Showing posts with label lines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lines. Show all posts

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Visiting the Magic Kingdom Before School Starts

There was one year when Roland seemed to make more money than in previous years or even the ones that followed.

He had managed to find a package deal through a travel agency and took us all to California just right after Christmas.  The boys were out of high school for the holidays.  Jenna was two.

I have heard that between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the best time to visit Disneyland.  From personal experience, I know that between Christmas and New Years is the absolutely worse time to go.

I remember riding the tram the first day we went to the park.  Jenna’s enthusiasm at riding the tram from the parking lot to the park was awesome.  All four of them were excited and enjoyed every moment.

I’m not exactly certain why we had driven or taken the tram.  We spent two days at the park.  As I recall we just walked to the park the second day.  I know Richard and I went back to the hotel about four hours before the boys did.

While all three of her brothers still have fond memories of that vacation, Jenna does not remember.  Thus Roland decided we’d take her back this year.  I made reservations so that we would be gone during the last week of summer vacation and would come home just one day before school starts.

Corey had given me the name of a motel where he and Joh stay when they go to Disneyland. I had booked us at the Rainbow Inn thinking it was the same. Halfway between Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm.  I had thought of going to both;  I thought that Jenna would enjoy the Timber Log Ride as much as I had.  I did not realize that KBF had become a roller coaster park – that Jenna would have loved far more than Disneyland.  And I hope that someday she’ll be able to return with someone who is younger and in better shape than her parents are.

First of all we had stopped off in Las Vegas and spent the night at Corey's house.  I am the last of my sibs to see his house in person.  He went with us to downtown Las Vegas.  We went to the MGM where he works and then to M&M World. He said it was the first time he has ever played tourist since he's lived there.

We had a two-day park hopper. We spent both days at Disneyland doing mostly what she wanted.  I thought we should walk to the other end of the park and start with Splash Mountain.  Roland, on the other hand, decided to hit every show and shop on Main Street –which would have been okay – but we were there for Jenna and she wanted to ride the rides.

That first morning was quite overcast.  It looked like it might rain.  Truth be told, I was hoping that it would.  I know that some attractions close due to the elements, but not all of them.  I recall a year my family had gone to Universal Studios when it was pouring.  We saw everything that was open!  It was great! I was hoping to recreate those memories at Disneyland.

I had told Jenna that she was in charge to choose whatever rides we went on.

We headed for tomorrow land.  The first ride she chose was the rockets.  And then Buzz Lightyear, I believe.  We’d gone to Space Mountain for a fast pass and then we went to Fantasyland and made an appointment for a princess package makeover. 

Jenna and I went on the Dumbo ride and Roland took pictures.  We also went on the Peter Pan ride and Pinocchio – I don’t recall having ridden the Pinocchio before.  I’m sure I have, but I just didn’t remember.

Space Mountain had been the favorite ride of our boys.  I am overwhelmed with how much they saw and how many rides they had gone on eight years earlier.  There were so many lines.  I stood in several of them just to get into the bathroom.  Jenna was still in diapers at the time.  

This year was different.  I think I was most grateful that there were no bathroom lines.  During all of my Disneyland experiences, the park did not seem that crowded in comparison. I smiled at many of the memories I’d created in past years and pulled them out occasionally during this year’s trip.

There was one year after Patrick was married and after my dad had passed away and when we planned a family vacation with mom, Kayla, Corey and I.  We were all adults and mom said we each needed to pay our own way.
Corey had told his friend, Jinx, about our plans and we ended up inviting Jinx to go with us.  He was the first one to provide full payment for the trip.

Jinx had worked at Disneyland one summer and knew all of the tricks of getting us around.  Jinx made that trip, I think.  He was always so funny.  I remember his leading us to Toon Town and commenting on some patrons who were walking away from Toon Town doing “that middle of the day walk” when it was so early in the morning. 

We had also spent two days at the park.  The first day we had ridden every ride possible.  The second day we shopped and watched shows and took things very easy.  That really was such an awesome trip.

Jenna had pictures taken while wearing the largest  “Brave” dress that was available.  It was too tight and there were tears in her eyes.  And so she changed to a tee shirt to meet the princesses.  She had her picture taken with Ariel, Snow White and Cinderella.

The next day we returned.  Since we had already seen Tomorrow land and Fantasyland, I suggested we go to Adventure land, Frontier land, New Orleans and Critter land.  I suggested we go to Critterland first and get a fast pass for splash mountain.

As we were going through Adventure land, Jenna noticed the Indiana Jones ride that had been closed eight years ago.  Her brothers had enjoyed riding it.  (It had been under construction the year that Jinx went with my family and I had never ridden it after that) Jenna’s never seen any of the Indian Jones movies, but said it was definitely her favorite ride.  

Roland and I enjoyed the tamer rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean or Small World (the night before) though I understood Jenna’s ambition for the roller coaster rides.  I had always liked those when I was her age.  Sadly my stomach has seems to have outgrown what once thrilled me.

I hadn’t planned on going to Toon Town at all.  The two times I had gone before, Toon Town was so overly crowded that the “Happiest Place on Earth” seemed a distant myth, but it really wasn’t too bad this year.  I think Roland and Jenna waited in line for the roller coaster longer than we had to wait in Mickey’s house.  We did get a lot of pictures.

My original plans included going to the beach – which actually seemed to be the highlight of our last vacation.  Just think of all the money we could have saved if we had started our vacation at the beach.  But we didn’t make it to the beach this year.  We hadn't made our way to Splash Mountain, the Matterhorn or California Adventures. Roland decided that we would cut our trip short and return home early.

He did all the driving.  Spent ten hours or more on the road on Thursday so that we’d have two extra days of rest.  I remember when it would take mom and I 7 hours just to get to St. George.  We would stay overnight and continue on to Bakersfield the next morning.  The speed limit was lower then.  Now it only takes 6 hours to get to Vegas.  But then I guess it depends on who's driving and how many stops are made.

Jenna starts the fifth grade on Monday.  I will have to start my scrapbook pages while she is in school.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wal-mart: Minds of Intelligence

Notice the date!  April First is April Fools' Day – Hence the title.  


I think customers are lacking in intelligence for going to Wal-Mart (or just admitting it) and waiting in endless lines to be waited on by clueless employees who appear even less intelligent than the customer (who, by the way, is still waiting in line)

I realize it’s wrong to stereotype, and I’m sure that somewhere in this Universe there really are happy Wal-Mart employees who seriously do understand their positions and really do enjoy being there as the Wal-Mart commercials would like us to believe.  I have personally just never met any of them.

Embarrassing as it is to admit this: yes, once again we ended up at Wal-Mart.  Roland wanted to get some head-phones to give to Jenna on her birthday.  I thought it was a great idea!  He chose Wal-Mart so that he could charge it.  NOT a great idea.  Especially since we didn’t actually have the card.  He had given it to me the other day before he left for work and I neglected to give it back to him.

He was certain that he could be issued a temporary if he went to the customer service.  The serpentine line that led to the customer service wasn’t moving.  I didn’t want to wait in line if we could help it.  I had given Jenna a time when we would return to the house.  We were off our mark by almost 30 minutes thanks to the endless Wal-Mart lines and lack of professional performance. 

Waiting in line: AS IF WE COULD REALLY HAVE AVOIDED IT!  We got in the express line in which the customer is supposed to have only ten items or less.  Why is it that there were three non-English speaking individuals filling bags with their groceries as the cashier continued to ring up all the items that filled their cart.  Really?  He couldn’t have communicated that they needed to be in another line? 

The other four clerks that were standing at the register on the side seemed like they were cluelessly trying to assist.  It reminded me of this  post on Corey’s blog.  It is really funny reading in a sad sort of a way – sad because it’s true.  It is kind of long however.  But a fine example of the Wal-Mart mentality.

As Roland and I stood in the line of clueless customers who must have thought the sign said, “100 items or less”, another employee took over as cashier and helped to move the line along – but not before losing a few individuals who really did have less than ten items.  But then who wants to wait in a line for 30 minutes to purchase a soft drink and a pack of gum?

Another check stand opened up.  Roland and I were waved through by an employee who seemed just as appalled at the express lane situation as I was.  When I looked over at Customer Service, there was no line.  The serpentine line of customers with carts had died down before the express line had.  Those same three people holding up the express line still hadn’t finished with their purchase when the customer service had died out.  But perhaps they all got tired of waiting also and left without resolving whatever issue each of them may have had. 

We’re creatures of habit who continue to do stupid things.  Why are we doing this to ourselves?  Why do we continue to keep Wal-Mart in business (not to mention our time)?  Could it be that our NON-intelligence exceeds the average Wal-Mart employee?  Why do we continue punishing ourselves over and over? How many Wal-Mart employees does it take to screw in a lighbulb?  Answer:  "What's a lightbulb?"

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Good Luck Getting Out . . .

I don’t know which is worse – the Saturday before Christmas or the Friday after Thanksgiving.  I don’t enjoy shopping or trying things on or waiting in line or crowds or winter or parking or all the fragrances and plants which flare up my allergies.  Before I met Roland, I always had my Christmas shopping done by September –ALWAYS
And then I met a man with a sporadic income, a greedy ex-wife, and a judicial system that sucks big time – you think we would have done better at spreading things out.  But we were struggling for our needs and so wants were ALWAYS on the back burner.

I don’t know if Roland has always been procrastinastic about Christmas shopping.  As I mentioned before, he’s got a great heart.  He is always thinking of others.  But he doesn’t spend wisely for the most part.
I opted to go shopping with him and Jenna yesterday – not that I really wanted to, but I wanted to get him a winter scarf because he asked for one – not necessarily did I particularly want him to see my purchase,.  I figured I could make my purchase while he was occupied over something else.  Fat chance of that.  As though he wouldn’t have noticed me standing in line for the duration.  In order to make a purchase, one had to stand in line.  And they were all slow-moving lines.  But I never found a scarf (and I have been looking) and so a purchase wasn't even made. 

The forecasters promised snowy weather like we had on Thursday and I thought that might keep many off the roads – which is usually the case.  I think when the weather is challenging for drivers is when Roland enjoys shopping the most.  But the weather was not near as bad as it had been Thursday or even December 3rd.  Most roads were clear – can’t say the same for the parking lots however.

My main reason for going with Roland was to keep an eye on the budget.  He wanted to make purchases within the mall.  I told him NO.  I told him to drive to K-Mart where we ended up purchasing several items – but not all.
There is one purchase he had in mind that would require a specific store.  And so we ended up at the same mall as last week.  The parking lot resembled a line for hell. I told him that although the particular item we had come for really was a necessity and not just a luxury, it could wait until after Christmas.  But he was insistent as we had already driven the distance.

First off there was a line just to get in to the parking lot.  And then there was the endless searching for a parking spot – even the ones that were farthest from the mall itself.  There were several cars that were found trapped between two others (the snow must have covered the lines when they were parked) and I’ll bet the drivers of said cars were not pleased to have to wait in order to get out (I honestly don’t think a tow truck could have gotten in to tow)


Roland dropped Jenna and me off by one of the anchor stores and said he would go find parking.  I told him he should drive either behind the mall or over by the empty Sears.  (see this post) But it seems rare for Roland to ever take me up on my parking suggestions.  

So Jenna and I walked through the door in search of a mall directory – which I know exists as Roland had just checked it out last week.  A great mesh of mall traffic was seen.  Oh, joy to the world (that’s meant to be read in the most sarcastic way) Several stores had sent salesmen out into the mall to pass out “free” samples in order to lure potential costumers in for product.  

For the first time in my life I wasn’t targeted for my hair – but rather for my skin.  Very cute guy – heartthrob for either sex.  He gave me my sample told me how amazing it is for dry skin.  Oh, wait.  He also has something for the dark circles under my eyes.  It’s not as if he had to search for them. No one has to look hard to find my dark circles.  I look like a raccoon.  And so he waves me in to demonstrate his assortment of skin products.

Okay, I must admit I was a bit turned on that this young stud was touching my face – though I would have been fine with it if it had been Roland doing the touching.  He called me to find out where I was and I gave him directions.  When he appeared, I believed the stud was more interested in Roland than me and was hoping to demonstrate products on him as well (or maybe there was just some radar detection that lets every salesman within a million mile radius now that Roland is a pushover about buying whereas I keep the money purse under lock and key)

So after he applies the dark circle cream – which I realize won’t work over night with just one application – he had me hold out my wrist to demonstrate the marvelous face conditioner that would become “baby bottom” soft if I would but invest in the product.  But “act today I can get the eye cream as a free gift.”

The skin softener definitely made a difference.  I asked if it would work on feet.  No, that needed a different product for that.  He whipped out a tube that he could also include as a “free” gift with a purchase of whatever he had just rubbed on my wrist.

I told him that I would not be able to invest until January – if at all (I’m thinking this is my third time to the mall this year – chances are very promising that I won’t be visiting as often next year) He asked if I would I really wait until January if I was told I would only have to pay 10.00 for the whole lot?  I told him I could do ten dollars.  He said it was more than that.  BIG SURPRISE!

He asked how much I thought it cost.  He had absolutely no idea how much I hate sales tactics and guessing games.  I guessed 100.00.  He said he could give it to me for an amazing cost if I promised not to tell anyone.  Oh, give me a break.  Like I am the only potential client that anyone at the store has ever received such promise.  I wasn’t going to buy product no matter how sweet his offer.  There are still several needs above the wants.

He said he could give me everything (I think there were four or five products on the line by that time) for only 49.00.  Not happening, Joe, but thanks.  I think another salesman had called him over.  I left.  Less than two minutes later my wrist felt liked it had been dipped in acid.  Did I fail to mention I have super sensitive skin?

I do think Roland would have overspent if I hadn’t been wit him.  He would have paid mall overhead prices for one thing. But it turned out, it was I that became the guilty party.  It wasn’t on cosmetics but a new bed base as we’ve been sleeping on a broken one for some time. No more tossing and turning.  Roland and I will both sleep so much better at night.  It was actually an expensive purchase (for us) but one that will be well worth it in the long run.  I’m looking forward to when it’s delivered and set up.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Most Unfavorite Time of the Day

         I generally drop Jenna off at school a half hour before she needs to be there.  I also arrive on the lot before all other cars so as to not fight school traffic.  Jenna has always taken her time walking to school or across the field.  When I am the driver who is picking her up, I welcome her dawdling.  In first grade we were always the last car to leave the parking lot. I HATE school traffic.
         Kayla was looking for a sitter for her two and as Jenna’s school is the same distance from their house as it is from my own,  I figured I could watch them at Kayla’s house and then pick up Jenna.  I should have left her house the minute that Kayla came home. 

        It’s been four years since I had lived in that same neighborhood and wasn’t taking into account that the school in that area lets out a half hour earlier than Vantana.  Before I went out to my car (which was parked on the street) I saw the yellow bus pulled up by Kayla’s house.  I wasn’t aware that there was a bus stop on that street.

         The stop sign was out and lights were flashing.  It was behind me and I didn’t know if I had to wait for it or not.  I waited for just a bit until I realized that I wouldn’t be getting the attention of the bus driver really soon (as she was visiting with a parent) and as I was not passing the bus, I pulled forward through a maze of cars and dumpsters (that must have been really great fun for the bus driver)

         I have never liked the main street which is closest to street where Bill and Kayla live – nor the cross street at the second intersection.  Lights were blinking red indicating that traffic wouldn’t be moving at a rapid rate.  Ahead of that were the spaces of red X’s and green arrows and three lanes of broken yellow lines that always make me feel like I’m driving inside of a video game.  Perhaps it’s popular in bigger cities, but that is the only street I know of with that set up.

         What’s ironic is the street seemed desolate for decades.  I remember when my mom had driven out to her uncle’s house sometimes when her mom was in town.  The drive seemed sooo sooo long.  Now it’s congested and makes me tense. 

         Bus STOP sign, dumpsters, children, traffic lights and merging . . . What’s normally a ten minute drive took me eighteen minutes.  Fortunately I had given myself twenty.  But alas, I wasn’t the first one to arrive in the parking lot.  I was too late just to park in the shade.  But I didn’t have a long wait like I did when Jenna was in first grade.  Actually she’s been getting out to the car rather quickly.   Must be the seven habits.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Some Tarry and Some Labor

Matthew 20:1-16 gives us the parable of the laborers in the vineyard.  I had always looked at the parable as one about missionary work – about the hereafter, about those who spend their whole lives in the Church striving to do what is right and having someone who has put other’s through hell repent at the last hour. 
          I have labored so many hours in the hot burning sun – and God is telling me that if Maleficent should choose to repent, that her reward will be the same as my own.  That she is entitled to all the same blessings as my own.  I’ll admit that I haven’t accepted this interpretation very graciously.  But then who am I to think of myself as better if she truly surrendered herself and did/does repent and actual develop a "compassion" if you will? 

          Slaving in the vineyard is hard work.  I have often thought that I am really just so tired of being there.  I never gave another thought to those who are “waiting in line” – those would be laborers that remain at the job site in hopes that the master will return with something for them – any kind of a position that will give them some kind of wage.

          In today’s economy, it is easy to see why they would stay and tarry – but they would also hold signs that say, “I will work for food”  “Please help me.  I’m poor” and so forth. 

          I never gave the tarrying laborers a second thought.  I hadn’t thought of this parable with a different perspective until today.  And for the first time I saw myself as one of those who has stood in line more than once – and still find myself standing at times. 

          For the message that was shared today focused on those that are standing in line – for those who are doing everything diligently (to the best of their ability) and showing up at the labor site day in and day out and feel like they are just not being picked – that they, that we will never feel the blessings.

          Carrie is the wife of the second counselor, and I am married to the first.  We were actually on opposite ends of the room, but our eyes seemed to be connected to our mouths – that is every time we would make a comment or participated by reading, our eyes would leak and start a chain reaction of making our voices crack.

          She didn’t go into detail about why she was crying - but I think many understood.  She and Dan have been trying to adopt.  It’s been a painful process.  Why, when they attend their Church meetings, and hold callings, and serve diligently are they still waiting in line?  Why can they not labor in the vineyard?  For how long must they tarry? Why does it have to be in God’s due time?

          I have spent many years asking myself that one.  It was painful to watch those I had taught in sunbeams to get married and have children long before I even had a prospect.  People my age were experiencing their second and third season of life.  I was still in the first season and wondered if that was it. 

          The instructor who shared the lesson is in her 40’s and has never been married.  Actually there are several sisters in my ward who have never been married.  Some have friends moving through autumn and some have actually arrived in winter.  I’m probably somewhere between summer and fall – sort of like the weather is now.

          Surrendering ourselves to Him is hard.  We need to have faith that He really does know what’s best for us – that the trials we endure right now are just to make us stronger down the road.  That our “waiting in line” isn’t done in vain – that there is a purpose.  We need to endure while we wait – impatiently or not.  We can’t control His time.  So why not accept it graciously?  

          Perhaps if I dwell on the subject long enough, I can learn to accept it graciously.  I have been blessed.  And I need to focus more fully on those blessings.  Because right now I really am not very gracious about the whole tarrying matter.