Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The *Second* Happiest Place On Earth

The first being Disneyland, of course.

Today I conclude our wonderful Disney adventures. I figure that I will just put up some pictures and explain as I go. Because, I don't know about you, but I'm getting somewhat bored with all the Disney pictures.

Here I am on the Dumbo ride. We waited in quite a long, and noisy, line to ride this one. And, I didn't even really like it. I'm not a fan of spinny rides.

One of the favorites - Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

I have to say, the castle is much prettier at WDW.


While the background is pretty, I wanted to point out how many people there were on Main Street that night. We learned that you never get there right before the fireworks! Ever!

My question is, how the heck do they do heart shapes? That is so cool. They had the smiley face ones too but I didn't get a picture of those.

We watched the fireworks from across the lagoon at the transportation center. It was a great place to see them and then you didn't have to fight your way through crowds to get out of the park. Disney DOES NOT disappoint with the fireworks. Unfortunately, my ability to keep my camera still while taking pictures did disappoint. I forgot my super cool little tripod.

The Haunted Mansion looks a lot different at WDW. It's longer too. favorite ride! Always fun! But there was no one saying, "Dead men tell no tales" just before you go down the drop. I missed it.

Hey, we really are there.

WDW is HUGE! And fun, but HUGE. I almost think, if you're going to do all the parks, you would need 2 weeks. Then you could break up your Disney fun with other fun things. But that would kind of be insane too. Ok, let's think. Maybe go back every few years and just do a couple parks? Or maybe just fly to Disneyland? I haven't decided yet.

Check back next time for our adventures with alligators and armadillos!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Just Like Betty Crocker

Well, not quite, but I digress.

To take a break from our super fun travels, I thought I would tell you what I did today.

Since Courtney is SUPER pregnant, and all the kids are home, I said that I would take the girls for a day of baking yummy treats.

Here was my plan:

Sounds simple enough.

So we start the cookie recipe. It's a new one but I'm a pretty good baker so it's going well. Then the dough has to sit in the fridge for 2 hours and we begin the lollipops. I don't have any lollipop molds, nor could I find any in our little town, but I wasn't worried. We could just free hand them and make them somewhat amoeba shaped.

Ok, Step 1 - bring the corn syrup and sugar to a boil. Easy peasy.

Step 2 - boil with the lid on for 3 minutes. Done.

Step 3 - continue to boil until it reaches 300 degrees. No problem. You see, I've made candy before so I have my trusty candy thermometer. I set the alarm to go off at 300 degree and kept telling the girls how hot it was so please don't spill any on you.

I checked the thermometer and it said that I still had about 20 degrees to go. And I looked at the candy and it looked good. I'm so amazing, I thought.

Then, as it got closer to the desired temperature, Sarah said, "Hey, it looks almost red." Oh no!

So, step 3 - umm, check?

Step 4 - pour onto aluminum foil in pretty amoeba shapes. Done.

What do you think?
Amoeba shape - no problem. Non burned, yummy flavored lollipops - ummm...not so much.

The girls didn't like them much either.

But, the cookies were a raving success!

Maybe I should have checked my candy thermometer like it said to in the recipe. Oh well, live and learn.

Monday, December 20, 2010

"If the ride breaks down in Disneyland, the pirates don't eat the tourists."

Jurassic Park is always good to quote. However, at this Disney Park, if the ride broke down, technically, the tourists could get eaten. Let me explain.

The next stop on our long ago but still fun adventures in Walt Disney World was Animal Kingdom.I love zoos and I love Disney, so this should be a GREAT fit. It also had what turned out to be Brent's favorite ALL TIME Disney ride - Expedition Everest.

We saw some great animals...

Then we took a safari and saw even more animals...

Including a baby giraffe that I didn't get a picture of. As we came driving up to it, it started running down a hill where it kind of slipped, but it was ok. It was neat to see one moving around. They normally just stand there.

But enough about animals...there was also that super great ride. Expedition Everest.
There it is in the background. I think it's WDW's answer to the Matterhorn in Disneyland, but it is WAY better. You even go backwards for a bit. Very cool ride.

The big symbol of Animal Kingdom is this huge tree that has carvings of animals all over the trunk.
I have to say, I wasn't super impressed. It was pretty, but I thought the leaves looked really fake. And this is Disney where they can do anything.

And to finish it out, here is a cool view of the park.

I liked Animal Kingdom as a Disney park but not as a zoo. It had some cool animals, but everything was a little bit too staged. But, it is Disney.

And no, the ride didn't break down and we didn't get eaten, but it was close a couple of times.

Next stop, the Magic Kingdom!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

This is the Amazing Race

I've told you before about my obsession with the Amazing Race. I LOVE watching it. I, however, know that I would NEVER be able to be on it. For one, I have no need/want to be on tv. And for two, I don't always do good under pressure.

But, while we were at Epcot, we got to play a game that was kind of like the Amazing Race. It was based on the Disney Channel show Kim Possible. Since I don't watch the Disney Channel, I don't really know what the show is all about, but the game was cool. You got a kim-municator that told you where to go and what to do.
When Brent was looking through the pictures later, he said, "I didn't even know you were taking a picture." I'm so sly.

So, our kim-municator took us all over the world. We went to Mexico
where we made a guitar play all on it's own and saved the world from a killer rocket that was shot out of a volcano. (And had really good Mexican food.)

Then we were off to Japan
to have some sushi and catch a scary baby robot inside a department store.

Our next mission was to Germany
where we made a huge cuckoo clock go off outside.

After the mandatory 12 hour rest, it was on to China
where Brent had to say the code word to a sales person to get our next clue. (Obviously, this was his favorite mission) But we found the jade monkey!

Just a hop skip and a jump to Norway
where we found where we were going by the smoke coming out of the chimney.

Ah, Paris
We even got a picture taken from the top of the eiffel tower.

And, last of all, we got to go back to England
where I had to say to a salesperson in a tea shop, "Danger is my cup of tea." To which he replied, "This is my cup of tea, good luck agent." It was embarrassing, but we again saved the world.

It was a long day of traveling, but well worth it! I think this might have been my favorite part of Epcot! It was, after all, just like the Amazing Race!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Da Da Da...Hollywood

Ok, so I can't think of the words to that song, but it sound something like...da da da da ta Hollywood. Anyway...

Hollywood Studios is all about shows with a couple of rides thrown in.

There is the Rockin' Rollercoaster featuring Aerosmith (wow, that's a mouthful)
I don't know if you noticed, but my super cool Minnie Mouse ear-poms are missing from this picture. The Rockin' Rollercoaster wasn't that fast of a roller coaster, but apparently fast enough to pull one of my ears off. It was very sad. I love those ears!

There is also the Tower of Terror. I don't go on things that have "terror" in the title. Brent didn't want to go without me so ... we have never experienced the Tower of Terror.

Then, there are the shows. We saw Little Mermaid...and Beauty and the Beast...

Ever since we saw the stage show of Beauty and Beast, I've been wanting to watch the movie version again. There are some good songs.

I was impressed how they shortened the musicals and made them live action, without really cutting out any of the important parts. Some of the songs were a little faster, but we really enjoyed them!

Then there was Brent's favorite area...Star Wars.

Neither of us can ride Star Tours without getting a little queasy, so we weren't too sad when we found out that it was being redone. However, there was an Imperial Walker there...

And a show that, if Brent was just under 12, he would have LOVED! You can become a padawan (is that how you spell it?) and learn how to fight with a light saber. Then Darth Vader shows up with a couple of Storm Troopers and you fight them off.

Sorry for the bad picture. I'm kind of short and we were far back.

Seriously, though, Court, don't you think Kyle and Aaron would love this? I don't remember how old you have to be to do it, but Aaron is so tall he might be able to fool them.

There is this area called Streets of America and it was all decorated for Christmas. And when I say decorated, I mean decorated!
Look at all those people. It was my favorite place!

They said that the lights danced to the music, but they didn't dance while we were there so I don't know what that was all about.

And to round out the post, here is the symbol for Hollywood Studios...Mickey's Sorcerer's Hat.

What did I think of Hollywood Studios...hmmm...I'm glad we went that one time. I almost forgot. In Hollywood Studios, they have the Toy Story Mania ride. I LOVE THIS RIDE! It's based on Toy Story and has a bunch of carnival games. And, you can get fast passes to this one, unlike the one in Disney's California Adventures, so I do like this one better.

Anyway, it was good, but not my favorite park.

Next stop, Epcot's World Showcase...and a little game we like to call the Amazing Race..

Monday, December 13, 2010


I am not much of shopper. Don't get me wrong...I'm a fan of Costco, Black Friday and After Christmas shopping, but that's about it. But, today I needed to do some serious shopping. I wanted to finish buying Christmas presents, so I headed North to the shopping mecca of Kitsap County. (It's not much of a shopping mecca, but it does have all the stores I needed.)

I had two major things on my list. Just two. I had other things that I was going to get since I was going to be there anyway, but just two major things. Did I find those two things. Nope.

So I went to another store. Nope.

And another. Nope.

Basically, I ended up driving all over - as my grandma would say - h-e-double hockey stick's half acre and couldn't find what I needed.

At this point I gave up, came home and looked on the internet. Found both of them, plus one other thing that I was excited to find. And, free shipping. Woho!

Why did I ever try to shop in an actual store? This is so much easier:
- I can do it in my jammies. (Well, I do live in a small town. Technically I could shop in my jammies, I just think it's kind of tacky.)
- I don't have to find a parking space. (Brent says that finding good parking is my super power. Unfortunately, my super power seems to take December off.)
- It's just so much easier!

I think I'm sold. No more getting dressed, finding a parking space and shopping in an actual store for me. Hey, they even have grocery shopping you can do online. I may never have to leave my house again!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow

**SIDE NOTE: I wrote this the other day, but I just wasn't feeling too funny so I thought I'd wait a couple of days to see how my funniness improved. I don't feel like it has, so I'm just going with the original. You do remember, I cannot always guarantee funny posts!**

Yep, that's right, Epcot. We actually spent two days in Epcot since I've heard that one day just isn't enough. The first day we were there, they had a Food and Wine Festival going on so it was SUPER busy. But, we did have THE BEST Mexican food we've had in forever! My mouth still waters when I think of it.

People kept telling me that Epcot was their favorite park and I must admit, I didn't get it. I do now. It is pretty cool. Not my favorite park, but worth going.
This ride is called Mission to Mars. Brent really wanted to ride it. I've read about this ride. People have actually died riding this ride. I don't know why exactly, but they have. (There's something about the spinning aspect of it.) So...I didn't want to ride it, but Brent has a much stronger constitution than I have so I knew he wouldn't have a problem. He didn't. Which was nice. Because I have a problem with throwing up. Mainly, if I hear anyone else throw up, I throw up. It's a vicious cycle. That's kind of a gross story. Sorry. He thought it was good but not as fun as landing on an aircraft carrier.

We also found my dream car - the 2010 Chevy Camaro. I had a Camaro, a 1977 one to be exact, back in the day. (Well, technically, my dad had it, but I drove it for quite a few years.) Alas, all I could do was get my picture taken in the Camaro, but someday, I will drive one. Entirely too fast. It will be awesome.

Inside the Spaceship Earth ride - the big golf ball looking thing that pretty much represents Epcot -
(there it is in the background) they take your picture, then let you know how your life will be in the future. It was funny. When we rode the ride this time...
we said that we liked scuba diving. This is the what our future will look like. Hee hee

This next picture is because I am, and always will be, The Plant Lady...
Look at those cool hanging baskets!

We did have a somewhat frustrating time on one of the rides. There's this one about energy that Ellen DeGeneres narrates. We had time, so we thought we'd go on it. They tell you about 100 times that once you're seated, you cannot get up or move seats. Literally, 100 times. So, they say for the last time that after this announcement, you cannot get up until the end of the ride, which takes approximately 25 minutes. They finish the announcement, you know the one about not moving, and this lady gets up and walks out. So they have to shut down the ride and make us all get off. What? It was weird. We did end up going on the ride the next time we were at Epcot. It wasn't that exciting. But at least it was aggravating!

There is also this ride called The Land that I really enjoyed. It was all about the future of crop production. Right up my alley! I would have liked to take the behind the scenes tour, but it was kind of expensive and lasted quite awhile and I didn't think Brent would have been as excited.

The second Epcot day was spent mostly in the World Showcase. There will be another post talking more about that, but I thought I would whet your appetite with these pictures.

Next stop...Hollywood Studios!