Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween in my Neighborhood

Well, last year my granddaughter decided she wanted to be a ladybug for Halloween, now, I do not know exactly why she made this decision, because she really was afraid of bugs at the time, but I bet that neat wand had a lot to do with it...see, it is all about the accessories!! This year, she said she wants to be Cinderella, so we will see what happens once she actually gets into the costume shop!

I thought it would be fun to share how some of the folks in my neighborhood decorate for Halloween. I will add additional photos as soon as I can make a longer trek, I have been a bit swamped with work lately, so off we go!

Now, while this is most certainly not the most creative of all the decorations, wait to you see my outdoor decorations at the bottom of this posting!! But what I love about this house is the cozy setup they have in the front with the little white picket fence and the rocking chairs. I would love to have this at my humble abode...sigh...but I do like my view better, so give and take right?

This home has a lot of Halloween stuff. The owner told me she decorates the most for Halloween because there is no way she can compete with the Christmas decorating, so she is the Halloween queen and she has a big party every year. These tombstones are almost as spooky as the ones at my favorite "haunted mansion"...want to see those..okay, here we are.

Fun, fun, fun. My granddaughter likes to take our evening walk down the block to see this house. I cannot imagine why because our own decorations are out of this world....Wait until you see what I came up with!!! Ah yes, the anticipation right!?

Hmmm, I think my GD touched something slimy in this scarecrow's hand, she has that, ugh, kind of look on her face! LOL. This is my next door neighbor's home (I heard that they go all out in competition with our other neighbor for Christmas, but there is a new kid on the block this year!!!yep, that is me, and what I did for Halloween was just a warm up of things to come!)....are you ready to see my masterpiece!!!! Okay, drumroll folks.......

Yes!!! That is the front of my house!! After hours of deliberating with my GD on the perfect decoration...well, okay, she spent a lot of time running over to the costumes, wanting me to push the button on all the display decorations that she saw a "red dot" on...she might not be able to read the "push here" words but she knows what that red dot means!!, and of course, she had to look at the candy, and ride the mechanical horse on the way in and out of the store, so our actual time spent picking out our Centerpiece....I mean only piece! was actually only about 5 minutes. (she picked it out because she did not want anything too scary and we just left Disney last month), so here it is....we also have a trash bag ghost we made last week hanging up in our tree in the front yard for a perfect extra touch! I was going to post that as well, but I did not want to put too much pressure on everyone to go all out like I did.

Well, what do you think! Great stuff huh, want to see some, well, okay, come on inside and see what I have done on the inside, if you think the outside was something special!

Here is my autumn display in the front foyer, notice the mini scarecrow prominently displayed to show that it is truly autumn, never mind the 80 degree temperature outside and vivid green leaves on all the trees, it is autumn inside the house!

and here is my coffee table in my office/studio where I spend most of my days and usually enjoy dinner with a nice glass of vino and my lighted candle in the evening to wind down after a hard day of work...ahhh, life is good.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my little corner of the world. Come back and visit again soon.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Four Parks, Three Days, with a 3 year old. Disney BDay Trip Part 3

For our second day, I planned for us to go to the Magic Kingdom in the morning to catch the opening ceremony. For breakfast, why a stop at the Main Street Bakery. Wanna check out the goodies there? okay, but be sure to come back. (bakery menu) We chose donuts and fruit for my GD and I had a wonderful muffin, yum...okay, getting ahead of myself here, love the bakery, but boy, it was packed!! Back to the opening....

We were not the only ones who had decided to get to the park early, but it was nice to see the decorations and they had hula hoops out to keep the kiddies occupied.

It was the first time I had seen the opening ceremony. It was fun to see the train arriving into the station with all the characters aboard. Best time for a train ride is 2 pm or from 8 pm when people are going to get spots for Spectromagic, plus you will get to see the park at night, beautiful.

First ride was the carousel, which is my GD favorite. Did you know there are 87 horses and one chariot. Cinderella's horse is the horse with the gold ribbon on its tail and a wide re bridle. Right next to it...why Prince Charming's horse of course!

Also, if you have not seen Mickey Philharmonic, it is a great show and it is a perfect attraction to get out of the heat and boy...was it hot!!!

Hot, yes indeed, it was in the 90s every day during our stay, see, my GD was even hot with her spray bottle and riding in a shaded stroller.

Alright, ready for my second freebie? Hot and tired I pulled up to a cart where a CM was chatting with another worker about a movie..not in a major rush, I stood there for maybe a minute or two, when he finally noticed me, he apologized profusely and when I ordered our diet soda, he said it was on Mickey! Wow, okay not as good as my gift from Mickey the day prior...see Trip Part 1 but still, a freebie is a freebie.

We were super hot and tired so back to the Beach resort for a rest, change of clothes, and a spray in the terrace garden, however, my GD managed to get more spray on herself than the plants!

After relaxing for a while, it was back to the parks, this time taking the ferry boat over to Hollywood Studios.

I have no idea why, but my GD liked the "soda man" as she called him. Since being there last year, a new section with Toy Story Mania was added. We had a nice time in the park.

Last year, when we saw Fantasmic, we had preferred seating by reserving the Hollywood and Vine Fantasmic package. (Info on the Dining packages) . I tried to book it this year as well, but calling 30+ days out, none of the packages were available, so I decided we would grab some food and wait in line to get a spot and eat in the stadium. What a mistake that was, we had to stand in line for a very long time with a lot of people, only to have some people really pushing when they finally started to let
us in to take a seat. Not a very Disney experience.

I would not go back to see Fantasmic without the preferred dining package with a little one in tow. But, we made it through the show and it was back to the hotel for day 3, the last day and my birthday.

Stay tuned for final installment!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Four Parks, Three Days, with a 3 year old. Disney BDay Trip Part 2

Okay kids, we are all checked into our lovely Beach Resort hotel, compliments of Mickey (see Trip Part 1).

Now mind you by this time I am kinda tuckered out already after a morning of last minute packing, phone calls, getting a 3-year-old out of an over-excited and finally falls asleep close to 11 p.m. slumber, car problems, finally finding the value resorts only to have to get back in the car (lugging luggage and the 3yo) who as soon as I get her in the car seat announces that she has to go to the bathroom, finding the Beach Resort, taking her to restroom, checking in, going out to car for luggage, and stashing it in the room; but hey, it is my B-Day weekend, it is Disney, and I am ready to board the bus and get on our way........first stop....Animal Kingdom!!

Here is my granddaughter as we depart the bus, notice her expression, she is already getting fed up with my picture taking.....ah, my has only just begun!!! LOL.

Did you know that Animal Kingdom covers more than 500 acres and has over 1000 animals!
Here is the centerpiece of the park, the Tree of Life which stands 145 feet tall and whose branches span over 160 feet. The trunk is comprised of carvings of 325 animals.

First thing we do in the park is go see the Festival of the Lion, love, loved it! Great show, love when the floats come out, the stilt walkers, and the vocalist are great as well. I had not seen this show in many years and it is one of my favorites.

Then off for pictures with Chip and Dale....

Do you know which one is chip? The one with the brown nose like a chocolate chip...Dale's nose is red..(I know, I am a Disney nerd....what's that, nope, I am just a nerd!!!, Well, I never!!).

Alright, we are pretty hungry by now and I had made the only reservation I was actually able to book, calling 30+ days in advance (my advice to anyone planning a Disney trip who wants to go to a character dining meal or a special restaurant, call 90 days in advance).

We had lunch reservations for the Tusker House (the lunch reservation comes along with Finding Nemo advanced preferred seating, which I did not like the seating arrangement, it was off to the left and close to the stage, to close to be able to enjoy the full visual effects of the show IMHO. I like to sit more center and back.

Now back to Tusker House, great food, many selections, many choices for my granddaughter and she loved everything she selected (notice the state of her plate in the photo and the "I am not going to let you take a picture of me" pose she has, all in fun though, see her mischievous smile. She even went back for dessert, selected 4 items and ate them all!!

Here is a menu from Allears for those interested; now you will leave my blog so be certain to come back and read more of my exciting post!!! (Hmm, you say it is putting you to sleep!!! Come on, I am just getting warmed up!)

Next up Safari!! There were so many animals to see. I really enjoy this particular ride as it is different every time. Here are a few photos I shot which speak for themselves. Okay, not the greatest wildlife photos, but folks, I am on a jostling jeep with a jostling 3yo and an old camera so cut me some slack here...sniff,,,deep breath in....deep breath out...calm.......Okay!!! On we go!! Oh, by the way...bottom picture has a rhino there on the right hand side...See if you can spot him amongst the other lumpy brown things in my photo!! LOL.. gotta remember to zoom next time.

We are pooped by this time, so it is back to the cool lobby in the hotel for a soda. The lobby area was just gorgeous and always seemed to have people there relaxing and enjoying the ambiance.

My Granddaughter had to go and spritz her flowers and plants regularly, she practically took over the garden outside of our terrace at the beach resort, spraying and tending to "her" plants every day. This was great for me because I could relax in one of the chairs on the terrace with a cool drink while she enjoyed herself and we could talk about our upcoming day.

We had a quick change of clothes and then to the dock to wait for the boat to ferry us over to our next stop...Epcot for Illuminations at night! Here is nice photo of the boat dock.

Epcot Fun Facts

Spaceship Earth, Epcot's Centerpiece weighs 16,000 pounds and is 165 feet in diameter. The world showcase consists of the countries of Mexico, China, America, Germany, Italy, Japan, France, Canada, United Kingdom, Morocco, and Norway. You can sample foods from all of these areas, which I love, and visit shops which have products for sale from these countries.

We did not get to spend a great deal of time here, only got to walk in and grab food from Morocco, a great lamb wrap for me and chicken tenders for my granddaughter. I grabbed a glass of champagne from a cart in "France" and we were off with our food to find a spot to settle in to wait for Illuminations to begin. Here is my granddaughter either with an expression of anticipation of the fireworks show, or imitating me after my delicious flute of champagne, I am not sure which one!

The Epcot fireworks was the perfect ending of a perfect day!

Hope you enjoyed part 2! Come back again to read part 3 with more mayhem and foolishness in the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Which is scarier!!?

I cannot figure out which is the scarier one, but boy this crazy train rider is the perfect fit for the month of October to celebrate all that is spooky! Check this out! Today's crazy train rider.....PicardCreative is a graphic designer and altered art artist who has great shop on Artfire with fantastic prices too, perfect for stocking stuffing or the workplace secret Santa.

Halloween featured items

Hello Dear Readers, with Halloween fast approaching it is time to get all your handmade Halloween goodies ordered so they will ready in time for the spooky night. Here are some of my favorites, hope you enjoy them as well....

Fun Set of Insulated Coasters

Witch and Pen Set

Some Great Artwork to Display

Party Time!! Fun Invites

Want your hair to look spooky and not because you are having a Bad Hair Day,,,or maybe you can draw the attention away from the Bad Hair Day, this hairpiece will do the trick..or treat! HA! Not Funny..Okay...Sigh...Plugging on!

The Bride of Frankenstein Can Welcome Your Guests
Vlad the Vampire can get them to leave

Well, that's it for now folks. Next Saturday, I plan on posting some really creepy photos and spooky tales so head on back!

I am leaving you with a great video about the Haunted Mansion in Disney. I have gone on two occasions to Disney with my granddaughter (See trip reports) and both times, she has declined going into the mansion, this year saying "I will go later grandma, when I am bigger"...ah yes, the instant change of heart when seeing the dreary mansion. This was one of my favorite rides as a child, I also remember having the LP story, which I would love to find...even though I have no record player...(dern advance of technology!!) Anyway, this is a great clip (Note, there are two parts, both are really great) for all you Disney and Haunted Mansion fans. Lots of neat information. Until next time.
Part 1

Part 2

I went, I saw, I conquered...or did it conquer me! Part 1 Disney BDay trip

What a fun-filled trip I had for my BDay last month with my little granddaughter, just the two of us, to Disney. Our trip was full of surprises, excitement, and special unexpected moments, but that is what vacations and Disney are all about right?

First off, this was a spur of the moment trip which of course means not a lot of budgeting went into the trip so it was supposed to be as low cost as possible which meant staying at a value resort... The resort I selected cost around $79.00 per night with my Florida Resident discount. This is the one I selected due to the movie theming, I was certain my GD would really enjoy it... So, after having a late start because I had to call my bank and we had some minor car problems, we were off to the All Stars Movie resort..

While we got in line for check in (SEE PHOTO OF THE LOBBY IN THE MOVIES RESORT) a line greeter came over and struck up a conversation...great!
Disney's way to make you feel welcome. He asked how long we were visiting for and I told him 3 nights and how I was there to spend my Bday with my granddaughter....well, he said that he had something special for me and asked me to get out of line and go over to his main desk...okay. that is great, such excitement, thought we would get a birthday badge or something...well, he comes over and says that he is going to upgrade us to the Deluxe Beach Resort!!! (Cost for me for the Beach Resort would be around $300.00 per night with my Florida Resident Discount!!) talk about a fantastic upgrade!!

Now, I have visited Disney many, many times over the past 30+ years, but have never stayed in the Beach Club! Here is the exterior of the resort

At the top, where you see the photo of the Movies resort, that is also the (uncovered) bus stop area, not a fun place to be in the 90+ degree Florida weather, now here is the bus stop area at the beach club....

Or you can take the boat if you are going to Epcot or Hollywood Studios, just take a nice stroll to the dock, boats arrive approximately every 15 minutes.

Below is a photo of us...well, my granddaughter doing the happy dance on our patio at the resort. We had a lovely terrace and garden area that she loved to go out and spray "her flowers" daily. I was dancing as well, but could not take pictures of both of us doing the happy dance, so, here she is. Now, one thing about vacations, even mini ones when you are self working means no pay!! Thus the delay in my blogging....sorry dear followers, I will post part II ASAP...gotta work to make up for fun now! Hope you will stick around to the next installment with Toy Story and Monsters Inc and some good food as well.

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