Why is it that vacations go by so quickly. It feels like you’re anticipating it for so long, and then bam! You’re already back home again.
My sister and I had a great time visiting our mom again. After our last visit, I shared the makeover we did on her patio …
It was fun to be back to see how things were holding up. Unfortunately, I totally dropped the ball on getting an updated photo for you guys. But I can tell you that most of the plants I put in died (due to temps in the 100’s, and my mom in the hospital and unable to water regularly), but the bougainvillea (pink flowering plant in the pot shown above) was doing great and in fact we had to go out and get a trellis for it because it had gotten so big.
My mom was also doing great. After my last visit in March I was really worried about her health, but she seems to be doing much better now (knock on wood). I could tell that she was feeling better by the amount of cooking she did for us! She made our favorite pork chops, corn casserole, egg bake, two kinds of strawberry desserts, homemade caramel rolls and lasagna. It was awesome.
My sister and I also took full advantage of the fact that her new townhouse (my mom downsized from her 4 bedroom house to a two bedroom townhouse in January 2021) has a pool. This was our view every afternoon …
It was in the 90’s with a perfectly blue sky every day we were there, and we pretty much had the pool all to ourselves (except one afternoon when two other people were there). We just relaxed by the pool and did some reading each day. It really was heavenly.
We also visited the Henderson Bird Sanctuary while at my mom’s house.
It was a lovely day, and we enjoyed the visit. But I have to say we didn’t see very many birds … with the exception of the mechanical kind. The sanctuary seems to be located right under a flight path to the Vegas airport and those airplanes kept coming in one after another, after another, like clockwork.
My sister and I also checked out Ethel M Chocolates in Henderson. It’s a great place to buy some really expensive (and delicious) chocolates, but they also have a lovely botanical cactus garden, one of the nicest I’ve seen (compared to a couple I’ve been to in the south of France, like this one).
They had started putting up lights for Christmas already, and I’m just betting that they put on an amazing holiday display.
It was quite hot the afternoon we visited, and you might wonder how you can get your chocolate home safely in those kind of temperatures, but they put ice packs in your shopping bag along with the chocolate. Isn’t that a thoughtful detail?
Probably the most fun part of our trip was heading off to Disneyland though. My sister and I took a quick flight from Las Vegas to the John Wayne airport in Orange County, and then we spent 4 nights at the Grand Californian in Disneyland.
It had been a while since we’d visited the original Disney park. I’d almost forgotten how much smaller it is, especially that castle. See it down there, at the end of Main Street?
It’s almost comically small compared to the one at Disney World. But hey, back in Walt’s day I bet it was totally magical, definitely something never seen before in an amusement park.
By the way, that gal driving the horse drawn carriage is Ashley, and she was super friendly and told us all about how they care for the horses that work at Disneyland, and how they used to have some stables on the land that is now part of Galaxy’s Edge, but now they have relocated them to a ranch that is about 30 miles away.
My biggest q tip for you today, if you ever visit a Disney park, is to always make a point of chatting with the cast members (that’s what they call the employees there). They are always super friendly and informative, and on this trip in particular they were all really enthusiastic and welcoming. I think maybe they are all just really happy to be back at work after the park was closed for more than a year due to covid.
One of the highlights of our visit was seeing the Haunted Mansion all decked out for Halloween.
My photo doesn’t really do it justice, but it was covered in candelabras that flickered as though loaded with 100’s of real candles, and there were jack o’lanterns everywhere. It was perfectly spooky!
We also enjoyed having some drinks in Oga’s Cantina in Galaxy’s Edge.
We had some super geeked out Star Wars fans at the table next to us and they were wearing full on Star Wars costumes and brandishing their new light sabers. So fun!
I’m back in the real world now though, and planning to spend the weekend out in my workshop starting work on some of my Christmas items (I know, I know, way too early, but it will be here before we know it). How about you? Are you starting to think about Christmas decorations already? And tell me, have any of you been to both Disneyland and Disney World? Which is your favorite? Leave me a comment and let me know!