If you've never been to Disneyland, here's the lay of the land:
Downtown Disney: An outdoor shopping strip filled with overpriced Disney-themed paraphernalia and family dining establishments, located just outside of the park. It's open to the public and you don't need tickets to get in.
Disneyland: The real deal Holyfield. This is the main attraction where you see giant characters darting in and out of unmarked doors, trying to get from one location to another without getting mauled by a thousand sweaty little kids. The themes within the park include Main Street USA, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland, Toontown, and New Orleans Square.
California Adventure: A more laid-back, less-populated theme park directly across from Disneyland. The themes are comprised of locations throughout California, like the Santa Cruz boardwalk, Cannery Row in San Francisco, Napa Valley, etc.
Since I took approximately 84,000 photos during our visit to all three locations, I can pretty much guarantee this post is going to be 95% photo dump. And because I have so many pictures to post, I'll most likely break it up into three entries.
So, while I realize I may lose some of you with the boring-lovey-dovey-sweet-family stuff, I'm okay with it because this is more like one of those personal "journal" type entries. Hopefully, you can follow along and appreciate what it's like to be at the happiest place on earth.
Exiting the freeway, we got turned around and somehow missed the huge signs saying "DOWNTOWN DISNEY - RIGHT TWO LANES". To get us back on track, I pulled up mapquest on my phone. Only stupid mapquest rerouted us to Disney, Oklahoma.
Needless to say, I figured that one out when I saw that according to mapquest, Disneyland was only 1,500 miles.
We got to Anaheim around 1:30pm and met up Boyfriend's sister and her family for lunch at The Rainforest Cafe.
I got a cheeseburger and INHALED it.
The bun was pretty sorry looking, but my mouth didn't care.
From there, we hit up the much-anticipated "Build-A-Bear" store.
The girls typing in their new Build-A-Bear's "birth certificate".
While we were there, we saw a girl who was shopping for hats for her mini pig.
He was my favorite Build-A-Bear.
The hotel we stayed at is called The Anabella. I would HIGHLY recommend it to fellow Disneyland visitors. It's located one block from the park, and there's a nicely landscaped walkway straight to Downtown Disney. Both Boyfriend and I thought the beds were super comfy, the exterior of the hotel was nicely landscaped with lush plants, and the rooms were very affordable (especially compared to the Disney hotels). The only downside I noticed was the couch- it's not very cushy and you can feel every spring. But that's because it's a pull-out couch. And also, it was really just the little girls who were sitting on the couch anyway and they're young enough to tough it out.
The girls slept in the alcove bed around the corner.
Dressing space separate from the bathroom.
The garden outside of our rooms.
The hotel grounds.
Since we didn't have park tickets for Sunday, we all just relaxed at the hotel pool that first evening.
And by "all", I mean Vicki and I relaxed while the dads provided water transportation services all around the pool.
That night, we had dinner at the hotel restaurant, Tangerine. Pearl wore a princess dress and I ordered a vegetable sandwich loaded with goat cheese. Neither is very surprising.
Worth noting: The hotel restaurant has a DELICIOUS, fruity cocktail called The Tangerita (I think...). If you go there, order it.
After dinner, everyone was pooped. So we all headed back to our rooms and called it a night.
Next post: Disneyland!!!