It all started on Sunday, when we went to Mom's house for dinner. It had to be quick, though, because we were all eager to be on our way to Disneyland. Mom and Steve picked us up when they got done with church, and Mom set out to make pizzas. In the meantime, Steve put in a movie. I can imagine how it went in his head: "It's the Twins' birthday, so let's watch something they'll like. ...Oh, I know just the thing!" And he would have been so excited to start the movie (he specifically refused to tell us what it was; we had to wait until it actually started) and see the surprised expressions of happiness and glee as we realized what we were about to watch.
...And all of that is why I feel really bad. The movie was Enchanted, which, as some of you probably know, we hate with a fiery, unbridled passion. It's the reason we have such a hard time watching anything with Amy Adams (she didn't make us want to throw things so much in The Muppets, but before we saw it, we were very worried). Although, to be fair, Enchanted is not her fault.
At the time, we didn't think too much of it; Steve puts in movies for background somewhat frequently, so we figured we'd just ignore the movie. We can sit through a lot of things that we don't like, but Enchanted...is something else. We can probably sit through that, too, but most likely anyone watching it with us would start wanting to throw things at us. It inspires a lot of emotions that are difficult for us to contain. So we decided to keep Mom company instead, thus saving ourselves from the movie and everyone else from our vitriol. It wasn't until later, when Mom pointed out that Steve's feelings were hurt that we realized he was trying to make us happy. Maybe one of these days I really am going to have to post an essay on why we dislike that movie so much.
Anyway, eventually dinnertime came, and we had very yummy pizza, followed by Claim Jumper's chocolate silk pie. Steve had asked us what kind of cake we wanted, but frankly, we're a little bored with cake, and the only kind of cake we're really interested in (that I would have remembered off the top of my head when asked) is a chocolate-strawberry marble cake. But there was no time to make such a cake; there was barely enough time to eat the pizza as it was. So we asked for pie instead. Tadah! As for where we stand on the cake vs pie debate...we like to go with cookies.
So after a whirlwind dinner and dessert, it was finally time to leave for the hotel! And later that night, we arrived at Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel. It's the least expensive of the three Disneyland hotels, and we have a theory as to why: the most convenient way to get into the parks from there is to go through the Grand Californian--the most expensive and fanciest of the hotels. So you say at the (relatively) cheap hotel, where you end up walking through the Grand Californian a million times. You see how amazing it is (it is pretty amazing; maybe a little too amazing for my tastes. Remember in Skip Beat!, when Kyoko was with Ku or Coo or Koo or whatever his name is at the big super fancy hotel, and it said something like, "A luxurious hotel the likes of which most commoners can only hope to gaze upon"? It's a little like that.), and you think, "Man, next time I come, I need to stay here." And, as a matter of fact, Mom did indeed say, "I have to save up so next time I can stay at the Grand Californian."
Nevertheless, the Paradise Pier hotel is pretty spiffy in its own right. First we checked in, which turned out to be a slightly more scary experience than usual, because, after I showed the receptionist my ID to prove I wasn't stealing someone else's credit card to pay for the hotel, she said, "I need to go check on something in the back," and left! Ooooohhhh nooooooo! And she was gone for a long time! Aaaaaaaahhhh! What did we do? What's wrong!? Ooooohhh nooooooo!
Finally, she came back, and she had two bunches of balloons! They were a happy birthday gift from the hotel! Awwwwwww♥ (Incidentally, whenever you call to reserve anything at Disneyland (hotel, dining, etc.), they ask if you're celebrating anything. That's how they knew about the birthday thing.) She also gave us an envelope with "more birthday magic." We opened it when we got to the room, and it had fancy 8x10s! One was a picture of Ariel from back when you got to meet her in mermaid form, and one was a picture of Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, and Belle. They were very shiny and we were excited to see them!
...But they also create an excellent opportunity to discuss why we dislike the way they're marketing the Disney princesses. The pictures were very carefully selected because when the guy I talked to on the phone (making reservations) found out there were a couple of birthdays, he asked who the favorite Disney characters were of the birthday girls. Of course, our favorite Disney characters change all the time, so I went with the standard Ariel for Athena and Belle for me. So we got a picture of Ariel, and a picture of...princesses, which happened to include Belle.
Now, in this situation, we're happy to get the picture of all the princesses, because it's pretty. But all the merchandise is like that! It's almost like they treat the princesses like Barbie--one character, a bazillion different outfits (and occasionally different skin colors). There's a reason a girl has a favorite princess, and while in some cases it has to do with the way she looks or the fact that that dress is the girl's favorite, we like to believe that in most cases it's because that's the princess the girl relates with the best, or whose story or personality she likes best. So it would be nice if they'd stop lumping them all together like that. (Though lumping them together occasionally, like in pin sets or doll sets, is fine.)
Anyway, now that we know how it works, we're kind of regretting not choosing, for example, Aladdin as a favorite character. We'll have to remember that for next time.
As for the room itself! Well, first of all, I booked a standard city-view room, but! they upgraded us to park-view! That means that we had a pretty fantastic view of California Adventure and all its sparkly lights. (We were on the seventh floor, too.) The decor was beach-themed, and the beds were super soft, and there was a couch that was actually a hide-a-bed! And! they left us a plate of Mickey Mouse rice crispy treats (with "Welcome to Paradise" written on the plate in chocolate syrup), and Disney chocolate coins. And there was sea salt scented body wash, and sea marine scented shampoo. I couldn't really describe the difference, but I can tell you there is one.
Also! there are special Disneyland hotel channels, but we only watched one: Princess bedtime stories! Every night, they have a different princess come on and tell her story to listen to as you go to sleep. It's super cute. They even thought to make it the same princess over and over and over and over all day, so the kids (like us) won't stay up in an attempt to watch every one. Oh, those Disney folks. They think of everything.
Finally, we got some voucher books to go with the vacation package we booked. The vouchers were redeemable for things like entry into Mickey's Toontown Morning Madness, which was the first thing on our agenda for Monday.
And that's enough rambling for today. Tomorrow, I can talk about actually going into the parks!
Today I'm thankful for birthday balloon bouquets, shiny Disney princess photos, park-view hotel rooms, complimentary rice crispy treats, and princess bedtime stories.