When I wrote my last entry, I expected to take a few days away from the ‘blog while we went to Disneyland; I didn’t expect to take a two-week vacation. But I did; I hope you enjoyed yourselves while I was gone.
I’m not sure what happened, but when I returned, I found that my 25 December entry had been read 2383 times, far outstripping any of my other pages. I can’t imagine what was so interesting, and by the time I got around to looking at the referers page, the evidence was gone.
We left home fairly early on 26 December to drive to Anaheim, home of Disneyland and other amusements. The drive on I-5 was tedious (except for lunch at the Harris Ranch) but easy, at least until we got past the Grapevine and into Los Angeles County, at which point our speed dropped precipitously, and stayed low for the next two hours, until we finally reached the Orange County line and the I-5 got wider again. I guess I should have followed the instructions from the mapping program and taken the 170 to the 101 and then rejoined the I-5 instead of just staying with the I-5 all the way. [Notice the clever way I started adding “the” to freeway numbers when my narrative reached Southern California.]
Our hotel offered a special package (strictly limited to those who wanted to buy it): four admissions for the price of a three-day ticket. So we used the bonus admission the night we arrived, going directly to the Indiana Jones Adventure. The claimed waiting time was 45 minutes, but we wanted to do it anyway, so we got in line, only to find that Disney had lied — we were on the ride in well under half-an-hour. This pattern continued throughout our trip — I wish airlines were as good at underpromising as Disney is. After Indy, we did the Haunted Mansion Holiday Edition; we all much preferred the regular staging of the ride. Then we did Pirates of the Caribbean, and finished the evening with the Matterhorn.
Thursday was a full day at Disneyland, and it was much more crowded. Lines were longer, and we used the new Fast Pass system a lot — though we didn’t take advantage of the time we saved to go shopping, which I’m sure disappoints Disney’s bean counters.
Friday was a gorgeous day, and the park was packed. So we ducked out after a while and went to the former parking lot, now Disney’s California Adventure. If it had been a standalone theme park, its name would soon become Disney’s California Chapter 11, because it was far less crowded than Disneyland. But the 3-D movies are good; Soarin’ Over California is fun (though the effect is marred by feet from the row above you); and the Power of Blast! was very enjoyable. As a place to retreat from Disneyland, California Adventure is fine — but I wouldn’t pay $43 for a day there, which was the original business plan.
On Saturday, we met a friend of Jeffrey’s who was just starting his Disney trip, along with his father and sister; we spent the day with them, hitting both parks. And the weather was wonderful: it rained, thereby keeping many locals away, but it wasn’t so wet that it kept us away!
Sunday, we drove home. Again, the drive through LA County was slow and tedious, but the rest of the trip was pretty brisk. Harris Ranch is too far north to be a good lunch stop on the trip home, so we stopped at the Buttonwillow exit, where we took our chances on the A&W at Bruce’s Truck Stop. We lived, but I think I’d try somewhere else next time.
More Quiet Time
We visited some friends for New Year’s Eve, where we played Trivial Pursuit Millennium Edition (I like the classic Genus better, but we won anyway), enjoyed some good champagne (Diane got to have more than I did, since I was driving and it was her birthday), and watched the two big celebrations of the evening: the arrival of 2002 in San Francisco (we’d already seen the Times Square balldrop happen live and didn’t see any point in watching a replay), and the move of NBC from KRON to KNTV. Both were equally exciting. (I had wanted to go to Paris for the holiday to watch the Euro roll in, but I was outvoted — hence our trip to Disneyland.)