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A 30-something living in the foothills of the Virginia mountains; I'm saved by grace, addicted to coffee and my little sister is my best friend! I devote most of my time to exploring, reading, attending as many Nationals games as possible and documenting life here. My Prince Charming got lost somewhere along the way...but I'm trying to remain hopeful that true love exists.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

California Dreamin - Disney Days are Done

One more day of Disney - that's all! If you're reading this blog and you're thinking "not another day of Disney"...well, shhh...keep that to yourself. I am a bonafide Disney nerd and three days is wonderful but I could have gladly done three more! 

Disney Land only has two parks, so day three was spent trying to hit the best of both worlds (lands?) before the day was done! We started our day at California Adventure and do you really need to guess where we headed first? Radiator Springs, of course! This was mostly due to the fact that the wait times for Radiators Springs Racers begin to mount almost immediately - by the time we'd made it through the gate and back to the ride, the wait time was already at 25 minutes! Nothing crazy, to be sure but by the time we'd waited our 25 minutes and raced around Ornament Valley, the wait had ballooned to over an hour! 

The Grizzly Peak Airfield en route to Radiator Springs
Lightning McQueen "fueling up" for the day at Flo's.
Just a quick snap with the racers!
One last look at Ornament Valley & the Cadillac Mountains before saying adieu...
We completed our quick jaunt back through California Adventure with stops at Toy Story Midway Mania and then I hopped on King Triton's Carousel while the rest of my family did California Screamin - are you seeing how much my need for speed differs from the rest of my family - as in, I have no need for speed, ha! So while they were being flung upside down and sped around, I just sat happily on a brightly colored fish and twirled around in a circle...that's really just how I roll. We cruised back through Grizzly Peak to grab Fast Passes for Soarin, took a quick spin on the Monsters Inc. ride...in little taxis...and then backtracked it to Grizzly Peak to soar over California and then head out the gates and across the "street" and into Disney Land.

Carousels are my jam. 

We decided the first plan of attack was to grab Fast Passes for Indiana Jones and once that was done, Lindsey and I made fast tracks toward the Matterhorn for round two. My parents had no interest in bobsledding down the mountain again, so they headed for a sit down with Mr. Lincoln and we reconvened in Toontown about forty-five minutes later. I was determined to ride Gadget's Go Coaster, even though it's a ride that lasts all of 45 seconds...I was a die-hard Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers fan when I was younger and Gadget's Go Coaster is the one ride that stood out in my mind from our previous visit to Disney Land years and years ago...seriously...I was around 8, maybe 9. After that quick spin, Indiana Jones was up again and then we hopped on the Monorail for a quick jaunt around the park before calling our time at Disney Land a done deal.

Sleeping Beauty Castle...one more time...
The monorail zipping past the Matterhorn...
The view from the monorail platform...not too shabby...
We did not return to the pool - the mistakes from Day Two of our Disney adventure were very present on my shoulders - bright red and painful! Getting sucked in by the impeccable pool chairs was a mistake that left it's mark upon me...

We did meet up with family for dinner at Downtown Disney! An activity that is more fun than the swimming pools and sunburns, right? Definitely! My Dad had some kind of unwavering desire to eat at the ESPN Zone and so away we went to eat supper with family while being surrounded by more big screen TV's than I've ever seen in my entire life... Somehow the six of us managed to garner our very own room to sit in, so thankfully we only had one TV blaring in the background! 

Once we finished dinner, we wandered around Downtown Disney for a while, looking at the various Lego displays, perusing a store where kids can build their own car (similar to Build A Bear I'd say) and Lindsey and I added to our Disney Pin Collection! I started picking up a pin here or there a couple Disney visits ago and I've become hooked! I know the point of the pins is to trade, but I prefer to keep my pins to myself; I chose them for a reason! I like to pick them up based on rides I've enjoyed (I added Space Mountain and Indiana Jones to my collection) as well as just generally interesting and unique pins! 

Supper at ESPN Zone...I "borrowed" my cousin's photo!
Beauty & the Beast - Lego Style!
We rounded out the night on the Paradise Terrace - a little gem we'd discovered earlier in the evening! The Grand Californian joins up with California Adventure and up on the sixth floor of the resort was a terrace that overlooked Paradise Pier and provided pretty incredible views! Lindsey and I so thoroughly enjoyed the World of Color show from the night before, we decided to head up to the Terrace and see what it would be like to view it from six stories up!

I'm pleased to report that it was almost as amazing as watching while seated right in front of the show! Amazingly the sound was still extremely easy to hear and while there was no seeing what was projected onto the water screens, the dancing water, lights and fire that were perfectly in sync with the music was perfectly easy to watch from on high. The biggest take away from watching the show at six stories up? The water shoots incredibly into the sky...I'd later read that the water shoots upwards of 200 feet! The fire too - of course! It was also fascinating to see how much of the water blew back onto the people watching...those winds off the ocean pack a punch! Happily, only the water blew back...not the fire, ha-ha!

The view before the show...
Up, up & away goes that water...
Crazy, right?
The end of our time at Disney really ended on Tuesday morning - we had a character breakfast at Storyteller's with some "animal" friends from some Disney movies. They included Chip and Dale, Brother Bear and our personal favorite, Meeko! The food was pretty delicious as well and it was a lovely way to close out our time at Disney before hopping into the car and setting out on the 101!

Brother Bear & I!
Meeko really wanted some biscuits...


In Case You Wondered (Lodging & Food)

Smokejumpers Grill in Grizzly Peak; counter service; not too pricey

ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney: sit down, so many TV's...not too pricey

Storyteller's Cafe in The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa: sit down, character breakfast, really delicious food!

The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa: one of three hotels at Disney Land; gorgeous...rooms are a bit wee for four (grown) people...but still really lovely!


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