It is the year of Disney at the Banks house. We just got back from an adventurous trip to Cali. The first day we were headed into the park all of the sudden Natalie said she was feeling dizzy. about 30 seconds later she was passed out on the floor of the minivan. Needless to say, we were all pretty worried. We drove to the nearest ER to get her checked out. When we got there, she was wedged between the seats, and was as limp as a wet noodle. We had no idea how we were going to get her out and on to the gurney. I said a quick prayer, and then remembered a technique I’d learned in a first aid class. I got into position and lifted her right up. I was so grateful. After many, many tests, the Dr concluded that she had a case of extreme vertigo. So random! And so not fun. Poor thing was knocked out for the entire trip. We were all so sad she couldn’t be with us. Josh kept saying, “I don’t want to do this without Aunt Nat!” He was so sweet, and so worried about her. Later that evening when we had Nat home safe and sound from the hospital, we decided to take the kids to Huntington Beach. They had a BLAST body boarding in waves that were just their size. It was an absolutely perfect day for the beach. After we were all done playing in the sand and the water we walked out along the Pier and had dinner at Ruby’s diner at the end of the Pier. We caught the sunset, which was beautiful.

Next day was Disney Take 2. Dad stayed with Nat for the morning. The kids always have so much fun with their cousins, and this was no exception. So much laughing, joking, and memories being made. Josh was so excited to go on Space Mountain again, and was so disappointed to find it spooked out for Halloween. It was really scary! Everyone loved Star Tours, and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. Blake chickened out on the Matterhorn at the last min, but the other two braved it out. Dad joined us for the evening where the hands down hit was Splash Mountain. We rode it 3 times in a row. Blake was a little Splashed out, so he and Grandma rode Winnie the Pooh 3 times in a row 😉 The kids were totally wiped out and fell right to sleep that night in their bunk bed room.

We woke up to the day we’d all been waiting for. Cars Land!! And it didn’t disappoint. We all loved Radiator Springs Racers (despite the long line),and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree was an absolute favorite. We could have done without Luigi’s Flying Tires. The detail and realism of this land is stunning! It felt just like we were in Radiator Springs. We came back in the evening for the lighting of the neon, when all the neon signs in town are turned on.

The next favorite ride was California Screamin. Halle absolutely loved this ride. Josh was about a centimeter too short, but nothing that an extra pair of socks couldn’t fix 🙂 He lost his courage as we neared the front of the line, and was crying and trying to run away. Rusty convinced him to give it a try, but he was in such distress that the ride operator came over to make sure he was ok, and that he was riding of his own free will and choice. But, after it was over, he couldn’t wait to get back in line again. I think we went 4 times, and the kids would have kept going, but mom and dad needed a little break.

And let’s not forget Tower of Terror.  Blake has proclaimed this his favorite ride.  But Josh was the only one brave enough to go twice.

We stayed and played until the park closed. Jack and Blake didn’t quite make it.

The next day we headed to Newport Beach. It was kinda windy, and no waves, but we still had a great time. We got some donuts from a little bakery across the street and settled down in our beach chairs to watch the kids romp and play. Natalie was feeling good enough to come with us today, so we rented her a wheelchair and brought her along. She moved at about the same speed as Leo and Blake 😉 Balboa island was next. We ferried across, and our first stop was Balboa Candy for some delicious, soft, chewy, salt water taffy. We had thought we’d find somewhere for dinner, but that didn’t really pan out. So we had dessert first. The famous Balboa Bars. Kids loved them, and I gazed longingly at the ice cream smothered in chocolate, and cursed my dumb stomach. We ended up snagging a pizza on the way home and the kids ran around the house like banshees.

This is my favorite pic from the trip. Everyone loves Uncle Michael.

And here is our cute VRBO house. Loved staying in a house. So much better than a hotel!

Grandpa always brings the kids a treat when he sees them. So, as soon as we saw them at the airport, the kids were clamoring for their candy. Sixlets to the rescue!

A special thanks to Grandpa for taking most of these pictures.  With Natalie down, and Rusty not joining us till 1/2 way though the trip, we had our hands full just making sure everyone stayed alive. We lost Jack for a couple of min at Disneyland, but otherwise made it though will all the kids in tact.  

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