Thursday, February 11, 2010

California, Here We Come

I may not have won the Superbowl, but I'm going to Disneyland anyway. That's right. I'm heading of with my mom and sister for five days to the "Happiest Place on Earth." It's a tradition that our family started when I was only six years old, to go to Disneyland at least once a year. (I say at least, because we have been known to go twice a year on occasion.)

Hey Mickey
When I was six my beautiful grandmother, Irene, passed away. My grandpa decided the family needed both some cheering up and some bonding time. As soon as summer hit and all the grandkids were out of school, we loaded up my grandpa's old Ford and my parents' new blue van with family. We grandpa led the pack followed by my mom, my sister, and myself. And my mom's only sister brought her three kids, too. In order to take less time off work (and avoid being trapped in a caravan with five noisy kids, their wives, and their father-in-law) my dad and my uncle opted to fly down to California after we have safely arrived.

Plane tickets for everyone would have cost a pretty penny, and those pennies were all coming out of my grandpa's pockets, so we were forced to do things his way. Now, I'm not complaining, because I still have some fond memories of the drive to California with my family. I remember my cousin, Joe, the only boy (besides my grandpa) singing his six year old little heart out, belting out many made up words. I remember having to pull over in the van every ten minutes when my oldest cousin, Dee, was terribly sick to her stomach. She toughed it out with the paper towels and stepped into the shrubbery on the side of the road. You see, we couldn't stop so she could use the restroom, because we were on a strict schedule that my grandpa implemented with much authority. When we had to stop to eat, we stop at Denny's and only Denny's. I think I have been to every Denny's from Washington to California. (No wonder my poor cousin was sick!)

It's been years since my grandpa has left us, but we still continue the tradition. We haven't gone with my aunt and her kids in many years, but they still go occasionally. To this date, I don't believe my uncle and dad ever made it back. They complained about long lines and cranky kids. (They were the cranky ones if you ask me.) It's clear that none of them developed the attachment to Disneyland that my mom, sister, and I have. My mom would live in Disneyland if she could; she could never tire of it. Each time we go, she reverts back to the child still inside her; Disney played such a huge part in her childhood. I think my mom's joy is part of the reason visiting the park is so magical for my sister and myself. We might be old and grown now, but this tradition is one to keep, because the feeling never changes. We like to think that Grandma and Grandpa join us there, too.


Her Majesty Lisa (LadyWanderlust) said...

Family memories and family traditions warm the heart! I personally cannot stand amusement park vacations. It's the teacher in me...I want to see historical sites in HUGE urban settings. But I try to take a trip with my kids every year to creat memories, just like my parents did with me.

I hope you have a fab time and it is more comfortable than a cousin car caravan! LOL

Housewife Bliss said...

lets hope the cues are not too long. Enjoy the special time with your family.

WhisperingWriter said...

Have a fantastic time. I love Disney.

Melanie said...

You chose a good time to leave WA! Rain and storms ahead for us. At least it isn't snowing!

Man, if I could afford Disneyland every year, I would go for it too. Good for you! Have loads of fun!

{ Persis Shah } said...

hope you have a lovely trip! come back soon.

Kristin said...

Ohhhhhhh Bon Jovi...Jealous!!