Monday, September 29, 2014

Mickey's Halloween Party 2014

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!
I did it! I went to Mickey's Halloween Party!

I had an easy costume. The difficult part was getting into character.

The Mad Scientist.

We're ready for some fun!

It was Lisa's first visit during the Halloween season.

May I introduce you to Jeff and Lisa, LOL. Let me tell you, they got so much attention that night, even posing for pictures with several guests.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the castmembers had awesome themed costumes!

Getting our wristbands.

Here's a closer look.

Next, we checked in for a tour we had reserved. Disneyland offered the Happy Haunts Tour on certain evenings. There is a separate charge for that and it has to be reserved ahead of time so keep that in mind. I'll blog about that experience later.

We had a blast Trick or Treating and
getting LOTS of goodies.
There was even a special treat for Annual Passholders which I can't bring myself to eat!

Here are a few video clips - enjoy!

We got a great spot for the fireworks and really enjoyed the show until the finale...because there was no finale! All of a sudden, the sound died, the fireworks stopped exploding and the lights came back on. Such a bummer!

It had been quite a long day so we made our way up Main Street for a few more photo ops.


WARNING - You may forever be scarred.

I love what they did to the train station!

And with that, we called it a night. Check back soon for the Happy Haunts Tour.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

World of Color Dinner Package

A good friend of mine was in town recently and since we had not seen each other in approximately 10 years, we met for dinner at DCA. But not just any dinner, oh no. She treated me to a World of Color dinner package.

Let me tell you something right off the bat - if you have not does this, DO IT. Everyone should do this at least once. I will tell you all about it but first let's start at the beginning. I was to meet my friend at the Wine Country Trattoria but the parade was in full swing when I got to DCA. I squeezed my way through the crowd and got as far as I could go but I had to wait for the parade to end. While I was waiting, I was looking at the Paradise Pier lagoon and thought to myself, "Gee, that would be a nice shot." so I whipped out my phone and took the following picture. I shared it on Instragram but added a filter and the result is the second photo.

I like them both equally.

 The parade was coming to an end so I snapped a couple of pics and a short video to occupy my mind because I was anxious to meet up with my friend!

Without a moment to spare, we made our way to the restaurant and were seated. I ordered the Italian Wedding Soup but forgot to take a picture of it because I devoured it instantly. Hey, I was hungry!

I ordered the filet mignon and let me tell you, it was PERFECT!
Melt in your mouth like butter goodness!

Dinner came with a dessert sampler! No, I didn't eat all of those.
Half was for me and half for my friend, Lisa. I don't remember the exact names of these desserts but I do remember that they were oh so yummy.

Side note: Every time I preview this page, many of the photos are not cented the way I want them to be and it's very frustrating! I have no idea how this is going to look once it's published so I just wanted you to know that if things don't line up, it's not because I'm losing it, LOL. Blogger just doesn't want to cooperate with me!

After dinner, we were presented with our tickets for the show.

We had a little time to kill so Lisa went shopping.

And then we found our viewing spot and waited...

Something told me that I should put my phone away so I took one more brief video and then got ready for the show to begin.

After the show, we were soaked! It was a great night!
If you are wondering about the cost, dinner runs $45.35 for adults but Annual Passholders get a discount so go make your reservations now.

Photo by Jeff Gildemeister

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Girl that Played with Frogs

Who could that be? ME! Yes, it's true, as a child I loved frogs and played with them constantly. I have such fond memories of my frog playmates so I decided to share them with others and start a series of short stories about Frog Connie. If you go to Amazon, you'll find my eBook there! Oh, and you don't need a Kindle to read it, either!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Monorail in Slow Motion

The last time I was in the Park I was experimenting with different camera apps. One in particular caught my attention and I tried to shoot several slow-motion videos but it just would not work. Frustrated, I decided to put the phone away and ride the Monorail and just relax.

I began my journey in Tomorrowland and enjoyed the view all the way to the hotel. I decided to stay on board and once again pulled out my phone and turned on the camera app so that I could attempt to take another slow motion video. Once the ride was over I noticed that I had received a text message from a friend telling me to meet her on Main Street so I put the phone away and forgot all about the video. That is, until today.

I watched the video and was disappointed that the slo-mo feature did not work. I was about to delete it when all of a sudden the speed changed and the video was in slow motion! I watched the entire video and really enjoyed being able to clearly see the sights that normally whizz by at top speed while you are riding the Monorail. remembered that while I was filming, I was worried about the crying baby next to me being too loud. Oh well, I probably wasn't going to use this video anyway.

So as I am watching the video about halfway through I hear a cow. A what? A cow. Actually, it's the crying baby, LOL!!!

I apologize for this poorly shot video but I had to share it because I know there are at least three of you out there that want to see the view in slow motion! Oh and guess what? Just as the Monorail rounds the bend and starts heading back to the Tomorrowland station, the slo-mo goes away and the camera shifts back to regular speed! I couldn't have planned it any better.

Well guess what? Now that the video is uploaded, it won't play in slow motion. Darn!!! I'm really sorry about that, folks. :-(

Monday, September 1, 2014

Honoring the Old Man

This is one of the most difficult posts I've ever had to write. At first, I was overcome with sadness and yes, tears. Try as I might, I could not put my thoughts into words. As the days passed, my sadness turned to anger and I found that I could not formulate my thoughts into words without including numerous expletives in the process. And yes, tears. I thought it best to wait until I could hold my emotions in check before telling you about "Old Man" because I wanted to honor him. He may have not known love during his life but he did on his last day here on Earth.

For those of you that don't know, I posted all over Facebook asking for help to rescue a very sick and injured cat. Approximately 3 weeks ago, I found out about this cat through a co-worker. He was a stray and was being fed by a kind man. A friend of my co-worker had seen the cat and because he looked to be in bad shape, began texting pictures to people she knew in hopes of getting some help for the animal. When my co-worker showed me the photos, my heart broke. I could not concentrate on my work. Over and over again my mind kept drifting back to that cat. I knew I had to help him so I immediately asked my co-worker to text the pictures to me and I started my Facebook awareness campaign. Personally I could scrape up a few bucks for medical expenses but I knew I couldn't do it alone.

As the days progressed, I received a few donations, a few suggestions and plenty of sympathy. I met with the man that was feeding the cat and found that he affectionately called the cat Old Man. I also found out that he was feeding two other abandoned strays. One of them, barely coming out of kittenhood, had just given birth a few days prior. I was grateful that they were being fed yet saddened that they had lived their lives without a home. We exchanged names and phone numbers and I was confident that together, Rick and I would be able to help these cats.

We tried to catch Old Man on two different occasions but he was determined not to be caught. I started asking around for a humane trap but by the time I found out that I could cheaply rent one by the week from the local animal shelter, I received a text message from Rick telling me that Old Man looked like he was dying.

My friend, Linda, and I were at Denny's waiting for our dinner when Rick's text came through. I was distraught, wanting to leave immediately and thankfully, Linda suggested we tell the waitress to wrap up our food to go. Within five minutes (but it seemed like an eternity to me) we were out the door and on our way to Rick's place of business. When we arrived, Rick told us that Old Man had not eaten much that day and since he normally had a voracious appetite this was a sign that he was not doing well.

Within a few minutes, Linda managed to catch him but only because he was so weak. As she gently lifted him to place him into the cat carrier, we were horrified at his wounds. I knew they were bad but I had no idea just how bad they were. He had a huge gaping wound and you could see all the way down to his intestines. To make matters worse, the wound was infested with maggots. We rushed him to the vet's office and the doctor gently informed me that it was impossible to save Old Man. The decision was made to euthanize him and put him out of his pain and suffering. While I waited for the doctor to get what she needed, I gently spoke to Old Man, telling him how sorry I was that it had come to this; how sorry I was that he lived his life alone on the streets, probably never knowing love. I told him that it hurt me to be the one to decide to end his life but that I would stay with him until the very end so that he would not die alone. I watched him take his last breath and said a prayer and knew at that moment that I must find a way to honor him. I decided that I would write about him on my blog and beg each and every one of you to share his story.

PLEASE talk to everyone not only about the importance of spaying and neutering animals but also about abandonment. It is so UNNECESSARY! Especially in this day and age, with the assistance of social media, if someone needs to re-home an animal, there is a VERY good chance that a new home will be found. This animal lived a horrible life because he was abandoned. He may be gone but I am keeping his photos. To delete them seems callus because he mattered. He mattered to me.

Please share his story. Thank you.
Update 9-3-14
A wonderful organization, Hope for Paws, will help
me with medical expenses for getting the other stray cats fixed. Please visit their site and donate to them in honor of Old Man. Thank you.