Travel · Uncategorized

Happiest Place on Earth

I’ve missed a few recent big life events, so I’m going to work on catching on each of them based on my own diary entries (although with an average viewership of two views per day, this blog feels pretty similar to a diary – I look at it, and so does a prying stranger or friend on occasion).

For a very belated Valentine’s Day, Matt and I booked budget flights out to teeny Long Beach airport. We readied ourselves mentally and physically for an all-out Disney marathon: hitting up every ride in the park from opening until closing, and readying a long list for nostalgic movie nights on upcoming week nights. We debated the various merits of each ride by various criteria on the plane ride there: our childhood love for the movie, thrill level and average line length.

Neither of us had been to Disneyland since we were little. Upon our chilly 8AM arrival, we were almost skipping with excitement as we breezed through Main Street, USA to arrive at our first ride destination: Indiana Jones. We went on that ride three times throughout the day, and I still flinched with fear every time we neared the rolling rock, afraid that this could be the first time it steamrolled a park guest. I had been feeling especially overwhelmed with the myriad of senior year demands going into that weekend getaway – battling STATA datasets for my thesis, of which my first draft was turned in as I left for the airport, homework assignments, late shifts on duty as an RA, and trying to make sure I spent as much time with my friends before I moved to a different continent. But Disneyland lived up to its name – the stress vanished, replaced by childlike enthusiasm as I spotted my favorite princess, Belle, with her Beast. The moment we disembarked from Splash Mountain we looked each other up and down – soaking wet – and immediately hopped back into the end of the line to do it all over again.

The aftermath was exhausting – after a nightcap in Downtown Disney, our Uber brought us to our cozy Long Beach Airbnb around 1:30AM. After a frantic packing session, our alarm went off what felt like moments afterward: 4AM wakeup call to catch a 6AM flight home, so I’d be back at the Visitor’s Center in Berkeley to welcome in prospective Cal freshmen by 9AM.

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