Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dining with Royalty! by DL Larson

Last Thursday I had the distinct privilege to lunch in a castle, a famous castle known the world wide, and chat with many princesses! Exclusive pictures were taken, paparazzi shuffled for position as my granddaughters posed with none other than Cinderella in a formal room at court. It was all lot-tee-da! Servants escorted us to our table, other servants waited and bowed and called us, "My ladies." We were pampered and fed, and then entertained when other lovely princesses joined us. Snow White, Jasmine, Belle, Sleeping Beauty ... the list goes on and on. These old bones became six years old again at the magic taking place during our meal at The Castle.

It's been over twelve years since I last visited the Magic Kingdom. The crowd was just as I remembered with streets full and folks bumping into one another, but a smile usually accompanied the apologies. Life at the kingdom was hectic, but fun. I'm glad the atmosphere hasn't changed or grown tainted over time.

Our visit to the Bibbidi-bobbidi-bo boutique was an experience girls of all ages should take part in. Whether you sit in the chair to be glamored up, or rest on the cushioned couches watching ... the beehive feel of the place is a ride all in itself. My head spun at the many little girls wearing their favorite princess costumes, closing their eyes while their fairy godmothers sprinkled fairy dust down on top of them. The enchanted looks on their innocent faces still rests in my heart.

I had another date with royalty. After my granddaughter Alex was transformed into Jasmine and Kylie into Tinkerbell, we dined at the California Grill, a fancy place to eat at the Contemporary Hotel in Disney where we watched the late night fireworks. The rainbow colored splendor across the sky enthralled us. But the true treasure was watching my granddaughters sitting on their grandpas laps, sharing the moment with them. The two gramps didn't need magic wands or fairydust to be enchanted with their granddaughters.

Our time at Disney flew by and we rested a few days on the beaches outside Daytona Beach, a placed called New Symerna Beach. The sea turtles are laying eggs. Their way of life seems rather make-believe too. They swim ashore, waddle up the beach to hunt for the perfect place to lay their eggs, usually deep in the sand below the boulders. We never saw a turtle; officials said it's rare to actually see one, but we did see swaying, swirly tracks and then the roped off areas the caregivers set up where eggs had been laid. The true magic will come in a few months when those eggs hatch and baby turtles will have to make their way to the sea alone.

I wonder if Disney could make a movie about a sea turtle. It has all the right ingredients: no mama to raise and protect the younglings, danger from many avenues and the most precious commodity, the desire to thrive and live.

Geesh! Who needs Disney? I'm a writer! I'm a children's librarian!! I could write my own story about sea turtles. I know, I'll make her a princess! But she won't know her heritage ... it'll be a royal sea secret. Oh, what a good title, The Royal Sea Secret! She'll struggle, she'll find a friend she can trust, together they will conquer icky things lurking in the dark blue waters ...

I'm thinking in animation form! That's not normal for me. It must be residue leftover from Disney. It'll pass. Please tell me this will pass!

Til next time ~

DL Larson

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