Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas at home

The week of Christmas we went to Utah with Jacob's parents to attend the wedding of Gordon, Jacob's cousin. We left at 5am Monday, eating a McDonald's breakfast and Wendy's lunch. We arrived at the Little America hotel at around 3, and checked into some nice rooms across from each other. 

After settling in and checking out the hotel, we had dinner at P.F. Chang's.

The following morning Jacob's mom's back was hurting, so we took the kids to City Creek mall and shopped around a bit. 

Tyler and Elise got to meet the coolest Santa and his wife, after we had bought a shirt and some soda and chocolates. 

Tyler wouldn't say what he wanted for Christmas to Santa, but said a made up word instead. We had lunch from a steak sandwich place and D'Barros pizza, then hurried back to the hotel to go to the wedding. After the pictures, there was very little downtime before the hot chocolate bar for the reception opened, so we took our kids with us (only children of immediate family was technically allowed -- given the ages of the reception guests, this pretty much just excluded our kids =/). Gordon solved our kid issue by letting us use the parlor for the hot chocolate bar during the main reception - Jacob's mom stayed there with the kids while we ate upstairs.

Families are Forever!

Cold but so happy!


After having dessert with the kids and Momma Hobbs we walked around temple square and looked at lights while Jacob and his dad attended the toasts and farewells of the reception. By the time it was all over, it was late and we headed back to the hotel.

She didn't like the wet snow too much

The Nativity was breathtaking!

So happy to be with Grandma!

Wednesday morning we left early because of a bad storm that was passing through, but not before Jacob and his parents got a huge, free breakfast to go from the buffet because his parents' shower was cold one afternoon and evening. We had biscuits and gravy, potatoes and sausage and bacon, fruit, rolls, orange juice, and omelettes. The storm was treacherous and going home took 16 hours. At Monticello we stopped for several minutes because of how snowy it was, and in Pleasant View (30 minutes before Cortez), there was a 6 semi, 12 car accident that we were delayed 2 hours by. The accident happened only 10-15 minutes before we got there.

Scary Drive home!

The snow was beautiful!

Elise slept a lot of the way

Family Dollar parking lot. 

Christmas Eve we ordered Papa John's for us and Shauna's family. The sister missionaries from the Manzano branch had their dinner fall through, so we had Sister Gibbons and Sister Fristrup ate with us. Dinner ran later than expected, and we rushed to make it on time to see the River of Lights. Our bus driver pretended the lights in the bus wouldn't turn off, but turned them off once the tour began. It was honestly kind of boring. However, on the ride Tyler explained to Jacob that the reason he wouldn't tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas is we didn't make a list and send it to him. He wanted a Polar Express toy train. We rushed to Toys 'R' Us to find it before they closed, but all trains had been sold out for a week. We finished the evening at the cemetery.

Christmas Day, we slept in.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas at Disneyland

We took a trip to Disneyland the first week in December, because it is my favorite vacation spot. On Tuesday morning (December 1), I flew with Tyler and my brothers and dad with a stop in Phoenix, where Tyler was invited to sit in the cockpit of our first plane. He had so much fun!

 My future pilot!

Meanwhile, Jacob flew with Elise on a direct flight to Los Angeles. Our shuttle was 30 minutes late, but we still checked into our hotel and I was taking photos of the giant christmas tree on the Disneyland side with Elise before 11am. Jacob and Tyler started on the California Adventure side to get fast passes to the Cars ride for later, and we shortly joined them and went to Grizzly Mountain.  I took Elise to the Little Mermaid ride since she couldn't do Grizzly Mountain, and Tyler did Grizzly Mountain a few  times. Jacob and I also got passes for Soarin' Over California and tickets for the water shows that evening. Jacob realized he lost the camcorder at some point, and realized it had been left in the fast pass area for Soarin' Over California and was being held by the ride attendants. Good thing we recovered it!
 Walt Disney statue


 Tyler was so excited to meet Mater!

We did Soarin' Over California after some more Little Mermaid and Grizzly Mountain, while Jeremy watched Elise. Then I did it again with my brothers and dad as Jacob watched a mickey show with Elise, then around 1pm we headed took the tram back towards downtown (Jacob followed with the stroller) for lunch at Earl of Sandwich. Tyler shared mini hot dogs with Elise from Wetzel's Pretzel's -- a frequent stop over the next few days. After lunch (around 2:30), we went to the Disneyland side via the train that is by Earl of Sandwich, where Elise got to drive an Autopia car  and Tyler too. We bought minnie mouse ears for Elise. That evening we returned to Cars Land where Tyler got to ride twice. Then we walked to The Pizza Press where we ordered individual-sized pizzas. Tyler didn't like his, and he and Elise were fussy, so I walked home after getting my pizza, with Elise and Tyler. Jeremy followed soon afterward. Jacob, Justin, and my dad stayed to eat their pizzas before leaving.

Wednesday morning (December 2), Jacob went with Tyler to get Cars ride passes, where they also rode the Cars ride once and Grizzly mountain before meeting with us on the Disneyland side. Meanwhile we rode on Big Thunder Mountain and then went to the Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain. We had lunch (and a show) at the Golden Horseshoe, where Jacob also got us Dole Whips from the Tiki Juice Bar. We got souvenir popcorn and Tyler and Elise had chicken fingers from the Golden Horseshoe. Jacob later had a Cheese Dog from Wetzel's. That evening we bought Chinese food near our hotel ("Panda Kitchen") for Tyler.

 Anna & Elsa were so sweet!


 The Winnie the Pooh ride was Elise's favorite!

 Driving around!
 Tyler's favorite ride!
 Cars Land!

The Board Walk at California Adventure

Thursday (December 3) we ate at Tortilla Joe's, where Jeremy thought the girl preparing the fresh guacamole was attractive. Tyler and Elise shared mini hot dogs again. Elise lost a shoe after lunch, and after failing to find it I was told that the Lost & Found might have it the next day. Jacob took Elise to the hotel for an early nap and lost her other shoe. That evening Jacob went to Haagen Dazs with Jeremy, getting a vanilla mint hot chocolate or something like that.

Friday (December 4) I bought a new pair of shoes for Elise. We bought an additional souvenir popcorn (cinderella's carriage) as well as the BB-8 souvenir cup. The kids took turns on the Autopia ride (Tyler also got to ride on the Matterhorn twice). We did the Roger Rabbit ride, watched a show, and Tyler rode on Splash mountain once with his dad and also with me. The kids explored Tom Sawyer Island. Later that day we did Star Tours, the Indiana Jones ride, the Astro Orbiter, and earlier we did the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. When Jacob lost the camcorder at Star Tours and had to retrieve it, he did the Astro Blasters with Tyler and Elise a second time. That afternoon we ate at the Pilot's Grill in the California Adventure side, and that evening had Ghiradelli's frozen hot chocolate and a milkshake. We scurried to the Disneyland side to watch the firework show and buy items in the shops on our last night.