Thursday, March 31, 2011

Welcome to Absolute Happiness

So I thought I would have my Hawaii trip written up before Disneyland, but I was wrong. Enjoy Disneyland for now, and I’ll be back shortly with Hawaii adventures.

I’m lucky to have not one, but two BFF’s who also are Disney freaks! Which means plenty of excuses to visit Disney parks! :)  See how nice that works?  It had been awhile since I had gotten to spend time with Jana so of course we booked a trip to Disneyland!  We had debated - World or Land?  Land or World?  We had both wanted World, but Land just worked out better for both of us.  And Disneyland is right in the middle between Seattle and Houston, right?

By the time my flight landed, I collected my luggage, and taken the Super Shuttle to my hotel it was almost 10 p.m. but Disneyland was open until midnight! Jana’s flight had been delayed and she was still en route, so I decided to talk over to Disneyland, if only to stretch my legs a little. The hotel we usually stay at isn’t anything to write home about, except for the fact that it is literally directly across the street from Disneyland. Talk about location! I wandered over to the park and walked around before calling it a night. Jana was at the hotel by the time I got back and it was time for bed.

Friday morning we woke up and headed to our favorite breakfast place, La Brea Bakery. So many choices - what to have for breakfast? I finally settled on the pancakes with strawberries and bananas. Yum! Such deliciousness! We had decided to spend the day at California Adventures. First up was to fastpass World of Color for that evening. And then fastpass Soarin’ before heading over to Paradise Pier to scope out the Toy Story line. It was not pretty. I have to confess I have become a line snob. Yes, I am a line snob. I do not wait in lines over 30 minutes (well for the most part – every once in awhile I will do 45 minutes). So it was off to Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Jumpin’ Jellyfish, Ladybug Boogie, Flik’s Flyers, Monster’s Inc. and Soarin’. And somewhere in there we had lunch at the Wine Country Trattoria, which wasn’t bad. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad. We wandered around a bit more before it was time for Aladdin!!! I, for one, am so glad they have postponed closing the Aladdin show. It is so good!! It even had a couple new pop culture references in it. By then it was time to head back to the hotel to grab a sweatshirt as it was starting to get chilly. This is one of the things I enjoy about Disneyland – you can easily walk back to your hotel to pick up a sweatshirt or to take a break and then head back to the park. Dinner was chicken nuggets and then it was time to line up for World of Color!! I love, love, love this show. Lasers, fountains, and clips from Disney movies & music. What isn’t to like about it? It ranks up there with Fantasmic, which is probably my all-time favorite show. I don’t know if it was more windy or what, but we got soaked watching the show!! There was still time after the show so we headed over to Disneyland for Pirates, Small World, Buzz Lightyear, Pinocchio and Mr. Toad. We had read somewhere that on average, people usually do around 9 attractions in a day. We blew that out of the water!!

Saturday morning we woke up and headed to our favorite breakfast place, La Brea Bakery (sound familiar?). I ended up with the croissant sandwich, which came with potatoes! Delicious once again. Have I mentioned that with breakfast I had water, a cappuccino, and an apple juice? I do like my liquids. And just like that it was time to get our magic on! We started off in our favorite land of Fantasy, but it was fairly crowded. After Snow White, we set out for parts unknown including the Jungle Cruise, the Tiki Room, Indiana Jones, Haunted Mansion, Winnie the Pooh, Roger Rabbit, Buzz Lightyear, Storybook Canal, Casey Jr., Alice, Matterhorn, Pirates and Indiana Jones one last time. In between all of that we had corn dogs for lunch and had chicken nuggets for dinner while watching Fantasmic. Oh, and we got to visit Peter as well! We thought we were being smart by waiting for Peter after the fireworks, but we were not the only ones with that idea. And in fact, we probably waited over 45 minutes for Peter when all was said and done as the ride broke. So much for being a line snob. I wish the park had been open one more hour – we still had lots of magic left!!

You’ll notice that I didn’t mention going back to the hotel for a sweatshirt. And that is because, while we could have gone back to the hotel to get our sweatshirts, we decided instead to buy new ones. Did you know they sell clothes at Disney? Ha! And we got matchy-matchy sweatshirts (mine was blue, Jana’s was grey).

Funny at Haunted Mansion:

Me & Jana (in unison with the host): I am your host. Your ghost host.
Girl: Do you guys come here a lot? Is that how you know the words?
Me: (Laughing) Define a lot.

Sunday morning we woke up and headed to where? If you guessed La Brea, you would be right.  We can be creatures of habit, can't we? :)  I wanted pancakes, but I wanted eggs, bacon and potatoes. And then I spotted the French Toast special which came with eggs, bacon and potatoes. French Toast is close to pancakes. Sold! After breakfast we ventured over to World of Disney to get our shop on. We finished up with shopping and we still had time before we had to leave! What to do? We decided to fast pass Roger Rabbit and then walked over to Winnie the Pooh. Which was closed. Boo. Well Haunted Mansion is close by, we’ll just do that. Nope, it was closed too. Double boo. Okay, we’ve still got time before Roger Rabbit, what about Buzz Lightyear? It was open! And only a 20 minute line. Jana proceeded to annihilate me. I need to work on that game! Ha! Since it was time for our fast pass so we headed over to Roger Rabbit. And guess what? Yup, closed. I think Disneyland was sad we were leaving and was pouting. Jana didn’t have much time left so we boarded the Disneyland train for Main Street and said our goodbyes. I figured I might go and see Tinkerbell but her line was long as was the Tangled line so I rode the carousel, took a few pictures and had one last Mickey ice cream before it was time for me to leave.

See ya real soon!!

Minnie & Me

On our way to Paradise Pier

Jumpin' Jellyfish

World of Color

Yummy breakfast at La Brea

Ready to get our magic on!

Yum!  Mickey Ice Cream

Matchy-matchy sweatshirts

Lots of liquid

Last Morning


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Brie, Cranberry & Chicken Pizza

Oh snap!  How did it get to be the end of the month already?  Whose idea was it to try and cook a new recipe once a month?  Oh, that's right.  It was mine.  Okay then, what is easy and quick and simple?  Pizza!!  What to put on my pizza?  Once upon a time when I was working in London I would usually have lunch at the sandwich place in my building.  One of my favorite sandwiches was cranberry & brie (my other favorite was a chicken & hummus on a brown bap - I just love saying bap!).  So how about a brie, cranberry & chicken pizza?  Yum!  It turned out pretty good.  Start with pizza dough, cranberry sauce, throw on some chicken, a little bit of brie and some mozzarella.  Pop it in the oven and there you go!

ETA: Once again I rolled out my pizza dough using a glass.  Maybe I should add rolling pin to my birthday wish list??

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nothing Stays the Same

It has been a roller coaster of a week!!  There was a big announcement at work and I'm still processing.  Change is good, right?  Or maybe change is just change.  It really is too soon to tell.  This is going to be interesting to say the least.  And how have I dealt with it so far?  Denial.  Denial and a milkshake!  Okay so not the best decision food-wise.  And while the uncertainty (and with it stress) will continue for awhile, I'm hoping I won't resort to food to deal with it.  Been there, done that and I've just finally re-lost the weight I gained when we had a similar situation (although in reverse).  Stress eater?  Why yes I am.

But you know what will go a long way in relieving some of my stress?  A visit with Mickey & Jana!!  Tomorrow I am leaving to go see Mickey (in Disneyland) for the weekend!  This trip could not have come at a more perfect time.  It will be good to hang out with Jana as well as I missed her the last time I was in Houston.

But speaking of food choices - I cannot wait for some Mickey ice cream & corn dogs!  Vacation calories don't count, right?   

See ya real soon! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Five Senses Friday

As much as I love it being light at 7PM I am hating daylight savings!!  I cannot seem to wake up in the morning.  In fact my plan for this weekend (besides doing taxes & watching lots of basketball) is sleeping in.  Yes, I am skipping hot yoga Saturday morning and hopefully going to church Saturday night so I can sleep in both Saturday and Sunday morning.

  • Oh so yummy carrot cake!!  It was Nilufer's birthday and her mom made carrot cake and she brought some in to share.  Seriously - this is the best carrot cake EVER!!
  • Lots of green.  I love that people will still wear green for St. Patrick's Day.
  • Transmission fluid/oil - I'm hoping it's leftover from my little transmission problem and not a new problem.
  • I had a good one for this but it's gone...
  • Slightly overwhelmed!  And oh so excited for March Madness!!  This is my favorite time of year!!  Well, favorite time, sports-wise!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

33 Things: Twenties Girl

Another fluff book!!  Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella is the perfect beach book.  I loved the interaction between the two main characters.  Lara attends her great-aunt's funeral and meets her ghost (a flapper from the 1920's).  Hijinks ensue as Lara cannot get rid of Sadie (in ghost form) and Sadie is determined to find her missing necklace, with Lara's help.  I really enjoyed this book.  Complete fluff, but a fun read.

33 Things: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

So yeah, I'm back from Hawaii.  It got a little exciting there at the end what with the tsunami and all.  I'm currently suffering from jet lag exacerbated by daylight savings.  Ugh.  So for now pictures & a trip report will have to wait.  Instead how about a book or two?

My original intention for No. 7 on my 33 Things list was for "real books" and I did bring "real books" to Hawaii, but instead I defaulted to fluff books.  After all, the beach is made for fluff books!  And since it is my list I'll count my fluff books!

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (by Jane Austen & Ben H. Winters) is just what it sounds like.  Sense and Sensibility with a few sea monsters thrown in for fun.  A familiar story of Elinor & Edward, Marianne & Colonel Brandon plus octopus, sharks, and rampaging lobsters.  While not as good as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, it was still cute.  Plus it had a narwhal!!  

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Dear Sun

Well after a full day at the beach and the pool, this round of Emily vs the Sun definitely went to the sun. Even after many applications of sunscreen and a shady spot by the pool, my back resembles a lobster. So today was spent away from the beach and pool and with lots of clothes on. This morning we climbed up Diamondhead and then had lunch at Cheeseburger in Paradise. And when the rest of the crew went to catch rays by the pool, I decided to chill on the balcony, or lanai, enjoy the view, write a few postcards, and listen to the water below. I think I might venture back to the pool at some point, but the very shady pool!

Sent using BlackBerry

Monday, March 07, 2011

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Aloha from Waikiki!! We arrived much later than anticipated Friday night due to headwinds. But surprisingly the flight wasn't too bumpy! Saturday was mostly overcast and gray but Sunday dawned with rain then sun which means rainbow!! The rain seemed to have left so we went to the beach where I apparently lost the battle with the sun. Moral of the story, don't stay in the ocean too long without re-applying sunscreen! I've had worse, but I'll be much more careful from now on.

Sent using BlackBerry

Friday, March 04, 2011

Five Senses Friday

  • Mandi and several other high school friends for a mini reunion
  • Girl Scout cookies!!  Yum!  Poor little girls were standing out in the hail.  I remember standing out in the rain trying to sell cookies.
  • New car smell - no I didn't get a new car.  I'm in a loaner car.  I started hearing this really bad noise and so I took in my car and found out I needed a new transmission.  Yuck!  Good thing it is still under warranty.
  • A compliment on my hair from a Starbucks barista.
  • Excited for pineapples, strawberry daiquiris, the ocean and more.  ALOHA!!

Well I'm packed for Hawaii - way over packed, but oh well.  You won't be seeing much of me around these parts as I'm off for some sun, sand & surf (all while being properly sunscreened, of course!).  I may check in once in awhile but no promises.

I'll leave you with a few pictures from my last trip to Hawaii (and my only one).

Tiki enjoying fruity drink o'clock - but he isn't coming this trip.


This one cracks me up!!  I have no idea what I was thinking.

Enjoying the luau

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

ABC's of Me

So as usual I'm late to the ABC party, but thought I would join in anyway.  Especially since I am procrastinating and really should be packing for Hawaii.  Even though I love to travel, I hate to pack.  I really hate to pack for "hot weather" vacations since you seem to need so much more clothes.  Why is that?  Anyway, without further adieu the ABC's of me!

A. Age: 33 - gasp!  When did that happen?  And I'm only 2 months away from 34.  Time to start dusting off the 34 Things list...

B. Bed size: Twin.  Long story and hopefully soon I will upgrade.

C. Chore you hate: So many chores to choose from.  I think anything to do with the bathroom I absolutely loathe.

D. Dogs: Eh, they are fine, much better than cats!  I love my parents' dog (Chloe, any dog pics on the blog are usually of her), and I don't mind my sister's dogs.  Or some of my friends' dogs.  But overall, I'm just not an animal person.

E. Essential start to your day: Breakfast of some sort.  I really can't skip breakfast.  And lately I've been trying to be good about taking my vitamins first thing.

F. Favorite color: It was blue for the longest time but then it became green.  I rebelled against pink when I was younger but now I have embraced pink.

G. Gold or silver: Silver

H. Height: 5’8” - I have finally accepted it.  I desperately wanted to be 5'9" but it just wasn't in the cards.

I. Instruments you play: I used to play flute once upon a time.

J. Job title: What do I want it to be?  Princess of the WORLD!  Ha, just kidding.  Tax Manager or something like that.  I feel uncomfortable with my title, but that's a post for another time.

K. Kids: Hmm, I would have answered this one definitely yes but as I am nearing 34 I'm starting to wonder if it is in the cards for me.  I have fantastic "nieces and nephews" and I've always thought about adopting.  So we'll see - you never know what God's plan is - although I'd really like to know!

L. Live: About 20 minutes from downtown Seattle

M. Mom’s name: Mum, Mummy, Mommy, Mom or Teresa

N. Nicknames: Em, Emmy, Yemmy - I don't really have a proper nickname.

O. Overnight hospital stays: Fourth grade for dehydration among other things

P. Pet peeve: Another one I can list several things but talking on your phone in the bathroom just gets me every time.  Or starting to write a check after the clerk gives you your total - I mean really?  Is the date changing or the store's name?  Or your name for that matter?

Q. Quote from a movie: From Anne of Green Gables:  "Twenty pounds of brown sugar" or "Anne Shirley, what in heck are you doing out here?  Fishing for lake trout."  From Pride & Prejudice: "Mr. Darcy!"  From The Rock: "Welcome to the Rock" or "How did you get out of your cell?"  From Indiana Jones: "If you are a Scottish Lord, I am Mickey Mouse!"  I like this game - I could go on and on! 

R. Right or left handed: Right.  And do I know my right from my left?  No.  I have to write in the air to figure out my right and make an L with my fingers to figure out my left.

S. Siblings:  1 Sister, 1 Brother (both younger)

T. Time you wake up:  I'd like to wake up at 6:15 on weekdays, but lately it has slipped to 6:30

U. Underwear: Hanes

V. Vegetables you dislike: Brussel Sprouts, Green Beans (I was never so happy when I figured out I was allergic to green beans)

W. What makes you run late:  I hate being late.  Traffic.  Random odds and ends that I think I have time for but I don't.

X. X-Rays you’ve had: Teeth, ankle, leg, knee

Y. Yummy food you make: I'm not a cook, although I can make a decent fajita/stir-fry concoction

Z. Zoo- favorite animal: Tigers, Bears & Elephants

Play along, if you'd like!