Before the evening session.

Our Disneyland story actually begins on September 10th, when we were in Winthrop, WA. It was one of the first Sundays on our trip when we were not traveling, so we decided to go to church. We chose a random, small church in Winthrop. It was a nice service and after church we were visiting with a couple who was in town for a car show. I actually posted about it here.

What I didn’t post about then was that while we were chatting with the folks who own the kit car we told them about our trip. The wife, Jan, said, “Oh, I should connect you with our daughter, Jen. She works at Disneyland and I bet she could get you in.”

Well, about 3 months later, it happened. Jan sent us some dates that would work and in October I was able to connect with Jen and plan things out. We set a date for early December. We knew we would be in the area and we tried to find a time that would not be too busy and when Disney would have all of their holiday decorations up. 

Things actually got better from there. Initially we were planning on meeting Jen and she was going to hang out with us during the day. It turned out to be a good time for Jan to visit, so she was able to join us as well. We met Jan and Jen at about 10 and Jen and her friend were able to sign us all into the park. Jen had to work, so Jan spent the first part of the day with us. 

We spent the first part of the day on the California Adventure side of the park. Using the Disney app and Fastpasses we were able to pretty efficiently make our way through the major rides, picking off some other rides in between. Jan would hang out with the little girls so that Susan, the big kids, and I could go on most of the rides together. 

We continued that system into Disneyland. Jen met us just before dinner. In Disneyland we did more rides, saw the parade and a short show, and visited some Princesses, before stopping for dinner. After dinner Jen took the three older kids back to California Adventure to redo some of the rides they liked. They had a blast! 

The rest of us met them after taking Rose and Lucia on some of the rides in Fantasyland. We were hoping to catch World of Color, but it (and the fireworks) were canceled because of high winds. That was a bummer, but we continued on our journey, enjoying some more rides. While waiting in line for their last ride the older kids ran into some friends we had met earlier in the trip, the Youngs. We knew they were there, but it was proving difficult to coordinate. They visited for a few minutes before it was time to head home. 

We left the park at around 11. The older kids wanted to stay longer, but Lu was very tired and Rose was asleep in the stroller. Everyone was exhausted and it felt good when we got home. The next morning everyone slept until after 9! 











Palm Springs -> Anaheim

Today we made the short drive from Palm Springs to Anaheim. It just took a couple of ours. Our Anaheim RV park is just a short distance from Disneyland, where we plan on going on Tuesday. 

This afternoon after we got settled in we went to Downtown Disney, just to get a taste of what’s to come.

Bowl of Nouns

Another day, another hangout with the Bennions. It was nice and warm again today so we hit the pool in the afternoon with the the Bennions. The kids stayed in the pool until dinnertime. We went our separate ways for dinner, but then met up again later in the clubhouse for a game of Bowl of Nouns. 

The Bennions

This evening we spent some time hanging out with our new friends, the Bennions. They pulled into the RV park over the weekend and today we finally managed to spend some time hanging out as a family. We hit the pool, ate some pizza, and then headed to Palm Springs Villagefest. The kids had fun trying to collect as many high-fives as possible. 

Winding down pool time.
at Villagefest

Indio Outdoor Market

Last night we went to an outdoor market in Indio. It was really cool. It was big, with plenty of things for sale. Most interesting is that it definitely had a Latino flavor to it – much different that the Des Moines Farmers’ Market. 

RV Park Sunset
Snap Pops at the market
Moon Ring

Park Friends

Yesterday afternoon Susan took the older kids to see Wonder and Lucia, Rose, and I went to play at a local park. While we were there we met another family who was visiting Palm Springs from Vancouver. It was fun to hang out with them for a little while, and then run into them again at the grocery store.

Avery, Avery’s brother, Lucia, & Rose
at Wonder


Our trip has been great so far, but it is not all roses. Our budget has not been working out so well. We have been spending more on campgrounds, groceries, gas, and vehicle maintenance than we have planned for. We have been focusing on reining in some of those costs and yesterday we decided that we should forgo our trip to Malibu. We were all sad, but I feel good about the decision. We have also been loving life in Palm Springs and have plenty to look forward to here.

Here’s to another week in Palm Springs!