Sometimes a vacation isn't a vacation. The time, effort, money, and stress involved in "getting away" sometimes add up to nothing like a rest. We have some friends who traveled across the country a year or two ago seeing friends and family, and they reported that they spent more time doing strenuous work than resting and recreating. I suspect most of us have had a vacation we needed a vacation from when we got back.
This trip to California was nothing like that. It was a week of fun and rest and connecting that our family has very much needed. It was a true vacation.
Perhaps the main thing we did that made it nice was spent time--real time-- with our older boys. Having two toddlers, who are very much like twins in many ways, is a full-time gig and a hectic one at that. The older boys spend quite a lot of time either being ignored completely or being roped into service in taking care of the toddlers. For this trip, those two adorable maniacs stayed with dear (not to mention patient and extremely generous) friends while we went to California with Jake, Josh, and Cam. As a result, we could really spend time with them and do some of the things they wanted to do. We spent a number of delightful minutes, on several occasions, deciding exactly which of the many wonderful rides was our favorite. We ate caramel apples, churros, popcorn, deep-fried club sandwiches (the famous Monte Cristo at The Blue Bayou), and many other kinds of goodies. Disneyland isn't Disneyland unless you've had your frozen banana, you know. We swam in the wonderful pool at the hotel. We shopped, we stayed up late for fireworks, we slept in (one morning, anyway), and we just went were we wanted when we wanted and did what we wanted. No stress, no fuss, no troubles. (contented sigh)
BTW, Disneyland with little children is not (repeat NOT) an all-day thing. A hour or two with toddlers in Toon Town is doable. Don't try to take little ones for more than that, though. Every time we saw a crying toddler we were happy that our littlest were safely in Melissa and Kevin's backyard-- not strapped in a stroller, fretting and fussing because they couldn't run around.
We did drive 15 1/2 hours (which included the MANY stops) on Saturday to get home (and one of the absolutely necessary stops was for Krispy Kreemes), so Sunday was a bit of a difficult day. The trip was well worth it though, to be sure.
And the lawn was still green when we got back.
[see more pics on facebook or at this link]