Monday, January 30, 2017

Disneyland with the Betteridges! part 1: pre-Disney

For more than a year, we've planned on and been saving for this Disney Betteridge Reunion.  Chris and I and all the kids went without birthday or Christmas presents from each other and we made pizza most Fridays instead of buying, and we didn't travel home to Washington for Christmas....because we wanted to be with all my siblings and their kids for a week long Disneyland party!  We all went in together and rented a 6 bedroom house within a few blocks of Disneyland! 

Once we found out that driving to Anaheim, CA is only 2 hours longer than the drive to Provo, UT, we knew we could for sure make this trip happen, financially speaking, because we could drive instead of fly. So... we undertook the 31 hour drive from Mississippi to California with our 4 kids.   We are all experienced car trippers, but we added a few new things for this beast. We used the car top, even though we could've fit everything IN the car. Having some extra space between the kids and each other and the floor, etc... was a really good decision. We also decided to let the kids be in charge of their own snacks. They each had their backpack with a few books/toys and snacks clipped with a carabiner to the head rest / handle bar in front of them.   Having the backpacks off the ground and easily accessible was a great idea... Freddy didn't really get the concept of putting things BACK into his bag, but at least he could get stuff out himself. We also purchased a clip around soft tray holder for Frederick so our cookie sheet trays (that we always use for meals) and his toys wouldn't slide off his lap. It sorta helped. We left on Thursday around 3:00 pm, and drove through the night stopping for bathrooms and stopped once for breakfast on Friday. We pulled into Pheonix, AZ about 4 on Friday afternoon. We met my cousin and her kids at a park for a bit, then checked into the hotel that my Dad helped us get. :) Then we went over to one of Chris' friends from high school for dinner.  We were back in the hotel and all asleep by 9:00.  We slept great and headed off for California in the morning after I did some service at a nearby temple (Can't pass up a chance to make it to the temple when its only 5 minutes away!!) then we all had a leisurely breakfast at Waffle house before driving 5 hours to Anaheim. 

We pulled in around 4 at the house and met up with a lot of the cousins and my siblings. We got settled in our room and then had a great time hanging out, chatting, talking about plans for the week. 

The next day was Sunday. We attended a nearby ward for Sacrament Meeting (and filled up 3 whole rows!) and then went back to the house to have our own Primary with sharing time by me, and singing time by my mom. After some lunch and quiet time we went to walk along the beach. We knew most of the kids would get completely soaked no matter what they wore, so a lot of us let our kids wear swimming suits. (I found out later, that this is one of the things Gwen told her piano teacher about ... "we went swimming at the beach.... on Sunday!" haha)  It was SUCH a beautiful day and SO SO fun to be all together with my family. (only missing my dad, my brother in law - German, and of course, my sister in law Radene and her son Carter because of his Leukemia treatment). I really enjoyed this slow paced, peaceful day. I especially loved sitting by Chris at church, and playing spike ball with Sarah, Jordan and Estefi at the beach. 













We had a delicious BBQ chicken and salads and whatnot for dinner. Tiffany and Ashley meal planned the whole thing and all I had to do was show up, help out a bit, and pay some money. It was SO NICE (for me).  We put the kids to bed kinda early (the time zone and beach made that sort of easy for my kids) and tried to plan out the strategy for California Adventure the next day. Tiff, Todd, Jared and Ashley had done some good research and determined a loose itinerary of which rides and shows to try and hit when. Again, I totally lucked out. Then Tiff, Sarah and I painted our nails - Disney style.




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