In 1978 or so, eagle-eyed me spotted an ad on TV for a kids-fly-free-and-grownups-cheap deal from east coast to west. I don't remember if it included Disneyland, but that's what leapt to my keen 11-ish mind. Mom, Dad, little sister, me and Space Mountain! What could be better?
Somehow this caught on with my phenomenally cheap, unworldly family. My parents -- nice academics, who liked rocks and books, put Joshua Tree on the agenda. We'd drive through Palm Springs. And yes, we'd go to Disneyland.
We got in very late, and they had to upgrade our car -- to a Lincoln Continental. Rather than being a cause for celebration, this offended all our sensibilities (2 years later, my Dad would buy a K Car, the Cheapest Car Ever). Despite the desert, Dad refused to run the air conditioning. I kept my window down all the time, but it was electrically powered, and my dad was always turning off the car and getting out before I remembered to roll it up. Much yelling.
When we went to Disneyland, we stayed at the Disneyland Hotel! So in the morning we popped on the monorail and, with the other hotel guests, were the FIRST PEOPLE INSIDE DISNEYLAND. My sister and I cried Space Mountain! The Matterhorn! But alas, we were shuttled by my parents to ... a gift shop to buy film. Yeah, like my dad really wanted to capture the expression on my face after that in kodachrome. We could have been first in line at Space Mountain, man!
When we went to Joshua tree, one member of our family touched a fuzzy-looking cactus. We all knew better. But it was irresistably fuzzy. Much excrutiating pain. Also, plenty of derision. Little to be done on either count.
Then Palm Springs; I imagine the car made us look like we belonged. What I remember is that we went to a breakfast place where there were women in bikinis. Macrame bikinis. Unlined macrame bikinis. My parents were scandalized, my sister was scandalized, I was scandalized. Palm Springs! The horror!
Then, at some hotel someplace, ordering the cheapest thing on the menu as usual, I asked my parents if I could get dessert. They relented. I wanted the fancy thing the waitress had told us about: an eclair. When she delivered it, she said, "For the young man." This is, perhaps, the worst thing that can be said to an 11-year old girl. My family thought this was hysterical. Me, I was so mortified I couldn't eat the damn eclair (and you know, I'm still not fond of 'em).
Sorry, no poop or pee from me -- just your basic adolescent hell.