This post is a bit behind its time but it is an important one. We enjoyed a wonderful extended family vacation over the long Thanksgiving weekend in Anaheim, California. Everyone drove on Wednesday and then we met up at the large, historical house I had rented in time for a birthday celebration and a Thanksgiving dinner courtesy of Mimi's Cafe. Our birthday girl was very excited!
Her father made this photo collage of our fun Wednesday evening.
The next morning, early, we had made it to the happiest place on earth. We spent Thursday in California Adventure and Friday in Disneyland.
It was so much fun to see all my grands and their parents having such a good time.
Or at least a very exciting time.
Part of my goal was to have cousin time. Lots of cousin time. I love that they enjoy each other.
Part of the fun was the prep my daughter and daughter in laws had done in advance. Each grand had a lanyard and some Disney pins to trade. They loved it and so did I, so before the day was over I had my own lanyard and some pins. Seriously, so fun!
We went to California Adventure first partly because we thought it might be the better day to get fast passes for the cars' ride. We picked up our passes first thing in the morning and rode and raced in the afternoon.
The little ones hung out with grandpa and grandma while their parents and siblings rode the big rides.
We all loved California Soarin'.
We also enjoyed how everything was decorated for Christmas. The evening show was wonderful with Frozen themes of course, Christmas carols, and real snow flakes. And yes, it was a bit nippy.
I love the Disney magic in this place. That is my Glen on the main street in California Adventure where there were actual gray clouds but a different camera focus and it was a bright sunny day with the street seeming to go on forever.
I have a shot similar to this taken 25 years ago on a family trip to Disneyland over Spring Break.
It felt a bit like coming full circle.
It was Disneyland's Diamond Anniversary. It is approximately my age.
Opal loved all the Disney characters.
And of course, the castle.
Warren spent some time with his grandparents. Grandpa Glen and he had fun in the tree house.
Ray's Disney pins.
My son, David, wore a shirt made for his father by his grandma over 40 years ago. My first trip to Disneyland came after I became engaged to Glen and he wore that very shirt. Once again, we came full circle.
I think we can all say it was a happy place.
The home we rented was just a mile and a half north of Disneyland. It was a very easy ride to the parking structure and had six rooms for sleeping and a big space for visiting.
It was built in 1908 and was a bit quirky but fun with a great backyard with lots of space to get those wiggles out.
The family with the newest baby did not join us, but there are 11 of our 13 grandchildren on the balcony.
On Saturday, Grandpa Glen led the way to Hawthorne and the California beaches where he spent his childhood. They saw his home, his school and high school, his church, the corner store where his mother sent him for the missing ingredient for dinner, and the baseball and football fields where he spent so much time. He told stories I had never heard before and the grands loved them.
Our final stop was the Redondo Beach Pier where the sun was setting while we ate fried clams, just like he and I used to do when we were newlyweds.
It was the perfect ending to a wonderful family vacation.
Meeting this man at BYU certainly led to new adventures for me.
As the sun went down I took pictures of my middle son's family. One of these pictures is not quite like the other, but cousins are most always included :)
As we walked back to the parking lot I couldn't resist this one last shot of Grandpa Glen with his older grands as he continued to tell his stories. It was a wonderful California Adventure and History tour!
Note: This grandma borrowed heavily from photos shared and taken by her children.