Well it's taken me a while to getting around to writing this post
because there were just so many thoughts to go through
and I wanted to make sure I remembered what I wanted to document.
A couple months back we pooled resources with
Sam and Dia
and planned a small trip to Disneyland.
I was so happy
and we actually paid for almost the entire trip
with coins that I saved up over years in our massive piggy bank.
The night that we arrived in Anaheim,
Sam, Dia, and I ventured out with Svea
to find some dinner while Pappa Bear worked.
We ended up at Eat Chow,
which came highly recommended
it was just so so.
but it filled our bellies.
We followed up dinner with a little rendezvous at
and their doughnuts really made up for the disappointment of dinner!
So delicious (Svea couldn't even take her eyes off the doughnut for a photo)!
Then we headed to the beach to take some mermaid photos
which you can see here.
Svea was quite upset at initially being set down in the sand,
but after a little reassurance and playtime,
that night and the next morning,
she decided that she did indeed love the beach.
This reinforced my resolve to take her more often
as I wanted her to get used to playing in the sand and waves.
and as soon as we walked in
we came across Minnie!
Svea was absolutely stunned by this giant, walking cartoon character!
She just didn't know what to do
and she waved at Minnie,
but other than that she really just stared. :)
We started out with the rides in Tomorrowland
and somehow Sam and Dia got me onto Star Tours
(which totally gave me nightmares as a child).
Svea was all about walking by herself
and eating as much of our strawberry funnel cake as she possibly could.
I really can't blame her.
It's one of my very favorite park treats!
(You can find it over in Adventure Land.)
before heading into Fantasy Land for more rides.
Papa Bear was pretty distraught that Peter Pan was closed because
he absolutely LOVES the part where you soar through the stars.
Dumbo was definitely one of Svea's favorite rides.
Even before we got on,
she was pointing and cooing,
just awed at the prospect of flying elephants.
When we got on she pushed the control stick up and down
all by herself the entire time and was so sad when we had to get off.
Next up was the carousel,
and again she was wary of the big colorful horses
until the ride started and she realized that she LOVED it!
It was heart-breaking for the ride to end!
and she giggled the entire time!
I just kept thinking,
Walt really knew what he was doing creating this place!
The colors, movement, and overall just splendor of the park
just lit a spark of awe in Svea
and I was so glad that we had the opportunity to take her!
We went to the Mad Hatter to get Svea's name embroidered on her hat for $3
(which we bought online for cheap and brought with us)
and it was well worth it.
Seeing her little "Svea" mickey ears bobbing up and down as she walked
was easily one of the highlights of the day.
She stood and looked down at the boats passing into the
It's a Small World ride
and I watched her in that moment, thinking so many cheesy thoughts.
'Your whole life can be like this, my Little Muppet.
You can create any life you want
and you can fill it with magic!'
Of the entire day,
It's a Small World turned out to be Svea's very favorite ride.
She danced, laughed, and watched so intently
the whole way through.
(You can imagine why I became emotional when,
a few months later,
I then watched the movie 'Tomorrowland'
and It's a Small World turned out to be the entrance to
the magical Tomorrowland world...
Svea napped while we all took turns going on Splash Mountain
and Lance took a lovely, candid video of me screaming the whole way
down the roller coaster drop.
Maybe I'll release it to the public someday,
but I'm just a bit too embarrassed at this point in time. :)
We went on Pirates of the Caribbean several times
since it's my very favorite ride
and Svea snoozed in the Ergo while we waited in line each time.
She would wake up once the ride started
and point excitedly to the moving skeletons on their piles of gold
and their cheerful pirates music.
We ate dinner at the Blue Bayou
and as per usual,
it was just delicious.
The meat was just fantastic
and the atmosphere was dreamy.
If I could have my dream birthday party anywhere in the US,
it would be at the Blue Bayou.
I just love it there!
We finished off a few last rides
and some ice cream floats on Main Street
which Svea voraciously attacked.
I also grabbed a giant pickle for the ride back to our hotel
because I mean come on...
Those big crunchy ones are just the best
(even if Pappa Bear thinks they are gross).
I guess I'm my grandfather's granddaughter.
He loves them too.
The next morning, I got out our Mickey Mouse
Chocolate and Caramel Apple as a breakfast snack,
but I just had to take a photo before destroying such an adorable work of art.
As I did...
Svea ran over...
Sntached the apple...
And shoved one of those delicious marshmallow ears
right into her mouth!
I'm not sure how she knew it was even food,
but I guess we couldn't fool her.
Girl knows when she smells chocolate!
who was headed home to get more work done,
we stopped at the beach again for a last visit.
Svea was much more willing to explore this time around!
After our beach pit stop,
we were off to California Adventure for the rest of the day.
Svea looked adorable in her Minne Mouse dress
and tried to brush several strangers' hair
while Sam and Dia went on Goofy's Roller Coaster.
Although California Adventure definitely wasn't as toddler friendly
as the Disneyland park was,
it was still a fun day.
If you only have one day to go with your baby/toddler
or you're going on a hot day,
I'd definitely recommend Disneyland.
There was WAY more shade in Disneyland too,
so the heat really took it out of us in California Adventure.
Svea really enjoyed Triton's Carousel
and I had to take her on it multiple times while
Sam and Dia did California Screamin'
because of how much she loved it.
If I could find my dream carousel,
it would be that one because,
I'm Siri and I'm a whale fanatic!
Svea enjoyed exploring more while others went on
"big kid" rides and was happy to check everything out.
We also went on the Little Mermaid ride about eight times
because she was so fascinated by it,
there was virtually no wait time,
and the air conditioning felt amazing.
We took turns going on the Radiator Springs Racers ride
and it was my first time on that.
I wish the park had more rides like that
and less rides like the ferris wheel and the spinning swings.
(You can do those at a fair anytime.)
We spent a good hour searching the whole California Adventure Park
for somewhere that served chicken tenders,
so let me just save you the trouble.
They're at Smokejumper's Grill by Soarin' Over California.
We also went on the Toy Story Mania ride
and despite the long wait,
it was a blast!
I was so close to beating Sampson too.
Next time, Sam, next time.
it really was an incredible experience
getting to introduce Svea to the world of Disney
and see her just light up in amazement at every turn
and tucker out from the fun we were having.
I was so so happy to have my best friends, my sweet hubby,
and my baby there to share in the fun
of one of my favorite places in the world.
Going to Disneyland always reminds me that there are people just like me
who love to imagine the impossible and
get lost in their creativity.
I'm basically just a sappy big kid.
Lost boys and girls unite!
Don't forget to check out my other Disneyland posts: