I Danced with Star Lord

Leave a comment Standard

I know – what a title…right? We’ll get to that excitement, but first things first. All in good time people! We arrived at Disneyland on Sunday afternoon (how has it already been almost two weeks?!?) and checked into the Disneyland Hotel! We were in the Adventure Land Tower and y’all – the room was an absolute treat! The room was quite large, the bathroom was spacious and not only did the beds have pillows that said “A dream is a wish your heart makes…when you’re fast asleep…” but the mural of the castle over the bed had actual light up fireworks! WHAT?!? It was – AMAZING!

We passed Sunday evening exploring Downtown Disney – Pixar Fest is in full swing and it was quite evident before you even reached the parks themselves. The bakery had all manner of Pixar-themed candy apples, cake pops, cookies and cupcakes – we got our start on the Pixar Fest Food Checklist on Sunday night with the perfect start: a Luxo Ball cake pop! The topiary throughout Downtown Disney had been given the full Pixar treatment; we laughed and laughed at a toddler who pointed out the Buzz Lightyear and alien topiary with a perfect imitation of the alien’s “aaaahhhh”. We had dinner at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen before heading back to the room for bed!

And because I absolutely cannot resist sharing here – the headboard above the beds, already fantastical with it’s rendering of Sleeping Beauty Castle – played music and the fireworks lit up! Y’all – like I said – just magical.

Monday morning I woke before everyone else – excitement or the difference in time zones? Who even knows? Regardless – we headed for California Adventure for the start of our three days of park hopping and…well…adventure! Monday was the extra magic hour for California Adventure and so our plan of attack was to go straight for the Radiator Springs Racers Fast Passes, then head for Mission Breakout and Soarin! And our plan worked out perfectly!

I will tell you without shame – the first ride we went to was Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout – which used to be Tower of Terror. I don’t do heights and I don’t do drop rides but I most certainly walked through the ride to see as much as I could see before the riders boarded their gantrys (as Rocket called them). The attention to detail at Disney is always stunning and stepping into the Collector’s Fortress was like stepping into scenes from the movie – I will never not be blown away by the way Disney does things; it is always amazing.

My Mom and sister loved the ride and decided that they’d have to return to ride it again before our trip was done…meanwhile, I purchased an amazing Guardians of the Galaxy back pack while they got jerked around by a roden…er…a Rocket. Ha-ha! We rode a favorite of mine next – Soarin – and I realize the irony of one of my favorite rides being flight related…when I don’t really love flying. We grabbed churros for breakfast (it’s the breakfast of champions y’all) and headed for my absolute favorite part of California Adventure – Cars Land!

We discovered a ride that we somehow missed two years ago – Luigi’s Rollickin Roadsters – which was a delight! The little cars spun, danced and moved around the floor and it was fun and hilarious at the same time – my car even did a little solo! When we hopped off those little cars, we made our way through Radiator Springs to hop into different cars…to race! I honestly (again) cannot get over how much Cars Land is like stepping into the middle of the animated film and I absolutely love it! I’d like to know if I can rent a room in Radiator Springs, have my coffee at Flo’s each morning and just take it all in. I love…love…love all things Cars Land!

If I remember correctly – our car won the race, so there you go! We had reservations for lunch at Wine Country Trattoria but we also had something like two hours to kill before that, so we made the rounds and crammed in Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Jumpin Jellyfish, the Zephyr and Goofy’s Sky School..with some iced coffee and photo opportunities thrown in for good measure. Our lunch was absolutely divine, I had multiple cups of coffee, Italian Wedding soup, lasagna and some of the best tiramisu I’ve ever had in my life for lunch…and then…

You see – we noticed as we perused the show guide that there was something called Guardians of the Galaxy Dance Off and we decided we had to see what that was all about, so we quickly got to stepping back to the front of the Collector’s Fortress for the 1:30 performance. And well – y’all – this event is where I ended up dancing with Star Lord (sort of).

Star Lord and Gamora arrive on the scene and are being tracked by heat sensors – so of course, Star Lord’s solution is to dance to throw off the sensors. It was all going so well until he said he was going to select dancers from the audience and he came in my direction…pointing and saying “duck…duck…duck…goose” and pointing directly at me. He then grinned at me and said “you knew it was going to happen” and so I took the stage. Now listen – I am absolutely never interested in being the center of attention, but I did my best, I have no plans to share the video footage and I can now say that I have danced with Star Lord. And yea – we definitely met him after it was all said and done – you pull me up on stage, you’re going to take a picture with me!

Inspired by my dance break with Star Lord and Gamora, we decided that we’d spend the next couple hours meeting as many superheros (and villains) as we possibly could – we stood in line to meet Captain America, snapped a shot of Thor from afar and chased down (I’m not even kidding) Loki to grab a picture. Loki informed me that I was “very forward” – a sentiment that has never been uttered to me in my life – but I loved every minute of it. Meeting Loki (even if it wasn’t Tom Hiddleston) was a highlight of the day for me and we capped off our superhero binge by catching a sneak peek at the first ten minutes of The Incredibles 2.

We passed our afternoon watching Frozen: Live at the Hyperion, playing Toy Story Midway Mania, getting lemon ice cream from Adorable Snowman and posing with Walt Disney – before heading back to Cars Land to race around Radiator Springs another time! Also, I have no clue why I look so startled in the picture pre-race…when it comes to me and photos taken on rides, I just cannot manage to not look like a complete loon.

Another dream came true on Monday – because when the time for dinner rolled around, we went to the Cozy Cone in Cars Land and I got the Chili con Queso cone from cone #3 and we even ate our cone-related foods under a cone shaped umbrella. The Cozy Cone is hands down my favorite part of my very favorite land – and once we finished eating, we found a spot on one of the benches lining the street through the center of Radiator Springs and waited for the neon lights to pop on – another favorite for me y’all.

The weather was so strange for the entirety of our time at Disneyland – so Monday night after watching the lights pop on throughout Radiator Springs, we went to the Ghiradelli Soda Fountain and got HOT chocolate (I got coffee) to sip as we grabbed our spots on the parade route. Seriously – I was actually quite chilly at one point, thank goodness for my white mocha and windbreaker! The Paint the Nite parade seems to be a twist on the old Main Street Electric Parade and was just a delight – but then again, when is anything done by Disney not a delight?

And thus – with the tail end of the parade, our first day at Disneyland came to a close. It was crazy nice to be able to head out of California Adventure and make a quick walk through Downtown Disney and toward the twinkling lights of the Adventure Tower of Disneyland Hotel.

 

Watson Wednesday

Leave a comment Standard

This little guy – he’s had a rough few weeks. The little fellow apparently slipped a disc and the only cure is pain medication and time… thankfully he’s been feeling much better over the past two days and I’m glad to see him back to his happy, bouncy little self.

I’m Back – California Dreaming

Leave a comment Standard

I can’t believe it’s been over ten days since I blogged last… oh wait; no, I totally can believe that! I’ve been in Las Vegas and California for the last ten+ days and while there was some downtime – for the most part I was out and about doing things and just didn’t have time to sit down in front of the computer and share. But I’m back in my lovely Northern Virginia now and you can bet I’ll be sharing for…well…probably at least the next week!

Our flight from DC to Vegas was fairly smooth – which, you know I’m always doing all the praise hands for because flying is not my favorite thing, ha-ha! My little sister picked us up at the airport and we made the all important stop at In-N-Out for supper – always the best choice for a post flight meal…specially when it feels like almost midnight to your body and it’s screaming “feed me!”

 

Friday morning was very low key (thank goodness) – my younger sister had to go to work for the first part of the day, so I sipped my coffee on the deck, reorganized my suitcase for the quick pop over to California, just bummed around…and shortly after noon, my little sister came home, changed and we grabbed lunch at Cafe Zuppa’s (hello – y’all can go ahead and franchise in NoVa and you’ll have a customer in ME!) before driving through the desert, into California, picked my Dad up at LAX (on a Friday night – yikes!) and headed to my cousin’s Jerry and JoAnn’s house, where a delicious feast awaited us!

Thankfully there wasn’t really anything going on Saturday morning because I woke up with the worse headache I’ve had in ages…so many ages… and so after trying to power through with coffee and breakfast, I ended up spending most of the morning heavily medicated in the bed. Boo! Especially because I missed the watching of the Royal Wedding *sigh* Thankfully, my headache began to clear up and I powered through, got ready and around 1:30 we set off for my cousin Kyleigh’s wedding in Fullerton!

img_4443

If I look a little glassy-eyed in that picture above, it’s definitely because of the combination of headache medication(s) and me trying to power through the lasting pangs of headache feeling…blegh. We stopped midway at Chick Fil A to get a little bit more food in me (I’d taken a lot of medicine…breakfast had passed and dinner seemed a long way off…but mostly, because I took a lot of medicine…) and then we were on the road again.

The venue was Villa del Sol  and it was lovely – we arrived a bit early and joined up with some family before going in… I do love that California emblazoned across the second floor, don’t you? Maybe it’s just the California born part of me? I don’t know… I also loved the string lights and generally the whole vibe!

And while we waited – my sister introduced me to SnapChat…and I discovered the filters and oh man, we might have gotten a little carried away… I still can’t quite decide if the filters that make your eyes big and cartoon-y are neat or just a little bit creepy… I still don’t know that I’m very good at Snap Chat – maybe that’s a sign that I’m getting “old” and I’m not hip to what the cool young kids are doing?

The wedding was lovely – I snapped a couple pictures before they requested that cell phones be put away for guests to be present for the ceremony. I loved Kyleigh’s dress, she and her new husband Adam read their own vows to each other and it was all so sweet and lovely (I like the word lovely).

When the wedding concluded, we stayed downstairs a bit for family pictures and then we all congregated up on the balcony for cocktail hour while the newly married couple had pictures made and the venue arranged the tables. We enjoyed cocktail hour just fine, chatting with cousins, sipping some wine and posing for too many pictures (those Snap Chat filters just had to be used…)

We also made excellent use of the wall emblazoned with California – as a California baby myself, I had to snap a couple shots in front of it and since the cocktail hour last…well, about an hour…we had plenty of time to cheese in front of the camera, ha-ha!

We discovered when it was time to sit down for dinner that we’d been placed at what was the easily the best table of the night. It was also the largest, ha-ha! It included our family of four, my cousin’s JoAnn and Jerry, their three children and their children’s spouses. We had a great time all sitting together and I do love how close we are with our California branch of the family! The meal was delicious and it was followed by toasts and dancing – and while there is no photographic evidence, I did bust a move (or two) on the dance floor!

We headed back for Jerry and JoAnn’s around 10:30 and fell into bed well after midnight – thank goodness there was no alarm on Sunday morning! We slept in, had breakfast and poked around JoAnn and Jerry’s orchard – they have all kinds of things growing in their yard and I always love looking around. The roses were in bloom, there were lemon and oranges growing and of course, my little sister and I couldn’t resist snapping some pictures!

JoAnn and Jerry are such awesome hosts and before we headed out to our next destination, they cooked an amazing Mexican fiesta of chile rellenos, chicken enchiladas, burritos, refried beans, rice and strawberry pie – my mouth is watering just thinking about it! Yum! Lindsey and I couldn’t resist goofing off with the decorations on the table – but then again, we can’t resist goofing off in general!

img_4451

We headed out around 3:00 for our next destination – Anaheim and Disneyland for three days! My Dad was only able to be in California for the weekend, so we saw him on to a shuttle at the Disneyland Hotel with hugs and love and headed into Downtown Disney for the evening.

And that’s where I’ll end this post – because all things Disney deserve their own post(s)…mostly because you know I took a thousand pictures and I’ll have to share them all, ha-ha!

 

Five on Friday – Disney Eats Edition

Leave a comment Standard

This post is coming to you all the way from sunny Las Vegas, Nevada! I suppose what I really should say is that I wrote this post before I left and now I’m (most likely) chilling on my little sister’s balcony, staring at the desert mountain range as I hit “publish” on this post – it’s all the same, right?

I’ll soon be California bound for the next five days and three of those five days will be spent at the happiest place on Earth – Disneyland! I think I may have mentioned it (once…if not more than once) but Pixar Fest is in full swing at Disneyland and so along with all the awesome things that Disneyland normally has to eat, there are also tons of Pixar-themed goodies to partake in!

I thought – why not make this Friday’s Five all about the delicious things I plan to eat while I’m at Disneyland? Sound good to you? Prepare for a virtual sugar coma…

One. Millennial Pink Macaron – I absolutely love a good macaron…and the description of this one has my mouth watering: strawberry buttercream dipped in white chocolate, filled with coconut lime jelly. Yes please! I’ll take two!

Millennial Pink Macaron at Disneyland Resort

Two. Adorable Snowman It’s Lemon! Snow-Capped Lemon Soft Serve – This ice cream and frozen treat spot just opened and serves lemon style Dole Whip! I know exactly what I want too! The Lemon soft serve topped with a white chocolate “snow cap” – it’s adorable and I bet it tastes divine too!

Image result for Adorable Snowman Snow Capped Lemon

Three. Toy Story Alien Macaron – Remember that I love macarons in all forms and one that is green and shaped like the little aliens from Toy Story? You better believe I’ll take one! The filling in this macaron is blackberry and lime, something tells me I’ll love it!

Image result for toy story alien macarons

Four. Pixar Luxo Ball Cake Pop & Up! Grape Soda Cake Pop – Another thing I am all about is cake pops and these are just two of the many that Disneyland has to pick from that are Pixar-themed. The Luxo Ball cake pop is a traditional vanilla cake pop styled to look like the Pixar logo and the Up! Grape Soda cake pop has a grape center! I can’t wait to try these two…and more!

 

Five. All the Churros – Another thing I will be getting in loads? Churros! There are specially themed Cocoa churros (inspired by Coco), Lemon themed churros (inspired by Up), Strawberry themed churros (inspired by Toy Story) and Carrot Cake churros (inspired by the Pixar short Presto!) The cocoa churro comes with chocolate dipping sauce and the carrot cake churro comes with cream cheese dipping sauce! I’ll take one of each!

 

Lest you think I’ll only be eating sugar…well…honestly; I do plan to eat at least one meal a day that isn’t made of all things sweet but that’s the only promise I can make as far as food is concerned!

That’s all for today – I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

All Things in Bloom

Leave a comment Standard

I know – I talked about flowers in my last weekend recap – but I guess there are just lots of blooms around me at present! This weekend was absolutely lovely – weather wise and in so many other ways! I got off work early on Friday and I came home and immediately headed outside to relax on the deck under the umbrella.

We had dinner at Longhorn – my Mom’s choice. I made sure she got to make all the decisions this weekend because honestly; I don’t know about your Mom, but my Mom deserves so much more than just one day dedicated to her. I decided to live on the edge and got the baked spaghetti squash as my side, which was a delightful choice! The rest of my Friday night was really low key – relaxing on the deck (some more), watching a little baseball and really just doing a lot of nothing. It was really nice.

Saturday morning I woke up much earlier than I wanted to – I woke up around 6:45 and never really could get back to sleep. I finally got up around 7:15, had coffee and enjoyed the quiet of the morning. I purchased a ticket to the Garden Fair at the VA State Arboretum and so we headed to the show around 10:00. It was gorgeous outside all day on Saturday and the perfect day for all things outdoors!

We perused numerous vendors – there were 100 – and my parents discussed with the different nursery workers (of the plant variety, obviously) about what they wanted to do and how best to achieve the look they were going for. The high on Saturday was only supposed to be in the mid-80’s but it became apparent pretty quickly that it was much warmer than that. I waited in line at the wagon corral and was very aware of how hot my neck and arms were getting…

My parents chose knockout roses and a Japanese maple before we got some lunch from one of the food vendors – I had a corn dog and I forgot how delicious a hot corn dog straight from the fryer was! Healthy – not even close, but man it was divine! It was also divine to be sitting in the shade with a gentle breeze, the sun was brutal! Once we arrived home shortly after noon, I spent the rest of the afternoon going from the indoors to the outdoors, watching things being planted and taking my Dad water and also reporting to him about the state of the Nationals game.

My Mom and I made a Target run and I picked up a pair of sandals and a cute red kimono to take on our trip to Vegas and California at the end of the week (!!!) Supper was some delicious burgers on the grill and then; randomly, around 8:30 my Mom said something about going to get ice cream and so we headed right up the road to New Town Creamery where I got a “Crazy Cow” – vanilla ice cream swirled with Reese’s cups! Not a bad way to end a Saturday night!

Sunday morning my alarm woke me up with a start – I guess I was making up for the sleeping in that I didn’t get to do on Saturday? Who honestly knows? I know I was thankful for my cup(s) of coffee as I got ready for church – and I honestly could have sipped a third cup while I was in church, but then the message got me all woke up and feeling it…and then I was fine. My sweet Momma and I snapped some pictures together before we headed to church – I think they turned out pretty good!

After the church service we had reservations at a new grill in the area – Paladin Bar & Grill; my parents have eaten here before, but this was my first visit. I can tell you that I’ll be returning, the food was absolutely delicious! I started with a cup of the Brunswick Stew and honestly…I could have just eaten a giant bowl of that! It was filled with pulled pork, potatoes, lima beans, corn…all the veggies and the best, most flavorful broth. It was DIVINE! And then I got the Macaroni and Cheese with spinach, bell pepper, chicken and bacon – in a word – decadent. It was melt in your mouth delicious and I have leftovers that I cannot wait to eat!

We passed the afternoon with more time spent going in and out of the house – my Dad planted small spruce trees and Lantanna in the front yard and once again I brought him water while also perusing my Mom’s new Magnolia Table cook book and just generally being a bum. Around 6:00 we went to get Sweet Frog’s frozen yogurt for dinner; it was Mother’s Day and that’s what my Mom said she wanted for dinner – so yogurt it was. We also got some pizza as “dessert” for our yogurt and even Watson got a few bites of one of his favorite meals.

img_4327

I rounded out my weekend getting clothes ready to be packed, taking a shower and watching some Nationals baseball (they swept the Diamondbacks this weekend) and the newest episode of Westworld – which might have been the best episode of the season, so far. Another weekend in the books and now it’s full speed ahead through the rest of the work week, until Thursday afternoon when I’m leaving on a jet plane!

 

Friday Favorites

Leave a comment Standard

Friday – welcome sweet, sweet Friday! I called this post Friday Favorites because I actually have more than five things swirling around in my mind…so I just figured that I’d share them all! Yahoo!

fri1

One. 2018 Garden Fair – Saturday morning; as a gift to my Mother, we are heading over to one of our favorite places – the Virginia State Arboretum, for their annual garden fair! There are going to be tons of vendors, including outdoor, home and garden and food vendors! It was only $10 per car and the weather is supposed to be lovely on Saturday, so I am looking forward to checking this out!

Two. Packing & Packing Lists – I don’t think it has 100% hit me that in less than a week I’m leaving on a jet plane for a ten day trip to California and Nevada…but guys, it’s happening! In less than a week! Eek! I don’t have much on the agenda for this weekend but that’s alright because I need to get some kind of a jump on packing – flying makes me nervous as it is and I don’t want to be running around like a chicken with my head cut off or worrying about what I forgot to pack!

Related image

Three. Pixar Fest – Pixar Fest is currently happening at Disneyland and will be going through September, which means that we will get to experience some of Pixar Fest while we are there! My favorite Pixar movie is Coco, what’s yours? Disney’s California Adventure is re-branding Paradise Pier to be Pixar Pier and of course; my favorite part of California Adventures is Cars Land – so I can’t wait to check out all the Pixar-themed things! Especially…the Pixar-themed food! You guys – look at those cake pops! I can’t wait!

Pixar Cake Pops

Also – if you’ve never been to the Disney Food Blog (where the picture came from), you should definitely check it out!

Four. The Mother of All Coincidences – I discovered a crazy coincidence yesterday and I couldn’t resist sharing it here! Two years ago my family went to California for about ten days and while we were there, we spent three days at Disneyland. We arrived on the evening of May 20th and spent the 21st, 22nd and 23rd at the parks. Well… this May, we will be arriving at Disneyland on the evening of May 20th and spending the 21st, 22nd and 23rd at the parks! WHAT?!? What are the odds that I’d be in the same place, on the same days…two years apart?

Five. Nationals Baseball – The month of May (so far) has been pretty good for my Nationals; as far as wins and losses go. The Nationals have played ten games and have a record of 8-2, which is nothing to sneeze at – they swept the Pittsburgh Pirates, won a series against the Philadelphia Philles, won a series against the San Diego Padres and started the four day weekend series with the Arizona Diamondbacks with a win!

Unfortunately, our favorite left fielder Adam Eaton…who has been out since mid-April with what was originally named a “bone bruise” had laparoscopic surgery on Thursday and will likely be out for…well, a while. And Daniel Murphy still hasn’t returned yet… And Matt Wieters left the game last night with an apparent knee injury… Eek!

Six. It’s Funny Because It’s True – because I just couldn’t resist; the minute I saw this meme it made me laugh, because if that’s not me then I don’t know what is! Therefore, I had to share it!

img_4274

Seven. National Eat Whatever You Want Day – Did you know that’s today? I didn’t until a co-worker text this morning to share that – and she brought donuts for breakfast! I couldn’t very well say no to donuts for breakfast on Eat Whatever You Want Day, right?

Eight. Dresses Galore – I ordered two dresses from Amazon yesterday via Prime (yes – I love Prime) ahead of my trip to California and Vegas. Ordering anything online can always be hit or miss… both of these dresses had 4.5 out of 5 star reviews with over 400 reviews, so I felt confident in that. Now I’ll just be crossing my fingers that they both fit and look good… or at least being thankful that Prime has free return shipping. Only time will tell.

 

And those are the eight things – as opposed to five – that are swirling around in my head on this Friday! Hopefully I’ll get to head home early today, enjoy this gorgeous weather and have a lovely weekend getting myself together for California and Vegas!