I am no longer a Disneyland virgin. Yesterday was my very first day in “The Happiest Place on Earth”. Earned my ears (although I didn’t buy any(: Went on Soarin’ Over California, Monsters, Inc, and then to earn street cred, had to up the amps and do California Scream, then Cars, then Thunder Mountain, then Splash Mountain, then Buzz Lightyear. Lunch at Thunder Ranch, sitting at tables of 6, and was able to have the vegetarian option (skewers of tofu and veggies), baked beans and corn bread, which was a nice surprise, since it was a barbecue joint. Sampled a wee bit of shared desserts with my table mates. We ordered way too much, not realizing how big they were and the waitress who reminded me of one of my favorite childhood television icons Sally Starr issued a challenge. She said that if the 6 of us could polish off the 3 desserts (one would have been plenty for the table), she would eat hay. Although we put in a valiant effort, the hay bale was intact by the time we left. I was proud of myself for limiting intake, even though chocolate (my drug of choice) was part of two of the three decadent treats on the table. Was serenaded by a singing cowboy who had the uncanny ability to do word mash-ups, (an example was referring to Cinderella as Rindercella) and approached me and asked if I had ever been turned into a pumpkin. Not the least bit embarrassed for being singled out, I told him that it hadn’t happened lately, but I imagine there was a time when I had. One of my co-workers thanked me for “taking one for the team.”
I can’t remember the last time I went on wild rides. When I was a kid, I loved the fast paced, spinny kinds. As an adult, my inner ear had protested and queasiness ensued. Not much fun to puke once I hit the ground as I had something like 20 years ago at a park in PA called Knoebels Grove. I thought what fun it would be to go on the swings that winged out with the centrifugal force. My stomach didn’t agree and I literally lost my lunch. Yuck!
I felt a perfect sense of calm and safety, as I waited in relatively short lines (I think the longest wait was 45 minutes) with new friends/colleagues who I had met for the first time the day before. Members of the creative team, we had come in from all parts of the country for a meeting, that included brainstorming, networking and teambuilding via our employer Elements Behavioral Health whose focus is serving folks facing recovery from addiction. Bonding occurred quickly. Such richness of experience and devotion to our work in the world. Impressed with the quality of people on the team and the ways in which we bounced ideas off of each other and got to know each other over a two day period. They feel like family already. This is the first time that many of us have met. I am one of the few East coasters. Turns out that one of my co-workers named Chris Gordon, does the voice over for You Tube phenom- Honey Badger, which is pretty cool.
Once on some of the rides, I found myself screaming with delight and not fear. Although some of them bore warning signs that someone with cardiac conditons should steer clear, I threw caution to the wind. Still here to write about it, obviously. My seat mate on California Scream was a 10 year old boy with braces who, according to two of my friends who were sitting behind us, had his hands up in the air, while I clung to the bar in front of me, with eyes shut tight most of the time. I wasn’t meditating; just breathing through it.
Walked at least 10 miles, for realz, between meandering through the park and then back to the hotel. Feeling energized this morning as I awoke to the So-Cal sunshine. Will be home tonight, ready to implement the ideas that have been jumping about in my head like popcorn . Grateful for a life of work and play and love that knows no limits!