Saturday, June 30, 2007

Disneyland - Day 05 ..... Last Day

Well, this is it, the last day at Disneyland. We woke up bright and early at 6:15AM because Disneyland was on Early Admission again.

Since checkout wasn't until 11:00AM, we planned on going for a couple hours, then come back to the hotel to pack and check out.

We got to the parks right when they opened and headed to Space Mountain. But, we weren't going to be that lucky. Space Mountain wasn't open.

Alice in WonderlandSince Storybook Land was still left unchecked off our "to do" list, we decided to go ride Storybook Land. But, it wasn't running either. So, we decided to do Alice in Wonderland. This was the first time I had the pleasure of riding this attraction. I must say that it's a nice dark ride in the traditional sense. But it has a nice twist, you actually go outside for a brief spell during the ride then back into the dark.Mr. Toad

After Alice, we hit Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. This is a wonderful classic ride, albeit, quick. If you make it to Disneyland you should ride this because it is no longer at Walt Disney World.

PinnochioFrom Toad, we went to Pinocchio. This is also another one of the classic dark rides that made Disney famous. I have to admit that I have a hard time getting the "Hi-Diddle-Dee (An Actor's Life for Me)" lyrics out of my head after riding this attraction.

Snow WhiteAfter Pinocchio, we popped on over to the Scary Adventures of Snow White. This ride scared the heck out of me as a child. It, along with The Haunted Mansion, were rides that I only heard and didn't watch since I rode them with my eyes closed. As an adult, I can still see what about these rides scared me as a child, but it is kind of humorous to think that it is scary now. I have to admit, they love to have that wicked witch pop out at you while on the ride.

Space MountainAt this time, we swung back to Storybook Land and it was still closed. So, it was on back to Space Mountain. This time it was open and we walked right onto the ride. This was our second trip onto Space Mountain for this vacation. It is always a crowd pleaser for my wife and me.

After getting off Space Mountain, we went again to Storybook Land. This time it was open and it was the only DSC_3216attraction we waited a significant amount of time to enjoy. This ride was on our list of "must do" attractions because we both have always managed to miss it and wanted to see what it was all about. Apparently, they only had two boats running and that made the line move slow. It was a really nice ride. The level of detail in the miniatures was amazing. I would recommend it for a nice distraction. According to the fine Cast Member who was piloting our boat, this attraction is one of the most popular to "pop the question".

From here, we decided that we wanted to ride Pirates again. This would be my second time and my wife's 3rd (she rode it with her mom while I was waiting to check us in for Fanstasmic! priority seating). We had already done Haunted twice so we could leave feeling good about that one.

Geographical Center of DisneylandOn our way to New Orleans Square, we cut through Sleeping Beauty Castle so I could get a picture of the golden spike that represents the geographical center of the park. We also got a Photopass photographer to take a picture of us on the backside of the castle.

On our way to New Orleans Square, we found that the Tarzan's Treehouse was finally open (it was closed our entire trip). So now we can mark this always missed attraction off Hidden Mickeyour list. It was cute, but the views are what I'd recommend it for. But my wife did find a Hidden Mickey while hiking through it. We also saw the reference Beauty and the Beast. Mrs. Potts and Chip were in one of the scenes that you walked through. If I remember correctly, this was a hidden nod that was also in the movie.

After climbing down from the tree, we quickly moved through the line to ride Pirates again. This time, I wasn't looking Capt. Jack Sparrowthrough the lens of my camera and got to enjoy it from a not photographic standpoint. I was prepared this time and put my camera in a Ziploc bag, but we didn't get a drop of water on us this time. This time, I was able to get a picture of Captain Barbossa and Jack Sparrow that are painted on the walls of the line queue.

On our way back to Main Street USA, my wife decided that she wanted to see what all the fuss is about Dole Whips. As we were passing the Enchanted Tiki Room, we saw there was absolutely no line for Dole Whips so my wife got one. This was amazing since there was an phenomenally long line for the dole whips every time we passed by.

I hate pineapples so I wasn't interested, but I did take a "no thank you" taste of hers to reassure myself that I didn't like it. The Cast Member at the Dole Whip cart was nice enough to give me the DVC 10% discount even though we weren't really sure if it applied.Grumpwurst & Goofy

As my wife sat at a bench eating her Dole Whip, I took some more pictures.

So, back to the hotel we go to pack and checkout. Since it took less time to pack than I expected, we took some pictures of the pool area, and a picture with Goofy in the hotel lobby. We gave our bags to the Bell Station to hold until 12:45, when our ride was scheduled to come.

So, it was back to the parks (it was 10:30AM) to kill some more time.

Build your own Mr. Potato HeadWe went to California Adventure because my wife was wanting to see what this Build your own Mr. Potato Head thing was all about. It was all the parts you could cram in a box for $18, but it seemed real cheaply made to me so I politely asked my wife to forget about it.

But, we did find that they sold souvenir drumsticks there (with Animal from the Muppets on them). My wife collects drumsticks from various towns. Typically, they are Hard Rock Cafe drumsticks, but we got a pair from Rock 'N Rollercoaster at MGM Studios and now California Adventure.Toontown

So, now it's back to Disneyland. We haven't gotten to Toontown yet, so that was our goal. We walked around and took some pictures on the crazy cars and various other gags we found.

We looked at their food court but nothing struck our fancy.

GrumpyAs we walked back through the castle again, my wife realized that I didn't get any pictures of the statues at Snow White's Grotto. So, we swung by there to get some pictures (especially of Grumpy) and I got a picture of her at the Wishing Well.DSC_3319

On the way out of Main Street USA, we noticed there was no line at the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, so we swung in to get my wife a thing of ice cream. I wasn't interested because I didn't want to tempt fate with my gut, but it turned out to be huge, so I ended up assisting her eat it anyway. At least I got the cherry :)

We got back to the hotel and got our bags. This time, I took pictures of our bags so we could give a better description if they got lost again.

Our driver was about 15 minutes late, but we were heading to the airport really early. Everything was going smoothly until we got to the gate to find out that our flight was delayed by 1.5 hours due to storms in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area....great!

We were assured by the lady at the counter that we wouldn't have to worry about our connecting flight (which was now due to take off before we got there), because all flights in and out of Dallas are delayed.DSC_3328

I went and got us some McDonald's while we killed an hour. My wife was calling family members to try and make arrangements if we got stuck in either Anaheim or Dallas. What wasn't assuring us much was the fact the family sitting behind us in the airport had been trying to get out of Anaheim for 3 days and every flight they've tried to get on was canceled.

Our flight boarded and took off on it's new timeline. I passed out cold on the plane. This may not seem blog-worthy, but for me, this is very rare for me to sleep on a plane. I did get a few more of my Disney Podcasts listened to. Now that I've met Tim Devine from the Magical Definition Podcast, I must say that it gives new meaning to listening to that Podcast because one of the hosts is no longer a stranger.

Well, we get to Dallas and land and have no idea what the status of our next flight is. My brother's wife had left a message on my cellphone telling me that the airline's website was still listing the flight as being on time.

Well, we were given the gate number from the flight attendant on the plan and quickly got ourselves to the gate to find that we were delayed by 1.5 hours there too. So, it was McDonald's again for dinner (not many places were open).

Well, that 1.5 hours turned into 3 hours. In that 3 hours, someone decided to play diva and make a stink. What this person was making a stink about, my wife and I couldn't hear, but he got into a shouting match with another passenger shouting expletives and was striking poses that displayed his dissatisfaction. My wife swore he was exhibiting signs of withdrawal. He was constantly running his hands through his hair and making body movements that lead her to this hypothesis. I told her that he was just a model wanna-be (he was dressed in a very male model type of way) and was just a jerk.

Well, the plane showed up, we got on board some time around 1AM and were on our way. The only thing we didn't know was if our luggage was with us. With our luck, it would get lost coming back too.

Needless to say, we got to OKC safely. The final hurdle was to get the luggage. We were there awhile and were almost the last people to get our bags, but they got there safely.

We rode in the parking shuttle to our car and were home and in bed by 2AM......

Thus ends this Disneyland adventure.

I have almost 2600 pictures to dig through and the countdown begins for our WDW trip to Florida in September

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Disneyland Day 4 .... California Dreamin'

Today was the day we decided to bang out Disney's California Adventure (DCA). One of the perks of staying at a Disneyland resort is the fact that we get to use the entrance into DCA from the Grand Californian. Well, it's only a perk if you plan on going to the parks once DCA has opened. Otherwise, you can cut through the Grand Californian to get to Downtown Disney.

Well, it turns out that part of DCA opens 30 minutes prior to the official park opening. So we utilized the Grand Californian entrance to DCA and bypassed a line. Well, there were probably 5 people in front of us. Then we made our way to Condor Flats to see if we could get onto Soarin' without a wait. Sure enough, we walked right on. We didn't get our usual preferred seat of front-row center, but I found that I like being on the far right outside edge seat. I also got some good pics from the ride.

After we got off Soarin' we decided it was time to visit the Tower of Terror. It was at this point, that we discovered that only Condor Flats opened prior to 10AM. We were in a large crowd at the rope. So, for the first time, we are getting to participate in the ritual known as the "rope drop".

While waiting, we met a nice family. The husband happened to own the same camera as me and offered to take a picture of us. I think this was the first picture that had both of us in it. When the rope dropped, it was a mad dash to Tower of Terror.

It turns out the same family was going there too and the husband wasn't sure if he'd enjoy the ride due to the dropping and stuff. His young tween-age son was looking forward to it. My wife and I did our best to reassure the husband that he'll have a blast.

I barely had time to stash my camera in the protective bag before we were on the ride. It was a blast as usual. I typically ride the entire time with my hands in the air. Only the seatbelt keeps you attached to the ride. There are parts where my rear-end comes off the seat and you feel like you are free falling....awesome!

After exiting The Tower of Terror, we got our picture taken in front of the ride's sign and made our way to the Monster's Inc ride. This was a pretty cute dark-ride. It kind of told the story from the movie, but I enjoyed it.

After Monster's Inc., it was off to MuppetVision 3D. This is one of my favorite 3D movies and I never tire of seeing it. I took a few pictures inside the pre-show area, but it isn't as elaborately themed as I hear the one at MGM-Studios is themed (I didn't get to that one last time).

After Muppets it was a brisk walk to get fast passes for California Screamin'. This was the first time we decided to do a Fast Pass. California Screamin' is closed till 1PM each day to allow for construction of the new Toy Story Spin attraction. Due to this, the line to get on the roller coaster after 1PM is long.

After getting our fast passes, we did some shopping at the Point Mugu Tattoo shop where we met a very nice Cast Member. We purchased some T-Shirts that we just couldn't resist. Disneyland was also selling a $10 limited edition Pirates of the Caribbean 3 lithograph is you spent over $50, so we picked that up too.

After doing that quick bit of shopping (have I said how much my feet are hurting now), we went to get some ice cream from what we think is one of the best places for ice cream in all of Disneyland (both parks combined). That is the Catch a Flave Ice Cream stand near the Ariel's Grotto Character Meal restaurant. Yummy!

Then we migrated over to P.T. Flea's for some Pin purchases. We picked up some Disneyland specific pins for our collection.

Then we moved onto It's a Bug's Land. This was mainly a picture taking venture, but we decided to give Heimlich's Chew Chew Train a spin. It's definitely a kiddy ride, but so is everything in this land. We got a good chuckle out of it. The theming here is phenomenal. Lots of details were put everywhere to give you the impression that you were the size of a bug.

After finishing taking pictures here we decided to do the Mission Tortilla Factory Tour. The Cast Member at the Point Magu Tattoo Shop told my wife that if you have a Happy Birthday pin on they'll give you a free 12-pack of tortillas if you are wearing it.

Coming out of the Tortilla Factory we started wandering looking for a place to eat. I wasn’t in the mood for Californian cuisine. While wandering we ran into the High School Musical Pep Rally. My wife grabbed my camera and popped off a few good shots.

While trying to find something to eat, we ended up going to Downtown Disney. I wasn’t impressed with my choices because I wasn’t willing to pay those prices. While I scouted out the food choices, my wife did some looking and shopping at the Department 56 store. We have a Christmas Village from them and she was looking for additions. Fortunately, I escaped with only the purchase of a park bench.

We went back to our room, dropped off our bags and decided to consult the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland for some lunch ideas. Well, it’s not as detailed about food as the Walt Disney version is, so we decided to take our chances at Disneyland.

We returned to the parks, once again, via the Grand Californian entrance into DCA. We made sure we got our picture taken in front of the Kodak Photo Spot of a waterfall coming off the Grizzly Mountain. The photopass photographers came in handy for this.

We made our way to the River Belle Terrace for a couple sandwiches which were remarkably tasty and filling.

After that, we went to the Golden Horseshoe to take in Billy Hill and the Hillbillies which I wasn’t too eager to see. But, it was much better than I expected. Plus, I got to play around with taking some seriously zoomed in pictures because we sat in the balcony.

After the Golden Horseshoe, we crossed the street and got on the Mark Twain steamboat and took a spin around Tom Sawyer Island. I haven’t done this since I was in single digits so it was nice to do again.

After exiting the Mark Twain we made our way back to California Screamin’. This process involved stopping in various shops along Main Street USA to do some shopping.

The allure of the Disneyana store was too strong. We ended up going in there and dropped some cash. I finally found a Scrooge McDuck statuette from the Walt Disney Classics Collection (WDCC). I collect Scrooge McDuck and Grumpy Disneyana stuff. Scrooge is hard to come by and I just had to get this. In addition to that, we got a Jim Shore piece of Nurse Minnie for my wife, a statuette of Mickey & Minnie on a park bench, and a lithograph of Mickey drawing a picture of Walt while looking at himself in a mirror (called Self Portrait). This was our largest purchase to date on this trip. We decided to have it shipped back home and I must warn you that Disney’s shipping charges are steep, but you may not have a choice if you don’t have room in your bags and with our track record with American Airlines, I didn’t want to take any chances.

We got California Screamin’ out of the way and then headed back to the room. We were planning on meeting up with my sister-in-law, her husband and kids for the Electric Light Parade and wanted to get some rest.

Well, it turned out that we didn’t get much rest. Pretty much once we got back to the room we got the call that they were at the parks. So we headed back out. After some searching for each other, we met up outside the Monsters Inc, attraction. It’s one of my nephew’s, Collin, favorite. With him being autistic (among other things), he gets temperamental if he doesn’t get attractions in a particular order.

After we met up, Collin wanted to do the Paradise Pier Rockets. I’m not into rides that spin so I waited while the rest of the crew rode the thing. Afterwards, we went to Cucamonga Cucina for dinner. It took FOREVER. We made it to our seats for the Electric Light Parade just as it was starting.

I quickly setup my tripod (its maiden voyage) and started taking some pictures. I think I did a better job than the first time on Tuesday with Tim Devine helping me along. Only time will tell.

After the Electric Light Parade we all decided to go to bed. Getting out of the park was easier said than done. There was a huge log jam at the exit because people pretty much stopped moving in order to watch the fireworks that were going off at Disneyland at the time. Once the fireworks were over, we easily got out of DCA using the wheelchair exit.

We walked with my sister-in-law and her family to the tram (Collin’s FAVORITE “ride”) and they went to their home and we went back to the hotel.

Thus ends day 4 of our crazy adventure.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Disneyland Day 3 ..... The Day with the In Laws

Well, my wife's mom and her husband came into town for the dinner we had at the Napa Rose and had planned on spending the day with us today. We had an exciting day planned.

This day was an early admittance day for Disneyland Resort guests. So, we got up early. My wife showered and then we ran to the parks. We didn't get there quite at 7AM, but got there close. We were planning on meeting my mother-in-law and her husband for breakfast at 8AM.

My wife and I jumped on Peter Pan and got that out of the way. It was another checkmark on our master list of "must do" rides. After getting off Peter Pan we ran to the Matterhorn. It's a classic, but it's a very bumpy and jarring classic. I have to admit that it's been 2 or 3 years since I've ridden this ride, but it seems as if the ride has been cleaned up a bit. Plus, I didn't remember there being 2 Abominable Snowmen as I saw when I rode it this time.

By the time we got off this ride, my wife's phone was showing several missed phone calls from her mom. Apparently, they tried to see if their Annual Passes would've gotten them in early, but it didn't work. So, they were wanting us to run to the River Belle Terrace and order breakfast for all four of us. That way we wouldn't be late for our Tour.

We went to the River Belle Terrace and I got my usual pancakes, egg and sausage breakfast and my wife got the Mickey Mouse pancake.

After breakfast we needed to check-in for the "Walk in Walt's Footsteps" walking tour. I must say that this wasn't what I was expecting. After doing the "Keys to the Kingdom" tour at Walt Disney World in Orlando, this was anti-climatic.

If you aren't a Disney Fanatic who is subscribed to multiple podcasts and visits such Disney Communities such as Lou Mongello's Disney World Trivia, The Disney Geeks blog, Mouse Extra and various other sites (there are so many), you might actually learn something on the tour.

I was so, so, so bored, but I tried to keep it to myself. It's usually in the presence of my wife's family that my true Grumpy nature comes out. It's not deliberate, it just seems to happen that way.

I was already pretty familiar with everything we were being told and actually could expound on the details that were being given. To make matters worse we had a grandma on a motorized scooter that was just running people over and her grandson was asking inane questions to the tour guide ever 5 seconds. One thing that I did get to do that couldn't be satisfied by reading forum posts was getting to see the inside of the lobby of the elusive Club 33. By the way...... it's tiny.

We got a so-so lunch but the collectible pin was nice. After we got done with the 3.5 hour walking tour we got our tickets for our Preferred Seating for Fantasmic later that night.

After we got those details settled, my wife and I went back to our Hotel Room and her mom and husband went back to theirs. My wife took a quick nap before she had to meet her mom at the Spa at the Grand Californian for a Swedish Massage.

When she left for her massage, I went to Disney's California Adventure for a picture taking excursion. I killed a couple hours trying to find things to take pictures of to gain more experience with my camera.

Around 5:30PM, I met up with my mother-in-law's husband and we set out to figure out how to get checked in for the 9PM showing of Fantasmic!. I turned out that people started lining up at 6PM for a 7PM check-in time. We were 3rd in line, but the 2 people in front of me were representing 20 people. When you check-in you also pick which seats you want from a seating chart. We still got good front-row seats.

Before we got in line to check-in, we ate some Clam Chowder from New Orleans Square....yummy!

To kill time before the 9PM showing of Fantasmic! We went shopping. Well, my wife and her mom went shopping. I took pictures and annoyed everyone in my party because I "couldn't keep up"

We showed up at our Preferred Seating at 8:25PM and sat down. We were given a choice of drinks and a box of assorted desserts. The deserts were tasty, but not my speed. I'm strictly a chocolate dude! I had hot chocolate for my drink. Believe it or not, it was chilly and had been every night we were there.

I decided to give it a go with my 50mm lens that I bought. I tried with my other lens on the first night and most didn't turn out. This time it seems like I may have gotten a good shot or two, but I'll have to do some cropping to get it to look large enough.

After Fantasmic! was done, we were allowed to stay in the Preferred Seating area for the Fireworks. I didn't have my tripod but I was going to give it a go. I really won't know how those turned out until I get them onto a bigger monitor.

After the fireworks, we walked around a bit to allow the crowds at the entrance/exit to die down and then headed back to our room for some much needed rest.

By this time my feet are killing me!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Disneyland Day 2 ..... Roughing It

Well, we woke up bright and early (6:15AM) because we had a 7:10AM Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR) at Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel. I rubbed my eyes and hoped that the luggage incident was just a bad dream, but alas, it was not. We were going to get to go to breakfast in the clothes we trekked through the park in the previous day.....yeah for us!

We got to breakfast with time to spare. We decided to get the "Princess Bucket" for my wife's b-day. They sat us promptly and almost immediately we were seeing characters.....Goofy, Baloo, Dale, Princess Jasmine and Cindy herself.

The breakfast buffet was good and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes the typical breakfast/brunch fare. The Princess Bucket was very geared toward kids and we didn't really care since we knew we'd be giving it to our neice (my wife's sister's daughter). It had a cake in it that you had to dig through inches of icing in order to find the cake....yuck!

After Goofy's Kitchen we made our way to Disneyland via Downtown Disney. Once into the parks, we were met with relatively few lines due to the fact that the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage was the "people eater" of the day with queue lengths that got upwards of 4 HOURS long (you didn't read that wrong).

Ultimately, we are waiting for my wife's sister to come to the parks with her daughter. While we waited for the phone call we got the following rides crossed off our list:
  • Space Mountain
  • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • The World Famous Jungle Cruise
  • Winnie the Pooh
It was at this point that my wife decided it was time to head to Downtown Disney to attempt to purchase a bathing suit at Quicksilver. Her bathing suit is still being held captive with the rest of our clothes in our waylaid luggage.

While doing that crucial shopping, my sister-in-law joined us. After a suitable suit (sorry bad pun) was found, we all went back to the hotel room. Once everyone was settled, I headed back to the parks to meet up with Tim Devine (The Magic in Pixels) while my wife remained at the hotel with her sister and niece and they partook in the wonderful pool facilities of our hotel.

We joined back up at the Sleeping Beauty Castle. I had mentioned something about not knowing where Ariel's Grotto was and Tim took me there and a couple pictures had to be taken.

From there we (his family and me) went to the Enchanted Tiki Room. This is always a joy for me. It has a catchy tune that drills into your skull like "It's a Small World". Not only that, you are in a large room with great air conditioning. I must say though that the conditions are ripe for accidentally falling asleep. Well, if you can block out the noise of all those singing tropical birds who occasionally drop a bad pun or two

After The Tiki Room, we headed over to Adventure Land where Tim and I hopped on the Jungle Cruise. Yes, I know I had just done it earlier in the day, but this is Tim Devine people. It's a different experience to hop on a ride with a photographer. I can tell you that Tim doesn't let a little rope stop him from getting pictures....haha.

Riding the Jungle Cruise with Tim was a real treat. He really liked heckling the Skippers with his best Ed McMahon impression. I tried to join in hoping we could get the entire boat into the act, but it wasn't to be.

After Tim and I were done with the Jungle Cruise, my wife had worked her way over to Adventureland and joined us dragging her niece along for the ride. Apparently, her sister needed to go pick up our nephew from school and my wife offered to watch our niece at Disneyland to try and garner a bit of Aunt/Niece time.

From there we went to New Orleans Square. My wife and niece were desperately in need of nourishment. Tim met up with his wife and son there because they had found some good shade to hide in while Tim's son caught some z's. That sure is the life. You have your health, you get pushed around in a stroller, and you can fall asleep whenever the urge hits you.

Tim and his family waited until we were done (well, they took in the Haunted Mansion since the line was short).

Shortly after we finished eating we decided to all go on Winnie Pooh again (always a crowd pleasure for the little tikes). After getting off Pooh we were having to meet up with my wife's sister and her son, Collin.

Collin is severely disabled with a rare genetic disorder. Due to his condition and the fact that he was deemed terminal at birth, Disneyland has given him what has been referred to as "The Greenlight Pass". To the more crass, it could be called the "Ultimate Fast Pass". It takes you straight to the front of the line.

So, we decided that since Collin was having a good day (he is severly sensitive to the sun and it will cause him to have seizures if he gets too much), we should use the time to get onto the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. My sister-in-law got me, my wife, her kids, and Tim and his family on the Nemo Submarine Ride. Tim, as usual, got some great shots of the action outside the sub. I on the other hand, only walked out with a great shot of Collin enjoying the ride.

At this point, it was time for us to part ways. Tim was needing to head back to places abroad (aka outside Disney property) and his kid was starting to get fussy (it was hot). So we shook hands and did our own thing.

From there, we went to Buzz Lightyear again. This time, I didn't participate and took photos. We allowed our niece to ride with us and by my not participating, it allowed her to use my raygun and try her best to beat my wife.

After Buzz, we went to Dumbo. In addition to Collin's sensitivity to sun, Collin is also Autistic and if you don't ride certain attractions in a particular order he really gets anxious and it sometimes makes things difficult. I hate rides that spin. So, I chose to stay grounded and tried to take pictures while the others enjoyed the spinning joy of Dumbo.

After Dumbo, it was the King Arthur Carrousel. Once again, a spinning ride. So I stood outside and took pictures.

After that, it was back to "Its a Small World". I once again. got some good shots. This ride just has so much to see that you could probably ride it a couple dozen times and set up new shots each time.

After we got off "It's a Small World", my sister-in-law's husband called and wanted to know if our luggage was found. We didn't know, so I ran back (literally ran) from "It's a Small World" to our hotel. Once back, the bell staff told us that our luggage was still not there and they have a note to look out for it.

I called my wife to let her know the sitch (see Kim Possible) and she was amazed how quickly I had gotten back (as I said, I ran....thank you gym membership).

I decided to go to the room while I waited for my wife to get back from the parks. As I got in the elevator and went to push the button a kid decided to kick me in the shins and punch me in the stomach and yelled, "NO! I want to do it". The mom just looked at me with a combined "What do you want me to do" and "I'm so sorry" look and yanked him back by the collar of his shirt. I reached out again and he threw a bigger fit. Eventually, after sitting there for what seemed like forever in a hot stuffy elevator, the young man pushed all the correct buttons (there were other people cowered in the corner waiting to leave as well). Now I know why there were so many people standing outside the elevator despite the fact there was plenty of room on the elevator.

Well, this night was supposed to be our night to go to the Napa Rose for dinner. We still had no luggage and after an hour on the phone with American Airlines, they not only cannot tell me why my bags still haven't made it to Anaheim, they also can no longer tell me where my bags are. So, now they went from purposely delayed to being lost.

Well, it just so happened that my brother-in-law took it upon himself to go over to the baggage claim area of Santa Ana airport. As I was hanging up with the American Airlines people, he called my wife to say that he found our luggage. Apparently, our bags were amongst hundreds of other bags that were just stacked in the open space of the baggage claim area. He popped his head into the American Airline baggage area and told them he was taking the bags, but they didn't ask for proof he was me.

Well, my brother-in-law came through. He took the bags to his house where my sister-in-law threw them into the car and brought them with her since she was going to dinner with us. We had to rush really quick to get dressed (we had already showered) and we had to push our dinner back an hour (the people at Napa Rose were very understanding).

The food was FANTASTIC and the atmosphere was really nice. I'd recommend the Napa Rose to others as well.

After dinner, we all went our separate ways and went to bed.....

My wife and I were dreaming of clean socks and under garmets....haha