Destination – Disneyland (and then another Kingdom – the United Kingdom & Ireland!)

Oh I love this time right before an adventure is about to start! The excitement begins to build incrementally each day and my stomach has that ‘giddy’ feeling churning around. I find my mind often wanders off to places I plan to visit and explore and that sometimes it is somewhat difficult to concentrate on matters at hand. That’s a good sign!

Just one week from tomorrow I will begin this season’s travels. I get to start my adventures this year with my great grand daughter, Alaska. IMG_4537

She will be celebrating her 5th birthday in July. Since I will be in the UK the rest of the spring & summer I decided to take her early for her birthday surprise. I started a tradition with my own 3 kids years ago. Whenever one of them turned five, I would take just that one child to Disneyland for a day (mostly because that’s all I could afford, but also to give that particular child my totally undivided attention.) They ate up that attention too! That lovely tradition became quite a treat for us all. Now, after 3 kids and also 3 grand kids, I am celebrating my first great grand childs’ 5th birthday! How lucky am I? I am really glad I started having children early in my adulthood (my first was born just after my 21st birthday) so I could live long enough to enjoy great grandchildren! They are the best!

Luckily, I am still young enough (and with enough energy) to entirely devote myself to following a 5 year-old around the Magic Kingdom all day; experiencing & seeing it through her eyes. I also get to be, and act, like a kid myself all the day long at least one more time! There’s nothing quite like it! I enjoy the wonderful experience of letting my inner child out to play wholeheartedly. It should also supply me with a wonderful springboard to jump off from into my travel mode for the rest of the season –  a great way to spend an adventure holiday in Ireland, Scotland, England & Wales – exploring with the awakened wide-eyed curiosity of a child!

As you might imagine, Alaska is pretty excited herself. Each week when she comes to my house to have a ‘sleepover with GG ‘ on Thursdays she immediately heads over to the calendar, the one we marked up with our travel plans, to count the days until our departure – a girl after my own heart! We leave just one week from tomorrow! Let the countdown begin!

disneyland trip route

We will travel almost the entire length of California from our home in Southern Oregon to the Los Angeles basin. It will take us two days to travel that distance along the Interstate 5 freeway. Even though it requires two constant driving days to get there; its worth it – especially in the springtime with all the lovely views along the way of fresh food growing in the fields of the San Joaquin Valley – breadbasket of the world.  (And thank goodness for freeways! As I recall from when I was Alaska’s age and living in southern California, my family would make the trip to visit my grandparents in Seattle, Washington. It was only a two-lane, undivided Hwy 99 back then and the entire route taking us much longer than 2 days time to complete!)

We will be staying at the Hilton Anaheim just across the street from Disneyland and will have a birds-eye view from our room of the fireworks each night exploding over the ‘Matterhorn’ inside the park! She ought to like that – I know I will!

anaheim hiltonfireworks from our room

Alaska is even excited about just getting to stay a couple of nights in a hotel and most importantly – getting to ride the elevator! How I love the delight and innocence of small children; they’re so precious! Its the small things you know….

img_6427As you might know if you’re one of my avid “followers” on this blog that one of the things I enjoy most about traveling is making new friends along the way. Last year when I traveled from Scotland to Ireland via the ferry from Cairnryan to Larne I met the nicest couple, Ed & Colleen.


We had quite a bit in common as it turned out – we both write a travel blog. Imagine that! Naturally, we became fast friends, traded traveling information, and although we only had the brief time together during the ferry crossing to spend with one another we’ve kept in touch all year. On our way back to Oregon, Alaska and I will get to stop and spend some time with Ed & Colleen again at their home.

What a delight that will be! I love visiting friends along my journeys and spending time with the ones I’ve met during them. It will be so good to see them and enjoy their company once again.

After Alaska and I return at week’s end, I will need to get my laundry done and repacked into my suitcase pronto because just a week later, on May 9th, I’ll be boarding another jet headed to Dublin, Ireland to tour all around that magical place with my good friend, Lynne, for 5 weeks!

Since I’ll be with a friend, and consequently not have a lot of spare, alone time to blog as often as I usually do during my travels, I won’t be writing daily blog posts as is my usual practice. However, you can be sure that at least once or twice a week, I’ll find the time to keep you updated on my travels this summer, sharing many photos and telling you about the places we’re visiting. It’s bound be be quite the adventure; one you may not want to miss.

If you would like to see every entry I post, I invite you to “follow” my blog by pressing the “follow” button which should appear somewhere nearby on your screen that you are viewing this post on. If you “follow,” each time I post something, an email will come directly to your inbox and you can view the post at your leisure. You won’t miss a single entry either as I’ll be spending over 4 months touring around all of both the islands of Ireland and Scotland/England/Wales from one tip to the other!