Monday, November 10, 2014

Disneyland and SoCal

So the last I left off, we had just had our first day in Disneyland/California Great Adventure.  The next day, Thursday, we tackled Disneyland, which for those of you who might be more familiar with Disneyworld, is the equivalent of Magic Kingdom.  We rode rides in Tomorrowland, Storybook Land, Fantasy Land, ToonTown, and Autopia, but still no "visits" with Mickey Mouse or his friends.  Stephen waved from afar, but no interest in actually walking up to them.  I thought maybe for a second, we might snap a picture with Pluto,  but instead, he wanted to ride the double-decker bus up and down Main Street.  The one thing he did LOVE was the "Stephen-sized" roller coaster in ToonTown.   I'm so happy that he likes the rides, because Bill and I both love roller coasters and rides and as soon as he gets a bit taller, we can ride even more rides! Oh and he LOVED the tea cups as well.

He also has a new found appreciation for churros and we found that even though the Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is in Fantasty Land with all of the "kiddy" rides, it's definitely not meant for little kids.  All three of us found it a bit disturbing.  I'd stay clear of that one!

After nap on the second day, we decided to head back to Cars Land to get one last chance to see Lightning McQueen and ride Tow Mater's Tractors.  Once again, Cars Land definitely did not disappoint.  I might even go as far to say that it's even cooler at night with all of the neon lights and signs lighting up Radiator Springs.  We cruised "low and slow" down Route 66 and got to see both Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater again and rode the tractors a couple more times.  The tractors, by far, were Stephen's favorite ride!  And we sat and watched the race cars zoom by us as they made their way through Cadillac Range.  Unfortunately, Stephen was just a few inches too short to ride the actual ride, which apparently is actually really cool and fast.

The next day, Friday, we had no plans except to attend Mickey's Halloween Party that night in Disneyland, so we decided to make a it a pool day and rented a cabana at the Disneyland Hotel where they have all sorts of cool water slides and pools.  Unfortunately, it turned out to be a dreary, cold day.  Booo! Stephen loved the pool though and we let him play for awhile until he got so cold his lips turned blue.  And with the help of some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the TV in the cabana, we were able to lounge a little, get some lunch, and relax until heading back to the room for a nap.

Later that night Bill and I put on our Make-A-Wish pit crew shirts and Stephen (begrudgingly) put on his race car driver costume and we made our way back to Disneyland for the Halloween party.  It ended up being a bit of a mad house with people entering the park for the Halloween party and people trying to get out of the park that didn't have tickets to the Halloween party, so we just decided to make the best of it and meandered through the crowds to some rides.  Stephen wasn't really into the whole trick-or-treating thing, so we were able to hop on some of the rides pretty easily.  In doing so, we somehow ended up getting ushered into the Avenger's "exhibit" and Stephen got a meet-and-greet with Captain America.  Even though he has no idea who Captain America is, he had fun meeting him and when asked by Captain America who his favorite Avenger is....he promptly said, "Lighting McQueen!"  It was hilarious and Captain American handled it like a champ!  The cool part about it though is that Stephen and Captain America were dressed in the exact same colors, which made for some really cute photos!

From there, we went back and drove the race cars again, searched for Nemo and Dorry in a submarine, and spun like crazy on the tea cups again.  We ended up missing the Halloween parade, but caught some of the fireworks as we were leaving the park. All-in-all it was a fun night and cool to see how dedicated some people are to their Halloween costumes!

The next two days we spent in gorgeous Laguna Beach (we went on Saturday and loved it so much, we drove back on Sunday). I think I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.  It was beautiful and sunny and all three of us loved exploring the beach, caves, and tidal pools and we had an awesome lunch the one day with Bill's Aunt and Uncle who came up from San Diego to meet us.  And Stephen had a ball playing with other kids on the playground....right on the beach.  It was heaven to us and we almost didn't come back :)

But alas, it's back to reality!  We were up at CHOP on Friday for Stephen's monthly transplant clinic visit and then Stephen and I had a quick trip to York for the weekend to see friends and family.  And in case you're wondering, the visit to CHOP went awesome!  Stephen's blood work was near perfect and he grew a whole 0.5 inches since the last time!!!!

If I had to sum up the trip in one word:  AMAZING

Make-A-Wish gave us the opportunity to do something that we never would have done and without them, we never would have packed up and headed across the county to Disneyland.  But Stephen was an awesome traveler and it was more than worth the 5 hour plane ride to see the excitement on his face when he met Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater and got to "actually ride on Town Mater's tractors."  It just feels so good to know that the three of us can tackle such a big trip and have the ability to pack-up and go and do whatever we want and not have to be slaves to doctor appointments, and lab draws, and tubes, and machines.  Yes, he still has a giant ziploc bag full of medications to haul around, and he still takes his feeding pump with him for fluids; but honestly, that's nothing!  And when I accidentally yanked his tube out in the bathroom at A Bug's Life (oops!), he just help a paper towel to his tummy, and patiently waited while I searched through my bag for a syringe to pop it back in.  Then he took off and ran back in line for the bumper cars!