Monday, April 25, 2011

Grand America Easter Tea

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.  
~Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

And so we went, my daughter and I.  For her, instructions on becoming a lady.  For me, a reminder that I am one.  Her first "real" tea party, so only The Grand America Easter Tea would do.

Perched on fancy couches in our Easter finery, we ate tiny sandwiches (smoked salmon for me, strawberries and cream for her) and drank herbal tea (peppermint for both), all with our pinkies properly poised. 

After selecting delicate treats from the gilded dessert cart, we finished our afternoon with some sight-seeing through the hotel.  First stop: the tiny new sweet shop.  Le Bonne Vie will be our stop for many special occasions in the future, I'm sure.  It was gorgeous!  The linens were crisp white, the decor was pretty pastel, and the sweets -- handmade gelato and artisinal chocolates -- so beautiful!

I begged my little one to allow me a few photos in the courtyard.  I told her if she'd sit still and follow directions for just a few moments for mommy, she could have a party there someday after she gets married at the temple (sorry, honey -- guess that means overtime for you).  

After a perfectly polite and proper afternoon, I succumbed.  For those final moments, I let my little princess run wild.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spring Break at the Cabin

A colorful few days at the cabin for spring break -- the girls and I cooked and crafted and dyed Easter eggs while Mister shoveled and put together shelves.  Altogether, we spent way too much time in our jammies.  It was fantastic!

Easter 2011

It has been a long day.  Ergo, long post.

First, I love Easter.  So fresh, so bright.  I love the spring celebration, but mostly I love honoring the resurrection of our Savior.  There aren't really photos to represent that most sacred part of our day -- taking the sacrament and listening to stories of Jesus at church.  So, here's the rest.


We experimented with a deliberate and special new tradition: we (ahem, the Easter Bunny) gave the girls one basket, with loot to share.  We thought this might avoid excess and encourage sisterly sharing.  I worried there might be some disappointment or confusion, but the girls loved it!    


A quick and simple egg hunt in our backyard, between basket-digging and afternoon church, but right after bath time.  Ready, Set, Go!

Cowboy Marc, Great Grandma Arlene and Grandma Peggy stopped by for a visit.


The bunny stopped by during dinner at the Country Club.  Sophie loved, Millie cried and screamed "buh-bye" from a clearly safe distance.  We jogged off our dinner afterwards by chasing the girls and trying to take pictures.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

One Day in LA

Between princesses and thrill rides, we had a few "beyond Disney" moments in Southern California.  With one day in LA, we first met up with Roberta (my professional mentor and personal dear friend) at the Santa Monica Pier.  She took her Jewish Aunt title seriously, snapping tons of pictures of the kids and giving lots of smooches and telling stories sprinkled with Yiddish.

Next stop (naturally):


How great is this paparazzi shot?  "Don't bother me -- I'm eating my Diddy."

Missing from this post: any pictures of our hours-long shopping marathon.  Cause we don't have any.  Cause I don't really want to relive it.  Sure, we landed some great stuff, but gosh -- it was gruelling.  Our poor children, so dragged around.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Princesses of Disney


We let the girls pick one souvenir each trip, to allow them a token to treasure while avoiding playroom overflow.  It has become a special tradition to watch the girls make a careful decision, weighing options throughout the week, then falling in love with that thing they choose to take home.  

This year, there was no question from Day One: Sophie wanted a Tangled dress.  She held out until the last day, partly due to availability of her size.  Michael was so thrilled to track down the purple dress, then bring it to her in front of the fancy mirrors at the boutique in Sleeping Beauty's castle.  Flash forward twelve years to prom!

When she posed in her lovely gown in front of the store, she started acting inexplicably uncomfortable.  Apparently, Snow White's evil stepmother had been making mean faces behind my back as I snapped photos!  At first, Sophie was naturally unsure of the visitor, but they quickly became friends.

Millie also chose a dress-up, with help from Daddy, an Ariel-themed tutu skirt.  You can see her wearing it proudly as she visits the princesses in their little "home" tucked beside Small World.


For our character breakfast, we dined like royalty with Myra at the all-princess bash at Ariel's Grotto!  After a meet and greet with our hostess, Ariel, we were served fancy fruits and pastries with eggs and bacon as our favorite ladies circled the dining room to say hello!  Definitely doing this one again.  It was all so perfectly lovely.  


Not exactly princesses, but where else do you file "fairies?"  

Do you Photopass at Disneyland?  It is the service in which you use the Disney photographers to snap your pics, then you buy the CD of images upon your return.  We love Photopass-ing, particularly the little features like posing and adding Tink to the image later...

A fascinating thing happened, a cute little story for Millie.  Apprehensive of the characters all week, she surprised us by immediately opening up to the blue "warmup" fairy at Pixie Hollow by running to her embrace.  They could not be separated, playing hide and seek and telling stories.  When it came time to meet Tink and Terrance (who took the role of fairy very seriously), she would have nothing to do with them, choosing instead to snuggle with her new best friend.


Hair is a big deal in our house.  Naturally, this makes Rapunzel a rockstar.