Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Our California Adventure

Five years ago we said that we'd return in two. Life got in the way, but this October, we finally made another family trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. This time with kids old enough to not fall asleep multiple times during the day, with kids tall enough to go on every single ride (with the exception of a few at Universal Studios), with kids who's brains are developed enough that they will actually remember this vacation for the rest of their lives.

If I were to tell you everything that happened in detail, I'd bore you to tears, so I'll instead focus on the things that are still resonating with me as I type this post.

The feeling of puffy eyes from lack of sleep, coupled with excitement and energy for a new day of fun; tired and wired, but in a good way.

Meeting several Uber drivers, all with different cultures and stories to tell, all with kind and compassionate hearts for mankind.

The feeling of euphoria as my body was unpredictably rocketed up and plummeted down over and over on the Guardians of the Galaxy ride.

Standing in lines, holding my kids hands, laughing and joking together because there is nothing else to do. Counting all of the different styles of Minnie and Micky Mouse ears worn by people. Laughing about the things the people were wearing there, on that one place on earth where it seemed totally normal, but elsewhere would certainly draw incredulous stares.

Multiple times through the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Multiple times Soarin' Around the World, going on Star Tours, on Grizzly River Run, and Radiator Springs Racers. All favorites, all on repeat, and each time still laughing and yelling and letting go of normal life stress.

That feeling of being at the front of the car, heading over Splash Mountain, knowing I was going to get soaked, and laughing for the next hour about just how soaked I really did get (thank goodness it was hot outside or else I would have caught a chill).

The feeling of triumph each time I was able to secure a FastPass using the Disney app, heading straight to the front of lines that we knew people would be waiting in for 1-2 hours, but getting on the ride in less than 20 minutes; I was Master of the FastPass!

Being with the three very best people in the entire world for days on end, even sleeping in the same room, and still not getting tired of any of them.

Walking into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios and wishing it wasn't nearly 100 degrees outside so that I could truly enjoy the amazing spectacle (seriously close to heat exhaustion that day; too much concrete and not enough shade; Disney is much better suited for hot weather). All of the buildings and props and costumes were amazing in their attention to detail.

That person at the end of the Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios that raced to the railing to hand us some tissue to help stop a nosebleed. Bless that kind soul; the littlest's nose was at just the wrong height and bashed into the crash bar. I couldn't find her to say thank you afterward, but her kindness was just what we all needed at that moment.

Blessed shade and fabulous entertainment at the Water World show at Universal Studios (totally need to watch that movie again).

The lone gardener on our last day at Disneyland, quietly tending his beautiful flower bed in the midst of crowds and chaos.

So much money spent on bottled water because California city water tastes like poison.

Walking through bubble clouds being sent into the air by happy pre-schoolers and toddlers and grandmas, churro cinnamon and cotton candy scents wafting through the air.

Conversation with a lovely couple while waiting in line at the Disney Main Street Starbucks.

Reaching 21,000 steps in one single day. But having good shoes, and therefore only having minimal foot soreness (so much love for Keen walking shoes).

My kids choosing light sabers as their souvenir of choice. Even though it was exactly the same thing they chose five years ago. Or maybe because it was the thing that they chose five years ago.

Knowing that when the California adventure came to an end, that there was still a few days in Arizona to look forward to.

No comments: