Hey hey World,
They say that all good things come to an end and it would seem that they, whoever they are, know their stuff because here we are, two months’ worth of memories, laughs and homesick campers later and camp has ended. But let’s not dwell on that particular thought right now because we’ve still got an entire month’s worth of adventures to catch up on. So let me take you back to the start of July for the week that we all escaped camp.
As we reached the halfway mark of camp we were all granted the break that we needed with a week off to relax, rest and enjoy Independence Day. Did you hear someone say road trip? With a carful of three internationals, two from the fabulous Arizona itself and one all the way from the corn fields of Iowa, we set off for California fully prepared with our snacks, tunes and the open road ahead of us. And so our week of American adventures (also some quality cultural experiences for the Visa) began.
One word: Disneyland. Potentially the happiest place in the world, although nothing will quite beat Teufen in Switzerland for me, Disneyland most certainly is a magical land where dreams come true for sure. So what magical adventures did I have in Disneyland? Aside from the slightly underrated Disney Castle (either Paris has a much bigger palace or I was indeed a very small child when we last went to Disney) and exhilarating yet sometimes hallucinative rides, we stumbled upon many Disney adventures. Here are just a few in the most uninteresting presentation of ideas: a list.
1. Walking and Talking with Merida. What could be better than telling a real Disney princess that you helped a load of 9 year olds learn how to shoot a bow just like her? I know what was worse than that, her Scottish accent.
2. Our Tinkerbell met The Tinkerbell. Venturing into Pixie Hollow we took our pocket of ad staff joy to inspect Disney’s version of herself who was, as suspected, polite with a feisty edge and asked me if I knew the Darling Family.
3. The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Unfortunately we missed the scheduled meet for Alice and the Wonderful crew however somehow we later stumbled upon the Mad Hatter arranging chairs and asked if we could join him for some tea. So there we are, talking about the quality of tea with the Mad Hatter and silently judging Alice’s accent.
4. The Mary Poppins Carousel. What could be better than a carousel? Mary Poppins riding a carousel. With a live brass band riding alongside her. And her waving at me. She was a tad mean to me though because she’s always in such of a hurrying so couldn’t stop to talk to me. But still, Mary Poppins waved to me from a carousel and now my life is complete.
5. The Buzz Lightyear Ride. Again. And again. Oh, and again. It’s not a competition but it so is.
6. The Firework Display. Even if it was celebrating America’s successes, the special 4th of July fireworks just put such a smile on my face and I may even have shed a tear when Stars and Stripes Forever played.
7. Late Night Rides. Running through the darkened park to make it to Space Mountain for one last ride and spinning and smiling and just revelling in the new friendships camp had brought me. Magical things really do happen at Disneyland. And of course to finish the day: It’s a Small Ride. Still adorable. Still annoying.
And so ended Disney day one. All ready for day two.
Day two was spent at Californian Adventure with wonderful Pixar things and a ride where you basically soar across the globe. The highlights of the day would have to be The Little Mermaid Ride, riding the ladybug/BIRD ride and taking Sulley on the Monsters Inc Ride. Oh and so much more. There was just so much fun and friendship in the air and life felt so good. To complete the day came World of Colour where scenes from films were projected onto a wall of water and it just all took my breath away. And then my breath was again taken away during the Cars ride but for a whole different reason.
But the week’s adventures didn’t stop there. Next was Vegas via the beaches of LA. In Vegas we had a home-style 4th July fireworks display and experienced The Strip through the tastes of international Coca Cola, the sight of Flamingos and the sound of many screams and squeals on the New York New York ride. Day two was spent half at a water park (all my American summer dreams came true) and zip lining through Vegas. It was a time indeed. Oh, and before we could get back to work, there was just time for a trip to The Grand Canyon. Just a big hole in the ground really, but most certainly an impressive one.
My summer hasn’t been solely road trip adventures though. After our incredible journey came Week 6, the first week of Monsoon season and the week that I used all of the magical friendships that I’d been working on over the break. Some days you find yourself eating Dole Whip in Disneyland and some days you find yourself sat on the floor of a locked bathroom cubicle. Life is just one big rollercoaster and it has more than it’s fair share of thunderstorms. Some weeks are just tough for no explainable reason, and such was my Week 6. But it was in my most vulnerable time that I discovered the most wonderful thing about life here at Willow Springs, the support network is so incredibly strong and can indeed cradle the entire weight of a camp counsellor. So with the support of the many new friends camp has brought me, my new hydroflask and a giant rainbow trout pillow, I made it through Week 6 and even enjoyed the week. I discovered I like tea, taught campers how to fight off pirates and began a new personal camp tradition of telling everyone my real name through the words of The Button Song. Even if my week required a lot of being scooped up off the floor and a great need to hydrate, I survived it with a smile on my face. And that’s the important bit, right?
If my two contrasting weeks from the start of July taught me anything then it was most certainly about rollercoasters and thunderstorms. Life is a rollercoaster, I know it’s cliche but it’s true. There are highs and lows and there are loop the loops which just leave you wondering how on earth you ended up all the way in Prescott, Arizona. But if a particular smol friend taught me anything on the Guardians of the Galaxy ride, it’s that a friendly hand can get you through quite a lot of ups and downs. And if a hand isn’t available, just grab their whole arm. Secondly, there are thunderstorms in this life. Yes, they may be inconvenient and result in all outdoor plans being changed but sometimes life can be like that. You’ve just got to learn to dance in the rain, because it kind of is fun to splash in puddles barefoot.
Life is all just one completed mess of metaphors. I’ll keep exploring and I’ll keep overanalysing it all to see what analogies I can find.
I’ll keep you posted,