Stacy and I have been friends since 7th grade. Like over 20 years. Wild. Through umpteen moves and life changes, we have managed to remain friends. This weekend, she and her two boys (Brendan, 9 and Keenan, soon to be 5) made the mini van trek all the way from Tucson to visit. Being true Southern Californians, we took them to the beach on Saturday and The Happiest Place On Earth on Sunday.
Malibu was beautiful with impressive surf rolling in all the way from New Zealand, putting on a fantastic water show. The weather was perfect and the kids would have frolicked in the sand all day if we had let them. Grilled burgers and dogs on our patio that night for dinner.
The next morning took us down to Anaheim. Our visitors had never been to Disneyland, so it was a real treat to see them experience "Disney Magic" for the first time. Aubrey, now 4 years old and having been to Disneyland exactly three other times, is an old pro. She told me this morning she would like to go every day. Ha! Better book another tv show then, kid.
I've been to Disneyland 5 other times before yesterday (Excluding the time my family drove there circa 1976 and it was closed. Couldn't make that shit up.) and each time I experience something new. There is so much to do and see, and depending on who you are with, it can be totally different each time.
Firsts for me this time were:
- Mr Toad's Wild Ride
- Ariel's Undersea Adventure
- Ate at the new Paradise Garden quick serve restaurant - surprisingly AWESOME! The chicken kabobs were delicious!
- Saw Captain EO - shamon! Hee hee!
The main crazy of the day was that the Disneyland Half Marathon was that morning and many of the roads into the park, resort, etc were closed off, so it took us about an hour of driving around and around and around the park in bumper to bumper traffic before we were able to get to where we were supposed to be. But it was smooth sailing after that.
All day, Stacy and I kept freaking out about the fact that were were at Disneyland...with our KIDS! WHAT?! How did that happen? It feels like it was just yesterday that we were wearing stirrup pants, forgetting our locker combinations and taking off our shirts for that awkward scoliosis test. OK, maybe not YESTERDAY, but where do the days, the years go? And how did we turn into adults with children tall enough to ride most of the rides at Disneyland? Yikes!
Time certainly does fly, but it sure is fun with good friends and having Aubrey allows me to experience life and SoCal in a whole different way. I probably wouldn't have built a sand castle and caught sand crabs at the beach and I definitely wouldn't have bought and tasted cotton candy at Disneyland. She reminds me to enjoy the simple things and to savor the sweetness that is all around us. Lucky me.
I was recently talking to a good friend about balance in life. Career, relationships, parenting, health. There are only so many hours in the day and in the past, most of my hours were spent on career. I said I felt that Aubrey came into my life to give me better balance. I'm not sure I've figured out the balance yet - or really, I'm not sure I ever will - it's more like I just try to squeeze more into each day so I can do it all, but this weekend with friends, with family, with children, with Mickey Mouse... it was a good step back from our busy lives and a nice break for fun together. I hope you all find the time to let fun and joy in your lives. If you're not sure how to do it, just ask yourself, "What would Aubrey do?"