Thursday, May 19, 2005

Disneyland's 50th

I didn't write here yesterday because Betty and I spent the day at "the happiest place on Earth" with Soren, Clark and Kristen. What a day! I've seen it more crowded. The weather was perfect. We had our camera at the ready. Soren has just turned two and is so verbal. His first and second ride was the Jungle Cruise. He absolutely loved it! He was looking for Mowgli. You can tell he is read to alot. He knows all the animals. It was even more of a joy to watch Clark with him...a big kid and a little one. We tried to take Soren to the Tiki Room but he would have none of it. Threw a tantrum on the floor. Clark took him out and went back to the Jungle Cruise for a second ride. We had just eaten at the Blue Bayou, our favorite. Soren noticed the sounds. It was darker than I remember.

Soren finally fell asleep in his stroller for a two-hour + nap. We rested in the shade. Then we went on the Small World boat and the Storybook Land boat. We had a bit of a line to stand in for those...not a Soren thing. He seemed to enjoy his first experience, I know Betty and I did through his eyes... and also to see Clark doing it again too. We also rode the train and the tram. That was it for the first time. We were tired and sore of foot. We'll be back this 50th year with them and on our own, I hope. Got to see the parade again and a few other sites.

Most of the families didn't look all that happy...I'd say, more "driven" and doggedly determined to do everything, consume everything and see everything they could. I noticed alot of new and refurbished things/events. Mini-picture collages were new and fascinating. Everything, of course, was more expensive. The place is full of memories. My first grad nite in '57 when it was just 2 years old. Kissing Linda Carlson in the sky buckets and sticking to her make-up. Meeting Betty there on an Easter Sunday when I had Navy duty and we didn't have kids yet. Taking winning groups from my classroom. Betty's director's pass getting us in free for many years with pictures. Singing with a methodist church group at Christmas there and having to go behind the street scenes to deal with a group of student I brought picked up for shop-lifting. We called their parents to come and pick them up. My last trip was with Pardee as a reward. We got to eat at the exclusive, upstairs restaurant with the only address in the place: 33 Royal St. above the Blue Bayou. Walt's private restaurant. What a buffet! Betty has been there with her sister a few times and also eaten there.

The happiest time we had there was when we were on of the invited guest of Von's to see a new replacement parade for the Electrical Parade. We didn't like it all that much but we loved free run of the park and no lines. Lots of walking and waiting or sitting and waiting for others. Soaring over CA is now one of my best rides. I'd like to stay at the Hotel sometime.

Our future best times, I'm sure, will be to have the priviledge of seeing it all again through the eyes of our grandchildren and feeling their wonder and excitement. Bob


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