Tuesday, November 24, 2009

California here I come (and Oregon too)

Just when you thought I would blaspheme no longer, I'm about to say it, I can't help myself, I hate Disneyland.

Wait-I need drugs-please excuse me while I go to find something that might alleviate the aches in by body and my throbbing head.
I'm back-pardon the digression but that is a scary kitchen downstairs. It's good to retreat to the safety of my bed. A teenaged boy and his pathetic-with-cold mother wander randomly in and out of said kitchen fending for themselves. Wonderful husband, who is so skilled at picking up the pieces, and who has learned after 25 years that men who do dishes get more sex, wonderful husband is out of town doing his union president, socialist thing in a community where great upheaval has just happened due to closing of offices and the usual top-down do as we say management decisions have taken place. He cares so much about people and fairness, that hubby of mine. I'm so proud of him.

Okay, that was a big digression, wasn't it. A little peek into the crazy rambling brain of mine.

Disneyland. Yes, that's right, I can't stand it. I've been twice, which was once too many as far as I'm concerned. The first time was as a child and I probably did kind of enjoy it, although not so much that I thought to myself, I must go back there repeatedly. I've been accused of having no inner child, no joie de vivre, people are truly shocked that someone could not like Disneyland. It's quite simple, really. I don't even have to work at it. I have never liked rides all that much. Some are okay once I get on them, but I wouldn't go out of my way to do that. As a child I found it thrilling to go to Vancouver (the big city nearest my small town) and ride an escalator or two. That got it all out of my system. I don't care much for escalators now because they are to slow. I have places to go people!

Disney is so plastic. And you haven't yet been treated to my feelings about plastic-I loathe plastic. The food is bad, expensive and did I mention that it is bad? Good food is very important to me. And then there are the princesses. I can't stand princesses. What are Disney princesses mostly about? How beautiful am I and where is my prince? Okay, Mulan might be an exception but I didn't see her anywhere the last time I was at Disney. It's not that I object to pretty dresses so much as what these Disney princesses represent about females. Did Snow White have a brain? Did sleeping Beauty have any merits other than looking pretty while she slept? Okay, Whatsername-from Beauty and the Beast, I guess she liked animals, maybe she was okay. Oh and then there is the horrible stereotyping of the south at the Old Time Jamboree or whatever that is called. Nothing at Disney relates to my life experiences or any that I would want to have. It doesn't even come close to my fantasy world.

A couple of years ago my husband and son decided another trip to Disney was needed. Yes, they like Disney and can't figure me out at all. Since it was a road trip I made sure all of the other plans would suit me and I targeted Santa Cruz, California as my main reason for the trip. We spent two days in San Francisco. I loved it there; I could live there I'm sure. It was expensive though, especially since we were paying with the Canadian dollar, and it wasn't our main destination, so the budget was tight. I loved the architecture and the picturesque beauty of the Presidio. I hope to return sometime and see more. I didn't get to try out any vegetarian restaurants but was successful with a Japanese restaurant. I want to go to second hand shops and thrift shops and flea markets. I think I should start a campaign for a direct flight to San Francisco from my local airport.

After San Francisco we drove along the coast to Santa Cruz. It is such a beautiful drive and I am so passionate about the ocean, the rugged coastline, the wild flowers.....I hope to return soon. And don't I just love Santa Cruz! I had originally hoped to stay at a bed and breakfast that advertised vegan home cooking, a relax and hang around our gardens all day attitude and an acceptance of medical marijuana use. Unfortunately they were no longer in business. We stayed at a regular motel which was nice and clean, had a great pool and was in waking distance to everything we wanted. We had three days there whih would be followed by four days in Anaheim where my husband and son would "do Disneyland" and I would not.

Santa Cruz has a beachside amusement park, which was not completely open for the tourist season (this was May) until the following weekend. Still there was enough there to keep my guys occupied while I happily cruised downtown. Oh I was in heaven. There were coffee shops and book stores and dozens of shops selling various funky imported items like colourful scarves, carvings and jewelry. There was a whole foods store (not the chain Whole Foods) where I stocked up on items for my kitchenette in the Anaheim hotel. There was organic cotton and hemp clothing, and best of all, there was a gorgeous little restaurant which served raw foods, vegan/vegetarian foods and delicious juices and smoothies. I wish I could remember the name of it, but I know I could find it if I return to Santa Cruz. I signed up for an e-mail newsletter including recipes but I've never received it. I hope they still exist. I ate every lunch and dinner there for my entire stay. I haven't ventured into any raw food preparation on my own because it seems so fussy, although I did buy a cookbook (uncookbook) there. The raw food I ate at this restaurant was delicious. Oh if I could afford my own raw vegan chef.......

So eventually we arrived in Anaheim. I had convinced my husband that we should stay at the Marriot Suits, a lovely little collection of cottagey four-plexes with sidewalks and gardens connecting it all. I had, after all to spend four days there, not going to Disneyland. Anaheim offers little to do if you are in the Disney neighbourhood and trying to get around on foot. Eventually I ventured into the city proper with my car and located a health food store. Finding organic vegetables was next to impossible, and as I have been lectured by a border guard about how Canadians don't spray nearly enough pesticides on their produce, I was not inclined to buy anything non-organically grown. I was missing Santa Cruz. How different this place, only six hours' drive south, was from where I had just been. The girl in the supermarket had not even heard of Santa Cruz. The mexicans planting palm trees on the boulevards seemed horrified that I spoke to them. I had to drive blocks to find a coffee shop that offered soy milk and all of that effort was because I couldn't find soy milk in the supermarket.

This spring my husband and son are going to return to Disney. A good friend of mine lives in Portland, Oregon and I am going to stay with her. From there, my boys will continue on without me, only the big surprise my husband has for our son is a flight to Disney World in Florida instead of Disney Land. I, on the other hand will scout out thrift and antique shops, Portland's famous vegan mall and have a wonderful time baking vegan muffins for my dear friend and her adorable twin boys. It will be the first time our little family of three has split up like that. It will be the first time my two travel on an airplane for such a distance without me and of course I'm nervous. Planes are safer than cars right? I'm looking forward to my own trip, but will I be able to relax?

All reassurances welcome. Thank you, dear friends.

( I could provide some beautiful photos of our trip but my husband is the real photographer in our family and the photos are all on his computer. I will have to get his photos in my iphoto application pronto)





Maria Killam said...

You are funny!! The only thing I don't like about Disneyland are the long lineups for the rides!

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