In 1967 my father bought a Pontiac Catalina and a dingy old travel trailer and took his girlfriend, my brother and me on a road trip. Over the next 8 weeks we drove 13,498 miles, visited 51 parks, and saw wonders like geysers, redwoods, grizzlies, and the Summer of Love in San Francisco. The trip made an indelible impression, cementing my appreciation for the natural world and the American landscape. This summer Pamela and I hope to repeat the experience for our family.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pamela: Tink, Mickey and Jack Sparrow

I have a history with Disneyland, as do most people from Southern California. I never worked there like my cousins or some friends, but I have many many memories of times spent there.

My grandparents lived in the next town over. There were at Disneyland on opening day. My parents went on a date to the Magic Kingdom on the second day it was opened. When I was little a real trip to Disneyland with E tickets and everything was a rare treat but often when visiting my grandparents we'd stroll down Main Street (you could get in for free and just pay for the rides) and stop to listen to music and then see the fireworks. I remember seeing Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, Count Basie, and the Firehouse Five, one of my father's favs.

As I got older there were birthdays, dates and grad night. It never got old. I always tried to view Disneyland through the eyes of of 5 year old. It works most times.

As an adult sometimes the stress of getting everyone where they should be when they should be there makes me feel a bit like Maleficent but on a whole our trip to Disneyland yesterday was as magical as ever. My niece's giant smile as her brother made the tea cup go faster and faster. Lark's delight at watching the Disney performers dance and sing. My mother clapping and singing along to a rousing version of "Deep in the Heart of Texas" at the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ" where we were celebrating her 79th birthday. I went on a ride I'd never been on before--Splash Mountain--and some old favorites--Storybook Land and the Pirates of the Caribbean. But my favorite part is always at the end of the day, coming back down Main Street past the candy store, ice cream parlor and arcade and adding one more fond memory to my collection.

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