A Seaside Tale

By request, here is the story I posted on Facebook last week.

My husband loves the ocean. He loves walking on the beach, floating in the water, and swimming in the surf. Many of his favorite memories involve escapades at beaches near his childhood home. The few times we have been able to vacation at the beach since our marriage have been enjoyable and refreshing for him.

I am not much of a swimmer, and staying out in the sun too long gives me a headache so I was surprised at our last beach vacation several years ago to discover how much I loved the beach, the water, the shells, and the sound of the waves gently lapping the shore.

Recently our church blessed my husband with a bonus week of vacation. We headed to my husband’s beloved beach after attending a conference. His sister and her husband joined us, in part to celebrate the 38th anniversary of our double wedding. We could walk across the street from our rental and be at the beachfront in minutes. My husband was ecstatic!

After a couple of cold and rainy days, Friday’s sunny skies and increased warmth promised a relaxing day in the water. The four of us meandered down to the beach and I shoved on an inner tube-style floatie before we walked out into the ocean. Due to some current mobility issues, I’ve been unsteady on my feet and was grateful for my family’s help getting into the water to avoid being knocked down by strong waves.

We bobbed and floated and swirled and chatted. Up and down, this way and that way, sometimes drifting, sometimes carried toward the shore by strong waves. My sister-in-law and I were talking and bobbing up and down, up and down when I noticed that my stomach had questions.

Suddenly I had that terrible sense of impending doom in the pit of my stomach and realized I was going to parbreak. I barely had time to tell my husband I thought I was going to lose it when he grabbed one elbow and my brother-in-law grabbed the other to quickly impel me to our chairs on the sand.

Too late. I leaned over as a huge wave struck from behind and all questions my stomach had were launched into the surf.

So, dear friends, the sea and I are currently at an uneasy impasse. I want to be at the sea and enjoy her many charms, but do not appreciate her mockery of my delicate sensitivity to motion.

Can this conundrum be settled? We shall see, yes, we shall see.

Impressions of Shanghai: It’s not fun to parbreak at Disney

Impressions of Shanghai: It’s not fun to parbreak at Disney

This is the second in a series of posts on my observations of Shanghai from our recent trip to China.

If you were to ask my children two of the things I dislike most they would probably shout in unison, “Noise and crowds!”

You might want to add to that list amusement parks. Most people go to amusement parks (noisy, crowded amusement parks I might add) for the rides. All my life I have had a serious problem with motion sickness so even the thought of riding zippy rides is not appealing to me on any level. And in my mind all amusement park rides ARE zippy rides.

My experiences as a child include (and I will be delicate here and use a wonderful Balderdash word) parbreaking after riding almost any ride. Cedar Point had a log ride that basically soaked you as you splashed down the incline in a dugout, and for some reason I never got sick on that. But beside that one happy memory (Oh yay! A ride that doesn’t make me sick!!) Cedar Point, King’s Mountain, the Lake County Fair, and Conneaut Lake Park all produced unpleasant childhood memories, at least where rides were concerned.

Add to that my tendency to get pounding headaches when walking around in the hot sun and you can perhaps understand why the thought of visiting any amusement park is not on my list of, oh say, the top million things I would like to do.

So when my daughter-in-law excitedly told me there was a now a Shanghai Disney (yawn) and that the family had a season’s pass (that’s nice) and wouldn’t it be so much fun to take the kids to Disney for a memorable day with their grandparents (arrkk…red alert!!) my primary thought was, “Fun! It’s not fun to parbreak at Disney!”

But my husband, who typically has no interest in amusement parks, thought it would be a nice family outing. So I swallowed my objections, loaded my purse with ginger chews, and off we went.

We visited the park on a Thursday in December. The sky was overcast, so no sun, the temperature was chilly, so no heat, and visiting on a week day in the winter meant that while it was busy, it was not crowded or exceptionally noisy.

But the ghost of amusement park rides past still haunted me.

It was with some trepidation I stepped onto the ride, Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure. “Hey! It’s in water, so maybe it won’t be so bad!” We fought pirates! We survived the Kracken! We found treasure! And best of all, not even a whisper of nausea.

Next we tackled the Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue, an interactive ride where we “rangers” use our pulse blasters to shoot at targets to fight the evil Emperor Zurg and save the space aliens’ home. My competitive streak surfaced and I found myself keeping a sharp eye out for the targets and blasting them with great gusto. All too soon the ride was over and I had a respectable score to show for my target shooting. And again, no nausea.

I suddenly realized I was having fun and enjoying myself immensely!

Next we visited the interactive displays at Tron Realm in Tomorrowland where my grandson was absolutely captivated by the driving simulator. The futuristic vehicles and technology were truly amazing. I was even tempted for an instant to line up for the Tron roller coaster ride. It really looked spectacular! But when I saw it plummet down the track and do a 180 roll, I quickly dismissed that thought.

Before the day was over we toured the Enchanted Storybook Castle, threaded our way through the Alice in Wonderland Maze, enjoyed a colorful parade, and watched our son and grandson line up for 45 minutes to enjoy the Jet Pack ride which lasted 80 seconds. The look of utter joy on our grandson’s face while on that ride made the long wait seem insignificant.

Shanghai Disney has done a wonderful job of bringing together east and west to provide an enjoyable family experience. The park is clean, the costumed personnel are friendly and helpful, and the park is much, much more than simply zippy rides.

On our way out we stopped briefly at Starbucks and at the wonderfully imaginative Lego store. It was time to leave and we barely scratched the surface of things to see and do. Would I go back to Shanghai Disney? Absolutely! (But maybe not on a crowded, noisy, hot summer day.)

And best of all? No parbreaking at Disney!

Shanghai Disney

Shanghai Disney

Interactive delight

Interactive delight

This WOULD make me parbreak!

This WOULD make me parbreak!

Defeating the evil Emperor Zurg

Defeating the evil Emperor Zurg

A day at Disney Shanghai

A day at Shanghai Disney



The utter joy

Utter joy

Lego meets Disney

Lego Snow White

Goodbye, Shanghai Disney

Goodbye, Shanghai Disney

A note about accessibility: Because of my mobility limitations we rented a wheelchair and my family took turns pushing me around the park. Disney Shanghai is very handicap friendly. The park’s Guidemap clearly indicates which areas are wheelchair accessible.

Details on Shanghai Disney taken from https://www.shanghaidisneyresort.com/en/