Simi Valley to Anaheim with a stop at the Beach: February 12, 2011

Boarding Air Force One!
Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)
(click here for Campbell's video of 1st time in the Pacific Ocean)
(click here for larger Air Force One photo)
Sometime in the middle of the night, Graham found his way to our bed through the huge hotel room.  He was standing there with his taggie, foxy and huge pillow.  Every time he comes to our bed, he brings more stuff.  Tonight he will probably bring his sleeping bag too.  I think it was around 2 when he showed up but am not really sure.  Everyone slept until a little after 7.  When Robby told the kids that they had a big breakfast downstairs, it didn’t take long to get clothes on and teeth brushed.

Robby and I liked the omelets, the boys and Campbell liked the waffles and Reagan like the rice krispies.  We ate and ate and then we even ate some more while Robby went to load the car.  Hopefully, we didn’t leave too much in the hotel room-I trusted the kids to do a search under the furniture for their toys.  I usually double check but haven’t heard of anything that is missing-yet!  We had about a 45 minute drive to Simi Valley and Reagan’s Presidential Library.  They opened at 10 and we were a bit early and the crowds had arrived.  The library had been closed and just opened within the last few weeks-they have redone everything.  The kids thought it was funny that we were going to “Reagan’s library."  Someone even said “Reagan has a library just like Lilly has a park”-we call the park in Lilly’s neighborhood “Lilly’s park.”  They heard us saying “Ronald Reagan” so then they all started saying “Ronald Graham, Ronald Anderson, Ronald Campbell.”  They didn’t understand that Ronald was Reagan’s (the presidents) first name.

We toured the library and Robby, Anderson and Reagan even acted like they were in a movie with Reagan.  We all took turns speaking at the presidential podium and even riding horses with Reagan.  But the highlight was seeing Air Force One.  All Anderson could think about through the entire library was seeing the plane.  He asked in every room we came too if they plane was in that room.  We boarded the plane and the photographer took our picture-and it was so good that we even bought one.  Anderson was very interested in everything about the plane.  If I remember right that plane served 5 presidents and the latest was W.  The plane didn’t seem that big-I had always imagined Air Force One being huge (the current one is 3 times the size of the one we saw though).  Near the front was the president’s office, the first lady’s sitting room, then a few places for meetings and in the back were regular plane rows for everyone else on board. 
Throughout the library and even one the plane, there were jelly beans in the different rooms.  Reagan really enjoyed pointing out the jelly beans and she had a pretty good time finding her name throughout the place.  And of course she loved looking at the clothes and dishes that “Fancy Nancy” (what she called Nancy Reagan) had. 

When we finally finished the library, the place was packed.  People were parking at the bottom of a hill and having to ride shuttles up.  Anderson had seen a jet out one of the windows and he wanted to find it on the grounds.  They weren’t able to get too close to it but did see that jet so after seeing it, Air Force One, Marine One, the presidential limo and a few police motorcycles-he was pleased.  Graham loved seeing all of that stuff too but he thought we were leaving when we got on Air Force One and was a little concerned with the location of our suitcases.

We had thought about eating at the picnic tables right on the grounds but decided that we would just press on since we had a little bit more to drive today.  I made our sandwiches and passed them out.  The kids seem to eat a little bit better when we are in the car-there is nothing else to do.  Or maybe they don’t eat better, maybe I will find lots and lots of bread in the back of that van in a few days.  Anyway, on the way out of Simi Valley, Robby found that 7 Eleven that Anderson had been looking for yesterday and stopped for everyone to get a treat. 

That satisfied them on the drive.  We had thought about stopping at Santa Monica Pier and even drove by it but the traffic and crowds were just too bad, plus it was a very long walk across the sand to reach the water.  We ended up a few miles South at Huntington Beach.  The kids could have stayed at the beach forever-well, Graham wasn’t too crazy about the sand at first but warmed to it and Campbell would have nothing of it.  When I made her stand up, she would whimper and the whole beach trip was just for her.  Not many 1 year olds have been to the Atlantic AND Pacific ocean.  She did get her feet wet (and her pants) but then she was done…and I was too because the water was pretty cold.  Anderson, Reagan and Graham had a blast though and ended up with wet pants.  When we finally made it back to the car, they all rode pantless to our next stop. 

Our next stop was our hotel in Anaheim.  We saw the Best Western sign across the street from Disneyland and pulled in.  A few minutes later, Robby walked out and said our Best Western was on down the street.  And this one is literally right across the street from Disneyland.  It is crazy-less than a 1/4 of a mile to the front gate of the park.  Very, very nice.  We were back in the room tonight in less than 6 minutes from leaving the park. 

We unloaded and immediately started our laundry.  Robby then headed out to find supper and buy some snacks and juice boxes for the next few days.  The kids and I stayed in the room to rest for a little bit.  I made everyone lay down and “rest” while watching tv-no “resting” actually happened but it was quite for a few minutes and that was nice.  The room already had a crib in it (Robby doesn’t think he asked for one-but we’ll take it) so I plunked Campbell down in it.  She talked and played the entire time and tried to peek her head around the corner to see everyone else.

Robby made his way back from Walmart and brought Mexican for supper.  The kids devoured their cheese quesadillas, rice, beans and cinnamon churros (never had seen one before but even saw one tonight at Disney).  Robby and I both enjoyed our BBQ Mexican food-much better than last night.  Soon the laundry was out of the dryer and we found everyone’s pants and headed out.

We made our way across the street and Robby waited in line to buy tickets.  The line was moving slow because their computers were having trouble so the kids and I talked and took a few pictures.  It was funny because they were getting a little restless (bad) at the hotel but as soon as we made it to Disney property they knew they were some place special.  They are pretty lucky kiddos and I think they know it.  Anderson said tonight that he the “greatest Daddy ever because he will take us anywhere we want to go.” 

Finally Robby finished the line and we made it through the gates.  Since it was dark and there were some strange noises, Graham was already getting scared.  He soon calmed when he was where we were.  We walked down Main Street and the little castle and made our way to Small World.  The crowds were pretty thick but the line was moving so we were in a boat with only a small wait.  Reagan, Anderson and Graham sat in the front-they were in awe.  They just looked around and pointed.  Reagan and Anderson were so cute, they kept trying to show Graham things.  Campbell sat with Robby and me.  She would clap, point, wave and even shake her head to the music.  I could have gone home then and been happy.  They were getting ready to close some rides due to the fireworks so we ended up on the carousel.  When it was over, I went to get Graham off and he said “I’m not done.”  He got off without a fuss and was glad when Robby led us back to the line since it had cleared out and there was no wait.  The second time around, Campbell sat by herself and not with me and she was not happy about that at all.  Robby finally had to get her down even though we were standing on each side of her.  She was just whimpering-pitiful.

The park is so much smaller than Magic Kingdom.  You can just zip right across the whole thing and we did and ended up on the Pirate of Caribbean ride.  And yep, Graham who was scared standing outside the park was a nervous wreck on this ride.  He nodded his head when we asked if he liked it but his little heart was about to beat out of his chest.  Reagan took it all in and wanted to do it again because she loved the two drops at the beginning of the ride.  Anderson told Robby “sorry, I squeezed your arm” after the dropoffs.  Campbell wasn’t too impressed with the ride-she fell asleep.  As we left Pirates it was fireworks time.  Both boys covered their ears and Reagan ate it up.  She would have stayed out and watched them again.
To escape the fireworks, we ended up in the Haunted Mansion.  Surprisingly, Graham was better on this ride than the last.  He took it all in without fussing.  Anderson was with me and he was spooked but seemed to enjoy it.  Reagan loved it and got tickled when she saw the ghost riding in the car with them. 

By now it seemed that the crowd was thinning some and most were watching Fantasmic, so we stood in line for the Astro Orbiter.  The line moved slow but it wasn’t too bad and we were all orbiting soon enough.  Robby flew with Graham and Reagan and I had Anderson and Campbell.  Campbell wasn’t pleased about being on this ride-until it started and then she calmed down and enjoyed the wind in her face.  I didn’t enjoy the wind in my face.  I grabbed on tight to Campbell and Anderson and put my head down out of the wind.  After that ride, we checked on the Nemo submarine ride but the line was too long so we took a ride on the monorail even though we have already rode on 3 other ones on this trip the kids still enjoyed it and acted like it was the coolest thing ever.  We stayed on at the Downtown Disney stop and then made our way back to the Disneyland stop.  It was almost time for the park to close so we walked past the Buzz Lightyear ride to check it out.  The wait was only 5 minutes so we were on that in no time.  We let Anderson and Reagan sit together-it took them awhile to enjoy themselves since they were so worried about doing the right thing.  Finally they got it all figured out and were spinning and shooting away.  I tried to pass Campbell a gun to shoot with and she just gave it right back to me-she had had enough. 

We left the park at closing time and were back in the room in 6 minutes.  And 3 of the 4 were sacked out.  We had to change everyone’s clothes and take them all potty before dropping them in their beds.  They were exhausted-I guess that happens when you keep a 5, 4 and 2 year old out until 11.  Campbell was still going strong though after her power nap earlier at the park.  She finally calmed down but was ready to play and even tried to wake Reagan up in the stroller.

The goals tomorrow are Dumbo and the Nemo submarine.  Anything else is really just a bonus.

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