Well as promised here’s part two of our trip to Disneyland . The main purpose of this trip was to support my way better half in her quest to run and complete her second 10k (6.2 miles) in case you were curious. Let’s start off by saying she did great!!! And I’m way way proud of her for this major accomplishment, it’s definitely a proud moment to see your best friend work towards and complete a challenge like this. Major Kudos wifey.
So our trip started out with a 9 am JetBlue flight from SFO, because it was the long weekend and with the Bay Bridge shut down for the final construction to connect the new Eastern Span, we had to go over the San Mateo Bridge. With this many variables, we had an early day and left the house at 6 am. Plus once we got to SFO we had a rental car to gas up and drop off at the central rental car center (this ended up being a huge stroke of luck on our return) and bags to check. Travelling with a child is so much different than travelling solo. For a three night trip, we had three suitcases, a car seat, stroller, my backpack, a diaper bag and a little backpack full of toys for “S”. Man I’m just tired thinking about it. I wanted to take a picture of our treasure trove, but in all out haste I didn’t.
We made it to the airport in an hour and a half which was not too bad, I dropped off the girls, and my wife became a Sherpa carrying all the bags except for my carryon and suitcase. Since we had three tickets she could check our other two bags, stroller and car seat for free so I sent her off with all the stuff. In our travels with our kid, we’ve found it easier to drop off one parent first, then drop off the car and meet up after security. As opposed to us attempting to lug all our stuff from some parking lot or air train station to the airport. Obviously the best option is a private car or shuttle directly to the airport, but a long weekend parking fees and the like vs. a rental car paid with on points was really a good alternative.
Breakfast the most important meal of the day
After security I met the family at a coffee shop, we had a quick breakfast and then spent the last hour or so looking for planes. “S” loves airplanes and is always quick to point them out when we’re at home and she sees them in the air or at the airport. Whatever it takes to entertain a 2+ YO. Well we made it to Long Beach w/out a hitch, having TV on the plane and lots of new toys really helps. My only gripe was two kids channels and what are they showing Adult Swim and Family Guy, not exactly kid friendly programming, needless to say the route map seemed to work ok. We did have stuff on the iPad, but we just never pulled it out. Toys and some TV for an hour flight worked out great. Thankfully this was not our first flight with the munchkin so we at least have the airplane part mostly down pat.
Dude where’s the plane
Handy Manny managed to stow away on our flight
So onto Disneyland we had a day at the park before the race and spent most of the day at California Adventure. With the last two years’ worth of remodeling and renewing the park it’s really a great place to hang out. Plus there are tons of rides for little ones to do there. I think we spent most of our time at Grizzly Peak (formerly Brother Bear), so “S” could run around and climb stuff, we also did the Chew Chew Train at least 5 times, I love that ride. Besides that California Screaming single rider, and no “S” didn’t get to do that one, and then lots of time was spent at the Triton’s Merry-Go-Round. Since we had so many days at the park, and have been here so many times, we’re never in a hurry to do a specific ride, and if I miss out on something this trip there’s always the next one, so I never feel like I’ve missed out on something. This particularly holds true with a little one, there are only so many rides they can do, and there’s only so many times you want to go on a ride solo, that if you learn to reduce expectations, and attempt to take it easy, you can still have a great time. We also really tried to stay close to our kids sleep schedule and only one night did we stay out longer than an hour past bedtime. Sure that can make for a short night, but raising a kid is a marathon not a sprint, and we’ll have plenty of time to spoil and ruin her, and this was not one of those times.
Race Day was finally here, and my wife was out the door by 4:45 AM, the race started at 6:15 and she had to get from the Anaheim Hilton to the race start so an early start was really necessary. Thankfully the kid and I slept in to 7 AM and were able to make it to the park to see her finish the race. Since we were not staying at the part we could, walk, drive or take a bus. We opted for option three since racers and their family got a free bus pass for the weekend, and it really was an easy way to get to the park. Sure lugging a kid, stroller and diaper bag on and off a bus plus navigating Downtown Disney which was part of the race course was a challenge, but worth it, to see my wife running. Run Disney does a pretty good job of alerting family of their racers position so we found a spot and waited. The wait was worth it and in no time flat mommy was running by. By 8 AM it was already 80 plus and humid and would hit 90 plus by mid-day, by far terrible running conditions and weather that made for a very warm weekend. According to my local friends it was the hottest weekend of the summer. I could have easily changed my shirt multiple times during the day.
Throughout the weekend we had a great time. Even though there were some 7,000 runners for the 10k and over 10,000 for the half marathon the next day, the parks were quite. We never had a stand-by line more than 45 minutes, and the longest fast pass wait I saw was 3 hours. Popular rides like Midway Mania, Indiana Jones and Radiator Springs Racers were easy waits. Unlike many other trips where by 11 am RSR fast pass was sold out, we had easy waits. This made for a really fun trip, since we could do what we wanted and at the pace we wanted too. Plus we had lots of friends visit and hangout with us every day, which always makes Disneyland that much more fun.
Sadly Monday afternoon came quickly and it was time to go home. Again we were flying JetBlue to SFO, or so we thought. We arrived 2 hours before our flight to LGB to find that our flight was delayed. Dam it!! We were scheduled for a 5:25 PM flight and at present it was delayed to 7:30 PM, in fact every flight out of LGB was delayed from 3:30 PM on except for 2 on the board. For those of you not familiar with JetBlue, LGB, JFK and OAK are their main focus cities, so having that many flights delayed here was really a bummer. Between 3:30 and midnight there were four flights to the Bay Area and all delayed. UUGH. So at this point we had a choice sit and wait for our flight hopefully 7:30, fly to Sacramento at 6:30 also delayed or fly to Oakland delayed to 8:30. We choose door number two, even though it was to SAC it was scheduled to leave earlier and we just needed to get home, I had a 6 Am flight from OAK to Las Vegas the next morning. This is where the rental car came in handy, we didn’t have a car to get at SFO, and since we had arranged to get a rental car back home all we had to do was switch the rental car pickup. Plus that meant we didn’t have to avoid the Bay Bridge that was still closed and was scheduled to open Tuesday at 5 AM. To cut a long story short our flight to Sac left about 8 PM we arrived in Sac by 9:30 we were in our car by 10 and home by 11:15 PM. The flight to SFO left LGB at 10:30 PM so definitely a smart decision on our part. Ironically the main reason we flew JetBlue was because back in January we flew them down to Disneyland and were similarly delayed and received a $100 per person credit, that almost paid for our tickets this time, I think we paid $29 per person more out of pocket this time. On this trip, we got a credit unfortunately it was only $50 but hey that’s almost a one way ticket for next time.
Overall a very successful weekend jaunt to LA and Disneyland, we got a lot of family quality time, friend time and park time. Even with a few travel snafu’s life moves on and you just need to roll with it. We had a great time and look forward to the next trip, already planned for January, and yes the boss is running her first half marathon, and we’ll be there to root her on.