CA Adventure & Disneyland

Tuesday Jessie and I went to Disneyland. It was an exhausting experience. So much so, I waited to write about it.

Jessie and I were tired, so that is a bad way to start things off. But on top of that, we didn't seem to care as much. We were excited during the days leading up to it, but then the day came, and our sense of urgency to get to the park had diminished.

Here is Caleb and I, FINALLY making it to his school by 10am:
The child in the back: "Ugh, No mom, no pictures"...
...And his acceptance. 
It was nice to be there and to walk around and see all of the different, creative things. It was cool to see the people in their different costumes, and the different lands. I love that. But the crowds were intense. Surging forth, everywhere you looked. Line after line, stretching hour after hour. One family we talked to waited TWO HOURS for a ride.

We first went to California Adventure where we immediately got ourselves churros.
The first half of the day, we were tired, it was hot, we just wanted to sit in the shade and eat sweets and nap. Yes, I felt old. It didn't help that the first ride we went on was that terrible Mickey Ferris wheel. Jessie really wanted to ride it saying, "Please! No one ever goes on it with me and I always want to!" I grumbled about this but agreed to do it. This resulted into me gripping her arm, never looking down, and getting whoozy and motion sick. Because this Ferris wheel rocked. And that rocking made me sick. That stayed with me for awhile. Even Jessie felt unstable during this ride and voiced the desire for a buckle or strap a few times.
Here is Jessie, looking all too eager. 
My uneasiness is noted. This is the, "I am trying to hang in there, not look down, resist motion sickness, can this end NOW" face. 
Night time shot of that terrible ride.
After that, we had lunch and ran into our dear friend Gemma. A lovely surprise.
The one thing I noticed during all of this Part 1 of the day, were the "cast members" (aka the employees of Disneyland). I was not fully alive, and while my body moved forward in walking from one place to another, I didn't have any real energy until later. Yet I could not help but notice how these workers of Disneyland went about their jobs. Some of them did have the typical glazed over look, but more often than not, most of these workers conducted their work with this astute creativity and energy. From the ticket booth workers, to the workers in the food establishments, to the folks who would pop out of a bus to dance and sing, I was amazed at their presence of mind.  Plus, they had to deal with these costumes that had to have been hot, and these massive crowds. They did their jobs well. And this is something I noticed with person after person. It was amazing to me.
I took this photo for Caleb, but here are some of the talented cast of Disneyland. While these guys featured in the bus were certainly impressive, I was equally as impressed with the lady taking our orders at the restaurant in CA Adventure. Seriously, she was stuffed in this muggy place with hundreds of people swarming through. She handled each person with this clarity and duty. It was evident what sort of work ethic she had, and how great she was. Of course, I was standing before her, half dead and motion sick at that point. So she had no idea that I was marveling at a good chunk of the time. 
Here is another sign of aging. Years ago when Jessie, Amanda, and I went to Disneyland, we eagerly wore hats and took mickey mouse ear pictures and wore silly hats for more pictures. I didn't care this time. Then, when we were buying sour gummies, I examined the wall of some hats. There were hats of every variation, from girly, to chic, to bridal, to awesome....like Captain Jack Sparrow and Jessie's favorite, Jack Skellington. I figured, if any sort of photo like this happens, that was the time to do it. 
She doesn't even like Mickey. And yet here she is, on his couch. She crashed on his couch but made no attempt to meet him, even though he was out back.  
Part 2 of the day is when evening and night rolled in. We perked up more. There were still people of all ages everywhere we looked. Still lots of crying small children, who were tired or overstimulated at the spectacle that is Disney (one reason why I leave Caleb at home). But we had more fun. We went on some cool rides, like Space Mountain (after waiting over an hour! Their "45 min" sign was a lie). We also went on the new Radiator Springs (2 hour wait line, but we passed through single rider line. Jessie snuck in my lane and we rode together anyway). And at around 11:15pm, we rode Indiana Jones. It was fun.

Some pictures:
Hanging out at Mickey's pad.
She has a knack for getting herself into these situations.
For my Caleb.
Waiting in line for the new Radiator Springs ride.
It was certainly a good one! Also, that family in the car with us waiting two hours for the ride. Those kiddos are troopers. 
More than anything though, this trip really highlighted the ways I have changed in experiencing the park. And yes, a lot of the time I was there, I wished to be able to go back with Caleb and let him loose. He's not into crowds (AT ALL), and he gets over stimulated and overwhelmed (like SO MANY of the kids that were there). But it is still a uniquely creative place to run free and explore.

In general, I think we can all agree that Disneyland is best enjoyed with less people. It is a different experience with the masses of people. But still, you can't help but observe all the families there, just trying to create this memory and experience together. Spending absurd amounts of money to be there. I think everyone just wants a bit of that magic that comes with Disney. And it's there. It's just crammed in more with all the bodies of people stamping all over the place. Haha. I was fine with the crowds, really. It didn't bother me or make me feel claustrophobic. But it is a clear observation to come away from the day with.

I find it interesting why so many of us like alternate lands. Places of magic. I do, very much. I love new environments. I love stories and places that take happen in another world or universe. I mentioned this in an old blog which includes a map of different fantasy words: "On Growing Up".

Even as a child, we love to escape in our minds to an imaginary place. It's a wonderfully creative and imaginative journey to take. It is a magical experience for our minds to transport us to these places, while our bodies lay root in reality. The same goes for watching movies. I think as we get older, we run this risk of using these tools to escape a more apathetic reality. The same can be said about video games, which I have seen to be used in a scarily destructive and addictive nature.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with any of these things. I just think that being careful in using anything, be it social media, the internet, games, movies, and shows for the purpose of escapism can be dangerous if we let it be. I'd like to think most of us are good with this, but I will say that I for one, have been particularly bad with some of this when I finally get the my son to bed. I come into my room, into my bed, and just have my own time. Too much time. On the computer. Or with a show. And for me, it is prudent to remember that real life is happening outside the bounds of shows or movies or social media.

But by all means, imagine and explore those lands, read those books, soak in new things. I know I did as a child, through books. Disneyland presents this opportunity for these stories to come alive to us in a physical sense. That's why girls dress up in their princess dresses when they go. Right? They are the princess and they are walking into their kingdom. They can live these things out. Though I have yet to see a girl walk in as Jesse the cowgirl from Toy Story, that would be awesome.

Cheers to never being too old to step back into play land, where imagination can come to life.