Friday, June 05, 2009

Disney by the numbers

Our Disneyland trip by the numbers:
(All numbers are approximate, and even when they seem to be exaggerated, my vivid memory of the trip tells me that they aren't.)
Number of hours we had to prepare for the trip after Phil said “Let’s go to Disneyland!”: 36
Number of people who we told about the trip who couldn't believe that Phil was being that spontaneous: all of them

Number of times I said “Seriously?” and “Are you kidding me?!??” after Phil told me that the tire place “dropped” our Tribute off of the lift while they were raising it to rotate our tires before we left: 42
Number of miles we saved on the Tribute because the tire place got us a rental while our car was being repaired: 1,374

You're right if you are thinking "Wait . . . that's not their car."
Number of miles that we had travelled before we got the first “How much longer ‘til we get there?” question: 60
Number of miles that we still had to go after that question was first asked: 582

Number of times one of the boys asked “Can I have that?”: 1217
Number of times the answer was “Sure.”: 3

Adam convinced us that they would literally die without these giant rubber snakes. Having the boys die on this vacation would have seriously put a damper on the good times, so we bought the snakes. We haven't seen the snakes since we got home, yet mysteriously the boys are still alive.Number of bathrooms we visited at Disneyland: 27
Number of times we took Noah to the bathroom even though he insisted that he didn’t need to go: 12
Number of times we had to get out of the front of a line because Noah suddenly had to go potty, even though we had taken him to the bathroom just minutes before: 2
Number of times Noah wet his pants because he gave us less than 10 seconds warning that he needed to go potty: 6
Number of times I got pee’d on: 1
Number of times Phil got pee’d on: 1
(BTW - Mine was wayyyyyy worse because it happened after I picked sleeping Noah up from the stroller so that we could fold it up to get on the monorail. I was holding him in front of me, with his legs straddling my waist and his head on my chest when he let it go. There was so much of it that it was even dripping onto the ground. My clothes were soaked. We then had to go to dinner. And the ladies behind us watched the whole thing and then felt obliged to tell us how cute he was. It happened to Phil while he was carrying Noah in from the car at the end of the day, and he got a spot on his shirt that was about 2 inches in diameter and it happened about 3 minutes before he was able to take his clothes off and get ready for bed. See? Mine=wayyyyyyy worse.)

Number of times that Noah fell asleep in his stroller while at the park: 1
Number of minutes that he was able to sleep before we had to wake him up to get him out of the stroller: 5 (see above - btw, that was the ONLY time that we had to take him out of the stroller so that we could fold it up. He could have fallen asleep at any other point during the entire trip and it would have been okay.) Number of times Adam rode on the Indiana Jones ride on our first day at the park: 4
Number of times Adam would have ridden on the Indiana Jones ride if he had a willing parent to go along with him: at least 86

Number of Disneyland rides that Noah wasn’t allowed to go on because he wasn’t tall enough: 1 (Indiana Jones)
Number of times Noah told the ride attendant "See? I'm big!" after they measured him to see if he could go on the ride: 14 Number of handrails Noah climbed on while waiting in line: all of them
Number of times I told Noah to stop climbing on the handrails: 412
Number of times somebody in line near us told me how cute Noah was as he was climbing: 49
Number of times I told Noah that he was going to be arrested and thrown out of Disneyland if he didn’t quit climbing on the handrails: 32
Number of times that threat worked: 0
Number of times our boys whipped Darth Vador's behind: 2

Here's Adam on the stage wondering how in the heck he's going to beat Darth Vador in a lightsaber battle. Here's Noah on the stage wondering if Darth Vador seriously thinks he has a chance. I think Noah was actually saying "Bring it!" at this exact moment.In spite of his worries, Adam wasn't about to back down. Noah had the ducking part down to perfection. The entire audience got some good laughs while he was on the stage.Number of rude people wandering around the Happiest Place on Earth: way too many
Number of people whom I actually wanted to slap because they were being rude: 1
(Noah bumped into this guy after we got off of the monorail at Downtown Disney, immediately following the peeing incident. The guy turned and angrily snarled at Noah before turning back around and starting to walk away as if I wasn't going to call him on it. I was still in the midst of being aggravated about being pee'd on so I was more than willing to take him on and I said “He’s only 4! Calm down a little bit.” He then turned back around and said something unintelligible to me and I responded with another “He’s 4. You need to RELAX! If you don't like kids and you don't like crowds, don't come to Disneyland.” At that point Phil joined me and somebody who appeared to be that guy’s life partner joined him and they both said “What’s going on?!? We walked off in opposite directions but I’m pretty sure that Phil and the life partner got completely opposite versions of the story. As a side note, this jerk was at least my age or older, extremely effeminate, and probably half my weight. I’m pretty sure I could have taken him if he had come after my kid again.)

Number of pictures that we took during the trip: 403
Number of pictures that included Phil: 34
Number of pictures that included me: 17
Number of pictures that included all four of us: 1 (and it was a picture of a picture - see Tower of Terror below)
Number of characters we got pictures with: 3 (including the Holy Grail of Disney Characters - Mickey!)
Number of Characters we waited in line for: 0 (We "magically" came upon all three of these guys just as they were setting up shop for pictures and got at the very front of the lines. Good thing too, because when we saw other characters it was plainly obvious that neither of our boys had even a slight interest in waiting in line just to shake hands and get a picture with any of them.) Number of minutes that Noah slept in the car on the way to Disneyland: less than 10
Number of minutes that Noah slept in the car on the way home from Disneyland: 3 (He was completely awake for the first 8 hours and 57 minutes of the return trip, right up until we got off the freeway. He was asleep by the time we pulled into the driveway.)
Number of times Phil asked me why I am opposed to dispensing Benadryl to cranky, noisy children who won’t sleep in the car on a long road trip: 129

Other observations from the trip:

Noah still is not bothered even a little bit by the feel of wet underwear. In fact, after that first pee episode just before boarding the monorail, he seemed to have decided that actually going to a restroom to pee is wayyyy too inconvenient. Up until that point (including the entire distance to L.A.), he didn't have a single accident. After that point he pee'd in his pants approximately 4 times for every time he went to a restroom. I ran out of clean underwear for him before the second day. He was the only one who wasn't bothered by that fact.)

Adam apparently gets carsick. Who knew? Not us, that is until we were about 30 miles from our hotel and we were nervously trying to navigate the snarl of LA freeways. It was at that precise moment that Adam grabbed a plastic bag from the backseat and let loose. Kudos to Adam for actually getting about half of his vomit into the bag. The other half was evenly distributed on Adam, his backpack, his dvd player, his booster, and the car seat and floor. I love the Buzz Lightyear ride and I seem to be pretty good at it. Phil, on the other hand, managed to get a "broken" lazer gun every time we rode it because his score didn't even come close to reflecting the number of targets that he is positive that he hit. Seven is the perfect age to take a kid to Disneyland. Adam was big enough to be excited and able to go on all of the big, fast rides, but he is still little enough that he also loved the slower paced rides intended for younger kids. Four is a pretty good age too, if your 4-year-old is daring and adventurous like ours is. And if he's at least 40" tall. Forty is slightly past the prime age for an adult to go to Disneyland. Phil was running around both parks like a mad man, keeping up with the boys like he was one of them, until he hit the wall about midway through day #2. That's when the headache hit and he had to pass on the fast roller coasters. So, the baton fell to me to join Adam on the last of the big rides. I handled it okay for a couple of reasons: 1) I hadn't run around nearly as much as Phil had during the first day and a half, and 2) I'm not quite 40 yet.
Adam is a bit of a germophobe, but apparently there is a limit to his phobia that falls somewhere between allowing me to take a drink out of his water bottle (100% unacceptable) and eating just dropped cotton candy off of the floor of the Tiki Room (acceptable).

I am apparently not as much fun to ride with as Phil is. Practically every time we went on a ride, Adam pleaded to ride with Dad. Noah didn't seem to mind getting stuck with me so it all worked out, but I think I have a slight case of whiplash after doing Autopia twice with Noah behind the wheel of our car. Autopia: Phil's driver looks a little more stable and safe than my driver does, don't you think?Disneyland confirmed something that we already knew about our boys. Adam is very cautious and a bit of a worrier. He loved the rides after the fact, but before and during it was very obvious that his anxiety had kicked into high gear. He was even somewhat nervous on the more tame rides, until he actually saw for himself that they weren't too crazy. Noah, on the other hand, does everything full-bore, with no thought or concern about anything bad that might happen. For Noah, it's all about living in the moment, even if the next moment could mean certain death for him.

Splash Mountain Tower of Terror at California Adventure: Look at Adam's face. I appear to be very relaxed about the ride but in reality Noah had a grip on my arm that pretty much cut off the circulation and I was more worried about that than I was about falling out of the "elevator". Thunder Mountain Railroad: This was one of the first fast rides we went on. Noah saw a guy raise his arms before the first big drop, so he did the same. He kept them up the entire ride, and even for a minute or two after we got off. And this is just something that I thought was kind of funny - Space Mountain

It was a great trip and I'm convinced that being spontaneous isn't such a bad thing. Too bad it's taken us this long to learn that.


Anonymous said...

What great kids and what fun. And.....there is nothing wrong with spontaneous. It saves so much time planning. What great memories.

Melissa said...

Oh my goodness Julie. I am in the back room at work and I think people down the hall could hear me laughing for like 5 minutes straight as I read through this.

Julie said...

Let me guess, Melissa - you laughed the hardest at the part about me getting drenched by Noah.

Melissa said...

Haha- Phil came in shortly after I read that part and I told him that I didn't feel quite so bad for him. My personal favorite: "Number of times I told Noah that he was going to be arrested and thrown out of Disneyland if he didn’t quit climbing on the handrails: 32
Number of times that threat worked: 0" Hahaha! I laughed so hard, Sanjiv asked me if I was okay.

Swim Mom said...

Thanks for the post. I love a good laugh out loud post. I wish I could get Tom to go to Disneyland spontaneously. Last time we went it took two years of planning, and I had to listen to his complain the whole time about it being the unhappiest place on earth.

Hang in there with the pee problems, I wish I could tell you it will get better, but I have one who will be 7 in October, and we still have issues almost daily. Good times.

Thanks for the laugh.

Sonja and Jordan said...

Julie, I would have paid money to see you yell at that girly man. Ha! You go, girl!

Michelle said...

Hilarious!! This makes me so homesick for the happiest place on earth!! Well, since last time we went was with you guys... guess we need to plan our trip back!!! I'll need your input on Disneyland vs Disneyworld. I've been to Disneyworld probably 6 times, but Disneyland only once when I was like 12. Your "number of..." was hilarious! I can't believe Noah didn't sleep! I would have pulled out the benedryl for sure!!! Ü


Hey, you broke family tradition by taking your kids before they were adults! Shame on you. OK, I broke it too. OK, 1 generation isn't tradition. Glad you had a great time. Even the drenching will be a long-term memory worth the sacrifice.

I am suprised California doesn't have a "special" park exclusively for "special" people. I sure wish he would have pushed the issue... I would have loved photos and details documenting the moment. Go sis.

The more I think about it... I am actually suprised a tradational family like yours was allowed in. Did they get a discount and fast pass to the front of every line?

Danielle Christiansen said...

how fun! I cannot believe you got them to go on the tower of terror. When we took the girls for their 7th bday, i talked them into going on it. i think it was like our second ride. it ruined them for the entire trip. they wouldnt even go on rides at kiddie land. i was kicking myself for making them go on it. A friend told me it was so fun. Ya right! Scott & I hated it too.

Nathan said...

If I was Darth Vader, I don't think I could have kept a straight face (I guess the mask helps a little, huh?)

Awesome recap, and I'm sure you're still adding to the “Seriously?” and “Are you kidding me?!??” totals about the tire place dropping the Tribute off the lift.

I would still be going strong with that one.

Lisa said...

That was the best Disneyland recap EVER! This is Lisa from the ASO by the way, found your blog through a string of blog hopping other ASO/UAC blogs and I thoroughly enjoy it :)

Terri said...

This belongs in a scrap book it is priceless and so accurate. What a great memory you tell a great tale.