Back in April 1974, not long before I turned 13 years old, I was very lucky to take my very first trip to Disneyland — not with my parents but with a school classmate and her family. The Joneses had five kids, all girls; I was friends with their eldest daughter, Debby. When the family headed to Anaheim they invited me to join them, along with another girl, Angela, a friend of their second-eldest, Donna.
This was very much a low-budget vacation — all nine of us traveled in the family’s Dodge van, and we camped out rather than staying in a motel. This was all high adventure for us kids, and we loved every minute of it! And we got to see more than just Disneyland. We had what seemed like a long list of high spots, and we hit them all. It must have taken the better part of a week.
After driving all night from Sacramento to LA, our first stop was the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theater (at the time it was called Mann’s Chinese Theater).
One reason I was excited for the trip was that I had come into possession of my very first real camera and couldn’t wait to use it. The camera was actually somebody’s cast-off Kodak Flashfun II, a relic of the 1960s, but I was thrilled to have it. And although I was too shy to go around snapping pictures of everybody and everything, I still managed to record portions of this memorable trip.
We spent quite a lot of time at the Queen Mary, exploring the Jacques Cousteau Museum of the Sea deep within the ship (the museum was only open for a few years) and climbing up to the bridge and the “top of the house,” where I captured the above image. The next day it was on to Disneyland!
Next week I’ll continue with our visit to Knott’s Berry Farm and the Japanese Village!