Tuesday, August 27, 2019

A WEEK at Disneyland?!

My sister and brother in law invited me to go to Disneyland with them a couple months ago but it meant upgrading my pass. I managed to work that out, Tony and I got home from a trip Saturday and I went to church Sunday morning, unpacked, repacked and drove to L.A. Sunday night. Phew. Such a turnaround!

We stayed at the Camelot Inn. It was good..and bad. Good because we were right across the street from the park. Bad because there is only valet parking and it is $15/car or $25 for the 2nd car. Youch. I guess that's the norm for hotels around Disneyland now sadly. Last time we met up at Disneyland, my sister and her family had an Airbnb by Downtown Disney and it was free to park in the spot I had there. So nice. I'd prefer to do Airbnb in the future only to save money on the parking. Anyways, good because we had a nice view of the fireworks at night if we weren't in the park. Housekeeping was nice. Pool was okay (3-1/2 ft. the whole way across) and the hot tub was tiny! But had fun there with my nieces a few nights later. Overall felt pretty safe and clean.

I have my Mouse4Life pin, ready to enter the park! 

Ready to start a fun fun day!

The waits in lines were honestly not bad. Very happy about that!

Our first day was mostly overcast and not too hot which I was grateful for.

My sister on the ride ahead of me
Gotta take a selfie on day 1 at the park

Everyone but Shawn rode the teacups later that day

Then we went over to Star Wars Land so everyone could ride Smuggler's Run. I dont care for the ride but I tried it again. I think I do best sitting in the back. I am not sure I want to try the front, maybe someday. The middle seats were boring last time only pressing one button but the back gives you a little more variety. I didn't appreciate one of the workers being rude to me though and telling me to hurry up and buckle in. That just made me want to go slow! I know you have a long line of people to get through but I had to buckle my 4 year old niece in. Who was going to do it if I didn't? Grr.

Some pictures in Star Wars Land.

Went back to the hotel for lunch after meeting Ariel and Cinderella and had some chill time.

I am not so much a fan of going on Star Tours anymore, sadly, made me feel sick last time! It's never done that before. So while I waited, I got pictures with Captain Hook and Tinkerbell.


Aubrey wanted to ride every ride with me. It was like this a few months ago when she saw me for the first time since she was 1'ish...so cute! Although I felt bad that my niece Hailey who is 10, barely got to do any rides with me. It was either all 3 of us or the only one Hailey and I could go on was the roller coaster in CA Adventure.

One of my favorite rides! It's a nice one to sit and rest your feet on and the wait in line is never very long.

Trying to take a selfie on the boat is not easy, esp when you don't have a selfie stick!

We got to eat at the Blue Bayou a couple days later.

Some Tiki Room fun! I haven't attended this performance for awhile. Another great place to sit and rest your feet. Plus it's nice and cool inside usually. Only complaint is limited seating outside before you go in but not too shabby.

Got this dole whip with mango and mandarain oranges and candied bacon (which tasted like regular bacon) and pocky sticks. Hailey was really excited to eat some.

You can find some yummy treats besides the regular Dole Whip booth at the Tropical Hideaway.

In the evening we got to go to Fantasmic!


It's so amazing how they can project the images on to...water? Like, whoever thought this up was pretty genius.

The show was SO well done. I haven't seen it ever, or else I just don't remember.

Ahh I just couldn't take my eyes way. 

Finale! Soo many of the Disney characters were on the Mark Twain boat. It was fun to wave back as they cruised by. Definitely a show worth catching if you haven't seen it or haven't seen it lately. Make sure you get tickets for it first thing in the morning because it does 'sell out'. They do 2 showtimes which is helpful, 9pm and 10:30pm.

As always, if you are looking for the best prices on tickets to Disneyland, use Get Away Today. (affiliate) They even price match! 

Stay tuned for what we did on day 2!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

2019 Birthday Deals!

I wasn't going to do this every year but it seems like it's a popular thing that people want to read about and this year it was requested that I link each deal so I tried to do that. It's hard to find any deals these days where you can just show ID and take advantage of the offer. Yes, I'm on a ton of email lists but a lot of the time it is worth it, esp. when a birthday rolls around. Most of these deals are for food but some are for items. Leave me a comment if you know of any others that you don't see here so I can add them in the future!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Shakey Shakey Earthquakey

4th of July morning started out like most any other morning.
We were at the church at 7am for the program and flag raising ceremony.
Love being able to do this tradition somewhere.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Camp Wilderness - Day 2

Wednesday at Camp Wilderness. Phew. Made it through Tuesday and Wednesday had more electives and other activities for the girls to do.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Experiencing A New Girls Camp - Day 1!

I was up so late on Monday night, gathering things last minute to bring to camp. Finishing pillow gifts for my cabin (sleep masks) and secret sister gifts (t-shirt..my girl loves dogs!)

I was up early (6am'ish) on Tuesday to pack the car, finish gathering things, shower and eat something. I was so nervous though! We were meeting at the church at 7am and I got there at 7:08 and we didn't leave until almost 7:45. Mormon standard time I guess! I wish I had known we were not leaving on time and I wouldn't have rushed so much at the end. I ended up taking 3 girls in my car and I caravan-ed with 2 other ladies in the ward who were driving up with girls in their vehicles.

Once up at camp, I had no idea where anything was, where to park, what to do, where to go, etc. It seemed like people kept telling me to do things or asking me questions and I would just kind of stare blankly because I didnt know how to process what they were saying or what answer to give.

Part of the parking lot area. You can also go down around to the left which is where my car was parked.

I carried a few things to my cabin and someone parked my car for me, backing it in with the other ones. I grabbed a few more things from my car and brought them to the cabin. I had thought it would be great to bring donuts for the girls in my car and then none of them wanted the donuts so I had a box to figure out doing something with.  Awkward. 

I got my schedule for the day and tshirt. I was a cabin mom in the 15 year old cabin (they dont do levels anymore - boo!) and they were all out on a hike so it was kind of just me solo in the cabin for a bit trying to set up my space.

Inside our cabin. There was a window on the wall to the left.

Left pic is door on the other side of the cabin
Picture on the right was my bed space. Nobody slept above me. I haven't slept in an actual cabin at girls camp in so long! At Camp Ritchie I usually get a bed up in the lodge or the nurses cabin upstairs.

A difference at this camp vs. Camp Ritchie is that each cabin had their own bathroom. So the 15 year old cabin kept the left half of the bathroom (separated) clean each day. My knees almost hit the door in the bathroom stalls. I didn't attempt to take a shower. 

Had some camp orientation for a bit and finally the 15 year olds started arriving and claiming their bunks. I had a nice girl named Dorian who moved to Bishop from Arizona. There were some other nice girls in the beds around me as well.

Started out right away once the girls arrived with a spiritual hike. It was interesting that they did this during the day instead of as an evening activity.

Afternoon electives, I kind of just picked one. There was a guy who teaches shop somewhere in Ridgecrest, maybe at the college, maybe on base, I don't really recall now. Maybe he just teaches students how to fix cars. But he brought this car up to camp, let girls learn how to change a tire and a few other things and then let any girl drive it who wanted to. Even the 12-year-olds! I am not sure about the 11-year-olds turning 12. That was impressive...the girls I saw do this did a great job. He was a good teacher.

The girls also got to do archery. This is Dorian taking a turn.

Mexican food themed dinner - straight down to the churros. Wow!
The cooks went all out. There was a new head cook this year (Arlene) and she did an amazing job as did her crew. Each meal we had was really good.

After dinner cleanup. I'm used to wooden tables with long benches and wood flooring. This was linoleum tiles and 6 or 8 foot tables with bright orange chairs. So different. 

Everyone bringing their own dishes to eat on and hang to dry after every meal.

Another thing very different - is we had to bring our own dishes to eat on and wash them after each meal. This is the station set up behind the lodge with a garbage can to scrape scraps in to and then 3 different buckets to wash, rinse and sanitize. Apparently the trash is 2 hours away so in order to cut down on garbage, they have people eat on their own dishes and take care of them themselves. 

Campfire had some songs, not really any games, some of the adults shared things. Different than what I am used to but not bad I guess. It felt lonely because I was always sitting by myself. The few people I knew already had people sitting by them usually. I should have sat with my girls maybe but didn't want to be hovering.

In the evening there were group scavenger hunts. It was a lot of walking around camp to and from the locations but the girls seem to have fun. It was like an escape room with clues to put together but all outdoors.

Girls putting together the clues

The lodge at night.

And then a ward or two (ours was Tuesday night) got to go get some night photography done with the stake president. He is very talented at this. Some nice ladies (most or all were in my ward I think) invited me to ride with them a couple miles up the road to the spot. Which I swear I have been to before but in the dark it was hard to tell. This was so nice of the ladies to invite me because I was feeling really sad and lonely with everyone joining up with drivers and I felt like I was the only one who didn't know where to go.

Was able to get a solo photo by myself. So very cool!

By the end of the night I was feeling a lot better.