The next day was much better than the first. For one, Ken discovered that the Best Part of the Trip for him was the fact that we got into the closest parking lot, the coveted Timon Lot, and he parked in the second lane, eighth spot.
We were so close to the park that it was an easy stroll. In fact, he loved that spot so much that he threatened to leave the car there overnight just so we wouldn't lose that spot again and be relegated to the dreaded Mickey & Friends garage from which we had a good mile trek to the main gate and yes, I am talking one way.
But we were headed to Disneyland's California Adventure, the park across from the more fabled Disneyland itself. Note the candy corn letters. Yes, yes, it's just for Halloween.
So, of course, we had to pose. The kids picked the letter L, all by themselves. We normally go for the more obvious R, given our last name. But it was L this time. And seeing as Love, Laugh and Loser Trip all begin with L, I felt more comfortable with their choice.
We were there to have lunch with the Princesses but first we had to enjoy a carousel ride. The animals were so incredibly detailed and simply gorgeous as was the park itself.
And then, we headed back for our lunch. The girls were super excited. The boys, decidedly less so.
As we waited, the girls' enthusiasm just bubbled forth. Look at their faces,dreaming of the very princesses they would soon meet.
And as we were invited into the Lobby of Ariel's Grotto, guess who was there to greet all her guests for the 1:00 seating? The Mermaid Princess herself. Note Kata's expression, Ariel's still her favorite. And Bella's stunned look. And of course, our Princes much less delighted semi-smirk.
The Best Part of the Trip for me can be summarized in this little glass. My oh my, they serve cocktails at Ariel's Grotto. Who knew? And let me tell you, folks, a fresh raspberry mojito improved this mama's perspective tremendously. In fact, I should have ordered another just to level off the mood swings caused by the very effort of travelling with three small children.
And then, quicker than you can say "horse drawn carriage," the royal ones made their appearance.
We dutifully asked them our prepared questions -
Q. What books are you reading, Belle?
Q. Do you prefer the blue dress or the pink one, Princess Aurora?
That's when Ken missed a Golden Opportunity. He was going to ask Cinderella to hold out his Nevada Wolf Pack hat for a picture which he could send to their basketball coach. I know you get it...a Cinderella Team??
In a virtual blink of an eye, our first-born was suddenly old enough to assume responsibility for his youger sister. I cannot even begin to describe that Motherly Pride Moment. I began to project all sorts of other moments - driving the girls to school, dancing with them at their weddings...yes, fueled by one mojito, I was lulled into a sentimental moment.
And the Best Part for Bella, well, for the her pain of being just a tad too short, she got a lolly. Oh I know, we're setting up all sorts of Future Therapy Moments here. You know that all my kids are already well versed in the Therapy Saving Mantra of - "They did the best they could with what they knew at the time. How does that make you feel, now?"
Wishing you a Best Part Moment...maybe it's an open parking space, or a much needed drink, or the chance to take on a new role or even something simple like a sugary treat. Trust me, they are all Therapy Saving Moments.