On our way home, we stopped in Southern California. We dragged my parents and my sister and her husband with us. We spent a day at Disneyland. It was a great slightly early birthday present:) It's hard to sum up such a fabulous day.
M had never been to any Disney theme park before. Because apparently he is from Mars. And now that he's been, he has forever lost his secret weapon in the "I've Never..." game. Oh well. The verdict? Well, I think Disneyland loses something once you're a grown man. Especially if you're the sort of grown man who was basically born 40 years old. He thought it was fun, but a little heavy on the animatronics and princesses and such. (Obviously M isn't into princesses because how else could you write an entire blog post about Beauty and the Beast and still barely talk about Belle?) Apparently animatronics give M the jibbly jibblies. He is still trying to analyze his experience and decide what he thinks about the whole thing in a philosophical sort of way. He's gotten me thinking too now that I'm an adult. He and I will probably have many fascinating discussions for years to come while we both try to come to a conclusion. I was tempted to have my feelings hurt since my gut reaction is that I LOVE Disneyland, but I felt validated when he declared the fireworks show far and away the best he had ever seen. Indeed, how can you go wrong with perfectly choreographed pyrotechnics? But don't get me wrong, we both had a blast! And M said if nothing else, it was fun because we had kids who were transfixed:
Here Grandpa E and M are holding the kids up so they can see the parade. The parade that was distinctly lacking in Beauty and the Beast-ness. In fact, this is important. I'm devoting a whole paragraph.
Seriously, what the dilly-o? Where was Belle all day? She's the only Disney princess worth her tiara. (Oh wait, she has the sense not to wear one...) It really was sad though, because the only Disney show my kids have been truly exposed to is Beauty and the Beast. A lot of Disneyland went right over their heads. I mean, who has time to watch all those silly and/or morally questionable old school Disney movies when there's Pixar? Anyway, the point is just that we almost didn't even see Claire's (and my) favorite characters. Claire and I finally caught a glimpse of Belle and the Beast after dark at the Fantasmic show. (It was the only time the whole day I saw her star-struck. She said dreamily, "Mom! They're dancing just like in the movie." And then my heart was a puddle on the pavement.)
This reminds me of an interesting side note: Claire knows that in the end of Beauty and the Beast, the prince and Belle get married. Since the ending scene is of them twirling around dancing, she seems to think that is what "getting married" entails. I frequently catch her holding a doll by its arms and spinning around and around. She tells me they're getting married. A few times I've heard her tell Scott, "Let's get married." Since this is followed by her dancing with him, I often let it slide. Believe me, I've tried to clarify. Someday I'll have to figure out how to clear up this little misunderstanding or else Claire may have some really confused boyfriends.
Possibly the best part of the day? Four taller-than-average adults crammed into one teacup:
From there, my parents drove home, my sister and her husband drove back to Utah so her husband could start the new semester, and we piled into our over-stuffed minivan:
You see, the thing is, we still had wedding gifts at my parents' house.
I know the next thing you were wondering was, "How long have they been married?" so I thought I'd answer before you had to ask. Let me justify. Here's a brief history of the last six years as they pertain to wedding gift storage. We couldn't fit all the gifts in our car when we drove out to school from the wedding in California. My parents drove with us and the original plan was for them to bring a bunch of stuff in their Suburban. Two days before we left, my parents' Suburban broke down. We spent the whole next day frantically sorting what had to go and what could stay and then packing everything we were leaving into boxes in my parents' attic. In the end, it wasn't so bad not having all that stuff while we were living in microscopic student apartments. Then we moved to Texas after M graduated. California was a bit too much of a detour, so we had to move without all the gifts. Once we got to Texas, we started wishing we had the stuff, but for the first couple years we were in apartments anyway, so no rush. Everytime we saw my parents, a few gifts would make it back to Texas as airplane carry-ons. It was nice to get things that way, but at that rate we would still have stuff to bring back on our golden wedding anniversary. Once we moved into our house last summer, it was time. So the main motivation for driving to see my family this summer was not insanity, or even frugality, but rather to finally get all our stuff. Basically, I moved out of my parents' house once and for all.
Here is the pile of boxes from unpacking. Anyone notice a theme?
It was interesting finding new homes for a whole lotta stuff. Some stuff is still homeless. How did I function before without grapefruit spoons for 12? Anyone wanna buy a $300 crystal bowl? Because seriously, what do I do with THAT? I'm afraid to breathe on it, let alone use it.