Friday, January 6, 2012


We finally took the plunge and took our kids to Disneyland.  Except for the little baby beast who we left at home with Grammy.

The kids loved the hotel.  In the future, I think we could get away with just driving a moderate distance, checking into a hotel for a night, and then coming home.  Save some pennies, and some hassle all while providing the kids with a huge dose of excitement.  They really loved staying at the hotel.
But since Disney was on my bucket list AND we had decided to scale way down on toys and "stuff" for Christmas AND we happened to have a slightly willing babysitter, we grabbed the chance.
Laser guns and moving vehicles, what's not to love?
Not one of these three is a thrill seeker, but they rode the big coaster anyway.  And they enjoyed it.  I think.  I was busy taking J and R on a kiddie roller coaster.  R's second time, J's first.  He sat behind us and kept saying, "It's going too fast!  This is waaaay too fast!"  But then he said it was the most fun thing ever.  If it weren't for his anxieties, he would probably be a thrill seeker.  I'm afraid R already is one and the baby beast is following in her footsteps.  We'll see how that develops.

R also happens to be entranced with fairies of late.  Not necessarily Disney fairies, but a fairy is a fairy is a fairy to her.  While we were waiting in the ridiculously slow moving line, she was fixated on watching all the little fairy houses in the landscaping.  At one point, she ran over to me and breathlessly told me that she had heard some little fairy voices.  She was positively glowing.  S has been a fairy fan for a long, long while.
These girls used to be Disney princess fans.  Until I got heartily sick of the stories and their confusing life lessons and threw out the story book.  Best decision ever.  They didn't really want to be in a picture with Cinderella, but I made them because we happened to see her floating around.  I'm so mean.
My family was nice and subtle when they wanted to point out that we should be hurrying to wait in our next long line instead of taking pictures.
I say it's the pictures that will last the longest and mean the most later.  But I think I'm in the minority still, despite all my years of photo gathering.

Spinning tea cups.  J was flipping out that R was about to sit next to him instead of me.

There, that's better.
Carousel.  My fearless girl and I.  Notice my red, red face.  It wasn't because it was hot.  It's because I was running a 103 or so fever.  Hot flashes.  Chills.  Chattering teeth.  Shivering lungs.  Massive headache.  Oh, and strep throat.  The whole day.  It started the night before in the hotel.  But there wasn't much I could do.  Wasn't about to waste all that money.  This was our one shot at Disney.

There's a reason we've lived within reach of this place for 7+ years and never visited.  Shaggy never pushed for it because of the expense.  I can't say that I'm a huge fan of Disney and their whole marketing machine.  And, I never pushed for it because amusement parks are just not my thing.  I would much rather spend a day in the mountains, or at the beach, or curled up on the sofa reading a book. 

And unfortunately, this trip didn't do a whole lot to change my mind on that score.  Although I realize that amusement parks in general are much more amusing minus strep throat.
My favorite part of the day was when we rode the trains and I could hunker down and rest my aching body.  Oh, and when we finally left the park at 10 pm and I was somehow able to drag myself back to the van to start what ended up to be a 5+ hour drive home.  Thank you LA construction.

In all honesty I should say that there was more about this trip that I want to forget than I want to remember.  Illness.  (My strep kicked off a lovely 6 week period of time where we were suffering from things that seemed akin to the plague and ebola and deathitis.)  Stress.  Contention.  Exhaustion.  But I endured my trip to Disney and hopefully taught my kids a lesson about will power.  Because that was the only thing that kept me going that day.
But in a few months, or maybe years, the yucky stuff will have faded away and we'll be left with our happy pictures and memories.  And that is what life is all about.  Choosing the joy over all the rest.

And I will remember that I didn't go to Disney for myself.  I went for my kids.  To give them a little dose of magic and some fun memories.  Which is exactly what happened, strep throat or no.  And I have a little four-year-old who says she will miss Mickey and the fairies and I imagine she will have a fondness for them for the rest of her life.  And that makes me happy.

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