There is something to be said for watching the joy on a child’s face when they ride Dumbo for the first time. There is also something to be said for only being responsible for one person’s bathroom visits-my own. In the past, my trips to Disneyland have always included small children, a large group of teenagers, or my family. There are pros and cons to navigating Disneyland with each of these groups. Small children tend to enter into the Disney marketing magic more fully than anyone else. High school youth group trips to Disneyland always provided the most entertaining car rides. Except for that one time that the youth pastor locked his keys in the car and then broke the window to get back in. That ride was more chilly than it was entertaining. And as far as travelling with my family: free. Enough said.
But yesterday’s trip to Disneyland was just Matt and I. I have to say, it might be a hard one to top. True, Fantasyland rides seem more thrilling with a three-year-old there to scream at the “scary” parts, but it’s also nice to have a traveling companion who doesn’t dissolve into tears when the line is just “toooo loooooong.” It’s hard to top high school youth group car trip, but Matt and I came close with an exciting detour through South Central. “I told you that was the 5! I told you to get off!” “Yes, you were right. Now let me look at the map.” Ahem. Thankfully, my GPS service (Dad) was just a phone call away. And, yesterday was my birthday, so: free. Plus a lovely dinner. Thanks Matt!
There were no lines over fifteen minutes long. There was no squabbling over where to go next. There were no broken car windows. It was just so much fun. Although, it is funny seeing someone else’s Disneyland culture. In our family, we bring our own food, we carry backpacks instead of getting lockers, and we don’t visit Tom Sawyer Island. That last one isn’t a hard and set rule or anything, with three girls it’s just never happened. In Matt’s family, park food and lockers are a given, and forgetting to visit Tom Sawyer Island until it’s too late is cause for despair. Okay, not despair, but maybe what my reaction would have been if we had forgotten to visit The Matterhorn.
And here’s how the locker conversation went:
M: “Let’s go get a locker.”
B: “Why, what are you going to put in the locker?”
M: “The food.”
B: “No, I need the food. I’ll carry the food.”
M: “My camera case. The sunscreen.”
B: “How much can those possibly weigh?”
M: “Okay, fine, the sweatshirts.”
B: “So you’re going to pay five dollars for someone to hold your sweatshirts for the day? I’ll carry the sweatshirts.”
M: “Yes, I’m going to pay five dollars for a locker because when you are at Disneyland you spend ridiculous amounts of money because that is what you do, and I let you bring the food.”
For the record, I just think that five dollars would be better spent on a ridiculously overpriced Mickey Mouse ice cream bar. I kept corralling us to one ride after the next until the locker argument was moot.
B: “So, do you still want a locker?” I asked sweetly as we were exiting the park at 9 pm. “They’re right over there.”
M: “Yes, I’m going to go get three lockers and put nothing in them just to spite you.”
We used to have this tape that my mom would play in the car when I was little. It had a song about how being a grown up is so much better than you could possibly imagine. “Take fifty grand to Disneyland, it’s better than that.” I knew even then that it was tongue in cheek. But yesterday, after spinning in teacups, and eating Mickey ice cream, Matt and I sat down at a little cafe and ate tapas (smoked salmon baguette sandwiches, pita and tzatziki, hangar steak, and roasted artichoke) while I sipped my first margarita. There are times when it is better than that.