Friday, December 19, 2014

On pianos.

My cousin and I "playing" my grandparent's piano. I'm the one dressed like Beetlejuice with beads.

I have this thing. This obsessive thing. Where I get an idea in my head and it just won't go away. It's usually about making something happen. Like going to a certain place, eating a certain thing, learning a certain skill, obtaining a certain object. Sometimes it's no biggie. I just think and dream about whatever it is that is occupying my thoughts. Sometimes I completely forget about it and move on with my life. Sometimes I work on it gradually and it pans out eventually. Sometimes it spirals out of control and I HAVE to make it happen. These are the crazy times. Oddly enough I was talking to my sewing ladies about this the other day. Sometimes, not often, but sometimes. I HAVE to make whatever it is I want happen. Usually you guys, it's something super stupid and insane. Like a purse. Or a motorcycle (yes, that's how that happened). I will go to whatever lengths (obviously within my means) to make that little dream come true.

Today we are not talking about that scary sort of absolutely-have-to-make-it-happen-determination, but just of the normal obsession. I've been obsessing for years about obtaining piano. I don't really even play you guys, I just need one. My sister and I got a keyboard for Christmas when I was like 12? And I immediately claimed it and obsessively taught myself how to play. Mostly just the treble clef because that's the kind of sheet music I could read. But a little of the bass too. I could play most of Pachebel's Canon with both hands. I obsessed over that too. I loved loved loved that song and was determined to play it. I spent hours and hours learning the keys and notes and line by line I taught myself how to play the piano with that song. Which was cool because then I could play other songs too. At least with my right hand. My grandma had this lovely piano book of songs from the Sound of Music (it's been a lifelong love, y'all) that I inherited (possibly swiped?) and viola, I could now play music from it!

I couldn't tell you if I still remember how to play, but I really really want need a piano. Not a new fancy one, just a piano. Made of wood with keys that plink. And maybe a little bench. I've looked on Craig's List and you can find some and for a good deal too, but unfortunately we have no where to put it. AND we live in an apartment with the thinnest of walls and ceilings and I refuse to be that neighbor. Although some of my neighbors more than deserve it. But one day, when we have space and a home that's maybe not rented and attached to other homes, I will own one. And I will relearn how to play and maybe even splurge for legit lessons. Because I want to annoy the heck out of Mr. Hogan with my misplunked keys over and over. Because a home full of music is a happy home. And because my grandparents had a piano and when I was little I thought it was the most magical thing. And if any thing you guys, I'm all about magic.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Writing this post is making me emotional. YOU GUYS I LOVED THIS PLACE. And I did not get to spend nearly enough time here. As much as I enjoyed California Adventure, this was what I was all about. Disneyland. This is the magic. It was older and kitschier and I loved all of it. At least all of it we saw, which was about half (SOB). I had vague flashbacks from my childhood (the Enchanted Tiki Room!), but it was still all so new and I was totally enchanted. I'm such a sucker.

Also, the Christmas game at Disneyland totally spanked California Adventure.

Fully prepared to kick Sleeping Beauty out and move in.

The Enchanted Tiki Room! I think this gets written off as silly and outdated, but I LOVE IT. I love the cheesy animatronics and the corny songs. (Mom, do you remember me and Julie singing the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room song forever? I do! I think we had it on tape.)

The Jungle Cruise was turned into the "Jingle" cruise; a plane with Christmas decorations crashed in the jungle so now all it's inhabitants were graced with holiday goodies. Our jungle guide made puns the ENTIRE time. It was cute, but I think I'd skip it next time. The line was WAY too cray cray.

Oh, the Pirates of the Caribbean. They have totally integrated Jack Sparrow into this baby. He was not there when I was a kid. Also, we got stuck on this ride. The ride broke down. For like 15 minutes we sat in the same spot next to this drunk animatronic pirate trying to give rum to a cat. We got to hear him say "here kitty kitty, be a nice pussy cat", like a thousand times. Classic old ass ride move.

The Haunted Mansion was redone Nightmare Before Christmas style. Pretty cool, but I'd like to see what it was originally. We also rode the Indiana Jones Temple of Doom ride and it was SO BOSS. There's this big ass snake and it's like the freaking Chamber of Secrets. I LOVED IT.

IDGAF what anyone says I love this ride. I love that obnoxious song and I love all the little dolls. However it was CHRISTMASED OUT. Like they sang a chorus of "It's a Small World" then a Christmas carol chorus. Next time we go back, it wont be around Christmas so I can see the real deal! Don't get me wrong though, I love that holiday magic. It was beautiful!

They had this little show that we happened to walk into (Something must be said for our luck and timing at Disney. We just so happened to walk into this show, a Christmas parade, and someone just happened to hand us a fast pass for Radiator Springs as we were walking up to it! The mouse must have been looking out for us.) in front of the castle, it was a cute little song about snow, and at the end it started "snowing" and they lit up the castle with snow:

This photo does not do it justice, but I mean, come ON. So pretty. I think it was at this point that panic set in, I realized I had to leave this place soon and I did not want to.

Waiting for the World of Color to start, which as I said before was a total waste of time! The fireworks show at Disneyland however, was not:

They turned all the street and Christmas lights off for the show and then they call came back on towards the end, except this time they were dusted with white lights, snow! And it started snowing on Main Street!!!

SO MANY EMOTIONS! I was dead tired, a little stressed because there were a gazillion people around me, beyond happy to be right where I was, but sad because we were leaving, happy because I had the loveliest day full of magic, but sad because I know I didn't see it all. But mostly, so so so happy. So happy to be at the happiest place on earth during my favorite time of year, with the sweetest boy in the world.

So, this is a thank you. Thank you Brendon Hogan for going on this adventure with me and putting up with my love for all things silly and magical and Disney. Thank you for hugging me and promising to take me back at the very moment when I felt I was going to fall apart from having to leave the happiest place on earth. And thank you for tracking down the shop that embroiders Mickey Mouse hats and getting them for us right before they closed. THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME EVEN THOUGH I AM A CHILD. You're my favorite ever and Disneyland with you was so so very perfect.

For real though, can't wait to go back. Two days+ next time.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Disney's California Adventure

Oh, Disneyland... Where do I even begin. So for those of you who don't know, there are two parks at Disney California; Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. We did both parks on Wednesday, and spoiler alert, you cannot see it all in one day. Which means yes, I did not get to see all of Disneyland. Yes, I pouted. I am still sad, but moving on. We had a blast and that just means there will be first time experiences next time. The future good Doctor Hogan promised to take me back. 

We got there before opening and started with California Adventure. We pretty much saw/rode almost everything there! California Adventure is newer and more... adult friendly than Disneyland. They serve alcohol and the rides are more adventurous. I think we rode all the big rides except for Grizzly River Run, because it was actually not that warm this day, and California Screamin', because it was closed for maintenance. Which was ironic because that's the ride you can see from the road and it teased us all week!

Everything in both parks was seriously Christmased out, and they even redid some of the rides for the holidays. Disney is insane. They do everything big. The rides, man... they're awesome. I had been to Disneyland before, but I was like 5? And do not remember it. Plus California Adventure didn't exist. So everything was brand new to me and SO MUCH FUN. Oh my gosh I was laughing and screaming like a child, it was amazing. Seriously, delightful. 

Their Ferris wheel isn't a normal Ferris wheel. It's little car things are on tracks so they rock and slide as the wheel turns around. They also have stationary ones around the edges, but of course we had to ride on the ones that moved (Brendon). I get motion sickness pretty easily (thankfully most of the rides at Disney are pretty tame) and this ride made me feel gross. Funny enough, they have motion sickness bags in each little car. So apparently I am not the only one. (For those of you who follow us on Facebook, NO I did not actually puke.)

Toy Story Midway Mania! So much fun! It's 3D arcade game/ride. Oh my goodness it was a blast. Brendon beat me in points, but I beat him in accuracy.

Cars Land! Oh man this was super cute. They basically recreated Radiator Springs. IT IS SO NEAT. Each cone in the Cozy Cone motel serves different kinds of foods in cones! ADORABLE!

The jewel of Cars Land is Radiator Springs Racers. This was one of my favorite rides in the park. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN. I couldn't believe how fun it was. I am a child. I don't even care. I loved it.

I think my favorite ride tied with Radiator Springs Racers was the Tower of Terror. Because I'd never been on it before and had no idea what to expect it caught me totally by surprise. It was AWESOME. Laugh screamed my way through it. AND while waiting, the sweetest older man working our "elevator" started singing Santa Claus is coming to town and got everyone in line to sing together. Place is magical, I'm telling you.

Disney desserts... uhh, yum. They have these coconut pie things that are to die for. Craving one as I type.

California Adventure! Really really fun. We also saw Aladdin the musical, which was great. Like very good for being in a theme park. I highly recommend it. Things I would skip next time, Soarin' Over California, Luigi's Flying Tires, and oh my god, the World of Color. Everyone online raved about the World of Color, so we made getting a fast pass for it a priority and then left Disneyland that evening to come back and check it out. WHAT A MISTAKE. I guess it was kind of cool? But I definitely could have lived without it. There were so many people that I couldn't see squat, even though we had "good" spots with our fast pass. Seriously, I would have much rather waited in line for a ride (or seen more of Disneyland...) than deal with that mess.

The Cars ride and the Tower of Terror were my favorite, but the other rides were wonderful as well. I just can't get over how detailed everything is. Everything is just so fun. Even waiting in line is fun. The scenes and decor are just off the charts. It really is a magical place!

Next time, Disneyland!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Newport Beach, CA

Yesterday Brendon wrapped up his last interviews and it was officially vacation time. For both of us. Because y'all know I've been chillin' for days. We rented a car and drove to the beach! (Renting a car for a day is SUPER cheap, y'all.) Newport Beach is a straight shot south of Anaheim, and it just so happens to be a very special place to us! When we were in high school we were very obsessed with the OC. I mean, who wasn't? Anywho, it's set in Newport Beach. Duh. So because we were insane, the summer after high school, Brendon and I drove to Newport Beach, CA on our very first road trip. First of many. So long nostalgic story short, this was a lovely little walk down memory lane for us. Not much has changed! Here's a gazillion photos. Sorry boutcha eyes.

It was the loveliest evening. The weather was phenomenal (big surprise Cali) and we got there in time to see the sunset. Oh and can we talk about the sun setting? IT SETS AT LIKE 4:30 PM HERE. So early. Which is a pity because the days are so amazing. It gets relatively chilly as soon as the sun goes down. Still fantastic weather though. Anyway, perfect evening. Happy girl. I love vacation.