Monday, February 4, 2013


Last Friday, we took Jules to Disneyland for the first time. I admit I was pretty apprehensive. For one thing, we're all sort of fighting colds. None of us has been knocked out but there's an awful lot of nose blowing going on at my house. There were a few days last week where I woke up with that "run over by a truck" feeling, and headaches have been frequent too. We considered canceling but because my friends Bo and Martha were generous and invited us to go with them, it seemed better to just suck it up and go. For another thing, I was worried that he's too young. I have friends who have taken younger kids but for some reason I worried that he would be frightened.

We left our house to pick Bo up around 12:45; I'm not sure exactly when we got to Disneyland, but it's not a very long trip on the 91. Maybe it was 1:30? Traffic was light. And, once there, Jules was of course amazed by everything: the elevator in the parking lot, the tram from the parking lot, the crowds, the light poles... We walked in and saw Minnie Mouse interacting by the firehouse with a little girl. Minnie and the little girl were walking on tiptoes, and of course Minnie was wearing those ridiculous yellow shoes. It was adorable. Jules couldn't take his eyes off of her. We didn't stop or wait in line to meet any characters - I didn't want to overwhelm him, but maybe he would've been okay. Nothing frightened him. He was wide-eyed and alert most of the time (except for the nap he took when we got in line for Pirates; we nixed that idea when he fell asleep, put him back in his stroller, and went off to find some ice cream).

We headed straight for Fantasyland, and I got in line with him for the carousel. The line was incredibly short - I think I waited all of 3 minutes. I was so nervous! I was afraid he would get scared, or fall off the horse, or freak out - but none of that happened. I put him on a horse that was on the inside, and luckily no one got on the horse that was to his left, because that's where I stood. My hands were literally shaking as I buckled him in, and you could tell he was excited, too. He was looking around at everything. Once the carousel started moving, he looked out, and then broke out into an enormous, huge, happiest smile ever. He absolutely loved it. As we went around, I kept pointing out Patrick to him, and he kept smiling. It was so awesome. Then, when it was over, he cried because it was over. I promised I'd take him on again, and we headed off for the Casey Jr. railroad.

We got seats in the monkey car, and again: he LOVED it. He waved at people on the Storyland boats, he looked at all the tiny villages and scenery, he bounced around to the song - he had so much fun.

After that, I was disappointed to find out that the teacups were closed, and so was "It's a Small World," two rides I was really looking forward to taking him on. So, we got in line for Dumbo. This line was a little longer, but we were behind a really nice man with his own son (he was maybe 3?), and Jules enjoyed even the line waiting process. He wanted to be held, and so we held him; I guess he wanted to see everything. We pointed out everything we saw, and he was clearly excited. Once we got on, again: he was thrilled.

After that, we walked around a bit and Bo decided to try to get on Space Mountain without us. We made plans to meet up at the Tiki Tiki Room, and the three of us took off. We walked around and looked at stuff, bought him a Mickey ears hat (with his name embroidered on the back, of course) and then decided to give the Pirates of the Carribbean a try... and realized that JP was falling asleep. We got out of line, put him in the stroller, and just at that moment, met up with Bo. We all went for ice cream instead. JP must've been very tired, because as we were eating our Gibson Girl ice cream (I had a strawberry sundae... huge, and delicious) a parade was going by on Main Street, and he didn't wake up. We hung out on Main Street, and then, when JP woke up, headed to the Tiki Tiki room. We lucked out - we didn't have to wait around very long for the next show. Jules, who wakes up slowly from naps (but not in the morning, especially not at 5:30 a.m., when he almost always wakes up laughing, practically), was fascinated by all the talking and clicking birds. The thunderstorm surprised all of us (it's been many years since I've been in there!), but he wasn't scared at all. Then we hit Pirates.

The line here was pretty fast, too. Either Disneyland was not that crowded, or we were just lucky, because we hardly ever stood in a long line. I think the Dumbo line was the worst, or maybe Roger Rabbit, which we went on after it got dark (Toon Town after dark was disappointing; something to remember for next time). I was concerned about getting in and out of the boat fast enough, and Patrick helped. Jules sat on the seat between me and Patrick, and Bo sat next to me. Man, that ride is dark. Jules held my hand the entire time, but didn't get scared, not even during the two big dips the ride takes right at the beginning. He looked at everything - and it might be the most violent thing he's seen, because we of course don't let him watch anything with guns or explosions. He liked the dog, and the mules. He didn't cry, of course, but he did hold my hand very tightly in the darkest parts. And we kept talking to him, and pointing things out, and singing the song, the whole time.

After that, Bo decided to go meet his wife, who works nearby. So Patrick, Jules and I stayed, and went to get some dinner. At this point we'd already been there about 2 hours longer than I thought we would be - I figured, since this trip was free for us, if he only made it a few hours, it wouldn't be a waste of money if we had to go home. Boy was I wrong. We ended up staying until 8:45. We went on Roger Rabbit, and Alice in Wonderland. Patrick wanted to go on Mr. Toad's, but my memory of that was that it's always scarier than you think. We considered Peter Pan (I love that one myself) but the line looked pretty crazy. We went on the carousel again, and while his smile wattage might've been flagging by this time, he was still pretty darn happy to be there.

Anyway, all in all, it was a pretty awesome day. He fell asleep on the way home, and once home, we didn't even try to get him out of his clothes. We just let him sleep.   
This photo doesn't do justice
to the amazing smile he had the whole time.

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