September 5, 2005 - 12:00am -- swingbug

I've been travelling a lot lately. Disneyland last weekend, then back to work for three days before I shot off to Santa Cruz for a wedding. My cats probably hate me.

Disneyland was wonderful. It was crowded of course, being labor day weekend and all, but I don't mind that. Lots of people will tell you to go in the winter, on a weekday if you can. Sure, if all you want to do is ride the rides then I guess that's good advice. But you're missing Disney at it's best. I like the high-season. When it's crowded, they pull out all the stops. We didn't walk through New Orleans Square once when there wasn't a band playing or an acapella group singing on the corner of Royal Street, throwing Mardi Gras beads to the kids. In Tomorrowland, a garbage can--seemingly identical to the others--picked itself up on wheels and started spining around and talking to nearby children, who were curiously peeking inside, before it sped off behind the scenes. The fireworks show included a full-on laser battle with accompanying explosions set to the Imperial March. On Main Street before a parade, a group of three guys sweeping up garbage converged and flipped over their trash cans, pulling out drum sticks and putting on a show. And there is nothing like swing dancing to a 10-piece jazz band in the shadow of Sleeping Beauty's castle.

My favorite moment came on the last day we were there. My buddy Ana and I took one of the last ferries over to Tom Sawyer's island. She was tired, so I played Indian scout and found her a comfy, secluded place to nap, and then I went exploring through the caves and forts and tunnels through the island. It was late afternoon, getting close to sunset. I found myself on a little dock next to the water wheel, looking across the Rivers of America at Frontierland and New Orleans Square. Shadows were stretching out. People were bustling to and fro and filling up the restaurants across the way. I could hear distant notes of a jazz band floating across on the breeze. But in my little corner it was quiet and calm. I sat there in the sunshine and soaked it all in. (I thought of you in that moment, Jenny. You would have appreciated it.) That's one of my favorite spots in the park right there.

Shawn and I spent the next day with Ana, doing detox after 4 days in the magic kingdom. Serious people overload. We went to a shady park and munched picnic provisions on a blanket then drifted back inside for a beer and some Star Wars. It's wonderful to see a friend after years of absence and fall right back into that easy relationship as if not a day had passed. It supercedes friendship and becomes family, a distinction I'm noticing more and more as I grow older. Ana, I cannot even express how much we miss you.

The wedding we went to today was beautiful. The wedding of a good friend to a wonderful girl. A teary-eyed bride and groom amidst wonderful families. I couldn't be happier for them. (And the food was killer.) I hope you two are having fun in Bora Bora right now.

And after all my adventures, I'm ready to settle back into real life and even get back to work. How about that?

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