So, it will come as no surprise to anyone that I am somewhat of a Disney fan. I have liked Disney my whole life. Some of my earliest memories are of the movies like Mary Poppins, Pinocchio, Peter Pan, etc. And, I have a piggy bank of a Mickey from someone who made a trip to Disneyland. And, my grandparents gave me a book about Disneyland. I remember going through it and being most excited about the Small World and the Haunted House. I knew someday I would get there, I just wasn't sure when. And eventually I did. It was our Christmas present in December of 1985. My brother and I were both so excited. Needless to say, in the early part of 1986 we were off to Florida, and it was great.
Disney continued to play a role in my life and in the fall of 1990, I was able to go to Disneyland for the first time in California. It was on this trip that I acquired my favourite stuffed animal, Brer Bear. To this day, Brer Bear keeps me company at night, and even my oldest son knows that Brer Bear is mommy's special bear.
After graduating high school, I was somewhat lost as to where I wanted to end up. I soon decided I'd like to work at Disney World, and knew they hired Canadians. I took a travel program with hopes that it would help me, and after two more trips to Disney, I got myself a job there. I was going to represent Canada at the Canada pavilion selling authentic Canadian food and drinks. It was the best job ever. I will perhaps write a bit more about that job another day, but it kept my love of Disney going.
After unsuccessfully trying to get into an out of province art school, I headed back to university. This time I got a part time job at the Disney Store. While working there, I went to Disney two more times and this was my first chance to experience the Disney Cruise Line. Let's just say, we were hooked!! As well, my husband and I ran the Disney Marathon on our honeymoon. It was the coolest way to see all the parks, and something I had wanted to do since I had worked at Disney. And what better marathon to do as my first marathon than the Disney Marathon. And, it was worth every training run. To this day, it is my favourite marathon destination!!
Eventually the Disney Store was left behind, but this would not be the end of Disney. Before I had my first son, we did a quick trip to Disneyland, yay!! And then in 2007, my husband gave me an entry to the Goofy race and a half challenge. I became a mentor with Team In Training, with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society helping other people train for and run their first marathon, while helping them raise money for this very worthy cause. On that trip (in January 2008), we took our almost two year old at the time, and got to see Disney through his eyes, which was totally cool.
In the fall that year, I was pregnant, but was lucky enough to be able to go to Disneyland with a brother and sister. I didn't grow up with them, so it was really nice having a chance to get to know them better while also doing the Disneyland half marathon. I ended up finishing that race with only 18 seconds to spare, to be a legal finisher under the cut off time of 3 and a half hours (being pregnant made me end up walking a lot of it to keep my heartrate in check). And because I did the races in Florida earlier that year, I got the special Coast to Coast medal.
This spring, I was fortunate that I got to go to Disneyland Paris. I was super excited and it was so neat to see the differences at this park compared to Florida and California. It was a super fun day and so glad I had the opportunity to share it with my mom.
We're going to Florida again this year, and we get to go with friends. It will be lots of fun and we'll see everything all done up for Christmas since we'll be there in early December. And, we also get to do the cruise again. I couldn't be more excited.
Through the years, I have acquired various Disney items, my favourite being a set of dishes that we use when company visits. I also love the movies and my favourites are Beauty and The Beast, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Monsters Inc, Toy Story & Toy Story 2 and, well, pretty much all of them. I love many of the songs from the movies as well.
Disney will always be part of my life, and I look forward to sharing that love with my children!!