Up until this vacation, the Powers Family had been on the run, basically driving in the sun, looking out for ourselves (that's number one!). But then, we made a decision, to head back to California, right back where we started from.
And it was epic. We did two days in Anaheim at Disneyland and then a week in Laguna Beach at the Ritz! Here are some of the more choice moments.
A welcoming gift from our awesome travel agent: two delicious Mouse-themed cakes. These were waiting for us in the room when we checked in.
Disneyland: If you buy an $11 ballon, and ask the Ballon Sales Girl nicely, and the line isn't too long, she'll let you pose for this picture.
Disneyland: Brighton was terrified of every character she encountered, evidenced here by her pushing poor Minnie away with great prejudice.
Disneyland: Brighton calmed down as soon as Minnie was a few feet away. She enjoys her life-sized Disney characters at a distance.
Disneyland: We were invited on a tour through Minnie's house. Here's Brighton and I (rudely) examining Minnie's fridge, which was mostly filled with various cheeses.
Disneyland: Cinderella was very friendly. It took me awhile to realize that she was talking to us in character, which led to some akward interactions. I kept asking her questions that only made sense if I was talking to an actress in costume -- she kept responding as the actual Cinderella. Disney fail on my end.
Disneyland: Some people say that Brighton is spoiled. I have no idea what they are talking about. I demand proof!
Disneyland: No trip to the DL is complete without a turkey leg.
Laguna Beach: We had an epic blowout after driving our rental car over something sharp and spikey on the freeway. After one 911 call, a heroic tow truck driver, and an annoying rental car swap out at Enterprise, we were back on the road again.
Laguna Beach: Brighton on the beach. Like Minnie Mouse, she was cool with the water and waves as long as they stayed at a distance.
Laguna Beach: Hanging out by the pool. Brighton is proud of her new cover-up.
Laguna Beach: Sunset in the OC. It's hard to see, but the house in the distance behind us is valued at $45 million.
Airplane Trip: Brighton does very well on planes -- if she has an iPad full of cartoons to enjoy. We bought her unicorn-themed headphones for the flights.