January 21, 2013

Birthday Vacation Part One: Anaheim

Wow! It has been such an incredible week! My parents and I just got back from our vacation; celebrating my 21st birthday, and it was a blast. We went to Disneyland and Las Vegas, and now we are finally home. To tell you the truth, as fun as traveling is, I don't know how musicians do it all the time when they're on tour. Although, I guess it makes it easier when you have a fancy little bus that's your "home away from home." Because we saw and did a lot, I'm going to break it into two sections. Anyway, I thought I'd share some pictures and stories from the week!

Tuesday: Disneyland

We left for Anaheim a little closer to 8, and made it there pretty good timing! I passed the time in the car by watching The Office and playing dj with my ipod, with my special playlist I had created for Disneyland. We didn't get there right when the doors were opening, but that was okay. We parked, took the shuttle, and met with our cast member friend at the gate! We headed down Main Street, then our friend walked us on Indiana Jones, which was seriously cool! I definitely felt like a VIP walking past everyone in line and taking the special entrance to get right on.
From there, we hit all of the main attractions we wanted to see and even several things that we don't normally get to, like Tarzan's Treehouse. It wasn't busy at all, which was great, because as much as I'm becoming more outgoing, I still don't care for big crowds; it makes my anxiety go way up and that's just not fun at all to be packed in like a bunch of sardine's. We hit a couple more rides, then decided to have lunch at the Blue Bayou, which usually books up as soon as the park opens. That day, we were able to get right in. My dad and I split the monte cristo sandwich, which was really good, but we were SO full from afterwards, which led to a bunch of laughing. Our waitress even brought me out a free dessert, since she saw my birthday pin! I have to say, I felt pretty special with that too!
From there, we squeezed in other rides like Matterhorn, Space Mountain (which we actually got to walk right on, thanks to our friend), Small World, and a lot of the kiddy rides that are usually hours of waiting in Fantasyland. I even saw Rapunzel and Flynn walk by, who are from Tangled, and that's pretty much my favorite thing right now. Flynn even had himself a few fangirls, which was...Well, weird.
I love that we were able to do a lot of different things that we can't usually do, since we went during the week, and the fact that it's sort of an off season right now. I forgot just how much I love Disneyland and miss going. It really doesn't matter what age you are, Disneyland is a truly magical place where you can still be a kid at heart.

Disneyland closed at 8 that night, which was a bummer, because we're used to midnight, so that meant we had to squeeze everything in a lot quicker than usual. But, it was FREEZING by that point, and I did not dress as warm as I should have. I was almost to the point of shaking, so I guess I am glad it closed at 8 this time around. When Disneyland closed, we were so hungry since we hadn't really eaten anything since earlier in the afternoon, so we had dinner at Buca Di Beppo down the street from the park, and it was delicious! My mom and I shared some Spicy Chicken Pasta thing and I felt like I could eat just about everything in sight. Our waitress was also really cool; they weren't busy, so she was free to talk to us more, and even brought up my birthday pin. Later on, since we had order Canolli's, her and a few other waiters sang happy birthday to me and brought out candles, which was really fun! Usually I feel so awkward, but this time, I just enjoyed the moment.
After dinner, I was pretty loopy from the day and I usually do after I eat, so I was laughing hysterically over every little thing. We went to Target to pick up a few things, then drove to our hotel to check in. It was pretty early, so we just relaxed around the area, getting ready for the next day so we would be all energized.

Wednesday: California Adventures

The park didn't open until 10, so we had some time to sleep in a little bit, which was nice after a busy day. We got up and got ready, then caught the shuttle over to California Adventures. We met up with our cast member friend again and off we went. We immediately got our fast passes for the new Cars ride, then walked around, as he told us a few stories about the new Carsland when they were building it, and pointing out a few things that we might not have noticed on our own. Then, we headed back up to the new Buena Vista street, which is incredible. With so many changes going on, I wasn't sure if I was going to like them, but Disney sure knows what they're doing and it's beautiful. It's just like the actual Buena Vista Street when Walt Disney got to town, taking place in the 20s, which I love. I even got a telegram from Mickey Mouse; one of the bike riders, Molly, delivered it to me for my birthday! ;) She was so in character and her dialect was awesome! It really had me thinking about how fun it would be to be one of those characters!
There isn't really too much to ride at C.A., but it does have a lot to see, like agriculture, structures, and shows, but we did go on a few things, then had lunch at Condor Flats, next to Soaring Over California. It was pretty good, then we walked back over to CarsLand! I am seriously impressed with the Cars ride; it's so much cooler than just your typical kids ride, I just wish it would have had more of the speedway, because that was awesome. It was basically where we spent most of our time, since it's the new thing to see and there are so many details to pay attention to. After a couple rides in that area, my friend, Laura, met up with us and I split off from my parents to ride Tower of Terror with her, since they didn't want to. It was really great catching up with her, since we haven't really hung out much since high school.
She's a huge Disney freak too, so she had a lot of helpful information as well, when it came to attractions and other trivia about the park. We walked around, then ended up riding the new Little Mermaid ride, which is probably one of the best things EVER! It's seriously adorable and there was no wait at all, so we walked right on...Oh, and afterwards I found 5$ laying on the ground outside! Successful day? I think so. We went over to the Paradise Pier area, where Laura was trying to talk me into riding California Screamin, which I really did want to, but didn't feel like waiting in line, and wasn't quite sure if I wanted to do a single rider quite yet, so she went and we rode Mickey's Fun Wheel. Then, played a few games on the boardwalk and my dad won me a Dumbo, which made me extremely excited!!! I was really drawn to Dumbo this time around..LOL.
We walked through the animation studio, watched a few of the videos playing, and checked out some of the other exhibits, which I hadn't been in since the park first opened, quite a few years ago now. After a little more exploring, we decided to have dinner at one of the little cafe's on Buena Vista Street, also connected to Starbucks! It was really good, and gave us a chance to just talk and hang out. After that, Laura decided to head over to Disneyland for a couple more hours and we had to get in line for the World of Color show! It was SO cold, especially being so close to the water! I was really wishing I had brought a jacket or at least a pair of gloves to keep warm, but tried not to think about it too much. We had to wait about an hour before the show started, but once it did, it was totally worth it! We had seen it once before when it first started, but hadn't been in a couple years, so it was really like seeing it for the first time again. I noticed they had added a few things that were more recent, but it blows me away how they can synchronize the water and the music together, and how it all just comes together perfectly. If you've never seen it, you definitely have to! Or at least watch this video on YouTube to see how enchanting it really is. This show pretty much sums up everything I love about Disney and how I can't wait to have kids to bring them back for beautiful memories together as a family, like my parents have given me over the years. It gives me butterflies just thinking about it. Anyway, it was the perfect ending to a wonderful day!

After that, we had to run to our shuttle stop to make sure we got there in time, and we did. We started talking to a couple that had been on the ride to the park earlier that morning! They were super nice! We got back to the hotel, had some dessert downstairs and my mom got stuff together for our flight the next day, then we headed up to the room to get ready for bed. It was a really fun time!!

I'm also checking into possibly doing an internship at Disney, so we'll see how things go! But, after this visit, it seems like an even better opportunity than before! You never know :) Besides, it is the place where dreams come true right?

That's all for now,

P.S~ Stay tuned for part two!

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