Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Last day for Mickey

We’ve been in Anaheim one week today, and tomorrow we go home. Today will be our last day in the parks.

There are no schedules to keep to today. We’re just going to enjoy Disneyland and/or California Adventure for most of the day, doing whatever we feel like doing, and then we’ll come back tonight to pack up for the voyage home.

Local TV stations are wall-to-wall this morning with Michael Jackson's memorial service, to be held at the Staples Center today. I'm very thankful that Los Angeles is a big place, and that circus is far away from us. Hey, maybe some of those memorial attendees had been planning on visiting Disneyland today, so the volume of people in the parks will be down???

Becky, Brandon & Benjamin go down to the snack shop for some breakfast items to get us started, but again I’m relying on their goodwill and saving my breaths for the parks. I ask them to bring me back an iced mocha, and we agree to share a couple of the large muffins we saw in the display case last night.

Most of my Vocal Majority brothers traveled home on Sunday, after the convention. I’ve been keeping up with a lot of their comments on my Facebook page via my cell phone, and some of them crack me up. My two favorite posts have to do with the (still shocking) second place finish of the chorus: one guy wrote, “My silver medal was confiscated by airport security. He said it didn’t go with my VM shirt.”

Another wit responded, “I’m having mine bronzed.”

I haven’t seen any VM guys around here in a while – in fact, I haven’t seen any barbershoppers since my encounter with that one guy in Disneyland on Sunday morning. I wonder if any of them are still around.

I get an answer to my wondering sooner than I expected. Becky and the boys return and report that they saw Jim and Judy Clancy, our director and his wife, in the snack shop, buying bottled water. (Which made our group a bit self-conscious about our unhealthy iced coffee concoctions!) Jim and Judy are going to Universal Studios today, so I guess we won't run into them again later.

The ten of us are planning to go to California Adventure to begin the day, giving me a chance to see that park beyond Soarin’ Over California. I’m curious what I’ll think of it.

We head down to the ART stop in front of the Sheraton at 9:30. It looks like it’s going to be another nice, moderately warm day.

The ART trolley takes its time getting to us. After a few minutes another family walks up, or perhaps two families – there are two couples and five kids between them. All appear to be age six or less. (The kids, not the couples.) We mostly keep to ourselves, though the kids are running around and the two sets of parents have to constant corral them.

One little boy of 3, maybe 4, years old is looking at me from around the corner of a pillar next to me. I peek back at him, and then duck back behind the pillar when I’m “caught.” It quickly turns into a full-fledged peek-a-boo game around both sides of the column.

I glance over to his mom to make sure I’m not treading into sensitive “talking to stangers” territory, but she mostly just seems relieved that someone else is entertaining one of the kids.

We continue this game for a minute or two, and before I know it, another one of the kids, a girl this time, apparently has decided I’m approachable and has noticed the Mickey Mouse on my new watch. I point out the other characters on the pins on the lanyard I’m wearing, and – boom – suddenly all five kids are gathered around me examining all of the pins and squealing in delight as they recognized the various characters.

I look up again at the parents. This time it’s very clear that they are relieved that I’ve got the attention of all five kids – with just a hint of concern that the kids are bothering me. Nah.

After a minute or so of looking at my pins, someone asks about a character I don’t have. I mention that Benjamin does, and – boom – just as quickly as they arrived, the swarm moves over to Benjamin to look as his pins, and he becomes the most popular guy at the bus stop. He’s great with little kids and seems to be having a ball with them.

Brandon is sitting patiently next to Benjamin, waiting for his turn to show off his lanyard when the bus arrives. Sorry!

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