Have I told you about my moms’ group? The one that saved my sanity when I had a two month old, one friend, and talking to myself just wasn’t cutting it anymore? I cannot emphasis enough how integral these ladies are to my mental health – nobody can talk/analyze/laugh/empathize more than moms who are going through the exact same thing at the exact same moment.
Plus, it’s nice to have a group of gals who also think of Happy Hour as putting on your “fancy” yoga pants to drink cheap wine on someone’s living room floor.
Anyway, our group’s fearless leader Nicole has been living in LA for a few months while her husband works on the movie “Wreck It Ralph” (which comes out November 2nd and is going to totally rock so we all have to pinky-swear to go see it and make it their most successful movie ever) and Lauren and I kept saying we wanted to visit. Suddenly, there was one four day period that would actually work (and happened to be right now) so we piled the kids in the back of the car and hit the road.
The trip down was very uneventful (outside of the fact that Old McDonald’s farm ran out of animals, which seems like an impossibility, but then I’m not sure he anticipated the extent of our singing time) and I know I was patting myself on the back for being the kind of mom who can roll into town at midnight, snuggly cherub in tow all ready to gently fall back asleep in her pack-n-play next to her best buddy while we adults drifted off to a full night’s sleep.
I was an idiot.
Turns out 15-month olds aren’t super into sleeping when they’ve been woken up at midnight and dropped into the middle of a roomful of new toys (as Lauren said it’s like putting me in the middle of an Anthropologie sample sale and then telling me it’s time for night-night). Throw in the fact you have four people trying to sleep in one room and one of them comments every time a vehicle goes by (car! truck! car! bus!) and there was not a lot of sleeping going on (Alice also inexplicably started meowing around 3am. Thank God, Lauren has a great sense of humor).
The good thing about Disneyland though is you don’t actually need sleep to enjoy it. There is so much, dare I say, magic happening that we were riding adrenaline fumes and didn’t even notice. And I’ve had a lot of folks ask and, yes, I think there’s a ton for little kids to do – they all loved the mellow rides and there were a bunch of play areas, and some genius engineer put in a tiny stream with bouncy rocks that was the hands-down favorite.
As for the characters, well, Alice might need to be a bit older to fully appreciate them.
One of the perks of being a Disney employee is free passes to the parks (and getting your friends in for free – thank you!) so Nicole is a very frequent visitor and had regaled me stories of all the celebrities she’d run into. I was dying to see one – just one! – while I was in LA because, I’m sorry, John Elway doesn’t count as a real celebrity sighting and that’s what I’ve been riding on.
This was as close as I got. To be fair, it was the Disney Trifecta (Cinderella, Belle and Ariel – duh) and seeing them all together is apparently a rare sighting but, alas, I am not four, and I had already planned out what I was going to say to make David Beckham fall in love with me (it’s rather complicated and involves goal keeping and I’d rather not say).
Did I mention we were all a bit tired? I just had to throw in this photo because there is nothing cuter than a kid wiped out because of Disney fun, am I right?
The next day was almost more fun, if you can believe it. Like I said, Allan is an animator for Disney and when he offered to give us a back lot tour I almost fell over in my hustle to get to the car.
They had a set for one of their new shows all ready to go, complete with fake store fronts and a little cafe with outdoor seating so, of course, I took a walk down it. You’ll notice I’m sporting my signature “just contemplating the meaning of life” look, which in actuality is me thinking about the chocolate croissant I just ate.
Part of the tour included meeting this character. I don’t think Alice was totally sold.
You’ll also be happy to know that my hands are almost the exact size as Julie Andrews. As I mentioned several times to Chris, this is probably why our voices match up so perfectly when signing Mary Poppins. He didn’t seem to hear me the first couple of times so I showed him. Sometimes it’s better to show, not tell.
The thing about the studios is everywhere you looked there was inspiration – wall art and color and quirky little tidbits. The “Wreck It Ralph” workspace even had a built-in arcade for the designers to mess around in to really get inside the world of arcade games.
My favorite though was this little workspace they had set up in the middle of a hallway. Can I get this in a house version, please?
And, it’s funny because it turns out the Disney back lots are a lot like Disneyland. Very, very tiring…
It was a whirlwind of a couple of days (Alice slept until 10am the day we got back) that was so jam-packed I feel like I’m just now coming down. Because hilarious friends + Disney out the wazoo = total Fun Project Madness.
(As not to bore those of you who aren’t my mom, I posted the rest of the photos over on Facebook.)
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