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Catching up?  Here is part one, part two, and part three.  Yeah, this recap is slightly long-winded.

Well, we woke up the day after the wedding(s) feeling pretty hungover, even though we hadn’t had much to drink.  We were just so tired.  so.tired.

We had a quiet morning and early afternoon, in which we ate breakfast, stared at the TV, ate some more, and took naps.  But we couldn’t be lazy for too long, because we had tickets to Disneyland!

Coincidentally, Eric and I both went to Disneyland when we were 7 years old – a few years apart.  Eric is younger, have I told you that?  He is 3 1/2 years younger than me!  Lucky man to have such a hot, experienced older woman.  😉  Anyway, I’d also been to Disney World (when I was 10), but neither of us had been to Disneyland as an adult.  I was mostly looking forward to eating candy, watching fireworks, and riding the rides.  So, yeah, pretty much exactly the same as when I was 7.

Disneyland was a blast!  It was also a bit of a blur and completely packed.  Seriously, I could not believe the crowds!  I don’t know how the little kids do it.  Between the people, colors, lights, and sounds, I was in complete sensory overload.  We were there on a Sunday, which is when they have their really big fireworks show, so it was extra crowded.

My first thought was FOOD (when is food not my first thought?).  We were starving when we got there – yeah, not smart, unless you enjoy spending $4 on a pretzel.  Oh well, at least it was shaped like Mickey!

minus an ear – couldn’t even wait long enough for a picture

After gnawing on Mickey, Eric and I just wandered around, taking in all of the sights and sounds.  We found the It’s a Small World ride, which I was really excited about because as a kid I always fell asleep to the song (I had a little wind-up carousel horse that played it).  Although, I have to admit, I couldn’t get it out of my head and by the end of the night I wanted to stab my ears with one of the bazillion plastic swords being sold for $30 every five feet.  (Also, what is it with everyone in Disneyland being so happy all the time?  I mean, I was having a blast, but the workers?  There is no way they can really be that happy.  Spill it, Walt.  What magical happy pills are you giving your employees?  Because I want some just curious.)

Happy (until the song made me ca-ra-zy)

After a while we met up with Eric’s family (see the adorable Just Married buttons Matt and Linsey have?).  Of course, first things first – everyone wanted to eat.  I think I know why I get along so well with his family…

$8 hot dogs (for them) and a $10!!!!! veggie sandwich for me (the hell?)

We rode a few rides, and then it was time for the FIREWORKS!  I love fireworks.  I’ll squeal like a child and clap my hands, no joke.  And these were amazing.  Somehow my iPhone just couldn’t capture how amazing they were.  Shocking. (Sidenote: I know my pictures on this blog are total crap.  I know.  I really, really, really, really want a DSLR camera, but couldn’t come up with the $800 in couch cushion change, so you’re stuck with the iPhone and an occasional point and shoot for now).  Anyway, the show was about half an hour-long(!) and included an entire narrative that I didn’t follow at all.  Plus 360º of fireworks.  Complete awesomeness.

Magic fire balls in the sky

The one ride that I did not want to miss was Space Mountain.  Eric and I got Fast Passes for it, and I’m glad we did because we still had to wait about 20 minutes (probably would have been 90+ otherwise).  Totally worth the wait!  I never liked roller coasters as a kid – something about the fact that they hurl you a thousand miles an hour down a rickety track that is operated by a pimply kid with bloodshot eyes just didn’t do it for me.  However, the combination of being inside and in near complete darkness (so I couldn’t see how safe – or not – it was) helped, and I loved it!  Although, I did get mad at Eric when he held his hands up.  I mean, they explicitly say DO NOT RAISE YOUR HANDS, DO YOU WANT THEM TO BE CUT OFF FOR THE LOVE OF GOD?!

It may look like I'm giving a fist bump to the camera, but that is actually the guy behind me holding onto the rail. My hands are safely in my lap AS THEY SHOULD BE

I’m happy to report that we closed down the park, not leaving until well after midnight, complete with all of our hands and my $12 bag of Jelly Bellies.  My 7 year old 31 year old self was satisfied.  And sleepy.

The next two days were totally free to just hang out, shop, eat, whatever.  First things first – we had to make it to In N Out Burger.

When we got into town, Matt and Suzanne had awesome gift bags waiting for us, including a bottle of wine, pistachio nuts, a disposable camera, an itinerary, and a gift card to In N Out Burger.  We couldn’t let it go to waste!  Being a vegetarian, I wasn’t sure what I could eat, but I looked up the secret menu and found out I could order a grilled cheese sandwich (always a good option if you ask me).  Of course, I had to round it out with fries and a chocolate shake.  You know, so I could have all four food groups (cheese, fries, chocolate, and … well that’s really all that matters).

YUM!

Eric and I followed our gluttony with a shopping trip – nothing more fun than zipping up skinny jeans over a bloated belly full of cheese and milkshake.  TMI?

Oh well, we couldn’t miss a chance to hit up H&M!  For those of you that live pretty much anywhere besides the middle of the country, you probably groaned because god H&M is everywhere, but if you live in Oklahoma, you have sweet dreams of the day this Ikea of Clothing will open a store near you.  And you do not miss an opportunity to shop there when traveling.

Actually, I found very little this time around – just a funky scarf and cuff bracelet – while Eric loaded up on shirts and hoodies and pants oh my!  All in all a successful trip.

Of course, since I realized I wasn’t going to find much, I whined waited patiently but in great anticipation for Eric to finish up so we could go to the beach!  Granted, we’d already been, but I was really looking forward to going just the two of us (awwww) and taking in the ocean air quietly.

It did not disappoint.  Not a bit.

Newport Beach on a quiet Monday afternoon

We took our shoes off, strolled down the shore, and let the scene wash over us.

That afternoon is imprinted in my memory.  forever.

   

After sunset, Eric and I headed back to have one last big dinner with everyone before Matt and Suzanne left for their honeymoon (we would stay until Wednesday, but they left for New Zealand(!) Tuesday).  We went to the Rainforest Cafe since it is both kid friendly and has a big menu.  The highlight was definitely the huge – and overhead – fish tank that lines the entrance to the restaurant.

yeah, Cooper was impressed

Good food, great conversation, AWESOME people.

Oops – sorry for blocking you, Eric. But I’m keeping the picture because I look almost decent in it. Priorities, ya know.

The next day we stayed pretty close to home.  Honestly, we had an awesome vacation, but we were all pretty tired at this point and dreaming of our own beds and routines.  In fact, Eric’s dad and I joked that we needed to get back to work so we could rest!  We made absolutely no plans for the day, which was perfect.  After a quiet morning, Eric and I went to Downtown Disney with his parents.  In case you’re not in the know, Downtown Disney is a shopping area just outside of the park that’s all decked out so you feel like you’re in Disneyland.

love these guys

It was a fun and chill afternoon.  We stopped in this huge ESPN sports bar, where Eric and I played arcade games while his parents shopped.

sadly, he beat me not once, but twice, at air hockey. my self-image as a world champion air hockey player was shattered. also, I let him win so whatever.

We met up with the ‘rents and had lunch at a sidewalk cafe, wandered around a bit more, and closed the afternoon in the best way possible – with Häagan Dazs ice cream.

double scoop mint chocolate chip in a sprinkle cone - BAM!

We got back to the house and made a big pizza/spaghetti dinner, complete with birthday cake because it was Linsey’s birthday!  Matt and Suzanne stopped by so we could say one last goodbye, and then Linsey, Jason, Eric, and myself finally, after a full week at the house, got in the hot tub!  It wasn’t easy getting into a bathing suit after all that pizza and cake, but it was well worth it.  A perfect end to a memorable vacation!  🙂

The end.

P.S. I want to go baaaaaaaaaackkkkkk!

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