, I feel like I totally skimped on covering this trip.  How is that possible?
I think our family's favorite thing about this vacation was EVERYTHING.
Our number one regret is not getting a picture of all of us together (Nina, Papa, our family, and Jade, Taylor and Trey.)  I'm kicking myself for not making that happen.
Thank you Ben and Tina for making this trip a reality and for treating our children (and Brandon and me) to 3 days of PURE AWESOMENESS!  Oh, how we love, who wants to come visit us in Georgia and take a trip down to Disneyworld???

Disclaimer:  Spell check stopped working halfway through this post and I am 2 hours past my bedtime right now, so pardon all the misspellings, typos, etc.  Thanks!


Kristina said...

I'll meet you at disneyworld... just say when. All of your pictures made me want to go back.
Looks like you guys had a blast! i feel bad for Carter over the Jedi training, but thats awesome that Jema was chosen. Thanks for sharing, I miss you guys.

Melanie said...

Looks like you and the family had an amazing time! Nat told me about Ky and Jemma gathering the little kids around for some princess story time and that is the cutest thing I have ever heard! Thanks for posting all of the 80 something pictures! I enjoyed every one of them!

Brian, Natalie, Kyrie said...

Yea! I love all these pictures! We are so glad we were able to meet you at Disney! Best place ever! Also thanks to Brandon's mad bench saving skills that was the most enjoyable Disney parade I've witnessed. Usually I'm fighting (literally) with someone for a last minute spot. I loved that Kyrie and Jemma were able to dress up and pretend they worked at Disneyland. They are such great actors! Love you tons and can't wait for our next adventure, Disney World?

Sharee and Arthur said...

Oh, this makes me want to go back!!! I'm so glad you all had such a fun time together. Love all the pictures!