Easter Sunday, it was my favorite holiday. One full of tradition and family, and this year an announcement!
Per usual we attended service in Denver's fantastic St. John's in the Wilderness Cathedral. A beautiful 100 year old stone structure, with an amazing choir and orchestra. Followed by dinner at The White Fenced Farm. This old farm turned family style restaurant was always busy but especially so at Easter. With an almost fair like atmosphere to celebrate the end of winter and coming of spring.
Spring being a time of renewal and change, my husband, son, and I had decide to share our future with the larger family. We had created what we lovingly referred to as The Master Plan. It was a strategy that would have me in Southern California by the fall, to be followed as quickly as possible by my husband and son. Given that I was almost 39 years old this was going to be the last time i purposely started a new career. The Goal was "The Happiest Place on Earth". Orange County was also ideal weather for some health challenges we faced, and my husband had always wanted to live near the ocean. My son was going to miss Denver and the people there, but it was good timing as he would be leaving Jr High for High School.
Our loved ones were excited for us, but concerned. How could I head off to La La Land, even if I had not yet found a place to live and a job? While I did spend the next 4 months looking for an apartment, I could not apply for most positions at the Disneyland Resort without being a local. Picking an apartment near the right school, a good distance between the resort and the beach, and in an ok neighborhood is not easy long distance! Needless to say it was August 1st I had no job or place to live.
We decided to take the suitcase and a dream attitude and I gave my notice at work. It was a great job, and I was good at it. I worked with incredible people, made a good living, and was able to work at the same location as my husband. Still this was a chance that had to be taken, something we had to try or regret for a lifetime.
On August 30th 2007 my staff threw me a great going away party. My husband and I left the office in a small rental car full of anything we believed I would need for a six month stay. We spent the night in Grand Junction before I said goodbye to my adopted home state. We spent the next night, our anniversary, in Las Vegas. While relaxing at the pool I found a guy on-line with a room to rent in Anaheim. We made arrangements to meet at his home the following afternoon. That night's dinner was spectacular I was celebrating with the love of my life, this fantastic man who was making it possible for me to chase my dreams after all these years.
I didn't sleep that night partly because of excitement, partly because of nerves. What am I doing? We had some savings but we were by no means rich! I was up rooting my family, moving with no job and not sure where my husband and I were sleeping tomorrow night. It was true that this would improve our health, and that we were sick of winter. However there was no denying a large part of this was being done because of what a theme park meant to me, meant to my family, to me and my husband.
The next day we pulled up to a nice ranch house about 8 blocks south of the resort. We got out of the car and I managed to make the butterflies in my stomach fly in formation. I am not usually nervous dealing with new people, but I needed my husband to head home knowing I was ok, and staying at this house would go a long way toward that comfort. The house was spacious with a pool, can't live in SoCal without a pool. It was close enough to the resort to walk, yet near a bus route as well. It had plenty of room for my husband and son to visit, and have our own bathroom. The homeowner, my husband, and I sat at the table and made small talk for about 10 minutes, which felt like an hour. After hearing my story he decided I was crazy, but not in dangerous way. He finally saw I wasn't going to kill him or his son in the middle of the night and invited me to move in!
We spent a great few days in the park and then the day I was dreading came. My husband and I were at John Wayne Airport waiting for his flight home to Denver. He kissed me goodbye and disappeared through security. I will admit it here, I had a bit of a breakdown. I sat on a bench in the baggage claim area and quietly let some tears run down my face. I was alone now, well physically anyway. The enormity of this life change hit me. Although I had the support and spirit of family and friends, especially my son and husband, I felt alone I looked up and saw a family, mom dad, and a little girl in a Minnie Mouse dress. The girl's eyes were beaming as she was telling everyone she was going to Disneyland. She explained to me that for the last 3 years Santa had brought her Disney gift cards, they had also been her birthday gifts for as long as she could remember. Now she was here! Well in the right county anyway. She was going to have a trip most people in the world dream of, and her family had saved for years to make it happen. God willing I will soon be playing a role in these fantasies come true for millions. I wiped my tears got very excited about my new life and boarded the Disneyland Express to my new home.