Thursday, May 25, 2017

Disneyland Days

Today I'm super excited to share with y'all all of our pictures from our first day at the Disneyland parks! We spent the whole day at the original Disneyland park and had an amazing time. If you didn't already get to see, I posted all the pictures from our character breakfast here last week! 

Since we had the character breakfast reservations, we were able to get into the park an hour early to enjoy the extra magic hour that the Disneyland resort guests got as a part of their stay! We took advantage of it by snapping some Walt, Mickey and Castle pics before the crowds came!

We also went over to Tomorrowland to ride the Buzz Lightyear ride and the Astro Orbiter with no lines at all! Then it was time to visit Minnie and her friends and eat lots of yummy brunch food!

After breakfast we hit Hyperspace Mountain to grab some Fast Passes for later in the day! {In case you didn't know, Disneyland still has the original FastPass system where you have to go to the FastPass system to get your ticket, unlike Disney World where you can prebook your FastPasses!} Then we decided to hit up some rides. By this time, the lines were already getting kind of long. It was definitely busier than we anticipated!

Even though the lines were longer, we found some fun ways to keep Chloe entertained and having lots of fun! Our first ride was the Storybook Land Canal Boats! This isn't a ride that's at Disney World so I knew I wanted to ride it!

Chloe really liked the boat ride and I loved seeing the miniature scales of some of our favorite movie sets! I mean, take a look at Arendale below!

Afterwards, we hopped into line for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride! Again, not at Disney World, so I had to ride it! Chloe wasn't exactly impressed. The entire time we were in line she was staring at the carousel begging for the horsies. Once we did the ride, she wanted out! It was dark and there are lots of walls that move quickly to let you through while seeming like you busted through it. I loved it, but Chlo, not so much so we decided to do something just for her next!

Entering Mickey's Toontown! Chloe loved playing at Mickey's Toontown! First we saw Pluto running around so we had to follow him around. Instead of standing in a line to meet him, Pluto runs around from place to place and the line just kind of follows him. It was kind of fun and entertaining to see what he would do next. Chloe thought it was hilarious and love meeting him!

He balanced her autograph book on his nose which had Chloe cracking up. Which was impressive because Chloe became very attached to this book and didn't want anyone touching it but her!

Next up, Goofy! Also known as "Goofo" in the Gougler house. After doing so awesome with Pluto, I thought Goofy would be easy, but she was kind of timid. He is kind of big so I don't blame her too much.

But like always, as we were about to leave, she was all about Goofy! She wanted to give him high fives and wave bye-bye. At least we were able to get these adorable shots. And then she talked all about Goofy and Pluto the rest of the day!

Once we met Pluto and Goofy, we walked around and played in Toontown for another 30 minutes to let Chloe get some energy out and wander around an area that wasn't so crowded or overstimulating. Then I knew we just needed to go ride the horsies!

It was only a 15 minute wait and Chloe was the most excited she had been all day! She had the biggest smiles of pure joy while we were riding, and Daddy was able to snap some super cute pictures of us!

We also rode the Pinocchio ride and walked through Aurora's Castle while we were hanging out in the area! You know what else was in the area? Princesses!!!

I know she doesn't look the most excited in these pictures, but she was so funny. She knows Ariel and kept saying "Olial" and hi, but Cinderella was the best! She was bossing Cindy around so hard!

We told Chloe to give Cinderella her autograph book, so she did, but then she immediately demanded that Cinderella give it back! She held her hand out and babbled at her the whole time she was signing, and I couldn't help but just stand there and laugh.

Last we got to say hi to Snow White who noticed that Chloe was quite small like her dwarves!

Next up it was time to use our FastPasses for the Matterhorn. Since we had to go individually, we thought it was the perfect time to try and get Chloe to sleep. Ha yeah right. I rode first and came back to a very awake, very fussy Chlo. While JP went on the ride, I decided to wear her in my Tula. After she screamed bloody murder for about 5 minutes, I finally got her to sleep!

Since baby girl was alseep, we decided to attempt lunchtime in Frontierland! We got to take a break and eat while Chloe napped. I was able to transfer her to the stroller while JP got us some food. Plus, while we were in the area, we grabbed FastPasses for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Chloe slept through our lunch and stayed asleep for a little over an hour. I'll take it! We walked around hoping to ride Haunted Mansion or Pirates, but the lines were over an hour long. Nope. We decided to just pass and walk around instead. This led us to our balloon! I've always wanted a Mickey balloon and Chloe was obsessed with them, so JP caved and bought one for us.

Chloe originally asked for yellow, then when she saw it, she goes, "No purple!" Once she saw the purple one her eyes lit up. It was a great purchase because it kept Chloe entertained and it helped us find our stroller everywhere.

Later in the day we got to use our Hyperspace Mountain FastPasses, but the ride shut down! Luckily, an hour later it was back up and running. We rode another ride and then it was back up. Did y'all know that Hyperspace Mountain is now Star Wars themed? They renovated the ride and it's super different and cool! I really enjoyed the changes. I also enjoyed being able to wait in the shade at a nearby restaurant while we were taking turns riding. Chloe had space to play too, which she loved. Who knew that letting her climb on and off a chair would be the greatest thing?

It was SOOOOO crowded in the late afternoon/early evening. Like crazy. We just kind of walked around and tried to ride a couple of things, but for some reason both of them were shut down at the time! It was kind of a bummer, but we were able to catch the end of Mickey's Soundsational Parade before going back to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

After that we were pretty beat, it was about 6:30pm, I had to be up at 3:30am and we had been at the park for 10 hours with a toddler. We wanted to stay for the Main Street Electrical Parade, but that just wasn't going to happen. We did manage to get something even better though. Another chance with Minnie!

This time, Chloe was obsessed! She gave Minnie the biggest up and even blew her kisses. It was so sweet, and it was easily the best part of my day.

But to make things even better, we found Mickey too! Actually we waited an extra 15 minutes to see Mickey because he wasn't out as we were leaving. Since she did so well with Minnie and was asking about Mickey, we had to wait!

Best decision ever! She gave him kisses and smiled her biggest and best smile all day!

If that smile isn't pure joy, I don't know what is?! Definitely the best ending to a very magical day at Disney!

What is your favorite part about the Disney parks? Rides, characters, food?
Mine is definitely meeting the characters...with or without kids!

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Ouch all over!

Today I was going to share our adventures at Disneyland, but I'm having a little bit of trouble with my Photopass pictures! I don't want to share without them because it has our princess and character pictures. Those are kind of a big deal to me, so Disney will have to wait. Instead I'm going complain. Yup, you read that right. I'm complaining today.

I hurt all over.

I actually can't think of a body part that doesn't hurt! Here's why...

On Friday I took my first tumbling class in years. I hadn't done a back handspring since before I got pregnant with Chloe. That was 3 years ago! The class was amazing and I can't wait to go back again this Friday. Not only did I do a back handspring, but I can still do a standing back flip and a round off back handspring back. This is kind of a big deal for this almost 30 year old! I didn't know I had it in me. In fact, I was scared to do anything at first. After my first spot, I was hooked and I knew I could do it. I went to class with my friend Macey who I actually started cheering with when I was 10 and in 6th grade. We cheered together and were best friends through high school. 

Me on the fast left and Macey is right next to me!

When we went to different colleges, we just completely drifted apart. It's kind of sad actually! Luckily, Macey reached out to me while we were both pregnant with our girls and we've gotten closer ever since. It's actually really cool and I'm so thankful for the friendship that we've rekindled. Starting this tumbling class together has been great and I seriously can't wait to go back. It brings me so much joy! I'm hoping to get a few pictures or videos to show y'all soon!

Okay, so the tumbling wasn't just it. Not only did I tumble on Friday, but Saturday I competed in my first Spartan race. I fully intend to recap the whole race later. Today I'm simply complaining about how my body hurts everywhere. 

The last obstacle course race I did was before I got pregnant with Chloe. Do you see a common thread here? Two incredibly physically taxing events back to back. Yeah, I hurt all over. I'm not as young as I once was, but I'm still young enough to do it and conquer it! Let's just say this, the race was amazing and I feel super accomplished for finishing. I didn't complete every obstacle, but I did all my burpees to make up for it!

Of course I'm not hooked again, and despite the fact that my body hurts more than it has possibly ever, I want to do more! The whole tumbling then racing back to back was probably not the smartest idea I've ever had, but I wouldn't do it differently. I'm so excited to see what is next for both!

A big thanks to all of these guys for helping me through the obstacles, pushing me over walls, holding me up, catching me and even sharing some of my burpees! Y'all are rockstars and a great support!

Now today I get to go to work. I'm hoping my cycle class helps me to loosen up a bit! Happy Monday y'all!

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Breakfast with Minnie and Friends!

Our first morning at Disneyland we had a big surprise for Chloe, breakfast with Minnie and friends! Our reservation was at 8:50am and the park didn't open until 9:00am, so we were able to get in for extra magic hours with the hotel guests! How cool is that? We slipped in at 8:15 and were able to snap some pictures and jump on a couple of rides before going to breakfast. I'll catch y'all up on that when I recap our day at Disneyland. today we're just going to look back at our time with Minnie and her friends!

When we first checked in, we were able to meet Minnie right away! Chloe was really excited, but also sort of scared and VERY hungry. Girlfriend just wanted to eat. Because she is a lot like her mom and gets the hangries pretty bad, her visit with Minnie wasn't quite like we expected. {Spoiler Alert: We met Minnie again later in the day and it was amazing!}

Instead of lingering and trying to get this girl to smile, we decided to get her some Mickey waffles and other delicious carbs! Getting food in her little belly was the best decision. She was much happier, but still kind of scared of the characters. Can you blame her? They're kind of a lot bigger than expected. Don't worry, this momma wasn't scared and I soaked up every minute with all of my Disney buddies.

After we started eating, the characters started coming to visit! First up, Eeyore! As you can see below, it didn't go well. She was terrified of Eeyore and I think it hurt his feelings a little bit! JP was off getting us some coffee, so I didn't get a picture with him, but I did manage to catch this gem of Chloe attempting to escape.

 We still got his autograph! I bought Chloe a special autograph book before we got to Disney for all of her signatures. I hope to keep it through the years and label which parks and what years she got the signatures! I hope to tape a few pictures in there too!

Speaking of signatures, here's a look at Capitan Hook using me as a table to sign Chloe's book!

Chloe was fearing for my life while I hung out with Hook. She was so concerned, but I can't blame her because let's be real, he's kind of terrifying. I gave him a hug to show Chloe that he was okay and then we got our awesome Hook pic.

We had a little lul for a bit which gave us some time to eat and enjoy the day. I mean, look at this view! What a gorgeous morning it was!

A little bit later, Pooh came to see us! For the first time, Chloe wasn't scared. In fact, she was interested in him. She kept saying, a bear, a bear! She has seen bears at the zoo, so maybe she knows that bears are supposed to be big? Either way, she liked Pooh a lot. She was petting him and gave him high fives! We even got a "cheese" out of her!

Next up was Pinocchio. Since he looks slightly more human, Chloe was okay with him. She was at least willing to snuggle mommy while saying hello!

Then she warmed up some more and gave him a high five! Fun fact: When I was little, I loved Pinocchio! I couldn't say his name though, so I called him Pochanoia. At least that's how I would spell it based on my pronunciation!

Rafiki came by next and Chloe was all about him. I think that's kind of hilarious since he's kind of terrifying! I guess after meeting several characters, they became less scary. She handed Rafiki her book all by herself! Then she even took a picture next to him. I guess Rafiki really does have a thing with little ones. He did show baby Simba off to the Pridelands after all!

Our last friend to stop by was Dale! No chip though, just Dale hanging out without his brother. Chloe knows of Chip and Dale from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and I'm pretty sure he was much bigger than she expected! She couldn't stop staring at him though.

Overall, I'm so glad that we were able to do the character breakfast! It was a great start to our morning and it introduced Chloe to all the characters early on. Later when we met some of her favorites, she was excited instead of scared.

The food was pretty good! I'm a sucker for Mickey waffles and all sorts of carbs for breakfast. The character breakfast is a buffet with all sorts of foods: waffles, various fresh fruit, eggs, sausage, bacon, pastries and even an omelet station! We all got more than enough to eat and we were able to fill up Chloe's snack cup with some Fruit Loops as a special treat for later.

I highly recommend spending a little extra for the character meals. Breakfast is definitely my favorite time, but I've done lunch meets as well which were just at special!

Next week I plan on sharing the rest of our trip and a recap of my race! I hope y'all have a magical weekend. Happy Friday y'all!

Have you done a character meal at Disney?
Who is your favorite Disney character to meet? Mine is totally Rapunzel!

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Back from Disneyland!

It's me! I'm back and alive and well! We survived our whirlwind weekend at Disneyland, and I'm crazy enough to want to go back and do it all over again. We had a great experience and we're completely exhausted. In fact, Chloe slept in until 11:15am yesterday morning! I mean, she went to bed after 10pm Monday night, but that baby can sleep.

This little girl did such a great job considering just how out of her element she was all weekend. Our flight to Anaheim was great! Chloe watched Frozen, colored in her new color wonder book, read her Mickey's Road Trip book, ate lots of ice and snuggled. She slept for about 30 minutes on the plane, not a ton, but honestly, more than I expected!

We flew into John Wayne airport which was WAYYY better than flying into LAX. It's a much smaller airport, our bags came out instantly, and it was only a 20 minute Uber ride to our hotel.

After getting settled at the hotel, we hopped on the ART {Anaheim Resort Transit} bus to head to Downtown Disney! Since I was running the Tinkerbell half, transportation was free for the weekend. That saved us $15 per person! Not a ton, but ever dollar saved counts if you ask me. We were able to use the bus very easily all weekend. The only time we decided to walk {we were just over a mile away from the parks} was the morning after the race because traffic was terrible because of road closures from the race!

We walked through Downtown Disney and headed straight to the Disneyland Hotel to visit the race expo. I'm glad the expo was there because I wouldn't have gotten to see the hotel if it wasn't! Walking by the pool was awesome {It's monorail themed with half a dozen separate smaller pools. Super cool!} and we got to stop by Trader Sam's Tiki Bar. The actual expo itself was in the basement and the ballroom. It was definitely smaller than the expo at Disney World, but still bigger than I expected!

We picked up my bib and race packet, snapped some pictures, walked around browsing the shops and picking up freebies. Chloe started getting fussy and tired, so we decided to head back out to Downtown Disney hoping that she may fall asleep in her stroller. It didn't happen. Of course it didn't happen.

Instead we had to just keep that little girl going and entertained to get through the rest of the day! We played in the World of Disney Store where Chloe found lots of things to love! She was obsessed with the Tigger and Dumbo stuffed animals which is hilarious because she doesn't really know who they are! Well, she knows Tigger some from Disney Junior and Dumbo from the ride. Pretty much she just loves animals so much. We were able to escape without buying one because this momma had a trick up her sleeve! I bought a brand new, tags still on Minnie Mouse from a resale shop for only $10 that I was able to give to her when we got there. Minnie is one of her favorites, so I knew it would be a hit.

We had dinner at Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria which was delicious! We started with the fried calamari and then shared a pizza. They let you split the pizza with two different toppings which is perfect for JP and me because we like totally different things. We had a really awesome waiter that played with Chloe, gave her stickers and tried to tell her jokes even though she's too young for them.

It was an overwhelming, but fun first day in California. The time change definitely rocked our world a little bit, so we decided to call it a day kind of early. We were all in bed by about 8:30, which was 10:30pm at our defense! Plus we had an early morning Saturday. We were starting Chloe's Disney adventure off right by having breakfast with Minnie and friends!

Stick around for more of our Disneyland adventures! Next up is our full, fun day at Disneyland Park!

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