Thursday, November 19, 2015

San Diego Zoo

'Since we're going to be so close, could we take an extra day and go to the San Diego Zoo?' Knowing how crazy grandson Ryker is over pandas, and that there are only two zoos in the US with pandas, and it WAS only 100 miles from Disneyland.......'Why, of course!'

We were up bright and early to be at the gate BEFORE it opened!

A playful pygmy hippo

The gator boy, Ranger

Orangutans are daughter Casey's favorite. Here we witness what the volunteer says is the first father/daughter interaction she has seen!

More monkeys

Red panda

My best panda shot!

Ryker is in heaven!

Snow leopard

Reminds me of a 'Whack-a-Mole' arcade game.

Papa thinks so too

Milo loves the polar bears

This was a fun series of photos in my library, where it started with a few of our group stepping onto a BIG scale to compare how many of us it would take to equal an average polar bear (answer: 3) We ended with EVERYONE piling on and Grammie taking a down shot, but only managing to see about half of us.

We all took the tram across the zoo, taking 4 cars for the whole group.

We were told we were very lucky to see a koala awake and feeding. They are active for only 2 hours a day.

The rest of the time they SLEEP!

Pretending to be koalas

Madalyn's got it down!

Maddie with her favorite.

Well that's it for our shot of California sunshine! Next day it's back to the stormy Northwest.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


How to squeeze 4 days at Disneyland into ONE post? Just make it a really long one.

I think everyone had a really good time. We had a good balance of 'the whole group' together versus individual family groups. Christine even had some solo time on the last day.

We are sure glad we came 'off-season'! For Al and me, who really try to avoid crowds and traffic, it was a bit overwhelming. We just can't imagine being here at the peak.

Here is a selection of photos, from over 350 taken over our 4 Disney days:

Checking in at the Disneyland Hotel. All 7 grands, plus Robby (Ranger doesn't like photos)

Goofy! His kitchen is at our hotel, so it only makes sense that we'd run into him first.

Aaah, California!

Walking Downtown Disney, stopping to make wishes at the fountain. Only later did I realize this was all the grands, and all their parents.

At the entrance to Disneyland, we were met by a band!

Beginning our walk down Main Street

Evidence of love! I was without my prescriptions for 3 days. Al brought back some comfort.

Next day, California Adventure.

Anna and Elsa were very gracious hosts.

The kids were fascinated with this 'street'. Even we adults had a difficult time seeing where actual buildings turned into the mural.

Waiting at Mater's Junkyard Jamboree

The Miramontes Family. Olaf is the youngest, Milo's, favorite.

The Tovey family, as Ranger makes a break for it.

Lunch with the princesses at Ariel's Grotto.

Two feisty gals


Radiator Springs Racers was my favorite! I was in the 'driver's seat' and we won! Here, we get a new paint job as 'Lowrider' plays and Al rocks out.

We all fit into the Finding Nemo Submarine Adventure

Mickey pretzels! And notice the photo pin of Mom and Dad. I got one for all 14 of us, to bring Mom and Dad along on the trip. They so enjoyed travel and family time.

Thor was chatty. Christine had a good time.

Dole Whip for everyone!

Even Grammie

The last Disney day starts off with breakfast in Goofy's Kitchen

Ranger chose a Goofy hat for his souvenir

Minnie came by! Chip and Dale also.

Troy likes fruit and vegetables!

Al and I went to the Carnation Cafe for lunch, and while we were waiting to be seated, Minnie and Mickey led a parade by!

We set times for our gatherings of the whole group. This was the last one. 

Before the Pixar Parade, cast members came and taught a dance.

Blurry, but I love it! The kids are chasing the bubbles that were blown out of the lamp posts.

Lightning McQueen and Mater bring up the rear

The fireworks were the most beautiful I have seen, and very emotional to me. 'A dream is a wish your heart makes' and all I could think of was Mom and Dad. As we walked to the exit afterward, we walked past the vacant teacups.