NATIONAL PARKS OVER THEME PARKS CONFESSIONS OF A SOUTHERN CALIFORNIAN WHO DOESN’T GO TO DISNEYLAND
I have a confession: Despite living about an hour south of Disneyland, I haven’t visited the happiest place on Earth in years. I know a few of my team members' and patients’ jaws just hit the floor! There are many Disney fanatics in my life, and I applaud them. Finding a passion isn’t always easy, and if you enjoy something enough to participate in it every few weeks or so, then you should do it. But, listen: It’s not that I have anything against Disney. In fact, I think our local park is a nice, beautiful destination with a lot to offer families and its gaggle of visitors every year. When our boys were younger, my wife and I purchased passes to take our boys to Disneyland regularly. It was exciting, exhausting, and sometimes chaotic, but it was fun nonetheless. My kids and wife have been there a few times without me, and they seem to enjoy their time, too. Now, I don’t want to appear as someone who hates Disney, but growing up, I wasn’t big on Disney shows or movies. Instead, I enjoyed Saturday morning cartoon classics, like the Hanna Barbera cartoons. I loved “GI Joe,” “Scooby-Doo,” “The Smurfs,” “Looney Toons,” and all the original cartoons those in my generation will remember. Growing
We’ve been to a number of parks in California, including Yosemite, Death Valley, Big Sur, and Sequoia National Park. We’ve also explored various parks and attractions in Arizona and Utah, and each trip has been a wonderful experience for the entire family. Personally, I love this new tradition, and I’m excited to see where we’re headed next. It doesn’t matter if it’s my wife and I chasing kids around the most magical place on Earth, settling in for a movie night at home, or hitting the road for a new destination. As long as we are making memories together, we’re in our happiest place on Earth.
up, I thought these shows were as great as entertainment could get, and as a self-described homebody, it was comforting and fun to spend an evening after school or a Saturday morning watching those shows. Today, my family spends less time engrossed in fictional worlds and more time exploring the world around us. As the kids have gotten older, they all have very full schedules with sports, music practices, and schoolwork. Instead of pulling them away from these busy days, we like to take advantage of the holiday, school, and summer vacations to travel as a family.
Some of our favorite places to visit are the national parks of the west.
–Mark Nowlin • 1 (714) 557-2100
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