Disneyland was kind of awesome, in a loud, child-oriented and absolutely exhausting way. I had fun, but now I'm home I feel like I need to sleep for a week to recover. Poppy had a great time, but I think she feels the same way. We went on a lot of rides though (Ratatouille was my favourite), and the hotel was really nice, though for some reason they have the heat turned up way too high everywhere, so you can't put your coat on in your room then walk to the exit without feeling like you're going to melt. Ditto eating breakfast, you have to wear as few clothes as possible or you wind up feeling ill. Even in the room, it was impossible to turn the air conditioning down to a comfortable level, so we had to leave the window open every night. Very strange, but never mind. The pool in the hotel was really nice, and it had a good waterslide.
On the last day, we went on Crush's Coaster. We hadn't done it any earlier because we thought it would be too rough for Poppy, but then we saw a video of it on the TV in the room and it didn't look that bad, and she really wanted to try it. When we got there there were warnings about it being dark and drops and sharp turns etc, but she insisted, and we thought it can't be that bad. It actually was. I know I'd have hated it when I was five. After you get through the underwater scenes it goes really dark and starts whipping you around, going up and down and you can't see what's going on at all. I was sure she would hate it, but when we got off she said she wanted to do it again. Apparently it's her favorite. This is the same kid who won't go into a cave with a fake dragon in because it's too scary. She's an unusual kid.
Security there is insane, by which I mean really good. Everyone gets scanned walking into the Disney Village, any bags have to go through an airport-type scanner. Walking into the hotels you have to get scanned by a guy with one of those metal detector wands, and there are security with dogs and sniffer dogs walking around everywhere. It's weird though that they don't scan the kids. Like, walking into the hotel they didn't check Poppy, and one day we got the bus from the hotel so we had to go through the main security, my mum took my bag so Poppy and I could go through the no bags line and go get a fast pass for something while she queued to get the bags scanned, they don't make you walk through a metal detector in that queue, you just get scanned by a guy with a wand thing again, and again he didn't check Poppy. Surely having observed this, some nutter could have their kid carry their weapons in for them. I thought that was a bit worrying to be honest.
But yeah, lots of fun. Lots of walking though, seriously, my watch records my steps and one day I did over 20000.
This is weird though. Because it was me and my mum taking my niece without either of her parents, and having heard stories about people being stopped at the airport and missing their flights because security don't believe you have a right to take the kid out of the country, we decided to take a letter. Because my mum is paranoid about things going wrong, she paid to have the thing notarized. This involved official documents signed by Jennie and Martin, witnessed by the notary public, copies of everyone's ID, official stamps, the whole thing is bound with ribbon and wax, it's insanely posh. On the way out, nobody even questioned us, despite Poppy having a different surname to both of us. Then on the way back into the UK, we were stopped. It was fine, because we had the most official document ever, but it seems very odd to stop us on the way back into the country. To me, it would make sense to check stuff like that before someone took a child out of the country, because if you were bringing them back home presumably you're not up to anything nefarious, you're just going home. It's leaving that you are more likely to be up to something. So we asked the guy, and he said that it is one the way back you'll get stopped. On the way out, the airline should check but they don't always. Isn't that a worry? I mean, if someone steaks a kid, they are okay to take them out of the country with no issues, it's only if they try to bring them home they face issues? Seems totally backward to me. So next time if we ever do it again, we probably won't pay to get the documents made official, because once you've had your holiday, who cares if you get a little delay on the way home while they ring the parents to make sure the non-oficial letter is legit? OTOH, you can guarantee that if you don't do it, you will get stopped, can't you?!
Anyway, I now have a day to recover from Disneyland before we're heading off again, to Center Parcs for a few days. I have no idea how things ended up being so close together. Its with Poppy being at school now and us having to plan things round school holidays, I suppose. I think I'm going to sleep all day tomorrow!