San Diego Vacation Blog Day #7: Happiest Place on Earth Indeed

Though our vacation is coming to an end soon, today was a day the Wife and I were especially looking forward too. We went to the happiest place on earth, aka Disneyland. Even though the Wife and I both are in our 30’s we both can’t help but get excited like a couple of school kids when we think of going to Disneyland. And what’s better, we’re getting in for free. That’s right, I said F-R-E-E. You can’t beat free, you just can’t.

I don’t have many hook-ups in my life, but I do got me a Disneyland hook-up. My homie Mark’s mom works for Disney, so she was kind enough to offer a day of fun to the Wife and I, and of course we’re going to bring along her son. It’s only right, lol

Even though we were struggling a bit this morning, and surprisingly not from alcohol intake from the St. Patty’s get together, more of just from lack of sleep, we could not wait to get our butts on the road this morning. We were both bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at the crack of dawn….well, to be honest there was a lot of red in our eye, but like I said, we didn’t care.

We got on the road around 8am this morning. This was also the first opportunity I had to listen to my favorite morning drive show (now divided between 2 stations because of contract disputes) The Mikey Show, and The Show (Mikey’s former show on Rock 105.3), and you know what, they both sucked. I was so disappointed in both shows. “The Show” sounds lame as hell without Mikey’s neurotic talents, and the new “Mikey Show” on 94.9 sounded….well, to sound harsh, it sounded dead. Like there was just no life in it. It was like all the “funny” stayed with the Rock 105.3 group, but the “thing” that tied it all together went with Mikey to 94.9. I was bummed to say the least. Even though I miss my old show I have to say that the show I listen to now in Washington D.C. (The Sports Junkies) is the best show I have ever heard. It fits more to who I am now.

Anyway, I got off track there. Big surprise right, lol. We got on the road and braved the San Diego rush hour traffic to go pick up Mark at his North County apartment. Once we arrived no big surprise, his ass wasn’t ready to go, even after numerous phone calls from me this morning. I swear, sometimes I feel like I have to parent this dude. Oh well, I guess It comes with the territory of being best friends.
So once Mark dragged his half dead ass, from a mix of no sleep and over St. Patty’s Daying it up yesterday, to the car we got on with our trip. First we had to stop to get the troll (Mark) in the backseat something to eat or he was going to be a crab-ass grump the whole trip, plus I was hungry too.

The trip was pretty cool, and normally I don’t say that about sitting in the car for extended amount of time. But as we drove along the I-5 and the coast I could not help but smile at all the memories of making this same trip many times for other trips to Disneyland, or going to visit friends in the L.A. and even for when I use to work for a company that serviced store up in the L.A. area. It was good to reminisce while driving.

After about an hour and 20 minutes, just about the time where the back pain from sitting in the car was starting to overtake the joy of reminiscing we spotted the Matterhorn off in the distance. The faux-snow covered mountain that rises high in Anaheim is the awesome image from your childhood that was also synonymous with being just minutes away from Disneyland. Whenever we spotted that, what looked like the largest mountain ever as a kid, it was like all your problems would melt away because you knew that the happiest place on earth was right around the corner, and today was no different. I felt like a little kid again when I saw that mountain in the smog-covered distance, except this time I had to be a little more in control because I was driving.

When we got off the freeway, I turned around and lightly (lol, yeah right) punched Mark in the stomach to wake his lazy ass up and let him know we were finally there. After parking the car we headed off to meet up with Mona (Mark’s mom) who was already at the park waiting for us.

As I mentioned earlier, Mona works for Disneyland, although today she was not working, she was simply there to have fun, and not with us. She had some friends there with her too. Mona frequents Disneyland a lot….no seriously, a lot. She always has ever since I have known her. Mona is the true antithesis of those who say, “No one ever gets to do what they love for a job.” Mona does, and I always make sure to tell people about her whenever I hear them say things like that. Mona is some truly some to be admired. Like everyone in this world, Mona’s life has been fillmed with ups and downs, but nothing has ever deterred her from doing what she loves, and from being one of the most positive people I know. I know I am giving high praise, and it would be easy for someone to say, “Well, you’re just being extra nice because she is the mother of your best friend.” I don’t think I am, but if I am, so what, it’s f’ing blog. Deal with it.

I met Mona way back when Mark and I became friends at the end of high school. Mona has always been one of the cool parents. She always looked for all “her boys,” which were Mark and Andy, as well as the friends; around 8 – 10 of us at any given time, we did for her. At one point after high school Mona even let me move in with them and take of residence on their couch for about 6 months. She is cool like that.

Mona has worked for Disney off and on for 15 years now, a fact I found out about just today. She use to work in the Parkway Plaza (a mall here in San Diego) Disney store part time, just because she loved Disney. I’m sure the extra paycheck was a nice bonus too, but it was for the love mostly. Then she moved to several different stores around San Diego as locations would close or be phased out. After several years of this, and finally being in a situation in life where she found herself with the freedom to make bold choices, Mona finally decided it was time to go work at the actual park. The Mecca of Happiness, Disneyland. And that is where she has been ever since. Mona loves what she does, and is so excited to wake up every morning and go into work. In addition to being able to work at her dream job every day, go into the park whenever she wants for free, sign in friends and loved ones to enjoy the park too, she also met her husband there. How’s that for an end to that story?!? Not only is she doing what she loves, but she met “someone” she loves, and who loves her too at that very same place. I know most of you reading this will never meet Mona, but that should not stop you from being inspired by her, because I know I am. Like my friend Andy said the other day, “Live every day like it counts man.” Amen to that.
So, back to our day. We had such a blast at the park. My friend Mark insisted that we (meaning him and I, and then him and I and Steph) all take Star Wars buddy pictures. I was more than happy to oblige, seeing how Star Wars is our thing. I will be posing those pictures to the appropriate social networking sites as soon as I get home. I must say let look BAD-ASS, and the Wife makes for an awesome Princess Leia.

The rest of the day was filled with roller coaster riding, good / overpriced food eating, and even good snacks like churros. I was even surprised to see that Disney had brought back Captain EO from the 80’s man. The 80’s project by the combined efforts of the man/men George Lucas and starring Francis ford Coppola, starring the late Michael Jackson. It was awesome to share that with the Wife, who had never even heard of Captain EO, let alone seen it.

We met up with Mona at the end of the evening to grab dinner before leaving the park. It around 8pm, and clearly way later than we had anticipated leaving. We’re old like that now, lol. But the funny thing was, when we came slowly walking up to see Mona, mainly because we were so tired and our feet hurt so bad, there was Mona all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed looking like she just got to the park. How silly we felt. Here we were ready to go to bed, and Mona looked like she was ready for 10 more hours of Disney filled fun. In fact she told us that after we were done eating she was going to go meet back up with her friends for more coaster riding. I couldn’t help but smile.

Today was an awesome day. Even though our trip will be ending here in a couple of days, I think this was the best day so far. Thanks again to Momma Mona for getting us into Disneyland today. But most of all, thanks for everything you have ever done for me. You always looked out for me, and I will never forget it.

  1. #1 by Mona Luke on March 19, 2011 - 9:16 pm

    Wow!!! you have brought tears to my eyes…… All of you boys were and still are my boys. I love that I cam bring a bit of “Magic” and a smile to you, Stephanie and Mark. It was such a delight to see all of you. I love creating the magic….that’s my job and that’s why i love it so much.

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