sometimes you wonder how things finally work out in one way or another… I really didn’t expect the last weekend to happen the way it did, and therefore I am even more thankful for it. Be prepared for a very long post :)
So I went on the plane on Friday. My Dad took me to the airport Friday morning (fortunately, his classes started later that day) and I had to get my ticket changed at the LTU service center. I checked in then and they asked me the usual questions about who packed the suitcases, where were they up to the point of check-in, etc. I got a window seat which was fine with me as I had planned to sleep most of the flight, but which of course didn’t happen… After our first meal, I was happy to find out that they were going to show “Miss Congeniality II”, but I only watched the first half hour and then kind of fell asleep since I hadn’t slept much the night before, but that didn’t last long. I find it more and more difficult to sleep on a flight when you’re crammed into one of these tiny seats and you get a neck cramp if you keep your head in this weird sleeping position for longer than 30 minutes.
Then I read for a while, wrote some emails and watched “Berlin, Berlin” since the second movie they showed -which was “Robots”- was not really tempting [thanks Ilka for the dvd’s, that really made the flight a lot nicer”:)].
The last 3 hours were kind of interesting as we flew over the US mainland and there was no cloud cover, so we had a beautiful view flying over Mono Lake, Yosemite National Park and finally the Californian Coast. I could even see the Hollywood sign in the Hollywood Hills just before the landing ;)
Going through customs was no problem at all… I had been kind of nervous if they would let me back into the country, since I just left two months ago, but the officer just noticed that I had been on a J-1 before and then asked me how long I was going to stay ( he didn’t even ask for me return ticket).
That was it :)
I had to wait for my luggage for a while which kind of pissed me off, but that was totally made up for when I walked out and saw Jon waiting for me. OMG… it was so great to see him again! These first few seconds when you see each other again at the airport are just magic [I know some of you girls know what I am talking about :)]
We drove to Anaheim where we were going to meet with Cathy and Greg in the evening. Jon had called them at the hotel the night before and we were going to get in touch with them again that evening.
We found the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites and asked if Cathy and Greg were staying there…
They were! :)
The funny thing was that Cathy had given me the wrong hotel information first (since there are 7 Holiday Inns in Anaheim), so she had called at their place and had asked if a room reservation had been made under the name “Jon Bond” which the guy at the reservation confirmed, so she thought that we had picked the right hotel.
Now get this: there was actually a reservation for someone under this name, but it was not Jon’s… but a “John Bond”‘s. How funny is this? And what a coincidence that there was someone with this name who had made a reservation at this hotel for that night?
Anyways, since the Holiday Inn only had only one room with a double bed [which is pretty small] left and they were going to charge an insanely high price for it, we decided to look for another accommodation in the area. We got a room at a Motel just around the corner and called Cathy and Greg at their hotel at around 5 p.m. I couldn’t believe I was talking to Cathy and we were in the same city!
I told her that we would meet them at 6:30 p.m. at their hotel.
We waited in the lobby and then… there she was! OMG! It was just awesome to finally hug her! :) I really can’t describe what I was feeling. On one hand, I was soooo nervous and excited and on the other hand, it seemed to be the most normal thing in the world… just like we knew each other forever (which we kind of do :)) We both had big smiles on our faces and it didn’t feel weird at all… I was just so happy :)
We decided to take the shuttle bus to the Disneyland area and go out for dinner somewhere… we strolled around for a little bit, looked at some shops and then decided to have dinner at the ESPN Zone Bar & Grill, which is an American Sports Bar. Cathy and I both independently picked out “Fettuccine Alfredo” for dinner :) and we kept talking and talking like it had always been that way. And now finally…. I know you’re dying for it… here’s our first official picture together:
After dinner, we decided to walk around a little more and then returned to the hotel at around 11:30 p.m. since we wanted to start the day early on Saturday morning.
We met at 8:00 a.m. at the Holiday Inn and took the shuttle to Disneyland. It was a little foggy first, but that’s LA for you and Jon was sure it would clear up soon and become a beautiful day :) [he was right!]
It was so wonderful to be able to walk around and talk and enjoy the park. I really liked the whole atmosphere that Disneyland was trying to create [it’s not called the “happiest place on earth” for nothing :)]… I couldn’t help but dance to the happy music they were playing over the outdoor speakers :)
There are 8 different areas in Disneyland with different themes and we started by walking down Main Street U.S.A. where most of the shops are located.
Then we decided to go on to Tomorrowland where Greg, Jon and I went on our first ride “Star Tours” where Cathy unfortunately couldn’t join us because of her pregnancy [although I think she didn’t mind for that reason ;)]. It was one of these flight simulations inspired by Star Wars.
Then Jon said I had to go on a roller coaster with him. “Space Mountain” is completely in the dark and therefore the drops and turns come more unexpected. I -not being the biggest fan of roller coaster – was pleasantly surprised that it was mostly sharp turns and no drops [which I hate] :)
From there we moved on to Fantasyland where Cathy and Greg took the “Mad Tea Party” ride in over sized tea cups that were spinning around while Jon and I decided to take a tour of “Alice in Wonderland”. It’s all so pretty :)
We relaxed on the “Storybook Land Canal Boats” that took us on a ride through a miniature storybook land and then we went on the “It’s a small world” ride… that was really pretty, because they basically had this theme song “it’s a small world” playing in different languages while you were taken on a ride through every country of the earth. I liked that ride a lot :)
Next stop was Mickey’s Toontown where we met Goofy, took a picture in front of the Toontown post office [we thought that was kind of symbolic ;)] and then went to see Mickey’s house and took a picture with Mickey Mouse :)
Meanwhile it was lunch time and Jon suggested to grab a bite to eat at New Orleans Square. It was a really beautiful part of the park which was built based on the New Orleans French Quarter. Then we walked back to Main Street U.S.A. to watch the Disneyland Parade… which we were quite unimpressed with as most of the “typical” Disney characters were not in the parade, but mostly characters from more recent Disney movies like Peter Pan and The little Mermaid.
We walked back to Critter Country to make sure that we meet and take this very important picture of us and Winnie the Pooh :) [Sanni had especially asked for it :)] and guess what, we were lucky and did not only meet Pooh Bear, but also Eeyore and Tigger. Cathy also asked for Piglet, but we were told that Piglet was not there that day, but would be back the next day… Bummer! :()
We decided to go on one more ride – “Pirates of the Caribbean” – which we all definitely enjoyed the most. Did you know that the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean” was based on that Disneyland ride? We walked back through Adventure Land and headed back to the hotel to take a break and come back for dinner and the lightshow “Fantastmic” in the evening. We all surely needed a nap after walking around for 12 hours straight.
We met again at 8:00 p.m. and went to Downtown Disneyland again for dinner. We all felt like Italian food, so we went to “Naples”. It looked ok, although we weren’t really impressed with the food and the service. Jon was right when he said that Disneyland is fun, but that you don’t get the best food in and around the park. We should have gone somewhere else… oh well.
We walked back into the park just in time to see the lightshow at New Orleans Square at 10:30 p.m. It was really awesome and definitely a nice finale of this wonderful day :)
Sunday morning we slept a little longer and then we checked out of our hotel and picked up Greg and Cathy for breakfast at 10 a.m.. We went to Carrows which was just around the block and I had a waffle with strawberries and whipped cream. Yummy! We talked for a while and I really couldn’t believe that it was Sunday already and that Cath and Greg would fly back to Sydney that day and that our weekend was almost over :(
We had such an awesome time together!!!
We took them back to the hotel around noon, took a few more pictures and then it was time to say goodbye :( I am glad I didn’t have to cry -although I felt like it- because it was really, really sad that we couldn’t spend more time together. But hey, I am grateful that I was able to finally meet Cathy at all and for the time we had together… it was simply wonderful.
@ Cath: You can’t imagine how much the last weekend meant to me, sis! I had the best time ever and I was soooo glad to be able to finally give you that hug :) I hope… no, I know… it’s not going to take us another 13 years to see each other again. love and miss you already!!!! Say Hi to Greg.
For those of you who want to see more photos… click HERE.
Ok, and I think this entry is long enough, so I’ll stop here and talk about my return to Sacramento in my next post :) thanks for bearing with me.
Miss you all!