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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Sunday, June 04, 2006


A world of laughter, a world of tears


Greetings from the happiest place on Earth--Anaheim, California, home of Disneyland, California Adventure Park, Downtown Disney, and more registered trademarks than anywhere else in the world. We left early Saturday morning and drove eight hours to hook up with our pals Mickey and Goofy, the Mad Hatter, Chip & Dale, you know... the crew. Oh, and let's not forget the princesses, although so far it seems the little girls dressed up as princesses outnumber the real ones about 10,000 to 1. We've seen some mighty cute little girls, though.

Traveling mommy Mary Tsao is blogging to you live from the Embassy Suites Hotel, a family-friendly place recommended to me by my friend Leslie. We're digging the free breakfast every morning (frugal Mike got pretty excited when he found out about the free breakfast), the kid-friendly pool party last night with oldies jams, free booze, drunk parents embarassing their offspring by dancing to Super Freak, and 50 cent hot dogs (again, frugal Mike almost couldn't believe our good fortune), and the fact the place is located across the street from the mommy meca of super stores. You know what I'm talking about: Target. Awww yeahhh. We've already been once and we only got here yesterday.

I-5 was as boring as we expected; Thomas curled himself into a ball of fury and got very angry at several points. The eight hour drive was hardest on his little one-year old spirit. Emily did fine; she's a big girl now--almost three. Mike and I switched off driving and eventually we got here. Our Prius has a nifty GPS system that lets you know what the estimated time of your arrival is based on your current speed. A fairly useless thing to know unless you're anal and obsessive. Which we are.

Today some of us enjoyed and others of us were scared out of our wits at the character breakfast at the Disneyland Hotel. Guess which one of us enjoyed it? I'll give you a hint: champagne was involved. Guess which one of us was scared out of his little guy wits? Poor T. He's still a little young to think giant animals in his face are anything other than terrifying.

After breakfast we checked out Downtown Disney, which is basically an outdoor shopping mall. After walking around sweating off our Mickey pancakes and Goofy waffles, we returned to the hotel to take naps. Except I was the only one who had the sense to take one. The kids waited until we left the hotel for dinner to fall asleep.

Dinner was at the Rainforest Cafe, the kind of theme restaurant where you just KNOW without even looking at the menu that you will be able to get a deep fried appetizer and a big, silly drink. I was rather upset that they lost the reservations I made last week although since we eat at 5:00, they were able to fit us in. But let me give those of you traveling to the happiest place on Earth a tip: make dinner reservations! In fact, if you're going during the summer, make reservations for every meal; there's no such thing as spontaneity when thousands of people have the same goal you do. Yes, that would be the goal of shoving their face with greasy food and sweet drinks.

After a delightful dinner, a swim in the pool, and a horrible experience jogging on a treadmill in front of what seemed like hundreds of mirrors filled with the image of my jiggling behind, I finally managed to get some pictures online. Tomorrow--after our free hotel breakfast, of course--we're heading over to Disneyland, where we are sure to find madness, mayhem, and Mickey. On a Monday, no less.

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