Saturday, May 9, 2015

Disneyland! And the Beach! And Other Fun Vacation Stuff! Part 1

When Magnus was first diagnosed with cancer, I felt completely and utterly helpless. I wanted to be able to do something, but of course, I couldn't do a darn thing to change it. It was during the time we spent in the hospital, one rough evening in particular, where I just had a massive meltdown. I cried and sobbed and cried some more. I didn't know what the future held. I didn't know what kind of future Magnus would have. Andy asked me what would make me feel better and I immediately responded, "Taking our family to Disneyland when his treatments are all over." So that became our goal, a long ways away goal, especially when you're dealing with the unknown.

We planned to go in February (thank goodness for tax returns! ;) and we decided to keep it a secret from our kids and surprise them somehow around the time we would be leaving. We made all of the necessary arrangements, I emailed all of their teachers, picked up make-up work secretly, made sure any projects that were due the week we would be gone were already completed and turned in early, I spoke to all of my professors and re-adjusted my schedule to accommodate for homework or quizzes I would miss, and Andy and I got work off for the week. It was insane trying to make sure everything was done before we left. We were planning on leaving Monday, staying at my parent's vacation home in St. George for the night, and finishing the drive on Tuesday. We would get there in the early afternoon and be able to spend the remainder of the day at the beach and then head to our hotel that evening. Wednesday through Friday we would spend at Disney. Saturday we would head back to St. George for the night and then we would finish the drive home on Sunday. 

So that was the plan. And the day before we left we brought Magnus into our room and told him what we were doing and asked him if he wanted to tell the kids. He got very excited and we gathered the rest of the kids downstairs. He announced that we were going to Disneyland and that we were leaving tomorrow. I got it all on video (and tried to upload it but it wouldn't work for some reason...) and their faces are priceless. They don't believe him at first and keep looking to me and Andy for confirmation. After they realized that it was indeed true, they all starting yelling and jumping up and down and freaking out. It was so fun.

Monday we spent the morning packing and getting ready to go. We left that afternoon and headed out to St. George. We are so lucky to have always had the best little traveler's. Our kids have always done so well in the car, probably because we have traveled with all of them since they were infants. We arrived that evening, grabbed some dinner and then headed over to Andy's sister's house. Jenny and Jeff are always fun to visit and our kids absolutely love each other. We went back to the house to get a good night's sleep so we could get up nice and early to finish our drive.
 We grabbed a healthy breakfast of donuts at the grocery store (clearly, I was outvoted) and hit the road.

We had an uneventful few hours and made it to Huntington Beach just after 1 o'clock. We quickly changed in the restrooms and ran out to the beach. Oh my goodness. Pure and utter delight was the theme for the afternoon. The breeze, the smell, the absolutely fabulous sunshine on my face.... it all felt like heaven. Laylah couldn't stop dancing on the beach and I didn't blame her. If i still had any moves left, I would have joined her.

 We ran and played and relaxed and jumped in the waves (although it was too cold for me) and just enjoyed our little lives for that one, delightful afternoon. I never wanted to leave.

We started to get hungry and decided to eat right there at Ruby's Diner on the end of the pier. We changed and walked all the way to the very end where Ruby's is. My parents and sister, Kaylie, were joining us on this trip and they had told us they would be there shortly. After we took a few photos, the kids all ran back down the pier to see if they could find grandma and grandpa and auntie walking up it.

 We requested a table on the top floor and were able to watch the most incredible sunset as we ate our yummy dinner and delicious shakes. It was the best day and such a perfect start to our vacation.

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