Archive for the ‘Just for Fun’ Category

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Drive-by Posting

December 16, 2009

In case you’re still unsure, this whole College Program thing is exhausting.  Fun, but exhausting.  So even though I love updating my blog, I just don’t seem to have the time anymore.  I’m hoping to sit down in the next few days and write some full-length catch-up posts, but just in case that doesn’t happen, here are a few thoughts and tidbits that I just feel the need to record.  I’m too tired for segues!

Today was our CP completion program, a.k.a. Graduation Day!  There was a huge picnic at Mickey’s Retreat, we all got graduation mouse ears and diplomas, and got our picture taken with the boss.  Tons of fun!  It lasted from 10:30 to 2:00, but we didn’t get there until around 12:30.  They had so much fun stuff to do, I wish we had gone earlier.  I went with all of my roommates, and we had a great time goofing off, taking pictures, and just hanging out.  I love these girls, and I got a little emotional about leaving for the first time today.

I’ve been working insane hours since I moved to Tomorrowland.  I almost never go in earlier than 5:00 pm, and if I get off before 1:15 am, that’s an early night.  Yesterday I worked for more than 14 hours, but I only have myself to blame.  One of the girls from work was trying to give away her shift because she had family in town, so I picked it up.  I already had a shift of my own that day, so I ended up working from 9:00 am to 11:45 pm.  It was exhausting, but I also have to admit that it was a little exhilarating.  As I clocked out, I really felt like if I could survive that, I could survive anything.  It was a really good day for it though, because I was working at Space Mountain, and it went down four times.  So it wasn’t a very busy day, and one of the times it went down I was at Preview so I just sat on the big comfy couches for almost an hour waiting for the ride to come back up.  I’m telling you, this can be a rough job. 🙂

The insanity is about to end, though, because all 6 of us who came to Tomorrowland after Food & Wine Festival are being sent back to Animal Kingdom.  I was really upset at first, because they weren’t sure if we would all be together.  But it turns out we’ll all be in Asia together, so at least I won’t be totally surrounded by strangers for my last couple of weeks.  Right now we’re only deployed there for the week of Christmas, but they may deploy us for the week of New Year, too.  We’ll just have to wait and see.  I’m definitely excited to have some normal hours!

In honor of leaving Tomorrowland, here’s a picture I should have posted a long time ago:

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A Practically Perfect Halloween Party!

October 23, 2009

“Boo to You”, dear reader!  It’s been an EXTREMELY busy week.  I’ve been wrapping up my resume for the Campus Rep position, working on my class schedule for next semester, preparing for visits from friends and family, working (of course!), and trying to have a life on top of all the rest!  It’s been really tiring, a little stressful, but fun and exciting at the same time.  So many great things are happening!

One of these great things happened this past Tuesday, when I went with all 5 of my roommates to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom.  Of course, we all went in costume: Melissa was a creepy vampire, complete with eerily realistic fangs, Brit was a gypsy reminiscent of Esmerelda from Hunchback, Traci was a flirty German fraulein, Holly was Alice, and Kat was the Queen of Hearts.

Left to Right: Traci, Holly, Kat, Brit, Me, Melissa

Left to Right: Traci, Holly, Kat, Brit, Me, Melissa

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I went as Mary Poppins.  I ended up being so happy with my costume, and it definitely got a great reaction!  Everywhere I’d go, I heard people saying, “Look!  There’s Mary Poppins!”.  People would shout, “Hi, Mary”, or tell me how much they loved my costume.  I even had tons of total strangers asking to take pictures with me.  Seriously!  I was asked to pose with at least five separate groups.  The best of these came at the very end of the night: we were heading out towards the front of the park, and I was lagging behind a bit because I had been wearing  heels for the last five hours and my feet were killing me. A big group is sitting on a bench beneath the Astro Orbiter, and as I walk past they scream, “Mary! Can we get a picture?”  I waved, told them (in a terrible excuse for a British accent) that my group was leaving me behind, and kept walking.  “But we have Bert!”  They point behind me, and, sure enough there’s Bert the Chimney Sweep coming out of the bathroom.  His costume was fantastic, so of course I had to let them take pictures, and even got them take one with my camera.

Chim-Chiminee, Chim-Chim-Cheree, a pic with a sweep who's a stranger to me!

Chim-Chiminee, Chim-Chim-Cheree, a pic with a sweep who's a stranger to me!

In between posing for pictures, we watched the “HalloWishes” fireworks show, the “Boo to You” parade, and hung out with Jafar, the Queen of Hearts, and Frollo at the “Villains Mix-and-Mingle.”  We also hung out at the Character Dance Party in Tomorrowland, where we learned that Chip is a fantastic break dancer!  Check out Brit’s video by clicking here.

One more piece of news: although I had a fantastic time at the Halloween Party, and work has been going well, this week has been a little tough.  Of course, there’s been the usual drama that comes with trying to sign up for classes and fill out applications, but we also had a some bad news for the family.  My great uncle has been sick for a while: unexplainable weight loss, terrible muscle pains, and just general poor health.  A few days ago he was diagnosed with ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Please keep him and the entire family in your thoughts and prayers.  Pray for strength, peace, and healing, because no diagnosis or disease is too powerful for God.

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Lucky 13

October 8, 2009

13.  That’s how many days in a row I will have worked when I have my day off next Wednesday.  But I can’t complain too much, because it was (mostly) by my own choice. I was supposed to be off work yesterday and today, but a few days ago I picked up a treat shift at Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary for today.  Then a couple of days after that, I found a two and a half hour shift at my old stomping grounds on Discovery Island for this afternoon.  So, I figured, I’m already working on my day off, I might as well go ahead and make it a full day.  It would be nice to see everybody at Animal Kingdom again, anyway.  And I would still have one day off.  But then one of my managers at Epcot was desperately looking for help for yesterday.  One of the other girls was going out of town for a funeral, and so they needed somebody to cover her shift.  I didn’t have to take the shift, but I didn’t really have any plans anyway, and decided to volunteer.  And that is how I came to be working on my “weekend”—working an extra shift at Epcot on Wednesday, and working at Animal Kingdom and Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary on Thursday.  So by the time my next day off rolls around, I will have worked 13 days in a row.

It really hasn’t been bad so far.  Since I’m not going in to work until 3:30 most days, I still get to sleep in, lounge around the house, hang out with my roomies, and run errands before going into work.  And my paycheck will definitely be great next week! 

I just finished up the Animal Kingdom shift, and I’m killing time before my 9:00 shift at MNSSHP.  I’ve decided that this is definitely my favorite costume so far, although the headband does bring it down a bit.  But, hey, I’m happy anytime the costume gives me a waist and is half-way feminine. 

Costume for Mickey's Not-So-Scary

Costume for Mickey's Not-So-Scary

Speaking of costumes, I’ve been working feverishly to get my costume ready for the night I attend MNSSHP as a guest.  I’ve decided to go as Mary Poppins.  I have a little jacket that will work, I’m knitting a scarf, the shoes are in my closet, and my mom is making me a skirt.  The hat is really the only major detail I’m still missing.  I’ve looked on eBay and haven’t found any luck finding something I could transform, and tomorrow I plan to hit the thrift stores.  There just aren’t that many thrift stores here, though!  As small as Springfield is compared to Orlando, I think we definitely have them beat in the thrift store department.  But I’m going to give it the ol’ college try, and I’m sure I can find something that will work.  Even a baseball cap would look Mary Poppins-ish after I spray painted it black and stuck flowers and cherries to the brim!  (Okay, I’m just kidding about the baseball cap.  I’m not that desperate…yet.)

The titular nanny...

The titular nanny...

...and my (very) rough interpretion, based mostly on what I've got in my closet.

...and my (very) rough interpretion, based mostly on what I've got in my closet.

On one hand, I hate that I’m probably going to see the Halloween parade and fireworks tonight.  I don’t want to spoil anything before I get to come as a guest!  But I can’t deny how excited I am to see the shows, the costumes, and to get a little sneak peek for our own visit.  It will still be exciting the second time, and I’ll be here with all the girls, so what could better?  It’s time for me to head into the Utilidors, and towards Main Street for the festivities.  So until next time…Boo to You!

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My Mid-Week Weekend

October 2, 2009

For the first time since the program started, I had two days off in a row.  Yesterday and today.  Count ’em: two.  It was really great, and its amazing how much more relaxing you can get done in those extra 24 hours.  But I didn’t waste my time vegging out in front of the TV or watching stupid videos on the internet (Okay.  Maybe just one stupid video.) I actually did a lot of real stuff on my days off! 

Melissa and I both had yesterday off, so we had planned to go to Blizzard Beach, one of Disney’s water parks.  I had never been before, and even though I’m not usually a water park person, I was really looking forward to it.  Of course, we’re in warm, sunny Florida, so we wake up, put on our swimsuits, go outside…and run back in the apartment shivering!  It was actually cool here yesterday!  It only got up around 80, which, while not cold was still too chilly for either of us to want to go to the water park.  So instead we went to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the day.  We strolled around, shopped, rode a couple of the big rides, and then ran into a couple of Melissa’s friends.  So the four of us hung out for the rest of the day.  We watched the Block Party Bash parade for the first time (awesome!) and also saw the American Idol Experience (meh.)  But the highlight of the day was getting our pictures taken with the cast of “Up”.

Today was my “Get Stuff Done” day.  I woke up, worked on making resort reservations for when my family comes in November, talked to the scheduling people about getting October 20th off for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary-Halloween Party, and picked up a shift on the Hub handing out candy at the aforementioned Halloween Party.  Then I spent the rest of the day running around Orlando.  Went to Downtown Disney, shopped for a little while, went to Joann’s and bought some new needles for the yarn that I bought last week.  I love my roommates, but sometimes I really, really miss the privacy I had at home.  So it was really nice to just go around on my own, be by myself, and not really have any agenda.  This is the biggest reason I recommend bringing a car for the program.  Without a car, you have no escape.  Even if you leave the apartment, you leave it on a bus filled with other CPs.

Yesterday, I mentioned to Melissa that I would like to see Cirque du Soleil.  Coincidentally, her and Josh, one of the guys we ran into yesterday at DHS, were planning to go tonight.  So Melissa told me I was more than welcome to come.  Josh, unfortunately, didn’t know that I was planning to come, and so he went ahead and bought tickets this morning, but only for Melissa and himself.  But Melissa convinced me to try to get a ticket anyway, and so I went to the box office about an hour and a half before show time.  Luckily, they had a ticket right behind her and Josh’s seats, so I went ahead and bought it.  When they showed up later, we went to talk to the box office one more time.  Because it was so close to the show start, they were starting to open up other seats.  I’m not sure if they were seats that people had cancelled on, or if they just hadn’t shown up to pick up their tickets.  But they had three new seats available, together, a few rows up from where our original seats were.

Cirque du Soleil was everything I had hoped it would be.  By the end, my hands hurt from clapping, and I know at least four times I let out an audible gasp of astonishment.  The little Chinese girls with their Diablos were my favorite, but there wasn’t a single part of it I didn’t love.  It was worth every penny to see it, and I wouldn’t be against going to see it again.  And if you ever get a chance to see a Cirque Show, DO IT! 

It’s back to work tomorrow, but I have next Wednesday and Thrusday off, too!  I’m thrilled that my schedule is starting to look similar from week-to-week.  Hopefully this Wednesdays/Thursdays off thing will stick, because it’s really been great so far!

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Sanaa + Resort-Hopping + Shopping + Meet-and-Greet = a Busy Couple of Days

August 12, 2009

After getting settled into our hotel yesterday, my mom and I went to dinner at Sanaa, at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Kidani Village.  All I have to say is that it was an amazing start to what I’m sure will be an amazing few months. 

Sanaa Sign

This restaurant opened just a couple of months ago, and I’ve been hoping I’d get to eat there at some point ever since I heard about it.  Billed as African food with Indian flavors, I don’t see what made the menu “African”.  Not that I’m an expert or anyting, last time I had Tandoori Chicken and Curry, it was at an Indian restaurant.

Menu origin aside, we ate the aforementioned Tandoori Chicken and had a bread appetizer.  The appetizer came with your choice of three kinds of bread, and three types of sauces.  We chose to have Tamarind Chutney, Roasted Red Pepper Hummis, and Mint and Onion Raita.  All of these were very good, but especially the hummis.  In fact, our only real disappointmentt was the portion size of our entree.  My mom and I can share a meal at most restaurants, and have plenty left-over.  But last night, even with the bread, there wasn’t enough for two full meals.  Although the food was good, what really made this restaurant special was the setting.  Floor-to-ceiling windows in the dining area look out onto a savannah area, filled with giraffes, zebras, ostriches, and antelopes.  There’s also a large deck which extends out from the restaurant’s waiting area into the middle of the savannah, giving you a panoramic view of the animals. 

A picture taken from the window beside our table.

A picture taken from the window beside our table.

Unfortunately, we experienced first hand the only hitch in having live animals at a restaurant: halfway through our meal, a big antelope came right over by our window, raised his tail, and did his business right there as we ate.  It was disgusting, but we got such a laugh out of it that it  was one of the highlights of the night.  Hilarious, but really not the best way to convince people to try the chocolate mousse.

Today, my mom and I slept in, and then went to visit some of the resorts.  If you ever find yourself in the Orlando area with nothing to do, I highly recommend this inexpensive method of time-wasting.  There are some truly incredible things to see at the Disney resorts.  We rested in hammocks on the beach at the Polynesian resort, shopped for hand-made soap in the Grand Floridian, and re-lived Disney vacations past at the All-Star Resorts.  And then, this afternoon…IKEA!  I really, really love this store.  Two and a half hours after entering, I left with a list full of things to come back and buy after I’ve moved into the apartment and can some new purchases into my car.  Then we headed down to Downtown Disney to shop and attend the meet-and-greet dinner for tomorrow’s check-in.  The dinner was originally supposed to take place at Earl of Sandwich, but more than 60 people decided to attend, so it was moved to the bigger venue of Planet Hollywood.  The food here was surprisingly good, and we had a great time cheering when they welcomed us over the loudspeaker, and dancing to the YMCA.  In case you didn’t know, college students+food+YMCA=tons of fun.  That’s science!

Tomorrow’s the big day: check-in.  Tomorrrow I will find out who I’m rooming with, where I’m living, and where I will be working.  It will also be the first day I can use my cast member discount, so I see a little shopping in my future.  But for now, I’m just going to try to get some sleep–I’m going to need some serious energy tomorrow!

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So Little Time and So Much To Do

July 14, 2009

Living in Florida temorarily will give me the rare opportunity to be a long-term tourist. Unlike someone who might move there permanently, I will have no desire to try to blend in with the locals. And, unlike a short-term tourist, I will have the opportunity to try to see as much of Orlando as my little heart desires. It’s the best of both worlds! Besides the obvious (spending time in WDW and at the beach), there are a million other things I want to do during my 4-month stay. But I am going down there to work, after all, so I know I won’t have time to do it all. However, because I am such a good, organized person, I also know that the key to getting stuff done is to prioritize. So here it is, my list of the top 100 things I want to do while I’m in Orlando (Kidding, kidding! I narrowed it down to 5.)

Busch Gardens

I’ve been to most of the other major Florida theme parks, but never Busch Gardens. It’s basically like Sea World with mammals and better roller coasters. Like this one, a floorless coaster with the closest thing to a 90-degree drop I’ve ever seen. See the tiny people hurtling face-down towards the ground? “Space Mountain” this ain’t.

Cirque du Soleil – La Nouba

I’ve always wanted to see a Cirque show, and I don’t think I’ll ever get a better opportunity. This show takes place at Downtown Disney, and I can even get a Cast Member Discount on the pricey tickets! Other things on my list may or may not happen, but Cirque is the one thing on this list that I will do…even if it means eating nothing but Ramen Noodles for a month so that I can afford a ticket.

Skyventure

Have you ever leaned really close into a box fan and said, “Luke, I am your father”? Then you understand how much fun a fan can be. That’s the concept behind Skyventure, except that instead of simply causing your voice to sound like Darth Vader, this giant fan is under you and keeps you suspended in air, recreating the sensation of Sky Diving. Click here to see an awesome video of the experience. Okay, so actually this is nothing like talking into a box fan. But that’s fun, too, right?

Sleuth Dinner Show

As a mystery enthusiast, I’ve always wanted to see one of these Mystery Dinner Theatre things. Guests at Sleuth find themselves in the middle of a comical, quizzical who-dunnit. It’s sort of expensive, and doesn’t involve flying (see Skyventure) so as fun as this one sounds, it’s not exactly a priority. But if the opportunity arises, I will definitely take it. (Note to self: remember to pack magnifying glass and deerstalker cap.)

ICE at the Gaylord Palms Resort

An annual Christmas exhibit of Ice Sculptures at a fancy resort may not sound very exciting, but just look at these pictures! A giant ice slide, a giant ice Santa, and giant blue parkas for everyone! Cheesy Christmas fun at its finest.

The key to fitting everything I want to do into a short 4-month period will be pushing past the inevitable bone-weariness after working full days at the park. I’ll just have to remember that sleeping is for wimps. I’ll sleep when I’m dead! (Or maybe when I get back to Missouri. That would probably be a good idea.)

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A Post Mostly About Knitting (Sorry!)

July 9, 2009

I started a new knitting project last night, and remembered that I never shared pictures of my other projects. I know you’ve all been foaming at the mouth with anticipation (can’t you at least pretend?) so here are a couple, as promised:

This one is, as you can see, a bag to hold my knitting projects. This was my first big project and I’m pretty proud of it. I even sewed in the lining, which is a gorgeous Amy Butler fabric. I love her patterns and luckily I had enough fabric left over to re-upholster a chair cushion. (You can see the chair in the corner of the top picture here.)
This one is, duh, a headband. I did it to use up some extra yarn from my second project (no good pictures of this one yet) and also to practice doing lace work. Even though this may not look like “lace”, the open holes in it technically make it lace. I’m not sure how I feel about the finished piece, but I learned a lot of new techniques and all it cost me was a few bucks for a new set of needles.

My newest adventure is an honest-to-goodness sweater and is definitely the hardest project I’ve tackled yet. It’s going well so far, though, but we’ll see how I feel in a few days.

As a reward for all those who suffered through my knitting pictures, I do have one small piece of CP news: I officially opted out of roommate notification. I’m just going to let the chips fall where they may when I get there. Adventure, thy name is living-with-whoever-you-just-so-happen-to-stand-next-to-in-line. (Hey, Adventure, you might want to consider getting a nickname.)