Disneyland

I am dreaming of a vacation.

My mom and I have been tossing around the idea of a vacation with her, dad and me. No one else. I want a memory of just the three of us. No stopping the car to let my brother out for a run. No having to share a seat with a sister who hogs all the cuddle time with mom and dad. No grandmas tell us where they want to eat. Just me, mom, and dad on the kind of vacation we have never had before. But I also want a vacation together that we have had before…like Disneyland. 

I began going to Disneyland at the age of six. I have been upwards of 30 times to the various parks in the United States and France. This may seem surprising to many who know me but it has been years since I have darkened the doorstep of any Disney Park, years. My last few memories were tainted by situations and relationships that needed to be purged by me. Moving forward I will spend future Disney Park time with family. I want to recreate my first memory and make new ones. I want to have a great memory of the parks with my children and my parents. So I think this year will be that opportunity. 

My best memory of Disneyland when I was six was sitting on the corner of Main Street with my dad. We were holding spots for my mom and brother. They were shopping at the Emporium for warm sweaters for us. It was August and the evenings become cooler. We were waiting for the Main Street Electrical Parade. It was that parade’s debut that summer. A fun fact that I only know now because I am a fan. I was oblivious of that fact as a kid. 

Mom came out of the shop with grey sweatshirts with Mickey Mouse on the front. The park still sells that style only its called vintage now. We snuggled into the sweatshirts and munched on popcorn. We shared a box between all of us. I remember my dad being amazed by the lights and music. I was mesmerized. 

Fast forward to the year I brought my kids for the first time and we sat on Main Street wearing newly purchased sweatshirts watching the Electrical Parade. We didn’t munch on popcorn we had dole whips and Mickey bars instead but we were enchanted with the parade. It was as magical as I remembered. The next day we met Pooh and Pigglet and my son was transfixed. He whispered secrets into Pooh’s ear and was happy beyond words.

My children are now adults and my parents are seniors. I am not that little six year old who had crushes on Robin Hood and Thomas O’Malley, now I crush on Spanish Mode Buzz, Bert and Ramone who likes it low and slow as he cruises through Carsland. We have all decided we want to have a family vacation together in our old haunt. We want to explore Galaxy’s edge, ride the Matterhorn on the Tomorrowland’s side at night, ride Pirate’s and Splash and maybe even sit on a bench on Mainstreet and watch a parade or two. I want to pop into the Emporium with my mom and buy sweatshirts for everyone because the evening is cool. I want to share with my parents the secrets I have learned and make my dad take a photo with his doppelganger Han Solo. 

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I want to be amazed by magic. It’s been a long time since I felt happy there. I am ready to get that back. It will be 47 years since my very first visit. There is a theme park where the parking lot used to be. Rides have changed and evolved but there is still a lamp above the firehouse on Mainstreet that I am looking forward to seeing again.  I can’t wait for 2019 and all the vacation magic it will bring. 

I Don’t Want to Be a Cartoon Character Anymore!

I don’t want to be a cartoon character anymore. I know, you’re thinking “What the…?!?!?” It’s true. I was sitting at the spa getting a pedicure and perusing through the different colours of polish when this epiphany occurred to me. Typically, I will choose a bit of flash. I love colour! The brighter the better. Bright colour makes me feel happy. Normally when I am in a situation that requires me to choose a hue, I will pick sunshine yellow, electric lime ,atomic tangerine, or flamingo pink! Any of these colours sound familiar to you? They can be found in your crayola box. You don’t have a crayola box? My turn, What the… ?!?!?

I love the smell of fresh Crayolas. That is what colour smells like to me. For as long as I can remember, I always got a new box of crayons and a new colouring book in my Christmas Stocking. Santa, being the great guy he is, never forgot. I never had to ask him for them, they always showed up every December 25th, bright and early before breakfast . Cracking open that new box, seeing all those colours lined up in two rows. The tips perfectly flat and paper in pristine condition. Not a broken or cracked crayon amongst the group. Just ready for me to pull one out, ever so gently, and begin my new masterpiece. Never did I use those crayons on plain white paper. That was for pencils. No, my beloved crayons were meant for the brand spanking new colouring book. My colouring book was always in the theme of a cartoon that I loved. Bugs Bunny, Scoobie Doo, Josie and the Pussy Cats or of course Mickey Mouse and the Fab Five.

My dream at 6 was to be an artist. Not a Chuck Jones type, he was sheer genius and I loved everything he did. Including the uncredited work he did with Ward Kimball on Sleeping Beauty. I wanted to be a clean up artist or a cell painter. Obscure I know, but they were the ones that got to play with the colour. I would colour in the backgrounds of my colouring book so blank space was spared. I would force everyone in my family to admire it and tell me how fabulous it was. Then, very carefully I would turn the page and continue on the next picture. All in order, until it was full or my sister would scribble in it ruining that colouring book forever and I would not return to it.

My love for colour is not merely limited to crayons, my love for colour reaches into the depths of my closet! I own several bright hues of t-shirts too! My coats are brightly coloured, and so are my socks. I love polka dots and stripes, random patterns and geometrics too! So for me, to limit myself to a soft neutral feels strange and foreign. I look at my sister who, to me, seems very stylish as she dresses for work or out for an evening. Does she wear acid green or atomic tangerine? Um, no. Her closet is filled with colour, but in a way that says she is an adult and not 5. When I dress in monochromatic I don’t feel 5, I actually feel like an adult. That is very liberating!

Sitting at the pedicure station, I was flipping through the different colours of polish. For the first time in my life I said no to Paco the Pool Boy Blue, and Lola was a Show Girl Orange, and said hello to Chicago Champagne Toast. Even the name sounded sophisticated to me. It is the colour of champagne. The kind of colour that Audrey Hepburn might adorn her toes with. My toes for the first time in my life look pretty, like they belong to a grown up with taste. So long clown toes of yesterday! Hello new me! Well, almost new. I need to get myself a coat that doesn’t look like it belongs in a circus tent freak show, then I will be set to get off at my next stop. But I am bringing my crayon box and colouring book with me.

I am liking the tourist route.