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Friday, February 25, 2011

How to get your kids to fall asleep at 6:00 pm

We found the trick to getting your kids to go to bed by 6:00 pm. And it only takes two days of “training.”

Day 1: Take them to Disneyland and stay until 9:00 pm when the park closes. Children will fall asleep during the car ride back to the hotel. You will have to carry them into the room (look out, they’re heavier when sleeping!) but they’ll stay asleep during transport because they are so stinking tired. You will actually get to stay up later in your shared hotel room with your kids because they will sleep through anything (even television) at this point.

Day 2: Take them swimming during the day. It doesn’t even have to be for very long. At around 5:00 pm, feed them ice cream on Balboa Island and then drive around for a while looking for dinner. They will once again fall asleep in the car. While the timing of their slumber will be a bit disappointing (i.e. right as you pull up to the Beachcomber Cafe, forcing you to give up and drive back to the hotel without any supper), they will be so exhausted from a week of vacation, no naps, and Disneyland fun, they will actually go to bed at 6:00 pm, leaving you to read books or watch episodes of Mad Men to your heart’s content!

And that is all you have to do. Easy peasy.

After a week of galavanting around Southern California, we are actually all feeling pretty exhausted, but all very happy.

Yesterday was our big Disneyland day. It was simply magical. Disneyland is always a fun place, but experiencing it with your children is the best. What I was most impressed with this time around was the staff. Everyone we interacted with was so friendly, it was amazing. And the characters? They’re all going straight to heaven. They make each and every child feel special. And they do it without saying a word.

Today we took it easy. A little swimming, a little eating, a little driving. And, apparently, a lot of sleeping. The girls really did fall asleep before 6:00 pm and I have a feeling will sleep all night no problem.

For these last two nights of our trip we are staying at the Marriott in Newport Beach. We we were treated to a delicious buffet breakfast this morning, and I was lucky enough to get a massage at the Marriott’s Pure Blu Spa in the afternoon. In all honesty, our room is very small by any hotel standards, which is just not very practical for a family of four with 1 weeks’ worth of luggage. But the room is nice and the view isΒ phenomenal. Can’t be beat.

We made sure to get chocolate-dipped frozen bananas and balboa bars on Balboa Island, take the car on the tiny Balboa Island ferry (maybe a two-minute ride, but super fun) and grab some clam chowder at The Crab Cooker. The chowder was the best manhattan-style I think I’ve had – tomato-based but still creamy with great, fresh clams.

As for the chocolate-dipped frozen bananas…yum!!!! A question for those of you in the “know.” Which shop is the true original? Sugar ‘n Spice or Dad’s? They were just a few doors apart. We went with Sugar ‘n Spice because it said “the” original, and Dad’s just said “Dad’s original.” Anybody know the story about the two shops? Would love to hear it!

Time for bed. Big day of driving tomorrow. Thanks for joining us on our adventures this week, culinary and otherwise!

Legal mumbo jumbo: Disneyland provided us with admission tickets to the park, and the Marriott provided us with one free night of lodging. Thanks to both!


  1. 1

    What usually happens on our vacations is when we get the kids to go to bed, around 8:30, and have to turn out all the lights and lay quietly in the dark, waiting for them to go to sleep, I fall asleep, too, and Steve can’t usually get me to wake up to watch a movie or anything at that point because I’m just as tired as the kids.

    Sounds like you’ve had a great week!

  2. 2

    I lived on Balboa for a bit when I was younger (like Cate’s age) and did all these things. Oh I miss it! I’m glad you had a good time.

  3. Sounds like such a fun trip! I love Disneyland! My husband and I went there for our honeymoon during spring break, maybe not the most romantic but it was definitely a blast!

  4. We live just a couple blocks from the crab cooker, when I was younger it was my go to place for birthday dinners. Seeing from a tourist perspective makes me want to go back!

  5. 5

    I’m a Newport Beach transplant in Sonoma County and love it, but this thread makes me homesick…

  6. 6

    Hi there,

    Love your vacation pics! We are thinking about going to Southern California this summer and now I am even more excited!

  7. So fun to see my home town through others eyes. Glad you had a blast. I love the balboa bars.

  8. 8

    Such a fun post! Makes me really miss CA and you guys of course! πŸ™‚

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