"It's a small world, but I sure wouldn't want to paint it."
~ Stephen Wright
I've been gone from California longer now than I ever spent living there, but visiting still feels like emotional CPR. The vines climb the bridges and guide me to Balboa Park, the ocean air whispers calm to my whole being, and the smell of eucalyptus transports me back to a moment as a child, driving in our family suburban with the windows down. Ask me about any slumber party I ever attended as a child and I couldn't tell you much about it (except maybe the one that got a little wacky with the Ouija board for the girl at school who preferred to go by "The Golden Unicorn" as opposed to her given name), but pull out a fresh branch of eucalyptus and it's not just a slave to the glue gun and a bad Michael's craft, to me it's home. Family. Security. Love. It's ME, minus the stretch marks and sarcasm.
This recent jaunt to my home state packed in 3 full days at Disneyland, one day in Hollywood, and one day in San Diego. One key observation about Disneyland is that I would like their staff to come clean my toilets. Dude, that place is spotless. You know how most public trash cans look like chewing tobacco depositories for all the New York Yankees? Disneyland's cans must come with their own cleaning fairies because not even once did I go to throw something away and think, "Jackson Pollock has been here experimenting with a new medium of vanilla soft serve and ketchup." Also, have you ever met an amusement park that didn't have several corners that smelled like urine, especially indoors? Well peeps, meet Disneyland. Not even through the 2 miles of cave that form a line to the Indiana Jones ride did I get a single whiff of urine, and seeing as I can't even accomplish this within the walls of my own home I give serious props to the cleaning powers that be at Disneyland. We wrapped up night #1 with the World of Color show and would you believe I thought of you guys during the program? I totally did, because I was wishing all of you could be there to see it too. I had no idea you could do such cool stuff with water and left feeling like this show should write a letter to all the tsunamis that says, "Here's how you can play nicer with your friends." But since you guys couldn't be with me I took a little video to share - it doesn't do it justice, but it's still kinda cool. Imagine you are Jack Sparrow and it hits even closer to home:
The "It's A Small World" ride was closed while we were there but the sentiment wasn't lost on us as we ran into EIGHT families that we knew from church and school. Samantha was able to hook up with one of her buddies while rubbing elbows with Pluto which worked for all parties involved:
Oh Mickey, you're so fine this roller coaster blew my mind:
Space Mountain: I'm the one that looks like I was just told that I was about to undergo a colonoscopy using a scope with razor blades and no anesthesia. Cory looks ready for a Motley Crue concert, and Drew (sitting in the back row behind him) is pretending to be asleep. He ain't afraid of no ghosts.
Me and my friend Jill pretending to be trapped in the Toy Story box. A Disney employee approached us afterward and said, "I've seen a LOT of pictures taken in that thing but I've never seen anything quite like THAT." I think he liked it, in a twisted Disney janitor sort of way.
I TOLD YOU HE WAS ALIVE.
Why do I always look so wrinkly? And why does Jill look stoned?
I don't remember the joke, but I bet it was good.
The picture that left me wondering how I would ever manage to get myself back on the plane to Colorado:
I still don't know how I did it.