Sunday, February 12, 2012

An Update

As many of you know, I basically do not work at the hotel anymore. My last day there was in December and they have not had me on the schedule since. Apparently this is due to the economy. The important thing is, I got a new job! As of the 27th, I will be a merchandise consultant for JCPenney. I will be pricing items, organizing shelves, putting new products out on the rack, and making decisions on the store’s floor plan. Also, this is fantastic news for my future, since a lot of this depends on money. Money may not bring happiness, but it sure makes living easier. Therefore, this will be great for me. I will be working part time hours for a while, at least until this last semester is over. They said they may establish me as full time at some point soon after. I’m really excited about this new step in my life!

The only downside I have lingering in my head right now is the fact that I will have to cut down on participation in the podcast. :( I have to talk to my co-hosts and producer about this yet, but it breaks my heart knowing I will not be able to be a full part of it anymore. The reason being, my hours at JCPenney will be at night. And we normally record the podcast at night during the days I will be working. Although this will be sad and an adjustment, I know it will not last forever. Once I move, my schedule will change and hopefully will free my hours up for the podcast again.

My family is doing well. My mom is slowly starting to accept that I will be moving. She even makes references to it in casual conversations…”so when you move” or “when you get to Florida” so that is definitely a good thing. Also, my dad has a new job! This is great news as well. He will be working as a bus driver again, which he has experience in. And of course, Daisie is as ridiculously crazy but awesome as ever.

So there is an update for you all. My birthday is the 15th so of course I’m excited about that as well. I will be 23…I certainly do not feel 23. And many of you realize I do not look 23 either. However, my soul is telling me that I am so I guess I should listen to it. My brother and his fiancĂ©e are coming over that night for cake and coffee. Then on the 19th, we are having a small party at the house. Should be fun. I definitely look forward to spending my birthday next year at the Magic Kingdom! Yay for a birthday button!

For those of who you have been praying/sending pixie dust or best wishes/even just thinking of me … it is working. Things are looking up and I owe a lot of it to you fine people. Thank you for being some of the best individuals on this planet, and some of the most amazing friends I have ever been blessed with.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


A few days ago, I decided that October would be a good time to move. I’m still going in May to treat myself to a Star Wars Weekend and have a little “me” time after completing classes. I will miss Epic October this year; however, it will be entirely worth it to be there permanently and attend the many Epic Octobers after that. I am not sure as to an exact date yet, but I am hoping for the middle of the month. My parents’ 25th anniversary is on September 26th, so I want to throw a party for them. Then I will have some time to recuperate before relocating. Oh hey, I just realized I will be there for the WDW 2013 Reunion in January! Yay!

Two nights ago, I spoke to my parents. I decided to do this individually, because I knew I would be an utter and complete mess if I informed them of my decision while we were all in one room. First, I told my mom. We sat at the kitchen table, right after breakfast. Tears began to form in her eyes, and we both began crying pretty hard. We spoke of my future, coming home to visit, Daisie, etc. After a good half hour or so of discussion, we finally stopped crying and hugged. That was horrible.

Next, I approached my dad. I sat in the living room. This was far less intense. We both got tears in our eyes but did not actually cry. He told me to live out my dreams and to never let anything hold me back. I promised I would visit. (Sidenote: Praying that I can convince my manager of whichever company I will be working for at that time to let me go home for Christmas.)

Leaving everyone here in New York is going to be incredibly difficult for me. One of the worst will be leaving my dog. Coming to terms with this is not easy. This has definitely been THE hardest decision I have made in my life thus far. Being she is eleven and has seizures, October may be the very last time I hug her. I’m getting emotional as I write this, because I have lost a dog before and it is one of the worst things to go through in the world. However, she could live until she is eighteen! Who knows? Only God. Therefore, I cannot dwell too much on this.

October 2012. Nine months away. This is when I will be moving to Florida. I cannot even begin to understand this. It is really happening. I will be a resident of Florida, and be able to attend WDW on my days off from work, as well as see my dear friends often. This brings much excitement to my heart!

I will be posting updates on how everything is going. Being this is my final semester, I consider myself to still be in the beginning stages of moving. I haven’t even begun to look through stuff and figure out what to bring and what to leave home until my parents sell the house. I would like to complete this semester first, which ends on April 27th! Cannot wait!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Other than Epic October, 2011 was not a great year for me. It was not a good year for my family either. My dad was out of work the entire year, and during the latter part of the year, my hours at the hotel were drastically decreased and my mom’s boss retired. Accepting these monetary changes was very difficult for us, as it would be for anyone.

2011 also brought much disappointment with the house. I currently live with my parents and the house has been up for sale for almost three years now. We all want to move to Florida…I want to be near friends and to hopefully become a Cast Member for Disney, and my parents want to be in a warmer climate.

In addition, this was the year that my dog, Daisie, began to show her age. She had about five seizures throughout the year. For those of you who have experienced this with a pet, you know how difficult it is. You sit there and feel helpless and desperate as you watch your beloved animal suffering. Thanks be to God, she has overcome all of these and is still as playful as a puppy despite being eleven years old.

Please do not think that I sound selfish or ungrateful during any of this. God has blessed me abundantly. I have my health, family, and friends who I wouldn’t trade for anything else in the world. My friends are the ones who brought me out of the lowest points in my life. They encouraged me to believe and look to the future for hope, which is exactly what I did.

Despite the horrible circumstances that 2011 left us in, I feel that I have grown tremendously from it. It is quite hard for me to put into words just how so. As with most people, this past year brought many emotions. Happiness, anger, sadness, confusion, etc. Unfortunately, happiness did not rank high among these. The only time I experienced the most happiness was during Epic October…which occurred while I was in Florida.

We are only on the third day of January in the New Year. However, a few weeks ago, I realized one major thing that I realize I seek. That is contentment. Recently, I have been waking up every morning dreading what is to come…”Another day in NY, are my parents going to fight about bills again, how am I going to manage relaxation during all of this ongoing stress?”

Something clicked in my head. I can certainly move to Florida without my parents. Besides, they will get there someday. The house must sell at SOME point. I know how much they want this as well, but I am my own person. And it’s not like I will not return frequently to visit them. Naturally, I will miss them terribly. However, I am almost 23 years old and an adult now. I need to start my future, and I cannot do that by being somewhere I do not want to be.

If I want to work for Disney, my journey must begin soon. Therefore, I have made a big decision. Between late this year and early 2013, I will be relocating to Florida. If all goes according to hopeful plan, the wonderful Todd & Cheryl Perlmutter will be moving closer to Disney, and they invited me to live with them for a while. Friends like these two make my heart joyous and thankful to God that He has blessed me immensely. From here, I will apply to Disney and be able to spend time with friends who I miss so much.

At the moment, I have to concentrate on my education. I will have my Bachelor’s degree in Business Management come April, followed by a weeklong trip to Florida planned for my very first Star Wars Weekend. After that, I can begin packing and sorting through what I need in order to move.

Goodbye, 2011. You were ugly and I am glad to bid you farewell.

Greetings, 2012. You represent my future and I have a great feeling about you.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Epic October 2011 - Day 8


This was the day I returned to New York.

Let me summarize this day quickly. Betsy picked me up and we headed over to Shelley’s house. (In the meantime, Shalon went to pick up Aurora to meet us at the airport). We visited a little while with Shelley, Dave, Zoe, Todd, Cheryl, Jasper, and Mike. Then it was time to go. I gave big hugs to Dave, Zoe, and Jasper. The rest of us headed to the airport in separate cars.

The six of us met up in the parking garage and headed inside. Shalon and Aurora joined us shortly after. We sat around and chatted for a while, then went to the Sanrio store to look around.

Not happy :(

Then it was time to get in line for security. My friends formed a circle (okay, I’m crying right now) and each one of them gave me a huge hug. I pretty much sobbed hugging them all.

I had a safe flight back home (if you want to call it my home) and cried on/off the rest of the day. I was not a happy individual to be away from people I truly love and care about deeply.


For something that started seven months ago, I never thought it would turn out to be something as fantastic as it was. I knew that it would be wonderful to see my friends, but I never thought it would be this amazing. Betsy and I had been planning this since March. We took those seven months to plan intricate details for the trip, how we were going to surprise Shelley, dining reservations, etc. It got intense. As time got closer and closer, the excitement was building up through our texts and Skype video calls.

A few weeks before my arrival, we needed to tell a friend to help convince our friends to attend events that I would be at. We informed Shalon, who helped us those last couple of weeks before my arrival.

The seven nights I was there were seven of the happiest days of my life. I got to spend treasured time with people I hold very close to my heart. I cry as I type this because they are not just friends to me. They are my family.

So long, my dear friends. See you real soon.

Epic October 2011 - Day 7


Betsy picked me up and we went to Epcot. Shelley met us there, and we all went on Journey into Imagination with Figment. They proved their love for me by waiting in line for it. ;) The wait was maybe 5-7 minutes. We all went to Captain EO next. Love, love, love that show! Shelley pulled out one of her dance moves during the pre-show too. Give that gal leg warmers! We went on Living with the Land next and sat in the front. That was a lovely, relaxing journey.

We had a reservation for Le Cellier for lunch, so we walked to Canada. Amanda (@BooToYou7) also had a reservation and stopped over to say hi to us. It was great meeting her! The three of us pigged out on pretzel bread and appetizers, and barely touched our dinners and desserts, which we had packed up to go. Shelley left then, so Betsy and I went to see American Adventure. I must have been tired because I totally fell asleep during the show. I have no idea what came over me, but I fell right to sleep. You know the scene where the guy is taking a picture of the family posing for a picture? And the camera bulb makes a bright flash? The sound of that made me jump and woke me right up. LOL. I was so glad to be awake for the end though…I love the video montage where “Golden Dream” plays. Of course, I cried.

On the way out, we spotted Ryan and Sally. We visited with them for a few minutes, then made our way out of the park. Betsy and I went to the Magic Kingdom next. We went to see The Enchanted Tiki Room first. I loved seeing it back to its original form. We also rode Pirates.

Then Mike (@CaptainMike88) joined us, and we all went on a full circle trip on the Walt Disney World Railroad. That was beautiful and relaxing. During the journey, Betsy yelled at me, “Stop looking so sad!! Why do you have that look on your face?!” I’m glad she snapped me out of reality because my mind started wandering being this was my last day. Sigh.

We all went on the Haunted Mansion next, and they brought me through the queue. This was the first time I had seen it! I loved it! Love the books that you can push and others pop out. And trying to solve the mystery of who killed who is great too!

We split ways then and Betsy dropped me off at the hotel. Shalon was waiting for me there. I grabbed some food and we went upstairs to my room. I ate while we watched a hilarious episode of Modern Family. We hung out, laughed, and chatted for a while.

Betsy picked us up around 9pm to go to Atlantic Dance Hall! But before that, we did something awesome. We had the best non-drug drug deal EVER. We met Emily at a Hess gas station because she had a bunch of extra mini cupcake brownies, which she gave us. I LOVE EMILY. For many reasons, of course, but this is one of them! They were delicious. We had a blast taking pictures in the car of our Babycakes craziness.

The three of us continued on our way to ADH. When we got there, with our mouths full of brownies, the valet drove off with the car and we continued inside to the Boardwalk. After a brief stop at the Bellevue Lounge, we walked the strip to ADH. We met Gail (@gailyw) there! I love her to pieces. She is such a sweetheart and I am thrilled to have met her.

Mike, JL Knopp (@jlknopp1), and Shelley joined us and we had a blast, dancing the night away! Party Rock Anthem was one of my favorite moments of the night. I took my shoes off (I think Shalon did too) and we did the shuffle. Dave Caran and Dan Warren came by too, and sat & talked with us for awhile. We were there for probably a good three/four hours or so. What a wonderful night!!

There are soooo many more pictures from this night, which you can find on JL's Facebook page!

Betsy dropped Shalon and I off at the hotel. Shalon slept overnight in my room. We pretty much fell asleep about five minutes after we got in the room.

I was NOT looking forward to the next day.

Epic October 2011 - Day 6


A day of Epcot is a day of fun! And this particular day certainly lived up to that. Betsy picked me up (she was the best transportation method ever, by the way…what’s a monorail again??) and we drove to Epcot. There we met up with Shelley, Todd, and Cheryl. A few minutes later, Megan (@mla1977) arrived! This was the first time I ever met her. I absolutely adore her. J

We went on Spaceship Earth first. This was my recommendation. Remember, I’m the clueless individual from New York. But I have therefore learned my lesson…ride this later in the day, when everyone else is on Mission Space and Test Track.

We rode Test Track next. I sat in the back (huge mistake) with my arms up in the air the entire time (HUGER mistake). We got through the ride smiling and everything was awesome…as we climbed out of the car, something did not feel right. My bra came undone. Completely undone. Test Track got frisky with me! We laughed a lot about it, and had little jokes throughout the day including, “Show me where the bad car touched you.” This is why I love my friends.

Next we walked to the World Showcase. On the way, we saw Chip Buchanan! It is incredible how many times we ran into her on this trip. Afterwards, we headed to France, where….wait for it….Ryan (@RyanKilpatrick) and Sally (@SuperWriterMom) were waiting for us! I looked around at the podcast crew and happiness filled my heart. Big hugs and laughter were indeed shared that day. We all went over to the Ireland booth (thank you, Food and Wine Festival!) where a couple of us, including myself, got the Kerrygold cheese platter. Man, was that good. Three different kinds of cheese with brown bread and butter. The only thing I refused to touch was the chutney. It looked nasty. (Sorry.) We all had our snacks and drinks on benches in front of where Off Kilter performs.

Megan had to leave then, so we bid farewell. I’m sorry I did not get to hang out with her more, but I’m thrilled to have met her! Scarlett and Ben caught up with us, and we all went over to the Rose & Crown Pub for lunch. That was my first time there. The food is incredibly delicious. I had the Sunday pot roast with roasted potatoes, green beans, and Yorkshire pudding.

Ben, Scarlett, and me at the Rose & Crown Pub

Scarlett, Ben, and Shelley left after lunch. The remaining six of us went back to France to see Impressions de France. That was the first time I had ever seen the film and I loved it! Betsy was quoting it the entire time, but I luckily did not hear it as I refused to sit next to her. ;) Sally had the pleasure instead.

Now, I have been trying to track down Jillian Davis (@JL_Davis) for over a year now when I am at WDW. I can never find her. I finally had the ability to meet her on this vacation! We went into Mouse Gear and Betsy spoke to one of the Cast Members, who found her and brought her out. Yay!! She is such a sweetheart and I cannot WAIT to meet the baby next year!

We went into the old Wonders of Life building and walked around a bit, as they had demonstrations of all kinds going on, as well as wine tastings and shopping. Then we went back to Test Track. This time I sat in the front and no wardrobe malfunctions were to be had!

Ryan and Sally left afterwards. Todd & Cheryl went to have a bite to eat at Sunshine Seasons while Betsy and I went to see Ellen’s Energy Adventure. That is always cute to see. Shane came to the park then and found us exiting the attraction! The three of us went to The Land pavilion and spotted Todd & Cheryl. We all went on Soarin’ then. That was so fun!! Todd and Cheryl left after that. Shane, Betsy, and I rode The Seas with Nemo and Friends.

We began our way out of the park, trying to decide where to go to eat. We decided to go to Earl of Sandwich at Downtown Disney! The three of us had a marvelous time eating, laughing, and sharing stories. We stopped inside the Lego Store too, where I got a Captain Barbossa keychain. I love him! We also swung by Babycakes but Emily was not there.

Shane headed home then. I hate saying goodbye to friends! Tears filled my eyes after he left and Betsy said, “Please don’t tell me you are crying already.” It was difficult, but I held my head high and we proceeded to the parking lot. Betsy dropped me off at the hotel then. I had a truly fantastic day. J

Epic October 2011 - Day 5


Betsy picked me up around 10am and we spent the day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (MGM…which it will always be to me). First we went on The Great Movie Ride, which is one of my absolute favorites. I’m happy to say that not only did we get the front row but we had the gangster as well.

Next we went on Toy Story Mania. Getting to ride that twice in one day without having to wait very long was incredible (thank you, Betsy!). It was my very first time on the ride and I LOVED IT. For it being my first attempt, I did not do too shabby. What a fun idea for an attraction! I’m really happy that Disney decided to add this to their treasure trove of awesome attractions. After riding the first time around, I got to meet one of the soldiers from Toy Story!

We did the Backlot Tour afterwards. My eyes widened at all of the Pirates props. We laughed at the pre-show when the poor individual gets soaking wet from the enormous amount of water. The most interesting part of the attraction this time around was not the actual attraction. No. It was something that happened right before we were about to take off in the tram. I had my 40th anniversary WDW MK pin in my backpack. I did not realize that the pin came undone and the sharp part was sticking right out of the bag. When we boarded the tram, I took the bag and as I slipped it down in between my feet, I felt this scraaaaatch down my leg. Afraid to look down, I did, and saw blood from a four-inch cut on the side of my leg. Lovely. So all during the ride, I put pressure on it and held an antibacterial wipe to it until we got off the tram. Betsy got me a mini first aid kit (thank you, Betsy!) and I took care of the situation thanks to ointment and band aids. I looked ridiculous with a line of band aids running down my leg, but at that point, all I really wanted to do was avoid infection and carry on with the day.

We grabbed some lunch after that. Then we went to the Muppets 3-D show. Yay! I always love seeing that. Statler and Waldorf, along with the Sweetums appearance, always makes me smile. We went to see the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular as well. I so enjoy that show. We watched a bit of Mulch, Sweat, and Shears after that. They were great but Betsy was disappointed that Axe was not there. ;)

Another highlight of the day was going to Animation Academy. Okay. Here’s the thing…I am not good at drawing….at all. I was not expecting to create an epic masterpiece like Betsy would. But I thought it might be somewhat good. Now. As most of you probably know, they do not give you erasers. All they give you is a desk, a pencil, and paper. Let’s just say that by the end of the session, I was asking the animator for an eraser. We all drew Pooh and mine looked like it had a goiter. Betsy thought this was the funniest thing in the world and was laughing hysterically at me. Not going to lie, I was a bit peeved at first…at myself AND her. ;) I think the worst of it was when kids were bringing their designs up to the animator for her to show everyone, and they all looked better than mine. Theirs looked like a Picasso creation compared to mine. But a fun time was had and I laughed it off. I will do better next time!

I do recall that right after that, we went to One Man’s Dream. I had only been in this building and to the film once before and I remembered crying hysterically. I even warned Betsy, “Prepare to watch me fly into the bathroom for tissues after the film.” Her crying started before mine, though! Hers began within the first five minutes. Mine started when Julie Andrews began talking about Uncle Walt spending a particular day of the week with his daughter. Then I BAWLED when Jiminy Cricket sang “When You Wish upon a Star.” I tried covering up afterwards by telling her that I was just upset at my faulty drawing of Pooh. LOL.

Uncle Walt's office

We rode Toy Story Mania a second time and The Great Movie Ride again (yay for another ride of front row AND the gangster!). We shopped around a bit and did the trivia at Sid Cahuenga’s One-of-a-Kind Shop to attempt answering the questions. We did not do so well.

We left the park afterwards and drove to the Wilderness Lodge. We had a dining reservation at Whispering Canyon! Shalon met us there. J Dinner was absolutely wonderful. The cornbread is such a highlight of the meal. Of course, after asking for extra straws, we had a bunch thrown on the table. And I had to ask for ketchup. Much to my happiness, a few kids brought over about thirty bottles. Shortly after, another family also asked for ketchup, so the three of us brought all of our bottles over.

Shalon obviously enjoyed her dinner.

Awhile after dinner, it was getting close to 8pm. If there was going to be a time where I would have the chance to see the Main Street Electrical Parade, this would be the night. I looked at Betsy and Shalon and they said, “You are going to miss Fernando.” (Fernando is the turtle whom I have a crush on in the parade. He is my leading man.) I was hemming and hawing about it…”Wellll, I don’t have to see it….” They hollered at me and said, “GO. JUST GO.” Off I went. I scrambled to the ferry, hopped on, and entered the Magic Kingdom with a big smile on my face and determination in my step. I squeezed my way through the crowd and almost to the very front. I got there in time! They were just coming around Main Street USA! I was grinning like the Mouseketeer that I am the entire time. All of our favorite characters passed by, waving at everyone. Then, there he was, in all of his shining glory….Fernando. My heart skipped a beat. I may have shed a tear as well. Unbelievably, Fernando began to do his little spinning thing that the adorable MSEP floats do, and he stopped when he was facing me. He came a bit closer and just paused. He and I were looking at each other for a moment, then he carried on. It was a magical moment for me. It was as if he thanked me for taking the time on my vacation to see him. When he passed by, I yelled out “BYE FERNANDO!!!” A guest next to me laughed wickedly and said, “Ha, she calls him Fernando.” I shot her a dirty look. She is just jealous of the magical moment that he and I shared on Main Street. J

I walked to the front entrance to meet up with Betsy and Shalon. Then the three of us squeezed our way to a great spot in front of Cinderella’s Castle. This was going to be the very first time I saw The Magic, The Memories, and You. What a beautiful, amazing show. I am so blessed to have had the chance to see it. My jaw dropped open from the very first scene. Then Uncle Walt appeared on the castle, and I began to cry. Shortly after that, Wishes began. More crying then ensued. I laughed as Shalon was singing “Wisheeeeees” and Betsy was yelling at her to stop.

We took the ferry back to the Wilderness Lodge, where we all went to the Villas. I had never been there before. It is so beautiful inside. Betsy showed us her favorite rocking chairs, and I got to see a piece of Uncle Walt’s railroad that he had in his backyard. Shalon had to leave afterward, but Betsy and I stayed a while longer. We sat at a table and ate our dessert from Whispering Canyon (I had the Kahlua flavored chocolate cake and she had the apple caramel pie). Then we sat in the rocking chairs and just rested. It was one of my favorite moments of the vacation…being able to not think about anything else and enjoy the peace.

What an emotional roller coaster of a day. My horrible drawing, One Man’s Dream, MM&Y, and Wishes. And I got to spend it with two of my favorite people in the entire world. Who could ask for more?