Tuesday, May 26, 2009


We picked up our youngest daughter yesterday and met our son and his wife and two kids at California Adventure, (a park adjacent to Disneyland.) It seemed that they'd been to Disneyland recently, so they thought we'd try the other park. OMG! I am not a lover of crowds, and just getting into the parking structure was an ordeal. I'm glad we weren't going to Disneyland because it was crowded enough where we were and everybody said that Disneyland was much worse! The only person in the whole wide world I would go to such a place on a major holiday is my little grandson Ben. At 2yrs and 2mos, the little guy was very excited. His brother Luke is only 3mos, and Luke was just happy to be picked up out of the stroller and bounced on our knees every once in a while, he actually seemed to enjoy the music and noise and passers by. 

So, I volunteered to watch the baby while the others went on the rides. Watching the people, I got to thinking about the first time I ever went to Disneyland. My mother and father divorced and dad took a job in Orange County. The summer I was to turn 11, my sister, (she was to turn 9), and I flew down from Portland Oregon to stay with Dad for a couple of months. He promised to take us to Disneyland.

Dad bought us special outfits to wear. (I'm giving away my age for the sake of the story, OH WELL!) I'm the same age as Disneyland, born in 1955. People dressed so spiffy back then. It's true! I sound like some old fuddy duddy, but sitting there people watching yesterday I was amazed at how slovenly some were. Good grief, some were down right gross, even wearing dirty clothes. 

And, another thing, people are so rude nowadays. Really rude. Even the employees. Shortly after we arrived I went to an espresso cart and ordered a hot coffee for my husband, and I asked if they could make an iced coffee. The dour clerk said, "I guess so." I watched her fill a cup with a small scoop of ice and then pour steaming hot coffee over it. She handed it to me with two lone-ranger-soon-to-be-melted pieces of ice floating on top. "Could I have a cup of ice?" I asked. The operative word here being ICE! She frowned and snapped, "We can't give out cups!" I'd been charged 4 bucks for a few ounces of coffee and a few ice cubes, I thought she could have spared an extra cup of ice, but didn't say so. "Oh," I said, doing my best to remain polite, "then could you put some more ice in here?" By then ALL the ice had melted. She grabbed the cup and filled it with ice, pushing the lid on so tightly atop the overly full cup that coffee poured out the little cross cut for where the straw would go. She slammed the cup down on the counter, covering me and the man standing next to me with sprinkles of coffee, then turned her back. I grabbed a boatload of napkins and sopped up the mess, thinking, "Walt Disney must be rolling over in his grave!"

What hasn't changed? Families. Dad's and Mom's and kids and grandparents delighting in one another's company. We stayed for 10 hours. And I got to know Luke better, and Ben cried when he had to leave us, because he wanted his grandma and grandpa to go home with him. (I learned that he fell asleep five minutes after his head hit the car-seat, and I felt better.) It was a terrific day.

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.


Sniffles and Smiles said...

Times have changed, haven't they? Customer service, and self-respect used to be high...glad you had such a wonderful day in spite of the coffee experience...and hope it didn't stain...Happy memories to you! ~Janine XO

Frank Baron said...

Ah, you're a braver person than I. I don't have any grandchildren yet but pretty sure if I did - they still wouldn't get me to set foot in an amusement park.

I'd be happy to take them fishing though. :)

Glad you had a pleasant day despite the rude coffee server.

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Elizabeth....it's that way everywhere! This is why being 80%
recluse, works great for me! glad you enjoyed those Grans in spite of it!

lakeviewer said...

Glad you enjoyed the little ones. I saw Disneyland shortly after it opened, and have returned many times, often too crowded to be worth our time and money.

Now, I bet it has priced itself out of most families' budget.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

For my husband and me to get in, it cost $137! With a discount.

Woman in a Window said...

Elizabeth, I'll have to come back and read later as I'm on my way out...I just wanted to drop by and say I was so sorry about your nephew. Shocking and sad. I can't imagine.


Elizabeth Bradley said...

Thanks Erin, for your kind thoughts.

Marguerite said...

You always make me laugh so hard, Elizabeth. Love your sense of humor and I commend you for remaining polite after the coffee mishap. So glad you had a good visit with your family and grandchildren.

Also, so sorry about your nephew, even though I don't know what happened.

Kim said...

I hear you loud and clear about service EVERYWHERE these days. People often dismiss bad service by saying "well how would you feel if you were making X amount of dollars an hour". I think that's poor reasoning. I worked in the service industry for 20 years and never worked anywhere where we were allowed to give bad service.

Thanks for the reassurance about my boy always loving me. As a first time mom, I worry about later on - what will we have in common? he'll probably only want to be around dad...insecurities.

Lover of Life said...

I remember dressing up to go to the movie, and ride the bus from Reno to Sacramento to visit my grandmother!

I think you are wonderful to go with your family and allow your daughter to enjoy her day. I always try to remember to give my daughter and SIL a little space when I visit.

Why are people so rude? I know exactly what you are talking about - you'd think they would be grateful they had a job!

Kirti said...

I can totally relate to what you're talking about...people have no class these days. I'm kind of a fuddy duddy too (a young one, I guess) because I wish people dressed better and had more class and manners. I wish they would teach it in school!
But, I'm glad you had a nice holiday weekend otherwise!

cocktailsatfive said...

Wow. I'm shocked. Anytime I've been to Disneyland I've always had wonderful service.