We had been planning and scheming for months. The plan was to surprise the kids with a week long vacation to Southern California including three days at Disneyland. Surprise them we did.
On the Friday night before the trip we took the kids to Nana's while we had date night. We picked up take out, came home and packed for everyone like two crazy people. We picked the kids up and brought them home to go to bed, all the while everything sat in the den waiting for the next morning.
In order to keep costs in check so we could splurge along the way we packed a cooler of sandwhich makings, fruit and chips. This was also a time to get to have the rare treat of their own sodas. It was nice to stop at rest stops or empty parking lots for a traveling break. It was also nice not to eat out every single meal.
We woke the kids at 5am to tell them of our plans as well as to tell them they had 15 minutes to get a few things together to do for traveling, get dressed and get in the vehicle. They didn't believe us! They were sure it was prank but the excitement grew the further South we drove.
Our kids travel really well and it went really well. We had two days in the vehicle each way but always made day 1 our long day. We had about 10 hours with stops the first day and 7-8 the second.
Grassy rest areas help get some energy and at this one we were about two hours from Los Angeles and we were all getting pretty excited.
We found a great place to stay two exits from Disneyland and it was a great home base. It got really busy at the hotel towards the weekend but during the week we almost had the place to ourselves.
This place was perfect for us. We had a full kitchen for some of our meals, a loft for Steve and I with our own bathroom where I took the above picture from.
It had a bedroom with two queens as well as a second bathroom, this comes in very handy with seven people in our crew.
Having so many months to plan meant we also had lots of time to come up with ideas for little surprises along the way. We bought the kids new shirts with the Disney theme to give them the night before our first day in the park.