Wednesday, 31 August 2011

First, the bad news

Your children are going to leave you.

Jaclyn's autograph quilt from Grandma O

I don't know if I just wasn't paying attention when people tried to warn me of this or what, but it's come as quite a shock. Jaclyn has gone to college and Steven and Carmen and Chloe will follow.

No-one else around here seems to feel the way I do. Ken sold her car, cancelled her on our car insurance, and took her chair away from the kitchen table and relocated it to the telephone desk. What?!? Like she's gone????

(To be fair, I cancelled her Canadian cell phone yesterday.)

Carmen and Chloe have taken over the 'guest' room with Barbies and Groovy Girls and Polly Pockets so that they don't mess up their own rooms.

There is some comfort in the fact that Jaclyn went out into the world (if BYU can be called that) totally prepared for independent life. So I'm not saying don't teach your children to tie their shoes or drive or cook because I suspect they'll leave whether they're ready or not. But still.

If we hadn't driven directly from Provo to the happiest place on earth it might have been ugly. The weeping, that is. (I now believe my dad's story that my mom cried all the way home from the MTC when they dropped Keith off - I always had that story figured for serious exaggeration.)

The good news: Disneyland is really all that.

Just to scratch the surface of our days in California with Carmen and Chloe:

It was perfect, down to every last detail.

Chloe sitting in the princess chair before Cinderella story time - later Chloe got to try on the glass slipper!

Carmen spotted these spritzing battery-operated fans in Bed, Bath and Beyond in St. George and they saved the girls in lines - something to play with and something to relieve our poor Canadian-selves of the 110 F heatwave we faced.

One of these characters are Goofy, the other is Pluto.

The girls were such good window shoppers, only on our second last night when I said 'time to choose something' did they even tell me what they would like to have. Chloe bought herself a smaller Winnie, both girls bought toe socks, Carmen also bought flip-flop socks, and I bought Halloween costumes (Mickey accessories and an Alice dress).

I staked out the perfect fireworks spot while Ken and the girls searched for a snack.

I probably should have chosen the heart shaped fireworks for this post - I'd never seen that before!

Okay, we were mean parents after the fireworks and dragged the girls to Space Mountain which we hadn't done yet. I thought it was a huge mistake until Chloe laughed through the whole ride and caught a total second wind. The night ended on a high - I couldn't have been more surprised!

We went to Ariel's Grotto for breakfast (a grotto is a cave or cavern, I just had to look that up to clarify for my own sake) where we met all the princesses, got all their pictures, and all their autographs. It was a bargain.

The food was amazing, way too much for us to eat, but delicious. And how fun to sit in a shell with a jellyfish lantern!

Ariel's Grotto is in California Adventure Park, where we met a few more celebrities, played some games, and Carmen and Chloe chose very different rides. Chloe took the rocking ferris wheel, Carmen did the Twilight Zone drop of doom and the giant roller coaster.

Our third day we hit Huntington Beach. Carmen boogie-boarded.

Chloe sand-castled.

Buried up to your neck is a classic.

She was quickly back in the surf.

We thought we'd missed out on seeing the parade, but we wandered back to Disneyland later in the day just in time!

Mary Poppins was charming.

Ken took a trip down memory lane with Chloe - this was the ride Ken remembers best from when he came as a five-year-old. (We also did Space Mountain again while we were in Tomorrowland.)

We had a very late dinner in Downtown Disney.

The balloon artist in the restaurant worked for tips - I hoped we payed him well enough, I'm never sure about these things.

The food at Disney was superb with healthy options everywhere and plenty of accommodations for dairy-free.

Actually the whole thing was superb. It seemed that we lucked-out everywhere we turned with the timing of rides, events, food and shade. All of it. The magic of Disney.


Jill said...

I've heard it said that good parents work themselves out of a job! It sounds like you have done very well and prepared Jaclyn beautifully!

Is it wrong that the Ariel balloon looks obscene to me?

Jaclyn said...

I was a little disturbed by the Ariel balloon too.

I suppose the fact that I've moved out seems a lot more real back home. Even though I'm doing more work than the last 3 years of high school combined, or so it feels like, this still feels like one huge vacation or summer camp to me for some reason. Maybe it's partly because it is REALLY warm here.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Oh, Barb, why oh why did we not think to top of college drop-offs with Disneyland? That was brilliant.

For the record, I thought I warned you that it's painful.

I'm guessing Steven was back home at football practice?

Barb said...

I know you did, Jane, but it's like warning someone about the pain of labour wouldn't you say?

oinorton said...

On the Wed when she FB to say you had left her my heart ached: for you, and for me in 9 years! I hope Camille goes to school in Edmonton like all the other nice youth have done in our ward. Calgary or Lethbridge will be fine too.

On the up side, I am loving Jaclyn's updates. University life is so fun! Jaclyn is reminding me of the tough times (classes, bike breaking) but they build character and make the good times so good!

melanie said...

Jane is right, Disney is a brilliant idea. One I'm going to store away for what seems like light years away but I'm sure it's 'right around the corner'.

I want Chloe's strawberry drink, it looks delicious!

Emma said...

wow! that all looks so familiar...
i'm glad you guys got some good pictures to remember it by though because it seems at the end of the day we didn't have all that many pictures. probably because we were having too much fun. but that's a good thing right?

Marie said...

Sigh. I just loved every minute of our time there last year. Loved. Isn't it amazing how you can plan nothing, and just find all the amazing things at the perfect time? Magic of Disney, indeed!

(the picture of Chloe in line for Space Mountain kills me! How late was it?)

Jaclyn at the Y. Wow. Carter just assured me today that when he grows up, he'll stay in the city with me. Aimee is going to live across the street, but have sleepovers with me, and Maxwell just isn't moving out. Do you think they'll stick with their thoughts 10 years from now?