"NCAA, Western Finals."
He could tell I was puzzled.
"College basketball semi-finals."
"Oh," I said. "Who's playing?" I'm not sure why I asked that. It could not have mattered less to me.
"You haven't been following?"
"I've been on a boat."
"Arizona and Yukon."
I was surprised. "The Yukon has a team?"
"Yes, the Huskies."
The name made sense. "Go, Yukon," I said.
"Most people here are rooting for Arizona."
"Well we're from Canada."
I got to the elevator. Two young men were coming out, wearing University of Connecticut shirts.
"Oh," I said.
It was mid-afternoon. I went for a walk to check out nearby restaurants, to formulate dinner options while others poured over Disney guidebooks. All I found was a brew-pub full of drunken college students, and parking lots that trailed off into the distance. We would have to drive somewhere to eat.
But we waited too long, until the basketball game was over (our team won). Tens of thousands of hungry college students flooded the streets and we had to drive and park and drive and park and drive and park until we found a place without a long wait, a Mexican restaurant. There are many fine Mexican restaurants in California. Those are the ones with long waits.
When we returned to the hotel, the concierge told us we would not be able to leave until after 8:30 the following morning. The roads on both sides would be closed because of a marathon. So much for our early arrival at Disneyland to beat the crowds.
I got up early to watch the marathon. We used to call what I observed "walkathons." A more appropriate modern term would be "textathon." A lot of the participants would have sore thumbs the following day.
Over the next three days, we went to Disneyland three times, one time arriving back as a baseball game ended:
I took this picture to show I was at Disneyland.
I took this picture of a Mallard, because he was non-chalant about being at Disneyland. Like all Disney ducks, he was pantsless. I stopped taking pictures. What can you take a picture of at Disneyland that says anything other than, "I was at Disneyland?"
Three (3!) days at Disneyland, shufflling around, waiting in lines, unable to hear myself think. More than once I found myself muttering, "I hate this place, I hate this place, I hate this place."
I have one memory that makes me smile. In the ride, "Pirates of the Caribbean," among all the pirates and cannonfire and chaos there was a white anamatronic goat with a stick of dynamite in his mouth. He seemed so happy, the way only a goat can seem.