wan-na find something?

Thursday, December 8, 2022

this was halloween, this was halloween

halloween for us has been a pretty low-key holiday the last few years, and 2022 was no exception.  the bean did make an effort and wore a costume to school, though.  they've known that they wanted to dress as encanto's mirabel for months, like ever since they got their hair cut.

as for me, this was what i wore for the day - since the first day of the mcrib's return was more important.

after i picked the bean up from school, we stopped at home so they could change out of the costume, put out a bowl of candy for the four trick-or-treaters we'd get and then we decided to head out to grab some burritos from an old favorite spot.  



this sign has been up for months. their sauce is kind of a big deal.


no worries, though.  that ground beef burrito is still mighty tasty without it.

on the way home, we stopped at the bean's favorite boba spot for a drink:



and that was our halloween.  the very next day, we put away the few spooky decorations we'd dragged out and pulled out something much more festive:


and since i don't have much more than this photo to share from the bean's very first homecoming dance, i'm just gonna drop this here:


i adore this outfit.  and even better, we cobbled it together a few days before with a trip to nordstrom rack, kohl's and the fabric store for the velvet i used to make those pants.  score!

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

walking in walt's footsteps

the last time i did a guided tour at disneyland, it was my 33rd birthday and it was the only way that we could set foot inside club 33.  i remember it being pretty interesting, and included lunch and a tour-exclusive pin.

and so when my friend mae hit me up to do some mickey-themed halloween cookies for her and suggested that we meet up at disneyland for delivery AND book one of the tours that had just been announced, i was all in.  the old lady happened to have a day off from work that day as well, and so we made our reservations and got excited for a fun afternoon at the land.  

the cookies were simple but still cute, or at least i thought so.

we headed over to the meetup spot for guided tours, just inside the gate and before you head on down main street towards the castle.



we checked in at the kiosk and were given our tour credential on a lanyard, plus a headset and mobile device for listening to the tour guide as we walked along.


after our tour guide dianna introduced herself, she took us over to the flagpole and told us a quick story about disneyland's opening day in 1955.


we wandered up and down main street, stopping to listen to her stories and trivia about the names you see on the shop windows and pointing out that tilly, the "ticket taker" at main street cinema wore a name tag that identified her hometown as marceline, missouri - which is where walt disney is from as well.


if you look at the top of this building, you'll see the last remaining piece of what used to be the sunkist citrus house.  back in the day, there was a machine inside that the cast members would use to make fresh squeezed orange juice.

about a half hour into our tour, we found ourselves standing outside the disneyland fire department, getting ready to step "backstage" and head upstairs for the highlight of the tour.  this is the only way to get into the apartment that was used by walt disney and his family in the very early days of disneyland, which is typically on any disney nerd's bucket list.  it definitely was on ours, which i'm sure isn't much of a surprise.  

if you look up above the fire dept. sign, you'll see a window with a lamp that's always lit, to symbolize walt's everlasting presence in his park.  during his lifetime he would turn the lamp on when he was in the park, and that was how cast members and guests knew he was there somewhere.  

and from the moment we went through the door that took us backstage, we weren't allowed to take pictures or video.  can't ruin the magic, after all.  duh.

we went up a flight of stairs and through the front door, and then we were inside the tiny apartment.  there was a living room with two couches that opened up into beds for walt and lillian, with several photographs of them and their family on the walls.  there was a small kitchenette where walt would make himself grilled cheese sandwiches and coffee, and a little bathroom with a full shower.  and as we all walked through the small space in awe, a park photographer appeared to take the only photo that was permitted.  here's ours - you can see the window with the lamp visible from the ground to our right:

with a full thirty minutes left of our tour, we exited through a back door and found ourselves on a lovely little outdoor patio that i never knew existed.  the disneys would come out here to hang out and listen to the merriment down below, unseen by park guests.  we were given this giant cookie and a soda, and then it was about half an hour of awkward conversation with our guide and the others on the tour.

when we got back downstairs, i looked up and caught a glimpse of the patio we had just been sitting at, just above city hall and to the left.

we took a few more pictures, just for fun:



would i recommend this tour?  i hate to say it, but probably not - unless visiting walt's apartment is on your bucket list.  there really wasn't much to the tour aside from that, and we left feeling disappointed at the lack of actual content.  i'm not sure what we were expecting, but that wasn't it.  and the cookie and bottle of soda at the end was pretty sad. and the stories that were told were just fluff...it felt like the guide was just trying to kill time until it was time to head upstairs.

the bean and i had booked the holiday tour, which is the only other one currently available.  i stopped to ask at the kiosk if it would be much different from the one we'd just taken, although i wasn't expecting anything but enthusiasm from the cast member i spoke to.  she assured us that it would be a blast, and i figure only time will tell.  in any case, it was nice to spend some time with mae and the old lady and the visit inside the apartment was really cool.  

if you do/have done the tour, let me know if you agree with me!  i'd be interested in hearing your feedback.

Friday, December 2, 2022

a 3-in-1 post

on occasion the hub reps the cigar lounge at CHP golf tournaments with a table at one of the holes, offering free cigars to the players.  the last one was in temecula, and since he had to be there to set up by 7am, we decided to make a quick overnight out of it.  


the toiletries tried a little hard to be cute and funny and instead sounded like they were created by mr. t.

it was a beautiful day and a lovely course, and made for a nice little getaway...not something we get to do very often.

we also got to attend a centennial celebration at the bean's school, which was really nice.  they set up a huge tent outside with tray-passed appetizers, a nice catered meal and student-produced entertainment.

they offered a couple of signature drinks, which were served out of this super cute vintage trailer.

and then later in the evening, there was a dance party in a separate tent with 80s and 90s tunes and none other than richard blade in the DJ booth.  talk about a blast from the past.

the next day, the five of us headed down to santa monica pier for the annual family photo shoot.




after the shoot was over, we made a quick pitstop in the carousel building and reminisced about the bean's first birthday party, way back when.


and i caught a glimpse of the original hot dog on a stick shack - or rather, where it used to be.  the actual original building from the 1940s had recently been demolished and rebuilt.

the photos this year weren't our favorite, but there were a few that we liked enough to use for the christmas card. and that's really the point anyway, so i guess it was a success.  next year we'll pick a less crowded venue, so we can bring the dogs again.  after all, they're part of the family too.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

bring on the magic (bands)

the old lady and i snuck in a quick visit to the happiest place on earth one day after dropping the bean off at school.  magic bands at disneyland had been announced earlier in the year - something that was long overdue after years of having them at disney world.  while they weren't going to have all of the functionality right away (so far, they're only for linking your park ticket for entry/reentry, using genie+ and some other stuff throughout the parks and during parades), you know we're all about getting in on all the latest disney gear and technology.

the big pumpkin was still up, so i snuck in a quick selfie as we walked through main street.

and although it was still really early, the disney elves had already begun working their magic with the first bits of snow on the castle already in place.

the first week of magic band access was limited to magic key holders, disney vacation club members and cast members.  we made our way into tomorrowland to the starcade, one of several spots in the resort where they were initially being sold.  after showing our passes, we walked inside fully prepared to stand in a long line but were pleasantly surprised to find that the early morning crowds had dissipated.


buying in-demand disney items can go one of two ways - either there's a overabundance of stock to choose from or you have to elbow your way through only to find slim pickings to choose from.  luckily, this time it was the former.  we had no problems finding what we wanted and marched right up to an open cashier to check out.  after stopping briefly to rip open the packaging and link our new toys to the disneyland app, we were all hooked up.



we had enough time to stop and grab some lunch, so we settled on red rose taverne.  the lunch menu is pretty basic and our burgers weren't really worth photographing, but we did indulge in the seasonal dessert offering - a halloween version of the grey stuff, with a spooky red velvet cake filling and a chocolate headstone.


the old lady went with their pumpkin cold brew, and she said it was pretty good.


it was a quick but fun visit, and the bean was satisfied with the magic band we brought back for them.  we've all been back to the parks in the meantime and guess what?  we've forgotten the damn things every time.  heh.


Thursday, November 17, 2022

all grown up

we were really excited to attend a quinceaƱera for one of the bean's OG BFFs - we love her and her whole family, and we were honored to be invited to share in her special day.  the bean has known her since kindergarten (maybe even transitional kindergarten, i can't remember) and they've shared lots and lots of memories together.

while the old lady and i were out browsing through one of our favorite clothing stores for ideas of what to wear to the big party, i realized that i actually have sewing patterns for a lot of the styles we were looking at.  and so we decided to head over to joann's to find some fabric and save a ton of cash on our outfits.  the old lady had requested one of those simple bias-cut skirts with a kimono to wear over it, and as we shopped through the special occasion fabrics aisle we came across a bolt of material that i knew was perfect for what she was picturing.  i remembered that i had a chunk of green stretch satin in my stash, and after an afternoon of cutting and sewing her outfit was ready.  i even had enough of the satin to make her a matching tank top, but i'd had to make it without her around and it didn't end up fitting properly.  oh well, i think the outfit still looked pretty good, and you get this picture because she wasn't in the mood to take pictures once we were actually at the party:

BFF's mom had hit me up to do some cookies for the dessert buffet:

the ballroom looked lovely, and i could see how much work they'd all put into making the venue perfect for the birthday girl.  i thought i'd taken more pictures, but i must have been too preoccupied with catching up with moms from the bean's old school.  oops.





the birthday girl was beaming, and looked so grown up.  i still can't believe they went from this:

to this.

and the three besties, from this:


to this.  sigh.


i guess we clean up pretty nicely.  i did make my dress, although you can't really see it here.  it's super comfy though, and it has pockets!

the kids were having a great time, with a lot of them not having seen each other since the graduation party back in may.



i did manage to corral the hub for at least one picture.

we ended up having to leave well before the end of the party, which was kind of a bummer because we were having a great time.  but since the bean had a ton of homework to get done, we did the grown-up, responsible thing and headed on outta there.  that's okay, though.  we got to spend some time with our friends and celebrate BFF's milestone birthday, and that's all that matters.

this was halloween, this was halloween

halloween for us has been a pretty low-key holiday the last few years, and 2022 was no exception.  the bean did make an effort and wore a co...