We did Disney!
It was so much fun, I can't believe we went! I spent a few minutes every evening after the kids were in bed to quickly document our day so we would always remember the little things, AND the big things. So I have a few blog posts ready and at the end I'll share all my ideas and tips on going with six kids, 9 and under!
Day One We loaded the car on Friday evening, set our alarms, and headed out bright and early at 5:00am. It was absolutely pouring rain, big fat drenching raindrops. Jerry had started the car while I got the kids to the bathroom and got their clothes on. Since it was so early they all fell back asleep until 7. Score!
We stopped at a rest stop outside of Vancouver to use the restroom. When we got back to the car, Jerry asked me a question about our schedule, I pulled out my itinerary and realized we had left the house a full hour early!! After a good laugh we fed the kids their breakfast, (yogurt, boiled egg and a protein bar) and handed out our first activity bag.
I had assembled a binder from the dollar store full of papers I found online and printed off. The front row got crayons and the back row got colored pencils.
I had meant to bring a cookie sheet so Mae could color with paper and some crayons. Thankfully she is such a sweet, easy baby, that she was content to watch Sam color and enjoyed looking out the window.
There is something so magical about fallen logs covered in moss and neon green fields. This is how I feel about our drive through Oregon, it was magical, like driving through the Shire. I want to be buried there, under a gravestone covered with moss. Once we passed Portland the landscape changed to rolling green hills dotted with sheep and funny little trees covered in moss. It was such a beautiful drive, the rain here was more of a shower; soft and cleansing. Our second stop was in Eugene at 10. Potty break, and our second activity bag! This one was cheese stick and a jerky stick, a play pack for each of the kids and a clicky clacker... Thingy. Mae was so excited when we passed out the kids' iPhones/iPods between Eugene and Ashland because we had brought her her her little toy computer. Ha! Hands down, happiest little lady!!
Sam, being Sam decided to unbuckle and stretch. I turned around to tell him to buckle right back up, but his seat belt flew up and the buckle smacked Mae on her eyebrow. Oh, the tears!! We'll see if it gives her a black eye. It was so sad to see it happening, like in slow motion. Sam felt awful, and tickled her face for a few minutes as penance. He knows how to get that girl's heart.
We stopped in Central Point Oregon, at McDonalds for lunch. Again, I had planned to pack rice balls for lunch but ran out of time yesterday. It ended up being a good thing because not only was it raining too hard to play at the park, but there was a very very fun play place! It was all musical instruments based and very clean! Even Mae was able to run around and climb and play. They had a big floor piano and Molly jumped around playing chopsticks! We stopped for 30 minutes and got back in the car. Instead of an activity bag, it was quiet time so the big kids got books and the little girls dropped off to sleep immediately! I even got a 20 minute nap! Unfortunately, we missed the "Welcome to California" sign so Sam was upset about that. He has a list going of places he wants his picture taken on our trip. Jerry didn't think he had even see one, so that was too bad. I was not immediately impressed with California... Brush, dirt, tumble weeds, then I realized we were in Shasta forest. You fail at forestry, Shasta! Lol.
We saw our first Palm tree in Redding. The kids all cheered, except for Iris who burst into tears because she didn't see it. ;) We got out and stretched our legs for a few minutes in Orland at the rest stop and it was GLORIOUS! 63 degrees and sunny! The kids ran and ran and had so much fun stretching their legs! We passed out the last activity pack; coloring books, word searches, and hubba bubba bubble gum! Since there were so many drawing/coloring/writing activities I had brought several different kinds of writing instruments. Markers, crayons, colored pencils, smelly pens, window markers, and pencils. The kids liked changing it up.
We ended up turning on a movie about 10 minutes later since the kids were getting restless. We smoothly pulled into Sacramento at 6PM and checked into our hotel. I had packed a duffle bag for Sacramento so we wouldn't need to unload the tubs, so we grabbed the duffel and dropped it off in our rooms. The front desk staff was amazing and handed the kids warm chocolate chips with walnuts right when we walked in. They were crazy welcoming and it helped the kids relax for a few minutes in the room while we reorganized ourselves.
We brushed hair and changed some kids' clothes and went to chuck e cheese for dinner. The mall is right across the street from our hotel so it was about 2 minutes to the Chuckster. The kids got out some serious energy there and had an absolute blast. They have a ton of different games than we do in lil' ol' Washington. :)
When we got back to the hotel at 8:30, Jerry and the big kids went to their room a few doors down and I bathed the little girls, then tucked them in.
Mae slept the night wrapped around any part of my body she could come in contact with and would occasionally wake up and look at me and say, "Momma" to make sure I was still there. It was very sweet, but not super restful for either of us! The girls fell asleep in about... Oh, 4 minutes. And I fell asleep about one minute after that.
Our first day was perfect and I can't imagine it being any better!!