Tuesday, June 27, 2017

who is A?

the old lady has been watching "pretty little liars" on abc family (yeah yeah, it's called freeform now. i'm hip to the skip) since the very beginning. like, she was still in high school when that show began.

i watch it with her every now and then, but i never really got into it. and even she started getting tired of it as it just got more ridiculous and farfetched over the last few seasons. 

still, she's pretty bummed that the show is finally coming to an end. it's kind of like a part of her teenage years is going away. i guess we all go through that though, don't we? that's how i felt when they cancelled "all my children." i basically grew up watching that show with my mom and nanay, and it was sad when they cancelled it for good. 

anyway, i got a request last week for a set of cookies for a mom at school whose daughter was planning a series finale viewing party for PLL. she sent me some examples she'd found online and i was happy to oblige. 

the old lady thought these were pretty cool, and when i sent a picture of the finished cookies to the mom she immediately showed it to her daughter, who also gave them her stamp of approval.  see:

it was kind of fun to practice some basic calligraphy i hadn't done in a very long time. it's not very good, but it'll do, especially for cookies that'll just get eaten anyway. right?

Monday, June 26, 2017

one last visit for movie magic

our passes for universal studios don't actually expire until early august.  but we took a closer look at the blackout dates for 2017, which included random days in june, the entire month of july and the first two weeks or so of august.  d-oh!  and so we decided to the park for one last visit.  the van eaton gallery (where we checked out all that fun disneyland memorabilia) just happened to be a couple of miles past universal, which was perfect for our afternoon of fun.

because it was about a zillion and seven degrees that day, i'd made sure to pack a towel and extra clothes for the bean.  there's a super fun water play area next to the "despicable me" ride, and i knew she'd want to head over there one last time.

okay, maybe i wanted to cool off a little too.

afterwards, we did a little reminiscing about our european vacation.  it's hard to believe it's already been four years.

and then it was time for a snack.  ice cream from the simpsons area seemed like a good pick.

because it was so late in the day, the lines for rides weren't terribly long.  the minions ride had a 30 minute wait time posted, but we were on it in about 10.

it's not a trip to universal without getting on the tram for the backlot tour.  doesn't matter how many times we've done it...it never gets old.  and it's fun at night, when all the lights are on.

the simpsons ride had an equally short line.

the harry potter area was super crowded with folks waiting to watch that light show we'd been so unimpressed by.

by then we'd pretty much done everything we really wanted to, so we headed outta there.  on the way home we stopped at a wienerschnitzel to grab some hot dogs.  i'm pretty sure this is the only one we've ever been to where they have beer on tap.

we typically alternate years at universal, so we probably won't return until next year.  they're one of those parks that does a "buy a day, get the year free" deal, so it's actually a really good deal.  and it seems like things change every other year anyway, so hopefully by next summer there will be something new for us to check out.

until then, we'll go back to all disney all the time.  yaaaaaaaayyyyy!

Friday, June 23, 2017

more minions fun

social media came through for me once again, as the bean and i were lucky enough to secure a couple of seats for a special advance screening of "despicable me 3."  our friends lilcee and mini cee were able to score seats too, and while the old lady did the same she and her special friend opted not to make the trek out to century city with us.  i guess date night is more appealing than hanging out with your mom and her friends...psh, whatever.  heh.

driving out to the west side on a weekday afternoon is always a little challenging.  starting from the time we left our house to picking up lilcee and mini cee to parking and joining the already-long line for the movie took a total of two hours.  sheesh.  and we knew there would be a plethora of folks there early...after all, nothing brings in the crowds like an exclusive-sounding freebie.  i can't really trash talk since clearly i'm usually all up in that mix too.

while i got in line, lilcee took the girls to the restroom and then to pick up some waiting-in-line snacks.

it took awhile for us to finally get to the front of the line, as they were rather unorganized and not actually checking the confirmation sheets we'd printed out at home.  they were letting 20 people in at a time though, and then as we got inside the theater we realized that there were staffers who were seating people as they came in.  we typically head towards the very back of the theater, but with all of the other folks in front of us in line already seated we were given spots a lot closer to the screen than we're used to.  but it wasn't too bad, and this was our view:

much excite.  you like our matching minions shirts?  the lady next to me seemed to, because she asked us where we got them.  i always feel an odd mixture of pride and embarrassment when i get this question and answer with "oh, i made them."  like, i'm totally proud of being able to make wearable clothing and that i often have some pretty awesome fabric for whatever occasion we're dressed for, but i don't really want to be all braggy about it either.  you know?

i almost never see a movie without hoovering up an order of nachos all to myself.  yeah, it's a box of basic tostitos chips and some melted cheese food, but it's delicious and i love it.

i'm not going to drop any spoilers about the movie itself, but what i will tell you is that it's super cute and i'm pretty sure it's my favorite out of all the "despicable me" movies, including the minions one.  it has a fun story, great music, and just the right amount of gru/lucy/girls and minions in it.  i'm even willing to go again and watch it with the old lady when it comes out on june 30th.

fun photo ops!

and then we capped off our super fun evening with my first trip to shake shack.

after consulting with lilcee, i decided to go with a simple shack burger, an order of their bacon cheese fries and a "concrete" frozen custard dessert.  YUM.  the buns are super soft and delicious, the patties are perfectly seasoned and it was a really, really good burger overall.  and who doesn't love a good crinkle fry?

as for that concrete (i keep wanting to call it "cement"), it was crazy delicious.  i was actually really full from the nachos, the burger and some fries, but it's frozen custard and it's not like i could've saved it for later.  this was their "beverly chills" flavor - vanilla custard with salted caramel sauce, chunks of dark chocolate and toffee and malt mixed in.  so so so good.

such a fun evening!  it's always a good time with lilcee and mini cee.  we'll have to see what other summertime shenanigans we get into as the weeks go by.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

the love for disney runs deep

it's no secret that the girls and i love all things disney.  and not just disneyland/disney world, either...we've made pilgrimages to visit places that have some sort of disney-related historical significance.  the old lady and i were just talking about how we'd love to go back up to the walt disney family museum up in san francisco, so we can take our time to scour through every exhibit and really take in all of the information there.  probably won't happen anytime soon, but it's definitely on the list of things we want to do again.

facebook alerted me to an upcoming auction at van eaton galleries out in sherman oaks where they'll be taking bids for hundreds of vintage and commemorative disneyland items.  there's everything from merchandise to cast member costumes to pieces of disneyland itself, and the biggest ticket item up for sale is a hand-drawn presentation map of disneyland that walt and roy disney used back in the 50s to sell investors on the idea of the park.  it's expected to attract bids in the six figures...crazy.

it sounded like a fun idea to head out to the valley to check out the items up for bids, even though we'd be out in the gross heat and potentially driving through traffic.  this is the last week of the items being on display before the auction this weekend, so we got in the car and headed out.  it was a little later in the afternoon, but luckily the traffic was going in the opposite direction for most of the way there.  parking on ventura boulevard isn't an easy task, but we managed to score a decent spot right across the street.

we weren't really sure what to expect when we got there, but as we walked in the door our efforts were rewarded with an entire room dedicated to the disneyland auction.

i guess it doesn't really look like much, but there was a ton of fun stuff in there.  there were pieces of rides and lots of signage from the last 60 years of disneyland:

 this sign is from 2007...just ten years ago.  if you want to park at disneyland now, it's $20.

cast member uniforms:

and check out this hand drawn concept design for a fantasyland operations member, complete with fabric and trim swatches.

this is a park guidebook from disneyland's opening day signed by walt himself.  if you have $7,000-$9,000 to drop, it can be yours.

a piece of wrapping paper that they used in disneyland's early days is available for a minimum bid of $500.

this little "mouseorail" model was part of the swag given to disney VIPs back in the 90s.

an old bench from fantasyland.  i didn't even look at the price tag on this one.

and the display cases held all sorts of souvenirs and fun stuff from practically every decade that disneyland has been in existence.  these were really fun to look at.

original cast member badges and lillian disney's club 33 membership card.

and there were complete sets of the old attraction ticket books.  these were still in use during my first couple of visits to disneyland when i was little...too bad we never saved the extras we had left over.

in the other room, we found more disneyland treasures.  look at this original poster for the skyway, a ride that's been gone for years.  $7K!  yikes!

and here's one for the peter pan ride.

this was an invitation given to cast members for the rededication of fantasyland when it was renovated back in the 80s.

a catalog of every item available for this auction was for sale, and just flipping through it showed us that what we'd gotten to look at in the other room was just a small sampling of what will be up for bids this weekend.  the old lady thought it would make a fun coffee table book, but since we don't even have a coffee table and the entire book is available online anyway, we passed on taking home a copy.

there were lots of animation cels and actual pieces of animated movies for sale, and not just disney but from all of the other studios.  it was fun to go through some of them and see drawings from familiar scenes in our favorite movies.

look at how old this particular drawing is!

not to mention, that's back in the days when they used to just throw all those pieces of paper away.  even that presentation map i mentioned earlier was destined for the dumpster if not for a cast member who asked walt if he could keep it as a souvenir.  he then took it home, where it stayed out of sight for 60 years.   and now it's going up on the auction block for hundreds of thousands of dollars.  sheesh.

there's a bus tour that goes through burbank, glendale and l.a. narrated by bob gurr, who's one of the last two original imagineers hired by walt disney.  he's one of the "disney legends" and is responsible for designing a lot of the rides at disneyland.  he even has his name on one of the main street windows.  the old lady and i are considering taking the tour while it's still available...because doesn't it sound like it'd be right up our alley?  it sure does to me.
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