Months ago Jessica (my sister) emailed me and told me that her partner Jeffrey had a speaking event in Anaheim in late March and did we want to meet them at Disneyland? I checked the calendar and the dates matched perfectly with our Spring Break. The opportunity to go and be with Jessica and her family and take the kids to Disneyland was way too much to pass up.
I decided I wanted it to be a surprise (hard not to get a little choked up when watching those commercials where the parents surprise their kids with a trip to Disney) - it just seemed all the more magical that way.
In the weeks leading up to Spring Break the kids and I talked a bit about maybe going somewhere, but also the possibility of just staying home and what we would do if we did stay home. Hang out, go to the park, watch movies - all good stuff and all stuff they would have been perfectly happy with. But I knew something they didn't know...
On Monday, March 29th I woke up at 4am and took a shower & dried my hair. For the last ten months I haven’t slept good at all. The night before we left I didn’t sleep well either but it was the first time in months & months that I didn’t sleep for a fun & exciting reason.
At 4:30 I woke up the kids who were both sleeping in my bed. They were hard to wake up at first.
I said, “Wake up. I have a surprise for you. We are going on an airplane.”
I think it was Anna who rolled over first and asked, “Where are we going?”
“First we are going to Seattle.”
“And then where?” asked Simon in that super-sleepy voice of someone who is really not awake yet.
“It’s a surprise.” They both looked at me and smiled and decided they were okay with that. There wasn't any "tell me now" or "where, where, where are we going?"
Anna got up as soon as I said we were going on an airplane. She was ready to get dressed immediately.
Simon was a little more sleepy and a little more skeptical.
“I don’t want to go. I want to stay home. I want to get a hook.” He’d been talking for weeks about getting a pirate hook. I’d been telling him that we could get one during spring break (knowing we were going somewhere he could get one).
“We can get a hook where we are going.” I told him.
At that he jumped up and said “Okay” with a big smile on his face.
And then he asked if we were going to Hawaii or Disneyland. I told him it was a surprise and he would find out later.
I finished my hair, grabbed my make up bag and corralled them downstairs. The night before I’d already packed everything in the car, including their backpacks so all I had to do in the morning was get them dressed and in the car.
They are both really good travelers. Excited, happy, ready to go - even at 4:50am. I was also ready with movies (Tinkerbell was especially popular) & games on the ipad (More Breakfast is a new favorite) and a new DS game for Simon (Star Wars: The Complete Saga).
We flew to Seattle (yep, sometimes you have to go north to get south) and then proceeded to wait a couple of hours until Jessica, Jeffrey and Gabrielle arrived at the airport. We planned that Gabrielle or Jessica would tell Simon and Anna. Simon and Anna didn't know we were meeting them either. By the time they arrived Simon was about at the end of all this surprise business. I told him that we were going to be meeting someone very soon who would tell us about the next phase of our surprise (very thankful at this point for the ability to text with my sister and get the exact details on when they would show up).
Here's a video of what happened next:
Such a fun moment.
I love the pointing back & forth - the you & me?
I love that Anna really didn't care and was more excited to get to play with Gabrielle.
I love that this was something I got to share with my sister and Jeffrey.
I love that Simon is all about the magic. So much sparkle in that boy.
I'll share more in an upcoming post about some of the details and general thoughts on our actual time at Disneyland.