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Monday, January 01, 2007


Every year, Stanford has a Winter Closure. It's intended to save money over the holidays by not heating or lighting under-utilized buildings. It's also intended to scrape some of our vacation off the books. So, they kicked us out on Tuesday and said don't come back until January 2nd. Sounds good to me.

And heck, with Wednesday through Friday having no plans, but having to be back for Saturday closing of Dickens, I thought to myself, what could I possibly do with those days.

Yeah, Disneyland.

Even better, Disneyland during the holidays, with special fireworks, Holiday Small World, and best of all, Haunted Mansion Holiday.

I love Haunted Mansion Holiday. I could ride it all day long. Have a Merry Scary Christmas. It's like a little slice of perfection. Giant snow angels with Jack-o-lantern heads in the graveyard. A giant purple and yellow snake eating the Christmas presents. Man-eating poinsettias that sing. The Thirteen Days of Christmas by Madame Leota. And waltzing in the ballroom around the Christmas tree. Yeah, perfect.

Our contingent was Rick, Erik, and I. And if the timing ever works out again, allow me to highly recommend the week before Christmas. Wednesday, the park was vacant. Five minutes before the fireworks started, we walked up to the hub and found a nice spot for the three of us, with plenty of elbow room. And the fireworks were lovely, clearly based on the 50th anniversary show, but set to Christmas Carols instead. Still, there was the same message about believing in the magic of the season and dreams can come true. They said it, and then we heard a whirring behind us and turned around to see it snowing on Main Street. It wasn't really snow. It was a sort of bubble substance. But it looked fantastic, and it wasn't cold and wet and slippery, so bonus points there. It was like a religious ceremony/ritual really, where you're looking one way or have your eyes covered, and suddenly the magical transformation is revealed. Wow.

And then on Thursday, we saw Mary Poppins striding across the hub. Just as she ducked back stage, we thought we'd missed her, but an observant cast member said, "Oh, she'll be right back with the Pearl Button Band." Woohoo! So there's Mary Poppins and the band and I say to Erik, "You have to polka with me when they play Supercalifragilisticsexpialidocious." Oh yes, we danced, and Mary complemented us twice on how lovely it was.

And we took Erik on his first trip to the Blue Bayou. He was impressed. The Monte Cristo was yummy as ever. We shared that, the roast pork loin, and the crab cakes. It's still the nicest way to spend the busy part of the afternoon. We followed that with a trip through the revised Pirates of the Carribean. The Davy Jones waterfall is cool.

So we drove home on Friday morning, forgetting to account for holiday traffic leaving L.A. D'oh! We made it home by 6:15, sending Erik up the road to fetch Marissa from the airport. Rick and I went out to finish up our minimum Christmas shopping. Home again around 11, and up the next morning to close Dickens Fair.


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