So, why all the Disney jabber going on around here lately? Hmm? I know there has been some speculating that I’m all Disney-obsessed because we are planning a trip to Disneyland soon, but—*sigh*—that’s not it. (Yes, for those in the know, some relatives of ours are organizing a Disney family reunion trip in the near future, but with our present game of legal limbo still ongoing, we honestly doubt we will be able to afford to go with them when the time comes. We’ll have to wait and see on that one.) No, the real reason behind all my Disney talk is…. well…. a fight.
Yeah, a fight.
A fight about Disneyland.
*punching my fist into my hand*
It all started with pictures. Or a lack thereof. You see, my parents didn’t really take that many photos when my brother, my sister and I were growing up. And while some of the ones they did take managed to migrate their way into the family photo albums like good little photographs, most of them tended to end up drifting around like hobos, dusty, unlabeled, and undated, in drawers and boxes throughout our old house. Over the years, for various reasons, a lot of the hobo-y family photos went astray and just kind of disappeared.
*POOF!* Just like that.
And, it appears, without an organized stash of family photos there to reinforce and feed the memories from long, lonnnnnnnnggggggggg ago (like…. oh…. say, the 1980’s), the memories of an entire family of five people can actually starve and wither away to almost nothing, resulting in four of the five people COMPLETELY FORGETTING ABOUT AN ENTIRE WEEK-LONG FAMILY VACATION TO DISNEYLAND AND UNIVERSAL STUDIOS!!!!!!!!!!
(How scary is that?!)
I’m the one family member out of the five who remembers it, by the way. Duh. Naturally, I assumed everyone else remembered it too and was shocked to find out recently that they didn’t.
I had stumbled upon a few undated scans of some of the old family photos on my computer and was attempting to put the pictures in chronological order when this was all thrust into the light. Some pictures were easy, like the day we got our first puppy.
I definitely remember THAT! That was my first day of 3rd grade! September 1980, no question! Next!
But other photos have required some serious CSI work to try to figure out, like this one of me and my grandpa in England.
I only figured this one out by checking the dates of the stamps in my old passports. Turns out it was June 1975. But the passports only helped me identify the trips out of the country, they couldn't possibly be any help in figuring out which months and years we took the three vacations to Disneyland that I remember us taking: one at some point in the 70’s before my brother was born, one during the summer of 1980, and then the last one, somewhere in the mid-80’s.
Pretty much all I remember from the first Disneyland trip was how much I loved It’s A Small World; flipping through the little ticket books with my dad; the night my sister had a bee caught in her hair; buying a big Mickey Mouse doll in a store on Main Street (I still have that Mickey, by the way!); and the day we met Pinocchio and he incurred my eternal fiery wrath by pulling out my hair ribbons—which I did NOT find amusing—and then further disgraced himself by sitting in my sister’s stroller and getting his butt stuck in it.
(Oh, Pinocchio, how I still loathe thee!)
The only picture that I believe still exists from that vacation is this one.
I’m the little girl in the mini-dress staring up at Mickey. My mom and my sister are on the right. I have no idea who the boys are. (????)
The second trip we took, I was SURE was in 1980 (a girl doesn’t easily forget a summer where she gets both a puppy AND a trip to Disneyland all in one fell swoop!) but I wasn’t sure which month. I definitely remember watching the Main Street Electrical Parade several times; riding on The People Mover, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Haunted Mansion; Flying over Fantasyland in a candy apple red Skyway bucket; buying an itty bitty Donald Duck beanie doll in a store on Main Street (I still have that toy too!) (Shut up!); and meeting Snow White and Dopey.
These are the only pictures I have from that trip. Meeting Snow White….
….and my dad and my brother inside the Disneyland gates.
And then there was the final trip, where I remember finally being old enough to ride the Matterhorn; how they gave us free Goofy and Donald Duck pins as we entered Disneyland (yeah, you guessed it, I’ve still got mine); the 106 degree heat wave that gave me heat stroke; and how some obnoxious lady made fun of my non-tanned redheaded Seattle-girl complexion and, after that, I felt like I looked like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and I refused to go swimming in the hotel pool. I also remember that we went to Universal Studios too and saw The Munsters House, the A-Team van, and the courtyard where Marty McFly tries to outrun Biff’s car on a 1955 kid’s skateboard in Back To The Future.
The only picture that I think exists from that entire trip is this one of my brother and my dad lifting up the A-Team van.
In trying to figure out which months and years these three trips took place, I called up my family. I mean, parents always remember that kind of stuff, right?
Yeah, not so much….
“WHAT ABOUT THE A-TEAM VAN PICTURE????” I kept
(And hell bent on proving my parents dead wrong.)
(I mean, really.)
So. Let’s look at the evidence, shall we? First, the A-Team picture. Compare it to the Snow White picture for a minute. Go ahead, scroll back. I’ll wait………………
Done? Good. Does my brother look remotely the same age in those two pictures? Even a little bit? He was three in the Snow White picture, does he look three to you, holding that A-Team van in the air?! I think not. Besides, the A-Team wasn’t even on TV until 1983. I googled it. So there. There’s NO WAY that picture is from 1980.
Now go back and look at that A-Team picture again. That van has a California license plate. But even more interesting.... check out the background in the top right corner. See who’s lurking there? That. Is. Jaws. JAWS, okay?!?! Jaws and the A-Team van hanging out together? There is NO WAY that picture was taken in Seattle or anywhere else but Universal Studios at some point after 1983.
I am soooooooo winning this argument. But wait—there’s more!
I remember seeing the Back To The Future lot in Universal Studios too. Back To The Future wasn’t in theaters until July 1985, people. Again, I googled it…. although, admittedly, that wasn’t necessary since they say “1985” about a craptillion times during that movie. And now we know that there’s NO WAY that Disneyland and Universal Studios trip was before 1985.
And what about those pins they gave us as we entered Disneyland on that trip that I, supposedly, only dreamt up? I still have mine. They’re real. See?
Of course, I googled those pins too and found out that they were only handed out as a promotion at the Disneyland front gate from July 1985 to July 1986 in celebration of Disneyland’s 30th anniversary. So, obviously, we HAD TO have been there in either ‘85 or ‘86.
And then there are the old passports. Remember how I said they were useless in proving when we went to Disneyland? Yeah? Well, forget that! Turns out they’re perfect for it. You see, there are stamps in the old passports which show that we flew to England in July 1985. And I find it really, REALLY unlikely that a family of five would take a two week trip to England AND a week-long trip to California all in one summer, don’t you? Exactly. And, thus, all evidence considered, I conclude that our Disneyland and Universal Studios vacation was in June 1986 and was 100% real and not just a dream I once had.
*taking a bow*
Of course, this would have been a whole lot easier if my parents had just taken lots of pictures and adequately labeled them in photo albums when I was growing up. Jeeeeeez. But at least I know Wednesday won’t ever have to hunt through Google and passports and whatnot, trying to figure her history out, because I take pictures of EVERYTHING.
Which reminds me…. I’ve got some serious catching up to do here on how my Project 365 has been going. It’s coming soon, I promise.