This is, more or less, a continuation of my post last month The Tiki Room Is Not An Excuse To Eat Ice Cream. Disneyland is more than a theme park of rides and attractions. It is also a collection of memories. Just inside the main entrance to Frontierland from the hub, on the left had side, is a flagpole. Around the flagpole, forming a planter box for a tree as well as the pole, is a circle of rocks. Though not very high, maybe a foot to eighteen inches, the rocks provide a place to sit some tired behinds once in awhile while waiting for someone to come out of the nearby Mercantile store or restrooms. In Disneyland, sometimes its the little things that provide the fondest memories and so while it really is just a circle of rocks, for me it is a very special piece of ground. Why else would someone take a picture of it it like the one shown above?
In 2002, a group of family members made the trip down to Disneyland, a five or six day trip as I recall. We stayed at the Grand Californian in a series of 3 adjoining rooms plus a fourth room on the same floor. It was all very nice. It is also the first and only trip I got to make to Disneyland with my older sister. She would pass away about 4 years later at far too young of an age. There should have been more trips.
My sister was all about family. While it is difficult for groups to stay together in Disneyland because of different agendas (see my post on Traveling To Disneyland In Groups) my sister was all about family togetherness, something to keep in mind as we approach Thanksgiving. As much as possible she kept the family together on this trip, even to the point of treating a group of about 12 of us to lunch at the Blue Bayou and dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. She was kindhearted and generous to a fault. Our family has not been the same since her passing. Sadly, while the cause of her death was complications due to a massive stroke, she really died of a broken heart.
So back to the rocks. I guess the female contingent of our group, Mrs. DisneylandTraveler, my two sisters, and my two nieces, went shopping at the Frontierland Mercantile Store. Once done we all huddled up around the rocks beneath the flagpole to decide what to do next. It was in the afternoon so Disneyland was starting to get crowded. Somehow my sister, who was 10 years older than me, got separated from the rest of the group and when found a short time later, was sobbing. Crying? Unless you are under 7, there's no crying in Disneyland. But that was my sister, without her family, she was all alone and it made her sad.
Today, when I pass by that circle of rocks, I remember my sister; I remember her sitting there with her family; I remember her getting lost; I remember her crying; I remember her love for all of us. It's still a circle of rocks but they tell a very special Disneyland story - one I will never forget. I have pockets full of these memories to cherish and only hope the many others do the same by collecting their own special memories.
|The Frontierland Circle of Rocks - October 2002. Joyce 3rd from the left|