Friday, September 9, 2016

California: July 2, 2003

A continuation of the cross-country adventure I shared with Ben in the summer of 2003....

Day 25--Wednesday, July 2, 2003

The  morning began with me making some PB&J while watching PB&J on TV--meaning that I made sandwiches for our lunch while watching our new favorite show, the Otters (noodle! do the noodle dance!).  We enjoyed our complimentary breakfast of bacon, eggs, and potatoes (pretty skimpy portions of all) and then drove the few blocks to Disneyland!

We had decided to just do regular Disneyland instead of the new California Adventure since we only had one day and wanted to do the most famous attractions.  We took the public transportation to the ticket booth, and then--we were in Downtown Disney!

We started the morning by finding a locker to store our supplies--four peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, two Gatorades, two Nalgene bottles of water, a bag of fruit and nut mix, and Ben's backpack, filled with random other items.  Then, we were ready to explore!

Our first stop was Adventureland.  There was no wait at all for the Jungle Cruise, so we hopped right on.  Our tour guide was a very funny guy named Eric.  He didn't seem to like his job very much, and he delivered the entire tour with a kind of deadpan humor that I found hilarious.  For example, when passing an area of natural vegetation, he matter-of-factly stated, "And this is where Walt Disney ran out of money."  In addition to his funny comments, we enjoyed the cool shade on the water and the views of all the different "animals."  The day definitely promised to be a scorcher.

Another very short wait got us into the Indiana Jones Adventure.  I ended up in the "driver's seat" for the car, which ended up being kind of scary because I had nothing to hold on to!  This ride was possibly my favorite of the day though.  The architecture and special effects were just great, even in the waiting area.  My favorite part was when it looked like the huge boulder was going to crush us, and then the car took a nosedive at the last second to avoid it!

Tarzan's Treehouse was quite the letdown after this great ride.  Basically, we climbed a lot of stairs into the "treetops" in order to look at some little exhibits of Tarzan and Jane.  Definitely a more fun hands-on kids' activity than anything for us adventure-seekers!

The next area of the park we explored was New Orleans Square.  I got really excited for Pirates of the Caribbean, and while it had some great scenery, it was not nearly as cool as I remembered it being from when I was little.  The Haunted Mansion, however, lived  up to every expectation, from the "expanding room" at the beginning to the "hitch-hiking ghosts" at the end.  Ben and I were both impressed by the moving faces that were projected onto some of the statues and the ethereal ghosts which would appear and disappear in various rooms.

Exiting the Haunted Mansion, the path led us right into Critter Country.  This is where our good luck with rides ran out.  We waited in line for an hour at Splash Mountain.  We amused ourselves as best we could, playing Myachi and Twenty Questions.  I must admit that we had a bit of a tiff when Ben picked the giant chessboard in Muren, Switzerland (which I had never heard of) as his object and then mocked me as the "first time ever LOSER" when I gave up.  We quickly made up, though, when we got on the ride and swooped up and down  hills, through splashing water and Brer Rabbit and all his friends.

We considered going on the new Winnie the Pooh ride, and Ben wanted to go have our pictures taken with Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore, but I was rather distressed by the fact that we had seen a little girl pee on Pooh while we were waiting in line.  Playing the role of one of those characters in huge, hot costumes under the boiling sun is definitely NOT a job I would want!

We next wandered into Frontierland.  The line for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was oddly not all that long, so we did that next.  Every time I thought we had surely crested the largest hill, there was another one waiting for us!  Definitely a fun ride.  Next, we caught a raft to Tom Sawyer's Island and went exploring.  The best part was the Barrel Bridge, which was really hard to walk over!

We ate lunch while sitting on the floor by the lockers.  It was nice to get out of the heat and just sit and relax for a while.  Then we were back at it--on to Tomorrowland!

We got FastPasses to Star Tours, which basically means that we had to wait about an hour before going on it, but when we went, we got to cut to the front of the line.  While waiting, Ben convinced me to go see a show called "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience."  I admit that I was not too enthusiastic--I wanted to go on rides instead of watching shows--but it was GREAT!  We got 3-D glasses to make it all appear real.  A wind machine, shaking of the seats, and scary things moving around our ankles to simulate mice turned loose all added to the reality.

By the time we explored Tomorrowland a bit more, it was time to go on Star Tours, which was a take-off on Star Wars.  WE thought we were going to be able to walk right on, but apparently the woman had miscounted, and there was only one seat left instead of two, so we both had to wait a bit for the next shift.  When we did get on, we had front-row seats for the shaking and moving while watching the story of a spacecraft gone wild.

Innoventions was our next stop in Tomorrowland.  Ben really enjoyed this section, but I didn't so much.  Basically, we entered in an area where a man was talking about the cars of the future, and then we got to wind our way around to look at all different exhibits and simulations about future inventions in all different areas of culture and life.  There were also many, many computers, which Ben played games on and I became frustrated with because I couldn't figure out how to play!

We ended our day in Fantasyland.  By this point, it was mid-afternoon and very, very hot.  My shoulders were a bright red color, and I could tell I was going to have one heck of a sunburn.  But we had decided that no matter how hot it was or how long the lines were, we simply could not leave the park without riding some of the old favorites.

It's a Small World had a pretty lengthy line, but all the trees lining its path were trimmed into different shapes, so it was pretty amusing to study all of those.  I enjoyed the ride immensely, and I think Ben was a little surprised at its scope.  It's funny, but I remember that when I was little, I thought that all the inhabitants of all the different countries were actually singing "It's a Small World" in their own respective languages, but during this time through the ride, I discovered that they were just saying "lalala."  That was actually pretty disappointing.

We stood in line for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride behind four kids and two young adults that looked like their camp counselors or group leaders of some sort.  One little boy was very, very whiny about how he was afraid to go on every ride in the park, and his leader was incredibly patient with him.  As luck would have it, of course, she had finally coaxed him onto the ride and they had just gotten their tearful start, when the whole thing ground to a halt.  The ride had broken down.  We waited for what seemed like an eternity, but was probably closer to 15 minutes, for it to get going again.  When it did, Ben and I felt like the whole ride was operating on "warp speed"--trying to get everyone through really fast to make up for the delay, but it definitely lost most of its appeal that way.

We stopped in a little Pinocchio-themed restaurant and shared an overpriced soda in order to cool off and rest our feet before proceeding onward to Pinocchio's Daring Journey.  From there, it was King Arthur's Carousel, Snow White's Scary Adventure, and Peter Pan's Flight, all of which were pretty predictable little-kid rides with excellent decorations.

We each ate a second peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner in our spot by the lockers, and then we took the trolley? bus? transportation thingie back to the parking garage.  It was only a couple of hours to the South Carlsbad State Beach campgrounds, and it was still light when we got there, so we set up our camp chairs and proceeded to spend the evening reading.  After it got dark, I continued to plow through Prince of the Blood by candlelight, and Ben moved his chair across the road in order to look out over the ocean for a while.  It was pretty late when we went to bed due to some noisy neighbors at the campsite next door, but I don't think either of us minded.

11 / 40

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