Return to Disneyland

This past weekend was time for our annual trip to Disneyland. It’s “annual” in the sense that Debbi and her friends really love Disneyland and the Disney characters, but while I enjoy the rides I don’t enjoy them so much to go more than once an year, whereas they, well, do. So I guess it’s really my “annual” trip to Disneyland.

Anyway. If you’re new to reading about this whole thing in my journal, you can find last year’s accounts and links to earlier ones here.

This year’s trip didn’t start off auspiciously. Debbi and I went to dinner Wednesday night, and when we came out of the restaurant I turned the key to my car and – well, the lights on the dash come on, sort of, and the starter clicked, and not much else happened.

Yes, my car’s battery had died.

The AAA guy who came to jump my car said I should have my battery framed, since it was the original battery from 1999, and he says most people are lucky to get 5 years out of a battery like this, not 7. Fortunately, we always rent a minivan or something for these multi-person trips to Disneyland, so my car could just sit in the garage until Monday. Which it was destined to do, since it got home without a hitch, but as soon as I turned off the engine it refused to start again. The battery’s so dead it won’t even work the door locks with the remote clicker.

We were scheduled to meet Lisa and Michel to get the aforementioned minivan at the airport, but of course we were late, since we drove home to drop off my car and switch to Debbi’s. It turns out it wouldn’t have been much faster had my car worked properly since there was a hitch in picking up the van, so by the time we got there everything had just gotten smoothed out.

All-in-all, we ended up not getting home until around 9:30, which meant we were up until close to midnight packing and otherwise getting ready. A bit of a pain since Lisa and Michel picked us up at 8 am on Thursday morning. Fortunately the rest of our long weekend was pretty smooth. By leaving early, we managed to avoid the worst of the traffic in LA.

Disneyland was pretty good this time around, although usually we’re there on Sunday and Monday, and it seems that the park is just insanely full on Saturday. Sheeesh! I think we were a little disappointed that we weren’t able to ride some of the major rides as much as we usually do because of the long lines.

On the bright side, we did get to ride the big roller coaster in California Adventure several times, which ain’t bad since it’s probably my favorite ride in the whole park. I also got in a good zinger on the Jungle Cruise, for which the “guides” are known for their bad puns. It went something like this:

Guide: This… is a boat. Spelled B… O… uh… T… E.

(Objections from a few patrons.)

Guide: Well, how do you smell “tote”?

(A little confused muttering.)

Guide: T-O-T-E. So if you replaced the ‘T’ with a ‘B’, then you have ‘boat’!”

Me: Or you have “tobe”.

Guide: No… uh…. yes, you do.

It’s good to be a smartass.

We got a little rain Friday night, and a bunch of rain Saturday night (right while we were sitting down to dinner, naturally), but otherwise the weather was warm and mostly sunny. Thanks to that, I even was able to ride the Grizzy River Run – one of my favorites – even though everyone else in our party-of-six wimped out! (Lisa’s friend Yvonne and her boyfriend Wender were also with us.) I managed to avoid getting soaked, even though a woman on my raft had a big wave come right up over her lap and purse!

(I guess we missed a whole bunch of rain that got dumped on the Bay Area over the weekend, too.)

Debbi and Lisa push themselves pretty hard to have as much fun as possible at the park while we’re there, and my feet just give out after a certain number of hours. I went back to the hotel a little early on Friday night, and happened to stumble across a concert called Celtic Woman on PBS, which featured some orchestral arrangements of celtic music and a few contemporary songs, sung by a quintet of ladies (and one fiddler) backed by orchestra and a small chorus. It was pretty neat. I might need to buy their CD, seeing as I’m a sucker for:

  1. Celtic music;
  2. Lush orchestral arrangements, and
  3. Lovely female vocals (as opposed to lovely female vocalists, whom I appreciate as much as the next guy, but whose appeal doesn’t come through in an audio medium).

Debbi enjoyed it too, as we watched some of it when re-run on Saturday night. It turns out she has a fondness for productions like that, which I hadn’t known!

So now we’re home, and we picked up Chinese take-out for dinner, I finished reading Tim Powers’ new novel (review coming soon!), and I made a fire so we could have a lazy and warm evening at home. Mission accomplished, I say!

Tomorrow I get to find out if Michel’s car-jumper works, and I’ll find some place to get my battery replaced. I figure if the dealer can’t take me, I’ll either go to Sears, or to a repair place a few blocks away (or maybe I’ll try the last place first). It’s just a battery (I hope), so I bet it doesn’t matter much.

Wish me luck!