Thursday, October 20, 2011

alanna's birthday trip 2011

sheesh, am i ever behind on posts! sorry about that. time to play catch-up :)

on the 7th we rented a car and headed north to virginia. dan & vicky's birthday gift to alanna this year was another fun-filled trip up to kings dominion! (last years post found here) we left raleigh later than we had planned, and by the time we hit richmond it was past dinner time, so we stopped at panda veg for the buffet. we stayed at the motel next to the park again (which was so wonderfully convenient) and by the time we got checked into our room it was pretty much time for bed. 

saturday morning we were up and ready right in time for the park to open, so we strolled across the parking lot and beat the crowds in.

first thing we did was take a ride up the eiffel tower. danny did much better going up this time, i guess because he knew what to expect. the view of all the trees from up top was so beautiful.

next stop, planet snoopy!

malcolm is 41 inches tall now, so he was able to get a blue wristband which allowed him to ride a few bigger rides that he was too small for last year. so cool! while alanna rode a throw-up ride, i waited with malcolm to ride "joe cool's driving school". he got to drive his own car, and did really good for his very first time behind the wheel. 

so serious, waiting for his turn

danny and alanna went off to ride some of the crazy thrill rides, while i stayed in the kids area with malcolm. since i get terrible motion sickness and cannot ride anything that spins or flips, danny decided that he would go on them with alanna. he didn't want to be the bummer dad who made her wait and ride alone. she was very grateful and said that having him with her made the lines go by so much faster. and he actually enjoyed them! progress, people! maybe we will be able to convince him to join us at disneyland someday in the future? (when we are able to afford a trip out again)

we rode malcolm's very favorite ride twice, "boo blasters on boo hill"! he has been talking about it all year long, and he still totally loves it :)

and then one more time all together, once we met back up with alanna and danny.

i love those boys!

so excited!

pretty alanna

we also rode the ghoster coaster. this was malcolm's very first time on an actual roller coaster, and boy was it fun! a little scary, but fun. i couldn't get a good photo of the actual ride, but it is a mini version of the old wooden coaster at lagoon (if you are from utah, you know the one). malcolm was a little afraid when we first went down the hills, but then he wanted to ride it again, haha!

there was a lot of fun halloween activities for the kids, including trick-or-treat spots were malcolm collected pirate themed booty. he got to decorate a pumpkin to take home (thank goodness we had our stroller to put it in when he was done). 

first time driving a bumper car!

he loved it, and he laughed and laughed whenever he ran into the other drivers!


and woodstock!

alanna and i rode one of the large old wooden coasters that i didn't get to ride last year. it was fast, and we both loved it! we took this photo while waiting in line. looking at it makes me realize just how much we do not look alike. like seriously, not at all. well, maybe our foreheads and chins, haha :)

this was the second to last ride that we went on as a family. i loved the view from up there. the setting sun made everything look so vivid.

another one of beautiful alanna

and then the fog machines started to puff out smoke, and the park started to turn scary.

we made our way back across the park, through the crowds of freaks in costume. malcolm got a little scared, but mostly he really liked it. he was giving zombies and pirates high fives, haha! we all rode one last coaster together, and then we split up. danny stayed a bit longer with malcolm and then they headed back to the room. alanna and i stayed behind to go in the walk through attractions. it was too dark to get any good photos, and no pictures were allowed inside the haunted houses, but we both liked the doll factory the best. it was done really well, the decor inside was super bizarre, and those dolls were scary!   

alanna and i went up the tower one last time before heading out. while we were waiting in line for the elavator, the music for edward scissorhands came on over the load speaker. there was nobody else around, and the red lighting on the tower made it seem extra spooky. it was awesome, and gave me the chills. holy crap, i love this time of the year!

those rows of red lights are all of the cars trying to exit the parking lot. yikes! the virginia state fair was also right down the road, so the traffic was insane. made me so thankful that we did not have to wait in those lines!

the horizontal lights in the middle of this photo are from the fair 

we love vans

alanna pretending to be scared

and this photo is both hilarious and awful! we were so tired, and all that fog everywhere made my contacts dry and scratchy. alanna says i look like i am on drugs here, haha!

goodbye kings dominion! we had a blast, and hope to return again next year!

we were greeted by this crazy monster when we got back to our motel room. it has become a tradition to buy him some cute halloween pj's every year. these ones are from the disney store, and they are one of my favorites! 

sunday morning we packed up and headed back to raleigh. we stopped in richmond again for vegan brunch at harrison st. coffee shop. it was delicious, and the perfect way to end our wonderful trip.

thanks again dan & vicky. we really appreciate the thoughtful and generous gift of letting us get away! this was the first family trip that we have taken this year (and i'm sure will be the only), so it really meant a lot to all of us. we love you.


  1. it's no disneyland, but it looks fun nonetheless ;)