Celebrating Four Years at the Happiest Place

Yes, this is another theme park post, but bear with me. It’s about a bit more than just telling you all about my day spent at Disneyland. I’m going to tell you a bit about my relationship instead!

This past Monday my fiance and I celebrated our four year anniversary of dating.

Four years. Holy cow.

“They” say that time flies by faster as you get older (who is this “they” we always talk about?), and it couldn’t feel more true in this case. It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that Mike and I met in Spanish 201 in college, and went on our first date. The last four years went by in the blink of an eye, but in a strange way it feels like we’ve been together for longer. I realize most of this is coming across as extremely cliche–sorry, not sorry.

We spent our anniversary the same way we have every year: we went to Disneyland. IMG_3476To give a little bit of background information, we decided to spend our fifth date, on July 11th 2012, at Disneyland after my unrelenting insistence. Being a huge Disney fan, I constantly talked about going over the summer with Mike. Disney was, and still is, a special part of me and I always want to share the Parks experience with important people in my life. I think he was a little less than thrilled about going on Free Slurpee Day at 711, but we had a really great time that day. On that day in 2012, the parks weren’t as crowded as is the norm on a summer day (the same could not be said for this year), so we lucked out on getting to ride many of the popular attractions. We ended the day by watching World of Color, where he asked if we could be “official.”

Yeah, we’re not cheesy or anything.

By the graciousness of one of my old co-workers, we got in for free this year. This was

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Mickey’s Fun Wheel and Bourbon Flight Sampler

really beneficial to us for several reasons, and if you’ve been to Disney Parks and Resorts before you know how expensive it is to spend a day there. Not everyone can save money by gaining free entry, but my biggest piece of money-saving advice is to bring your own food and drinks. We grabbed breakfast at Starbucks (shout out to my Grandma for the gift card), brought leftovers with us for lunch and snacks throughout the day, and then spent money on dinner at the Cover Bar. We did splurge on drinks here, but seeing as the day was about celebrating our relationship, we didn’t feel too guilty about this.

As I mentioned before, the Parks were very crowded this year, but we were ok with spending the day walking around and enjoying the sights, rather than rushing to get on every attraction. However, we made really good use of Fast Passes and were able to hit up our favorites, as well as go on the updated Soarin’ Around the World. That’s right, Soarin’ Over California is no more. I found this news to be a bit sad when I first heard it, but after going on the updated attraction, I have high hopes it will sit well with the public. The one thing I didn’t like? The CGI footage. It was quite clear that many of the locations and wildlife on this new version were not real footage, and I found that to take away from the amazement I would have otherwise felt towards this attraction. If you can get past that, I think you’ll come to like it as much as the original ride.

This year we did not view World of Color, a first for us. I’m not exactly thrilled with the

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Showing off our matching Minnie and Mickey tickets outside Carthay Circle

60th Anniversary version of this entertainment show, so we didn’t mind skipping out on this part of our tradition (no matter how crucial a role it played in bringing us together). Instead, we opted to share a macaron on a bench with a decent view of the Paint the Night Parade. If you’re going on a trip to Disneyland before September, I highly recommend viewing this night time parade; it makes me cry every time from the sheer wonder and joy it provides. It’s my favorite part of the Diamond Celebration at the Resort.

As with every trip to Disneyland, we spent a long day walking and taking in the Park, so it was nice to get home and just relax. While it was really great to keep our tradition going for another year, the most important thing  for us was to spend the day together, remembering why we’ve worked so hard to make it this far. Not every relationship is effortless or without its issues. Relationships take work and constant effort to make sure both your and your partner’s needs are being met. But they’re also about fun, about enjoying the time you spend with your chosen partner. Mike and I have had many memorable moments, including trips to Disneyland, and it was wonderful to spend the day appreciating both the ups and downs we’ve had throughout the last four years.

So, here’s to the last four and to the next four, and the countless years after that. Life is a crazy, weird adventure with many bumps and twists at inconvenient times, but having someone by my side through all of it is the best thing I could hope for. And whether you, yourself, are single, dating, engaged, married, divorced, etc I hope you never lose sight of love–no matter what kind it is. Love is always worth it.

Until next time,

Ciara

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