Sunday, April 23, 2017


In our neighborhood, going to Disneyland every year is standard.  Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but the way my kids tell it, charities are considering helping us make the pilgrimage because it's so unheard of for a family to go six whole years without a trip to the Magical Kingdom. Well, the United Way can cross us off their list, because TJ and I finally got our act together and took the kids to California.  TJ's friend Preston, who works at Disneyland, kindly helped us get a great deal on tickets.  And after Disneyland we spent a few days in San Diego with TJ's cousins, the Papins. Their generosity made our trip epic!

On the way down, I discovered my kids have had no musical education, (nor has TJ, come to think of it.)  So, better late than never:

We did very little shopping at Disneyland, there was no time for boring stuff!  
But the Lego store was an obvious must.  

TJ with our hero, Preston!

I've said it before and I'll say it again: matching t-shirts at Disneyland are an absolute must!  Not only do they help you find your kids and help your kids find you--but when you're hurrying to make it in time for a fast pass, the crowd literally parts when it sees a huge herd of Mormons coming.  I saw people think twice, then step aside rather than try to cut through our group.  

And if you've never worn yellow pants, this is how they make you feel:

Disneyland was very busy, even for Spring Break, but we used RideMax and got to go on all our favorite rides at least twice!  Of course that meant sore feet at the end of the day from schlepping back and forth from one side of the park to the other all day, but it was worth it!  We loved Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, and Indianna Jones Mountain.  :)

 Haha, there's one in every group...

California Adventure was a huge hit!  We especially loved Radiator Springs Racers, California Screamin', Soarin' Over the World, and Goofy's Barnstormer!

World of Color was my absolute favorite part of California Adventure!  
This picture doesn't do it justice.

We met up with our friends the Walkers!

Before we headed to San Diego we hit the tide pools.  It was so beautiful and relaxing!

 TJ put a big rock under the water and dared the kids to run out and touch it without being touched by the next wave.  Such a fun game!

We loved our visit to the Mormon Battalion:

Balboa Park in San Diego was so gorgeous!  
We loved the amazing architecture and especially the botanical gardens.   

Every time we go to San Diego, we find ourselves plotting to move there.  This house, for instance, right on the coast, and within walking distance of the LDS Institute, where TJ could get a job.  Of course, I'd have to start running drugs to be able to afford this place, which might not be in keeping with church standards for its employees...

Going to the beach with the cousins was a blast!

Too good not to post!  Ezra is a good sport!

A highlight of the trip was going to the temple with Monica, Jared, and TJ.  

Inside, we saw this gorgeous giclee of Minerva Tiechert's Mary and Martha.  I really identify with Martha, who was "careful and troubled about many things."  Walking away from the world and spending a few hours within the sanctuary of God's house was a joy.  

In the end of course, we made peace with coming home to live in St. George--
and we came home with bags of sand and memories of California to last us until next time!

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