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Your Happy Place


What’s your happy place? Is there more than one spot in your life where you find joy, comfort, and security? If you can answer these questions without hesitation, consider it a blessing.

For years, the Disneyland amusement park has promoted itself as the happiest place on earth. The staff are friendly, the rides are fun, the food is good, and Mickey Mouse lives there. It is all these things, but it’s not the happiest place on earth for me.

Keep reading, and I will tell you why.

During this summer’s trip to Los Angeles, my family visited Disneyland. My parents and a couple of sisters sponsored tickets and provided spending money for the children. Without their help, the experience would not have happened.

Five international air tickets, plus the cost of luggage and other expenses, left little in the travel budget for Disneyland.

We left my parents' house at 6:45 AM to get there before it opened. Full of excitement and desire to get coffee before experiencing Disney, we bypassed the intersection at La Brea and Slauson, the infamous site of the recent tragedy. Instead, we took Crenshaw, stopped at Starbucks, and hopped on Interstate 10 toward the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.

At about 8:00 AM, we arrived at the park. Before we left the house, my wife printed a recommended itinerary and map of the grounds to ensure we maximized our time. By 2:00 PM, we rode all the major rides and had lunch.

After eating ice cream, shopping in the gift store, and taking the header picture, we were ready to go. The children were tired, and we decided to leave before their fatigue transformed into tantrums. There's no place for temper tantrums in Disneyland.

We had a great time at Disney, but listen, it was outrageously pricey to visit the happiest place on earth for a family of five.

Even with financial assistance from family, it’s hard to disconnect from the tab that includes admission, food, and other incidentals. To enter Disneyland, tickets start at $140; you will need an extra $20 per ticket to avoid the long lines and access the lightning lanes.

If you get thirsty and don’t want to use the water fountain, be prepared to spend $9 for bottled water.

Disneyland is not for everyone. The entrance fees prevent many families from meeting Mickey Mouse and his friends. That was almost the case for my three little ones, but my family insisted on contributing to the expenses.

How can it be the happiest place on earth with exclusion embedded in the experience?

After Disneyland, we exited Slauson off the 405 highway. This time we did drive through a green light at La Brea and Slauson. Less than one week later, five people died in a horrific car accident at the intersection we passed without a problem.

Suspected Nurse Lorraine Linton transformed the happy places of multiple families when she ran the light at an estimated 90 MPH. This week, prosecutors charged her with murder and gross vehicular manslaughter. Whether mental illness, phone usage, or substance abuse influenced, the tragic mistake will get revealed during the trial.

News of the tragedy forced me to appreciate the blessing of making it home.

Hopefully, your house is a happy place. It’s a spot where you experience more pleasure than pain.

Stop reading for a moment and appreciate wherever you find yourself this Friday. You never know when it may be your last.

The happiest places in my life involve laughing with family, enjoying a good meal, exercising, writing, having an enjoyable conversation with friends, and seeing my children smile.

We are often too busy or in a rush to notice the bliss in the simplicity of the moment.

When in LA, I was over-occupied with all types of activities. From visiting attractions to taking care of my mom, shopping, writing, exercising, and spending time with family, I stayed busy. Only now that I am resuming my routines in Antigua can I reflect and offer this advice.

We need to slow down. This recommendation is valid for the speeding motorist, you, and me. So this weekend, let's pause our lives and create a list of the people, experiences, or things that help us to feel happy.

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