We flew in Saturday night and spent Sunday with everyone. We went to church while Christy got set apart as the new YW president and let the kids have a fun time hanging out together, which they love to do.
Monday morning we got ready to visit Disney's California Adventure. We've never been there so I was really excited to check it out. I was also very excited to see both parks decorated for Christmas, which was so fun. We had freezing cold weather, but we layered up and at least when the sun was out it wasn't too bad.
The first item on the agenda was getting me my birthday pin so everyone would know that I was beginning the celebration of my birthday. Honestly, I hate getting older, so why not at least make it fun? After I got my pin we waited in line to see Mickey. He was dressed all festive and looked adorable as usual.
When we made our way to the boardwalk area it started to get colder, but that didn't stop us from enjoying the carousel and the hilarious Toy Story ride where I, like an idiot, left Christy's camera just sitting on the floor of the ride. Thankfully we got it back just in time to meet up with Geoff. With Geoff there to help out, Christy and I got to go on California Screaming, which might be the most fun roller coaster I've ever been on. The music was so fun, it was just the right amount of scary without making me sick, and the view was awesome. I loved it.
After we left DCA we stopped at the shops to pick out some Minnie ears. I've wanted some for a long time, but I can never decide which ones I want because they are all so cute! Stella just HAD to have some. She said that going into Disneyland the next day would not be as magical if she couldn't walk in wearing Minnie ears. Christy was sweet enough to buy my ears for my birthday. Best gift ever!
We got started at the park a little late in the day, but the magic of walking in with our mouse ears was epic. When we first got there we waited in line to see Minnie. She was so sweet and a very gracious host. The park was all decked out for Christmas and the 60th anniversary celebration and it looked beautiful.
Now that Stella has had the horrible realization that the princesses are not real* I didn't really feel like we needed to make the same effort to see them as we have in years past. But as we wandered over to the Princess village, I could see that the line to see the princesses was extremely short, so we went ahead and had a quick visit.
*A background story on this turning point in Stella's life: She came up to me and asked very seriously if it was okay that she didn't think Minnie and Mickey were real. I told her that it was. She was very sad, but not as sad as she was when she asked me about Tangled. I told her that Tangled was just a cartoon and that no, the characters were not real. "What about all the princesses?!" She fell to the ground as she angrily exclaimed: "What was the point of even meeting them?!" She asked me how I was even able to have any fun at Disney and I told her that it was the magic, that when you walk in the gates, the characters feel real because it is so magical. "What about Tinkerbell and all of her fairy friends?!" and "There's no point in even meeting Mulan now!" were other favorite quotes of mine from that night. But as you can see from these pictures, she was still able to feel the magic as she entered the park...just like I was. Honestly, for a minute I forget that they aren't real too, really I do.