Anyway, it all started one week ago today, when Gaston picked us up and we went to see Farley at Disneyland one last time. ...Well, actually we saw him seven last times, because it was our last chance to see him so we figured why waste our time with anything else? We got to the park at opening, though, so we did hit some rides before his sets started and oh. my. GOODNESS!! we were our usual rage-filled selves. I have to tell you. We went on Indiana Jones, which we really wanted to do because it's our favorite but we didn't get to go on it on our birthday, and that was nice, BUT!! I don't know if it was because we hadn't gone on it in a while or if we just didn't notice before, or if these changes are just that recent, but we noticed some changes to the queue area, and they were killing us.
I think I've talked about the Mara glyphs before, but here's a quick recap for them what needs it: one of the ways the Imagineers came up with to help the inevitably long wait in line be somewhat less boring is to write inscriptions on the walls of the temple of Mara and hand out decoder cards so people could figure out what the inscriptions say. They stopped handing out decoder cards years ago, but I guess you can probably pull up the "code" (it's really a font) on the Disneyland app now, because now there are EVEN MORE INSCRIPTIONS! And that's all fine, except that they did it stupid. For example, there are these tablet thingies, and there's a bunch of them standing up along the side of the temple courtyard, kind of like tombstones, and they all have writing carved in them that say stuff like, "Beware the eye of Mara" and one says something about being incinerated and blah blah blah. And that's all fine and makes perfect sense.
But. There's one tablet that had clearly been unearthed by the excavation team, and it was lying flat on a table or something (that's not the kind of detail I have a good memory for), and there was a new inscription painted on the bottom of it. First of all, all the other tablets are engraved. Second of all, when you stand that tablet up like it's supposed to be, WHO'S GOING TO BE ABLE TO READ IT!? NO ONE!!! Okay, so maybe it's a secret message, you may suggest. Fair suggestion, but what does it say? Beware the eye of Mara!!! As if the whole freakin' temple hasn't been telling the entire tourist population that for the last twenty-five years!!!
There was also a packing crate that was addressed in Mara glyphs. Yes, great idea. Let's address all our packages in an archaic language that died out when the temple was buried. Super, that's sure to get to its destination. Then, on the way out of the ride, they had a message spray-painted across two of the giant stone blocks that made up the temple wall, and one of the letters even ended up in the crack so you couldn't see it, and we know that ain't authentic, because they didn't have aerosol cans back then, so they would have painted it by hand and paid attention to whether or not you could read the stinking letters! (Did I mention all of the original inscriptions in the temple were engraved? ...Okay, there was one that was painted, but I'm not sure that one's original, either, since it has one of AT&T's old slogans. (AT&T was a sponsor of the ride at one point. Their slogan at the time was "true rewards" and the inscription was "true rewards await those who choose wisely.")
So we were ranting and raving all through the line and as we left the ride, causing Gaston of all people to worry that we were too loud. We can be very passionate.
Anyway. Eventually it was time for Farley's first set, so we went and said hello. This was a very busy day for Farley, and there was something exciting almost every set. The first set featured two men from the local newspaper who were there to interview him! They took video and pictures, and after the set, they all went off somewhere so they could interview him. When the article got posted, Athena and I were in two of the pictures and the video. It's that twin appeal--since there weren't any little kids there that set, we had the honor of twirling the lassos with Farley to make a hidden Mickey.
...I don't think I can remember all the details of every set, but I do remember that every one of them had other friends of Farley coming by to pay their respects. Some people had gifts for him. We did a hoedown with a family who runs an apple farm that Farley also plays at. The most exciting part was at one set, I think Farley was probably playing the Devil Went Down to Georgia at that time, and as we were listening, Gaston noticed a man walking down Frontierland and thought, "That man is super important, I can tell because that is an expensive jacket." (That's not really exactly how Gaston talks, but I don't remember the exact quote.) The man stopped and listened for a while, then decided to come over and say hello.
Turns out he was the president of Disneyland! So Farley told him some jokes, did the usual Farley thing, made him twirl the lasso, etc. And the man seemed very friendly and like a pretty decent guy, and now we know who gets the credit when we love or hate anything new at Disneyland. (Apparently he's fairly newly appointed, so we don't know if he's to blame for the aforementioned Mara glyph nonsense.)
At the end of his last set (and some of the others, since not everybody could stay all day), Farley accompanied us all in singing Happy Trails, which led into the closing version of the Mickey Mouse Club March ("Now it's time to say goodbye..."). We all gave him a hug, and then we had a group hug (Farley included Alice in spirit, because he is still very impressed with the quilt that she made), and we parted ways. Even then it didn't really feel like it was over. It actually never hit me until I started typing this very paragraph, and now I'm starting to tear up.
But! the reason it never really hit me is that Gaston's already made sure to get Farley's number and we have the beginnings of plans to go visit him at his new house. So we won't see him at Disneyland anymore, but we're still friends. He's going to keep his Facebook page going, too. But now that's one more thing I loved about Disneyland that isn't there anymore. Coincidentally(?), this is also the week where the Come, Follow Me lesson is on putting your faith in something permanent. The gospel will beat Disneyland every time.
Speaking of such things, the other "eventful" thing that happened at Disneyland that day is that we finally saw the new nighttime show thingie that they're doing, Mickey's Mix Magic, or whatever the heck it's called. Basically they took a bunch of classic Disney songs (mostly the jazz ones: I Wanna Be Like You, Everybody Wants to Be a Cat, Friend Like Me (but of course they included our favorite power ballad of self-deception)) and remixed them in the EDM style, which I'm starting to hate so much that it's overcoming my visceral hatred of country music. I guess my visceral hatred goes to whatever destroyed my "home" most recently. Nevertheless, we weren't as enraged at the end of this show (I forgot to mention, they also have visual aids that they project on basically whatever they feel like--the Main Street buildings, the castle, the Matterhorn) as I know we have the potential to be. I think our furor over Fantasmic!! 2.0 numbed us to anymore nighttime spectacular disappointments. Gaston, on the other hand, was livid. I guess he wasn't as attached to the original Fantasmic! as we were, but more importantly, jazz is his favorite musical genre, and EDM is...well, we'll just say it's not his favorite.
After that, we needed to go on It's A Small World to cheer everybody up, and we think it mostly worked. Then we were fed up with everything and decided it was time to go. And now I hear those fireworks going off in the distance, so we should probably wrap this up. But stay tuned for more Memorial Day adventures! (Or not. You know. Whatever you feel like.)
Today I'm thankful for getting to watch three episodes of Miraculous, finishing our work much earlier than we expected, all the good times we had in Frontierland with Farley, getting to spend one last day there with him before he retired, and getting to sort of meet the president of Disneyland.