Well… Day 5 at Disneyland and going strong… we are loving it and Samuel is just a crazy hard core rollercoaster rider… he is going on all the adult

rides that he is tall enough for and yelling “faster” as they zip down the track… we get to the end “more” is all we hear… it is hysterical…

We met up with my friend Heidi who had run the Disney ½ Marathon and she helped me get over my fear of fast rides so now I am on all the same rides as my 3 year old!!  I think we did the Matahorn 5 times in a row yesterday… it was crazy!!  And then Splash Mountain – today Samuel got soaked… literally dripping from head to toe… he was less than impressed, but liked the ride.  His favourite is the Rocky Mountain Railroad rollercoaster.

Our plan was to head out after 4 days, we are now on day 5 (the end of our pass) and decided to upgrade to an annual Disneyland pass so we are staying until Sunday… (also the pictures of Disneyland look so beautiful we just have to come back when the parade has gingerbread houses and dancing snowflakes).

Kind of fun – Samuel’s first ID card is an annual pass to Disneyland!!

Today I was wearing my Disneyland birthday pin ( where the two “ii” have a mickey mouse head as the dot!!) and as we were walking back to our room the pianist in the lobby of the Disneyland resort spotted the pin and sang Happy Birthday… I tell you, it is the place to relive childhood!!

We had out “Magic Morning” today… got to enter the park an hour before official opening… went on 5 rides in an hour!!  Samuel loves the Tea Cups… spinning us as fast as he can…

For many of the rides, you have to be 40”… Samuel was measured at 39 ¼” at the pediatrician last week… with shoes he is just barely 40”… the staff taught us the trick to “measuring up” feet together back flat against the wall, chin up… and if that does not work they stretch his cheeks up to help his head touch the bar… as long as your feet are still on the ground, any way to reach the bar counts…

So far, after today we will have spent 41 hours at Disneyland (with yesterday only being 3 hours – had to rest our feet)…


Samuel rocking out to the NewsBoys

Who says Toddler’s don’t like road trips? Samuel has been fantastic. He sits in his little seat for hours at a time, and yet doesn’t complain.


The Mysterious Fingerprint

So we took out our camera to get a photo of a mountain viewpoint after pulling over along the road side and noticed that looking into the view finder, it looked horrible.  Christie looked at the lense and it was coated with smudge, like a huge smearing fingerprint.  She gave it to me and I tried to wipe it off with my shirt but no such luck….the fingerprint was caked on with stickiness.   I was lucky to find a small bottle of lens cleaner that I packed in a zip lock bag.  I really had to scrub, but the sticky fingerprint came off.  I didn’t think I did it, I mean, could I have did this by accident?  I guess so…..that is until I saw the photos that were in there.

Mysterious picture #1. What is this? Looks like an accidental photo discharge.
Why...thats a very odd picture of Samuel...did Christie take it?
The fingerprint! And last night Samuel had a big lollipop....that would have made very sticky fingers....looks like this mystery is coming together now...
The fingerprint culprit has been caught red handed :)
Next time you have to hide the evidence little one!

Zion National Park – Samuel’s Flower Haven

We are here at Zion National Park, and having the most fun yet! This is a very beautiful place, we will definitely be putting this on our list in the future. Huge canyon walls rising out of a green valley, and a river running along the bottom. This is on the top of our list of favorite parks.

The morning we left to drive here, it was snowing….snow in the middle of may in southern Utah….yikes! 80 Degrees one day, and the next morning, we wake up and its snowing…goodness. But fortunately the snow was gone quickly to blue skies and perfect weather.

Every time we went on a hike or even a short walk, Samuel was looking for flowers…haha this little guy is so much fun. The great thing about being a parent is that each time Samuel develops some cute little behavior, as soon as it fades, another interest even better comes along. Samuel is definitely in a “flower phase”. Every picture we have of him here, I think he’s holding a flower.

Entrance to Zion...snow in may
Having too much fun!
A casual stroll
Samuel picking a tiny flower along a trail 300 feet up on the cliff
Samuel's treasure
Samuel on a trail - you cant see the flower
Samuel and mom stop for a pose high up on a canyon trail

Texas Air Show

USAF Thunderbirds!

We’re quite behind on our blog, too much fun?? On our way out of texas, we stopped at Dyess AFB and saw an air show with the Thunderbirds. Samuel had the chance to forget about trains for a while. He really loved planes, something he hasn’t seen to much of. We got lucky, it was a cool day that was partly cloudy with sunbreaks. Perfect weather for us Northwesterners. After the air show, we headed out of texas, and stayed in Lubbock, a town devastaed by economic hardship. We saw a man and his daughter standing on the main road selling candied apples. I guessed he was laid off of work and was trying to do anything to make money. Whole sections of the town were completely closed and boarded up. After leaving Lubbock, it was off into New Mexico and to Santa Fe. Here is Samuel at the Air Show.

Samuel and Mommy at the Air Show with C17's flying behind
Samuel on a bouncy swing pretending to be a thunderbird
Samuel on the wing
Planes Are Coming!
Getting ready for takeoff
Long day at the air show

3 States in one Day – Arizona, New Mexico, & Texas!

Day 20 – Well the hotel room is very quiet this morning… Arthur and Samuel are sound asleep and I am not quite sure why I woke up in time to see the sunrise… but it was beautiful over the Texas sky!!

After visiting our friends on Sunday, April 25th (Day 18 – I am starting to lose track!!), we decided to put some miles in to get to our “ultimate distance destination” – San Antonio, TX.

Samuel cleaning the windshield in New Mexico after hours of driving

We had a beautiful drive through the desert – Arizona and then entered the desolate terrain of New Mexico – the cactuses were tall and beautiful… right out of a picture book… they looked for perfect they did not look real… and then into Texas where everything turned green and lush… not what you would expect after coming through dry terrain. Samuel does so well driving, we stop regularly and play at a park, or our newly found attraction, the Mc Donald’s playhouses – what a find those are and they are all along the highways!! Samuel loves climbing through them for a half hour and then back to the drive… he is so interested in watching everything outside, he has wanted very little “inside entertainment”… we had purchased special car toys, brought piles of books, I had planned to do his French program with him, but for the total time we have been gone, I think he has only watched about 5 hours of DVD’s in the car… he loves to talk about everything we are seeing… tons of freight trains along the countryside down here which is always a highlight for him.

Strolling along the San Antonio Riverwalk

Day 23 – San Antonio

We have spent the last 4 days in San Antonio along the Riverwalk at our favorite hotel… rooftop pool on the 23rd floor. This is the third year we have been here (same week – right after Festival ends and the city calms down). We have been enjoying walking along the Riverwalk, having lunch at this Mexican restaurant where you sit right along the river and feed the duck tortilla chips – Samuel found it just hysterical to feed the pigeons that would circle his chair – belly laughing when he could reach down and touch them… I am sure the birds go more tortillas than us. Today we head North through Texas to see an airshow with the Thunderbirds (ear plugs purchased already)!!

At our favorite restaraunt for lunch along the riverwalk.
Samuel and Momma taking a break. Samuel with his new red car in hand
Samuel looking at an old Franciscan Mission

Joshua Tree National Park – Day 17

Well… we are a bit behind in posting and will try to catch up with some photos shortly – we spent three days at Disneyland and three days in Hemet, Ca visiting Arthur’s Uncle Larry… yesterday we left Hemet and headed to Joshua Tree National Park which Arthur and I love… we took Samuel rock climbing at Jumbo Rocks… Arthur got him John Deer Hiking boots and we had him in overalls to protect from the cactus’s which was a good idea as we were barely on the trail and he had walked into a cactus… had two inch long cactus needles sticking out of his overalls… but his little legs were protected!!  We wanted to stay for several hours but after our first climb, and on our way to our next stop, samuel crashed in the car, so we decided to make the 300 mile haul to phoenix while Samuel slept.

Today we are in Phoenix, AZ about to go visit some friends that used to live in our neighbourhood…

Samuel taking a break
Samuel stopping by some desert flowers
Climb Ahead!
Strolling along the giant rocks at Joshua Tree NP
Samuel made it to the top!

Day 10 Santa Monica Pier and Ferris Wheeeeeeeel

Ventura and Santa Monica
Well, we started out this morning with a quick stop for a haircut for Samuel and then off down the 101 – ended up at the Santa Monica Pier – now we can say we have seen the pier in all the movies!! And we rode the famous ferris wheel twice – Samuel was so excited to ride a “wheel” – he was squeeling!! We spent three hours at the beach and it felt like 30 minutes.. Arthur and Samuel played in the waves and we walked along the absolutely gorgeous sand… so pristine!!

Samuel picks a flower
In front of the famous Santa Monica Pier
The stages of Samuels First Ferris Wheel Ride, actually this is the first big ride he's ever been on. We didn't know if he'd cry or scream, but it turned out quite well. Mom was much more scared :)

Tonight we have arrived at Disneyland!!  We “thought” we would check the prices as the Disneyland Hotel… funny thought ($320 a night).  We ended up in a gorgeous hotel on 7 acres just a 10 minute walk to Disneyland… (they are desperate for people here – the clerk dropped the price three times – and then added free parking).   

We are planning to do the three day park hopper and see both Disneyland and California Adventures – our pass also gets us early admission to the park one of the days…. Our plan is to get up for when everything opens (@8:00) have fun until lunch, come back to the hotel so Samuel can nap and then head out again for the afternoon and evening fireworks.

We haven’t told Samuel yet… Arthur bought him a Mickey Mouse math video that he is going to watch before bed tonight so he is “prepped” for tomorrow… can’t wait to see his face when we arrive at “Goofy’s house”  (his favourite character)!!

They have a whole program for children under 5 – where to go and what to do… I just can’t wait to see his face!!

Day 9 – Heading South

(Christie here)  Well, we headed out this morning, not sure where to exactly – kind of wanting to avoid Disneyland for the weekend… we had loved our stay in Cambria… saw a whale one evening – jumped up 4 times in front of the hotel – quite amazing!!  We were thinking of camping, but unfortunatly, the campsite are not very “user friendly” – and it is a fortune to camp!!  $35 a night and $10 for parking!!  So, we thought we would head for Santa Barbara… but missed the exit and ended up in Ventura… which is where we are for the night!!  We took Samuel for a walk on the beach – very beautiful.  Saw a group of three dolphins jumping together about 25 feet from shore – what a treat!!  Amazing, what you pay for in an aquarium, we have seen on the coast twice now. 

Samuel loved the waves… and of course, played Walrus in the very soft and very warm sand… I think he laid in it for 20 minutes…

Our tentative goal is to hit Disneyland on Monday and then either San Diego, or we may bypass that and head over to Eastern California – we really want to go back to Joshua Tree National Park where we camped three years ago when I was 6 months pregnant.  Gorgeous area!!  But as this trip has proved, each day (no matter what plans) ends up with a new direction… we ended up in Cambria based on a 5 second split decision to exit the I-5 and head to the Monteray Aquarium – which I think is the most amazing aquarium for young children I have even seen… Samuel loved that… he was so tired after all the hands on activites he was nearly asleep by the time we pulled out of the parking lot…

Where to?

Its 10:10 and we have to be out of this hotel in 50 minutes, so I’m scrambling to toss something up.  We have no idea where we are going, haven’t even looked at the map yet.  I’m sure we’ll figure it out.  Samuel loved going into the swimming pool while we were here.  Each night, he would ask to go swimming, and lots of “super jumps”.

Samuel's Nightly Swim

Oh and cant forget Samuel’s encounter with a lizard yesterday.  httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHn4pPo3t1A

Samuel Enjoying Lunch