Our son, Matthew, drove us to the airport. We went late on a Friday night, and were in bed before the middle of the night. The next two days were early opening at the park, so we sought to be there by around eight. Breakfast at La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney, then on to the entrance.
The week before, at home, storms rendered us without power for several days. Additional storms were a threat, and we had anticipated this being a wet visit. However, our days were generally comfortable, the parks uncrowded, and conditions were ideal for a very relaxed visit. For days we just sauntered here and there, doing whatever seemed appealing.
In a very general way Linda intended this visit to be a celebration of my retirement from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office. The attached video is an impromptu gift she arranged on the spot. The cast member, I believe the name was Timothy, had been present on another visit and proved quite knowledgeable on Disney history. He works in the small store attached to Toy Story Midway Mania in California Adventure.
The day before, when we got off of the ride, she had heard him sing a birthday greeting for one of the guests. Unknown to me, she hatched a plot for a retirement song. When we got off of the ride this time she approached Timothy and asked for a retirement song. An impromptu tune, and much appreciated. It was a bit of special fun on top of a big bowl of other fun times.
Having often visited the parks, our photos this visit were a bit different. We focused largely on details and such things as seemed interesting. Part of our photo effort was to document the changes under way in both parks. Being the off-season a lot was going on. It's a Small World was still down for removal of holiday specific elements. The Rivers of America (all of that water around Tom Sawyer's Island) was empty and a lot of work was going on.
California Adventure was also the site of many changes. Adding the Red Cars trolly system to the front of the park. The new water show installation still going on in the lagoon. The massive addition of Cars Land (based on the Pixar movie, Cars) was not visible except from elevated positions.
It was a lot of fun. Linda bought a lot of things for various family members. It is one of her ways of enjoying the park when we travel without the rest of the family. The shops are fun to visit, especially with so few people in the parks. I got a few more pins for my collection. My Disneyland hat is almost full of pins, and I think I may need to assess the future direction of my collecting. It is a fun hobby associated with Disneyland Resort visits, but can easily get out of hand.
The most fun was getting away with my wife, Linda. I am never convinced that she grasps how much I value her. Though I have moments of clarity and can often be articulate, that is one area of communication in which I always feel I fail.
So, Linda, before all of those who read these words, or might read them in the future, I say, "thank you." Thank you for this extended weekend in a very special place. Thank you for being my wife for over thirty years. I love you, and appreciate you more than I can truly express.