Oh to be 26 again!
Why I remember being 26 like it was yesterday. My oldest child was in first grade, my middle daughter was in pre-school and the youngest was still at home with me. That year we took a trip to Disneyland in California and it was a memorable one for sure.
We decided to drive to Anaheim, California from the west coast with three kids. Okay quit laughing. We were young and thought the long drive would be fun. Well it kind of was. There were a few things which happened and have stayed lodged deep in my memory, even after all these years.
One of the strangest things which happened was trying to get some sleep after driving for 14 hours. When we stopped at the motel and went to bed, everyone else went to sleep right away except me. It seems that taking those little energy drinks in fast succession is not always a good thing. Every time I closed my eyes and drifted off, I was suddenly driving down the highway but left my kids at the gas station. In a panic, I began to yell “We forgot the kids!” The next thing I heard was my husband telling me to wake up. lol Needless to say we didn’t get a ton of sleep at the motel.
We left early the next morning and continued driving into Los Angeles on Interstate 5. Now that was amazing too. For the entire trip the maximum driving lanes each direction had been 3 and coming into Los Angeles at 3 in the morning, there were at least 6 lanes in each direction. The highway was filled with semi trucks and cars like ours were far and few between.
We took an exit into Los Angeles at 3 in the morning to get directions to Disneyland. It was all we could do to just stay focused. Now I should mention that we stopped at a gas station to get the directions but there seemed to be a miscommunication. We pulled in with our old station wagon, luggage packed to the sky, three sleeping kids and two very tired adults. We asked the young lady at the gas station how far to Disneyland and she kept saying something in Spanish. Now I’m Canadian so Spanish was definitely not my first language. We kept repeating what we wanted to say and she did the same right back. A few minutes later there were flashing lights and sirens. Three police cars pulled up. One officer approached us and asked what we were doing in EAST LA at 3 in the morning. I suddenly realized there were tons of people all over the streets like it was early evening and then noticed the helicopter overhead watching the crowd. We explained we were looking for Disneyland and the officer gave us directions back on to the highway with instructions to continue going and NOT stop in East LA for our own safety.
We got to our hotel finally and this time we all fell asleep with no dreams. Later that morning we took the kids to Disneyland. Seeing the sign welcoming us to Disney, made the whole crazy trip worth it. We spent three days in the park with the kids and it was a blast. Our old VHS video has our middle daughter holding hands with the youngest and dancing up a storm while we waited for the Country Bear Jamboree, which is long since gone now. I remember dressing the girls similar in these awesome jean outfits we had found and the cutest pair of shoes ever.
We decided to go to Universal Studio’s for their tour and the very next year an angry security guard there, set fire to the main part which housed the downtown area from the movie Back to the Future. On our tram tour Frankenstein, okay not the real guy but you get the picture, approached the tram and my son didn’t see him until he turned around and screamed at the top of his lungs. lol
We took the kids to Sea World in San Diego as well and that was fun. You know the birds have a bad reputation when there is a warning to watch your food because they will steal it. Of course we didn’t think anything of it until later that day when we got some lunch and a sea gull swooped in and promptly stole my son’s hot dog right out of his hand. Now I’m not sure whether he was happy about that close encounter or not but we replaced the hot dog and ate inside just in case.
When we left to go home, we took our time and just enjoyed the memories we made during our vacation and we continued to make some more memories on our way home. In Oregon there is a Wildlife Safari where you can either drive your vehicle through or you can hop on theirs. You go through a more natural environment for the animals and some even come to the vehicle to say hello or to let you know they don’t want you there. lol One white Rhino was near the fence of the compound walking on ice which had covered her pond. While we were watching her, wondering how strong that ice really was, we heard a loud crack and she fell through. The workers rushed to help her out but she needed medical attention because she got frost bite from the ice. Years later she was still there and I don’t think she ever made the same mistake twice.
Making memories is an important thing to do. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or you don’t have but it does matter that you have love and people to share in your life. The memory you make today will live on long into your future so make it count. Smile, love, laugh and repeat. Thanks for reading my blog.
Do you remember when you were 26?