Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My favorite California experience soaker up-er

On Wednesday, after our girls' weekend in Arizona, my sister flew to Orange County to visit me for several days. Since then, we've been soaking up the southern California experience. She's my favorite California experience soaker up-er.

Our first adventure was a trip to Disneyland, where we rode Splash Mountain for the first time in almost 20 years. Our goal was to have fun, without anxiety, uncertainty, or overwhelming terror:

Circa 1995

This time around we laughed and squealed and didn't feel an ounce of terror.

Okay, maybe one ounce. Or two.

But it was still a blast.

This trip to Disneyland was the best I've ever had, besides my first trip when I was 11. It's likely that that trip will always remain the mother of all Disneyland trips.

Here's how it happened: Mom and dad loaded all four of us, ages 11, 9, 7, and 5, into our 9-seater station wagon and drove 18 hours to the California/Mexico border to visit family. God bless mom and dad. That must have been a drive for the history books, particularly the chapter entitled, "Unending misery and overwhelming regret," although dear mom and dad have never even insinuated that the trip was anything but fun.

On the way back, while passing through Orange County, my parents got off the freeway and told us they had a surprise for us.

I pressed my nose to the car window, scanning the streets, looking for clues to help me piece together the surprise. I saw a restaurant with a thatched roof — would we enjoy an Austrian dinner of sausage and french fries? I saw a string of hotels — would we stay in one with a my most favorite hotel feature: a swimming pool?

And then I saw it. Sleeping Beauty's castle, standing tall and magical on the horizon. I squealed with delight. Within seconds four little blond waifs were squealing and shouting and hopping as far out of their seats as their seat belts would let them.

It was the delight of the decade.

Rebecca and I both agreed this week's Disneyland experience was a close runner up to our first Disneyland surprise.

The lines were short, the sky was cloudless, there was a nice breeze, and I had my seester at my side.

Indiana Jones was our favorite "big" ride; we opened and closed the day with it

This is the first time I've been to Disneyland since I got sick 3.5 years ago, and I was in awe of my body throughout the day. It's been feeling remarkably strong the last 6 weeks, and I was able to walk around the park, go up and down stairs, and wait in multiple lines without fatigue or sickness taking over.  The energy and health made me feel like a girl again. That's the best way to feel in Disneyland.

Another of the week's happy highlights was riding bikes in Newport Beach. The sun. The sea. The sand. We were all smiles.

We had quite a time trying to take a selfie whilst riding bikes down a crowded boardwalk. It almost resulted in a number of accidents, and was great entertainment for traffic coming the opposite direction, as one older man informed us

We had plans to enjoy Laguna Beach to finish out the week, but all our traveling and fun-ing in the sun caught up to us, and we started to feel unwell. So instead of hitting the sand, we opened all my bungalow's windows and laid in bed resting, sucking throat lozenges and  listening to the wind in the trees outside.

It was as lovely a way to feel lousy as we could think of: just my sister and I, watching the sun dance through the window panes.

And then, just like that, the week was over and we were back in our respective homes and work routines. Until next month, when I will take a week to visit my family up north. Woo hoo!

Happy Tuesday, dear ones!


© by scj

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