Jessica Holden Photography » My Photo Journal

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One Last Visit…

…before our annual passes expire! Most likely our last visit this year—sigh…

Emily had a lot of homework, but we decided this was where we wanted to celebrate our 20th anniversary and her 17th birthday. (And despite her working for a few hours each night and for more than 6 hours on the last night of our trip, she still was up ’til nearly 5 am Sunday night trying to finish before heading back to school on Monday—but at least she still thinks it was worth it!)

As we have been doing the last few times, we drove just partway the first night, staying at the base of the Grapevine and shopping at the outlets there. The hotel isn’t exciting, but it makes for an easier drive in the morning and we can check in early and get a fairly full day in the parks! The hotel had pretty roses in front, and it rained on our drive into Anaheim (but no rain the rest of the trip!)—and notice I was in the back seat? That’s because Emily drove some—her first time driving to Disneyland! (As usual, square images are iPhone.)

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When we arrived, our first ride was the Haunted Mansion—a quintessential Disney ride always feels right to start out with! And this year Emily made us do the Tiki Room—she’s been wanting to forever but for some reason we never managed to make it happen. She loved it–LOL!

Day1SBBlog

Ever since she was little she’s wanted to get a pressed penny (or two!) from every trip—this one is from New Orleans Square. (And I love how little her hands still look!)

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They had Bambi balloons this time in addition to their 60th Celebration balloons—I adored them!

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They also happened to be hosting the California Adventure Food & Wine Celebration. We hadn’t known in advance, but it was fun! Really good gourmet food along with wine (me) and beer tasting (Tom). We loved it!

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The World of Color was a little different this time even though we were just there in February. And we ended up getting Premier Seating passes even though we didn’t do a dining package—another couple was leaving the park and couldn’t use theirs, so they gave them to Tom and I (Em went up and did homework…). Disney magic at work again! We closer than we’ve ever been, in part because we used the handicap seating inside the premier seating since we had the wheelchair and it was cumbersome out with the crowds. In fact I ended up standing for most of it since I was too low to see when sitting (and no one was sitting behind me), and my seat was literally a huge puddle when it was over. Tom gallantly wiped it dry with his sweatshirt. <3

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Just some random images; the right two are from the hotel. The bottom right was the view from our balcony—we got a fantastic room!

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Tom wanted to get back home to play hockey with his teams in the play-offs, so he flew home early and Emily and I had a few more days to spend in the parks and then driving home. I tend to shoot more when it’s just us because she likes photography too and doesn’t mind my stopping constantly. Not that Tom does, but I don’t want to bore him too much! So I shot lots of flowers, Emily’s crazily tiny feet in size 2-3 kid shoes at the Bibidi Bobidi Boutique, and my wheelchair view from most of the trip. (My knee isn’t great yet and I walked the first day but that ended up being a less-than-good idea, so we rented a wheelchair for the rest of the trip. I felt badly that Tom and then Emily had to push me around (I maneuvered myself in lines and stores, but was too slow to keep up with their walking pace so they pushed while we traipsed around), but there were perks in that we avoided portions of some lines, and could get return times that coincided with line length for others that were not wheelchair-accessible. And my knee was much, much happier!) The way they decorated things for their 60th extravaganza was amazing—the last image was an edible stencil on our shared crème brûlée plate!

GirlsDay1Blog

These are the last of our images, clockwise from the top right: A selfie on our final day in the parks (where else can you wear a crown and fit right in?); snuggling up watching Gilmore Girls (sooooo thrilled it’s on Netflix!) in our room in the Simpson House (we had the Weathervane room which was large and beautiful and we loved it, except that the skylights over the bed would probably be better suited for people who don’t like sleeping in—LOL!); a decadent breakfast in our room; and crème brûlée (yes, again!) from Pascucci in Santa Barbara.

OurTime2Blog

It was a wonderful trip (as always!), and we’re sad that it’s over! I realize that these little trips we take like this as a family of three are likely coming to an end sooner that I would like (why can’t she be our little girl forever and ever?!?!), so these trips are becoming more and more bittersweet for me… I can’t believe in the fall she will be entering her final year of high school—so many “lasts” are coming so quickly!