Monday, January 26, 2009

What a Day!

So, we had no plans to go to Disney World anytime soon, after all we had already been there twice this year and took a Disney Cruise. But, how can you resist when they offer it free on your birthday?!?!?!? So let's put two and two together... free Disney on your birthday. Nikki and Scotty who are married have the same exact day birthday. Paul lives in Orlando and let's us visit and play. Enough said. We started our journey a few weeks ago, at least I did, Nikki didn't have a clue. When we were goign to bed the night before we were supposed to leave, we were going over all the things that would be happening the following day... meetings, a trip to WCU, dinner and then I threw in packing. Packing? Oh yea, did I forget to mention we are going to Disney World for our brithdays? And so we were off. We hung out a bit, went to a mall, had a few (drumrolls) chic-fil-a sandwiches along the way and then got up bright and early Saturday morning to head to the Animal Kingdom. Paul had school Saturday, so Nikki and I went to the parks to play. Before the end of the day when we met Paul at Planet Hollywood for dinner, we had done the Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Lines were low, crowds were small and we've been there so much we knew what we wanted to do and not what to do... we got it all in.
The next morning, January 25, a day that will forever be in history as one of the greatest days ever and will always be Nikki, Paul and I got to the Magic Kingdom as the gate opened to celebrate our big day. We got our free tickets and our special buttons that said it was our birthday. What they don't tell you when they give you those buttons is it gives ever person who works at the Magic Kingdom permission to tell you happy birthday over and over. That's ok- I'll take it.
We first headed over and flew with Peter Pan- for some reason that kiddie ride always gets backed up. The nover to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. As you may know, Splash Mountain is right next door. As cazy as we were, we decided to go ahead and take the plunge- ha! get it- plunge! We walked straight on this ride- unheard of! After we had gotten to the bottom of the big drop our log boat stopped in a line of about ten. We sat there for about fifteen to twenty minutes and then a SM worker came around and said they were going to "evacuate" the ride. We all got out of our boats and walked along the edge of the river we had been floating on past the robots of Brer Bear, Fox and Rabbit and then lead to a door. The lady leading us said "no cameras beyond this point. Turn your cameras off." Yes, we went "backstage" at Splash Mountain! What a great birthday gift... but wait it gets better. As we were being lead back to the street of the kingdom, workers were giving each person a fast pass for any ride in the park- if you don't know, a fast pass is a card that allows you to skip the line and go straight on the ride. The lady saw Nikki's brithday button and said, "Happy Birthday- here is for your party." and we got a whole stack of fast passes! Great fun! Lines were small anyway, but now they didn't exist at all! We rode Splash Mountain (after it was repaired) three times, Big Thunder Four times, Space Mountain (twice) and everything else in the kingdom at least once.

After a full day, we went for a great dinner at Tony's Italian Restaurant. Paul, Nikki and I had a great little party complete with mickey confetti and some streamer tape. Little party? The whole restaurant got into it... flinging their napkins and shouting...

...and Nikki and I had a special little birthday cake.

After a wonderful day of food, happy brithdays, free cookies (because we were wearing those wonderful pins) and lots of riding, not to mention dodging the segulls swooping in to grab a snack and get rid of it... if you know what I mean, we settled into our spots to watch the fireworks. Nikki and I decided that everyone else was allowed to watch, but the whole explosive display was for us. We went back to Paul's place and had leftover cake. Cake at 11pm is the best... second to cake for breakfast. I didn't really take a lot of pictures- we've been there so much why take so more pictures. Just a special few to share with the loyal and devoted fans of the rehearsal chronicles... ok, all this for three of you.
Oh yea, one more thing. For those of you that have been to the Magic Kingdom, you know that right at the beginning of the fireworks Tinkerbell (an actress on a wire- sorry to destroy the magic) flys across the crowd from the top of Cinderella castle and beyond the edge of the park. As we were getting into place to watch the spectacle, Paul sees the wire and says "Hey guy, look! We can see the galaxy (he meant milky way) from here!" Yes, it was night and yes, there were a few stars, but the galaxy? We looked and he pointed in excitement. After a time of searching, we realized he was talking about Tinker Bell's wire. We had a good laugh. To his benefit, it was dark. Ha! I love that kid! Never dull.

Now, after a whirlwind of a weekend... back to real life, back to cold (when we left Orlando, we were wearing shorts and tshirts at a beautiful and sunny 73 degrees- when we pulled into our drive way were wearing long sleeves, pants and jackets at a painful 44 degrees) but ah, what a great fun time! I wonder what we can celebrate next? "It's the time of your life..." That's the theme song for the year at Disney- I'm singing it to you right now... Close your eyes and imagine as if you were there too... "It's the time of your life..." Ok, so that's the only line I know... just keep imagining...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Make A Wish

Not a bad way to spend your birthday!

Friday, January 16, 2009


Many people ask where I get my ideas for costumes. Simple- I look a hundreds and hundreds of pictures- escpecially for the weird, over-the-top costumes. The picture below is a good example.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Did You Know?

Thirty-four years ago today Space Mountain opened at Walt Disney World. In April, the ride is going to be shut down and completely "re-imagined". I love this ride!
Mindless information for a Thursday.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Adventures in ATL

A month or so ago, Melissa L. that Nikki works announced that she would be visiting some Ukrainian orphanges during Christmas while on the way to England to visit her parents. Nikki and I love Melissa- she makes me laugh at absolutely nothing and for no reason- she just makes me laugh. She had a way to the airport, but she needed someone to pick her up. Thinking we could make a day of it in the city, Nikki volunteered us for the pick-up.

At the same time Paul G. was home for Christmas and wanted to take a trip to the mall before returning to FL. He decided to go with us on Saturday to have some mall time, dinner and a movie and he would depart from there the next day. His mom was going to play too, so realizing that Melissa's plane did not get into the ATL ariport until midnight on Saturday, Nikki and I decided to get a hotel room as well across from the mall of GA. Pauls mom was going too- she and Paul would get a room and Nikki and I would get a room that we would share with Melissa.

We left the big town of Franklin around 11:30am on Saturday- met Paul and his mom at the Whistle Stop and then began our convoy of three mall bound vehicles, but first stopped for a wonderful lunch at Chic-Fil-A in Clayton. Love Polynisian sauce... five out of four stars! Love Chic-Fil-A... a billion out of four stars!

We arrived at the mall around 1:30ish and hit the isles shopping- great sales, evne better than te day after Christmas. Nikki and I were both on a mission for jeans. I found one pair, she found three- shocker. We made returns, ate cookies and went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button... four out of four stars. Finally, a movie with an actual story with a climax and an arch to the characters. It lasted almost three hours, but was worth the time spent sitting in the dark. Movie ended at 10:30pm, but before we ever went into the theatre, Melissa had called and said her flight from Charlotte (where she would connect and then fly to Atlanta, where we would be waiting) had been cancelled. Uh-oh. She was on stand by for a direct flight to Atlanta from New York, but wasn't sure. During the movie Nikki watched her phone and kept in contact with Melissa. Towards the end of the film, we found out that Melissa was on the flight and would be arriving at the Atlanta ariport about 12:45am. So what to do while we wait? Eat. Nikki, Paul, Brenda and I went to On the Border for a late dinner. Exactly- mexican at 11:00pm. Thank you Lord for Nexium.

We had a nice dinner with a waitress from Poland. At 11:45pm, Nikki and I left the restaurant for the big city in rain and heavy fog. Driving was slow, so we got to the airport around 12:30am. We waited. We waited some more. Then we waited a little longer. At 1am Melissa called and said she was there and getting ready to get on the subway to baggage claim. We waited. We waited some more. Then we waited a little longer. Now realize, poor Melissa had been on countless flights from the Ukraine, all of which had had delays and had now been awake without any sleep for over 24 hours. When she got on the subway she got on the wrong one and had to circle the entire airport before getting to baggage claim. Finally, the British lady had made it back to the Home of the Brave and was ready to head to her own nest. We went to bagage claim- no luggage. Melissa's bag was red and she was delirious from lack of sleep, so everytime a red bag would go by on any of the carriers, Melissa would say maybe that is it and I would run after it. No luck. We had no idea where her luggage would be on any flight from NY because of all the last minute changes that had been made in her flight schedule. 2am we go to the Delta desk and after waiting in line we discover that Melissa's bags are still in NY. They will ship them on Monday.

On to the hotel! Yea for hotels! But wait, Melissa had no clothes or anything. Luckily we knew there was a 24 hour super Wal-Mart near the mall of GA. We go there, get Melissa some sleep gear, grab some muffins, doughnut holes and apple juice and we start to go. Melissa had only eaten airline snacks and as we were walking out the Wal-Mart suddenly says, "Wait! I'm hungry!" She runs to the bakery and grabs a large turkey sub.

We get on the elevator about 3:30am to go to our room and break open the doughnut holes and apple juice. Melissa has her sub which is extremely dry. At one point she threatens to dunk her sub in a cup of apple juice. We don't know if she was serious or just suffering from fatigue.

We all get calmed down, Melissa has her bed and Nikki and I ours. Finally 4am, going to bed. Now when I get tired, I get giddy. And I was tired. For some reason, I started laughing and so did everyone else- uncontrollably. After laughing out all of our exhaustion, we go to sleep.

At 5:30am, Melissa's phone started ringing. It was an alarm. Melissa didn't hear because she was so tired, so Nikki staggers over to Melissa's purse and tries to turn it off. For the past three weeks, Melissa had spent time in a very poor region of the Ukraine. Imagine being really tired and waking up after an entire day of travel and seeing someone in the dark digging throug hyour purse at the foot of your bed. Too funny! Melissa settled from her start, Nikki still asleep stumbled back to bed and we all got quiet again for about three minutes. Phone ring- again. Turn it off. Go to bed. Sleep till 10:30am on Sunday.

Paul left for FL. Brenda went to Target and then home. Nikki, Melissa and I ate lunch/breakfast and then went to Targetto pick up some supplies for Seuss and then came home. It was a long weekend by so fun. Between hanging out with Brenda and Paul to waiting in the airport to seeing an overly fatigued Melissa crash into things at Super Wal-Mart at 3am, I haven't laughed so much in forever!