Jessica Holden Photography » My Photo Journal

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Disneyland, Sister-Style!

A couple of weeks ago Emily and I were in Disneyland yet again! This time was one of the reasons we ended up getting annual passes this year: It was one of the several planned trips we were taking that made it a smart move. My sister and I have been talking about going together for years, and this summer we finally were able to make it happen. And it was such FUN!!!! It was just my sister and me, along with and her eldest and Emily. A girls’ trip. And we had a fantastic time!

My sister thinks it had been at least 20 years since she was last in Disneyland, and of course California Adventure didn’t even exist back then. And little Miss S had never been there at all! So of course Emily and I tried to make it as special for them as we possibly could. We did our best to time things so the crowds/lines and would be tolerable, avoiding the parks at the peak times by playing in the hotel pool, seeing Aladdin, getting a drawing lesson at the Animation Academy, or just sitting with a glass of wine instead during the height of the afternoons. And we took them to all of our favorite places to eat in both parks, and tried to get on all the best rides at least once! I was a little worried about crowds and heat as normally we do our best to not come to the park during the summer, but it wasn’t actually too bad…


Of course their first visit needed this photo op:


And their first ride had to be It’s a Small World:


And then the teacups:


Lunch at the Blue Bayou (after riding Pirates of the Caribbean, of course):


We took the train around the park more than once, to save a little walking (and still our Fitbits were averaging 18’000–20,000 steps per day!):


And Miss S got an adorable paper silhouette drawn by the amazingly talented artist on Main Street:


We visited Toontown, of course, where the girls sat in the same car that my sister and her husband have a photo in from many years ago (as do Tom and I from when we were dating!):


S was none-too-convinced that roller-coasters were her thing, but she was a trooper and obliged us by going on not one, but TWO! The first was Space Mountain—Emily’s and my favorite ride in both parks. I just love how proud she and her Mama were afterwards—she was so happy!!!!


We spent a lot of time over at California Adventure, too. (And S conquered her fear there, too, by riding California Screamin’!!!!)


The lovely and flattering 3D glasses at Toy Story Mania—my beautiful sister can even carry them off!


Tow-Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree was fun—we rode that one multiple times:


And the Silly Symphony Swings (I just love all the images of Emily with her camera—almost the photo nut I am, though she carries it more than she uses it, unlike her Mama…):


Jumpin’ Jellyfish:


After a jam-packed four days in Disneyland/California Adventure, we headed out toward Ojai for part two of our vacation. On the way Miss S really wanted to see the Hollywood sign. Emily and I never had, either, so it was a blast! My sister was a champ at driving the crazy road up. It was quite a hike to get closer to the sign, and I was wearing a dress and ballet flats so it was a feat for me to get up there, but the rest of them were young and spry and made it much more easily. But even I did it, and it was so worth it! The sign was really cool, and the view from there of the valley was gorgeous!


I hadn’t been to Ojai before, and it was a beautiful little town—definitely warrants a second visit one day!


We visited Meditation Mount, which was gorgeous. I would love to go up again one day to watch another dramatic sunset.


The hotel my sister picked was wonderful. We spent quite a bit of time relaxing at the pool, and had a fantastic dinner to celebrate our last night. It was a perfect way to end a perfect trip!



  • Salome - July 15, 2013 - 3:30 pm

    Hi Jessica

    It’s me again,Salome . Loved your post and beautiful photos, I was waiting for this post of your trip. It’s just making me even more excited about Disney!
    Have a great day!


  • Allison Jacobs - July 15, 2013 - 5:27 pm

    These are SO amazing Jessica!!! What a wonderful trip…I think I need you & Em for tour guides next time I go to Disney. The images are wonderful & I feel like I really got a glimpse into the fun you must have had!ReplyCancel

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