Our readers share tales of their rambles around the world.
Who: Elizabeth Blosser, of White Salmon, Wash.; her 4-year-old niece and 6-year-old nephew, Addy and Sam Blosser, of Hood River, Ore.; and her mother, Mary Blosser, of Buffalo, Minn.
Where, when, why: As someone without kids, I haven’t had many excuses to jet off to Disneyland. When I realized that my brother and sister-in-law had no intention of taking my niece and nephew there, I took it upon myself to act as the children’s fairy godmother. I whisked them away to the “happiest place on Earth” the first weekend of June. And because fairy godmothers are very smart and always think of everything, I brought along my mom as backup.
Highlights and high points: Two highlights we all enjoyed: Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island and the water show at California Adventure, called World of Color. After taking log rafts to Pirate’s Lair, we explored the island’s meandering trails, hidden passages and unexpected surprises. While in search of a treasure, we soaked up the California sun at our own pace. I’ve seen the Bellagio water show in Vegas many times, and it doesn’t hold a candle to the production of lights, sound, fire and water that Disney has pulled together.
Cultural connection or disconnect: My niece was very eager to meet every princess possible. As we stood in line to meet Belle, two women in their early 20s were in front of us, autograph books in hand, talking about how long they’d waited for this introduction. It made me think that, at some level we all — even I, at the advanced age of 30-something — appreciate an occasional return to those childhood dreams of adventures, princesses, knights and pirates.
Biggest laugh or cry: There’s a wonderful upside to traveling with a child who believes that every princess is real; there’s also a downside — pirates. Seeing our little princess’s discomfort at their presence, the pirates pounced, scoundrels that they are. The burliest one asked her, “Do you like beer?” The stern stare never left Addy’s face as she kept an eye on the singing and dancing pirates, who would send occasional winks her way.
How unexpected: What surprised me most is how excited I am about the prospect of returning to the theme park. Normally, I don’t like to travel to the same places multiple times, but I’m glad that I have two younger nephews who will be ready for their Disneyland adventure in a few years.
Memento or memory: I’ll always savor my nephew’s laughter as he tried to fly higher and faster on every ride. I’ll remember the green pallor of my mother’s face as she got off the teacup ride, after waiting 50 years to ride it. And I’ll never forget seeing my niece run at breakneck speed to meet Cinderella.