I went through photos of fireworks and birthday cakes, sparklers and candles. Then I found this photo. I posted a very similar version of this a few years ago when my family traveled to Disneyland for the first time. My wife and I had both been before, but we took our kids for the first time. The experience was amazing. My son and daughter were the proverbial “kids in a candy store”. They didn’t know where to look first. They wanted to ride everything, see everything, experience everything.
By the end of the first day in Disneyland, the kids were exhausted but excited. They wanted to sleep but did not want to leave. As the fireworks were about to start to end the day, we came across this ride: The Astro Orbitor. My son and daughter stood, transfixed by the streaks of light. The only words were, “Awesome,” and, “Amazing.” It was a celebration of everything we’d done that day. One long party ending with a light show.
This little beauty lives in my classroom and has taken on a life of her own.
Here’s the story: three years ago a student asked me why Tinkerbell was mounted above my whiteboard. I answered, without thinking, that she was hot and she had a “badonkadonk.” Yeah, not my proudest moment. Badonkadonk? What the heck was I thinking? Probably nothing, as is often the case. My students thought it was hilarious (lucky I teach high school students).
Now she’s the unofficial mascot of my classroom.
Pentax K20D; Pentax M SMC 50mm; f1.7; ISO 100; 1/50 sec.
This is Space Mountain. My son had never taken a ride on a “real” roller coaster before, so I felt some trepidation about taking him on Space Mountain as his first roller coaster experience. We got on, rode up the first climb and felt the cold air at the top. As we peaked and took the first turn, Ben stayed quiet. As we were whipped through consecutive curves, Ben stayed quiet. As I screamed and yelled, Ben stayed quiet. When we came to a stop I looked over at Ben. He was looking straight ahead, eyes bugged out, and still quiet.
Thinking I had traumatized Ben, I asked (a little scared), “So, what did you think?”
Ben says, his voice a crescendo, “That…WAS…AWESOME!”
Ben’s a roller coaster nut. Yay!
Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f8; ISO 100; 1/640 sec.
The force is strong with them.
My kids, the girl with the braid and the blond boy next to her, received their diplomas stating that their training as Jedi was complete. I’m pretty sure I was giggling and wishing that I could have been up their with them.
Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f9; ISO 100; 1/250 sec.
The trick to a night shot with a slow shutter speed, without a tripod and remote shutter release, is a steady hand. I don’t have a steady hand. Instead, I leaned against a pile of rock, or rock-like facsimile designed by some imagineer, and shot as steadily as I could.
This shot of the Astro Orbitor at Disneyland was the best of the bunch.
Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f8; ISO 1600; 1/2 sec.