2009 has been a year of revisiting my favorite place on Earth, twice, a return trip to another fun destination, a new and interesting local, and a staycation that reunited me with an old friend. Time to review my travels.
In March I returned to California to celebrate my birthday at Disneyland. Once again, I stayed with my longtime friend Yoli, her husband, and stepson. Via a friend of hers, we dined at the impressive members-only Club 33, not once but twice. I partied with my CA posse Lisa & family, Drina, Jenn, Virginia, Jen & Corey, and "Cousin" Jenny. At Paradise Pier Hotel I reconnected over dinner with former co-workers, managers Hector & Katrina, and my ex-roomie Tina. Add to all of that a complimentary upgrade from a standard view room to a suite facing Disney's California Adventure at Paradise Pier Hotel and you have the makings of an unforgettable birthday but I forget things so I wrote about it for future reference.
Snow White's Scary Adventure begins en route to the attic! Da-da-daaaaaa.
Outside of Goofy's Kitchen you'll find this sign and it's true! In fact, about every 30 minutes you'll find characters passing thru.
The Orange Stinger is no more. I only hope the new attraction also allows me to fly thru the air while posing like Peter Pan or Superman.
August was crazy fun because my trips were back-to-back. First, I drove to Cape Cod because my friend Ashley and his band HERE II HERE were touring and had 3 shows scheduled at churches in Hyannis and Brewster, MA. After the first show during which the boys laughed at me (long story, they were just reacting to my behavior) we went out for lunch. Then I dropped my bags at my aunt & uncle's, had a bite to eat, and then went off to the 2nd show. The next day Ashley and I hung out, shopped, and went out for lunch. It was awesome to spend quality time with him. He went off to prepare for their 3rd show and I drove home.
Left to right: Edwin, Jaime, Ashley, Alex, and Kaz finish the show by singing a capella.
It was Ash who introduced me to the phrase "for reals" so if you ever hear me say it, blame him.
Two days later I flew over to Wisconsin for the very first time to visit my friend Tracy and her son Zach. It was during this trip that I declared myself her parents' adopted Jewish daughter. What a wonderful family they are. Tracy, her boyfriend Ken, Zach, and I set out on adventure. We explored caverns, sought out trolls, learned about mustard, found a rain-soaked Little Norway (we left), a dry Little Switzerland (we stayed), Henry Vilas Zoo, and a quirky deli named Ella's.
Isn't it amazing how these caverns were formed with lights already installed as well as stairs and handrails.
As we drove around the State Capitol Building and I was trying my best to lean left across Zach and shoot thru the open window I kept saying, "Look kids, Big Ben!"
A visit to Wisconsin just isn't complete without cow tipping.
Way, way back in September you may recall I brought my mom and her best friend, Judi, to Walt Disney World to celebrate their 60th birthdays. We stayed off-site :gasp: and had to pay for parking :faint:. With the exception of the heat and humidity, we had a great time and my mom finally got to meet my friend Amy. Also, we discovered a fantastic dining establishment at Crossroads, Sweet Tomatoes.
A Cast Member at Disney's Animal Kingdom fed lettuce to the duckies and then weighed them. The ducks, I mean, she didn't weigh the lettuce. Well, far as I'm aware she didn't.
Are you as bad as I am at finding hidden Mickeys? Do what AllEars team member Glo from Miami did, kick a few small rocks together and create your own.
If you have a teenage daughter who watches "Hannah Montana" then you already know this is Mitchel Musso, one of the Disney Channel's singing actors. I'll apologize now if you show her this photo and she lets out a high-pitch scream.
My second journey to California was in October and because she doesn't know any better, Yoli let me stay with and her familia again. This time we went to Hollywood and Beverly Hills where we proceeded to get lost for a while. We had a great time being goofballs on Rodeo Drive. You can bet I went to Disneyland, in fact, AllEars held it's first meet there. Rock on! A large group of us took part in walking and fundraising for Children's Hospital of Orange County.
I can't recall which store this is however I do remember making cracks about couture-clothed cops coming after us.
If you are interested in touring a movie studio I highly recommend the Warner Bros. VIP Tour. Yeah, baby, yeah.
If you haven't heard the song Skipper Dan by "Weird" Al Yankovic yet or you want to hear it again, and again, and agaaaaain, click here.
That's it unless I run off between now and tomorrow but I seriously doubt I will because I plan to start a road trip on Saturday.
Thanks for all of your comments and feedback. I know Barrie and Scott appreciate them as much as I do. Happy New Year. Próspero Año Nuevo. Here we go! Ale, ale, ale!
I'm on facebook. Are you? Lisa K Berton is the name and Scattergories is my game.
This blog was written while listening to The Monkees' Headquarters.