Castle Roland

Chapter 84

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Everyone seemed to wake up very early Sunday morning. Although they were still somewhat sleepy eyed, they were up almost at the crack of dawn.

"Dang, it's only 7:00 O'clock in the morning. What are we doing up this early?" asked Ryan.

"Yeah, I never get up this early on Sunday. Who got us up?' said Eric.

Ken Thomas just sat there, inwardly laughing at the boys, while he drank his first cup of coffee and read the Sunday paper. The three boys, all dressed in boxers and t-shirts, sat down on the sofas in the combined living room kitchenette and lounged along the furniture.

"Bro, this happed the last time we were out here, didn't it? We are two hours ahead, so our bodies think it is 9:00 AM, but, in reality, it is only seven, but we woke up anyway. Am I right, there, Mr. Ken?" asked Collin.

"Yes, Collin, you are correct. Our body clocks say it is nine, when it actually it is only 7:00 AM, out here," replied Mr. Ken.

"But why did we get up so early? We went to bed so late, we should still be in bed," complained Eric.

"Well, my boy, the 'body clock' that we all have is geared to the time zone we are used to. When we change time zones, as we did Saturday morning, it takes our body about three days to catch up. Tuesday morning, when you all get up for school your body will be confused, some, because we went through two time zones, one way, and then back through both of them, before it could acclimate. By Thursday, you'll all be back to 'normal', if there is such a thing for you young people," teased Mr. Ken, which got him a pillow thrown at him by Ryan.

"Can we go back to bed?" asked Eric. "My body still feels tired, but my eyes are wide awake."

"Boys, before you all go back to bed, what say we decide on what we are going to do today? That way I will know how long I can let you sleep in, while I go downstairs and get some breakfast," said their guardian.

"Bro, do they still have that awesome breakfast bar they had when we were here the last time?" asked Collin.

"I believe they do, Collin. That is why I am going to go down there after I get my shower."

"I think I'm gonna join you, Bro, if I may?" said Collin.

"If you guys are gonna eat breakfast, I'm going, too, so wait for me," yelled Eric.

"I guess I'd better go, too, otherwise I know when it comes time to go, you won't let me get something to eat," lamented Ryan.

"Now, Ryan, would I do that to a growing boy?" again teased Mr. Ken.

There was silence for about ten seconds, and then all three boys said in unison, "Yes!"

Laughing, Mr. Ken said, "Ok, let's get cleaned up and then we can discuss today's adventures downstairs at breakfast."

The four headed to their respective bedrooms and en suites to get cleaned up and dressed. The older teens got into the shower first, and there was literally no room for Eric. Still being quite young, Eric figured they'd leave without him if he didn't hurry, so he went over to Mr. Ken's bedroom.

"Mr. Ken, can I take my shower with you? Those guys hogged the shower before I could get in, and there is no room for me. I was hoping I could shower with you so you won't leave without me."

"Eric," a laughing Mr. Ken began, "I don't think it would be a good idea for a boy as young as you to be showering with a much older man. Especially since that man is NOT your dad."

"But why, Mr. Ken? I shower with Collin and Ryan all the time, and they are much older than I am?"

"Eric, those guys are just old enough to be your brothers, and showering together with them would be considered a normal thing. It wouldn't be a normal thing for you to shower with your dad, say, unless you were out camping or unless there was a real hurry. There are people out there who just do not like it when a young boy and an older man, who are not related, shower together in a confined space. If we did that and people found out, they could make lots of trouble for me, Eric, so I think it would be best to wait for the other guys to finish. Eric, you may not understand what I am saying, now, but later when you are older, you will begin to realize the prejudices that people have. It will become clearer to you later on, why I am saying no to you, now. I know that is not what you want to hear, but that is how it has to be.

"Now go on back to your room and tell them I said for those two 'to stop playing in the shower and get out, so you can get your shower'. I think that will get them to move faster. And, Eric, I would never leave you behind. What kind of guy would I be if I let such a wonderful lad such as you miss out on a great breakfast? Now go on back to your room and tell those guys what I said."

Eric ran back to his bedroom and told the guys what Mr. Ken said. It startled the lads when Eric spoke, because they'd completely forgotten he was there and they had to quickly hide what they were doing.

"Okay, squirt. I thought you were going to shower with Bro?" asked Ryan.

"Mr. Ken said it wasn't right that a young boy and older man shower together, when they aren't related. He told me to come back here and tell you guys to Hurry Up!"

Ryan's and Collin's extended members went down very quickly, after hearing that Eric was back in the bedroom. A few minutes later, the two teens walked naked out into the bedroom, while still toweling off, with their members showing a bit larger than Eric had seen before. Eric just smiled at them and then ran into the en suite, peed, and then got into the shower and turned it on.

Eric immediately began to love how the big showerhead washed loads of water over his 4 foot 4 inch body, and he totally forgot to begin to wash. It wasn't until he heard the words, "Hurry Up!" that brought him back into reality and he began to wash as fast as he could. Five minutes later, the young boy also walked out naked into the bedroom, while still toweling off, to the total amusement of the older teens. Seeing his 'big bros' laughing at him, Eric stuck his tongue out at them, smiled, and then he continued to dry himself off. Afterwards, he put on some clean white underwear and some nice clothes to wear for the day.

Downstairs at breakfast, the four travelers got their plates full of bacon and eggs, and pancakes with butter and syrup, and placed them at their table, and then the boys went to get themselves cold glasses of milk. Ken, instead, went and got himself a large cup of hot coffee.

"Guys, let's take our time eating, and talk about what we want to do today. Okay?" asked Mr. Ken.

"Are we going to go back to see Aidan, today?" asked Eric.

"No, son, it would eat up four plus hours of our day, to do that. I told Eileen that we would stop by tomorrow, on our way back to Texas. How does that sound to you guys?"

"Yeah, I agree," said Collin. "We really can't do too much for him, except be there. I mean knowing he is coming around is real good, though, and we also came out here for a mini-vacation, so I vote we do something fun up here."

"I kinda agree with bro, here," spoke Ryan. "Those California boys are kewl, but I'd like to see something like Hollywood or Universal Studios, or maybe Magic Mountain or Knott's Berry Farm."

"I don't know what is out here to do. You all caught me by surprise, so I didn't get the chance to check out the internet before we left. I would like to do something real kewl, too, like we did yesterday, though," added Eric to the conversation. "Are there some roller coasters around here to ride, too?"

Everyone had a good laugh at the youngster who now loved roller coasters. The four continued to eat their wonderful breakfast and visited the bar two more times before they were all full.

"Boys, I thought we could go over to see the La Brea Tar Pits. That is one of the world's most famous sites, with fossils of huge mammoths, fierce saber toothed cats, and giant ground sloths. Those extinct animals became trapped and entombed in the asphalt like tar that has been seeping out of the ground for the past 40,000 years. It would be a fun and educational trip, and we wouldn't spend all day there. After that, we can go to the race car track that Collin and I visited, or to one of the other hundreds of places here," suggested Mr. Ken.

"Boo, educational! I thought we came out here for fun," laughed Eric.

"Bro, what about Disneyland, or maybe what Ryan suggested. I know those would be fun sites and neither of us have been there, that I know of," said Collin.

"I know my mom would be mad if we don't go and see the fossils while we have the chance. Can we go there for an hour or so, and then go ride some roller coasters?" a smiling Eric offered, as he wiped the dripping syrup off his chin.

With some laughter, they decided to visit the Tar Pits and then they'd go to either Magic Mountain or Disneyland. But first, they needed to go back upstairs and freshen up and call Mason, so he can plan his route. An hour later, they were off.

It didn't take Mason long to drive to the tar pits. He'd driven around Los Angles for fifteen years, so he really knew his way around. It was just after 10:30 AM when the foursome arrived at the Page Museum that hosts the La Brea Tar Pits. They learned about Los Angeles, as it was between 10,000 and 40,000 years ago, during the last Ice Age, when animals such as saber-toothed cats and mammoths roamed the Los Angeles Basin. Through windows, they saw the Page Museum Laboratory, and bones being cleaned and repaired. Outside the Museum, in Hancock Park, they walked around and viewed the life-size replicas of several extinct mammals that had roamed the area.

It was almost twelve noon when they returned to the limousine, happy they went there, but equally happy they were going someplace else.

"Mason, what do you recommend for the boys, next? Eric here wants to ride some roller coasters, and these other two just want to have some fun," asked Mr. Ken when they were all settled in the limo.

"Have any of you guys ever been to Disneyland?" asked Mason, straight out.

All four shook their heads, no.

"Okay, my recommendation would be to go there, today. It is what is considered the off-season, so the crowds won't be as large, and you can see much more and ride more rides in one day. Also, I happen to know someone there, which for a few dollars, would give you the VIP Tour. She would also get you to the front of the ride lines and that is how you'll be able to ride practically every ride, today. So how does that sound to you?" asked their driver.

"Yeah, I think that would be kewl to be treated like VIPs,' exclaimed Eric.

"Bo, don't you think you're being treated like a VIP now, being with Mr. Ken and all?" asked Ryan.

"Bo? Where'd that come from?" asked Collin.

"Don't you remember, back at the hospital, when Eric said Aidan called him 'Bo'?" reiterated Ryan.

"No, I don't really, but there was so much going on and crying, I probably missed it," answered Collin.

"Collin, I told Aidan that I was your 'lil bro' and he must have heard me say 'Bo' and later that is what I told everyone out in the waiting room," retold Eric. "That is what Ryan is referring to."

"Boys, we're getting off track and wasting valuable time. Would you all like to go to Disneyland and get the VIP treatment?" their smiling 'older bro' asked.

Their limo driver quickly got into gear and headed towards Disneyland. On the way over, the four 'VIPs' saw him talking on his cell phone, but because of the closed privacy partition, they couldn't hear what he was saying. The boys looked out their windows and saw some very interesting sights along the way over to see Mickey and Minnie.

A little after one PM, the limousine pulled up at the entrance to the Disneyland Hotel.

"Mr. Ken, I don't understand. I thought we were going to Disneyland not the Hotel?" quipped Eric.

"Let's see what Mason has up his sleeve, first. I am sure he brought us here because this is where the VIP treatment begins. … See there, Mason is talking to a very pretty lady, and I bet she will be our Tour Guide," is how Mr. Ken answered the boy's question.

"Mister Thomas, boys, I want you to meet my friend and your Tour Guide, Michelle. She will show you everything there is to see, and answer any questions you may have about Disneyland. She will take you throughout the park and get you to the front of any line."

Michele described the Tour they would be on, and how they would proceed. After Mr. Thomas paid the admission costs and the Private Tour cost, they followed the very beautiful guide upstairs to the Monorail Station inside the hotel. Ten minutes after boarding the monorail, they found themselves inside Disneyland and the Tomorrowland Station.

The first ride Eric focused on was the Matterhorn Bobsleds, and he practically pulled Mr. Ken the entire way to the entrance. This was going to be Michelle's first challenge, to get them onto the ride without upsetting all the other riders waiting in line.

In no time flat, Michelle had them through the Exit and being seated into the front car of the two-car train. The brake was released and the cars started forward and they found themselves headed up a very steep incline. As they neared the top, they saw what looked like a white opening, and Collin remarked that is was probably the proverbial 'end of the tunnel'. Ryan and Mr. Ken chuckled at Collin's attempt at humor, but before they knew it, they were headed down the Matterhorn Mountain.

The ride was very smooth and quick and as they picked up speed, Eric, seated with Mr. Ken in the front seat, began to laugh. The ride was totally different from the wooden Giant Dipper coaster he rode yesterday, and he was thoroughly enjoying this. The longer the ride went on, the more Eric laughed which had Collin and Ryan, in the seat right behind them, laughing at their young 'lil bro' enjoying himself. At the end of the ride, Eric got splashed when they went through the small water pool at the bottom and he thought that was the 'perfect ending'.

They went next to ride the submarines then after that, the cars at Autopia. The next ride Eric led them to was Space Mountain. He'd seen the tall silver looking mountain sticking up, and he wanted to know what it was. When Michelle told him it was an enclosed roller coaster, Eric practically dragged them over there. Eric now had the 'roller coaster bug', and he wanted to ride any and all roller coasters he could find.

When they arrived at Space Mountain, they were in luck as they were running the ride with the lights on. Most people never get the opportunity to see the ride from the inside and this would be the perfect time. It would also give Eric some visual reference as he was still a novice in the coaster riding society.

Michelle got them front car seats again, but Mr. Ken decided that he and Eric should ride in the third of the three seats because the older man figured it would be too steep for Eric to handle sitting in the first car. Eric did begin to get in the third seat, but when Collin said, "Hey Bo, come ride with me up front," Eric headed there. Ryan and Mr. Ken shook their heads, then sat behind them.

They all looked around as much as they could and they saw they were going almost to the top of the building. As they reached the top, they heard the narrator say they were "Go for launch!" and he began the count down. It was then that Eric, looking down, got pretty scared, and hugged Collin real tight. The coaster went up one last small hill and then it began its journey to the bottom. Eric anticipated a huge drop to the bottom, as he experienced on the Giant Dipper and gave off a loud scream. After the initial sensation there were no deep drops and up hills he realized the ride was more about speed and he then relaxed and began to enjoy the ride and finally got into his now usual howling laugh.

Outside, after their ride, Eric couldn't stop talking about how high the track was, and the speed at which they 'flew' through the mountain. Collin teased him on how tight he grabbed him before they went over the first hill but then commented how he then got into the ride and totally enjoyed the experience. As they walked towards Adventureland, Eric said he hoped they could go back and ride it in the dark. Little did he know he would get his wish before they left for the day!

In Adventureland, they rode the Jungle Cruise and walked through Tarzan's Treehouse. Eric said he wished he had one of those in his back yard. They then walked over to New Orleans Square where Mr. Ken decided they would ride the Pirates of the Caribbean.

The four of them all rode in the very first bench seat of the boat. They could feel the dampness coming from up front and were not expecting the first drop that came soon after they departed the station. That first drop caught them all off guard because none of them had ever been there before. When the second smaller drop also caught them unawares, they all gave a 'scare laugh' because they didn't want anyone to know they had been caught with their pants down.

Exiting the ride, the boys couldn't stop talking about the pirates and all their loot but the thing they liked the best was the cannon shots in the water. They thought that was the best part other than the two drops in the beginning.

They walked about New Orleans Square enjoying the sites and then walked over towards the water to look at the big sailing ship as it passed by. Then, who other than, Eric spotted another mountain. He asked Michelle what that was and hearing it was another coaster, he began to drag his older 'bros' in that direction. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was going to be their next ride.

Michelle took them in through the Exit again and when they got just to the off-loading platform the ride operator asked them to step back until the train stopped and the current guests got off. They had to wait about 5 minutes for a train to return, stop, and allow the riders to get out and then exit. Once offered their choice of seats Collin and Ryan decided to sit in the very last seat. Seeing that, Eric joined them in the seat just in front, and of course, 'Big Bro' sat with the younger boy.

The train operator released the brake and soon the train was in the first dark tunnel. People made some noises to hear their echo as the chain gripped the cars and took them up the hill. Sitting in the back was a totally different experience for them all. The front of the train was already over the top before they got there and when they did they felt a pull and their bodies receive a slight upward thrust. It caught them off guard and they all laughed at the thrill and the quickness of the sensation.

This coaster was tremendously themed with lots of simulated rocks and scenes of an old time mining operation. The coaster had two additional up hills and they gave the last riders the same pull and thrust and thrill each time as they went over the top.

They gathered up on Michelle when they exited, and this time the older boys said they were hungry. Michelle gave them a variety of food stores to enjoy, but in the end, they all decided on good ole BBQ.

When they finished eating, Mr. Ken told the lads he didn't want them riding any more roller coasters until their meal settled, so he suggested they take a ride on the Sailing Ship, Columbia. The ride gave them all a look at a different side of Disneyland and some parts of the park they didn't have time to visit. Eric was disappointed they couldn't ride Tom Sawyer's Rafts over to the island to see "Dead Man's Grotto" in the island caverns. He heard some of the other kids on the Columbia talking about the "Pirate's Den" and something about the Castle Rock and Buccaneers and Tom & Huck's Treehouse. Eric wanted to see it all, but he soon understood they didn't have that much time to do everything.

As they got off the sailing ship, Michelle caught up with her tour group and recommended they walk over towards Fantasyland. On the way over, she told the boys about all the different rides they would find there and the boys were looking forward to doing something other than roller coasters.

The first ride Eric saw from the distance was Dumbo going round and round. When they arrived in Fantasyland, it was then they saw Peter Pan's Flight and the Mad Tea Party, but the one thing they could not miss was the craziness going on at the It's A Small World building. Of course, Eric wanted to go on Dumbo but the older boys wanted to see what Peter Pan's Flight was all about. Mr. Ken suggested they all stick together but if there was a ride someone didn't want to go on, they could wait with Michelle.

Collin and Ryan wanted to go on Peter Pan's Flight, and asked Eric to ride with them and headed in that direction. Eric looked to Mr. Ken and saw he wasn't going to say anything so he quickly ran to catch up and the three rode together in the flying sailing ship.

The boys then headed to the Mad Tea Party and convinced the 'old' man to ride with them. The boys made the teacup spin as fast as they could and, try as they may, they never could get Mr. Ken sick. The last ride for them in that area was It's A Small World. The four got off the ride some ten minutes later and swore they would 'never ever' ride that thing again. After that, all that they did was sing "It's a small, small world after all" over and over again in their heads. They thought they were going crazy.

Michelle took pity on them and told them she hears that song for hours after she leaves the park every time she works. She then asked them to follow her. Their next stop on the Tour was Mickey's Toontown and immediately upon entering the area, Eric spied Gadget's Go Coaster.

"Come on, I see another roller coaster!" yelled Eric, as he ran for the entrance forgetting Michelle would get them on quicker.

"Over this way, sport," called Mr. Ken.

Michelle took them in the special way and the four of them took the first two cars. Eric asked Ryan to ride with him in the front seat. The coaster was a short duration with some wild turns and some speed, but they all agreed it was worth 'the wait in line'. It was Ryan who spotted Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin and asked if they could try it out. He said he remembered the Roger Rabbit movie and wanted to see what the ride was all about. The four went in the special entrance for VIP Tour groups and sat in the next group of cars. When it was all over, the older boys said they could have had more fun watching paint dry and just walked away. Eric said it was fun to see the different ways to entertain younger kids.

It was getting late, so they asked Michelle about a ride they heard about called the Haunted Mansion. She said she was surprised they hadn't mentioned it when they finished riding the Pirates of the Caribbean since they had been sort of telling her where they wanted to go. She said to follow her and they would be there shortly.

The Haunted Mansion didn't disappoint them. Eric held tight onto Mr. Ken as he watched the figures stretch while they were in the gallery. Eric jumped when the lightning flashed and it got totally dark in the room. Then saw the hanging figure at the top of the ceiling. He was happy his older 'bros' hadn't seen him do that, but he was wrong.

They walked their way to the boarding area watching all sorts of creepy figures change their shapes. They were happy they all fit into the same carriage so they could have the same experience. Throughout the entire ride, even as the carriage pointed them where they needed to watch, but the boys kept looking around for more. They were completely amazed how Walt Disney made such an awesome ride and made it 'just right'.

As soon as the boys got off the ride, they quickly found Michelle and asked her if they could go again, but she reminded them that their tour was soon over and she had two more items she wanted them to experience.

She quickly took them through a shortcut that only tour guides where allowed to use and they wound up back at Adventureland. It was here Michelle pointed out to them the Indian Jones Adventure, Temple of the Forbidden Eye. She explained that the queue for this ride took you through Indy's camp, with incredible details that are worth the wait. She told them the truck is the actual one used in the scene where Indy is dragged underneath during a high-speed pursuit. She went on to say that when they climbed aboard the jungle transport, they were in for an unforgettable ride. She said they'd cross a rickety bridge, pass pools of flaming lava, and dodge a huge tumbling boulder as Indy helps you try to escape. The boys were ready for the adventure and couldn't wait. But first, Eric had to pee. The rest joined him in the nearby Men's Rest Room.

The four adventures came out of the ride all excited about the effects and how the truck moved to the scenery and everything. The lads talked over one another trying to tell the other about their best part of the ride. But it wasn't long before Michelle walked up to them said she had for them 'one last ride.' She said she wanted them to relax along the way to it so she had them go over to Main Street USA and get on the Disneyland Railroad and instructed them to get off in Adventureland and she would meet them there.

They couldn't figure out why they couldn't just walk over there with her but Mr. Ken told the boys that this may be a special event she has planned and wanted to be there first in order to set it up. Hearing that, the boys went along and they did enjoy sitting down and looking at Disneyland from sort of behind the scenes as they railroaded the long way to Adventureland.

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