Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Two months ago we took all 7 kids on a surprise vacation to California.  Spence and I stayed up ALL night long the night before packing ourselves and our kids so we could pull off the surprise the following morning.  We had only told Kes and Ash since we knew they would need to make work and school arrangements.  The younger kids had NO idea.  They thought they were all ready fro school, but we told them we weren't going to school that day, we were leaving on vacation RIGHT NOW!  They were SOOOOO excited.  I got it on video, but I hate blogger because it always has some issue with uploading.  Grrrrrr.......   Anyway, we didn't tell them where we were going, just that we had packed their suitcases and we needed to load the car and start driving...

So off we went.  As we got closer to the airport, they were joking about how it would be so cool to fly somewhere...  They almost passed out when I pulled into the parking area of the airport.  So we got on the parking shuttle and got into the airport - they still didn't know where we were going.  We managed to get everyone through security (major accomplishment!) and walked to our gate.  We had to wait a bit for our flight and they finally begged us to know where they were going.  We said CALIFORNIA!!!!!  They cheered!  People around us were laughing.... 

Several of the kids had never flown before and the others were much younger the last time they were on a plane, so just flying there was a huge part of the whole trip experience.  They were nervous, but LOVED it.  Ryder was pretty good, but wanted to get down and crawl around, so he was a bit wiggly.

Hallie and Audrey waiting for take-off.

Once we landed, found out shuttle to the hotel and got settled, it was off to Disneyland! We spent 5 days at Disneyland and California Adventure...

Our walk from the hotel to the Main Gate.

Splash Mountain - You can only see Kes and Ash, but me, Dallin, and Hallie are in there too!
Splash Mountain - I don't know these weirdos
Space Mountain - Kes and Audrey, Ash and Hallie
Splash Mountain - Ash, Max, Audrey, Kes, Hallie, and Spence
Tower of Terror - Spence, Audrey, Kes, Hallie, and me.  The little girls were terrified, but ended up LOVING this ride!
California Screamer - Dallin, Max, Ash, and Kes
Waiting in line for Pirates of the Caribbean - our 1st ride!
Dallin and Ryder

Kids in California Adventure
Cruella with Max and Dallin
Cruella with Kes, Ash, Hallie and Audrey

Spence and I in California Adventure
Ryder: "Get me out of here and take me to Disneyland!"
Rainforest Cafe
Happy Birthday Max
Box of trouble...
Kes, Ash, Max and Hallie in the Ferris Wheel
Spence, me, Ryder, Dallin and Audrey sitting across in the Ferris Wheel
Hallie and Audrey with Cinderella's Fairy Godmother and Mouse - they were SOOOO excited!
Teacups - Kes, Hallie and Audrey
We ♥ Disneyland!!!
We rented 2 cars one day and took all the kids to Newport Beach.  It was a little cool, but they didn't care.  We sat on the beach, waded in the freezing cold water, walked out on the pier, ate lunch, and shopped.  SO glad we did this!!!

Spence and Ryder
Ryder and me
Can we move here???

Newport Beach
our family on Newport Beach Pier
Eating lunch at the beach

Ash (she's a sand mermaid)
Our spot on the beach