This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pirates, Ducks, and Swirling Teacups

I recently celebrated a birthday and like many a Southern Californian this year, I spent the day at Disneyland. See, Disneyland is FREE on your birthday [at least for the remainder of 2009.] I decided to give it a go. After all, I hadn't been there since a family trip in...1985 [gulp]

In fact, that little '85 trip, in many ways, changed the course of my life. It was then that I decided I was going to live in California someday. I was just a little girl so I didn't know what I'd do or how I'd get there or how I'd survive, but a seed was planted. I came home and opened a savings account-- not for a Barbie Dream House or even a car, but for California-- something I didn't really mention to my parents at the time.

Returning to Disneyland the other day, as it turned out, was a happy yet also bittersweet sojourn. As I ventured down Main Street, I was elated at times and oddly melancholy at others. I had no idea how many memories would come flooding back to me. I had no clue I'd fight back tears waiting in line for the monorail or that I'd choke up when I saw the submarine ride that my grandfather was gaga for. I was at Disney, not as a little girl or even an adult, but as myself-- the person I've always been, regardless of age. And here I was again, nearly frozen in the same moment, as if no time had passed.

When you're a kid, things are forever-- summers are forever, your parents are forever, people don't seem to age (and neither do you) until before you realize it and those "forever moments" have fluttered away like so many migrating butterflies.

If you were at Disneyland wondering about me, the loon that cried in fits and starts while inside the gates of the happiest place on Earth, I'm really not crazy. I'm fine. The best thing about this 'happiest place on Earth' is that for a brief time, I can revisit a handful of those "forever moments" from childhood.

Things change, and yet so many things remain the same. The duck pond is exactly how it's always been. I still love Pirates of the Caribbean (although it's not nearly as fun as I remember-- since it's been redone.) I was too scared to go on Space Mountain back in '85, but this time around, it rocked! And yes, I positioned myself for a spin in a lavender teacup and relished in the insane delights of the annoying, yet enduring "It's A Small World" ride.

Disney as an adult, minus a stroller and wandering kids, is a delight to be treasured indeed. And to the little "birthday" girl next to me at the Disney Holiday Parade, high-fiving Goofy and gazing with awe at all the princesses, my wish is that you remember those "forever moments" and whirl around in a lavender teacup when you turn my age.

Copyright 2009 by KLiedle
Photos by KLiedle

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