PDX to LAX to Disneyland

Sunday, April 13, 2008
I've never been an early bird, and early morning flights have to be up there with sauerkraut on my list of dislikes. Unfortunately, the way this trip was booked left us with little choice but to depart PDX at 6AM, which meant getting up at 3AM to be at the airport by 4:30AM, as we had to leave our car at long-term parking and take a shuttle to the airport. All these things take time. Whenever I've had to catch an early morning flight, I inevitably have horrible insomnia the night before. Must be the fear of missing my flight. Anyway, last night was no exception. With melatonin, I was able to drift off for an hour or so, but slept restlessly. 3AM came too quickly, and before I knew it, we had both kids dressed and out the door and we were on our way. Samuel was wide awake and chatting about Disneyland in the car. Juniper fussed a little, mainly because she doesn't like her carseat these days, and especially dislikes it when it's dark out. We got to the airport, I ordered my Coffee People latte (a special treat since the only CP's left in Portland are at PDX), and we departed. Juniper slept most of the way, and Samuel was exceptionally good on the plane.
When we arrived, we had to board this super cheesy Disneyland bus that dropped us off at our motel. A video played along the way featuring Disneyland, and kids interviewed on the tape said things like, "My dream is to be a princess," or "My dream is to spend more time with my family." I laughed outloud at that last one, and a Mom turned around and gave me a sharp look. I guess it isn't cool to dis the Disney video.
When we arrived at our motel at 9AM, it was already pretty hot out, but we walked to a nearby IHOP for some breakfast. Arriving back at our motel, our plan was to rest from our early morning flight and head to Disneyland the following day, but none of us could sleep--we were too excited. So, with just a few hours of sleep under our belts, we headed to Disneyland. I remember this being a magical place as a kid, but it's amazing how magical it still is as an adult. The park is immaculate. Steam cleaned streets each night. Clean and attractive trash dispensers within arms' reach throughout the park, not a weed or wilt in any garden, and of course, the attractions. First off, we rode the Disneyland Railroad around the park, and the Grand Canyon/Primeval World display was amazing--puts OMSI's exhibit to shame. Then, we were off to Fantasyland, where we rode Peter Pan's Flight, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Snow White's Scary Adventures, Pinocchio's Daring Journey, and several others. Juniper rode on each one, and seemed to enjoy them as she was happy and peaceful. The look of wonder in Samuel's eyes was priceless. We had a wonderful time, and stayed long into the evening, catching parts of the Fantasmic show in between going on Pirates of the Caribbean (the new Jack Sparrow stuff is pretty cool) and the Haunted Mansion. We ate dinner at Rancho del Zolcalo Restaurante in Frontierland, went on a few more rides, then left the park at closing to catch our shuttle back to the motel after a full and happy day.

Arriving in Anaheim, we walked to an IHOP for breakfast. It was hot!
Landon and Juniper on our walk to IHOP.
First ride in Fantasyland was the King Arthur Carrousel.


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