Monday, August 29, 2011

Disney Days continue:
Its all about the Princesses!
G and I had another mommy/daughter Disney day. G's been wanting to go to the Princess Fantasy Faire (PFF) area for awhile. We were there once, some time ago, just to see the princesses when it wasn't crowded but we didn't stay for the little show The Royal Coronation. So, that was our goal of the day... to see what the PFF had to offer. As usual, we arrived early and made our way to the princess line about 8:35 or so placing us about 4th in line! The princesses were due to arrive at 9am. By the time they opened the line was a few hundred people long. I asked the Disney employee how long it would take for all those people to be seen... she sized it up and said "90 mins"!!! Ugh. I was so glad we got in line when we did!

Afterward we hung out for a bit. G had some lunch and had her face painted. This was kind of a big deal for G cuz she asks regularly but I think its such a waste of money I usually say no. Then finally the Royal Coronation began! The princesses do a little show and the kids are encouraged to join in and dance with them. Not surprisingly, G was tentative and didn't want to join in. She enjoyed watching though. After the coronation the princesses came out and did a little meet and greet with the kids. Its hard to believe that just 50 feet away people are standing in line over an hour to meet the princesses and yet, here they were, meeting and taking pix with at most 2 dozen kids.

Finally, story time with Cinderella began. Super cute! Cindy came out with a costumed page and told and acted out her story. Adorable!! G loved it! After all that it was pretty late. Its hard to believe we spent almost 4 hrs in the PFF area doing princessy stuff.

G asked me if we could do a character lunch... I wasn't sure if we'd be able to get a ressie last minute but I called the disney dining line and they were able to get us in for lunch! G was thrilled. She loves character meals.

This pic was taken first thing in the morning. G said she wanted a picture in front of "her" castle :-)
Georgie loves this area of the park... its near Snow White's well.
During our wait for the princesses, G entertained herself (and many others) by dancing and twirling around with her wand. Its funny that she likes doing this and is not intimidated at all but if someone speaks to her EEEKK!!! run!!!
OK, now here's a funny one: Belle remembered Georgie. We've met her before, twice I think but she remembered her. She said "Oh Princess, its so nice to see you again!" At first I thought she was just saying that but then she added to it "But last time I saw you at the Grotto and you were with your little friends" OMG!!! She did remember us. We'd seen her a few weeks before at Ariel's Grotto for lunch and we were with another China IA family that time!! I always tell people that our family is recognizable and about how much attention we often get and this is just more proof of that. Odd really because I see families similar to ours just about every time we go to Disney. Anyway, G liked that she remembered her. She's a very sweet and pretty Belle.

Ariel is still G's favorite!

And finally Tiana

G munching down on her uncrustable. About 5 secs after this pic a big glob of jelly plopped onto her dress! Oh shoot! G was kind of upset and kept saying "Sorry mommy" over and over. She was better after I assured her it was fine. But I felt bad for her. I think she thought she's ruined her dress which she loves. Luckily, it came right out.

My pretty girl (hearts!!!)

Showing Aurora her curtsey! She's pretty good at it, she does them in her ballet class all the time.

Georgie loves for us to have our pix taken together Cindy and her page acting out the story. Its about 10 mins long and super cute. I have a feeling most people don't know its available. There was hardly anyone there.

The thing I like about going to Disney with G is that we can just move at her pace. We took a few minutes to check out some of the shops on Main Street after I had her silhouette done. G came across these music boxes and just plopped down on the floor to investigate them. She must have spent about 10 mins until she finally said "mamabird, I want to go to the character lunch now"

With Dug from the movie Up. I love that movie but it makes me cry.

I so don't get the Duffy thing but G likes him...

I'm pretty sure its the same Ariel we saw earlier at PFF but I'm not positive. I don't think they usually go back and forth between the parks.

They seated us outside which I thought might be a bummer. But as it turned out, it was so nice. Much quieter and so pleasant in the shade. Its hard to find a calm place at Disney.

This is definitely a different Belle. G doesn't ever seem to notice.

The two Cinderellas!

Georgie's never seen the Mulan movie. She likes her because she's seen her in the parks. I really need to rent it or something.

Georgie always has to ride the carousel

G was one very tired little princess at the end of the day

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day at the zoo: Star Wars style
There was a Groupon recently for half price zoo membership. I'd actually looked into a zoo membership about a month or so ago but was put off by the price. I just wasn't sure we'd use it enough to warrant the cost --honestly, its pretty reasonable, just didn't know if we'd use it. But half price??? Heck, I was all over that! Seriously love groupon but its only a good deal if you use them, right?

Anyway, I immediately checked out the special events coming up and found they were having a Star Wars day. Hmmm, that sounded kind of interesting. I was never all that much of a Star Wars fan but I've seen most of the movies. Anyway, it fell on a day they were having early entry for zoo members and I thought, what the heck, let's do it!

Unfortunately, its finally become summer here in so cal. After the last few months of super mile temps we're having a bit of a heat wave and its been above 100 each day. So we got there super early (yes, I was in front of the LA Zoo at 8am!!). Since the Star Wars thing wasn't starting for about an hour and half we checked out some of the animal exhibits including the giraffes (my personal fav), black bear, rhino, snow leopard, etc. G was only mildly interested in the animals. She'd look at the animal for like 10 secs and then say "when are we going to see the characters?" We mosied back down to the Star Wars area about 30 mins before it was scheduled to begin and encountered nothing short of a mob!

There must have been 500 people there waiting to see the characters. No organization of any kind although a couple informal "lines" had been started but people had no idea what they were lining up for. It was a bit comical really. Anyway, G and I finally got ourselves into a line to see we didn't know what and waited. As luck would have it, we'd chosen luckily, and were standing in the Darth Vader line! It went along pretty well and we were finally so close to being next.... then, DV left!!! Ugh!!! DV where'd you go? When are you coming back?? We waited for a bit but he didn't return. We finally decided to try the other "line" and were successful in seeing R2D2 and then DV returned!! Ugh!! The DV line was 100s of people long again. Shoot! What to do?? Then I just decided to be bold. I walked up to nearly the front of the DV line and saw this super cute little family. I explained that we'd waited before, gotten shut out at the last minute and asked if they'd let us in line.... they did!! I was so happy!!! Note: again, I'd chosen luckily because the guy standing behind them was P*$$+D!! Kept mumbling to his friend "sure, they waited before, that's a likely story". No way he would have let us in line :-)

We finally got to see the the evil one. Its funny because G has never seen the movies but I showed her some stuff online and she was super excited to meet them. My kid loves characters! After that, it had gotten really hot. We sat for awhile so G could eat her sandwich, visited the petting zoo (G's favorite part no doubt) and then hightailed it out of there.

You'd think with the temp at 104 by that point there wouldn't be much of a crowed.WRONG!!! People were flooding in the gates and the Star Wars area was even more crowded than earlier. By the time I got home the thermostat on my car said 108!!! Yowza!

G was all decked out in her Star Wars dress. I just happened to run across it online and thought it might be fun. It really was. All the characters really liked it! We also took a pic with the gorilla statue again. We'd done that last time we were at the zoo almost 2 yrs earlier. Maybe it will be a little tradition for us... dunno.
Same spot: November 2009
With all the characters. I felt so sorry for them. I can't even imagine how hot they must have been in those costumes.

One of these guys tried to hand G his gun for the picture. G got a worried look and said "no thank you"

With R2D2. He moved and made noises like the one in the movies. I was actually hoping C3PO would be there. I always kind of liked him. Chewbacca wasn't there either but I can't imagine how hot he would have been.

Orange guys... the one on the left has a tiger painted on her helmet. Very nice!

The little family was so nice, they even offered to take our photo! So sweet!

Again, not sure who most of these guys are G just wanted to make sure her picture was taken with as many as possible. But, I can tell you that there were 100s of 40 yr old men there who knew EXACTLY who each one was. I could hear them talking about them very excitedly about which movie they'd been in and commenting on errors in costuming and weaponry. Cute!

This was a kid. I asked him if he was hot and he shook his head up and down very slowly. I think he was responding in character. Alternatively, he was about to keel over from heat exhaustion. One or the other for sure.

Later, in the petting zoo area G wanted me to take her picture with the goat brush. Um, ok.

On our way out. We left about noon and felt we'd done all we could. It was just too hot. But it was a fun morning and G's excited about going back to the zoo.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Purple and Pink's!
It seems like the fun never ends!!! We've had so many things going on. G's been in absolute heaven. Next stop: Barney! Georgie really likes Barney. Its funny because the big purple dinosaur has been around FOREVER. In fact, Casey had a Barney birthday party the year he turned 3.... he's now 20. OMG I'm old.

Anyway, the day started out great. We got up and out early and made yet another trip into Hollywood. Geez, we've been spending a lot of time in LA lately. Anyway, we arrived and G was happy as could be. Bobby dropped us off at the front of the Gibson (he drove us but decided he was OK with skipping Barney LOL) and off we went. While we were waiting to be admitted G was dancing and joyful! We went in, did a quick meet and greet with Barney. Even though he's like 7 feet tall, G didn't care! She does love a character. We went out and visited the souvenier table... G ended up with a stuffie. Again, she was so happy. She was dancing and making Barney dance. I thought, awesome! The show was getting ready to start so we found our seats: Row BBB which I thought was going to be the second row turned out to be the first!! Cool!! Then, about 5 mins before the show started, G said "mama, my tummy hurts". Nothing really seemed to be wrong with her but she was not a happy camper. I tried everything: rubbing her tummy, trips to the bathroom, offers of water. She felt so crummy she even turned down an offer of popcorn! Uh oh, things had to be bad.

So instead of dancing and singing along she spent the majority of the show sitting in my lap, curled up in a ball. It sucked!!! I felt super bad for her and honestly a bit frustrated by the situation. At one point I asked her if she just wanted to go home but she said no, she just wanted to watch. So thats what we did.

Then, about 85 mins into the 90 min show, she announced that her tummy felt better. About 15 secs later she said "mama, I want to dance".... and then she got down and she did! So, for about 5 mins, she really enjoyed herself! What a total and complete bummer.

The good news is that after that she was totally fine. We spent the rest of the day at CityWalk, had lunch at Pinks, browsed the shops, etc all the while G was happy as could be. Ah well, what can you do???

G looked uber cute in her Baby Bop dress. Seriously, so cute!

At the meet and greet. BTW, Barney is freaking huge!! G was the first kid to go up which was probably good because she loves characters. I could hear several of the parents telling their kids "look, see that little girl? she likes Barney"

G with her beloved Barney stuffie. Georgie just loves her stuffies. If she didn't, I definitely wouldn't buy them. They're such dust collectors.

Waiting in the lobby before the show. Still smiling!

We enter the theater... all still good!Just 10 mins before the show... this is probably the last smile before the dreaded tummy ache. Just about 90 mins later when G's tummy ache has subsided:

Dancing along!!! You can see the yellow dinosaur (I can never remember their names) is waving at G. A couple of the characters as well as the uncostumed dancers had waved at her during the show--they probably thought she was scared or something. I think yellow guy was happy to see her up and having fun.

This picture cracks me up. G loves confetti/streamers and she's pretty territorial. Check out the look she's giving this little boy as he approaches her collection of streamers... haha! It was nearly pitch black when I took these pictures. I pointed the camera in what I thought was her direction and was hopeful I'd actually get a shot of her. Definitely not her most charitable moment :-)

With her streamer wad. G had me put it in my backpack so we could take it with us. I slyly ditched it as soon as we got home. G didn't give it a second thought.

After the concert we went to Pink's hot dogs. I'd always wanted to eat there. I'm not really sure why... I don't really even like hot dogs that much. But, I guess I'd heard about it for so long it seemed like something to try. I've actually gone by the one on La Brea a couple of times but the line always looked so, so long. I couldn't imagine standing in line for 30-40 mins to get a hot dog!!! But then I found out they had another one at City Walk... yeah!! No wait at all. Walk right up and get your own personal $10 hot dog!

I have to say, it was pretty great. I got something I think they called a Stagemaster: spicy polish sausage dog with nacho cheese, mushrooms, and bacon!!! OMG!!! After all this healthy eating I've been doing it was unbelievable. The combo came with seasoned fries and, for only $1.95 you could add a funnel cake!! Are you freaking kidding me?? I love funnel cake. Sold!!

Bobby anticipating his lunch:

Mmmm, doesn't that look heavenly?? Btw, G's tummy ache was no longer an issue... she ate her own hot dog, about half those fries and as much funnel cake as we'd let her have.

After all was said and done, even with G's tummy ache setback, it was a pretty good day ;-)