“Year of A Million Dreams”: Pseudo-Adults at Disneyland

I craved Disneyland. For about a month I kept telling people, “Hey! Let’s go to Disneyland!”

            And they’d reply, “Sure!”

            But nothing would happen.

            So I took it upon myself to coax my friends into forgetting Thucydides for a day at Disneyland. I decided we were going on Friday, September 26, 2008. But then Stranded Freshman Syndrome kicked in: We had no car. To exacerbate the situation, no one in my circle of friends had ever used public transportation. Not one. Not once. Since I had used the tube/U-bahn and bus systems in Europe, I had to arrange our transportation. Needless to say, the public transportation in southern California rather pales in comparison to those in Europe. After spending four hours trying to decipher the little information I could find online about public transportation in Los Angeles, I had two people coming with me to Disneyland and no way to get us there!! Panic set in; I deemed myself hopelessly incompetent, foolish, and irrational; and doomed to flunk out of Torrey and spend my life in a friendless void of regrets. I called my mother—who has not failed once in these last six weeks to speak reason into my madness—who told me to stop worrying about it. I tried. Sort of.

            And then God provided. Out of the blue, Anna (a fellow Lewis lady) declared she wanted to come to Disneyland on Friday with Elizabeth, Emily, and me. She even offered to drive.

            Astonished into nonsensical-ness, I declined her offer. She looked at me curiously and said, “Are you sure you want to take the bus?”

            “No. Really, no. Drive us. Please!!”

            Then in physics the next day, Alyson (a Gregory lady) announced she would also like to come to Disneyland. She offered to drive. And once again, God floored me with His faithfulness and provision—even in the pettiest things (like me craving to go to Disneyland) and even when I fail to ask for His help.

            So Friday came (many screams of…everything-ness). After days of my focus wandering through the clouds like a kite on a string, the pressure of due dates finally forced my brain to focus. I brain hurt Thucydides in the Sigma lobby at 5:48 am. Breakfast at seven. Spanish until 9:20, then chapel. Physics. More Spanish. After my roommate Hillary left for her drive home to Bakersfield for the weekend, I closed the blinds, turned on my noisemaker, flipped off the lights, pulled a sleep mask over my eyes, and plopped into bed. Sixty-five minutes later, the mad Disneyland rush began: Shower. Lunch. Then Common Grounds, then the run through Death Valley to Sigma, the quick changing of clothes and stuffing of objects into purse, and the dash through Death Valley back to Alpha. All in one hour.

            (Is this the “youthful energy” which Alcibiades praised and Nicias censured? Hmmmm…)

            Finally we left for Disneyland at about 2:30 pm. After minor sidetracks, wrong turns, and other confusions, we arrived at 3:00. We parked, walked, rode the tram, bought annual passes, and stepped onto Main Street just in time for the “Year of a Million Dreams” parade at 3:30. Emily, who hadn’t been to Disneyland since she was six, grinned and skipped and shot photos with almost as much glee as she would grin and skip and shoot photos if Abraham Lincoln rose from the grave and came to town (she’s a history major).

            So then we did Disneyland—overall an uneventful, gloriously liberating time of simultaneous being adults and being kids. As adults, we were there on our own; we had handled all the organization and transportation ourselves; we had total responsibility for our choice of activities; we could stay or leave however we pleased. As children, we forgot our schoolwork; we played “Would You Rather” and sang Disney songs while standing in line; we discussed Disney princesses; we ate chocolate; we giggled; we screamed all the way through Space Mountain twice; we laughed at Elizabeth laughing on the Jungle Cruise; and we would have gone on the Winnie the Pooh ride, except we couldn’t find it.

            And although we are camped in La Mirada for now, we plot to bivouac at Disneyland once more after our Torrey Papers are due on November 1.


PS. Elizabeth Kobayashi had only ridden the Jungle Cruise at the Tokyo Disneyland. Having never heard it in English, she never understood the corny jokes. Until now. So she was bursting out into fits of giggles at the lame-o, never-switched-up jokes (“The amazing, the stupendous, BACKSIDE OF WATER!!!!”) and we were—true to form—laughing hysterically at her laughing hysterically….

            Yes. Me gusta Disneyland.


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