Well, we’re about half way to Disneyland and we’ve stopped for the night in St. George, Utah, famed in song and story as the home of Cafe Rio, the best Mexican grill on the face of the earth. We had quite a pleasant drive down in “The Maple Bar,” the new name for our car this trip. The girls had a farewell brunch at IHOP with their Mom right before we left and the thick, sweet aroma of maple syrup was so strong it was fogging the windows.

Our Intrepid Travellers
Our Intrepid Travellers

The girls kept themselves busy in the back with their coloring books and the new Barbie of Swan Lake DVD. We also spent a great deal of time talking about what rides we do and don’t want to go on when we get to Disneyland tomorrow.

Emma, our quiet, cautious, careful daughter has an inexplicable fondness for horrendously scary rides. Since she was three, she has been longing for the day when she would be tall enough to go on the Indiana Jones Adventure. She missed the height requirement by one-eighth of an inch the last time we were there and she carries still the scar of that most bitter of disappointments.

To prepare her for the ride, which is really quite amazing, I’ve explained the basics of what she’ll experience, but I’ve refused to divulge exactly how the car avoids being crushed by the huge rolling stone at the end of the ride. She quizzes me almost daily:

“Does the car crash through the rock?”


“Does the rock bounce over the top of the car?”

“Nope, not really.”

“Come on, Dad! Tell me what happens!”

“Nope….can’t. You’ll just have to wait and see.”

Emma’s not the kind who likes to “wait and see.”

Meanwhile, Zoë, our wild, fearless, and physically reckless daughter has a deep and abiding distaste for anything hairier than the Flying Dumbos. It takes quite a bit of coaxing just to get her on Mr. Toads Wild Ride, which, despite the name, isn’t even that wild a ride. As far as Zoë is concerned, she couldn’t care less how the car avoids the huge rolling stone at the end of the Indiana Jones Adventure because she has no intention of being anywhere near the vehicle when that moment arrives. She plans to be sitting safely outside, anticipating the exquisite thrill of “It’s a Small World.”

We’re planning to get to the park by late afternoon tomorrow. In all of our trips to Disneyland, we’ve somehow missed Fantasmic! (note the ever-compelling exclamation point) every time we’ve gone, so tomorrow is the big day. We’ll be in our places at 9:00pm when the “magic!” begins.