I’m going to Disneyland! Part 1

Posted on October 8, 2012

So we are approximately 7 hours into our family vacation and I am taking a driver’s break. The kids are currently watching the Mirror, Mirror DVD and my incredible excess of masculinity precludes me from watching any princess-related movies (Honest Translation: my seat does not recline enough to allow me to watch the screen). I figured this was as good a time as any to inform you, my loyal reader, how the trip has gone up to this point. Please do not expect a blog every 7 hours though. I am assuming I will have less downtime once we start visiting the parks (unless this futuristic “monorail” transportation system is slower than it’s design suggests).

My current view

One quick note before I continue, Karina is usually my proofreader and she usually catches a list of misspellings and misuses of grammar numbering in the low hundreds for a typical blog. However, she is being particularly stubborn today and refusing to proofread this blog. Something about “I’m driving” and “get the computer out of my face, can’t you see I’m driving?” So, if you happen to scratch any misspellings, it’s totally her float.

After church this afternoon we hurriedly completed our final trip preparations (running the dishes, feeding the animals, preventative potty runs) and headed out the door. Our official exit time was 1:45. This was slightly better than I had expected. Varner’s: 1; Expected Unexpected Vacation Delays: 0.

We actually made it about an hour and a half (just before Tempe) before our first requested potty break. This is to be expected with a family of three youngens. However, the culprit was Karina “Pea Bladder” Varner. I took the opportunity to get gas as several news outlets were reporting the gas prices in California were “exorbitant”. In fact, some places in the LA area were charging over $5 per gallon. I don’t even pay that much for cologne and so I wanted to avoid purchasing as much gas in California as possible.

It was at this stop that we ran into our first problem of the trip. Karina had taken Alyson into the girls room for a preventative potty break when an unexpected and particularly violent flush rendered Alyson unable to use a public bathroom. My thoughts began flashing forward to the next day at the Disney parks and I began imagining the disaster that awaited us if Alyson refused to use public bathrooms. My knee jerk reaction was to be frustrated at Alyson as she clearly has nothing to be afraid of from a toilet flush (except of course the fine mist of fecal particles expelled into the air, but that is besides the point). But then I remembered that several of us were working on confronting fears this trip. Lynsey is terrified of the Tower of Terror ride in California Adventure and I am deathly afraid of (please do not mock me) the Mickey’s Fun Wheel. This is perhaps the most deceptively named ride EVER as it is really a Ferris Wheel of TERROR! I am not a fan of heights anyways, but add to that the rolling and rocking motion of this particular ride plus the inevitable giant earthquake in southern California and you can see why I gladly volunteer (ie. plead) to be the stroller watcher while the rest of the family rides the wheel. So, Lynsey had her Tower of Terror, I had the Mickey’s Fun Wheel, and Alyson had her toilets. My hope is we would all face our fears and only one of us would evacuate our bowels in doing so.

Back on the road we hit the bare desert between Phoenix and the California border. This drive is usually pretty boring but smooth as there is generally not much traffic. Unfortunately most of the people I ran into (figuratively) while driving were doing 5 under in the left lane. After passing them on the right to my chagrin, they would then speed up and pass me. I generally don’t care at all how fast other drivers go as long as they maintain a consistent speed. I get a bit frustrated when they are continually speeding up only to slow down again.

Me a “bit frustrated”

I think there is a fortune to be made for anyone who creates some sort of electrical device to install in cars that would somehow maintain a constant speed for the driver. Not only is there a potential gold mine, but probably a sweet alliterative name to be used for this invention that controls one’s cruising speed.

Karina took over the driving in Quartszite and allowed me a break for the remainder of the journey. I used this time to catch up on some Facebooking I had been putting off while driving. Our last stop before getting to the hotel was for dinner around Palm Springs. It is a tradition for us to stop off at the restaurants on Varner Road.

You don’t believe there is a Varner Road? Would a Carl’s Jr. receipt lie?!

Karina and Lynsey patronized the In-N-Out while Ashton and I headed over to the Carl’s Jr./Green Burrito. And boy was I glad I did. Walking through the door my attention was captured by the picture and description of the Charbroiled Steak Torta. This undoubtedly raucous mouth party consisted of steak pieces, refried beans, salsa, cheese, and guacamole on a torta. What is a torta, you ask? I am not sure. Do I look like flipping Rosetta Stone?

As you can see though, on paper, this was going to be the best meal I have EVER had (narrowly edging out the legendary Thanksgiving of ’97). Unfortunately I had to pick the torta off the paper to consume it and, when I did, I was slightly disappointed. Perhaps this was partially due to the slightly inflated expectations I had set in my mind for it.

While we sat and ate our family hypothesized about what theme our room at the Grand Californinan would be. Lynsey’s guess was either jellyfish or circus oriented. My guess was “predators of the deep” or perhaps “hall of tortured souls”. (“Well, good night kids and sweet dreams! Hey, would you look at that, the headless ghoul glows! Sweet!”) Either way I think we would be happy.

Before leaving, we did another preventative pee and Alyson proved to be the first to break her fear barrier [thanks to Karina “The Pee Whisperer” Varner (how many urine-related nicknames does Karina have you ask? Don’t ask…jk)]! She was so proud when she came out, having just defeated the Carl’s Jr. toilet. Our outlook for the next day is looking up! Now it’s up to me and Lynsey to display courage this week. Yes, I would say there is a 35% chance that I prove myself a true man this week by riding Mickey’s Fun Wheel!! Wish me luck!

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