As a result of that snow, we left not at 2 am as we originally planned but more like 7:30 am because I was determined to not face Donner Pass skidding around on black ice. And guess what?? There was no black ice. And also no snow. It had ::melted:: by the time we hit the pass roughly an hour and a half later. Needless to say, Mr. R was not pleased at appeasing his wife of fifteen years. Ahem.
We drove on into the, now, daylight with our kids' DVD players blasting whatever appropriately themed Disney movie they had agreed upon and with Ken and I being appropriately quiet in the front seats. Still slightly miffed at each other. Hmmm.
And yes, as foreshadowed, things went downhill from there. Now let me pause for a second, because, I kept telling Ken that yes, one day we would laugh at this and that day is here but back a few days ago...there was absolutely no laughing.
So we rolled along...and at one point, I glanced over at Bella and I noted that she looked a little not-so-very-well. Then I asked the question that should have remained unspoken, "Bella, honey, do you feel okay?" Those of you who are parents know her response already. Yes, she absolutely spewed out the entire contents of her stomach.
Never one to be ignored, the one that inherited my carsick tendencies, Kata, started screaming, "I am going to barf, too."
I begged Ken to swerve off into the nearest exit or even the side of the road, and again, he listened to his beloved partner. Except our nearest exit ramp was not near anything. Ever been on I-5?? There are a "few" ramps that lead to nowhere. We chose such a one.
We stood in the midst of Nowhere and cleaned up poor Bella and the car. And twenty five minutes later as Ken started the engine, we heard the deathly click-click-click. Yeah, battery - buh-bye.
We looked around trying to remember the name of the Exit to Nowhere. No such luck. Ken prepared himself for the inevitable walk up the exit ramp to locate a marker and I started fiddling with the iPhone GPS app. But somehow as we tried the car one more time, it started.
Yes, we had accidentally drained our very own battery because we forgot to take the key out of the ignition and we left the darn DVD players running. Please note that these players should come with a Warning for Exhausted Parents.
Somehow with one more pit stop and a long negotiation through the maze of L.A. rush hour traffic (which for those of you keeping track, we would have avoided if we left at the originally scheduled departure time), we finally pulled into Disneyland.
Sure it was late, and the park was only going to be open for a few hours, but hey, we're troopers - we went on in...note the happy exhaustion on Ken's face. This was the man who got us there on his one and only mantra - Never Again.
And then look who greeted us upon entry???
Suddenly, we remembered that we're at the Happiest Place On Earth, dang it...and right then we made the commitment that we're going to be happy if it killed us all.
The kids had no trouble adapting to the new - We Will Be Happy No Matter What Happens On This Godforsaken Vacation concept.
But as we approached the castle...even Ken and I warmed up to the idea of Happiness Within These Walls.
See Ken's pushing the stroller with a happy fervor known only to dads who have survived an eleven hour car trip with their beloved family? That's him with the blue backpack.
We were determined to ride Peter Pan as our first ride. The kids love the movie, the ride and hey, we all met the height requirement (for the non-Disney fans...there is none).
But beyond the magic castle walls, stood an inexplicably long line. Nonetheless, we happily waited forty five minutes for the pixie dust to be sprinkled. And as we reached the very front of the line, a smiling Disney cast member held out her hand in the international "stop" greeting and looked at Ken while saying, "The ride is experiencing mechanical failure, we will have to stop it for approximately twenty five minutes."
Ken muttered words I haven't heard him conjugate more than a half a dozen times. Concept Happiness meet Profanity Stream.
Now it's your turn. So here's wishing you a moment where a rough patch turns into hilarity. There is humor in there somewhere, look and you will find it.
On a side note, due to the sheer volume of photos (at last count about 500+...and er, no I won't post them all...Girl Scouts Honor)...I am going to break up our trip into four or five daily posts. So look for the magic to continue.