California Adventure

I bought a friggin annual pass to Disneyland!! My people and I went last week, and it was awesome. It turns out the Tower of Terror is too short of a ride for me to get motion sickness on. Star Tours, not so much. But since I have a pass, I might just do another visit after taking some of my prescription strength motion-sickness meds. I will be listless and apathetic, but I at least I will not barf on anyone.
It was crazy overcast yesterday when we got there, and I took this pic of the submarine ride which I think aptly conveys the gloomy weather.

It was way too gloomy for D-Land, so I fixed it on my Photoshop app. I’m recalibrating my memory to match the updated version:

This is my favorite sign in a long time:

Speaking of children at the happiest place on earth, we passed a guy who was screaming at his little girl from a distance of about two inches from her face. I can only guess her age, but she was in a stroller. She was either four or a small five, and she was already crying. The dad was pushing her stroller on its two back wheels, and just as we were passing them, he dropped the stroller, causing her crying to get louder, and he came around and screamed at her in a barking style, I guess trying to shock her into shutting up. We were all too surprised to stop or say anything. This is what cell phones and threats of putting people on YouTube are for. For the rest of the day, I appreciated the parents who were showing patience and maturity while their little ones had tear-soaked meltdowns. Because, what else can you do? Join in?
It really was a good day to be there. Summer’s over, and the marine layer let up after a few hours giving us a few good hot hours to ride the wet rides and then dry off. I don’t remember anything being such a foodfest. We ate our way across the park. I mean, part of it is the constant presence of vendors, but I’m sure we were burning calories at a faster rate that we could consume them. I can see why they make it so easy to get a passport, because they make plenty of money off of people just being inside the park and having their wallets with them. I bought a little Mad Hatter hat, too, which I think in some schools of thought (mine) obligates me to throw a tea party.
California Adventure Park is pretty cool. It’s got little nods to California everywhere, like vineyards, the Grizzly river run (The Sierras?) some bay area references, an amazing IMAX-style airplane ride, Hollywood Tower of Terror which, pleasantly, is an homage to old Hollywood and not today’s. My friend said there used to be a Golden Gate Bridge when you first walk in, and I don’t know why you’d want to take that away. They are replacing it with Missions, which I guess means exploiting the natives, so I can see why it fits. It’s a rich, proud history.
Real California, fake California, I love California. I love Disneyland too, and I love spending time with my family.

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Yay, it’s that time of year again! No, seriously!

We’re enjoying the season in stride, with most of our shopping done -but not all! We don’t want to slip out of holiday mode. And I can’t keep baking, because I’ll run out of people to help me eat it.
We’re packing for our trip up to the High Sierras, where a couple of heavy snowstorms seem to be awaiting us. Also if all goes well, an igloo. Here’s our tree:

Yes, that’s a framed image of a tank next to the tree. We love Banksy in this house.
But more important than the holidays, have you seen the HotBooth App? Rather than making you fat or old (see Fat Booth or Old Booth), you can add makeup or accessories to your photo. Or a kitten. I’ve been playing with a pic of one of my favorite people, Avegail:

You can only imagine what I did with this photo:

One of our favorite things this season, though, was figuring out how make the Hawaiian Kettle Corn that we had as an appetizer at our current favorite restaurant discovery, the A-frame.

When you get it just right, which only happens if you go to Farmer’s Market and pick up actual kettle corn, it is so delicious, and you can’t stop until your hands are covered with butter and the japanese seaweed seasoning.
So we’re all geared up for a nice holiday season, and I’m sure it will only get better.

The pretty blue shiny thing

So I got stung by a jellyfish today, but it was only my fingers. The remarkable part was that I was warned, and my friend had already gotten stung. I thought I would be unable to get in the water if there were jellyfish in it, but we’re in Cabo, and it’s 87 degrees, and the water is beautiful! I put on some goggles and went out there, determined to be careful and look around me. I mean, you know how Jellyfish are all cartooney and big and white and obvious. Or not. In the meantime, I saw this thing that looked like a fishing lure, and it even looked like it had a metal part, so I thought I’d grab it and put it in the trash on the shore so that nobody gets hurt. Grabbing that little fishing lure felt like grabbing an electric fence with razor wire, and that’s when I realized that I’d reached out and grabbed a jellyfish. It HURT! I had to go straight to the bar and ask for ice, and then I rejoined my friends in their cabana next to the pool. It didn’t hurt, as long as I kept my fingers in my cup of ice. Grocery shopping was on our agenda after the beach, and I was about as useful as Captain Hook.
Later in the evening I was walking along the beach at sunset with one of my travel companions, Tracy, and we saw some tiny blue things on the sand. More pretty fishing lures? We both realized they had to be jellyfish, and Tracy said she remembered an Australian girl at the pool saying that the jellyfish here are blue something. We looked them up when we got home, and found jellyfish that matched the description of the ones we saw on the sand. They’re called Blue Bottle Jellyfish. Then I typed that into Flikr, my current favorite website, and some of the images in the set were also of Portuguese Man of Wars. Tim came up behind me while we were looking at the images, and he’s like, “you got stung by a Portuguese Man of War?” And I’m like, “No, they’re just in the same photo set because they’re blue and they’re like Jellyfish.” Then we looked up information about the Blue Bottles, and we found out they ARE Man of Wars. What the hell!! So we were stung by Man O Wars. It looks like the ones in the Atlantic are much worse than these ones, and that’s where they get such a bad reputation. These are TINY.
So yeah, I didn’t just get stung by it, I reached out and grabbed it, and got stung by it.

Additional, better photos of these beautiful bastards can be found here.

Engaged!

So, I’ve been living in Playa for 10 months now. I’m loving it, and Tim and I got engaged back in May. I dove deeply into Bikram Yoga, starting with the 30 day challenge in January. I did the challenge again in April and July. Sweating for 90 minutes eats up most of my evening time that I used to spend blogging. That, and we both like to do a lot of cooking.

It’s a beautiful art deco ring with a miner’s cut stone. The ring is from around 1910, from Tim’s mom’s aunt.
It was a nice overcast day, with blue sky peeking at us in places. This was what the beginning of our hike looked like:


But in my memory, it looks like this, because that was the day we got engaged, and I’m a gooey, fluffy romantic at heart:

Here are some other pictures from our engagement in Sycamore Canyon, just north of Malibu.

Cirque Berzerk

We went to Cirque Berzerk the other night, near Chinatown. I loved it! Very Tim Burton, but more colorful. I don’t think everyone who sees Cirque du Soleil style acrobatics appreciates it like I do, but I was fascinated and was turning my head sideways in awe while I watched the girl hang from the silk fabric and climb around doing the splits high up in the air. My favorite, though, was the guys on the trampoline. We couldn’t take any pics, of course, but we could take photos outside. I walked around with my little Olympus until there was too much dust in the air to use a flash.
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I’m not easily confused or anything

I was leaving the grocery store in Playa last week and while waiting for the light, I realized I was staring at this bench. It’s down the street from the airport. One of my friends guessed that it was maybe somebody’s version of graffiti. I mean, if you have money to burn, and if you want to mess with people’s heads, and you can do so by renting out a bench and writing whatever you feel like on it, then hey. And sure enough, there I am, scratching my head, staring at this bench.
Robot bench
It turns out it’s for a movie.