Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Solo Trip – Day 5 – 11/06/2010

Not a fun day for the Bufferfly. First of all, the previous night, when I returned to the resort, I had a sore throat. Whenever I have any sort of illness, I want to be home. That being said, although I did not want to leave Disney, I was kinda relieved to be going home.

So I put the last-minute touches on my packing and went to the gift shop downstairs to get a couple more items for myself. Then I took DME to MCO. Okay, something REALLY strange on the plane …. I was seated right next to Mike DeRosa’s cousin on the way home! She is the one who was in the window seat in my row on the way TO Orlando. WEIRD. She was absolutely lovely and we talked almost the whole flight home. I actually got out my camera and she enjoyed looking through my pictures.

When we got off the plane, I spotted my parents, waving frantically. LOL. I did a dance over to them and we hugged. I did manage to screech a little despite my aching throat. The lady from the plane came over to me and gave me a hug, telling Mom how sweet I was and that my future is a bright one. I blushed.

My parents drove me home and when I went in the house, Daisie (my dog) attacked me. Mom proceeded to make me cry by telling me that while I was gone, Daisie would sit on the little bench in the living room that I always prop my feet up on. Then it REALLY got me when she said Daisie would randomly go into my room and sit on the rug in front of my bed. That melted my heart.

Had a snack, took a shower, then relaxed the rest of the day, trying to get better. I think I talked on Twitter to you awesome people the rest of the day. 

This was an amazing, magical vacation. Going solo was terrifying. But so worth it because not only did I get to experience what it was like to travel alone, but it was great being in control and deciding for MYSELF what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go.

As always, I thank Uncle Walt, for continuing to my make my dreams a reality. I don’t care what pessimists say, dreams DO come true. You have to put your heart into it and know exactly what you want, and God will handle the rest.

The Solo Trip – Day 4 – 11/05/2010

Today was the best day of my entire vacation. That is all.

I decided to go to the Magic Kingdom for rope drop. When I arrived, I heard Christmas music. No way could it be….yes it was. Not only was I able to see the Halloween decorations my first night, but I was able to see the gloriousness of the Christmas decorations my last full day there. I went through bag check, then lined up with all the other people in front of the Magic Kingdom Railroad. The emcee emerged shortly after and said that Mickey was on his way. Sure enough, here comes Mickey on the train, with a bunch of other characters!! Also on the train was the family they were honoring for the day. I was astounded. That was one of the happiest moments of my life. Mickey had everyone count down from 10 to open the park…I tried my best to count through my tears. When they reached 0, they shot out streamers, and dancers from the railroad were waving to everyone as we stampeded into the Magic Kingdom.

First I headed toward the Jungle Cruise. I pretty much walked right onto the ride. Unfortunately, our skipper was terrible. However, it was nice to see all the friendly animals in the morning light.  Next I went to Pirates and got right on that as well. I was amazed at how few people were there at that time. As you will all later see from my future Flickr pictures, I took snapshots of the empty streets. I was kinda dancing on said empty streets as well.

Then I decided to go into the Swiss Family Treehouse for the first time. It is beautiful in there! I took many pictures, including one from the top. I love the detail they put into it. Walking through there wreaks havoc on legs which don’t get the exercise they should (i.e. mine), but it was worth it. When I left there, I marched to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. I rode it by myself like the big girl I am! After having tons of fun on that, I sat on benches across from Tom Sawyer Island for a short while and just relaxed, enjoying the view.

Next was Splash Mountain. Five-minute wait, people! SOLD! I sat in the back and a family was in the first two rows. At the ending splash, our faces got soaked. Only the mother had wet clothing, but the faces of myself, the husband, and two kids all had soaking wet faces LOL! I had never seen anything like it before. Next I was uber brave and rode the Haunted Mansion by myself. That had been a lasting fear of mine and I overcame it! The ghosts were nice enough to not stop the doom buggies at any point, thankfully. If the buggies had stopped in the séance room, I would have probably fainted.

After that, I decided to go see the Hall of Presidents show. I was emotional at Abraham Lincoln’s speech for two reasons - #1. He is my favorite President and #2. It’s Disney. Everything makes me emotional at Disney. Anyway, I break the stigma that show has because I never fall asleep. I find it extremely interesting, and I love watching the Animatronics to see which Presidents are moving when attention is not on them.

I then had a delicious lunch at the Columbia Harbor House. That place is seriously in my top 3 favorite eateries on the entire Disney property. THEN I went on the Haunted Mansion again. Am I nuts? Yes. Did I have the time of my life? Yes. The ghosts were not as sweet this time. They decided to stop our vehicle right at the end, so I was face-to-face with Miss Bride who says, “Hurry baaaaaack.” Yikes.

Next was Tomorrowland. I tackled the Wedway People Mover once, loving every second of it. The next ride was Stitch’s Great Escape. That was horrible. Now I know why everyone hates it. It was a waste of time and Disney seriously needs to close it soon. I can think of much better possibilities to take its place. Next was the epic masterpiece that is the Carousel of Progress. Love it to pieces! Seeing Uncle Walt’s vision through that show always makes me purely happy. I hope they keep it there forever. I went on the Wedway again after that.

Heading out of Tomorrowland, I stopped at a snack stand and grabbed an Edy’s Strawberry Bar. Mmmmmm. Yummy yummy! I sat under a tree in front of the Adventureland entrance and thoroughly enjoyed it. Then I saw that Captain Jack’s Tutorial was going on, so I joined the crowd. I stood to the side to watch. No lie, people … he saw me singing along to “Yo Ho” with him and he pointed at me and said, “YES!” LOL! Then I received a couple of raised eyebrow glances from him. I won’t go into it here, but … Captain Jack Sparrow and the Cast Members who portray him are sexy. That is all. I went on Pirates after that to celebrate the pirate awesomeness occurring at that moment.

I had a FastPass for Peter Pan, so I hopped on that and enjoyed every second of it. The Cast Member running the ride was named Briana, so we were laughing about how special we were LOL. Then I went on Snow White. Did not enjoy it so much this year. There was an impatient guy behind me, and this lady in front of me, whose family joined her in line toward the front of the queue. He did not like this and started complaining. So there I am, monkey in the middle, with people in front of me and behind me, arguing. I’m thinking, “Really? Must you be doing this now?”

As I was exiting the ride, I called Shelley (@shelleycaran) to ask her where she was. She was explaining to me but I didn’t understand. All of a sudden, she says all too nonchalantly, “Look to your left.” I look and there she is. LOL! I was able to meet Princess Zoe, her lovely daughter, who is too precious for words. We headed to Tomorrowland first. We got on Wedway and Buzz. Okay so you know when a child does something that warms and melts your heart? While on Wedway, she reached over and hugged me. Then on Buzz, she held my hand. <3 Such a sweet little girl. After that, we met up with Shelley’s husband, Dave, on Main Street USA. We watched the flag ceremony, which was a first for me. That was absolutely lovely. We all rode the Jungle Cruise and happily laughed at the awesomely corny jokes. We then rode Pirates and the Haunted Mansion. We all walked over to Tony’s and met up with John (@disneyworlds) and Nicole (@njoysiscaretti).

The six of us marched happily to Thunder Mountain. So here’s the thing…for a long time now, I have been wanting to ride this at night. I was ecstatic. The only bad part about this was that it was quite cold out. I believe Nicole wanted to strangle me right there. But we survived it! Shelley sat it out, but Dave, Zoe, John, Nicole and I went on. Although it was very cold, I had the time of my life. Such a memorably cold moment! LOL. As we went around the corners, Nicole & I were screaming, ‘WEEEE! WEEEEE!’ 

When we got off of the ride, Todd (@tperlmutter) was there with Shelley. So we all walked over to Tony’s together. This night was SO magical, I cannot even begin to describe how much fun we all had. Dinner was fabulous. I believe we were the loudest ones in the restaurant. The Carans had to leave after dinner. It was REALLY sad saying farewell, especially to Shelley, since we had hung out together almost each day I was there.  ALREADY I was on the verge of crying.

Todd, Nicole, John, and I shopped the Emporium a bit. I found an adorable Thumper charm for my bracelet, and John bought me a Cheshire Cat charm. <3 I wear that bracelet almost every day now. After browsing the Emporium, some Cast Members began to close off entranceways. We kinda panicked and made our way out on Main Street. We started to walk slooooowly (we did NOT want to leave) toward the exit. After a group hug, Nicole mentioned feeling magical. Then, it happened…she and I got on the ground and made snowless snow angels. And you know what? That was one of the most memorable moments of my life. Laying on that ground and looking to the left, seeing the beautiful castle….then as we were lying there, she mentioned how dirty the ground probably was, and we got up. LOL. However, we did not care because we were living the moment!

As we made our way out, I could not stop looking back at the castle. I wanted to treasure every moment, and it looked so beautiful. Nicole and I spotted a Candylane Garden, and a guest was nice enough to take our picture in front of it.

Officially, that was one of the best days and nights of my entire life. It was TERRIBLY hard to say goodbye. I managed to hold my tears in while saying goodbye to them. We shared hugs, laughs, and then split ways.

When I got onto the ferry, I cried my eyes out the entire trip back to the Wilderness Lodge. Not only was I leaving Disney World which is hard in itself, but I was leaving great friends. I will always remember this day and cannot wait to tell my kids all about it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Solo Trip - Day 3 - 11/04/2010

I met Shelley (@shelleycaran) at 10am in front of the Food & Wine Festival decorations at the entrance to Epcot. We squealed and did a little dance again. Then we went right on Spaceship Earth, paying homage to Dame Judi Dench and watching the Phoenicians hit on me. We were cracking up at the end, with our faces on the screen. We made silly faces, of course, which added to the hilarity. Next was Test Track. I had only been on that once before, but it immediately became a favorite of mine. We had a blast on that, and again were laughing, this time at my hair when we got off the ride. It was sticking out in all different directions!

Next was Living with The Land. It is always so cool to tour the greenhouses, especially when one of the Behind The Seeds tours is going on.

We then had a lovely lunch at Via Napoli. The loveliest part about the lunch was the waiters. One in particular, whose picture I will post with the others on Flickr.  The place really is beautiful, inside and out. I’m looking forward to returning there next time.

We rode Maelstrom after lunch. I think I’m now famous for my fear of the polar bear. Not both of them, just the one on his back legs. After that, Shelley had to leave to get her daughter Zoe from school. Unfortunately, Zoe has a cast on her arm, and because rain cannot get on Zoe’s cast, Shelley did not return. That was unfortunate, but I managed to keep myself busy!

I was a big girl and rode Test Track again, this time by myself. Wasn’t frightened one bit! Next I did the Universe of Energy. Love that one! @AmyBethCombs was cracking me up because we had been texting, and when she had not heard from me in a while, I had a text waiting from her that said, “Are you being eaten by a pterodactyl????” This made me laugh because if I WAS in the midst of being eaten by a dinosaur, I would not take the time to text her back about it. LMBO!

I proceeded to do some shopping around the World Showcase. Then I had a lovely dinner at Tutto Italia. When I arrived, I informed them I did not have a reservation but was wondering if they had a table available, and the manager came over and said, “For you? Immediately.” I blushed. Let me tell ya’ll something, the Cast Members there are a bit scary. There were two of them guarding the room I was in. I felt like Michael Corleone. I was expecting machine guns to come popping out at any second. While I was scared, I also felt kinda cool and protected…in a mafia sort of way. My waitress was an absolute doll! And for dessert, I had the vanilla gelato which was ah-mazing.

After dinner, I shopped around a lot more. OH! Along the way, I was able to meet Judd (@SailorJ) who is a great guy! We watched a bit of Off-Kilter together. That band is fantastic. I also got to meet up with a friend of mine, Amanda, from a forum I belong to. It’s great to meet new people. 

In the United Kingdom, I bought Mary Poppins and managed to catch a comedy act by these three insane guys. They called it “The Holy Grail” and they took three people from the crowd to be their king, prince, and a witch. The entire crowd, myself included, were laughing ourselves silly. They had the guy playing the king shaking his hips and saying, “Ah cha cha cha! It’s good to be the king!” LOL!

Later that night, I was able to meet the one and only Duffy. HE IS ADORABLE!! I gave him the biggest hug, then Photopass snapped three pictures of us, which I will be showing on Flickr. When I left, I hugged him again and he made kissing sounds on my forehead. I melted! Love love love love Duffy. He is the sweetest bear!

It began raining quite hard. I did have my poncho on but it became irritating so I was ducking in and out of buildings to shop in. Soon after, I hopped on the Monorail to TTC, TTC to Magic Kingdom, ferry boat to the Lodge.

It was a lovely day…despite the rain.

The Solo Trip - Day 2 - 11/03/2010

When I awoke, I grabbed some breakfast at the Roaring Fork, and cleaned up for the day. I took the ferry over to the Magic Kingdom. I began the day by shopping for about a half hour inside The Emporium. I bought some awesome items (for myself and family) and put them on hold for package pickup later that day. At around 11am, I met Jared (@jaredsward) at the front of the park, and we made our way to Tomorrowland. I asked where we should go first, and he suggested Space Mountain. Oye. We stood in front of it and I panicked. I said, “Let’s go on the Wedway first. Maybe I just have to get a ride out of my system.” We go on the Wedway, then return to Space Mountain. I panic again, followed by a shriek, ‘OH LOOK! Buzz is only a 10 minute wait!’ He laughed at me, and we rode Buzz. (Jared puts me to shame on that ride. He got WAYYYYY more points than I did.)

After Buzz, we returned to the front of Space. He talked me into it, and I told him to force me on the ride, so he pushed me through the queue as I jokingly freaked that “I was being forced against my will.” It was only about a 10-15 minute wait. We were in the first car and I sat right behind Jared. SPACE MOUNTAIN IS AMAZING. I absolutely loved it!! The music is epic and the ride itself is quite cool. When it ended, I looked at Jared and said, “Let’s go on it again.” LOL! So we did! We sat in the back…not a good idea. We were lunged all over the place. So from now on, I will request a seat in the front; I would rather my organs stay in their natural positions, thank you very much. Anyway, I have PROOF that I was on the ride (AHEM @enthuxiasm who did not think I would brave it), which I will be posting with all of my pictures on Flickr.

After Space, we went on Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion, and Mickey’s Philharmagic. Again, I managed not to cry at that show. We then had an incredible lunch at Tony’s Town Square. I proceeded to get my package at the front of the park. We decided to meet up later at Epcot, so I returned to the Lodge to drop off the package. Relaxed in my room a bit, then met back up with Jared at Epcot. We went on Spaceship Earth, which was awesome as always. Thank you, Dame Judi Dench, for your continued inspiration. Next we went to see Captain EO. That was so many levels of awesome. Yes, it was filled to the brim of 1980s cheesiness, but THAT was the awesome part. Hooter the elephant was precious! And I loved how the seats moved a bit. Way too fun and I’m SO happy I went to experience it!

Next was Imagination with Figment! Imaginaaaaation Imaginaaaaation….one little spark….from me to you! That song was in my head the rest of the night. So worth it though. Afterwards, we got on The Gran Fiesta Tour. They renovated it a bit with the television screens – the quality is sharper and looks crystal clear now. They did a good job. By this time, it was around 8pm, and we decided to split ways. I'm so happy I got to hang out with Jared! A part of #teamepic to celebrate Disney. :)

I returned to the Lodge and decided to eat at the Whispering Canyon Café. My waiter was a tall, thin fellow nicknamed Big Al. As soon as he came over to my table, I knew he would be trouble. He sat across from me to take my order. He returns with my drink and sees I’m quietly on the phone with my mom. He proceeds to scream, “Will everyone please quiet down?! This lady is trying to talk on the phone!!” I could feel my eyes bulging. I stared up at him and whispered, “Thank you for drawing attention to me”, to which he responded, “You’re welcome, dear.” THEN a while later, I had to call up @AmyBethCombs momentarily to tell her something…bad mistake! I thought Big Al just wanted to say hello to Amy. He takes the phone and says, “Hi, Amy? Yeah, your friend is trying to have her dinner. Bye” and hangs up on her! LOL!!!! My jaw dropped to the floor. We stared at each other and he said, “That was long-distance, wasn’t it?” I just stared at him. That was hilarious!! I called Amy back and she was laughing hysterically. The whole dinner was comical – Big Al and I were constantly teasing and torturing each other. At one point, I threatened to throw my fork at him and he said, “Sweetie, I have knives.” LMBO!!

Crazy, wacky, fun day!

The Solo Trip - Day 1 - 11/02/2010

After less than four hours of sleep, I sprang out of bed and into action. I put on my clothes and got ready for the flight. My parents and I left for Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, NY at 5am and we arrived there at 6am. I checked my one suitcase in, then the three of us sat in the eatery area and talked. We also chatted with this couple who were cousins (well, the wife was the cousin) of the San Francisco Giants player Mike DeRosa. Too cool. At around 7am, I bid a tearful farewell to my parents. That was a bit difficult but I managed to get through it okay. I was in line for security and a sweet family kept me company, as they could see the pain I was going through at that moment. So I got through security hassle-free, and waited in the vestibule for boarding to begin. When I got on the plane, not only was I sitting in the same row as Mike DeRosa’s cousin, but across from me and one behind was the family from the security line! I thank God that happened, as I was a bit frightened with this being my first solo flight and all. Everything went without a hitch, the plane ride was spectacular, and I was extremely joyous to see Florida outside the plane windows. Welcome to the Orlando International Airport!

We piled off the plane and I took the terminal to baggage claim. I said goodbye to Derosa’s cousin, and off I went on my search for the Magical Express. Okay. That was annoying. It took me a while to find an employee kind enough to show me the way. When I saw the waving Cast Members with Mickey’s gloves on, I became ecstatic. I got in line and called up Amy (@AmyBethCombs) while waiting. People stared at me as I talked to her while munching on a banana. She tweeted shortly after about my arriving safely in Orlando, which I’m thankful for (love you, Amy!). When they were boarding the bus only after about a 10-15 minute wait, who was I sitting across from but the family from the security line! We spent just about the entire half-hour ride discussing Disney. They were such great people. When we came close to the Walt Disney World welcome sign, I naturally freaked out and snapped a picture.

The Wilderness Lodge was the third stop. I began shvitzing. I headed inside and the Cast Member welcomed me home. I shivered. Then I walked in…and THERE WAS THE DISNEY SMELL. That smell we all know and love. I went to the online check-in kiosk and they put me on the sixth floor. I went to the room and realized I did not like it. They put me in the far back corner of the hallway, in a secluded area. No thank you. So I quickly changed and took my things downstairs. A Cast Member told me they would have another room near the elevator on the same floor, later in the day. YES! So I left my luggage with the concierge (thank you, sir!), and took the ferryboat to the Magic Kingdom. On the way, I hear, ‘Briana!’ I whipped around and across the aisle and behind me were the airplane/bus family!! Great people.

When I entered the Magic Kingdom, I excitedly called Aurora (@RoraBorieAlice) and she told me she was at Pecos Bills. I made my way over there (yeah I took the long way by accident…don’t judge me) but soon enough, I saw Aurora’s pretty, smiling face outside of the restaurant. I waved happily and we hugged each other tight! We went inside and there was her husband James (@THATJamesMoore) and her brother Cade (@CadelLadelSoup). First of all, hanging with them is like hanging with my own family, so it felt like home. As we left Pecos Bills’, I was able to briefly meet Josette (@disneymom1218) and her family! They are great people. We all headed to Thunder Mountain but the line was too long, so we went to The Haunted Mansion. Oh and um…it was kinda raining. As in pouring. Cade and James blame me for the rain. Apparently, Florida had not experienced any form of rainfall in thirty-something days, and I totally jinxed the entire state. Oye. Anyway, the Mansion was extremely fun as always. Next we all went on Small World. Thanks to Cade for one of my pictures being blurry, as he purposely hit my elbow as I was snapping it. As we departed the ride, James let me borrow his sweatshirt hoodie because I had nothing else with me except the tank top I was wearing. I still feel really bad about that. He was drenched and I felt responsible.

We went to see Mickey’s Philharmagic then. LOVE that show! I reached out to Ariel and Aurora said, ‘You can’t hug her, Brie.’ Wish I could have! Surprisingly, I managed to keep a dry eye throughout the entire show. We then walked back to Pecos Bills’ to meet John (@DisneyWorlds) and Nicole (@njoysiscaretti). Nicole was sporting the adorable little pink and green Minnie Mouse D&B purse that I love! SO glad I got to meet her (we were able to hang out more too – see Friday’s post soon to come). And seeing John again was awesome, since he is like family. We all sat at the table for a while to chat, laugh, and take pictures. Aurora, James, and Cade left then to see Boyz II Men at Epcot. Unfortunately, I did not get to see them anymore during the trip, but I’m very thankful I was able to hang out with them a while.

John, Nicole, and I headed to the Haunted Mansion but it had broke down (we think it was something to do with an actual ghost…yes indeed) and went to It’s A Small World. Of course, John’s humor had me laughing hysterically throughout the entire boat ride. THEN Peter Pan! Yay! We all got into one ship and sailed over London. It was a beautiful journey. John took a couple of pictures of Nicole and me along the way....

We made our way to the Main Street Bakery. We were good kids and did not get anything sugary. I had a fruit cup and Nicole had a coffee. We were living it up healthy, although the cinnamon buns looked amazingly tempting. We walked outside and over to Tony’s, where I met Shelley (@shelleycaran). We screamed and hugged. I have loved talking to this lady on Twitter, so to meet her was awesome. John and Nicole had to leave, so we bid our farewells, agreeing to hang out on Friday.

Shelley and I did a little dance down Main Street, then made our way to Buzz Lightyear. That was my first time on the ride ever. The first experience wasn’t too great, because our vehicle was broken. She was trying to spin it and nothing was happening. Needless to say, we did not score many points. I think I had 12,400 points. Bummer. Still, it was a VERY cool ride. We went to the Frontierland Shooting Arcade next (also a first time experience for me). It was fun! I only got about 1 out of 35 shots, but it was still cool!

Shortly after, it was time for the MSEP tweet-up. First, we spotted Craig (@Craigory24) with Bonus Chris (@opherlee). They are such great people and it was awesome getting to chat with them! Then Amy (not Lisa, haha!!) (@Disney4Babies) and Chris (@CWRidgeway) came along…more great people! Then Todd (@tperlmutter) and Cheryl (@cherylp3) joined us. They are one of my favorite Twitter couples EVER. I’m so blessed to be friends with these people. Seriously. We had a lot of laughs that night. Shelley was all Mary Poppins with her umbrella and Todd snapped a picture (still waiting to see that one!). Todd and I totally did the hot diggity dog dance pre-parade as well. Also, I bought myself a poncho to survive the unending rain, so Bonus Chris and I did a fashion pose for a picture, which ended up being one of my most favorite pictures of the entire trip. Everyone was jealous of the sexy ponchos.

Before long, the MSEP began! Todd will tell any of you, I was shvitzing. Jumping up and down with excitement. It started with Tinkerbell and her fairies…and all I remember after that was being in absolute amazement, and being surrounded by beautiful, bright colors. Shortly after Tinkerbell, the float came along that says vintage-style ‘Disney’s Electrical Parade.’ I just about melted. There was an adorable turtle with a sombrero on that I named Fernando. (This is the only name he can go by now – write this down and remember it.) My favorite float, above and beyond all else, was Elliott from Pete’s Dragon. I stared in disbelief at him. And I did become a little emotional, of course. That was such a memorable moment for me.

After the MSEP, we said goodbye to Craig & Bonus Chris. Sadly, we could not find Amy and Chris, so we did not get to say goodbye to them. The Perlmutters, Shelley, and I made our way to a dessert stand in Liberty Square. Todd bought this irresistible-looking Toll House cookie sandwich with mint chocolate chip ice cream in the middle. It looked amazing. Todd and Cheryl left shortly afterward and Shelley & I watched Wishes. We squealed at certain parts. It was beautiful, as always. We split ways after the display, and I returned to the Lodge via ferry boat. Received my luggage from concierge, and went to my new room, complete with a Mickey head made of towels on one of the beds. I ended my magical night with a phone call to Amy (@AmyBethCombs).

I was SO ready for more magic the next day.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This Is Me

Hello all! First, let me thank whoever is reading this for taking the time out of their lives to listen to what I wish to share.

Now. I call myself a Christian…by MY definition, this means I believe in God and believe that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. My knowledge does not go so far as to where I can quote from The Bible, but I do adore God with all of my heart.

I occasionally curse. I tend to have a dirty mind and will say things not exactly pure of soul. This does not mean I love God any less. I AM NOT A PERFECT CHRISTIAN. As all human beings do, I sin. Jesus died on the cross to forgive us for our sins. This does not mean when I do sin, I think ‘oh well’, all is fine. No way. OF COURSE I apologize to The Lord. But I do sin.

Some friends have asked me in the past how I can call myself a Christian when I lie/lead others on. Yes, I do admit that in the past I have lied to family and friends. And I am so completely ashamed of that. However, I am working on that. As I mentioned in capital letters above, I am not a perfect Christian. Should I even call myself a Christian? Maybe not at this point. But I can tell you all one thing: I am a God-fearing individual who is trying my very best to do what is right in this world. When I say dirty things or curse, it does not change who I am.

And to reiterate what many of my Disney pals have said, you cannot judge a person by how much they curse. That is prejudice and disgusting. My pal Jim Garth made mention in his blog of how Disney is a big part of who he is BUT, and I quote, ‘it does not define who I am.’ THAT RIGHT THERE explains so much. Yes, some of us curse and do not have a completely pure mind. This does not mean we are not true Disney fans. We can NOT let others tell us who we are. NO ONE in this entire world should judge us. That is completely up to God. Being human beings, we of course make judgments about people. That is another thing I am working on with my religion.

So to my friends who wonder how I call myself a Christian…I’m working on my beliefs. Remember something: I’m 21. I’m still figuring out who I truly am. Not to sound cliché, but this is part of the reason I’m taking a solo trip. Self-discovery is a very important thing, especially in today’s society. You need to figure out for yourself who you are and what your values are.

Sidenote: For the love of all that is kind and good in this world, please do not discriminate. Do not hate people who are black, Hispanic, gay, bisexual, etc etc. I repeat…you have no right to judge anyone. Jesus says something in The Bible similar to not judging anyone, as you yourself have many faults.

Thank you all for reading this, my friends. I'm proud of who I am. Yes, I still make many mistakes and am trying to change that bit by bit.

And to DF – yes, I myself have unfollowed you too. I cannot respect someone who discriminates based on cursing. It is immature.

Thank you all for accepting me for who I am.

All the love in the world,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Film Review: Gone With the Wind

The first hour of it was thoroughly enjoyable for me. Packed with snap and spark, I knew I was in for a good ride. The remaining approximate two and a half hours were great, but left me with such a sad feeling. A happy moment was so rare, that it became joyous when one did occur.

As I mentioned when I watched this, I soaked about five tissues during this film. One of the times being when Ashley returned from the war and Melanie could see him in the distance. I love Olivia deHavilland anyway, but the look of progressed joy on her face was such a brilliant moment of acting, that I basically started weeping. Also, when Melanie died and her child was crying, ‘Why can’t I go where Mommy is going?’

The one thing I HATED…and I rarely use the word…is how the African-Americans were treated. I know it’s the way the South was in that time and it was a way of life, but it was very uncomfortable for me to watch. Especially the scene where Scarlett slaps Prissy across the face.

The scene where Scarlett kisses Ashley (after his already set engagement with Melanie), I gasped and shouted at the television screen. Sadly, I cannot remember my exact words but it went something like, ‘Oh no you didn’t!’

Miss Scarlett O’Hara. That eyebrow just says it all, doesn’t it? Love this dress, by the way.

Rhett Butler. He is officially in my list of Top 10 favorite film characters. He’s exactly the type of character that I love. Kind of like Errol Flynn in “The Adventures of Robin Hood.” Epically memorable.
Melanie Hamilton. As I have said, Olivia deHavilland is amazing. If any of you have not seen “Snake Pit”, I suggest you do that. Like right now. That is sheer beauty in acting right there, just as her performance as Melanie was. She was my second favorite character in this film (Rhett being the first).
Ashley Wilkes. Ok I’m kind of biased about this because I have a little crush on Leslie Howard. I’ve never been the type to go for the obviously handsome actors such as Paul Newman or Cary Grant. I go towards the less obvious ones such as Howard and Joseph Cotton. That being said, I immediately fell for his character. Aside from my being biased though…he did a great job.

Get away from me, you vile man! That isn’t actually what she said, but doesn’t that fit this picture?

The cast was ginormous, and it would be impossible to post a picture of everyone and describe my love for their performances. But let me give quick props to Hattie McDaniel who played the lovingly strict Mammy and Thomas Mitchell who portrayed Scarlett’s lovable father. When he started to lose his bearings and began speaking as though his wife were still alive, I cried. That was such a heartbreaking, real moment.

As for quotes….there are so many wonderful quotes in this film, but this one is my favorite:

Scarlett: Sir, you are no gentleman.
Rhett: And you, miss, are no lady...Don't think that I hold that against you. Ladies have never held any charm for me.

I know many will disagree with what I’m about to say, but I need to say it. Her last line of “Tomorrow’s another day!” is a sore spot with me. Who would actually say that after everything she experienced? Although she did not love Bonnie as much as Rhett did, she also lost her parents as well as Melanie. And what about the love of Ashley that she will never have?

All in all, I’m happy I watched this film. Because of this being the emotional powerhouse it is, I most likely not watch it again for a long time. But to experience this once in your life is a must! And to those who do not appreciate the epic quality of this film…frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Retro Disney

The House of Mouse. Steamboat Willie (1928) . The Wonderful World of Disney. How To Play Baseball (1942). The Baby-Sitters Club. The Original Mickey Mouse Club. These are some personal favorite “retro” Disney shows/shorts of mine.

Many of us on Twitter have agreed that Phineas and Ferb is the only top-notch Disney cartoon which currently airs. (I also personally enjoy Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse as well.) Sure, you have the cute appeal of Wizards on Waverly Place and the innocent faces of Zack and Cody…but do their shows really stand against the power of the Mouse?

I don’t want to criticize Disney, because the corporation is basically who I am, but I want to say that I do not watch High School Musical or Hannah Montana, or any other current show. And as much as I enjoy Phineas and Ferb, I don’t make the time to watch an episode like I would with a classic Donald Duck short.

In the 1990s, I adored Boy Meets World (1993-2000) & Sister Sister. When I have children, I want them to grow up on The Goof Troop (1992-1996) and The Little Mermaid series (1992-1995), among many others.

Uncle Walt believed in the simplicity of magic. When he began the Wonderful World of Disney, he had big dreams in mind, dreams for his children (us!) to feed off of. "You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality." Our very own Uncle Walt said this. We need to take heed of this and bring back the true meaning of imagination.

@yourcuppycake and @tiggerlover75 “I miss Dumbo’s Circus (1985), & the tv series "Alice in Wonderland" & "Darkwing Duck" & "Gummi Bears.”

@maryspixiemagic “My favorite is Peter and the Wolf. Love Sasha the duck.”

@sezcluvswdw “I used to adore Kids Inc. (1984-1992), MMC, (1989-1995) and Avonlea.”

@DisneyDean “The Wonderful World of Disney, especially their nature shows. I am all of a sudden really loving the MMC serial Annette – very cool series.”

@hatboxfiend “MMC, House of Mouse, Disney Afternoon. All the Wonderful World of Disney stuff. Don’t forget Lonesome Ghosts.”

@DanceBratz23 “I luv the one with Mickey and Donald and Goofy in the camper all inside with no driver classic.” (Camping Out – 1934)

@VertigoDawn “Bongo and Lambert the Sheepish Lion J.”

@chipfoods “Buzz Lightyear’s show!” (Buzz Lightyear of Star Command – 2000)

@EPCOTPluto “Alien Encounters New Tomorrowland Parts I and II (, Innoventions Parts I, II, and III (, and some Vault Disney videos (”

@sweetaleisha “MMC...that was classic. I miss it to this day!”

@SusieNotSusan "Disney Sing Along Songs - Disneyland Fun (Part 1 of 3)."

@ara_kay “The Original Mickey Mouse Club circa 1950s.

@Debs7777 “any Mickey Mouse Club episode with Annette Funicello are my favs!”

@RyanKilpatrick “Zorro! Zorro! Zorro! Did I mention Zorro?”

@shaene_o_mite “KIDS Incorporated, Mousercise, Dtv, Gummie Bears , The Wuzzles, Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin.”

@MrsMcDrew “DuckTales!”

@IlluminatEpcot “I loved WDW Inside Out. JD Roth was the host if i remember & Flash Forward had @JewelStaite in it. (Who later did Firefly).”

@pattie81 “I loved The Wuzzles!”

@dd_indy “I always loved watching the original MMC reruns and of course Uncle Walt on Sunday evenings while growing up in the 60s.”

@jillybeaner21 “KIDS Incorporated, Mousercise, Dtv.”

@Eweaver6405 “Ducktales!!!!”

@heatherw25 “The New Mickey Mouse Club in the 90s.”

I ask you all now to please take the time to watch some of these shorts/TV episodes. Please leave comments on this blog, or tweet me at @BufferflyBrie on Twitter. We need to let Disney know how important these classics are. We want back what Uncle Walt gave us – the original magic!

Here are some links:

The Original Mickey Mouse Club
Gummi Bears
The Wuzzles
Dumbo’s Circus
The Little Mermaid show
Darkwing Duck
Steamboat Willie (1928)
The Goof Troop
Kids Incorporated
House of Mouse
Aladdin show
The Skeleton Dance (1929)
Lonesome Ghosts (1937)
How to Play Baseball (1942 – a personal favorite of mine!)
Peter and the Wolf (1946)
The Baby-Sitters Club
Disney Afternoon
Camping Out (1934)
Lambert the Sheepish Lion
Disney Sing-Along Songs: Disneyland Fun
Chip & Dale’s Rescue Rangers
WDW Inside Out
Flash Forward

Walt's Plan

“I hope we never lose sight of one thing – it was all started by a mouse." – Walter Elias Disney

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Sweet Taste of Hersheypark


My parents and I decided to spend a one-night vacation in Pennsylvania. We left the house at 7:30a, and drove about four hours to the Comfort Suites in Grantville, PA. Our room was in the midst of being cleaned, so we had a bite to eat in the lobby. My cell phone started to ring at that point, and I saw it was from the Hampton Inn & Suites, the one I applied to back in New York. I took a deep breath and answered the phone….then I just about dropped the phone when the assistant manager said to me, “I would like to go ahead and offer you the job.” AAAAAH!!! While on the phone, I was facing the window, away from my parents, standing on the opposite end of the room. I whipped around and gave them the thumbs-up. After speaking to him, I ran over and hugged them. They are so happy for me. That right there was a sign that this day would be AMAZING. And I do want to add that I had a dream the previous night that I would get a call from Hampton Inn. Strange! Before long, our room was ready, so we put all our stuff down, got ready, and headed to the park.

It’s only a 15-minute drive from the hotel; we got there around 1:45p and got my mom’s wheelchair. They only had manual ones; since it was late in the day, they were out of ECV’s. #FAIL! We actually entered the park and started our day around 2p. First, Dad went on SooperDooperLooper. I think it’s the loop that intimidates me, but I just cannot fathom the thought of going on that ride. I know I will someday, but I just can’t. Mom and I waited by the nearby Whack-a-Mole, happily watching kids play. When he returned, we went to Coal Cracker. Dad and I went on that. That’s my favorite ride there!! It’s almost the equivalent of Splash Mountain in WDW, minus the furry creatures and smoothness of the drop. Only my socks were soaking wet, which is what happened last time. But because Dad was in the back, his shirt and shorts were drenched. Haha! We then went to game called Goblet Toss, where you have to get the balls in colored cups. I was trying to win a minion!! When I saw they had minions, I just about had an attack. But unfortunately, although all three of us tried, I couldn’t get one. Oh well and moving on.

Next was the Kissing Tower, which I call “The Mothership.” It’s a huge pole with a circular seating device that slowly rotates up the pole, giving you a birds-eye view of everything. It was gorgeous! We all went on that one. Then Dad and I went on Twin Turnpike, which is similar to the Indy Speedway in Tomorrowland at MK, only a much shorter ride. Dad really relaxed me when he said, “Think of this as your road test.” Thanks, Dad! I responded with, “Oh, is there parallel parking included?” I actually did a great job fake-driving!

Mom and I went to the Garden Grille place to just sit in the air conditioning for a while, while Dad rode the leg-hanging, corkscrew & loop-crazy rollercoaster, Great Bear. We were going to do Trailblazer next, but the line was too long, so we went to Subway instead. Dad didn’t want Subway, so we went to the Boardwalk area next, where he had a Nathans hot dog. I absolutely love the Boardwalk area. They do a great job with the Atlantic City vibe; piped-in seagull sounds, water rides, and the Boardwalk-esque games. So I went to the changing room and put on my bathing suit with capris over it. We headed to Midway America next for some shopping. Mom called the front of the park and they had ECV’s in, so they brought her one. Yay! We all then went on another one of my favorite rides, The Whip! Mom and I rode together, and Dad hopped in the other one. We had a wonderful time on that.

I was planning on doing Tidal Force, but the line was ridiculously long, so we stood in the ‘splash zone’ area. Dad and I got pretty drenched! That was awesome. We headed out of that area then to ride Trailblazer. We were able to hop right on that time. It’s SO much like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! Except I prefer BTMR, of course. Next was Dry Gulch Railroad, an easy train ride. The breeze felt wonderful. We took the Monorail around the park after that for another cooling-off adventure. God gave us such a beautiful sunset to end such a beautiful day!

When we got off of the Monorail, I hopped onto the Reeses Xtreme Cup Challenge, which I’m assuming is similar to Buzz’s ride in Tomorrowland at MK. You shoot at targets as your ride moves along a track and there are two attached vehicles, peanut butter vs. chocolate. I think I got about 25,000 points. Go me! Our team still lost, unfortunately LOL. We did some shopping then; Mom got some chocolate-nut fudge & Dad got a couple of collectible pins. Hmmm I wonder where Hershey got the idea for pin collecting/trading?? I will have to ponder this question for a while. We then returned to the hotel. An awesome day!!


We checked out of our hotel and headed to Chocolate World. We went on the ride, then shopped. I bought an adorable baby pink shirt that says “Kisses” with one Hershey Kiss made out of multi-colored flowers. I also bought a Hershey plush squeak toy for my dog, Daisie. While Mom had a bite to eat, Dad and I went on the ride again. We made ghetto poses for the picture they snap at the end LOL. We met up with Mom, then made the 4-hour car ride home. ‘Twas a lovely mini-vacation!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Insect Respect

I love butterflies. I always have since I was a kid…hence my Twitter username (@BufferflyBrie). Of course, when I was little, they were taken in as more of a “Oooh, look how pretty!” instead of seriously considering the beauty of nature. Now that I’m 21, God’s creations mean more to me than I ever thought they possibly could. I’m not going to say that I adore all of the insects of the world…I could definitely do without spiders and centipedes…but in the last couple of years, I’ve grown to view the meaning of insects in a whole new light. I’m about to share a story with you of something that happened to me today. Depending on the level of emotion you possess, this may strike you as a little sad/bittersweet. Just a word of caution.

This afternoon I drove my mom to our local greenhouse so she could take a look around at the plants. Mom has a newfound love for hanging plants. While she looked around, I noticed something wriggling near the ground. As I looked closer, I could make out the shape of a fly caught in a web. Now insects in webs have always upset me. Whether this stems from a general hate of spiders or purely the agonizing pain which the insect is being putting through, I don’t know. So I took my foot and lightly pushed him out of the web. He was grateful for this, and thanked me by flying up my skirt. This did not impress me, so after doing an uncomfortable shaky dance for a minute, he flew away, much to my happiness. Then I saw a butterfly. I could feel a smile come over my face as I watched her happily land on flowers and fly beautifully past me. I followed her outside and continued to watch her for a minute.

Then as my mom talked to the store’s owner, I felt something land on my shoulder. A bit frightened, I took a peek and saw an insect’s head staring at me. I panicked and smacked it, causing it to fall to the ground. When I got up the courage to look at what it was…there was a dying dragonfly. Its wings were trying to move as it lay on its back. As tears filled my eyes, my mom came over and saw it. She tried to gently put it on its stomach to give it strength. As she did this, you could see it start to regain a bit of energy, much to my relief. However, it still did not look like it could ever recover to a normalcy of flying. The owner came over and brought it outside to put on a plant. Whether it survived this, I don’t know. And I don’t think I would want to know. But I don’t think I will ever forget doing that. My heart hurt for it as we exited the store, but I felt a sense of lightness when the butterfly from before came and circled around me, almost to let me know that everything was okay. To me, it was a sign from God that He wasn’t upset with me. After all, it was an accident.

To see that dragonfly wriggling in pain that I myself caused was one of the worst feelings I have ever experienced in the entire world. I hate causing pain in people; I’ve damaged someone’s feelings before and I made a vow to myself to never do it again. Thankfully, I’ve kept my promise thus far. I hate causing pain in animals; I’ve stepped on my dog’s paw before accidentally and listened to her cry. The hurt you cause in others is absolutely painstaking. This pain that I feel inside of me whenever I cause the pain in others, is something that I never thought would affect me this badly when it happened to insects. But I’ve grown and realized the importance of preserving nature.

We have all stepped on insects, whether on purpose or by mistake, but we rarely sit and think about what we’re doing. Some of you may not believe in God, which is fine…I will not judge you. So please don’t judge me and accept that I’m a God-fearing individual who believes that He put everything on this planet for a particular reason. Whichever reason that is, I can’t say that I know. But there is a purpose to everything.

The purpose of this blog post is to beg you all to stop and smell the roses…literally. Nature is to be cherished, not destroyed. You all must know that I’m not a “going green” type of person. There are many things I should be doing to help the environment, which I don’t. However, I do what I can right now, which includes turning off lights to preserve electricity, recycling, and when I can, saving insects. I had a discussion recently with some Twitter friends about insects and how I try to save as many as I can, including ants. Have you ever watched the determination of an ant before? They are hard little workers and have much to do in life.

I want to share an anonymously-written poem that was sent by a friend of mine, Shirley (@irishgirl127). She is recovering from back surgery at this time, so please say an extra prayer for her. Shirley, this poem is for you.

"The Oak Tree"
A mighty wind blew night and day.
It stole the oak tree's leaves away.
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark.
But still the oak tree held its ground while other trees fell all around...
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
"How can you still be standing, Oak?"
The oak tree said, "I know that you can break each branch of mine in two, carry every leaf away,
Shake my limbs, and make me sway.
But I have roots stretched in the earth, growing stronger since my birth.
You'll never touch them, for you see,
They are the deepest part of me.
Until today, I wasn't sure
Of just how much I could endure.
But now I've found, with thanks to you
I'm stronger than I ever knew.
Especially now, try to remember that you're stronger than any problem you encounter.”

There are too many awful things going on in this world to not care. The oil spills, the natural disasters, continued wars and killings. While many of these cannot be prevented, we need to take action to save our insects. Whether or not you want to believe it, they help this world to be as beautiful as it is today. So please…if you happen to find an insect on its back in need of a hand, please turn it over. They are grateful for our assistance. They need our help to survive this world.

Your friend,

Thursday, June 3, 2010

WDW 2010 Trip Day 5

Friday, May 28:

Our day to go home. Boo. I realized I hadn’t yet bought my pin for the year, so I went downstairs to the Fantasia shop and bought a Test Track one. I also got my very first Vinylmation!! He’s adorable! I got a plain pink one and bought stickers to go with him. I put kooky eyes on him, a Mickey ice cream bar on his tummy, wings on his back, fireworks in his ears, and flowers on the back of his head. He’s awesome. Oh and I wore a very appropriate shirt for the kind of day it was – Alice in Wonderland that said “It Was All a Dream.” Makes me feel bittersweet just to type that. We had a bumpy flight but thank God, we arrived home safely. And I’m still mad to be back home, by the way. But I thank God we were able to go.

I love you, Uncle Walt. Thank you for making all of my dreams come true.

WDW 2010 Trip Day 4

Thursday, May 27:

This was our last full day the Magic Kingdom. I honestly cannot remember everything about this day or in what order we did things in. So I will just randomly talk about moments of the day, starting with the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway. This was my first ever time on it! I absolutely loved it. My dad and I went on – he let me drive – the CM looked at him as we climbed in and said, ‘You look nervous.’ Dad said, ‘Nah, I’m not nervous.’ So I looked at the CM and replied, ‘Well, he should be!’ The CM cracked up and off I flew (once I asked the poor man about a zillion questions about the vehicle). It was great fun; I lost control of the direction a couple times and I caught Dad clutching the side of the automobile. HA! When the ride ended, the same CM said to Dad, ‘Wow, you were ready to get out of the car fast. You look scared.’ I laughed and said, ‘I think I frightened him!’ He said, ‘Yeah, I can see that!’ LOL!

We also saw the Carousel of Progress. Love that! I got emotional a couple times watching it, wishing that Uncle Walt had seen this dream come alive. Of course, I sang along to the catchy tune. A really cool part of the day was when we were getting FastPasses for Peter Pan, and another piece of paper popped out. I didn’t even see it; another guest actually had the decency to say, ‘Oh, maam? You missed something?’ and handed it to me. It was a Surprise FP for Mickey’s Philharmagic! I was ecstatic!! Both attractions were phenomenal, of course. Philharmagic was incredible. No matter how old you are, it’s beautiful. And you still find yourself reaching for objects that you know are not there, but seem so real anyhow. My favorite scenes are with Ariel and Aladdin – so gorgeous! And Peter Pan is always lovely (I always have to holler ‘HI NANA!’ when we pass her doghouse).

We had lunch for the first time at Columbia Harbor House. I was quite impressed with the place – will definitely return there. One of the CM’s is from Wappingers, a town about a half hour away from me! We sat with a lady and her grandson, who she said was autistic. I’m gonna go off-topic for a second: she was a nice and good-hearted lady and all, but she treated this 16 year-old boy like he was four. I HATE that. He could obviously speak for himself, feed himself, etc. And yet she’s wiping his mouth with a napkin and such. I’m one of those who believes that those stricken with autism are smarter than those who aren’t; they just can’t express themselves the way those without autism can. If you have a close friend or relative over 14 (give or take a year) with autism…watch over them, but please don’t treat them like a child. Sorry folks, but I had to get that out there.

Time for the Haunted Mansion! We didn’t get stuck that time. Next was Pirates, then the Jungle Cruise, followed by the Wedway. I talked to a sweet CM for a long time in the Art of Disney store about Imagineers and he told me a lot of things I didn’t know. He had the privilege to meet some of the head Imagineers as well.

Anyway, we had a scrumptious dinner at Tony’s; rode Small World, then watched SpectroMagic. Returned to our room & watched Wishes from the balcony. Mom got me a precious Minnie Mouse keychain and a Cinderella coach antennae topper. I found the first “Kingdom Keepers” book (huzzah!) and purchased it at the Art of the Disney store. Back at our resort, in the BVG store, I bought an adorable white Mickey, Minnie & Pluto purse that I absolutely love, as well as a cute yellow v-neck blouse w/ an image of Mickey & Minnie having lunch on what appears to be Main Street USA. ‘Twas a lovely day. But I really didn't wanna go home the next day.

Monday, May 31, 2010

WDW 2010 Trip Day 3

Wednesday, May 26:

EPCOT!!!! Had our lovely breakfast and took the two monorails to the park. Oh, that was the day we were able to ride a Tronorail! I was ecstatic. It was the blue one, which was absolutely awesome and I was so stoked to be riding it.

When we entered the park, Dad and I rode Spaceship Earth first. That’s a great ride but we were disappointed that the picture thing wasn’t working properly. Our faces didn’t show up on the screens, so that was a bummer.

Next, Dad and I rode Test Track. This was my first time EVER on it!! The line seemed to take forever (a 40 minute wait, I believe), but we finally landed in the briefing room. When we got on the ride, I buckled my seatbelt and knew I was in for it. When it went up that huge hill, I thought, ‘Oh no, please no….’ not sure what was coming. The brake tests came next. I braced myself for those and they were wilder than I thought they would be, but so much fun. We went through hot and cold too. Before I knew it, there was a truck coming at us as we swerved. I kept asking, ‘Is this it? Is this the end?’ Mind you, there was a high schooler in front of us who had been on the ride before and loved every minute of the terror I was experiencing. Soon after, we shot out and I’m thinking, ‘Oh this is a piece of cake’, as I happily put my arms in the air. THEN we go up to 65 mph and the next thing I know, I’m hanging on for dear life screaming, ‘Holy mother of God!!’ as the high schooler laughs hysterically at me. I loved it so much. Definitely and officially my favorite ride at EPCOT.

We then met my mom in Mouse Gear, and shopped around a little. I bought another one of those earthy necklaces, as well as a Test Track Mickey head antennae topper (I collect those). We grabbed Fastpasses for Soarin’, then rode the boat in The Land. I think we went on Universe of Energy next – that’s a nice, relaxing journey. Except for when the dinosaur got closer to me than I was comfortable with, and unexpectedly made this noise, to which I jumped and grabbed my mom’s arm. I can be such a weenie! I used poor Mom so many times to hold onto during my fright and terror. Afterwards, we headed back to The Land to eat at Sunshine Seasons. I have to say, I was not impressed with their food this year. Usually, I’m quite satisfied with their selections but their focaccia bread was terrible and their lettuce was awful. Plus, the chef’s attitude was less than desirable. But I digress!

After lunch, we rode The Seas with Nemo and Friends. That’s always cute – Mom closes her eyes during the part with Crush & Squirt in the current, and tells me to let her know when it’s over because she gets dizzy. I must admit, they have this amazing technique of making you feel like you’re riding upside-down. Don’t know how they do it – the Disney magic, I suppose.

We went to Canada to see Off-Kilter. They are awesome and so much fun to watch! They seem like really nice guys too.

Our Fastpasses for Soarin’ were due, so we returned to The Land (for the third time LOL) and rode it. So much fun!! The crowds weren’t as alive as I was hoping – there’s usually a bunch of people applauding and hollering when the trams first go up. I was the only one this year. Tough crowd. We then traveled to Norway to ride Maelstrom, then to China for some shopping. I bought pretty pink rose cut-out earrings.

We had dinner at San Angel Inn in Mexico (again, not impressed this year) and at one of the stores, I bought an adorable pair of silver butterfly earrings (appropriate, yes?!). We went back to the resort afterwards to watch Wishes from the balcony & see Lee DeWyze win “American Idol!” A good night!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

WDW 2010 Trip Day 2

Tuesday, May 25:

We awoke at 8A by an adorable wake-up call delivered by Mickey and Stitch. Stitch starts screaming and Mickey apologizes, but my favorite part is when Stitch decides to randomly yell, ‘GET MOVING!!’ I laughed each morning at that.

Oh, we received a message the previous night about a gift that we had waiting for us. We went to the desk to receive it and excitedly brought it back to the room – because of my celebrations, they gave us a beautiful cherry-wood box with a sketching of the Contemporary on the lid. It’s gorgeous and now sits on a table in our front living room.

So we went down the hall, got our yummy breakfast, and went onto the balcony so we could gaze at the castle while eating. Let me tell you, breakfasts on the balcony were not relaxing. We would be stared at and almost attacked by birds. Crows would land on the railing and stare at us. The only thing that worked was either hissing at them or shaking something at them. We also had ginormous hawks coming toward us. That was the most frightening part of our vacation. I can’t tell you how many times I jumped at the sight of one.

Anyway, after breakfast that day, my parents headed off to the Magic Kingdom, while I went down to the lobby. I was meeting a CM who I have been talking to for a couple years now, about a future career with Disney. I wasn’t sure whether it would turn out to be a formal meeting or a social visit, but much to my relief, it was the latter. She was a lovely person and we talked for about 45 minutes or so; she then had her own meeting to attend to. I ran back to our room to change (since I was SO not going to WDW with a skirt and fancy blouse on, thank you very much) and call my mom on her cell to let her know I was on my way. I took the monorail all by myself (I’m a big girl now) and was planning on meeting them in front of the Uncle Walt & Mickey statue. But before I could do this, I spotted my dad toodling around in my mom’s ECV. I laughed and caught up with him – we then met mom and off we went.

My favorite ride came next, Splash Mountain. My mom passed on this one, so my dad and I got in line. I requested a front-row seat (why, oh why, did I do that?). We got in and things were going great, until we got to a certain turn in the ride. You know when you pass the big drop and it’s on your right, and your boat heads under a tunnel sloooooowly? Yup. That’s when it hit us. A couple of us in the boat were screaming, ‘GO GO!!’ trying to convince ourselves that by pushing our bodies forward, we could make the boat plunge ahead before being hit by the big fall. Did that work? A big, giant NO. SPLAAAAAAAASH went a boat down the cliff…and we were drenched. Head to toe, my friends. Then what happens? It starts raining. REALLY?! Everyone on our boat is now doubly soaked. When we went down the big drop, we didn’t even get wet from THAT! Before I forget, I must add that I partially lost my voice during the trip. I prayed to God over and over that he would keep us healthy and thankfully, He did…at least it was only the voice thing. Anyhoo, I was drenched from my outer clothing to my…ahem..under-things. Thankfully, the sun came out shortly after and we dried in no time.

We then headed to Pirates, which was awesome as always. I asked the pirate if we could sit in the front row and he said, ‘It will cost ya!’ I said, ‘2 shillings?’ He considered this and answered, ‘Get in number 1!’ so we were in the front row LOL! I guess he liked my offer LOL! Afterwards, we had a bite to eat at Casey’s Corner, where we ate outside. We could hear/kinda see the show in front of the castle. I think the sound of the fireworks at the end scared us a bit, but we enjoyed seeing them. Oh and my dad almost got bit by a duck. There was clearly a sign that said ‘Don’t Feed the Ducks.’ Sigh. (Okay okay, I didn’t necessarily pay full attention to the sign either, but still…I didn’t HAND-FEED them!!)

After lunch, it was time to meet some Disney friends for the parade! On a street at Liberty Square, I spotted John (Disneyworlds). We hung out and waited for the rest of the crew – I believe Maria (heavensent30) came next with Dylan (TeamSkellington), Princess Peanut, and a couple of Peanut’s friends. Aurora (RoraBorieAlice) and James (JamesMooreII) came soon after with Chris (Chris_Toffer), later followed by Alex (al3xg) and his friend. We all watched the parade together and had a great time. Stitch came over and put a boogie on Chris, much to Rora’s chagrin. The look of fright on her face was hysterical when she slithered away from Stitch’s view LOL!! Also, John blew a kiss at the Fairy Godmother and received one right back. What made my day was when Snow White’s prince spotted my tiara, looked straight into my eyes and mouthed the words, ‘Hello Princess!’ I smacked John on the arm and excitedly told him. LOL I’m such a dork. And Tweedledee came over at one point, opened the top of Peanut’s friend’s stroller to look at him, and rubbed his hands together lol.

Okay now for my comments on these wonderful people. Let me do this in the order of which I met them – ahem ahem. John is an incredibly nice guy. You don’t meet genuinely sweet people every day and he is totally one of them. He is such an easy-going, laid-back dude and fun to talk to. Maria is absolutely gorgeous and her quips are hysterical – especially when she talks about Peanut’s OCD. (Since Peanut does not yet have her own Twitter account, I will insert here that she is precious and I thank her for involving me in her branch-collecting expedition.) Dylan is too cute for words; such a gentleman and fun to be around. I didn’t get to talk to him much, unfortunately, but such a nice dude. Rora! That girl is CRAZY! I love her to death. She is wonderfully insane, loud, and hysterical. As for James, I didn’t really get to talk to him much. He was super shy, but definitely seemed like a nice guy. Hopefully I will get to know him better as time goes on. Chris is about the shyest guy on the planet. He’s super sweet and super cute, but didn’t talk much. I’m not THAT unapproachable, am I?! ;) And last but certainly not least is Alex. He is another genuinely sweet person, so easy to talk to, and absolutely adorable. All in all, I had a wonderful time with these people and can’t wait to do WDW again so we can hopefully spend more time together. Oh and my parents adored everyone as well. They were happy to meet each and every one of you fine people.

We split ways then, and my parents and I traveled to the Haunted Mansion. I went in a doom buggy with my mom and she dared me to let out a blood-curdling scream. So I did, right in front of the opening coffin. I must have jinxed myself, because the buggies stopped twice. It was once in the psychic ball room, then once in the cemetery. The cemetery one scared the hell out of me; we were right in front of a grave that one of those monsters pops out behind (I HATE those). Once we started moving again (I had my face covered), it jumped out to give me one last, good scare, and I jumped. However, I do love the hitchhiking ghosts and the ghosts that appear in your buggy. They are way cool.

Afterwards was the Hall of Presidents. Amazing how much it has changed since they added Obama. It was fun to cheer or boo at certain presidents – I led a boofest for Bush LOL. We then had a delicious dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern. Our lovely waitress, Sandi, came out with a huge platter of beef, chicken, and turkey, with side dishes of mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, and macaroni & cheese. I went at the turkey & potatoes like nobody’s business. It was amazing and filling. Then they brought out a chocolate cupcake w/ multicolored Mickey head sprinkles and sang to me. I also went at the cupcake like nobody’s business LOL. We went back to Pirates and Dad & I went on this time; the CM gave us one of those cards that lets you sit in the front row. Amazing luck! When exiting the ride, once inside the store, Dad and I had a swordfight. He won, dang it.

My parents and I then rode the Jungle Cruise. Our skipper, Brian, was hysterical! We watched the Tiki Birds show, went to Snow White, then the Wedway. FYI, you will never, ever hear me refer to it as the TTA…you are allowed to smack me if I do. At the Wedway, my heart broke to not hear the words, ‘Paging Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow.’ Yeah okay, so it’s cheesy, but it was still awesome. We ended the glorious day with a viewing of Wishes. Unbelievably, I didn’t actually cry but I definitely became quite misty-eyed. After the fireworks, we shopped around a bit. A CM saw my tiara and called me ‘Your majesty.’ That was awesome. As for purchases, I bought an adorable Chip & Dale figurine to add to my figurine collection, a Captain Hook/Tinkerbell charm (‘cause seriously, how often do you see Captain Hook on a souvenir?), a Mulan/Mushu charm, and an earthy wood necklace. Another fantasmic day!!

WDW 2010 trip: Day 1

Monday, May 24:

Needless to say, there wasn’t much sleep occurring in my household the night before. However, my parents and I got out of our beds with bright smiles. We put the finishing touches on our packing and left the house at 5:30A. We arrived at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, NY at 6:30A. We went to the small eatery and had a light breakfast. Not knowing the exact size of required toiletries, our items went over the ounce limit. Thanks to my awesome mom who packed an extra bag for our purchases, we shoved all the items we thought security might have a problem with into a bag, and checked it in. Huzzah!

Our flight was at 8:40A and thank God, we had a safe flight. We arrived at the Orlando International Airport in the Sunshine State of Florida around 11A. I saw a palm tree and displayed one of my best grins. We collected our toiletry bag (LOL) and got lost searching for the Magical Express vestibule. We were up and down the floors, searching, and not receiving correct answers on where it was. Now mind you, my mom needs a wheelchair so doing this was not easy. Especially since she didn’t yet have her ECV, so my dad had to push her. Not fun. Anyway, we finally got the right answer and made our way over. We waited for twenty minutes or so in line, then got on the bus. We were staying at the Contemporary Resort, and of course, ours was the last stop on the list. The bus first had to drop off guests at the Wilderness Lodge, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian. This wasn’t a problem with me, but our driver was LOUD and irritating. My poor mother and I were actually covering our ears. It took three hours to get to our resort, which was ridiculous, but I try not to dwell on that. Anyhoo, we were very happy to get off the bus.

Now came the exciting part: my mom pulled a few strings and told them about my celebrations/accomplishments… this vacation being a mix of my 21st birthday gift and college graduation. So my mom got her ECV upon entering the resort, and we were met by a lovely lady who said to follow her. She took us to the 12th floor, to the end of the hallway, and said, ‘Here we are.’ I must admit that I knew we were staying on that floor, but my dad didn’t. He was a bit in shock. THEN, I ran to the balcony to look out the window…and there was Cinderella’s Castle!!!! I started screaming. You see, my mom thought we had a Bay Lake view only. This view was quite a surprise to us all. The CM had a HUGE smile on her face, loving every minute of our excitement. My friends, I kid you not, we could see all three mountains (as in Splash, Thunder, Space) from our room – we could actually make out the boats coming down the Splash drop. This was all the right-side scenery; on the left was the beautiful Bay Lake. The CM left us then to enjoy our room. We were like kids in a candy store, gazing at everything, wanting to know how each item operated and existed.

Also on our floor was a lovely sitting room with couches & chairs, books, and two televisions, as well as a table with various food choices throughout the day. Each morning, they offered bagels, croissants, pastries, muffins, and fruits. By the time we arrived back at the resort each night, they offered a variety of desserts to choose from. It was amazing. But as always, I’m getting off-track here.

At approximately 3P with the tiara on my head, we left for the World Showcase. We pretty much browsed most of the countries for a while. We went to America and watched/listened to the Voices of Liberty from the second floor of the pavilion. Their voices are beautiful and I got a bit emotional at that. Then was the American Adventure show, which I also became misty-eyed at watching. The collage of historical moments at the end especially gets to me – and the music! Music touches me in a way I can’t explain anyway, but this particular song really grabs at my heartstrings. We worked our way through a light rain (which was actually quite lovely) to Italy for what was a wonderful dinner at Tutto Italia. They came out with this medley of olives and cheese, and don’t get me started on the bread and olive oil. Yum. Everything from their penne pasta to the vanilla gelato I ordered was scrumptious. Two thumbs-up for me. After dinner, we walked over to Norway to ride Maelstrom. The people in front us thought we were going backwards down that huge waterfall and I said, ‘Don’t worry. We’re not. We’re going THAT way”, and I pointed to the front. They held on for dear life (not knowing the size of the drop, of course) as we went down. It’s such a fun ride but they seriously need to make it longer. After the ride, we got great seats for Illuminations. While waiting for it, I snapped pictures of the landscape (which I will be posting in the near future) and I watched the adorable ducks grazing by the lake. The fireworks, needless to say, were brilliant. Emotions struck me, of course, thanks in large part to the music.

Post-fireworks, we browsed a store and I bought this precious pair of pink/white polka dot Mickey head earrings for only $5. We then headed back to the Contemporary. My dad went to the room, while my my mom and I were searching for a soda machine. All we could find was candy/snack machines. So we’re traveling the floors, then we go to the 1st floor, where a CM tells us that the beverage machines are on the odd-numbered floors. Hmmm. Ok then. Now mind you, my mom is in this ECV and we had to take so many elevator trips that by the time we accomplished our mission, the two of us were snorting & crying with laughter.

We were hysterical all night. Even returning from EPCOT on the monorail…she turned to go to the elevator, and she drove her ECV against the metal gate on the side as it made a loud clanging noise. A bunch of people stared as we giggled. Then on those elevators, she would pull in too fast and crash against the back of the elevator. Repeatedly. We were so exhausted and giddy that we would burst out laughing. That was an awesome first day!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Okay so I'm an awful blogger....

....But you know what inspired me? Watching Julie & Julia last night. After seeing Julie Powell write her blog, I became determined to keep a blog. So that being said....welcome to the world of 2010. It's a bit frightening to start a new year, wondering what it will bring.

Since the last time I wrote, I graduated college with an associates degree in business administration. Yay! It's exciting and disturbing to know that it's time for the bachelor's degree now. But in the meantime whilst I do the long, dreaded search for a university, I will be taking some extra courses this coming semester beginning the 19th of this month.

Last night, I watched one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen: Pride & Prejudice, the 2005 version with Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFayden. Wow. Their romance is the kind I've always dreamed of, believe it or not. They want to hate each other but are overwhelmed with love and compassion. Isn't love crazy? Theirs certainly is. I've seen the Lawrence Olivier version, and whilst I do love it (as Olivier is one of my favorite classic leading men), nothing beats the Mr. Darcy that is Mr. MacFayden. Is it normal that I find him charming in it? I know the character is one you're supposed to love to hate, but I cannot help it.

Friends are coming over very shortly, so I must bid everyone adieu for now. I'm going to try my best to keep this blog updated. I love blogging too much to let it go. Peace, love, and Mickey Mouse.

God Bless.