Ocean Beach, California~
“C’mon Jerry, get in the water.”
“Nah, I don’t feel well. I’m having a reaction to the medication I stopped taking. I’m going back to the car.”
Jerry wanders back to the car leaving me grinning while standing in the rolling surf with my jeans rolled up.
I stroll along the surf, do some beachcombing, and realize how soothing it feels to have bare feet in wet sand. The desert and the mountains hold a beauty and a soothing aspect of their own. But neither have wet sand with rushing surf frothing around your legs.
I feel guilty enjoying myself while Jerry waits for me in the car. I decide to take five more minutes of the tranquility. Inhale the sea air. Ahhh. I then grab a shiny rock with lots of well-worn holes, giving it the Swiss cheese appearance, and head back to the car.
Back on the freeway, Jerry says, “I’m sorry. I’ll make it up to you and we’ll go to the beach again after Disneyland.”
“I’m sorry you’re not feeling well,” I say.
“I’m feeling a little better. Thanks. By the way, did you know it’s illegal to take rocks off the beach?
“Well, I don’t know California’s laws, but I’m fairly certain it’s illegal.”
I’m a rock thief? Will I be arrested, hauled off in handcuffs? Shall I turn myself in?
Jerry continues, “It’s a felony to take a cactus off the Arizona desert.”
“I know that, Jerry. But rocks off the beach? I grew up here, and I never heard this.”
I look at the rock, dotted with beach sand. I enjoyed my time on the beach but and it’s hard to remember that now. My rock screams, “Guilty!”
“I’m excited. Disneyland is about to open. Are you excited Jerry?”
“Yes! I love the California weather. I’m feeling good. It’s a perfect day.”
Zippity-doo-dah music adds to our excitement, the happy tunes waft over the park and over Disney gardens blooming in living color.
“We have the security check first,” I say as I open my purse for the inspection of contents.
Jerry doesn’t have a purse or backpack, or bag of any kind, and strolls on through the checkpoint in his excitement to get in line.
“Sir,” a bulky man in a security uniform says to Jerry. “Please step over here for a metal detector check.”
Apparently, random people are chosen to have an added check at the metal detector.
Jerry frowns, not pleased at all that he was chosen.
“What izzz this?” Jerry asks. “What’s this all about?”
“Sir, please remove the contents in your pockets and walk through the metal detector.”
Jerry’s eyes shoot beams of lightening as he slaps his keys on the counter, walks through the metal detector.
I notice the security person’s dark eyes and Matterhorn-size muscles as I watch him transfer Jerry’s keys to the other side of the counter. Big muscled security person says with trepidation, “Thank you, sir.”
Jerry is no longer in a Disney mood. “What made him think I needed an additional check?” Jerry huffs.
“Maybe we need to stop at the security check even if we don’t have a purse or bag,” I suggest.
Inside the park, a brass band serenades us with trumpets, saxophones and tubas. A young girl with blond curls, maybe 4-years-old, twirls in her princess dress of sparkly, metallic pink fabric.
“You look beautiful,” I tell her. She stops twirling and smiles. “Thank you,” she says.
Jerry continues to steam. I admit, it seems rude to randomly choose people for the metal detector. How do they determine who needs extra checking? “Hey you, Retiree with the sore back. You look like a terrorist!” At the airport, at least, there’s not a lot of discrimination. But here, at the happiest place on earth, some are considered potential terrorists? Being singled out put a damper on our excitement.
“Let it go,” I say to Jerry.
“Oh, I will,” he says and I know he eventually will.
I could break into song like Elsa in Frozen and sing, “Let it go,” but I wait until after lunch to do that.
Lunch at Disneyland~
“Waiter, excuse me! I’d like to speak to you.” Our waiter at the Blue Bayou stops at our table.
“This portobello mushroom is way too vinegary. I like vinegar, but this is more than I can handle.”
“I’m sorry,” the waiter says and whisks my plate away.
I had debated whether to say anything, but after all, the price of $30 for my entree prompted me to speak up. For that price, I expect euphoric mushrooms. You know…thirty-dollar-tasting mushrooms.
As I wait, I sense someone breathing over me. A man in a white coat sporting a tall, white chef hat stands beside my chair. He peers down at me and seems speechless.
“I’m Chef Mauro,” he finally says and shakes my hand, adding, “I can’t make it with less vinegar. The mushrooms are pre-marinated. I can bring you the rice and the spinach without vinegar.”
He looks distressed over my complaint, which I now regret. I want to make as little trouble as possible, so I say, “That would be good. Thank you.”
Of course, it wasn’t good. The spinach and rice had no flavor, but I didn’t want to cause Chef Mauro any more hassles. After all, we’re at Disneyland.
“Let it go…let it go…”
At the hotel that evening~
I’m in my cozy flannel pajamas, on the comfortable bed, feeling relief from the long day of traversing Disneyland and California Adventure. The rides with long waits can definitely wear you down. Young children throw screeching fits from the long wait while their parents and everyone around them want to throw a fit too, but don’t for some reason.
I flip the channel to The Bachelor just as Jerry walks in. He had stayed at the park until it closed, while I left for our hotel an hour earlier.
“What’s this show about?” Jerry asks. At home we have separate TVs, so Jerry is unfamiliar with the show.
“That’s Ben,” I say. “There are twenty-five women who want to marry him and he decides who he wants to marry and eliminates the ones he doesn’t want to marry.”
“You mean,” Jerry asks, “Twenty-five women want to marry him? How do they know him? How do they know they want to marry him?”
“Most of the women watched him on The Bachelorette, and the bachelorette decided she didn’t want to marry Ben and eliminated him. That’s how the women know him.”
“You mean, they decided they wanted to marry him and they never met him in person, just saw him on TV?”
Jerry resigns to watching the show with me. He’d rather be watching the History channel or his favorite shows on the Christian channels, but he doesn’t say this, just sits quietly.
Suddenly he bursts out, “Oh I don’t like her at all,” referring to one of the women vying for Ben’s love. “She’s so full of herself.”
He sits quietly again, then says, “I don’t like that woman either. She’s selfish. She says she will get him no matter what she has to do. What does that mean?”
More quiet. The show continues and Ben eliminates two women at the show’s end (not the selfish one, though).
One of the rejected women speaks tearfully to the camera, stating her sadness at not being chosen to continue on with Ben.
“I liked her,” Jerry says. “How can he reject her when he hardly knows her? He didn’t even give her a chance. I feel bad for her.”
The show is over. We talk about our day at Disneyland, the firework show, and the fun we had. Then Jerry says, “I still feel bad for that woman on The Bachelor.”
Here’s what I’ve learned since our road trip.
When on a road trip, many unexpected things will happen. Some pleasant, some less pleasant. I suggest when the less pleasant happens, remember Elsa in Frozen and “Let it Go!” Then back at home, place your Swiss cheese rock on your bookshelf and remember the good times you had with your sweet husband who has a caring heart for rejected bachelorettes.