full day of smiles and tears

As we were getting ready to head out this morning, Bill looked in his wallet and found the vouchers he was supposed to use to pay for our lousy dinner Saturday night at Goofy’s Diner. It really was disappointing. And even more so to learn that we paid for it…. twice. He said he didn’t realize those vouchers I’d handed him when we checked in and said “we need these for dinner” were actually important. Now he knows. Before we headed out, Bill called Disney dining to explain what happened. He must not be the only one to do that. Because they quickly said we could use the tickets at a different character meal. So we’ll go eat breakfast with Minnie tomorrow. Kaitlyn is getting more than her share of time with the characters!

Today’s big special treat for staying at the resort was Toontown Morning Madness. Toontown opens an hour early for hotel guests. But you sit in the sun and watch some lame show where Mayor Mickey Mouse drones on. It wasn’t entertaining for the grown ups or the kids. And the rides didn’t open till Mickey finished. Note to self: skip this next time.

Since we wore ourselves out yesterday, today we tried to have a better plan. We left the park early and went to the hotel pool. It has a water slide and Kaitlyn went down that slide more times than I could count. There are waiters poolside to bring you tasty grown-up drinks. Except the pool was packed and the one waiter was just not able to keep up. So Bill got to be our waiter. Before going to the pool, we stopped to pick up fast passes for the rapid river ride just on the other side of the exclusive entrance to California Adventure. So we pulled Kaitlyn off the slide and, still wearing our suits, and rode the rapids. And, our plan worked. Because we got soaked. Kaitlyn absolutely loved it. It really was a lot of fun. And it was perfect to be able to just take our sopping wet selves right to our hotel and dry off and clean up.

Then, it was back to the park to see the Electrical Parade. People started staking out spots on the pavement an hour before the parade started. I’d taken Kaitlyn shopping (of course…. I’m trying to keep her from spending all those Disney dollars she earned but I think I should have just let her spend it all the first day) Bill called because he couldn’t get people to not take our spots, so the shopping had to stop so we could go sit and stiffen up on the pavement. If Disney sold pillows to sit on while parade watching, I’d totally buy. Totally. We ate dinner sitting there. Bill went and fetched hot dogs and a freakishly giant turkey leg. After what felt like forever, they dimmed the lights for the parade to start. And after what felt like another forever in the dark, the parade finally reached us. Kaitlyn was absolutely captivated by it. She cheered and hollered and clapped. Me? I cried. Except for a handful of new light bulbs, the parade is the same as it was when my parents made me sit and watch it every single night one vacation at DisneyWorld. And it made me miss my mom.

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