Disneyland/California: February 25

About 8 hours before we were supposed to leave for the airport for our cross-country flight to California and our first trip to Disneyland, we found out that said flight was canceled!  Apparently there was a good deal of snow in Denver (isn’t there always?) and all flights there were rerouted or rescheduled.  It was not acceptable for us to get to California a whole day-and-a-half late, so I found myself on the phone – on hold for literally 3 hours (that’s not a typo) – getting us onto a flight with a partner airline leaving the next afternoon.  Our travel day would start (and therefore end) much later, but we’d be able to hit the ground running the following morning, instead of almost two days late – not to mention any money we would have lost on tickets, hotel, etc.

So there we found ourselves at the Dayton airport, with an incredible American Airlines staff, ready to fly to Santa Ana via Chicago.  The very quick flight was completely uneventful, with Nolan sleeping exactly the duration (ie falling asleep as the plane sped up on the runway and waking upon landing), and the girls doing their math activity books and playing with Wikki Stix the entire time without complaint.  If only all flights could be so short!

We had quite a bit of time at O’Hare, so we took our time getting lunch at Reggios – and of course tracking down (easy, with my keen radar!) the nearest Garrett’s Popcorn!  Finally we hung out at our gate for just about an hour, got seats all together (despite not knowing until the same day we were on this flight), and had another pretty good flight – though this one was 4 hours, so we all got a bit restless by the end!  It also ended up pretty turbulent, and all 3 of our carseats were missing temporarily when we landed – one literally missing, left in Chicago.  The AA attendant was excellent though, so we quickly had a loaner booster and were on our way.  It had been a long day and was quite late (EST), but we were so thankful to have at least made it to the West Coast on the planned date!  It was ridiculous to me to think that after all that we had just finished, we wouldn’t even be leaving for more than 24 hours still on Frontier’s proposed rescheduled flight.

Grand Canyon. Somewhat cooler from closer to the ground, I think?

As we were sitting in a bit of traffic on an otherwise easy drive from SNA to the hotel, I looked up at one point and literally laughed out loud.  I had “known” what to expect regarding the differences between Walt Disney World and Disneyland and had prepared accordingly, but it was so absurd to me to be parked on the highway next to a shabby used car dealership, with random office buildings and construction projects around, and peeking out amidst them see the Tower of Terror and the Matterhorn.  They were just right there – sitting out in the open! 🙂

The Disneyland resort area was, as mentioned, a quick drive from the airport.  We found an inexpensive buffet called Captain Kidd’s just a block from our hotel and directly across from the Disneyland entrance, and thought it looked like as good a choice as any to eat.  Reviews were mixed, but how bad could it be?  Turns out, pretty bad.  We got enough to fill our tummies for bed though, and as tired as we were, that was all we were really hoping for.

After checking in the Fairfield Inn, I was incredibly pleased with our hotel choice.  It was less than a 10 minute walk to the entrance (a shorter walk than the Contemporary to Magic Kingdom, for you WDW vets), Disney themed/decorated, as clean and updated and friendly as I have come to expect from all Marriotts, and our room was honestly far more spacious than the DVC studios to which we are accustomed.  After wrestling with not staying on property (and fully understanding and supporting the reasons it’s truly not important to do so at DL, despite being a resort snob at WDW :)), I was immediately happy with our temporary digs.

Kyle finished putting the kids to bed while I ran down the street to Target for a few necessities.  I had planned to unpack when I returned, but everyone had had such a hard time getting to sleep (and Elise was actually still awake after 11EST) that I decided instead to set an alarm and do it in the morning, rather than risk waking anyone.

Haha.  An alarm.  Stay tuned…