Funny how summer always starts out as a blank slate, two-plus glorious months with nothing to do, and all of a sudden it’s packed! Makes me think of the Calvin and Hobbes book, The Days are Just Packed. Last week was a little insane, even for me, however. We had the four fabulous days at the cabin – the Bakersfield Six and me – came home, rested a day, and on Saturday set off for three days at Disneyland!
Just a small group of us – 21 in all.
It’s me, my three daughters, two husbands, eight grandkids (plus #10 in gestation), both my sisters, my three nephews and one niece, my niece’s fiance (wedding on Sat.). 21 in all. In this picture, the two youngest in the strollers are not sure what it’s all about – they had just arrived, been plopped into strollers and wheeled down to a family picture in the midst of a sensory explosion! They reacted the only sane way – by covering their heads and looking out slowly.
I suppose what possessed us is that my two nephews from Alaska, who are both in college now, have been going to Disneyland with us since they were very little. This was the last hurrah in a way – in case we are scattered and the yearly summer visits stop. As they become adults, we can’t expect them to come to Bakersfield every summer! So here we were.
It was horrendously hot. Humid really. Sunday was not crowded at all but the humidity nearly did me in. But as long as I could persevere I took photos, of course, and a couple I knew right off are going to end up as the background photos in some collages.
Paradise Pier is at California Adventure, and it’s like the midway at a fair, only a gazillion times better. California Screamin’, a giant roller coaster, goes through that tunnel thing on the top like a giant speedy caterpiller. Look how cool it looks:
I know this will be in a collage – I love the image and the ambiguity of it also. It’s a roller coaster, right? Or is it? Well, it has to be…I could go on and on, because it won’t seem so obvious when I get it into whatever I get it in to. How’s that for an almost illiterate sentence? It makes the point, though.
This flower was floating in a fountain in Downtown Disney. I love the texture and the color, the yellow petals with the red flower, and I’m pretty sure this will be the background photo of a collage.
Now this raft will not be in a collage. I don’t think. But it was one of the very fun rides in California Adventure. This is me with one daughter, a son-in-law, and five grandkids. We all got soaked! And it was fun.
There is nothing quite like water as a dynamic medium.
This California sun, again at California Adventure, is another image I like. Half in sun, half in shade. I want to use it but I can already envision problems. It’s going to give me trouble, I know it, but I will try anyway. This is how a collage takes shape – I have an image, and it will float around in my mind for a long time, I’ll get the texture of it, the variations, and slowly other images will insert themselves. Then I’ll print photos, go up to the cabin, start cutting and rearranging and creating. And sometimes trashing and starting over.
I’m not sure what’s going to happen with this one. But it’s pretty amazing – this giant wheel, seemingly supported by two steel posts, and full of people in colorful cages.
This is here just because I like it. The grandkids speeding along in this “highway patrol” car. I remember when that was fun for me – going fast, screaming around curves, loop-de-looping; now, I just throw up. Age takes away certain pleasures.
The next day arrived and we went into Disneyland itself for the day. The Colorado contingent joined us, but the little princess had a temp of 100 and wasn’t so sure how much fun this was. Her brother, however, was taking it all in.
As I was waiting for them to arrive, sitting on a bench on Main Street with two strollers, I looked at the bench opposite me and I think I found another background picture for a collage. It’s an unconscious process in a way, because I don’t look around thinking “collage material,” but I see things that grab me. Here’s the bench.
And I know for sure that this next photo will be background. Again, water. I love water. This is taken from the submarine porthole in the Finding Nemo ride – the old Submarines. I love this one.
I’m thinking cows, peacocks, I don’t know – images are jostling around and something will settle out and I’ll try it.
And of course, Monstro, what fun it will be to make a collage from this! I have always loved this – from the scary thrill we had as young children entering the mouth of the whale – with the scary teeth yet! – to the remembrance of that thrill.
It’s pretty thrilling to look at this even now. Again, water. Love photos of water. And I just used the word “thrill” or a variation three times in a row. I would not have let my writing students do that! But of course we learn the rules only to break them.
So we had a pretty awesome three days. And an incredibly draining three days, what with the activity and heat and humidity. But is it all worth it? Of course, and this is why:
Seeing my granddaughter on her first trip to Disneyland – entranced by Minnie Mouses’s house (even though she had a temperature and wasn’t feeling tip top), is all the reward I could want. What I am really doing, I hope, is building memories both for me as I get older, for my kids, and mostly for my grandkids. In an imperfect world, I’m giving them what I can of perfection. Who knows what my granddaughter is thinking here, where her imagination is taking her, and when it will resurface in the future to help her on her journey. It’s all about the journey.
P.S. It’s been pointed out to me that I did not take the photo of the flower in the water. My granddaughter took it while holding my camera while I went in the restroom! Dang, now I can’t use it!