The clouds were absolutely as puffy as they could ever be, compared to any other view. I wanted to jump out the airplane window and bounce on the clouds as if they were trampolines. Along with the excitement of now, my second trip on a plane was the constant anticipation of how much longer it would be until we got to Florida. I couldn’t wait to see my grandparents, Ema and Papa, and I also couldn’t wait to go to Disneyland for the absolute first time. My mind was racing as fast as a corvette in a drag race, while precious moments ticked by. Finally, after what seemed like weeks of waiting on the plane, we arrived in Florida. We spent the night at Ema and Papa’s vacationing home while the rest of the week was waiting.
When we woke up the next morning we headed straight for Disneyland.
The first attraction that I had heard about was the Haunted Mansion. I had heard about it from television and I could not wait to go see it. It was all I could think about until we walked past a tent where there were artists doing caricatures. The tent looked like a circus tent to my sister, Stephanie, and I. It was precariously put up to block the sun just enough that it wouldn’t get into the artist’s eyes but it was able to crawl its way right into my view. Steph grabbed my hand and felt the wind rush through our hair as we sprinted into the tent. Standing in line seemed like a month’s amount of time; we were sure that we weren’t going to get our pictures done by sunset. But the line got shorter and shorter quicker and quicker, until finally two artists called Steph and I up to their stools. The stool was so high that I had to lift myself up onto it and right when I sat down the first thing that I could see was the sun peeking under the tent towards me. “Don’t squint,” the artist ordered, I wasn’t supposed to look at the artist and the only other place I could was right where the sun was! Finally the caricatures were done. I jumped off the ridiculously high stool while the artist signed my picture. He handed me my picture and I marveled at how well it came out, even though I was squinting the whole time. The artist included exquisite detail in my picture; from the separate knots in the pink choker I had insisted on wearing to the slight glare that the sun had cast on my cheek. When Steph showed me her picture the two of us were far less than impressed. Stephanie’s caricature, to this day, still looks as if she was a forty year old woman, and she was only fourteen!
We took many pictures on this vacation; one photograph that still taunts me today is the picture that we used in our Christmas card for 2002 when we came back from Florida. As we walked through the Nickelodeon section of Disney, one gigantic object caught mine and my sister’s eye. It was a colossal wave the size of a small skyscraper; at least to a ten year old it seemed that big. Perched on the wave was a bright blue surfboard. All day at any of these areas, Steph and I would run over and take our time posing for the perfect picture. I remember picking out my outfit for that day, I absolutely had to wear that pink jeweled choker that I wore every single day, and on top of that I had to wear long shorts that were far too hot for Florida weather. This was one of the pictures where I actually wasn’t complaining because I was too hot; the wave created a lot of shade and I just happened to make a spot for myself completely out of the sun’s reach.
Another photograph that I remember the most from this vacation is of Papa and I. When we first got to Disney, Steph and I ran straight to the gift shop and bought ourselves brand new, shiny autograph books. The first thing I did with mine was open it up and write down my name, address, phone, email, and the year. My mom cautioned me against it, but I was the kind of kid who enjoyed writing out my information. I’m still unsure of why I enjoyed writing my information on everything that asked for it. The first autograph that I got was from Daisy Duck. Papa and I walked up to the line and waited for what seemed like a whole year, but he stuck with me the whole time. Even when I heard his stomach rumble and Steph began to get tired of waiting, Papa still waited with me until I get my signature. When we finally got to the front of the line, Daisy took my autograph book and signed it with the flick of a wrist. After every signature, we got a picture with the character, but this one was special because it was just Daisy, Papa, and I.
Florida was one of the best trips I have ever been on. Each of these memories is extremely symbolic of how much fun my family and I can have together no matter the circumstance. This vacation made wonderful memories and great stories that we still tell today. I hope to go back to Florida on my own in the future so that I can make more great memories with Ema.
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