wan-na find something?

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

once upon a time...

my cousin's daughter is almost exactly the same age as the bean - she's literally a week older.  both kids turned 16 this year, and when they invited us to join them as they celebrated her birthday at disneyland for the weekend - well, you know we weren't going to say no.

she'd created an optional dress code for everyone, and the first night had us dressed like the little green men from "toy story" to complement her buzz lightyear disneybounding outfit.  we ordered the pieces from amazon as directed, and left the house looking like this:


it was easy to spot them once we got inside the parks and headed into the san fransokyo square area where they were having dinner.  our first ride together was the little mermaid:


and then i went with the bean and the birthday girl's little sister for a ride on jumpin' jellyfish, which i love despite the fact that it's a little kid ride.  it always offers such a pretty view of the park.


once we got off the ride, we rejoined the rest of the group at the waterfront where they'd snagged a spot with a great view of the world of color show.  i hadn't seen it in a few years, and it was fun to get to see the halloween version of it.



the next day had been designated as princess day - and the closest we got was the bean's "raya and the lost dragon" themed shirt while i threw on one of my me-made disney dresses and topped it with a tiara (any excuse to wear it is a-ok with me).

we found the old lady on duty as we entered the park and snagged a quick selfie with her:

i was happy to be chauffeured around by my child in the autopia ride.

and we said hello to our little filipina friend over at "it's a small world."

a little later, we headed back to the grand californian where they were staying.  it was a pretty warm day and the kids all changed into swimsuits and hit the pool.  i opted for relaxing on one of their surprisingly comfortable chaise lounges and ordered a drink and a snack.

meanwhile, my cousins had gone back up to the room to do a little birthday decorating.


we'd been invited to stay with them in their room, but since the dogs were home alone i had to go home.  the bean was happy to stay though, and the next morning i took my time getting up and heading back down to anaheim for a third day in a row.  when i got there, they were having lunch in san fransokyo square again and while i waited for my food order i caught a glimpse of baymax in the corner, greeting guests and taking lots of pictures.

it was one of their oogie boogie halloween party nights, so the park was closing early for those who didn't have tickets.  totally cool since we'd already been at the parks all weekend.

the kids wanted to ride the incredicoaster, and while i typically love that ride i wasn't really feeling it that day.  my cousin and i decided to stay back, chatting and catching up and watching the riders take off from the starting point of the ride.  as we stood there, i noticed someone with a very familiar face walk past us - ginnifer goodwin, from "once upon a time" and the voice of judy hopps in "zootopia" and countless other movies and shows.  i'd just finished rewatching every season of OUAT, so it was really hard to keep myself from going over to say hello - she had one of her kids with her, and i didn't want to intrude on family time.  i guess i should feel bad for sneaking this picture, but i made sure not to get her little one in it so that makes it kind of okay?  heh.


joke was totally on me though, because as it turned out, the kids happened to be right in front of josh dallas - ginnifer's husband and co-star on OUAT.  i'd also watched every season of "manifest" and so you know i'm a big fan.  they got off of the ride and were falling all over themselves to tell us the story - the birthday girl had recognized him but couldn't remember what his name was.  google told her that he was "david nolan" and when they asked him if his name was david, he played it coy and said "well...i played a guy named david..."

they saw him again at the end of the ride and when he spotted the birthday gear, he happily stopped to pose for a photo.  you KNOW i was completely green with envy over this one.

and that was pretty much how we ended our weekend at disneyland.  good times.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

i love birthday princess week

my birthday celebration was, as it usually is, spread out over several different outings throughout the week.  you know how i love my birthday, so i'm always good with multiple gatherings.  heh.  plus i get to dress up a little - at least, more than my usual daily uniform of jeans or leggings and whatever fun t-shirt i grab out of the drawer.  first up - brunch with my parents and the old man (because the old lady had to work) at the george in pasadena.




it was a really cute little spot and the food was good, although we happened to be seated right in front of the live band that played for the duration of our meal.  i guess for most people live music is awesome, but when you're literally two feet away it doesn't make for easy conversation with your party.  and there was a huge family group next to us that decided to turn the limited space around our table into their own private dance floor.  fun.

for dinner the next night, i'd cut into some super fun fabric and turned it into a maxi dress that was cute and really comfy.  

we headed out to beverly hills and pulled into lawry's for some delicious prime rib.  it had been years since our last visit - i'm pretty sure it was even before the bean was born.  the old lady didn't even remember coming at all, so it was extra fun for all of us.  







we were missing the old man that evening, but he was at dinner with his mom and so that was why he and the old lady did the ol' divide and conquer routine for the weekend.

my actual birthday was the next day, which fell on a monday.  we dropped the bean off at school and headed down to anaheim for my annual birthday visit to the happiest place on earth.


the old lady was on duty that day, so we found her for a quick hello and selfie before we headed into the parks.


mondays have become one of the busiest days of the week at disneyland, and this day was no exception.  it was really crowded with super long lines for everything, which was kind of a bummer.  although we did manage to grab a walk-up spot at oga's cantina for some snacks and adult beverages.



obligatory castle selfie.

we crossed over into california adventure, which was just as crowded as disneyland.  it wasn't an oogie boogie bash night, but a few of the photo ops were in place.

with zero availability even via walk-up at any of the fun restaurants, we decided to get outta there and headed over to the anaheim gardenwalk.  we ended up at roy's for some lunch, which was practically deserted at 1:30 on a monday afternoon.

and while we were waiting for our food, the hub made a phone call to schedule the next thing:




and then later, when we got home, there was a whole box of cupcakes waiting to be devoured.  we took them to eureka burger in claremont, where we met up with the old lady and the old man for dinner while we waited for the bean to be ready for pickup from school. we sampled a handful of those cupcakes and then left the rest for the waitstaff to share.

all in all, it was a really lovely birthday (as it always is).  i definitely felt the love.

Monday, November 13, 2023

an afternoon with my friends

you know how much i adore "friends," and so of course you can imagine how sad i was when the news of matthew perry's death broke.  quite a few of my own friends reached out to me that day, which i thought was really sweet.  i know that a lot of people think mourning a celebrity death is silly - after all, it's not like i'd ever met him or was his actual friend - but when you have someone virtually in your house on a literal daily basis for years, they're almost like a family member.  does that even make sense?

anyway, when the friends pop-up was announced, i was super excited to go but none of my kids (let alone the hub, lol) were interested in going.  and so of course, i turned to my friends and we picked a date and made the drive down to long beach to immerse ourselves in all things ross/rachel/monica/chandler/phoebe/joey related.



we checked in and were shown into a waiting area where there were selected scenes from the show playing on the screen and quotes from the show on huge posters.


the experience began in a little room that was off-limits for photography, although there wasn't really anything special in there.  we watched a quick video of basic safety rules and guidelines, and then we were led through a replica of monica's apartment door that opened up to this:


there was lots of fun stuff to look at, like scripts and familiar props and pieces of the wardrobe worn on the show.








if you wanted to read all 18 pages of rachel's letter to ross (front AND back!), they were all here.










there were lots of magna doodle boards from joey and chandler's apartment with all the silly notes on them.

the whole thing really was just heaven for any "friends" fan.





and there were tons of photo ops with staffers ready and willing to capture the moment for you.













of course, ya girl had to squeeze in a bunch of selfies too.





and of course, there was a gift shop at the end.



so was it worth it?  well, if you love the show, it's a no-brainer.  casual fan?  hit or miss, depending on the level of your fandom.  as for me - well, you can imagine that i loved every minute.  i would've been happy with more, even.  heh.


rest well, matthew perry.  thank you for bringing chandler bing to life, and i hope that you're at peace.

living that VIP life

our trip to universal studios deserved its own post because we splurged on the VIP treatment, which was really fun.  the VIP tour guide at d...