The Happiest Place On Earth?!?!?! The Beginning…

This story begins a couple years ago. We had a Family Home Evening with all my siblings and my parents and my older sister, Kami gave the lesson. She talked a bit on financial preparedness and getting out of debt. She had come up with a way that she’d be debt free in a month or so’s time. (With the exception of her mortgage and vehicle)

She also decided that she was going to start putting away money to take all the nieces and nephews to Disneyland. She wanted it to be her treat and plead with us, as parents to see where we could start saving money to make this family trip a reality.

After the families looked into things it was decided that November 2013 would be our trip. We’d actually be leaving on Eric’s birthday, but Eric said he didn’t mind that.

Then came 2012. Kami had a lot of unexpected life experiences come up. She met someone and they decided to get married. Well we all know weddings aren’t cheap and I think Kami footed most, if not all the bill and didn’t ask for my parents help.

Somehow, she had still been putting money away and was confident she could still make this trip work out. (I should mention she was paying for 8 kids to get into Disneyland) Then on Ailey’s birthday in 2013 (I only remember the day because it WAS Ailey’s birthday) I get a text from Kami saying that plans needed to change. She was pregnant! So she asked if it’d work better for our family to move it up a month and go in October or if it’d be better to wait until March of 2014.

As hard as it was for me to wait, I felt it would be unfair to go in October when Kami was due in November and she’d be miserable. It also worked better financially for us to go in March. So, our new dates were March 9 – 14.

Weeks before we were due to set out on our trip, Eric’s mom volunteered to watch Jace. I kept going back and forth on a decision. I just couldn’t make one that made me happy. If I left him, I’d miss him and feel horrible for not taking him to DISNEYLAND, but if I took him it meant more frequent stops on the drive and who knows how well he would sleep in an odd place. It also meant hours upon hours sitting in a car seat and stroller. I just couldn’t decide.

But then I just kept getting the feeling that I should leave Jace with her. I thought maybe it’s because it’d give her something to do and she wouldn’t be so lonely. I also decided that Jace is at an age where he just wants to move. I figured making him sit in a car seat and stroller for hours on end would be something like torture for the poor kid.

So the Saturday before we leave Eric’s mom drives out to get Jace and Flower. Yes, she took Flower too. She’s amazing. Anyway, she drove out figuring it would save us some time and she also brought us dinner. Such a life saver. I was in the middle of cleaning the house and laundry and packing. Anyway, after we get Jace in the car and start walking back into the house I start crying. I missed my baby already and he hadn’t even got down the street yet.

So I get everything done and packed by about 11 pm. I go to bed and fall asleep easily.

DAY 1 (March 9)

Eric wakes me up the next morning around 7 or so and we get the final things packed up, kids ready and we are off by about 10:30.

We make a quick stop at Walmart as Eric felt we really needed to get a battery charger kit. He was feeling uneasy and our battery (even though it’s new) likes to stall at times. So we are back on the road by about 11 or so.

We end up about 30 miles outside of Beaver when the thought occurs to me to ask Eric if he remembered to grab our Disneyland tickets. He says, “No.” We panic a bit and I am not thrilled at the idea of turning around and driving back home and coming back this way. I knew my parents and Kami were going to be heading out that day as well and so I texted my Mom to see if they had left yet.

They were just about to leave and I explained the situation and asked if they’d stop and get the tickets, knowing that it was a bit out of the way. Thankfully they agreed and we were once again on our way.

We stopped in Beaver for some lunch and to let the kids stretch their legs and run around a bit. We were back on the road by about 2:30 and headed to Mesquite, Nevada where we’d stop for the night. By about 4:30 we had made it to the Virgin River Hotel and Casino. Eric had decided to get rooms there because it was cheap and wasn’t as far as Vegas and we wouldn’t be IN Vegas. We should’ve known what we were going to get with such cheap rooms. We ended up on the top floor with hardwood floors. I felt so bad. We had a couple kids that were going to need to sleep on the floor and I couldn’t imagine sleeping on a hard floor.

We relaxed for a little bit and Ailey decided it was time for some selfies with Mommy.

…I’m a great example, I know…
When I was past-sick of looking at myself, I grabbed a couple quick shots of her.
I also snapped a quick one of Eric who was utterly bored watching whatever it was the kids were watching on TV.
Around 6, we decided it was time to eat. We weren’t finding anything close by that sounded good to me, so I looked into their little phone book. I found a pizza place that also served pasta that was nearby. I looked online to find their hours and realized they were closed on Sundays. So we decided we’d drive around and find something.

We didn’t go very far when we found a 50’s style diner. I kinda like the look and feel of 50’s diners so we decided to stop there. Our waitress was less than thrilled to serve our large family, but I didn’t care. She gets a paycheck because of us. So we order our food and wait.

…Ailey wanted a picture with her Daddy…
We finally get our food and I don’t think anyone was terribly thrilled with their food. Eric didn’t really care for his, my French Dip was saltier than salty and the kids got more food than they could eat. We go back to the hotel and call it a night. The kids watch some more shows while Eric does whatever he was doing and I updated the blog a bit.

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