Autumn Around the Corner

Is it crazy that I’m longing for the autumn season already? I was gently reminded of the reasons why I love the season so much: the cool wind blowing throughout the house, cuddling under the covers, thinking about all the different comfort dishes and soups I love to cook, the smell of spice cookies baking in the oven, our annual Starbucks date, spending our Friday nights at son’s football games, the SD Chargers, the fall fashion of boots, jackets and chunky sweaters, and of course being so close to Christmas time. Until then, I will enjoy the last days of summer. Surprisingly, it has been the coolest summer in at least the last 5 years. I think we’ve only turned on our AC 3 times this summer…not bad, and very good for our utility bill. :)

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#27 – Plan a Family Trip – DONE!

Our family went to LA this year for our family trip. What an unforgettable experience! When you think of LA, you probably think traffic, crowded places and lots of spending. Truth in all of the above, but Hubby and I are pretty good at planning ahead and researching places to go. We know what our kids would enjoy and consider everyone’s ages, personalities, and interests. I felt like this trip was a huge success and we definitely made a lot of special memories together. With our kids growing up so fast, it was important for us to go on a family trip where we were experiencing new things together. Hubby and I also turned to our “tried and true” places, knowing that our kids would enjoy it.

Friday, August 20

Our adventure began. We filled our bellies with a huge breakfast hashbrown burrito from El Patron – none of us was really able to finish the burritos, they were THAT huge – but oh so good. Then we took our time on the road, expecting the LA traffic, but surprisingly made it to our first destination without any delay. We took our kids to the Grammy Museum – a place Hubby and I enjoyed a couple months ago. And as we anticipated, the kids loved it. The Grammy Museum ranks up there on our list of things to do in LA – it’s affordable, not crowded and there is so much to do, see and listen to. Our kids are like us – music-lovers – so it made sense to share this experience with them. My favorite part was singing together in a recording booth – ALL of us. It was both hilarious and memorable. :)

Breakfast of Champions - HASHBROWN BURRITOS!

LA LIVE

After the Grammy Museum, we decided to take  the kids to a late lunch at the place where I first tried Pad Seeyew (and fell in love) – Noodle Planet in Westwood. Then we enjoyed a little afternoon dessert at Diddy Riese, another one of our favorite places!

Diddy Riese

Enjoying our SWEET treats!

We checked into our hotel, the Anaheim Hilton. We scored a great deal of $85/night. The hotel was very modern and the room we stayed in was comfortable, although there was no view outside our window or balcony. But it served the purpose so we can’t complain. The kids took a dip in the pool at dusk on Friday, Ella included!

My little fishies...

The girls...

Getting ready for the next day at Disney...

Trying on the "ears"!

Saturday, August 21

The big part of our day started early in the morning – Breakfast with Minnie and Friends. If you have little ones in the family, and even if you don’t, this breakfast was well-worth your dollars. The food was delicious, characters frolic throughout the restaurant so right away, you get to meet them, and it’s all you can eat! We made reservations weeks in advance and enjoyed a nice, hearty breakfast “Minnie Mouse” style.

Our family at the Plaza Inn, ready to have breakfast with Minnie and FriendsElla so excited to meet Minnie - she waited for this day ALL summer!

The big meet and greet!

The girls with Minnie

The boys with Captain Hook

Mickey waffles - these were my favorite!

LOVE

A wonderful day at Disneyland

Here’s a clip of Ella dancing in the parade – this was absolutely my best memory at Disneyland. I was so happy for her!

We didn’t stay for the fireworks – it was already a very long day but wanted to make sure the kids did some school shopping with their allowance and money they earned from their report cards. Thankfully, the Block at Orange was open until 11pm. They had a blast shopping all night long.

Sunday, August 22

We checked out of the hotel and decided to take the kids to the LA Fashion District to do more school shopping. By Sunday, I was spent! Sadly, it was hot and crowded and I had a grumpy toddler in tow. But the kids found awesome deals and honestly, I’ve never seen them enjoy shopping so much until that weekend. I’m so happy they had a wonderful time and I look forward to our next family vacation together!

Mission accomplished!