Vivianne and I just got back from spending a few days in sunny California with my brother, Jeremy! And I'm already having big-time withdrawals. It's always tough getting back into the swing of things after being on vacation. We had such a great time, each day was something new and fun. The trip couldn’t have been any better. We are so thankful that we had the best tour guides that really knew how to show us a good time! Thank you, Jeremy and Krissy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011:
We left Wednesday evening. Our plane kept getting delayed for one reason or another, but finally about 2 hours after we were supposed to depart we were air born ;-) Being we got in around midnight we went straight to Jeremy's and crashed for the night.

Thursday, May 12, 2011:
Jeremy lives in Newport Beach. You can literally just walk out his door, cross the street and the only thing separating you from the great Pacific is sand. What a bright and gorgeous day we had! Vivianne was so excited about the sea shells…she collected quite a few for keepsakes☺

I have arrived :-)

Getting her toes wet (Newport Beach, CA) 1st time at the Pacific Ocean (Newport Beach, CA ,May 2011)

Sea Shell Hunting

Hunting for seashells

Later that morning we headed to The Aquarium of the Pacific! We saw lots of ocean life close up! The seals and sea lions were a big hit. We watched 3D movie, a cute little story about the sea turtle. Vivianne enjoyed the “splash” area outside and feeding the pigeons ;-) It was awesome.

Watching the fish at the Aquarium

Sea lion behind us

Watching the sharks at the Aquarium Uncle Jeremy and Vivianne at the Aquarium

3-D Baby!

Water splash area
Splash area fun with Uncle Jeremy Having so much fun!

We came back for some playtime at the beach playground and later began our quest to get some frozen yogurt. We walked to two different locations only to find they were closed and ended up hailing a taxi back home as two out of the three of us were done with walking at that point ;-) We jumped in the car and drove to Yogurtland, and it was so worth the journey!

That evening we went to a lookout point that Jeremy had brought Thomas and I when we had visited 6 years ago. We snapped a couple pics and headed home as we were all ready for bed.

Jeremy and Jenny

Friday, May 13, 2011:
We decided to hit the beach and brought our towels and sand toys down by the water and made a morning out of it. Vivianne had fun feeding the sea gulls our snack! We stopped to play at the playground on our way back and she had a blast. Then it was back to Jeremy's for lunch and a nap! We went out to a fabulous little Italian restaurant called, Mama D's that evening, and received by far the best service I've ever had dining out, the food was good too! If you are ever in Newport Beach, I highly recommend stopping by.

Beach bum Mom
Tiny footprints in the sand Mom's toes in the water :-)

Saturday, May 14, 2011:
Disneyland and California Adventure Parks!!!

Arrival 8:00 am. Departure 10:30 pm. Whoa! What a day! We met Jeremy's girlfriend, Krissy, there and being that she used to work at Disney, she acted like our own personal tour guide. It was awesome. She knew the parks (both Disney and California Adventure) like the back of her hand, we never once cracked the map. When we first got there we went to the “City Hall” and picked up a birthday button. If you are celebrating a birthday at Disney, you can go pick up one and they will write your name and your age on the button. You wear it around the park and every single cast member/employee (from Mickey Mouse to the person selling cotton candy) will wish you a Happy Birthday! It was so cool. She felt so special, complete strangers coming up to her saying Happy Birthday, Vivianne! They did it so causally too, so it wasn't awkward. Every once in a while, she would say, “Well, it's not my real birthday.” Ha! They always had such a smooth response such as, “Oh it isnt? But, wouldn't you agree that today would be a good day to celebrate your birthday anyway!” She, of course, agreed wholeheartedly.

We spent the morning riding rides in Disneyland. Being we got there right when it opened, the lines were bearable. We went on a handful or so and then made our way over to the California Adventure Park (which is directly across from Disneyland) for our lunch at Ariel's Grotto. I made a reservation there in March when we booked our tickets because I had heard from a friend that doing the “lunch with the princesses” is simply a must-do for little girls! And, wow, it was amazing. She barely touched her food…she was so in awe of each princess (Ariel, Belle Cinderella, Snow White and Princess Aurora). Each one stopped by our table to visit with her and posed for a quick picture. We even had a little birthday cake in a treasure chest brought out and everyone sang her “Happy Birthday!” The food was excellent. The entire experience was priceless ☺

Ariel's Grotto--Awesome, awesome, awesome!
Here's a slide show of Vivianne with the some of the Disney characters!

After lunch we went to our appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbodi Boo Boutique where Vivianne was transformed into a fairytale princess! This was so fun to watch. You are able to choose from three different styles, a pop-princess, a disney diva, or a fairytale princess, she chose the last one. They painted her nails, did the glitter makeup, with an updo, complete with a tiara…at the end she just sparkled inside and out.

Here are a few pictures from Disneyland!

Snow White Fountain
Making a wish!
Peeking in!
Donald's House
Goofy's House
V in the Castle
Sleepy Hollow
Donald's House
Krissy and Vivianne
Carousel Ride at Disneyland

Towards the middle of the afternoon the lines got really long. We waited in line to meet Tinker Bell for about an hour, but then her wish came true ;-)

Tinker Bell and Vivianne

Can I meet your friends?" she asks Tinker Bell.

Tinker Bell replies, "Well, Iridessa is here, but the rest are out using their talents now, but maybe next time."

Ok. Do you think you could teach me how to fly?

"Well", she thinks, "You just keep practicing flapping your arms like this" (as she demonstrates) "and here's a little pixsie dust" (she pretends to sprinkle it over Vivianne's head) for a little magic.

Vivianne practically floated on out of there. She was beaming. It was soooo cute! I wish I had recorded it, but I am pretty sure I'll never forget it ;-)

Then finally, all played out, she fell asleep in the stroller.

Finally Passed Out!
While she slept us big kids enjoyed a margarita and split up to ride some rides and do a little shopping. We met back up again in California Adventure about an hour before the World of Color Show. This was so amazing, unlike anything I've ever seen. It just gave you chills watching it. This show is very new, it just opened a month or so ago. It's similar to the fountains in front of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas that are coordinated to music, but they also project images from Disney movies onto the water. It is SO cool. I took a bunch of short videos. The first one is how the show began and the second one is somewhere in the middle (I didn't video the finale my battery was too low). You could actually feel the mist from the water. They had fire too, and you could feel the heat! The video is crap, it doesn't do the show justice at all. So don't worry, if you ever do go to watch the show, watching my videos won't be spoiling it for you, it will look so much better in person!

World of Color Water and Light Show!

Sunday, May 15, 2011:
We spent the better part of the day at Irvine Park.

Irvine Park
We packed a lunch and enjoyed a picnic by the pond. |Picnic at Irvine Park|

We rented this 4-person bicycle that basically looked like a golf cart with pedals. It was awesome.

Going for a bike ride!

Vivianne rode a pony.

Pony ride at Irvine Park

Uncle Jeremy really liked the little 5 minute train ride we took :-)

Irvine Park Train Ride

When we thought we had seen all that the park had to offer, we loaded up the car and headed back and spent some time at the Newport Beach Harbor. We rode the ferris wheel which gave us an awesome view of the bay, rode the carousel and walked out on the pier.

View of the Bay from on top of the ferris wheel! Ferris Wheel Ride Newport Beach  Harbor
Carousel at Newport Beach Harbor Bay Jeremy and Krissy (Newport Beach Harbor)
Newport Beach Harbor

Monday, May 16, 2011:

Our last day! We hung out at the pier, did some last minute shopping, and enjoyed an ice cream treat as we walked along the beach for the last time.

Last day on the beach!

Goodbye Newport Beach!

We miss you already, Unlce Jeremy!

Big smiles :-)

Thanks, again, for showing us a spectacular time! We'll be back, again, next time with another little princess in tow ;-)