Sunday, November 9, 2014

2014 Disneyland Vacation - Travel Day

This year's Disney trip took us to Disneyland in California. With an assignment due any day now, this may be our last chance to be a hop, skip, and a jump (OK, an 8 hour drive) from the west coast Mouse, so off we went. As usual, we were up at Zero-Dark-Thirty and on the road. The Road Warrior drove, and the girls and I assumed our usual road trip positions....

Normally, we go for the long haul and get to Disney as fast as we can, but on our trip to California over the summer, we saw some familiar faces along the way and vowed to stop next time.

Meet the dinosaurs from Pee Wee's Big Adventure!!!!!

The girls have no frame of reference as to why we would drag them out of the car in the middle of nowhere, California to take pictures by giant concrete dinosaurs, and I am pretty sure that there was some eye-rolling involved, but worry not, they will soon be educated on this gem from my childhood!

Last summer, we were overtaken by Disney Mania while having our every whim met on a Disney cruise and we signed up to be members of the Disney Vacation Club. This was our first time staying at a DVC Property, in this case, The Villas at Disney's Grand Californian. It is a BEAUTIFULLY done luxurious property and I immediately fell in love with all the Craftsman details. Our villa wasn't quite ready when we arrived, so a valet whooshed away our bags and we headed to Downtown Disney for lunch and some shopping.

After lunch at Earl of Sandwich, where they had a life-changing Arnold Palmer made with Earl Grey tea, we had to make a stop at the Lego Store. I don't know what it is about Legos, but the transcend age, gender, and even teenage girls. Den and the girls jumped in and started building cars to race on the track they had set up.

After the race we continued meandering throughout all the shops and finally ended up in the new Frozen store. Let me tell you, Frozen is EVERYWHERE at Disney right now. Anyway, we were perusing their frosty themed goods when, all of the sudden, red lights started flashing, alarms started going off, and Nordic-clad workers began shepherding customers out of the store. There was a fire in the kitchen of the restaurant 2 doors down. The efficiency was pretty darn impressive, I have to say. Within a matter or minutes, cast members had evacuated all the businesses and formed a human blockade surrounding the area. I do feel the need to point out the irony of being evacuated from the FROZEN store for a FIRE. 

After the Downtown Disney excitement, it was approaching check-in time, so we strolled back to the hotel to chill in the lobby until we received the text that our room was ready. Lounging in the dark next to this fire and reading a book was one of the most relaxing things I have done in a while and proved to be too much for Den. The early start and the warm coziness caught up to him and it was lights out Haggis.

Once we got the text, we headed up to our room and to say that we were blown away was an understatement! We had booked the 2-bedroom villa since originally, Dennis' brother and his family were going to be joining us. Thanks to a cross-country move and a new job, they, sadly, weren't able to make it. So... we had this giant villa all to ourselves. I wish I had gotten pictures of everything when everything was freshly made and tidy, but by the time I got the camera out, the valet had arrived with our luggage and the HaggisFam had molted all over the place. One perk was that we had a full kitchen, so we were able to prepare meals in the room and that saved us a TON of money. 

This was the girls' room with their own private veranda

And in-suite bath

This was the third full bath off of the main living area. 

The master suite with it's own veranda. This picture does not do the luxury of this room any justice.

One of the coolest features, I thought, was this sliding panel that allowed a person soaking in the jetted tub a view of both the park and the tv in the bedroom. BTW, the closet that holds the toilet in this bathroom is actually bigger than our whole bathroom at home. #posh

Once we got all settled in, we headed down to the pool. It was too chilly for this girl to be swimming, but Den and the girlies braved the chill and had a blast.

We ended the day in our plushy spa robes and ate dinner while admiring our AMAZING view of the park. Shortly after this pic, we all passed out from exhaustion.

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