Our family conversations often drift toward vacations to Disneyland.

Either we talk about our last trip or are making plans for our next trip.

So, it wasn’t much of a surprise recently when my daughter, Claire, was looking at a collage of photos and asked me what was my favorite part of our last trip to the happiest place on earth.

I didn’t have one. I never do.

I like everything related to Star Wars.

I like the Indiana Jones ride.

I like the Transformers ride.

I like eating large chocolate chip cookies and donuts the size of my head.

I like having ice cream for breakfast.

I like walking through all the shops.

I like being able to wear T-shirts and shorts knowing that back home it’s cold.

What I like best, what I truly love and what makes me the happiest is that my family, which has grown to six, is all together.

We spend a week doing just about everything together, and as much as I love Disneyland, it does not matter to me where we are as long as we are doing it together.

My children, Claire and Alek, are older now and on their own.

Claire and Trent have been married two years, and my son, Alek, will marry Anna June 1.

They have their own lives and careers, and another family that wants to share time with them.

That means the time we are together is precious.

We spent three days after Christmas together celebrating the holiday because that was when our schedules allowed, and it was wonderful.

We cooked, ate, made gingerbread houses and kept our eyes on four dogs and a cat.

We had a great time, even though we were miles and miles away from Disneyland — although there were several Disneyland-inspired gifts exchanged.

While Disneyland is in our blood, it doesn’t really matter where we are as long as we get to spend some time together.

Our holiday was spent in Humphrey, Neb., and for those days it became the happiest place on earth to me because I was with my family.

I don’t know when it’ll happen again, but sometime soon we will pause our busy schedules and get together again.

We’ll talk and laugh and get caught up with what we’ve all been doing, talk about the wedding, and, of course, make plans for our next trip to Disneyland.


Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.