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Archive for the ‘Disneyland’ Category

Nascar race at the Las Vegas Speedway. Photo by P. Rickrode

Nascar race at the Las Vegas Speedway. Photo by P. Rickrode

Have you ever wanted to be a race car driver? Come on, show of hands, who’s wanted to be a race car driver? I think I’m a race car driver every day. Even in my little cross-over Nissan Rogue, I’m secretly a race car driver. Maybe it’s because I’m a little speed demon, or maybe I like how a powerful car engine feels and sounds when you rev it up. In any event, I think you should all know that I have this compelling urge to drive a race car. It’s on my bucket list.

I’ve included a video at the end of this link that I shot while “racing” on the Radiator Springs Racers at Disney’s California Adventure Park a few weeks ago. Unfortunately I was assigned the back seat, so I didn’t have best filming advantage, but I think it turned out pretty good. You can enjoy that after this month’s edition of Take It Or Leave It – Race Car Style.

Here’s a reminder of the rules: Post your guesses (would I take it, or leave it) in the comments section below. I will post my responses Thursday. The person with the most correct guesses is my winner, but you must re-post in the comments section in order to claim your prize. It’s that simple. Unclaimed prizes will be forfeited after one week from posting the answers.

Nascar race at Las Vegas Speedway. Photo by C. Rickrode

Nascar race at Las Vegas Speedway. Photo by C. Rickrode

Would I, or wouldn’t I:

1) Park in a handicapped spot;

2) Run a stop sign;

3) Tailgate (like a good race car driver would);

4) Text while driving;

5) Talk on the phone while driving (w/o blue tooth);

6) Deliberately drive slow in the fast lane to slow traffic for a known speed trap area;

7) Tap my brakes for a tailgater;

8) Drive without my seatbelt fastened;

9) Double park;

10) Use the carpool lane to pass a slower driver.

Good luck. Now here’s the video I told you about:

Word of the Day:  Intumesce

Fun fact about me: I have a clean driving record (knocks on wood)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, April 2014. Original video by P. Rickrode via YouTube.  Original photos by Patricia Rickrode

 

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I’m back from a fabulous trip with my sweetie to the happiest place on earth. Yes it was crowded. Yes it was cold. Yes I had a fantastic time. Here are some of the highlights: (Please keep in mind that I’m on vacation, not a lot of make-up action going on.)

Birthday mimosa! Photo by Corey Rickrode

Birthday mimosa! Photo by Corey Rickrode

You all know there’s going to be alcohol involved. This was my first day brunch at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen.

Mickey and the Magical Map. Photo by P. Rickrode

Mickey and the Magical Map. Photo by P. Rickrode

Cool new stage show with singing, dancing and awesome special effects. I love me some good theater.

A princess and her castle. Photo by C. Rickrode.

A princess and her castle. Photo by C. Rickrode.

I’m waiting for my ladies’ maids to bring my tiara and glass slippers. Pay no attention the crowd behind me. I invited them all into my home for tea.

Birthday happy hour! Photo by P. Rickrode

Birthday happy hour! Photo by P. Rickrode

Did I mention there was going to be alcohol? Hey, I turned 50, there was lots of alcohol. This was my birthday happy hour celebration at the House of Blues in Downtown Disney. Yes, this was my second drink. I can’t remember what it was called, but it was refreshing.

Happy birthday to me. Complimentary dessert for the birthday girl at Steakhouse 55. Photo by C. Rickrode

Happy birthday to me. Complimentary dessert for the birthday girl at Steakhouse 55. Photo by C. Rickrode

Yes I am wearing my birthday button and yes I did get a lot of free desserts. Wish there’d have been free alcohol, but I’ll take what I can get. This was the end of my delicious birthday dinner at Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel. Yes, it’s chocolate.

Me and Mr. Potato Head. Photo by C. Rickrode

Me and Mr. Potato Head. Photo by C. Rickrode

Just some clowning around while we wait – for a very long time – in line.

My home of the future, complete with self-playing piano. Photo by C. Rickrode

My home of the future, complete with self-playing piano. Photo by C. Rickrode

Had I known self-playing pianos were going to inhabit every home in the future, I would not have wasted 20 years on lessons. And yes, I am bundled up – inside – because it was freaking cold.

Spring gardens at California Adventure. Photo by P. Rickrode

Spring gardens at California Adventure. Photo by P. Rickrode

Come on – you knew it was coming. I can’t go anywhere without photographing the foliage.

Mickey beignet at Cafe Orleans. Photo by C. Rickrode

Mickey beignet at Cafe Orleans. Photo by C. Rickrode

Did I mention free desserts? Hey I milked that birthday button for all it was worth. I’m 50 damn it – give me my free stuff.

So there you have it. A glimpse of my So. Cal. experience. Absent is a photo with Jenny Hansen. We met at Enchanted Sam’s Tiki Bar for drinks, but in my excitement I forgot to snap a photo. What a lovely treat to meet a lovely lady. Thanks for the birthday ginger pear martini, Jenny. The next round’s on me.

Have you ever been to Disneyland? What’s your favorite birthday memory? Do you take advantage of free stuff?

Word of the Day: Hexapod

Fun fact about me: My ears are pierced 3 times.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, April 2014. Original photos by the family Rickrode.

 

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Take It or Leave It Image courtesy Google Images

Take It or Leave It
Image courtesy Google Images

New year – new game. Last year you enjoyed learning a little more about me through a game called What Haven’t I. This year I’m going to ask you to determine whether or not I would accept or decline the totally random selection of things I list in a game I’m calling Take It or Leave It. That’s right, all you have to do is guess whether I would, well, take it, or leave it.

Image courtesy Google Images

Image courtesy Google Images

My amazing powers of deductive reasoning led me to that awesome title and description.

The rules are simple, just post your guesses in the comments section below. I will post the choices on Monday and my responses on Thursday. The person with the most guesses is my winner, but you must re-post in the comments section in order to claim your prize. Unclaimed prizes will be forfeited after one week from posting the answers.

Good luck and have fun.

Image courtesy Google Images

Image courtesy Google Images

Here we go with the very first installment of Take It or Leave It.

1 – Sing karaoke at a biker bar
2 – Skydiving
3 – Deep sea diving
4 – Bungee jumping
5 – Spelunking
6 – Parasailing
7 – Ride a bucking bull (a live one, not a mechanical one)
8 – Surfing
9 – Ride the Tower of Terror at Disneyland
10 – Eat a bug

Word of the day: Wittol
Fun fact about me: I used to change my own oil in my car.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, January 2014. Images courtesy Google Images

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That’s right folks, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney’s contribution to the 1964 world’s fair – his “little boat ride,” sponsored by Pepsi to benefit Unicef.

Disneyland's It's A Small World at Christmas. Photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog

Disneyland’s It’s A Small World at Christmas. Photo courtesy Disney Parks Blog

“When we completed ‘It’s a Small World’ for presentation at the New York World’s Fair, we felt that we had accomplished what we’d set out to do. We wanted to foster a better understanding among the nations of the world by showing the dress, the customs, the language, the music, and a little of the culture of our neighbors around the world – – and we wanted to show it to be a very happy one. And I think it’s safe to say that having fun has universal appeal.” -Walt Disney

Who would have thought that this delightful little one minute boat ride, complete with animated dolls and a musical ditty in multiple languages would have survived the test of time? Did you know that when Mr. Disney had the ride dismantled and moved to its permanent home in Fantasyland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California he called upon dignitaries from more than 50 different countries to help fill the water canal for his “little boat ride?” That’s right, 50 children from 50 different countries brought water from their native countries to pour into the canal that carries millions of people annually through the magical small world of animated dolls.

Now imagine if Walt wanted to complete this project today and asked 50 little kids to bring water to California. Can you just see them trying to explain to the TSA officers at various airports around the world, “Yes, it is only water that I’m trying to bring on board with me. I’m taking it to Mr. Disney to pour into a canal for a new exhibit that’s opening in Disneyland. No, I’m not going to make explosives with it. It’s sacred water, symbolizing the united bond between all countries around the world.” Yeah right. That’ll work.

But, I digress. It’s A Small World was not Walt’s first exhibit to be featured at a world’s fair. In 1958, in conjunction with General Electric, Walt debuted his “Progressland” attraction; a revolving theater that sent audiences on an historical musical journey through the evolution of electricity. That very same attraction still exists in the form of The Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom park in Disney World Florida.

Spaceship Earth at Epcot - Disney World - Florida. Photo courtesy Google Images.

Spaceship Earth at Epcot – Disney World – Florida. Photo courtesy Google Images.

Also appearing at the 1964 world’s fair were the magic skyway attraction, an aerial ride narrated by Walt himself that toured Earth’s past from the dawn of time through the age of the dinosaurs, culminating in a glimpse of Walt’s vision for a futuristic space city. Does this sound familiar to you Disney buffs? That’s right, a similar time travel attraction exists in the form of Spaceship Earth at Epcot at Disney World. And a similar time-travel experience can be had riding the Disneyland railroad around the park. The skyway ride at Disneyland, however, no longer exists for various reason, all of which are too discouraging for me to mention here. Suffice it to say, the sky buckets were a popular attraction for amorous lovers and bratty “camel-like” kids, if you know what I’m saying.

Abraham Lincoln, from Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln attraction at Disneyland. Photo courtesy Wikipedia

Abraham Lincoln, from Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln attraction at Disneyland. Photo courtesy Wikipedia

And last, but not least, one of my all-time favorite attractions also got its start at the 1964 world’s fair; Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln. I love this show and the similar show at Disney World – The Hall of Presidents. Very inspiring narrative and ingenious use of audio-animatronics, the first ever of its kind. If you haven’t seen Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln and have a few minutes to spare, or if you have seen it and just need to see it again, here’s a link:

So that’s my Disney history lesson and tribute to a family-favorite Disney ride (well one of mine, the hubs isn’t so keen on it), It’s A Small Word. I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride.

So, how about you, are you a Disney nut? Do you like to ride It’s A Small World? What’s your favorite Disney attraction? Come on, spill it. I’m dying to know.

Word of the day: Vermeil

Fun fact about me: My favorite Disney ride is the Peter Pan flight.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt January 2014. Photos courtesy Disney Parks blog, Google Images and Wikipedia. Video courtesy YouTube.

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Pop quiz – what are those lyrics from?

musical scroll

I used to think I knew the song. I heard it all the time and always hummed along. But, it wasn’t until about 3 weeks ago, that I actually listened to the words. Really listened. I almost cried when I finally comprehended their meaning. Somehow, all these years, I’ve never really listened to the lyrics enough to fully appreciate the message in the song. It was always just a catchy tune from a great movie.

If you’re still stumped, here’s a bit more:

From the moment we arrive on the planet, and blinking, step into the sun,
There’s more to seen than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done.

There’s far too much to take in here, more to find than can ever be found,
But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky, keeps great and small on the endless round.

The Lion King

Photo courtesy of Google Images.

Got it yet?

How about now:

It’s the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle
The Circle of Life

Ah, yes. The Circle of Life. An amazing song by Sir Elton John. I heard that song a lot over the past couple of weeks. As you might have guessed (or already knew), I recently spent about 14 days at Disney World and I’ve got to say, there is more to be done than can ever be done at such a wonderous place. Besides the theme parks, there are two water parks, miniature golf, regular golf, a Nascar driving experience, bowling, movie theaters, dozens of restaurants, water sports, live theater performances and the list just goes on and on.

The House of Blues Gospel Choir

House of Blues Gospel Choir. Disney World 2013.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

This trip, my husband and I experienced two new forms of cuisine – Cuban and Norwegian. Both were fantastic!  I had my first ever experience with chicken and waffles at the House of Blues Gospel Brunch. Chicken and waffles? OMG. Delicious!

The Grey Stuff

“Try the grey stuff. It’s delicious!” Be Our Guest restaurant – Disney World (Fantasyland) 2013.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

We ate in the new Beast’s castle in the new Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom park and partook of “the grey stuff.” Yes, it really is a menu item and yes, it really is delicious. But, don’t ask the wait staff to reveal the recipe as they are under strict orders not to reveal the secret or risk angering his majesty – The Beast.

Try it. It’s delicious! Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes.

I also enjoyed my first ever water slide. I know, I know. You’re all thinking, “how could crazy Jansen, who’s crashed a snow mobile and eaten alligator, never glided down a water slide?” Well, I’ll tell you. I didn’t learn to swim until I was a teen-ager and after that, I never really became very proficient at it. And, I’m not crazy about having my head under water. It’s kind of one of my phobias. I always avoided water sports and activities. But, not any more. I am the water slide queen!

Typhoon Lagoon

Me at Typhoon Lagoon. Disney World 2013.
Original photo by C. Rickrode

I even took the plunge down the Humunga Kowabunga, a near vertical 5-story drop in the dark. Now that’s living my friends! Check out this link for all the 4-1-1. And to heighten your reading experience, scroll to the bottom first and click on the audio link. It’ll get you in the mood.

http://disney-pal.com/WaterParks/humunga_kowabunga.htm

Here’s how it would look if you were take the plunge:

We also experienced an up close and personal pirate adverture, complete with cake and other delicious snacks. Who knew pirates liked cake?

WDW 2013 159

My new pirate friend. Disney World (Contemporary Resort) 2013.
Original photo by C. Rickrode

WDW 2013 162

Yummy cake. Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage. Disney World 2013.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

So if’n you’re planning a trip to “The World” and are wondering if you can see it all in a week – the answer is NO! In order to fully enjoy yourself, you must stay at least 10 days. You really need to take the time to enjoy the details of your surroundings and the engineering wonders of the Disney imagineers. Trust me, you won’t regret staying the extra few days.

So, how was the end of your summer? Do anything fun? Try anything new? See anything that you’ve never seen before? I’d love to hear about it.

Word of the Day:  Jussive

Fun fact about me:  My three biggest toes are all the same length. (That might not be fun. That might be creepy.)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt 2013. Original photos by Rickrode family. Stock photos courtesy Google Images. Video links courtesy YouTube.com.

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Welcome to April! April 1st is commonly known as April Fools Day. But for me, April 1st means that love is in the air. Especially this year. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the day I married the most wonderful man I know. Yes folks, me and the hubster will celebrate our tenth anniversary this Friday, April 5, 2013.

In honor of this very special man, I’m devoting this entire blog to him. I’m going to share some different sides of his awesome personality.

First there is the reluctant and I’m-a-little-bit-scared-but-still-willing-to-go-along-with-the-game side:

C. Rickrode - 2009 - WDW

C. Rickrode – 2009 – WDW
Photo by P. Rickrode

C. Rickrode birthday 2011Photo by P. Rickrode

C. Rickrode birthday 2011
Photo by P. Rickrode

C. Rickrode & Minnie Mouse - 2011 - WDWPhoto by P. Rickrode

C. Rickrode & Minnie Mouse – 2011 – WDW
Photo by P. Rickrode

Then there is, one of my favorites, the happy boy:

C. Rickrode - 2010Photo by P. Rickrode

C. Rickrode – 2010
Photo by P. Rickrode

C. Rickrode - 2011Las Vegas Motor SpeedwayPhoto by P. Rickrode

He has an adverterous side:

C. Rickrode - 2012Isle of Roatan, HondurasPhoto by P. Rickrode

C. Rickrode – 2012
Isle of Roatan, Honduras
Photo by P. Rickrode

C. Rickrode - 2012 - Animal Kingdom Park - WDWAfter (finally) riding Expedition EverestPhoto by P. Rickrode

C. Rickrode – 2012 – Animal Kingdom Park – WDW
After (finally) riding Expedition Everest
Photo by P. Rickrode

 He has a few rare silly moments:

WDW 2011 032

And even more rare romantic moments:

Carriage ride at Fort Wilderness - 2009

Carriage ride at Fort Wilderness – 2009

But mostly, what is so special about this fantastic man, is “The Look.” I tried to post several photos of this famous Look, but WordPress was being a butthead all weekend and refused to upload my photos. So, let me just say that I get The Look quite a lot. He’s often not on board with my ideas, suggestions, or requests. It takes him a while to warm up to my awesome ideas and until he does, I get, The Look. My day wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t get The Look at least once. That’s why I love him. He’s many faceted and delivers a good Look.

Happy anniversary my sweetie pie! I love you and hope to have many, many more happy years together.

Corey wedding day

P.S. This is NOT the look. This is handsome, pure and simple.

So how about you? Is love in the air for you this month? Does your significant other have A Look?

Word of the day: Udometer

Fun fact about me: I love, love, love sour candy!

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Welcome to 2013!!  We made it. The Mayans were either wrong, or they simply got tired of keeping a damn futuristic calendar. I’m voting for the latter. If they were as busy then as I am now, I’m not even sure what I’m doing tomorrow, so who needs to know what’s going on 2000 or so years from now?

2013 calendar

But, anyway, here we are. Another year stretches before us. So many possibilities, so many challenges, so many new things to try. I’m not a fan of resolutions, but I do believe in always striving to better oneself, exploring new things, taking risks and just living without sweating the small stuff.bucket on beach

So as we embark on this brave new year, here are some things you may want to consider:

Make a bucket list. Blogger, Myndi Shafer shares her list here: http://myndishafer.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/my-35th-year-living-with-intention/ It doesn’t have to be elaborate or even long, but write down some fun things you’d like to accomplish this year or maybe next year.dog and cat

Make a promise to be more like your pets. So much can be learned by following the examples set by our pets. Jenny Hansen tells us what she’s learned about her pets here: http://jennyhansenauthor.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/10-writing-lessons-i-learned-from-my-dog/

Pets are one of God’s many blessings that we often take for granted. Take time to enjoy the gifts your pet has to offer.

Keep a gratitude journal as suggested by Ginger Calem here:  http://gingercalem.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/writersbutt/ Ginger has many helpful tips and suggestions for leading a healthy and fit life on her blog. If you haven’t checked it out, I encourage you to stop by sometime for some kind words and positive advice for being the best you you can be.

Journal

cruise shipTry something new for vacation. Might I suggest a cruise? Debra Kristi had a fabulous time and tells about it here: http://debrakristi.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/spring-break-will-you-vacation-how-about-a-cruise/ I recommend resurrecting your inner child and take a trip to Disneyland or Disney World. There’s no place more magical than a world created by Disney Imagineers.

Every day we are confronted with a multitude of opportunities to make lasting memories if we simply slow down and take the time to enjoy what’s around us. This year I challenge my readers to try something new, something a little out of your comfort zone, a little outside your normal every day box.

Even if it’s as simple as trying a new recipe or experiencing a different type of food. Perhaps sushi, Thai food, Indian cuisine. If you’ve thought about it, but haven’t taken the steps to make it happen, I encourage you to join a writer’s group. The advice and uplifting support from other members are hugely rewarding. My gang at the Sacramento Valley chapter of RWA has opened many many doors for me and my creativity.

If you haven’t ever done it, volunteer at a food kitchen or other charitable function that gives back to the community. Volunteering your time is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever enjoy. And who can have too many friends? Reach out to someone, touch a life, enrich your own world. You’ll be glad you did.

holding hands

Whatever you decide to do this year, make it brave, make it awesome, make it you!

Tell me, where are you going to venture off to this year? What exciting things do you have planned? What goals have you set for yourself? I’d love to hear them and cheer you on toward attaining them.

Word of the Day:  Natatorial

Fun Fact About Me:  I love to make scrapbooks.

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It’s May first and spring is in full bloom in my neck of the woods! There was much complaining from the natives about all of the rain in March and April. But, let me say, there are no complaints now! May is shaping up to be one of the most beautiful months ever. So, in honor of Earth Day, I’m blogging this month about all of the beautiful things surrounding us in nature. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a look around you. You might be surprised.

Everywhere I’ve gone these past couple of weeks there are wild flowers and luscious green grass and shiny new leaves on the trees. I notice these gifts. I notice because – like sparkly things – I love flowers. I love to look at them, smell them, touch them and . . .  apparently, from pursuing my travel photos for last month’s blog, photographing them. Everywhere I’ve gone I’ve taken pictures of flowers.

I didn’t really notice that I do this until last month when I was drafting my April blog. But it makes sense because I am always drawn to a vibrant display of color. And a perfect bud or bloom has on occasion actually taken my breath away.

Susie Lindau (http://susielindau.com/2012/04/25/a-heatwave-cometh-early-a-photo-essay/) and Serena Dracis (http://serenadracis.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/welcome-to-wild-wednesday/) both recently posted pictures on their blogs of their back yards and gardening attempts, among other things. Karen McFarland has also posted awesome flower pictures on her blog recently. (http://www.karenmcfarland.com/perform-in-a-springtime-melody) All three of these blogs have amped up my spring fever. If you want some instant spring time, I highly recommend checking out these fabulous blogs.

Those were memorable blogs for me because I’m a flower-holic. I love them, plain and simple. I can’t resist snapping a photo every time I am awestruck by a beautiful bloom.

You’ll have to bear with me again this month as we take a little walk down memory lane and enjoy some of my flower-taking exerpiences.

Rain forest - Hilo, Hawaii

And it’s not just flowers that call me like a siren from the sea. Oh no, it’s unique plants and trees as well. A serene meadow or fern-blanketed forest have also been worthy of my photo snapping skills. I especially like finding a growing green plant in an most unexpected place.

Like this hearty little plant pushing up through a bed of hardened lava.

Lava beds - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Or these interesting specimens.

Annaberg Sugar Mill - Virgin Islands National Park - St. John, US Virgin Islands

Interesting beauty in the desert - Cabo San Lucas

Or this Banyan Tree. If you don’t know about Banyan Trees, I suggest you do some research, they’re fascinating things. They remind of of things you’d read about in Gene Lempp’s blogs. (www.genelempp.wordpress.com)

Banyon Tree - Oahu Hawaii

And here’s a very unique and beautiful tree.

Paradise Point - St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

But mostly, it’s the flowers that captivate me. Here are some of my flower photos with a brief description of where I took them. Enjoy!

The Big Island of Hawaii

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Cinnamon Bay - St. John, US Virgin Islands

Annaberg Sugar Mill - St. John, US Virgin Islands

Playa Mazatlan - Mazatlan, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

St. Thomas - US Virgin Islands

Lahaina, Maui

Maui, Hawaii

Downtown Honolulu, Hawaii

Downtown Honolulu, Hawaii

And what blog post about my travels would be complete without some photos of my favorite places – Disneyland and Disney World!

Epcot - Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom - Walt Disney World

I don’t have to be stationary to photograph these colorful living organisms either. Nope, I can shoot right through the glass window of my transport vehicle. Like these three I couldn’t resist while on my bus ride through Honolulu.

The hillsides along the freeways were bursting with color. I know now what Rachel Funk Heller experiences every day where she lives in paradise! You’re a lucky girl, Rachel! I hope you appreciate this living landscape beauty.

Here’s one I took from a moving boat.

St. John - US Virgin Islands

I captured some shoreline treasures . . .

Asilomar - Pacific Grove, California

And these mountain beauties.

Yosemite - May 2011

And as much as I love finding the natural beauty in plants and flowers, don’t even get me started on the the man-made topiaries. I can photograph these things all day. And apparently I have, judging by my vacation albums. Who came up this this idea anyway? It’s genius!

Sorcerer Mickey - Back Stage Tour - Walt Disney World 2009

It's A Small World - Disneyland

It's A Small World - Disneyland

 And I don’t just capture these amazing gems during the day time. No sirree, I photograph at night too.

It's A Small World - Disneyland - Christmas 2010

 Here’s a unique palm tree that captured my attention in Honolulu, whist on my ghost hunting expedition one night last year. That’s right, I went in search of ghosts.

Date palms - Honolulu, Hawaii

I not only shoot day or night, I shoot outside or in. Makes no difference to me and my snap happy finger.

St. Andrew's Cathedral

And a little rain won’t impede my desire to capture that perfect work of beauty.

My affinity for photographing flowers evidently also extends beyond the realm of the living. Here are some floral arrangements that, while natural, would not appear in this form in the wild.

Grand food creations buffet - Carnival Victory - 2006

Grand food creations buffet - Carnival Victory - 2006

Not only are flowers lovely to look at and delightful to smell, flowers can be functional as well. For instance did you know that rose bushes are often planted on the perimeters of vineyards?

They not only attract bees and other pollinators, but they help predict sudden changes in the weather. Roses are very susceptible to mold and are hyper-sensitive to temperature changes. Vintners can watch their roses to know whether or not they need to take action to protect their grape crop. You see, it’s an educational blog too.

So there you have it. My crazy flower obsession.

What’s your passion, or perhaps what thing do you find yourself photographing over and over again, besides your kids and pets?

Word of the day: Fuliginous

Fun fact about me: I once used cocoa powder as stage make-up.

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So my goal was to post a new blog on the first of every month. I missed the April deadline. I’m blaming it on April Fools, but the only fool is me. Where did March go? Just yesterday it was my birthday and now it’s April 2nd. What happened to those 7 days in between?

Of course it would help if Mother Nature cooperated, but she is a fickle female if ever there was on. Yesterday, April 1, it snowed. With all the rain and snow so late in the season, it’s hard to wrap my brain around the fact that’s it’s spring. But – now that I’ve come to terms with the reality of the season, I really want it to be spring-like outside. Now that I’m fully aware that it’s April, I’ve suddenly developed cabin fever and I want out of here! I need to ditch these winter duldrums and welcome warmer weather with open arms.

So, in my mind I’ve officially accepted spring. It’s time to work on the tan, dig out the tank tops and shorts, dust off the flip flops and whip up an icy margarita! In fact, I’ve gone from cabin fever to spring fever in a mere 24 hours. I need to get out of here, see the world, soak up some sun!

But, I can’t go AWOL just yet. Vacation’s not for another couple of months. Dang it!

In the meantime I’m vacationing in my mind. Today I took a little cyber stroll down memory lane and compiled a photo album of fun vacation’s past to share with you. I hope you’ll enjoy the next couple of minutes mentally vacationing with me. I will be your narrator and tour guide as we go along.

Enjoy!

This was an awesome find on my trip to Walt Disney World in 2009!

The Writer's Stop at Disney's Hollywood Studios!

This little hidey hole was a great find because later that same day we rode out a thunder storm in this shop while sipping hot chocolate and thumbing through a wide variety of books!

Here is my hubby having a little pre-show fun with his 3-D glasses at Mickey’s Philharmonic in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World.

Here I am developing my musical talent at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at the Wilderness Lodge campgrounds at Walt Disney Word. My skills improved considerably as I consumed more wine.

And no trip to Disney World would be complete without some pictures of Cinderella’s beautiful color-changing castle and fireworks!

In 2010 my husband and I took a mini vacation to Disneyland (we’re Disney geeks in case you didn’t notice by now) where we saw the most recent entertainment addition to Disney’s California Adventure Park, The World of Color light, laser and water extravaganza! I got this awesome photo just as the show was ending.

And who can resist a spin in a pink teacup?

In 2011 my husband and dad and I took a day trip to Yosemite and got some beautiful shots of the valley floor, Half Dome and numerous water falls.

Here are some pictures of sunny places from our Caribbean cruise starting with an awesome shot of Miami Beach, followed by three shots of St. John and then sunset over the bay at St. Thomas.

This is me wondering why in the heck I didn’t wear my bathing suit! Most likely it was my husband’s fault. Yeah, that’s it.

And a fun get-away to Mexico in December of 2008 with my husband and our nieces and nephew.  The first photo is a nice lunch buffet on the beach in Matazlan. I’m the one with the cool shades. Next to me is my niece Jennifer. Across from Jennifer is her twin Zach and behind Zach is their big sister, Stephanie. Good times! Good food! Pay no attention to the date in these photos. I forgot to remove the date stamper thingey mabob from the camera settings. (I’m a dork that way.)

Next stop is Cabo San Lucas for a little lunch, tequila tasting and bug munching for dessert. That’s right, I said bugs. I ate a bug. On purpose. Again with my really cool shades, I explain the correct way to enjoy tequila – shake, shoot, squeeze, repeat. My nephew is just under the legal drinking age in Mexico, but he played it cool and sat at the big kids’ table with me and his older sister. It’s obvious from the looks on their faces that they do not play drinking games on a regular basis. (That’s a good thing!) Me on the other hand . . . .

After sampling the different tequilas, we are ready for our dessert. I had an unusual reaction after crunching up my locust (or maybe it was a cricket). It wasn’t bad.  Zach seemed to enjoy his; Stephanie, not so much. A little tequila and insects never hurt anyone.

Lesson to nieces and nephew – what happens in Mexico does not necessarily stay in Mexico. (First I corrupt them, then I exploit them. What are aunts for?)

So now, does seeing this make you want to go on vacation as much as I do? Where’s your favorite vacation spot? I’d love to hear about a fun trip you took.

Word of the day: Evaginate

Fun fact about me: I love to color in coloring books!

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