Friday, November 29, 2013

Disney: Day 5

The end is nigh. We woke up Saturday morning SUPER excited to be heading to Animal Kingdom (though it is a troubled relationship, I have loved zoos for as long as I can remember, so responsible, educational zoo + theme park? Win.) but we knew that we were leaving the next day, so there was a lot spring-semester-senior year feeling accompanying the thrill.

We left early - we figured the extra magic hours would give us our best chance to see the most animals up and about, not to mention the possibility of an extra ride or two - and we got there about forty minutes before the park officially opened.

Sorry, lady - I'm sure you would have smiled if I had let you know you were in frame.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Disney: Day 4

Hollywood Studios, as promised! Due to our hardy-partying (hearty-partying? I'm never sure which one applies in that phrase...) we didn't quite get the up-at-dawn start to the day that I was aiming for. It is even possible that I slept through my alarm entirely and didn't get up till after 7:30. SEVEN-THIRTY!! Travesty. But we did in fact get up, and caught the bus to make the five minute ride to the park (if my feet weren't so sad at this point, it might have been as fast to walk. But that's for seasons that allow for socks and sensible shoes.) We had a 9:00 FastPass+ for The Toy Story Ride, because I had been reading horror stories about the wait times. Even with the FP, and even at 9:05 in the am, we still waited. (In a truly wonderful queue, though, so it was delightful waiting. Tinker Toy trusses!!) We got packed into our little midway car, and off to the races! Or the video games, as the case was. We had a great time (and I redeemed myself, at least somewhat, in my defeat of Kate - hehhehheh), but I'm going to go ahead and say it: I felt a little oversold. Please, please don't misunderstand: it was fun. It was pretty and fancy and filled with 3D. But, umm, it's pretty much the same as the Buzz ride over in MK, right? Only with a pull string and less Zurg? I mean, I wasn't missing out on some intrinsic experience that everyone else has felt? I just don't see the motivation for the people waiting in the already 65 minute wait line...after we ate (the world's most delicious) blueberry muffins across the way, we spoke to the very sweet - and very new - CM helping manage all the strollers. She told us that one of her roommates worked the ride the previous Christmas, and there were 240 minute waits and a paper fast pass line that stretched all the way back to the sorcerer's hat. I don't get that.

Tin Toy!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Disney (Really): Day 3b

Magic Kingdom again!! At the strong recommendation of Kate's "Disney-Pro" friend Lindsay, we had gotten tickets to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, and planned to dress in sort of Disneybounding costumes. So after the morning at Universal, we got back and rested and cleaned up and changed into our amazing/not so amazing costumes. Seriously, small children were gasping and pointing at Kate throughout the evening. She looked great. I had very purple legs.

Please note the perfect purpleness.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Disney (Not Disney): Day 3a

Universal, Halloween Kingdom and achin' feet

Day 3!! The day we got to go to Universal. It was really kind of amazing how different the energy was - we came in through the City Walk area (stopping at Starbucks - I was like to DIE without some good coffee - and Cinnabon (insert Jim Gaffigan jokes here, because we sure did)) to meet with our benevolent host by the lighthouse - all the while removing our magic bands and any other possibly Disney-themed paraphernalia...I still wish I had pulled the trigger on those Harry Potter bows, but I don't even know what house I'm in anymore..........<wails in existential angst>

The sky was gorgeous. No smart comment, just an observation.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Quick Sewing Entry

Had to share my excitement this morning on some non-Disney related items! I had some yardage in my cart at for Christmas presents (I am kind of a maniac about getting Christmas done early - I like everything wrapped and ready by Thanksgiving. It doesn't ever completely happen, but I usually have most of it done by then.) and didn't want to buy it without earning the free shipping (CHEAP). I poked around some on the sale section and found this loveliness, which I had fallen in love with at first sight a few months ago, for less than $6 a yard. Thrills!

iHaus Organic Hexagons Yellow/Grey
Isn't she lovely? (Image via
I thought, this will be perfect for a little full skirt - something simple to be worn high waisted with a sleek little top and belted...I got about twice what I needed, but I have an every-growing stockpile of yellow fabric that I've fallen in love with, that will one day be the most beautiful, mustardy quilt in the world. 

I was then about ten dollars short of the free shipping, so I rolled the dice on some black cotton jersey. I'm going to try to draft a long sleeve t-shirt (to be worn with the skirt, naturally). Allow me to emphasize the word TRY in that sentence...

But first I have to get the colorblock dress done! I've got the fabric washed and laid out in the dining room to be cut, but as excited as I am, I have a terror-block of actually cutting it out...the billion (okay, three) options on the pattern have me cringing. I have enough trouble getting the fit right based on my measurements (I either don't know how to measure - highly unlikely - or there is just way too much ease in EVERYTHING.) and since it has two additional fit options, I'm just at sea on the Decisions part of it. Sigh. But, I am not permitted to so much as wash this pretty yellow till I get crackin' on the dresses! (And ordering that zipper - you'd think someone would make a 32" zipper, wouldn't you?)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Disney: Day 2

Food, motion sickness and crowd anxiety

Wednesday was Epcot - namely, Wednesday was the Food & Wine Festival! Snacks from all over the world, a checklist of a billion new and fun things to taste? That's so right up my alley it might as well be running behind my house. (Tangent: I miss living in neighborhoods with alleys.)

We were up bright and early - 9:00 a.m. FastPasses for Soarin', which the Internet told me was The Ride of Rides at that particular park. After we hiked through the half mile of people-corral, we waited for a just a little while as they finished whatever magic they have to do to get things ready in the mornings. We were very much charmed by it - and yes, raised up our feet to avoid dragging them through the pounding surf. It being so early in the morning, we rolled the dice and hiked back through (seriously, the queue areas are INSANE! Everywhere, but it seemed particularly notable in Epcot.) and got to sit on the front row this time - no feet dangling in our faces - next to the sweetest family with three little stair-step girls. I think we watched their faces more than the video on the second time! Precious, precious girls - it was a little like being in one of the ads they run...they were just transfixed and completely delighted. (Which is point one in my completely childless opinion on How Old Children Should Be to Enjoy Disney.) We followed behind them (sweet family, but c'mon - it's rude to walk five abreast, even if three of them are tiny) on our way over to Livin' with the Land, which I found to be highly enjoyable. Again, I'm kind of an old person, and very drawn to dark and cool when it's more than 90 degrees outside. But I absolutely loved getting to ride through the greenhouse. I kept thinking, man, if only I could build a geodesic greenhouse in the back yard with lovely clinically-defined growing areas and twirling helices of lettuce and herbs...if only. But all that pining aside, there was lettuce growing in the shape of a Mickey head.

I know it's not the best angle, but we weren't allowed to stand up. And I am a safety rule-follower.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Disney: Day 1

Travel, Turbulence and Tears

I should perhaps give some background here, so you understand what a big deal this was for me. I am a Disney kid, through and through. Growing up overseas, we couldn't always count on English television, so we were set in the VHS department - and nearly all of it was Disney. The animated classics, of course, but also Flubber and The Shaggy Dog and Candleshoe and The Parent Trap (well, all the Jodie Foster and Hayley Mills movies) and the all Sing-A-Longs and the Ducktales videos and Classic Donald/Chip and Dale/Mickey/Pluto/Goofy/Daisy Volumes 1-5000...I might exaggerate with the last one, but my point is that I lived and breathed Disney. My first conscious career goal was to be a voice actor - and to this day my favorite daydream is getting to voice a Disney villain. I remember when my aunt Alice sent me a subscription one year for the Disney Adventures magazine - it was a whole other world...and then the Disney channel?! Forget about it. I was bought and paid for. But through all this, I'd never been to Disney - World, Land, Euro, none of it. It was literally the castle on the horizon - seen but never reached.

So here I am, 31 years old, tossing and turning like a four year old on Christmas Eve - I could not sleep to save my life. I had been packed for a week and a half, travel day clothes laid out on the back of my chair for at least three days, and hat with my precious Pinocchio bow afixed sitting on top of the pile. I was GOING TO DISNEY WORLD! Alarm went off at 4:30 (though I honestly didn't need it - was waking up every half hour or so, terrified that I was oversleeping) and I got ready in twenty minutes flat. My wonderful daddy left the house at 5:00 to drop me off at Kate's wonderful dad's house (who is always, always so kind to drop us off at the airport even at the most unholy of departure hours). M'dear Kate showed up in Minnie shirt and silver sequined mouse ears - her "fairy godmother" came to her house with a metric ton of Disney swag, so she was pretty much set. We chattered like squirrels the whole way down to Birmingham - the glee could not be contained.

And this was at 6:45 in the AM.