San Diego vacations are always fun, because my favorite people live here. Everytime I’ve visited so far, there has been a new experience waiting. Last time we took a family holiday to Disneyland. Disneyland is not in San Diego, but it’s close enough for a daytrip. My sister had been planning this trip for the longest time now. Since the time *Akash was concieved, she has been dreaming of the day when she would take both him and me to Disney together. As an added bonus for her, 2 of our sisters from India were visiting and she got to take them along as well.
We decided to start by meeting Mickey. On the way, Akash saw a baby roller coaster and was quite eager to get on. In our family, we all unanimously hate these rides. They make us queasy. We bravely climbed into the little cars. While Akash tried to throw up his hands in exultation, I screamed enough for the whole family put together. We visited Mickey’s house and then stood in line to meet him. When our turn came, we shook Mickey’s hand and got hugs from him. On the way, Akash had rehearsed several things to tell Mickey. When he met Mickey, he was so excited he forgot all his lines and blurted out ” I saw three buses!!”. He was so overwhelmed, that by the time I could get a hug from Mickey he had already run off.
It was at Disneyland that I drove my first car in the US. At one point, Reva and me were right behind Subi yelling, ” Subi!! Get out of our way!!”,with Subi struggling to accelerate hard enough to avoid a collision. ***Rose Aunty had also come with us. To tell the truth, she was more sporting than the rest of us, when it came to going on the rides.
A few rides later we decided it was time to go find a good spot to view the parade. The parade charming and entertaining. Most of the characters we knew; some we didn’t; few we guessed. First came a marching band. Then came Micky and his friends. They were followed by Disney characters like Peter Pan and the pirates. Peter is so naughty. He tapped me on my shoulder when I was looking the other way, and smartly stepped away. He had me quite confounded for a moment. Following Peter were the Disney Princesses. Along with Snow White, Belle and Cinderella was Miss Tiana, who I confess I don’t know. She is the Princess from the Princess and the Frog. Miss Tiana is Disney’s first African-American princess.
Disney’s collection of princesses now includes an American-Indian princess (Pocahontas), a Chinese princess (Mulan), an Arabian princess (Jasmine), an African-American princess (Tiana), a Scottish princess (Merida) and even a princess from the sea(Ariel)! It’s hightime they got an Indian princess.
When night falls, Disneyland looks like a place straight out of the fairytales. The cobbled main street, lined with shops and bustling with people leads to the lake, in the middle of which is a magical looking castle. This lake with it’s castle is the venue for the most wondrous fireworks show I have ever seen. The Fourth of July Fireworks we saw in Miami were spectacular, but this was something else. A beautifully choreographed story told in pyrotechnics. How the fireworks danced to the music!! It took our collective breath away.
* Akash – my 3 yr old nephew
**Reva, Raga and Subi – My sisters. Raga lives in San Diego with her husband Ashok and her son Akash. Reva and Subi were visiting
*** Rose Aunty – Ashok’s mother, who was also visiting