You ever get asked to participate in something and think to yourself, “Sure. Sounds fun. I’ll do it.” Knowing all along it isn’t going to work?
Obviously, it’s a sign, the second you hang up the phone the Vegas bookies start running the numbers and setting the odds on the various outcomes of said adventure. You and the bookies are fairly certain the event will have a dubious ending. You proceed, caution flag raised proudly, you’re already wearing hip waders. No stopping now. What the hell.
Yep, that about covers the trip to Disneyland with The Mother.
A few weeks ago, I had a business trip that took me from east to west coast and I worked in a quick visit to see The Mother in between meetings. I was looking forward to exchanging cold weather for hot sunshine. Little did I realize, I was trading snow for the “storm of the century” listening to the weather forecasters of LA. Although, having the opportunity to drive in torrential downpours was something I haven’t had the chance to experience since I left Miami. It was a pleasant reminder of Mother Nature’s many talents.
During my visit to southern California, The Mother had one thing on her mind. In the past, usually she wanted to go to a particular restaurant or a local venue of some sort. Nope. Not this time. Determination was set on a new target.
Apparently, unbeknownst to her, having lived in the desert for over three years, Disneyland is basically a stone’s throw away from her door step. Relatively speaking.
To verify, this accuracy, The Mother checked with MapQuest, AAA, the neighbors Tim & Susie across the street who frequently drive the highways and as well as with the local grocery checker at Albertson’s supermarket.
If you’re a rolling stone.
In good weather.
With a decent tail wind.
Jump on the I-10 and head west out to the wild west…to the land of the Great Mouse.
Throughout my trip, The Mother had a mantra… “don’t do anything that would hamper missing the day’s adventure to Disney.” Roger that….going to see The Mouse….got it.
Our plan was to depart first thing Sunday morning. Day trip only.
My only request was we MUST depart early, because The Mother would definitely need an electric scooter due to all the walking. On a previous visit we went to the local zoo. Unfortunately, they don’t have motorized scooters thus we rented their version of a standard wheelchair.
Not quite a normal wheelchair.
Not quite a a wheelbarrow.
It was more like an adult bucket seat push cart.
I nearly killed myself trying to push that plastic contraption in the desert heat. There’s a reason wheelchairs are made from fabric, not plastic! Mind you, I am all of 5 foot 1 an a sip of water on a good day. I was sweating like a sumo wrestling champion sitting in a sauna. I probably left a sweat trail like a slug leaves a slime trail.
Gazelles? Missed those. I was laying under the tree over here, panting like a cheetah trying not to let the sweat sting my eyeballs and turn my mascara into a ghoulish creep fest. But hey, let me in to see those dwarf goats. I’m just going to sit with them for a while and communicate with them baaaaccccck to the mothership. I digress…..
We needed a motorized scooter for Disneyland. If I had to elbow my way through the crowd to get a scooter, by God we were getting a scooter.
Before bed, The Mother looks up the weather for Anaheim and it’s to be cool with an 11% chance of rain. I figure that’s a high percentage of rain for California. I say if she doesn’t want to go, I’m okay with that. Best not to be miserable and we can go next time.
The Mother hesitates for a moment. Nope. We’re going.
I go to bed, knowing….you know how you just know? You just know in the pit of your stomach. This isn’t going to go well. Trust the gut.
You know you can’t talk someone out of something.
No matter what you say.
You could tell them they’re going to throw up on their shoes.
They want to go.
You could tell them they’re going to be miserable.
They want to go.
You could say 400,000 people will be there.
They want to go.
You could say it isn’t really what they will want to do.
They want to go.
You could say, this is going to make my /your eyes bleed.
They want to go.
You could say, this is going to be a disaster.
They want to go.
Why fight the process. It’s easier in the long run.
To just go.
The day of our big adventure arrives and our plan was to depart at 7:00AM. I am awake early due to stupid jet lag and do not hear The Mother stirring. Silently, I think, maybe we aren’t going…..
At 5:50AM I hear The Mother yelling through the door, “Donna, are you getting up?”
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.
I get into the shower and proceed with the morning routine. When I get myself pulled together, I go out to the living room….there’s heavy fog outside the window and grey skies.
As I am putting my shoes on, I say to The Mother “You know, this is your last chance to back out. The weather doesn’t look so good with the fog today.”
She is surprised I suggested we not go. What do you mean? Of course we’re going! After all, there’s only an 11% chance of rain.
Alright then. Coats, sunglasses, jackets, lip balm, purses etc…..let’s go.
Two hours on the road in and out of rain showers and sun spots, we arrive to Disneyland. The mecca of fun, happiness, laughter and of dreams that come true with the sprinkle of magical fairy dust with Mickey Mouse leading the way.
It’s starting to drizzle again. But over that way, the skies look clearer and certainly it will clear up. We agree, the shower will pass. It just isn’t supposed to rain at Disney right.
The first parking lot’s ADA area is filled, so we traverse the lot like a drunken snake towards the exit with a neon pink exit sign flapping like a flamingo under our wiper. This indicates to the Disney parking attendants we’re aiming to exit like mice in a maze looking for cheese….so they don’t continue to point us into a parking spot.
As we’re making our way through parking area, a family is literally walking down the middle of the aisle. Not a care in the world. Why should they – it’s Disneyland! Their minds are filled with memories from the last time they were here, where they threw up, where they lost Billy, how Mary got ejected from the water ride because she thought it was a wet t-shirt contest and how they can’t wait to see their favorite characters. They’re excited. It’s Disney.
Did I mention?
Patience is a virtue.
“You think these people would get a clue and move over.” Advises The Mother.
Yep….as I continue to creep along behind the family. “Well, this is how it’s going to be today. Lots of people. Lots of lines. This is Disney. You know, it’s not too late to head home. Now’s the time. Last chance.”
Nope. Not changing our mind. We’re going to the other parking lot. We’re going to Disneyland.
About 15 minutes later, we make our way to the Toy Story lot, park and make our way aboard the shuttle bus to the entrance.
NOTE: For those that have experienced any Disney park, you know what it’s like….the shuttle buses, security screening, ticket purchase and entrance lines…..all within the main entry area. This is where we’re located.
By 10:00AM we’re through security and head over to the far side of the entrance gate to get in line for the electric scooter.
It continues to drizzle.
We get The Mother signed off on an electric scooter for $70 and head back to the ticket line, where she decided to wait off to the side while I venture into the serpentine line for our day passes. Not long after being in line I start to hear, “DONNA!” (Can’t be for me, right? Ignore. Ignore.) More people begin shouting, “DONNA!” I look up and at the front of the line….there’s an arm flailing above the crowd with a flapping hand attached.
The Mother waving at me.
…..along with the crowd shouting my name, “DONNA!”
I start to duck under the rope barrier. Excusing myself along the way…
“Sorry, that’s me….I’m Donna.”
I get up front to The Mother….” What’s going on?” I’m thinking maybe she played the ADA card and got our day passes some magical easy way without waiting. I mean this is Disney, anything is possible. Right? The Mother says, “Let’s go. I’m not waiting in line for this. There’s too many people. It’s raining and I’m not paying this price. It’s so disorganized. Do you want to stay for this?”
Nope. I nodded my head. Looked at my watch 10:37AM. Knew it. Okay, let’s go…..
On the way back to the car in the shuttle, The Mother asked if I was mad….as she pinched my cheek, no less. I told her sometimes you can’t talk people out of things they want to do, but I knew we’d end up going home. It’s kinda like going to the dentist and getting a shot of Novocain, which you don’t want to do in the first place. But you take the shot and as an added bonus….you get to talk funny afterwards!
Alright then. Who placed the bet for: 37 minutes at Disneyland’s entrance?
And yes, I was able to get a full refund on the electric scooter.