A Night at the Grand Californian

Let me preface my report by explaining that I live about 10 minutes from Disneyland and I have an Annual Pass. I’m also a former cast member and my sister is a current cast member.

I love Disneyland and go there often, but obviously we don’t need to stay at the hotels because we live in the area. So I’ve never had a “Disney Vacation”. We also never took real vacations growing up. If we went anywhere it was to visit family in the midwest, or it was a day trip. The first time I stayed in one of the hotels at the resort was the night of my wedding almost four years ago when we stayed at the Disneyland Hotel.

My husband and I were feeling desperate for some alone time. With his birthday coming up this week, we decided to stay the night at the Grand Californian Hotel.

We left our toddler with Gramma and went to have dinner and some alone time for the evening. We were going to do Blue Bayou but opted not to. We had a great date night, then went home to pick up our daughter to spend the night with us back at the hotel. It was so much fun, we let her walk around the hotel grounds a bit and showed her our room, then we went through the downtown disney entrance and got smoothies at Jamba Juice, which was so close to the hotel entrance(And they give a 10% AP discount!). We were able to just enjoy the room, watch the olympics and in the morning we got a room service breakfast. I think it was definitely worth the experience even though we live here.

IMG_3879.jpg by prettygeek, on Flickr

We spent a little time in DCA, rode Little Mermaid and such, but this is where we got the best of both worlds because we left at about 2pm and our 16mo Guinevere was asleep before we were even off of Disneyland Drive. She napped for 2 hours when we got home!

But this little overnight “trip” has kind of opened my eyes to something I’d never experienced. When we walked from the hotel right into Downtown Disney, my husband said “Downtown Disney is the best downtown there is!” And then it hit me. That’s what Downtown Disney is for! In June we went to San Francisco for a conference and we stayed at a hotel that was “downtown” but we didn’t feel too comfortable walking around and it was not stroller friendly at all. Downtown Disney is like the “downtown” you would experience living in a city, but Disneyfied. I didn’t really get that before, as a local. It just seemed like a Disney adjacent mall(and it is that too).

This really made me want to experience this “on the premises” type vacation again, so much that I’m going to start planning a trip to Disney World in Florida, something I’ve never cared that much about before. But I really want to get that “resort” experience and I’d like to do it somewhere I don’t actually live. I didn’t appreciate until now how different the local experience is to the “resort guest” experience. Don’t take it the wrong way, I LOVE being a local. But I want to get that other experience too.


Pink and Brown

Last week I took the train up to San Luis Obispo where my best childhood friend has been living for school and from there we drove to her Oregon to stay with her great aunt for a few days. It was a fun trip visiting a new place with no sales tax. Then we drove back and I took the train home early the next morning.

I knew we were getting new carpet when I was gone so before I left, I had to get everything out of my room before I left.

I had a class that night the day I got back.

I had asked my mom if she could paint an old dresser that was in my parents’ garage for me while I was gone, and she surprised me by painting my room. She did it in pink and brown with three of the walls painted tan, and the wall with the window in a soft pink. It’s kind of neopolitan ice cream colors. The carpet is a nice neutral sort of beige color. they had also moved my bed under the window but otherwise the room was still pretty much empty.

So of course, the rest of the weekend was spent planning where things in my room would go; I went all out with scale diagrams and everything, and I needed window coverings so I was looking at those and the dresser wasn’t done being painted, etc.

So anyway, today I got clothes in the dresser and books on the shelf. I’m still putting things away and going through things. They’re basically in groups of keep, ebay, yard sale, give away, or toss.

I’ll try to post pictures of my room when it’s done.

I also started classes this week and they were all online, but required a first class meeting.


Back in the Real World

After over a week in the Midwest visiting relatives, I’m back home in California. The G. Neva Convention was very successful, and we had 25 meeting in the tiny town of Ledyard, Iowa where my great grandmother, Neva, lives. We were able to enjoy each other’s company after not having met some for years, had lunch together, and spoke about what Grandma Neva meant to us. We also took a big selection of group photos, everyone in their matching shirts.

After the Convention, we spent the night at a hotel in Blue Earth, Minnesota, home of the Jolly Green Giant, and the next morning I set out with my aunt Tana to Wisconsin where I would spend that week visiting with her family. It was a fun week, but I’m glad to be home! 🙂


Vacation Again

Okay, I know I haven’t blogged in forever, like, since I was supposed to go on the cruise. I’m a bum, I know. But anyway, Now I’m at my best friend’s place. She moved to San Luis Obispo for school, and her birthday was this weekend. I went to Disneyland with she and her roommate and then I drove up with them. I’m going home tomorrow on the train. That’s exciting because I’ve never been on a real train before, just the Disneyland ones and stuff.