Bucket lists are popular these days, probably due to the recent movie of the same name. Everyone has a list of things to do before they die. My list, for the most part, is being steadily filled. I’m a blessed guy!
|Blue Bayou, Pirates of the Caribbean, Disneyland|
It seems silly to mention, but I have a bucket list item that has been hanging-on in my sub conscience since I was about seven-years-old. It started when I first stood in line for the then brand-new “Pirates Of the Caribbean” ride at Disneyland (we lived about four miles away, as the crow flies, in Fullerton, so we visited as often as possible). As the line formed and guests were strung-up along the long, wooden fence that corals the queue, there was (and still is) a clear and deliberate sight-line to the restaurant in the middle of the attraction called “The Blue Bayou.”
As a kid, looking at those folks eating in the candle-lit restaurant was like a peak over a neighbor’s fence in the summer time, watching them enjoy a swim in their pool, and longing to join them. A special treat like eating at the “Bayou,” or having our own family pool was beyond my family’s financial reach. I dreamed one day I’d find a way to get my own pool and maybe even a long- shot chance to dine at the Pirates Of the Caribbean and The Blue Bayou.
I got my pool in 2000 and, although I loved it, learned what a challenge it was to keep the water crystal-clear. I still flirt with the idea of a pool where we live now, but I could take it or leave it at this stage in my life.
|Brenda and Jamie at the Blue Bayou restaurant, Disneyland|
I traveled with my bride–along with both kids and their spouses–to southern California this past week and made our way again to Disneyland. Like me, my son-in-law, Adam, was intrigued with the idea of eating at the “Bayou.” He made a quick phone call the night before our Disney trip and, to my surprise, snagged a reservation.
After a long day at the park, we scurried up to the check-in at the restaurant just before 9PM (a terrible time to eat a full meal, but the only slot they had open) and were soon seated. I ordered short ribs and–as we waited for our meal, munching on hot, fresh bread and enjoying a respite form the long day of combing the park–I gazed toward the area where the line for Pirates winds back and forth, across from the fake swamp and the pretend fireflies. There they were– the folks in line, peeking over at us as we were seated in the restaurant, just like I did for forty-five years!
At that moment I realized: the forty-five-year dream of getting there was much more fun than the experience itself. As I scanned the bill for Brenda and I, totaling just under $100 dollars, I surrendered, then and there, to the fact that when wishes come true, even in Disneyland, they aren’t always as fulfilling as hoped. Still, it was a bucket list item I could finally check off.
My thirst is quenched; I don’t ever need to return to the “Bayou” again. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find me standing in line for Pirates Of the Caribbean again and again like a seven-year-old! Another bucket list item I have is a chance to get off the “doom buggy” at the Haunted Mansion and walk around…but I think that wish list item will most likely stay unchecked.