Wow, my baby girl just turned 7! I can’t believe how quickly she’s grown. This little first grader is just not so little anymore. Though I’m still able to carry her, I can’t last more than half a block without severe back pain. Still, she’s my baby and will always remain my baby. 🙂
What is she like now? Well, in a nutshell, she is a creative, outspoken, shy, witty, intelligent, fun-loving, compassionate social butterfly all in one. Alan and I sometimes stare at her in amazement…..this bouncy, energetic, lively girl is actually the same baby that we held in our arms 7 years ago? How did that happen? And how did we get so lucky?
Vibrant. Vivacious. Two V words that so accurately describes our beloved daughter. Bridgette has such a big personality, but rarely in an annoying way. She loves company, and like me, is constantly thinking of the next “surprise” for people. However, there is also a quiet, shy side to her, where she can spend hours building legos by herself.
Back in December, we gave Bridgette a choice. For her 7th birthday, we could host a birthday party for her, or we could use that same money to take her on a short trip. Party vs. travel. This smart girl picked the latter. Well, she did try to push her limits a bit like she always does…..testing the water to see if there’s any possibility to do both. Being the wisely intelligent parents that we are (ha!), Alan and I stood on our grounds and said she could only pick one. A trip it was, to the happiest place on earth!
Bridgette’s birthday fell on mid-winter break week, so she didn’t have school the entire week. Since one of her closest friends, Karina, is in the same school district as her and thus, share the same school holiday calendar, we invited Karina to come along. Disneyland is surely always more fun when you’re with a friend!
Alan recently started a new job, so he didn’t have any vacation days yet. I was ready and willing to embark on this adventure with the girls by myself, but decided to also invite my mother in law since we knew she would really enjoy it. We didn’t have to ask twice. 🙂 She was elated to be invited, and off we went on this all-girls trip to the fairytale land where dreams are promised to come true.
To be more efficient, we didn’t rent a car this time. We flew straight to Orange County, hopped into a cab, and arrived safely at the Hyatt Regency within 3.5 hours of leaving our house in Redwood Shores. We ate a nice lunch at the hotel, and the girls eagerly changed into their swimsuits for an afternoon in the pool.
That evening, we took the shuttle from our hotel to Disney Downtown, where we dined at one of Bridgette’s favorite restaurants–Rainforest Cafe, as a little pre-celebration for her birthday the next day.
On Bridgette’s birthday, we all woke up nice and early to catch the earliest shuttle to Disneyland, just a few miles away from our hotel. I had booked a character breakfast for us at the Plaza Inn on Main Street, and the girls had a great time hugging all the characters that came by to say hello.
As always, we headed to Fantasyland first. Both Bridgette and I were really hoping to meet Princess Anna and Queen Elsa this time, but to our disappointment, the wait was 3.5 hours when we got there. We love Frozen, but not enough to wait 3.5 hours for a photo, so we decided to move on…
It must have been winter break for a lot of other schools too, because the lines were pretty long. We waited almost 45 minutes for the boat ride into storybook land! Disney apparently still considers this a “low season” for them though, because a big portion of their rides were closed for maintenance. The girls were very disappointed that two of their favorite rides–It’s A Small World, and Splash Mountain, were amongst those that were closed.
Fortunately, there’s never a shortage of things to make a child happy at Disneyland, even if some of her favorite rides are closed. We got to go on Pirates of the Caribbean twice, and got front row seats to watch all the princesses perform.
For Bridgette’s birthday dinner, I made reservations at her favorite restaurant inside Disneyland– The Blue Bayou, which is the restaurant inside Pirates of the Caribbean. Bridgette loves it because of the ambiance, and the fact that we get to watch the boats go by. The food is mediocre and expensive, but the ambiance is indeed quite nice.
We spent the day perusing around Disney Downtown, and flew home that evening. It was a really short trip, but we surely made the most out of it, and Bridgette said it was a really special birthday for her. Yay!