The second and third days of our trip (and the original reason for going) were spent with my brother Christopher, his wife Jenny, their two kids Miles and Hannah, and Jenny's parents. We went to Disneyland! And it was super fun. There was a fair bit of walking around, deciding what to do next:
Miles was really excited to go to Cars Land. This is Jenny and him riding one of the rides there:
Aaaand those are the only pics we got of the family we drove all that way to visit. Oops?
For the most part, we stuck to kiddie rides that everybody could go on. Heather's favorites were the splash pad in A Bug's Land (where she basically chased the water around) and the carousel. Over the two days, we actually rode carousels six times!
Her least favorite rides were Pirates of the Caribbean and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Both actually scared her quite a bit. She recovered easily, though, once it was all over.
Our second day we actually split from the rest of the crew. Christopher got food poisoning and wasn't up for Disney. They were all staying a day longer than we were, so they could put it on hold for a day. We could not, so it was just the three of us! The day started out chilly and drizzly, but it was lovely once the rain stopped. Nice and overcast.
In the carousel picture above and the first picture below, you can see Heather's Ride Face. She'd be looking around, laughing and pointing, right up until a ride started. Then her face went completely blank and she just looked around, as if studying and trying to figure out just what was going on. As soon as the ride stopped, she'd become animated again. Silly girl. (Regarding the first picture below: No, I am not a crazy person. The ferris wheel car was sliding around.)
I just want to put in a comment about the Baby Care Center in Disneyland. Of course, the bathrooms all have changing areas. But the actual Baby Care Center was fantastic! We popped in to change Heather's diaper just as we were leaving, and man, it is posh! The staff are dressed up like old-school child attendants (I don't know how better to describe it, but think of a traditional nursemaid, I guess) and the whole place is so cozy. There are areas for nursing and places to warm bottles/heat up food for toddlers and the changing tables are deluxe. They actually change the paper liners every time they're used! It's also where they take any children who get lost in the park, and I honestly can't imagine a more soothing atmosphere. And now, moving on to more elephants:
This is the parade. She really liked the floats and even mimicked the princesses' arm movements. But I think what she's really pointing at in this picture is those balloons. She went crazy-go-nuts every time she saw one: pointing, babbling, laughing, and running after it. We didn't get her one because we figured it'd be a pain on the car ride home, but she sure loved them.
I was, of course, nervous about how Heather would handle this trip. Long car rides and sleeping in hotels are not the norm for her. But she was a champ! I think that most of the success of the Disneyland days was due to the fact that we were very mellow about our time at the park.* We got up and went in the mornings, but returned to the hotel for Heather's nap in the early afternoon. Then we went back to the park for the evening, until Heather needed to go to bed. We certainly could have seen and done more than we did, but it wasn't worth making Heather miserable over. So we did what we could and were satisfied. Our real reason for going wasn't to see the parks, after all, but to see family. So it all worked out.
The day we left town, we met up with the whole crew again for lunch in Downtown Disney. It was good to see everybody again, especially since we'd missed them the previous day. All in all, it was a really good trip. Yay Disney! Yay fun! Yay family!
*And the binkie. As always when Heather is on the edge, that was key.