Growing up, my brother and I spent countless summer days at Disneyland with Whitney and Bryn and some of my fondest memories are sprinkled with Mickey Mouse and a churro. When Whitney asked me a couple months ago if I would like to help babysit the kids in Newport while she was on vacation, I did not hesitate. All I could think was, "YES! I can take Rylee to Disneyland!" So, a short flight, one pair of glittery and feathery Minnie ears, and 3 Tinker bell shirts later and we were on our way to the happiest place on earth! Bryn decided right away that we all needed matching shirts. Bryn and I have a slightly embarrassing history of wearing matching things everywhere we go, right down to matching fanny packs a couple of years ago at Disneyland. It was only appropriate that we get matching shirts so Rylee requested Tinker Bell and that's what we wore!
Thanks to the Weather Gods, there were clouds, there was wind, and therefore there were short lines. Rylee was beside herself with excitement, as any 4-year-old would be, and from the minute we skipped through the parking garage (yes, we literally skipped the entire way, in a line, holding hands), I knew it would be my best day.
Here's what I learned about going to Disneyland with a 4-year-old (or just Rylee who is the most adventurous, coolest kid you could go to Disneyland with):
1. You get to ride basically every ride because they want to try everything.
2. You get to eat a lot. All the time. Foods of all kinds. And you don't really have to use a napkin.
3. You can get wet on rides and not care.
4. You can put your hands up on rides and actually have fun while doing it and when you scream, it will be out of genuine fun and glee.
5. You get to meet characters and start to remember what it felt like when YOU were 4 and getting Mickey's autograph genuinely becomes the best moment of your life. At least until you meet Goofy.
To say we had fun during cousin day at Disneyland would be an understatement. We held hands, skipped, and hopped a lot. I got stuck in a cave on Tom Sawyer's island while Rylee basically laughed at me for panicking that I was never going to get out. Bryn was asked by an old man to use her phone because he was lost and when Rylee asked what was happening my response was, "That's what happens to people when they don't hold hands at Disneyland." We had lunch at Rainforest Cafe where I asked Rylee if I could have one of her Dinosaur nuggets and she replied I had to, "Say RAWR" before I could eat one. We even hopped on Soarin Over California where she got so excited when she found out San Diego would be shown and she screamed like a maniac when we told her it was on the screen. Every moment was funny and exciting while I kept hearing Mimi's voice in my head saying, "Just don't lose her while you're there!" Never, we were having too much fun being attached at the hip to lose anyone.
I remember being 4 and thinking Disneyland was seriously a magical place where you could do anything and see anything and it was all real. I actually can remember being 23 and still feeling that way a couple of days ago....either way, there is no greater memory for me at Disneyland now then spending it with 2 of my favorite people because I know that for Rylee, this will be a memory that she will always remember: the day her Aunt B and her big cousin Courtney took her to Disneyland.
Rylee, I love you very much and I had so much fun with you! Thanks for inviting me to spend such a fun weekend with you :)