Road Trip 2013: Day 9, September 7, 2013

(click here for today's pictures)
Saying bye to Mickey and Minnie!

Last night as I was finishing the blog, I was so exhausted that I am sure my last few paragraphs were jibberish.  That is what I get for waiting until night time to write.  On a Disney day, we didn’t stop long enough for me to write a few things when during our car days I had been pulling out my computer to type.  I was actually so tired during the night that when Whitman woke at 1, I didn’t even change his diaper and then when he stirred at 6, I just gave him the bottle that he had dropped from 1.  I’m a slacker mom!

But when the alarm clock went off at 7 this
morning, we felt rested and started getting ready and packing up.  Pops and Nonna took the kids (all but Whitman) to breakfast.  And Robby and I went to load up the car.  Loading the car is like a jigsaw puzzle but we made it all fit and then headed to breakfast.  

We met the others at breakfast and gobbled up our food and went back down.  Everyone pottied, I made a last check of the room, Robby took the last few pieces to the jigsaw puzzle and then we were off for our last half day of the park.

As we walked out to breakfast, I saw the professional homeless man in the corner with his sign.  I called him a professional because he has a light up sign for night time.  So I let the kids bring down our homeless bag.  But when we reached the bottom of the stairs, we saw 2 homeless folks.  Hmm, who to give the bag to was the question.  I let Reagan decide and she gave it to the new homeless man.  My plan was to cross back across the street and give the other guy a bag too but he wasn’t working his corner this afternoon.

Today, the park opened an hour before we could enter so we were expecting crazy crows.  We just had Matterhorn and Toontown on our agenda today and anything else would be bonus.  Since the crowds were already there we didn’t think there would be many rides today at all.  But we were pleasantly surprised.  

When we walked down Main Street it seemed fairly deserted.  And then there was not a line at all at the Matterhorn.  We weren’t really sure where the Saturday morning crowd was even though it seemed fairly crowded.  That was fine with us because we jumped on.  Keaton and Whitman stayed with Nonna and Pops.  While we were in line, the kids were making faces at Keaton and she just looked right back and made her own silly faces at them right back.  Of course her silly faces are just putting her hands in her mouth and waving her fingers at her siblings.  Cute little thing.

After the ride, Campbell decided that she didn’t want to ride on that ride anymore.  So she stuck with Nonna and Pops while we rode the ride on the other side.  Seriously, there was no line so Robby went with Keaton, Campbell, Whitman, Nonna and Pops to ride Small World while we rode the roller coaster a few more times.  

They jumped right on Small World and that must be the longest ride ever because we had ridden Matterhorn 4 more times (me, Reagan, Anderson and Graham) when we met back together.  The last time, the boys didn’t want to ride again so I sent Reagan in the single rider line-she was perfectly content to ride in that line and could have done that over and over again.  Of course as soon as she is out of sight, Anderson decides that he wants to ride as well.  He wasn’t old enough to ride alone so Graham and I joined him.  This left Reagan somewhere way ahead of us-thankfully, I was able to shout at her to stay at the gate when she was finished.  We rode and when we were finished there Reagan was at the gate.

On one of our Matterhorn rides, as we were walking out of the gate, I asked Anderson where his hat was.  I wasn’t sure if he had left it on the strollers or not.  Sure enough, he had left it on the ride.  I turned around and went back to see if I could find it.  The kids stayed back with Robby and poor Anderson was almost coming unglued when I returned.  I had the had but he was still upset.  I told him that if he were to lose his hat, we would buy him another one so it wasn’t a big deal.  I continued with my “some things are easy to replace” speech but he then sobbed “but it wouldn’t be this hat.”  It is an Oaklawn hat that he just loves-my Anderson is so tenderhearted but I really don’t like all that nonsense over a hat.  But Robby said that once you find the right hat, it is a big deal.  I guess that is a man thing.

We then sat down and had a drink while waiting on Toontown to open since it didn’t open until 10.  Then we walked to the gate when we saw Goofy, Minnie and Daisy coming to open the gates.  The characters milled around the crowd and even talked to the kids.  We waved and said our hi’s.  Keaton saw them and she let out a yelp so loud that Goofy went running.  The poor thing acted terrorized from then on when she saw a character.  

In Toontown, we first rode the Roger Rabbit ride-even Whitman could go on that spinny little ride.  Robby said that he seemed to enjoy it-actually he probably just enjoyed getting out of the stroller.  Then it was over to the Goofy roller coaster.  I rode with the 4 big kids and for a kiddie roller coaster it is pretty good only it lasts for about 8 seconds and then it is over but still pretty good.

Next up was walking through Goofy’s boat and then Minnie’s house.  In Minnie’s house we were looking at her oven and opening her fridge.  Campbell looked at me and asked “is she going to be mad at us?”  That was a pretty good question but Minnie wasn’t mad at us because she was in the front room greeting visitors.  So we stopped to have our picture made with her.  

A few minutes before we had our picture made with Goofy and when Cambpell walked up to him she immediately said “my favorite ride is the cars ride.”  Yesterday, Princess Tiana asked her what her favorite ride was so now she thinks that is what she is supposed to say to the characters when she greets them.

Then we walked back up the hill to leave Toontown and rejoin the other crowds in Disneyland.  Robby went to get fast passes and the rest of us sat and had some water.  Pops pulled out a Sprite from the bag and started to finish it up and immediately Keaton decided that she was not too impressed with our water and would not drink anything but Pops Sprite.  She ended up finishing it off.

We then told the kids that we would try to ride Buzz and Space Mountain and then it would be time to hit the road.  We walked to Buzz and everyone but Whitman (who was sleeping) and I jumped in the line.  Robby said that were pretty close when they shut the ride down.  I had been outside looking in a gift shop at all of the pin trading.  Those pins are pretty expensive (not on ebay though).  Anyway, we waited for awhile to see if Buzz would reopen because that was one that Campbell really wanted to do but alas it never reopened.  

We left Campbell, Keaton and Whitman with Nonna and Pops and went to ride Space Mountain and wouldn’t you know it but that ride was closed too.  Seriously, the submarines were also closed!  Well we walked back to the others and we were quite worried that our last few minutes in the park was going to be a downer.  But as the kids were pulling out their pin necklaces, Robby waked back to see if Space Mountain was still closed.  It was open so we headed back over there.

Reagan, my rider, was happy to be by herself, Robby and Anderson and then Graham and me.  I don’t really know how I feel about riding a roller coaster so soon after it has been closed.  But we survived and really that roller coaster is one of my favorites-if only it wasn’t in the dark.  Though even if it was in the light, I don’t think that we could get Pops back on that little ride.

Buzz wasn’t open yet when we came back by but the thought of getting to trade their pins some made everyone happy.  We walked out of the park and found not just one but two people to trade pins with.  Anderson ended up taking a pin back that Graham had traded right before him.  I guess we could have traded amongst ourselves and not driven 2000 miles.  

Before our next Disney trip, I have to come up with a plan so they kids can easily access their pins that they want to trade.  Now I don’t let them wear their lanyards because it would be hot and because those pin backs continually fall off causing the kids to lose their pins.  (That is why Keaton has her own necklace-as back up pins)  They had massive pin trading binders-kind of like a picture album.  Maybe that is what I could get the kids-just cheap picture albums.  Any suggestions would be appreciated!  

Back across the street we went to the hotel.  We were already checked out so we pottied and then loaded up.  Well, we changed a car seat, found snacks, changed a few diapers, passed out drinks, handed the baby a bottle and then we headed out.  Nothing is quick with this crew-wonder if Pops is slowing us down some?  Oh yes, then we had to get the diapers off of the roof of the van.  I climbed out to do that since the car on the driver’s side was parked so close that Robby had to climb over the 3 ice chests and needed Pops to push him over to get to his seat.  And as soon as I was buckled back up, Robby remembered that there was a bib on the top too.  I jumped a few times but I still could not reach it.  I knew that Robby wouldn’t to climb back out over the ice chests to grab that bib so I jumped with all my might to reach that bib.  I should have just let it fly away and join the other liter on these LA highways.  Because right now that spit uppy bib is kind of smelling in the car!

Not too long after we left, Robby looked at our hotel arrival time and decided that it would be too early and since we were near Simi Valley we made the drive to Ronald Reagan’s Presidential Library.  This was our third trip to the Reagan library and we have never been actually planned on going there-our trips have always been spontaneous.

Nonna and Pops really enjoyed the library and so did the kids.  But it was crowded, crowded!!  Mark Levine was having a book signing and dinner there tonight so it was crazy crowded.  We managed the crowds just fine.  We did have one incident-there was a set of steps (4 or 5) and I just carried my stroller down.  The worker lady came out of no where and said “how did you get that down here?”  I said “well, down the stairs.”  She said “oh, no you can’t do that, didn’t you read the sign? you have to bring it back up-our liability won’t let you bring your stroller down the steps.”  Um, okay, so your liability will let me bring my stroller up.  Anyway, Robby went with Whitman back up the steps and through the magical doorway and came down a ramp about 3 feet from where I had been standing with the stroller.  Sometimes common sense is not abundant.  

The library does have Reagan’s Air Force One on site.  So we walked through the plane.  Those things are always so interesting to me.  One tidbit is that Reagan always had a cake on board in case it was someone’s birthday so they could sing Happy Birthday and celebrate.  Keaton was afraid that we were taking on her some kind of ride so she was pretty petrified on the plane and hung tightly to Robby.  

The last part of museum was a Lincoln exhibit.  Pops was about to hyperventilate from all of the crowds in that little room.  Robby said that they just had to get out of there because of all of the people and couldn’t really see anything.  Though there was a man in the bookstore that looked and was dressed like old Abe.  We didn’t ask to take a picture with him because we weren’t realy sure why he was dressed like that-what if he was a nut case?  Meanwhile, I had taken a crying Whitman and fussing Keaton out through the gift shop so he could eat.  Whitman was starving and I didn’t think the stroller natzi would let me feed the baby inside.  Soon everyone was back ouside and we walked around the outside of the museum.  

Since it was so crowded at the library, Robby had to drop us off and take a shuttle.  But when we left, we all climbed aboard the shuttle.  Now this just added to the experience for the kids-we got to ride a bus!!  Of all the things that we did today, they will remember riding the bus the most.  When we made it to the car, we started on our evening drive.  

The drive wasn’t too bad-seemed like I spent lots and lots of time climbing in the back, picking up trash, passing out snacks, bottles and drinks.  The kids were really good on the drive (about 3 hours).  They watched a few movies, played on their kindles, ate like it was Thanksgiving and made a few things out of pipe cleaners.  

We stopped at Arby’s somewhere along our route.  When you are traveling you never really know where you are stopping and if you are in the safest of places.  This question was quickly answered tonight when you had to ask for a key to the bathroom at Arbys-we knew exactly what kind of neighborhood we were in!  The food was still good and the kids gobbled up their sandwiches.

Back on the road, the drive was beautiful but the smell was awful.  We guessed we were smelling fertilizer and knew it was Keaton or Whitman because I went into the back to check them a few times.  I also smelled around for the other kids just in case-Anderson wasn’t too pleased about me sniffing him but since accidents happen I thought I better be on the safe side.  Once on a trip, Reagan who was way too old to have an accident, did have one.  For miles Robby and I joked around about the smell and asked if they kids had made that smell.  It wasn’t until we were in the hotel taking a bath that we found out that the smell was her!  She was probably 4 or 5-Robby and I were horrified that we were teasing around and that she didn’t say anything.  Number 2 bathroom issues are one thing that can get the Dennie van pulled over quicker than anything else.  

Anyway, the smell wasn’t anyone in the car.  I don’t think that the kids could hear us talking up front about what it might be.  But Campbell was in the back shouting “keep hold your nose, keep hold you nose.”  She also said “that smell is terrible.”  My Campbell is extremely sensitive to smells.  

We were discussing all the children’s oddities-Campbell is extremely sensitive to smells.  Anderson is sensitive to temperature-too cold, too hot.  He is the child that will not eat a corn dog until it is almost ice cold again.  Graham is sensitive to sounds and even though he enjoyed the fireworks last night kept his hands over his ears the entire time.  And Reagan’s quirk is touch.  She will never clean her desk with shaving cream, using soap sends shivers down her spine and it takes her 10 minutes to get the nerve to brush her teeth because of the toothpaste.  I don’t know what will bother Keaton and Whitman yet.  I geuss the kids got all of their weirdness from Robby.  

By the time we made it to the hotel, Whitman was tired and a bit fussy and Keaton was also on the whiney side.  Reagan thought she would quiz Robby about some things that she learned at the library.  She asked a few questions and then got to this one- “So Daddy, what wine glass is for the white wine? The big, little or medium one.”  Well, that really stumped Robby so she had to tell him-the little glass.  I am so glad that she learned valuable things at the presidential library today!  Ha!  Of all the things for her to remember, that is what stuck in her head!

Robby ended up moving our hotel a few days ago so we could see Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks tomorrow as a bonus along with Yosemite National Park.  I tell you I am more excited about Yosemite than anything else!  I just can not wait and hope it is as beautiful as I remember.  You know when you keep thinking about something and then you actually get there or do it and it just isn’t how you remember or expected it to be?  I hope tomorrow isn’t like that!

Anyway, our rooms are right next to each other and the girls are sleeping in Nonna and Pops’ room.  The boys found Duck Dynasty to watch and are now sleeping peacefully, Whitman is on the bed next to me, Keaton is in the closet and the clothes are in the dryer-another good day!

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