Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday Scribblings: Pilgrimage

“I think I’ve got an in.” Angela said. “My boss has a friend who is a member and can get us on the guest list.”

I couldn’t believe one of my life goals was this close to being fulfilled. Along with all the responsible goals about a career and money and education, I had, long ago, made several “vanity” goals: goals that had no real purpose other than to sit on the horizon of “someday before I die.”

I didn’t work to make progress towards accomplishing these goals, mostly because they were so completely out of reach financially.

My goal to fly on the Concorde from New York to London materialized after my dad told me about staying in a hotel near Heathrow airport in London and hearing the legendary planes taking off and landing. To be honest, his tales of their speed and adjustable nose cone meant very little to me at the time, but once I realized what it really meant to fly across the Atlantic at Mach 2 I knew I wanted to experience it.

My Concorde dreams were crushed when the fleet of planes was permanently grounded in 2000, but I still had other vanity goals to cling to. Club 33 was one of them.

Club 33 is the ultra exclusive Disneyland club created by Walt Disney himself. Membership is expensive and the waiting list can be up to 10 years long. Members gain access through the nondescript door in New Orleans Square with a key card. The second level lobby is filled with antique furniture collected by Lillian Disney and used in movies like Mary Poppins.

Members can invite guests to enter the club and dine from a menu of fancy food at astronomical prices, but the experience of sitting in such an exclusive part of Disneyland would, of course make it all worth whatever price was required.

When we decided to take the kids to Disneyland, I told my sister my goal of eating at Club 33 and she made it her personal mission to make it a reality. And now she had a contact. Someone who knew someone. Club 33 was in my sites.

“Now, you know you will pay a lot for lunch.” Angela reminded me. “Be prepared to spend around $300 for your family.”

Three. Hundred. Dollars.

“Are you there?” Angela said.

“Um.”

“You know it will be worth it. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

“Yeah, um….”

Lifetime vanity goal or food budget for the entire 3 day vacation? I didn’t have to think about it too long. Besides, if I skipped Club 33 this time, I could still keep it as a goal, something so amazingly unattainable for which I still held out reason to hope.

Then it became clear: the idea of the impossible journey…the flight on the Concorde, the lunch at Club 33, or a vacation at a private villa on Lake Como was what I treasured. The idea was something I could have always, something I could ponder and imagine. And in those blissful moments of solitude, take a pilgrimage of the mind.

My son standing at the door of Club 33

8 comments:

Mardougrrl said...

I had never heard of this! Hmmm...

I know what you mean about the fantasy of those places being better than the reality...especially a reality that makes you pay $300!

(and this was very well written). :)

Debbie said...

I didn't know this exsisted! (Club 33). I just googled it because your story sounded so real. I love wikipedia...it really does exsist! It says the current wait time is 14 years!!! CRAZY!

The Gold Membership is for an individual with a member fee of $10,450 and an annual fee of $3,275.

So, did this really happen? Did you get a chance to maybe go and turn it up? Couldn't just you and your sister have gone since it was your dream...

Debbie said...

I forgot to say...I'm happy Sunday Scribbles are back! I love reading your stories!!! :)

Afton said...

This is 100% true. My sister's contacts are even better now and she said she has multiple people who can get us in should we want to go to Club 33 another time. I think the idea of just the both of us going together is perfect.

By the way, check out the link to the villas on Lake Como for a nice little mental vacation. Make sure you scroll down to see the pictures of each villa. Can you imagine!!!

Erika and Ryan said...

Lake Como looks amazing! I didn't even know it existed. Sometimes it IS just fun to dream...

Tumblewords: said...

Nice post - I seem to be doing more dreaming than doing, now...

Our Family said...

Please explain to us newer followers what Sunday Scribblings are.

Afton said...

Sunday Scribblings is a blog that puts up a writing prompt once a week. I have a link to the blog on my side bar under "writing." You can write a poem, a journal entry, a work of fiction, memoir, whatever you want to get your creative juices flowing. After you post your writing on your blog, you can put up a link on the Sunday Scribblings blog so that other writers can check each other's writing out.

I had a goal to write every week after school started in September, but I have not really kept up.