Friday, February 26, 2016

Ellie rides a horse

The days following Christmas were just as packed with activities as the days before it.

On boxing day, we went to Jason's parents house because Tiffany's family was headed out. The girls were able to play together for a while before they had to leave. We took this family photo all together:


The picture's missing Shelley, and some family members who showed up a couple minutes after we took the first picture are photoshopped in, haha. But I love it! I love having a big group picture of (almost) everyone.

Afterwards we drove to Irvine and met up with Alyse, Tanner, their kids, and my dad at my dad's office. It's the first time Alyse has seen the new office since his company moved to Irvine this year.

Ellie and Zelda had fun playing in my dad's personal office:


After that we all went to lunch at the Irvine Spectrum and then took Ellie and Zelda to see their very first movie in a movie theater ever! We saw the Good Dinosaur. Ellie did great and sat in her chair the whole time. Zelda...not so much. She kept walking down to the end of the row and then looking back, teasing me like she was going to try to leave the theater (and a couple times she really tried).

Playing at Grandpa's house later that day:


The next day was Sunday; we went to church and then hung out with family all day. My mom, stepdad Stefan, and sister Sydney flew in from Utah and came over to the Thomas's house for dinner.

On Monday we were planning to go to Disneyland. The park opens at 8 o'clock, so Jason, my dad, the girls and I left at 7:40. (It's about a twenty minute drive from my dad's house.) Alyse and Tanner were going to leave a little while later and meet us there. But the whole thing was an exercise in frustration. For some reason, even though it had tons of empty parking spaces, they'd closed off the big parking structure to anyone but people driving in from the 5 south (freeway), and redirected everyone else to the overflow parking a couple blocks away. It took us an hour to drive the four blocks from the big parking garage to the overflow parking. The girls were watching Inside Out and were content, but my dad and I were dying.

Finally we were able to park and took the shuttle to the park - only to be greeted by security lines that stretched almost to the main road. I have never seen security lines that long at Disneyland. Never. We estimated it would take at least an hour to get through security, and at least another hour (maybe hour and a half) to buy tickets and get into the park. We were looking at another two to two and a half hours just to get inside the park. So we called it. We decided to bag it, buy our tickets online, and come back on Wednesday. We took the shuttle back to the car and drove home; my dad went to his office to get some work done (so he wouldn't have to work on Wednesday), and Jason and the girls and I drove to Santa Ana Zoo to meet up with Alyse and Tanner (who we'd called and told all about the traffic and lines and about deciding to reschedule Disneyland for Wednesday).

We got there right at the same time as them, and it was a fun visit to the zoo. Ezra wanted to climb on all the fences, and Zelda followed his example:


There is a certain trash can at Santa Ana Zoo, right next to the golden tamarins, that the kids can't get enough of. They love putting rocks and sticks and leaves into this particular trash can. They did it last year with the same trash can, and they did it again this year. They put stuff in it for like fifteen minutes before we finally dragged them away.


Later that day Jason, the girls, and I went to the Thomas's house and hung out with family there. We came back to Grandpa's house at bedtime; and Zelda instructed me to take a couple pictures of her while she smiled. This face. She is so adorable it kills me:


The next day, Tuesday, we went to Irvine Park with Alyse & Tanner and kids, Sydney & her friend Lindsey, and my mom. We met up with a big group of Tanner's cousins while we were there. 

First we all went on the train. Waiting in line:


Ready to go:


After the train, we did the pony rides! Ellie and Ezra both rode. It was Ellie's first time ever, and she loved it! She got the "fuzzy pony," just like she wanted, haha.


After the pony rides we went over to one of the playgrounds at the park and played.


After playing at the park we had lunch, and then got to hang out with my mom and Sydney for the rest of the afternoon. They flew back to Utah the next morning, so it was a short trip, but it was great to be able to see them and spend time with them.

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