Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Disneyland & California Adventure

When we went on our California vacation last month, we spent 3 days discovering Disneyland and California Adventure.  There was so much that I remembered as a kid from Disneyland and so much that seemed new to me.  What got me was the detail.  There are so many amazing details involved that Disneyland just seems magical.  We went to Disney on Monday, California Adventure on Tuesday and then went back to Disneyland again on Friday.  Our first day there, Rowan was asleep after just a few hours in the park.  It was really hot while we were there and the heat made us all really tired.  I had a hard time knowing if I should bring my big camera into the park, so most everything that I got was captured via iphone.  I had a ton of pictures and instead of spending a million years editing them, I'm just going to bombard this post with them. :)

First ride of the day.  I *think* it was called Astro Blasters.

Waiting in line for Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo Ride

Splash Mountain

Our first of many trips down Splash Mountain

Snoozing on our first day at Disney

Jungle Cruise

Chandler saw the Storm Troopers after we got off of Star Tours.  He was pretty excited!

Hanging out with Mr. Incredible at California Adventure

Mickey Wheel at California Adventure

Radiator Racers, Marshall's face is great, lol.

Radiator Racers

Lightening McQueen just driving down the street.

Towmater Ride
Flo's Cafe

Getting ready to ride

Posing for a picture with Minnie

Rowan sitting in Goofy's chair.

Toon Town
My dad trying out Goofy's chair.

About to go into the mouth of the whale

On the train that goes around Disneyland

Who says 4 year olds can't drive?

I see you Chandler!

Chandler with his new Woody doll.

My mom celebrated her birthday while we were there.  We made her wear this pin that had a button on it that would sing.  It was awesome.
World of Color, California Adventure
Rowan and Puppy (Gma Nielson on the Ladybugs)

Waiting for the parade to start

We created so many memories while we were there. Rowan loved the Buzz Lightyear ride and Star Tours. He couldn't stop talking about them. Chandler loved every ride that we went on.  It was such a fun family trip and I'm so glad that my parents and sister's family was able to go too.


Thursday, September 13, 2012


I love this age.  I want to freeze frame it.  So I did.  Let's hope my memory can remember it too.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

SeaWorld San Diego

One of our many stops while on vacation was to SeaWorld in San Diego.  It was about a 90 minute drive from Anaheim and we got there late morning.  It was the first time the boys and I had been there, but Marshall had been there was he was younger.  Amazingly enough, it wasn't too crowded.  We talked to a local lady who said that some of the other schools had started back and so it wasn't as crowded as normal.

The first show that we went to see was Blue Horizons.  I think it was my favorite show of the day.

Blue Horizons

It had dolphins, whales, performers riding dolphins, swinging on ropes, diving, and doing trapeze type tricks.  

We sat in the splash zone and got pretty wet.  Rowan was actually really mad that he got wet, and Chan literally soaked it in, pun intended. ;)

After Blue Horizons, the battery on my camera went dead.  I was a bit annoyed since I was still going to have to haul my camera around all day.  That's when I'm glad that my phone has a decent camera on it.  We went to a bunch of other shows that day including Pets Rule, a Sea Lion Show, and Shamu Rocks.

Shamu Rocks

They had an area in the park called Sesame Street Bay of Play.  Marshall and Rowan played here for quite a bit.  There were a lot of kids rides, and the characters were there doing shows.  Chandler and I caught up with them later to go on some of the rides.  They were the back and forth, make your head spin rides.  The boys loved it and wanted to keep going, but I was done after 2 rides.  I don't do spinning things well.

Getting the peace sign from Marshall.  Does that mean he likes SeaWorld?

 Throughout the day, Chandler kept asking to play a rope game that cost money.  Basically, there is a rope ladder you have to climb.  If you can get to the top, you win a big prize.  He was excited at the thought of winning a prize.  I told him he could do it, but it was only a chance, and not to be disappointed if he didn't win.  He ended up not winning and took it really hard.  He cried and said it wasn't fair.  I took a moment for a teaching experience.  I told him that while games are fun, sometimes they are a gamble and don't guarantee a win.  I told him that he could have taken that money and put it towards a prize that he would be guaranteed to take home.  After discussing it, we went and I let him pick out a shark by his favorite attraction, shark encounter.  He told me that it was much better to have the shark then to play the game and risk getting nothing.  Lesson well learned.

At lunch, Chandler also lost his 3rd tooth!  His bottom teeth have been lost and grown in, but he lost a right front tooth, right next to his main front tooth.  Here he is sporting his grin with one more tooth gone.  It makes me miss that little kid smile.  He's growing up!

SeaWorld has some rides including Manta, which is their new one.  You had to be 48" to ride, and Chandler is about 47 right now.  He was disappointed to say the least when he wasn't able to ride it.  The line was pretty long anyways, and nobody ended up going on it.

The skytower was a fun little short ride.  You could look out on the bay and it was really pretty.

Rowan & I on Skytower Ride

View From Skytower

 Chan and I went on a ride called Journey to Atlantis that was really fun.  It was a water/coaster ride.  Rowan was too small to ride it, so he stayed down by my mom and dad.  If you stand right by the ride, you get splashed as a spectator.  After Chandler and I got off the right, we saw a very happy and very soaked Rowan.  My mom & dad said they thought he had more fun playing in the water then he would have on the ride.  Go figure.

We stayed until closing and were all so tired when it was time to go.  SeaWorld was the only park that we went to that I felt like we could cover in a day, although it did take all day.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel

When we were planning our trip to Disneyland, I had a few different people tell me that we had to book character dining.  Basically they are Disney restaurants, and all of the characters are there walking around while you eat.  They all stop by your table and it's a great way to get pictures without having to stand in line.  It's a bit pricey, but we decided to go ahead and book it.  We went to Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel.

When we first got there, we all took a picture with Chef Goofy.

The meal was an all you can eat buffet and it was one of the better buffets I've been to.  There were tons of choices, a lot that were geared towards kids and the food was fresh.  The boys loved the options!  What I think they really loved though was seeing the characters and having them stop by our tables.

Those that we met that night included Minnie Mouse, Dale, Pluto, Snow White and Mulan.  Rowan sneaked a kiss from Minnie and I was so sad I didn't get a picture of it!  Marshall told Chandler while we were there that he could have as much ice cream as he wanted.  Chan was in heaven and finally decided to call it quits after 3 bowls.

Character dining was definitely fun and something I would do again!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Blogher in New York City

I can't believe that I'm finally getting around to blogging about New York City!  August was such a whirlwind, and by the time we got home from all of our vacations, the kids started school.  I needed a week or two to catch up around the house and now it's my blog's turn.  It was so hard to always lug around my big camera in NYC so about half of my favorite shots are from my iphone, the other half are from my slr.

Blogher in New York City was my first big blogging conference.  It was a ton of fun, and a great experience.  My sister Avry started a blog about a year and a half ago, and decided that she wanted to go to Blogher as well.  It was so nice having her there with me.  If you aren't familiar with Blogher, it's a conference where you meet with PR and companies, connect with other bloggers, learn at breakout sessions, and go to sponsored and off site parties.  I think there were about 4500 women there.

We flew out of of Salt Lake on Wednesday the 1st.  The flight to JFK in New York is loooong.  It's the third time this year that I've done the flight and it never gets shorter.  We got in at about 11:30 pm.  The hotel we booked for the first night was less than a mile away from the airport.  We set out to get a taxi and had a car service that said they would take us.  We figured it would probably be $15 or less to go less than a mile.  Once we got there, the driver told us it was going to be $35!  Ridiculous!  A cab will take you to mid town Manhattan for only $10 more than that and it's a 45 minute drive.  All I had was $14 in cash, so he took that and left.

The next day, we got ready and headed into the city.  The conference was held at the Hilton New York.  We couldn't check in until 3 pm, so we dropped our baggage off and headed up to 5th avenue.  It was amazing to be able to browse the stores.  We went into Tiffany & Co., Prada and the Lindt store to name a few.

 Of course the only place we actually spent money was at the Lindt chocolate store.  The shopping on 5th avenue is unreal, but the amount of people in NYC is even more unreal.  I'm just glad that I don't live there. :)  After looking around 5th Avenue, we went to Rockefeller Center and Central Park.  One thing that Avry and I decided is that it definitely isn't as glamorous in New York as they make it look in the movies.  She kept trying to figure out where they put the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Plaza.

Rockefeller Plaza

Later that night, I headed to a Pampers Baby Board dinner.  It was great to connect with the other members and those that represent Pampers.  It's been my favorite ambassador program.

Me, Deanna from Mommy Gaga, Courtney from My Crazy Savings.

After the Pampers dinner, they treated us to a play on Broadway. We went to Wicked and it was AMAZING.  Amazing is actually an understatement.  From the singing to the set, I was in awe the whole time.  A Broadway play is actually on my bucket list, and I was so excited to be able to experience it.  It will definitely not be my last.

Friday was the first official day of the conference.  My sister and I went to one breakout session and decided it was a waste since a lot of it was information we already knew.  Instead we went to the EXPO hall to meet with brands.  They all had booths set up.  It was great to meet them in person. We also went to the Mom Select Swag Suite which was an offsite event.  (Swag = Stuff)

Quilted Northern Booth

Gorton's Seafood Booth

Friday night, we went to a Harley Davidson party.  We got to experience what it was like to start one up and rev the engine, learned to pick one up off the ground and learned about their clothing line.  My sister and I both won Harley jackets!  I had an awesome picture of me on the Harley but the link to it expired so I'm seeing if I can get it again.

Saturday we spent more time in the EXPO hall, listened to Katie Couric during lunch, went to Getting Gorgeous which was an offsite event,  saw a screening of Timothy Green, visited Times Square, then there was anohter another private party, and Cheeseburgher (A blogher party.)  We were running nonstop.

Sunday we decided to do some sight seeing before we went home.  We had our first experience on the Subway.  I have never felt so claustrophobic in my life.  The subway was so dirty and so hot that I felt like I couldn't breathe.  We went to ground 0 and saw where they are building the new World Trade Center.  It's a humbling experience to see and be in the area where 9/11 happened.

New World Trade Center Building

After that, we did a Staten Island Boat tour.  It had stops at Ellis Island and went by the Statue of Liberty.  Since we didn't have a lot of time, we stayed on the boat the entire time.  I loved seeing the Statue Of Liberty - another bucket list item.

After that, we got a cab and headed back to the airport.

I feel like I've already forgotten so much that happened at Blogher. I guess that's what happens when I wait a month to blog it. I know that I had the absolute best time and it's because of my sister.  We laughed SO much and grew even closer than we already were.