Bradley and I have a long standing tradition of self portraits.  We did it back in the day with film, and found that many of the pictures were some of our best, so we have kept the tradition.  Besides that, if we didn’t take advantage of my husband’s long arms, we’d never have pictures with both of us in them.  Every once in a while we try to squeeze the rest of the family in, but usually it is just us.  Disneyland was no different.  Through the park, we stopped and took pictures of ourselves at moments we wanted to remember.

Our arrival at Disneyland is always momentous.  It’s like returning home, every time.  We plan this moment as we gear up for our annual visit: which ride will we hit first, which way will we walk under the train bridge, and which route will we take to the first ride?  Upon entering the pavilion or the park, we have this (often teary) moment of just soaking it in, mixed with madly taking pictures of things we have seen before but that welcome us back and make us feel a part of things again.  My favorite moment, every time I enter Disneyland, is passing under the sign which reads: ‘Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.’  Because it is so true.  People behave differently in Disneyland.  There is a freedom there that is lacking in most of the rest of the world.  Seriously, where else will you find grown people walking around with silly hats all day and children dressed as princesses or spacemen on a day that is not Halloween?  Pretty rare.

When we visited Disneyland on our honeymoon (btw, I had to force Bradley to come, believe it or not), we rode the It’s a Small World just once, exactly, and vowed never to sit on one of those boats again.  As we traveled through the lands, I was annoyed by everything about the ride: the song, the inane dolls, and the cheapness of the ride – I was able to fine MANY imperfections, from paint chips to seeing the floor below the ride.  Then we had Gigi and brought her to Disneyland at the age of 16 months.  She changed that ride for us COMPLETELY.  We rode Small World (and this is not an exaggeration) 19 times in five days, during that trip. Sometimes we never got off, just went right on through a few times in a row.   She sang, she danced, she marveled and as she did that, we saw the ride through her eyes and fell in love with it and got ever more interested in the designer, Mary Blair.  The same thing happened with Jude, he fell in love with the ride too.  Now it is one of our very favorites, and one of the first pit stops every time we visit the park.

Tarzan’s Treehouse is one of the few attractions that Jude remembered from last year, so we HAD to go on it.  I am not a fan of heights, and that tree rocks in the wind, and people are crazy up there…  Did I mention how high that stinking tree is?!  Anyhow, I go once, every time.  My family usually goes a few more, but for the rest of the walks up that tree I stay on terra firma, thank you very much!  This picture was taken to show my joy at being returned safely to the ground.  (And just look at how very very happy I am.)

After several days of Disney dust, Disney grime, Disney sun, Disney sweat, and the thick, oily odor of the Disney smoked turkey leg it was time to leave.  This is our goodbye picture, taken from the bridge above Pirates of the Caribbean pointed at the Rivers of America.  Our smiles are authentic, our sleepiness as well.  While saddened at the thought of having to fly a few hours or drive many hours to return to the park, we were glad to take out leave of the big D this year.  Jude is not the three year old Gigi was and the days were long for him, hard for him, and thus long and hard for the rest of us.  I often felt like I was herding cats through a crowded mall trying to get our kids from one place to the next, cajoling, convincing, and manipulating a cranky three year old- it was so tiring!  When we go back next time, we know to go for a shorter time.  While we already make pretty short days of it, we realized that one post-nap trip to the park in the later afternoon through evening was about all Jude could handle before exhaustion set in for him.  For example, he did something that will live in infamy for a bit, involving his teeth and Bradley’s scrotum while in line for Small World.  I’m not gonna candy coat it, there was pain… and blood.  All is healed up and healthy now, but those are the kinds of things he would do when Disneyland got to be a little too much for him.  Bradley’s crotch took a few more hits from the boyo as well before the week was over.  At the end of it, we have wonderful new memories (scrotum biting aside), lessons were learned and we had a fantastic time.  We will return again!

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B&T in the Big D


Gigi Said

  • Topless Tapas 2012-11-03 18:44:52-

    Tami was leaving to go out with her friend and the kids begged to go with her. I said, "you don't want to go with mom, she is going to the Tapas bar and we are going to stay here and play games."

    Gigi stiffened, "That's weird", she said as she blushed. I processed fast and realized the problem. "TAPAS bar. It means 'small plate', not TOPLESS bar!"

Jude Said

  • Nicknames 2013-01-04 21:30:33-

    The checker at the store asked our always conversational little boy what his name was. He replied "Jude" then added "but sometimes they call me pumpkin brown". LOL.

    And they are right. We call him that after the folksong that we sing sometimes.

A long time ago…