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Piloting the Millennium Falcon is pretty cool. Co-piloting the Millennium Falcon with your husband on your wedding anniversary is super cool. It’s incredibly nerdy, but it was special for us.

My husband and I made our annual Disneyland trek to mark our sixth anniversary last week. Going into it, we knew this trip would be epic. We were celebrating six years of marriage, we snagged tickets to the inaugural Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween party at Disney California Adventure, we made reservations to go on the Happy Haunts Tour, and we were finally going to check out Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

In case you don’t have any Jedi faithful in your circle of friends, let me be the first to wish you a Happy May 4th, Napa County. “May the 4th…

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what I was most excited about. The itinerary had the makings for the perfect Disney holiday.

As much as I love Halloween, I got goosebumps thinking about visiting Black Spire Outpost — the land you enter once you’ve “left” Disneyland and entered Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Chuck converted me into a Star Wars fan, so I was excited to have the chance to be a part of this new, fully-immersive land.

Like the control freak that I am, I researched everything I could about Galaxy’s Edge so that we would make the most of our Disney hours and get our money’s worth. I read blogs, I watched YouTube videos, and I soaked up every bit of information I could find. I may have been a little obsessive, but I wanted to know the lingo of the land, including greetings such as “Bright Suns” (a salutation used in the mornings) and “Ignite the Spark” (a code phrase to show your support for Resistance allies such as Rey and Chewbacca).

When we arrived in Disneyland, Chuck and I made a beeline for Galaxy’s Edge. No stopping for Pirates of the Caribbean or Space Mountain. No. We were heading “off world.”

The interesting thing about Galaxy’s Edge is that there is no signage to identify it once you are at one of the three entrances. Luckily, we knew where to go, and as we made our way through the mountains, the sounds of the theme park melted away, and we suddenly found ourselves in a whole other place. There were sounds of droids beeping and booping, and starships landing and taking off. Disney is great about theming, and it was easy to forget we were in the middle of Southern California.

Comedian Jim Gaffigan has a bit about why he thinks adults who go to Disneyland without children are weirdos, but I’m happy to be a weirdo. I …

We had giddy smiles on our faces as we walked around and explored the marketplace. We grabbed drinks at Oga’s Cantina and made way for Stormtroopers making their rounds. We were even interrogated by new Star Wars baddie Kylo Ren, who demanded to know if we’d seen Chewbacca or had any other Rebellion intel.

We’d spotted Chewbacca hanging out at the eatery Docking Bay 7, but we weren’t about to blow his cover. Kylo deemed us useless, chastised his Stormtroopers for suggesting we were spies with valuable information and stormed off with a trail of children following behind him hoping to grab a selfie.

The coolest part of hanging out at Black Spire Outpost, though, is the first time you come upon the Millennium Falcon resting in a rock quarry. It is massive and intricately detailed. It looks like the real deal. The line for the ride Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run was about an hour long, but we couldn’t wait for the wait time to go down. Chuck and I rarely jump in a line that is more than 30 minutes long, but we had to make an exception. You get to be a crew member on the Millennium Falcon!

There are three roles you can play when you are in the Millennium Falcon: pilot, gunner and engineer. Over the course of our trip, we got to try each role, but on our last day – our wedding anniversary – we were randomly paired together as pilots. Chuck had already been a pilot, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be co-pilots. You get to pilot the ship just as if it were a video game.

The view from the pilot’s seat is the best in the ride. You get to push all the buttons and work the controls. As the ride hit halfway, we had to escape with our stolen cargo and a green light next to a lever in the middle console began to flash.

“Jump to hyperspace,” a voice from the intercom cracked.

I looked to Chuck. “That’s all you,” he said.

I gripped the lever and pulled down. With a shake, we jumped to light speed and took off across the galaxy. Best. Anniversary. Ever.

Editor’s note: Due to a production error, the Sept. 15 Samie Hartley’s Simple & Sassy was duplicated on Sunday, Sept. 29. The correct Sept. 29 column is printed here.

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Samie Hartley is the Napa Valley Register online editor. Simple & Sassy runs every other Sunday. She can be reached at shartley@napanews.com.

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