Yesterday, a Saturday, my alarm went off at 4:45am. It was no mistake, I had set my alarm for that time. On a Saturday. I rolled out of bed and put my swimsuit on, drove up the hill to the “upper pool.” As I slipped into the water, chilly at first as always, I swam my first lap and finished it with a backstroke. The moon was off to my left and a flash shot through the sky directly overhead.
A shooting star.
Instead of wishing upon the star, I used it as a reminder to pray for those who I know are struggling right now. There are so many. Wishes are hopeful, but prayer is action.
Forty minutes later I finished my swim and started my stretching routine, something that has become almost as important to me as the swim in the last couple of years. I carry my tension in my neck and shoulders, so if someone were watching me stretch, I probably look very strange to them at that point in time. I finished my neck and shoulders and moved on to stretch my hamstrings and calves. I looked up to the trees above the restrooms and saw a hummingbird dart into the open arms and waiting cloak of leaves of a tree that is at least 50 feet tall. Seconds later, a swarm of hummingbirds, at least 20, maybe 30, followed the first one in. I blinked, tilted my head. I’ve never seen that many hummingbirds in one grouping and I know they’re territorial, but there is no doubt — indeed, they were what they were. Three or four stragglers darted to join the party a minute later. I smiled.
That was, hands down, one of the best stretching sessions I’ve ever had. What a way to start the day!
Not long after that, we were on the road to Disneyland for the “Walk in Walt’s Footsteps” tour of Disneyland. I didn’t even know such a tour existed until recently, and given our love for Disneyland, decided it might be a nice anniversary gift to ourselves.
But first! We rode in a horse drawn streetcart down Main Street — pulled by a Clydesdale named Danny! I even took a video of it, if you want to watch. You can be thankful that I turned the video off seconds before Danny pooped. The reason you can be thankful for that is because we were in the first bench seat and had an awesome view of the whole occurrence. (Click to see video.)
Now, back to the “Walk in Walt’s Footsteps” tour.
One of the most comprehensive reviews I found about the tour is here (link). On our tour, our guide was really good about finding shade and places for us to sit while she shared her narrative of the various places — it was one of the hottest days so far this summer. So hot, in fact, that around 11:15 am she obtained permission from her supervisor to remove her hat (kind of a big deal in Disneyland)! She was also personable and sweet. I kept thinking she reminded me of someone, with her proper posture and enunciation, and I finally placed it when one of the characters walked by: Mary Poppins! She didn’t LOOK like Mary Poppins, but she had that kind of demeanor. It was kind of cool.
One of the highlights of the tour for us was hanging out in the side path alongside the castle for shade (it’s kind of a short tunnel) heading into Fantasyland and, who knew, but a ton of the characters and Disney Band pass through that tunnel at 11:30 am for a show in front of the Castle — and we were right there!
We left Disneyland around 1:30pm (after they served us lunch and gave us a commemorative pin) and we felt as if we learned several new things about Disneyland, saw a couple behind-the-scenes places we hadn’t seen before AND had fun. If you want something the “normal” guest doesn’t do, and want to learn a lot of stuff about Walt Disney and Disneyland’s history, it’s definitely a tour I would recommend. Great value for the money spent.
The takeaway impression I was left with, through many of the stories that were weaved throughout the tour about Walt Disney was, that no matter how weird or strange or crazy your goal or vision might be, or the amount of time or even the amount of money it may take to get you there, or how complicated or badly things may appear to be going, or how many setbacks or judgments you face, if you focus on that goal and never give up — realizing that you may have to get creative about how you go about it — you will ultimately find a way a way to make your dream come true.
(Click to view larger size…)
Because some goals and dreams are simply *that good* that they shouldn’t ever be given up.