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9/16/13: The Happiest Place On Earth

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DISNEYLAND!!!

It was the last big outing during Stephane and my time in California, and perhaps the trip I was looking the most forward to. It had been over 4 years since I had the experience of visiting the happiest place on earth, and I was anxious beyond belief to have a day reliving the happiest memories of my childhood. To add to the excitement was the fact that one of my best girlfriends works for Disney and was able to, not only, get us into the park for free, but she spent most of the day with us as well; it was perfection!

As is tradition in the Pepper household, the first ride of the day MUST be the Matterhorn, and I wasn’t about to break it for anything. We got signed into the park to a few pictures to send to the remainder of the Peppers who couldn’t be there with us, and then we got in line. The great thing about going to Disneyland on a Wednesday was the fact that there were hardly any people there and we got on every ride we wanted (some more than once).

He's a happy CAL boy!

He’s a happy CAL boy!

First ride of the day!

First ride of the day!

SOOOO EXCITED FOR OUR FIRST RIDE!

SOOOO EXCITED FOR OUR FIRST RIDE!

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The Matterhorn and Pepper family tradition

The Matterhorn and Pepper family tradition

I feel so happy here

I feel so happy here

With my lovey at Disneyland

With my lovey at Disneyland

My dear friend Stephanie and me and Disneyland!

My dear friend Stephanie and me and Disneyland!

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Once we had finished the obligatory first ride, it was on to explore the lands of adventure, fantasy, and frontier. We got on everything! All of the old favorites from Space Mountain to Star Tours to Indiana Jones to Pirates of the Caribbean to the Haunted Mansion. Since we were nearing the time of Halloween all of the park was decorated for fall, and even some of the rides were altered to fit the theme. A very fun and special surprise was when we entered the haunted mansion to find that it was redone to fit the theme of the Nightmare Before Christmas! Speaking of Pepper family traditions, every Halloween my dad, sister, and I would watch the Nightmare Before Christmas, and that would signify the official start of the holiday season. Naturally after the ride I called my dad immediately and wished he could be there to enjoy it with me! Next time 🙂

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Space Mountain!

Space Mountain!

Star Tours 3D!

Star Tours 3D!

C3PO!

C3PO!

Here’s a look into some of our favorite rides:

Our Jungle Cruise buddy!

Our Jungle Cruise buddy!

Enjoying the Jungle Cruise

Enjoying the Jungle Cruise

Ariel relaxing in It's a Small World

Ariel relaxing in It’s a Small World

We found Nemo!

We found Nemo!

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We had to take a break for a Churro

We had to take a break for a Churro

Captain Jack Sparrow

Captain Jack Sparrow

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Yo Ho Yo Ho A pirates life for us!

Yo Ho Yo Ho A pirates life for us!

Steph and me enjoying New Orleans square

Steph and me enjoying New Orleans square

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Say cheese! Space Mountain

Say cheese! Space Mountain

At around 7 or so Stephanie had to take her leave to go to a staff meeting, so Stephane and I were left to ourselves to enjoy our last hour or so at the park. There was only 1 main ride we hadn’t hit at this point so at this time we made our way to the infamous Splash Mountain! This is the one ride that always scared me as a kid (I’m a bit afraid of free fall drops), and, ironically, the favorite ride of my grandmother, but I put on my brave face and was ready to give the mountain another try! It was just as I remembered it. Cute little animals singing and them… BAM free fall! Only this time it was SO MUCH FUN!!! Usually this is one of the rides with crazy long lines, but since the park was about to close Stephane and I were able to get on 3 times, one of the times being able to ride twice straight through :-). Needless to say, it was very smart we saved this ride to the end because we came of SOAKED! It was a bit uncomfortable sitting in wet clothes on the ride home, but was so worth it to end the day on the note that we ended on. It was perfection, and we got some great photos out of it! We are clowns 🙂

Soaked but loving life!

Soaked but loving life!

The ride drenched me!

The ride drenched me!

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Ya... I was terrified!

Ya… I was terrified!

It was an exceptional trip! Originally we wanted to stay longer and eat at Downtown Disney, but after a full day at the park we were pretty ready to head home. Instead of more overpriced Disney food we decided to dine on gourmet Jack in the Box when we got back into Palm Springs. It was a million times cheaper and probably ten times more delicious, and Stephane had another American fast food experience 🙂

The last 3 days of our trip were spent relaxing, spending more time with family, and, of course, shopping! The whole month went buy faster than I could have ever imagined and I was so sad to be leaving home. Maybe it was because I was in California with Stephane surrounded by my whole family that made it so hard to leave, but this time I wasn’t as excited as usual to get back to Israel. Of course I am happy to be back but a part of me can’t deny how amazing and comfortable it was to be home with Stephane. Maybe a longer California trip is in our future some day 🙂

Chef Stephane making us Crepes!

Chef Stephane making us Crepes!

He's a good baby

He’s a good baby

Until we meet again <3,

Jordana Simone

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