Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Weekend Jaunt

I'm back after jetting out of town - solo - for the weekend. It was my mom's birthday and so my siblings and I decided to congregate at the ol' homestead to celebrate with her.

It's always a strange thing to be out on my own. In my normal day-to-day life I am always responsible for other people: preparing food, changing diapers, driving kids here, there, and everywhere, etc. But this past weekend, I was solely responsible for myself (and I'm pretty low maintenance.)

Before I left I snapped pictures with the children so I'd have them to look at:

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I did this before I left for Ethiopia, too. I always miss them like crazy and so it's nice to have these on my phone.

Then I set off on an airplane (or two) to the land where I was raised:

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Naturally, we went to Disneyland. I mean, where else would we go to celebrate my mom's birthday? Not only is it the happiest place on earth, but it is such a significant part of our family history.

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I had to stop and visit our brick - our own little piece of Disneyland. It was a Christmas gift from my brother in 2010:

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And naturally, I had to pay homage to my Grandpa Coats' window on Main Street. He was an integral part of the Disney company and helped bring to life so many beloved rides - as well as animated classics. It is such a treat to see him honored in this way.

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[Refer to this August 10, 2009 post for more details.]

Now, before we arrived I was a little concerned about how large the crowds might be. Summer break usually equates to a solid mass of people and lines miles long. But somehow - miraculously - there were minimal crowds. I still can't make sense of it, but I'm not complaining! Take a look and see for yourself:

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Open space, low crowds, in June = a Disneyland miracle.
I think it was because it was my mom's birthday.

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The Haunted Mansion - one of my Grandpa's creations.

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 Big Thunder Mountain.

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And, of course, I had to take in this Mary Poppins performance, because - you know - Mary Poppins is sort of my thing.

The whole time I kept thinking, "Elsa is going to love this!"
(taking her later this summer)

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My sister, Kristin, and my mom, the birthday honoree! 

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And no trip to Disneyland is complete without a ride on It's a Small World. It is my absolute favorite piece of Disneyland. It makes me happy, in every way possible. Simply put, it represents an ideal that I believe in.

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Setting off on a trip around the world.

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Watching as my nephew, sister, and brother come off the ride. 
We are taking pictures of each other. 

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See you soon, Disneyland! 

(And do me a favor and keep those crowds minimal for my return trip, okay?)

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