We gave the boys a trip to Disneyland for their Christmas gift this year. They have a week off every February, so in October, Pedar and I got the flights, hotel and Disneyland tickets. This is the first trip, since having the boys, that we paid for a vacation beforehand. Typically, we try to save up for a trip, but end up paying it off months after we return.
In order to do this, I put away all the money I made from my two side-hustles, for months. We completed our taxes so we knew how much we owed, and what we were getting back. Fear is a great motivator. This year I am paying quarterly taxes so no more fear for me!!! Knowing that we were financially good to go, made this trip the most relaxed one yet. Other than our equity loan and our mortgage, we are currently debt free. We are now focused on paying off our equity loan of $23,000. Once we do that we will then work on creating 6 months of savings and then the boys college accounts and then work on paying off our house. Our cars are getting old too, so there is that. Everything is going to take time and focus, but these four months have shown me that we can do anything.
We flew to Los Angeles on Monday and took a bus from LAX to our Best Western hotel across the street from Disneyland. First time flying to Disneyland!! I missed the car and ice chest, but I packed a ton of snacks. We made it into Disneyland right as it opened on Tuesday. We downloaded the new FastPass app and that made getting onto rides so much easier. We started the day in Disneyland and then went over to California Adventure around lunchtime. Our dear friends Melanie and Jacob drove to meet us and arrived at the park by 4 p.m. The boys were so excited to see Jacob! We were so excited to see Melanie!! We were celebrating Jacob’s 14th Birthday early!! Thankfully Melanie brought the food we had given her in her car, so we were able to make lunches the last two days.
We closed the park down on Tuesday and Wednesday. The lines were incredible but the Disneyland app saved us. You don’t have to run to the ride to print out tickets, it is all done by your phone. Yes, it was a small additional price, but we rode everything because of the App, and the park was crazy crowded.
It rained on us Wednesday night, but thankfully the worst of the storm was when we were at Carthay Circle for dinner. Wow! What a beautiful restaurant to celebrate Jacob’s birthday! We ended Wednesday in Disneyland and we were grateful we brought ponchos. It wasn’t just the rain, it was so cold. Not sure I would visit Disneyland in February again. Brrrrr. I would rather have fake thunder and lightening on Main Street than the real stuff any day!
On Thursday Mel and Jacob left to visit relatives and we went to the park for one more day. Our bus to the airport picked us up at 5:45 and our flight was at 8:40 p.m. We got back to our house around 11 p.m. The next day Pedar and I made into work. Thank you, coffee. Thank you.
This trip was so different from when they boys were younger. Everyone could keep up. No one needed to rest. We realized two days at the park was plenty. The boys are not interested in the little rides anymore. I wish they wanted to watch the shows, but the big rides were waiting. I got them on the train for a short ride around the park. The boys love Splash Mountain and rode it several times. I still love “Soarin” in California Adventure. The photography and the way the ride delights all of your senses is incredible. We all learned the beauty of “single rider” line and took advantage of it for Matterhorn and Incredicoaster. It is fun having kids that are so big they can ride with a stranger and meet you at the exit. The new Guardian of the Galaxy ride is super fun! My favorite time of year at Disneyland is still Halloween. The weather, treats and decorations are always the most fantastic. I can’t wait to go back.
I think part of the “magic” of Disneyland is the forced intimacy and shared experiences. You have to wait in line with your family, so you might as well catch up on the happenings in our lives. You also are experiencing incredible art and engineering. We will never forget the speed of Space Mountain or the look on each others faces at the end of an incredible ride. I am grateful to have a partner that appreciates the magic of Disneyland. I also really love the landscape design of the park. The gardeners have to work at night. Everything is so clean and beautiful. It really does feel like a magical place and I am grateful we are able to visit. Thank you, Walt!