Friday, October 2, 2009

Grounded

Well, it's official. On October 1st, after 18 long, wonderful years of flying, the airline essentially told me to go to my room and never come back out. Oh, wait. Not that kind of grounded. But I did lose my wings. I was not supposed to lose them until I turn 23, which will be on the 10th, but I guess they decided to give me an early birthday surprise when they launched their new system on the 1st. Oh the joys of getting older.

Anyways, this week I did get a couple more day trips in before they stripped me of my benefits. The first, on Saturday, was to Denver to spend a day with a couple of good friends from high school. We had fun, enjoying the cool weather and just hanging out. I brought my camera and of course, forgot to take a single picture.

On Wednesday, my mom and I went to (you guessed it) DISNEYLAND! My annual pass expires on the 23rd. I'm going with a couple of friends and with my parents on my birthday, but I am DRIVING. So this was my last day trip to Disneyland, probably ever. Sad. Well, Disneyland must have known it would be one of my last trips for awhile, because they pulled out all the stops! The park was practically empty. It was a Disneyland miracle. Check out my mini-trip report and pictures below. :)

Halloween time just started at Disneyland and this is one of my FAVORITE times to be there. I absolutely love Christmas time, but Halloween time is a very close second.
Disneyland is all about the details. There are so many things that add to the ambiance that you walk right past without even noticing. I've been trying to be more observant of all the awesome details. The following shots were taken in the Haunted Mansion fastpass area.





Rancho del Zocalo
This is a new building in Fantasyland, by the Matterhorn. I think it's very quaint and cute.

Space Mountain has been invaded by ghosts this year! (Technically it's only one ghost and I've just learned that his official name is Bob. I wish I knew the reason behind that!) The Halloween overlay is a first and we were so excited to ride it! We absolutely loved the Rockin' in the New Year overlay that they did a few years ago, so this was really exciting. After getting into the park, the first thing we did was run straight to Space Mountain. We pulled fastpasses and then WALKED on the ride. There was NO wait. We ended up being able to ride 3 times throughout the day! I never saw the wait over 30 minutes, which shows you how very empty the park was. We loved the overlay, but if you are planning on taking your little ones soon, be fairly warned that it could be terrifying for them.
Ode to Rocket to the Moon
So, since we've been going, there has been this restaurant in DCA, the Lucky Fortune Cookery. It always sounds delicious, but has never once been open. (At least not while we've been there... I'm fairly certain it hasn't ever been open or that it hasn't been open since 2001 when the park first opened.) Anyways, this summer, they moved the Cucamonga Cocina over to the LFC and boarded up the old location of the CC. Then, they announced that they were building the LFC in the CC's former locale. And, folks, I'm happy to tell you that it's FINALLY open!


We didn't even eat here, but doesn't it look delicious? And expensive?


I found out recently that each popcorn stand features a different little character inside. I tried to remember to look at each one we walked by and snap a shot. I'll take some more when I go NEXT WEEK! :)

Haunted Mansion Holiday
Town Square
Matterhorn
The last few shots are of the awesome Halloween decorations. Love this time of year!



We had a wonderful time, walked on to practically all the rides, and accomplished a TON for only being there for about 9 hours. (Space Mountain 3 times (once on standby), Indiana Jones, Haunted Mansion Holiday 2 times (once on standby), it's a small world, Tower of Terror (standby line!), Toy Story Mania (the standby line!) Finding Nemo Submarines, Splash Mountain (standby line!), Monsters Inc., Tortilla Factory, the Monorail, and several train rides to save our aching feet). See more pictures here.

I will miss flying to Disneyland for the day with my mom, flying with my parents to catch cheap, last minute cruises, flying by myself to head out on random, spontaneous adventures, flying with friends to go on fun vacations, and just FLYING. I will miss chatting with friendly CSA's who know my dad and used to work with him. I will miss the "ba-ding ba-ding" sound the non-rev boarding passes make. I will miss the way the little paper yellow ticket feels stapled to the back of the glossy white boarding card. I'll miss flying with Brad and making fun of Skymall. (I actually miss that already!) I'll miss being able to decide to go somewhere about 2 hours before my flight leaves. Part of me will miss the crazy "creative flying" that non-revs sometimes have to do. You know, things like flying to Denver to get to San Diego just because it beats sitting in an airport all day watching all the planes leave without you. I'll miss never having to check a bag. I'll miss showing up half an hour before my flight leaves. I'll miss calling my dad seconds after landing and telling him, "Yeah, looks like we'll be puling into Charlie 18, so take your time." I'll miss all that and more.

I won't necessarily miss watching flights pull away, full of revenue passengers as I sit and cross my fingers that I'll be on the next. I won't miss getting a boarding card with a big fat C32 written on it. I won't miss waiting in line to check in at the gate (maybe). I won't miss having hours and hours of airport appreciation time because I can't make any flights. I won't miss running from gate C18 to D8 because that's where the next flight leaves...in 15 minutes. I won't miss the stress of never knowing if you'll actually get to go on vacation or not or if you'll make it home before work the next day. I won't miss getting pulled off a plane in a random city because they've oversold.

{But I sure will miss everything else.}

3 comments:

Janet said...

RIP SWA Card D2 and you know you will miss the unlimited Dr. P. I will miss you too!!!

{megs in wonderland} said...

i will miss your frequent flying for you too, em. but dont worry- im sure you will still go on plenty of adventures:)

Larry said...

Hey Emily! Thanks for the link to your site! Glad to hear you're having an awesome time in Disney, especially around this time of year (I'm a fan of Hallowe'en, too)! Great pictures! Cheers, my friend!