Rant warning. Cantankerous author ahead.
I have turned enough pages in life to know no matter how much planning you do and how good your intentions may be, life simply does not turn out as you planned.
Disneyland is no exception. I planned this trip as a thank-you present for the fellow who has been sitting my house -- and to celebrate his twenty-first birthday.
Because he has a technical background in sound and camera work, he had been looking forward to seeing Disney's new World of Color show at California Adventure.
During my last two visits to Disneyland, I have saved money on lodging by staying at the Best Western motel across the street from the amusement park. It was close. And, the accommodations -- as most Best Westerns are -- was adequate.
But I wanted to do something special on this trip. I decided we would stay at Disney's newest -- and grandest -- hotel: the Grand Californian.
I am not easily shocked at room prices. But I must admit when I looked at the room prices on line, I was a bit shocked. And that was for a standard room. I gritted my teeth and upgraded to a park view room with concierge service -- nearly doubling the price.
In some benighted homage to my Scottish past, I unchecked the trip insurance box. After all, you cannot be too extravagant. And I noted we would be celebrating a birthday.
I paid my deposit, and a few days later I received a rather nasty email that I had not yet paid the full amount. So, I sent off the balance.
When we arrived on Wednesday, we were greeted by some of the most cheerful people on earth. Through all the mirth, you could almost miss the sucking sound of dollars disappearing from your wallet.
The moment we started looking for the room, I knew something was wrong. We were on the wrong side of the building. When I opened the blinds to the balcony, the hoped-for park view was an asphalt view.
A quick check at the front desk indicated something had gone wrong. The reserved room was a standard room with no concierge service, but I was charged for trip insurance. And no mention of a birthday.
Of course, there were apologies all around, but no park view rooms were available.
I would like to say I accepted life as it was. After all, here I was in the happiest place on earth and I was letting a little room mix up ruin my day. And I did. Even after my house sitter said he was happy with the room. After all, it was Disneyland he wanted to see.
It did not matter that we were paying almost four times as much as we would at the Best Western -- and were still staying in the equivalent of a Best Western room.
I eventually recovered from my own disappointment. World of Color turned out to be quite nice. Nice enough I watched it two nights in a row. And we have had at least one decent meal.
But all things tend to be ruined by repetition. I may have had my Disney fix for this life -- or, at least, this decade.
I am looking forward to a day of roller coasters at Magic Mountain on Sunday, and to learn something at Warner Brothers Studio on Monday.
Even a rant cannot go on that long.