A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I'm trying to remember when I fell in love with romance literature and can only guess that it was watching fairy tales in the movies. I remember a lovely book of Grimm's Fairy Tales that my uncle gave me (it had glorious watercolor prints of Cinderella and Rapunzel and Snow White). I know that I read Fifteen by Beverly Cleary when I was ten, and an aunt gave me Little Women when I was eleven. At twelve my parents subscribed to the Best Loved Girls' Book-of-the-Month Club books (all romances and all devoured as soon as I received them). Somehow I stopped reading for pleasure in junior high and high school, then rediscovered romances in the 1980s and was hooked again. Sometime in there I saw the Greer Garson, Laurence Olivier movie version and decided to read Pride and Prejudice for the first time. Like so many, I was enchanted.

As I am enchanted by the most recent version of the story on film. This Joe Wright version with Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet is delightful. Knightley is (finally) an Elizabeth of youth and spirit. Matthew MacFaydn is handsome in a "real" way (and his voice!) Donald Sutherland's Mr. Bennet is long-suffering but not hen-pecked; Mrs. Bennet may flutter about but in this version it is Mr. Bennet who runs the estate. Mr. Collins is a riot, Charlotte's move to the dark side is hilarious. I want to attend that first public ball!

Perhaps I'll have it memorized by the time the new Pirates comes out.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Mom and Dad's Homecoming

I had great fun taking Mom and Dad to Disneyland last week for the Happiest Homecoming.

Traffic was light on the way from Simi to Anaheim. Dad enjoyed not having to drive. We realized when we drove into the parking structure that we probably were not going to have to fight the crowds, and we didn't! It was a very light day, which was wonderful!

We started with the usual tram ride from the parking structure, and a stop for the folks to get their tickets. I got choked up when they bought annual passes; that means we get to do this again. They said they want to go back at Christmas time. YES!

I suspected they would really enjoy "Soarin' Over California," an attraction at California Adventure. You buckle into a suspended chair that is raised off the floor "over" an IMAX, birds-eye tour of California. One of the locations you soar over is an orange grove in my own town of Camarillo! Set to fantastic music by Jerry Goldsmith, the tour is enhanced by air currents, scents and sound effects so that you feel like you are actually in a hang glider. As predicted, they loved the ride. When it was over we went right back on a second time.

Then we went over to Disneyland. They had to stand in the Annual Pass line for their pictures, then we went to New Orleans Square for lunch and to listen to a set by the Side Street Strutters. Dad really got a kick out of the tubist who was doing the bass line. Awesome. After the set we HAD to ride Pirates of the Caribbean. I knew that this ride would be closed for refurbishment as of March 6 (one of the reasons to take the folks to the park when I did) because they are making some changes so that the ride and the movies complement each other more. After that ride (there were already some noticeable changes), we went on the Jungle Cruise, another long-time favorite. Next we boarded the DLRR at the New Orleans station and got off at the Toon Town station. The folks hadn't seen Toon Town yet. I strong-armed them through Mickey Mouse's house so that we could get a picture taken. We bought the professional portrait, but the CM kindly used my camera to snap this photo for me so I could post it on this blog.

After a break for frozen yogurt, we trekked over to Tomorrowland. Dad and I settled Mom in a safe spot in the sun (it was a chilly day) for some quality people watching while he and I headed for Star Tours. The crowds were so light that this was a walk-on ride, so we had to do it twice (it's our favorite).

We couldn't pick up our Mickey picture for another half-hour or so, so decided to go to the Main Street RR station and do the circle tour, then come back for the picture and watch the parade. Much to our disappointment, the only way we could find to get up to the train was via the stairs. We altered the plan and headed back to the Carnation Corner where Mom had noticed the Ragtime piano player. Mom and Dad sat and enjoyed his set and I scooted over to get in the photo pick-up line.

By the time I had picked up the pics, the piano set was over and everyone was ready to leave. We decided not to wait for the parade, but to beat the crowd out. Traffic was light as we got home at a reasonable hour, tuckered but satisfied!

I had a thoroughly delightful day!