And then there was vacation…

At some point in everyone’s life is uttered the all too common phrase, “I really need a vacation.” I need to say that phrase more. Do it more. I realize that I just push myself and push myself and push myself until I’m beyond burnt out – until I’m completely fried. This has never been truer than the past few years. Oh, I have plenty of good reasons for not taking vacation, but, really, those reasons are excuses. And, they’re legit, but, they don’t really matter.

A few months back I finally put my foot down and declared that we were going on vacation and going to Disneyland. This, of course, was met with an overwhelmingly positive response by the rest of the family. I’ve been wanting to take Ellie to Disneyland but wanted to wait until I thought she was old enough and wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of people, rides and I also wanted to avoid any potential freak outs from seeing live Disney characters. And, you know this can happen.

Since my husband is the master at vacation planning, I let him run with most of the vacation plans. Once we decided that we were going to drive down and do the coast thing on the way back, we needed to find a couple of good accommodations that would comfortably fit three of us. And, as usual, he totally scored the best accommodations — a darling cottage one block from the ocean in Hermosa Beach and a place called the Fog Catcher Inn in Cambria–also beachfront–which would be our stopover on the way home.

The ride down was pretty easy. The 5 may not be sexy but it is direct. We made really good time and were so happy to have our feet in the sand by dusk. This is one family that just absolutely loves the beach. Fortunately, I have some family that love the beach too and we spent a wonderful first day with my beloved Uncle and Aunt picnicking on the beach all day. Ellie just loves them and they love her too. There was football playing…

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And I managed to get this wonderful picture of Ellie with her Great Uncle and Aunt. God bless my nifty fifty. I took this with the Aperture setting and the lighting was perfect.

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As it worked out, Mother’s Day also fell during our vacation. To celebrate, we had brunch with my oldest and dearest friend, Gloria, her daughter, Fiona, who is exactly Ellie’s age and her Mom, whom I’ve known my entire life. It was pure bliss.

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After brunch it was off to Disneyland! It was a short drive from the beach and before we knew it we were checked in to our hotels and at the park. I have not been to Disneyland in many years and it was every bit as wonderful as I remember. The weather could also not have been more perfect. But, most of all, watching Ellie experience it for the first time made me so deeply happy. She and Fiona walked along together holding hands and chatting – and thanks to Fiona’s Mom, they had matching dresses too!

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Our two days at Disneyland were pretty much perfection. Being with old friends, watching my 5-year-old take on a kiddie and adult rollercoaster, meeting Minnie Mouse, seeing the Fireworks, going on It’s a Small World, meeting princesses…could life be any better?!

It was so hard to say goodbye to our friends and Disneyland but the teary goodbyes were worth all of the memories made in just two short days. And, it also gives us a great reason to return.

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