At the beginning of March, we traveled out to California, so that our show choir (my husband is the director, and I am the choreographer) could compete in two competitions. We did the same thing last year, and came home with two first place trophies!
This year we were able to schedule our trip so that we did one competition Friday night and another one Saturday afternoon! Then we spent all day Sunday at Disneyland.
We left Friday morning, Daniel on the bus with all the students and chaperones, and me in the car with Harrison and two other moms.
Being silly in the choir room
Friday evening our mixed group competed in our regular novice division and took second place out of four. It was not the best performance the group has had, but they still did well. The school that took first is one that we’ve competed against for years and traded off for first and second places.
Practicing before the competition
So we were a little down about not winning, but at least we had another competition the next day. Unfortunately, our hopes of winning were low, because on Saturday we were competing in the intermediate division, against one of the top show choirs in the nation. Saturday came and both our mixed group and our guys group were competing. Both groups did their absolute best. They were fantastic!
In the end, we got another second place (out of three) for our mixed group. We were totally thrilled to have actually beat out an intermediate group, and one of the judges actually ranked us higher than the group that took first place (the really good, really well-funded group)!
The boys were up against guys groups from two of the top show choir schools, so they took third out of three, but they did so well. Everyone was super proud of them, and it was great to see and learn from the other groups.
On Sunday it was time for some fun! We spent the whole day at Disneyland!
Daniel and I spent the whole morning riding the rides in Fantasyland, taking Harrison with us on Alice in Wonderland, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Then we stood in line for the Matterhorn, and did a baby swap so we could both ride. Harry fell asleep in his stroller, so then we took that time to sit and have a snack. Then we went over to Space Mountain and got another baby swap pass, and Daniel went to wait in line. Harry and I browsed some of the stores while waiting for him, and when he woke up, I fed him his baby food.
Meanwhile, my parents had driven out on Saturday with Carter and Vanessa, so they were also at the parks all day Sunday. We met up with them in the early afternoon, so that Carter (who is in love with Star Wars and Star Wars Angry Birds) could ride Star Tours with Daniel. Also, since our baby swap pass for Space Mountain said it was good for up to three people, we took Carter on!
After the ride Carter said, “I really loved it! But I don’t want to go on again. I tried really hard to love it.”
On the Astro Orbiter
We also decided to watch the Jedi Training Academy show to see if Carter would get picked. He did it once before, when my mom took him there, but I didn’t get to see it. But he got picked again!
It was so fun to watch him up there with his lightsaber, fighting Darth Vader! Some of Daniel’s students even showed up at the end and got to see him.
Then, in the midafternoon, Daniel and I went to see if we could get in to eat at Blue Bayou, which is inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The first time that I went to Disneyland, with my mom and Carter, we rode Pirates, and we were surprised at how long the beginning of the ride was, because in Disney World, it starts more more quickly. Then all of a sudden we were riding by people eating! Ever since then I’ve wanted to eat there. The wait (at 3pm) was only 15-30 minutes, and I asked how much longer the wait would be to eat right by the water. It was the same amount of time, so we did it! Less than 20 minutes later we were being seated by the water inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride!
And then, next thing I know, my name is being shouted. My parents, with Vanessa and Carter, were riding by, on the ride! It was so fun, and the food was delicious. After eating there, we waited in line for the ride!
Soon after that it was time for Daniel and his students to board their bus and head home. But I got to stay another night with my parents and all three of my kids, and we spent the next day at both parks!
After saying goodbye to Daniel, I walked Harrison all the way over to the Winnie the Pooh ride (which is as far west in the park as you can go), just to find it closed. So then I left the park with him and met my parents back at their hotel. The kids were fast asleep, and so I put Harry down, and my mom and I went back to Disneyland for the last hour!
We went to the carousel first, because I wanted to ride Jingles, Walt Disney’s favorite horse, and the horse that Emma Thompson rode in Saving Mr. Banks. I barely beat out a guy who was also headed for that horse, and so after the ride, I had to stick around to see if he got to get a chance to ride Jingles. He did!
Then we went on Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters and the Haunted Mansion before heading back to the hotel.
That night was rough, because Harrison was up and down all night, in my bed, in his bed, crying, fussing, etc. I think we finally got 2-3 hours of sleep cuddled in bed together, and then it was time for another full day at the parks!
We started the morning at Disneyland because we wanted to wait in line to see the Frozen princesses. The day before both Anna and Elsa were there, but they told us as we were getting in line that it would only be one of them. It would have been nice to see both, but we got to see Anna, and she was fantastic! My mom got right in line at 9am, and it didn’t start until 10, so I took Carter and Vanessa on the carousel (and I put Vanessa on Jingles!), twice on Pinocchio, and then I took Carter on Dumbo.
Then it was time to join my mom in line. Even then it was 10:30 before it was our turn.
Anna making “reindeer antlers”
It was so worth the wait. Anna was so good with the kids! My dad had been watching Harrison who had fallen asleep in his stroller, but he woke up just as we were going in to see her, so he got to come too!
Lots of people were asking us where we got the little Olaf and Sven, but unfortunately I had to tell them “Target in Arizona!”
After seeing Anna, we headed over to the Fantasy Faire so Vanessa could meet “her” princesses. She got to see Ariel, Aurora, and Cinderella. She was so cute, as she said goodbye to each princess by name, “Goodbye, Ariel,” “Goodbye, Aurora,” “Goodbye, Cinderella!”
When we exited the castle, Vanessa burst into tears. I think she thought we were going to see more than just three princesses! I really want to take her back sometime so we can focus on doing all the princess activities. She loved seeing them so much!
After that, my dad took Carter on the Autopia cars, and then I took him on Star Tours, and after the ride I bought him the little Luigi and Guido cars dressed as R2D2 and C3PO.
We had lunch, watched the show Mickey and the Magical Map, and then headed back to the hotel for a needed rest!
The kids got baths and played with their toys for a little while, and then we walked back to Downtown Disney to eat dinner at La Brea Bakery, which was great!
After that I finally got to go to California Adventure, after spending a day and a half only in Disneyland! My parents and Carter and Vanessa had spent most of the day before there, but this was my first time going into that park on this trip. We went on Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, riding twice, and both Carter and Vanessa loved it (me too)!
Then we headed over to Cars Land and rode Luigi’s Flying Tires and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree.
Then it was time to call it a night! We walked back to the hotel, and everyone was soon asleep.
Tuesday morning we went over to the Paradise Pier Hotel for a character breakfast- Surf’s Up with Mickey. The kids got to meet Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Pluto, and Stitch, who kept giving Harry lots of kisses!
My mom got lots of photos of the kids with the characters. I was mostly busy eating. The food was amazing, and it was a buffet, so of course I had to eat as much as I could!
After the breakfast, we got right in the car and headed back to Phoenix. I got home just in time to get to my rehearsal that evening!
It was such a fun trip, and as soon as we got back, my mom and I (and the kids) were saying, “We want to go back to Disneyland!”
It’s only a 6 hour drive, so I’m sure we’ll be back there again soon! What a fun trip!