Sunday, October 14, 2007

LA the Three

In the interest of preserving memories, I am aiming to conclude my three-part series of exciting vacation adventures. I feel this is critical, primarily for me, as when I was watching my parents vacation video of New Orleans I realised that my memories of the trip are a bit hazy. Why did I not write down the names of places we ate? Why did I not write down briefly some interesting facts I learned? Alas, no use crying over spilled milk (unless it was the last glass of milk in the ENTIRE WORLD).

After Kerri and I ate pizza, we parted ways with Erin and bounced off towards the "thrill" rides. I like them because somehow their kinetic energy is transfered to me in EXCITED energy! First we went on the Maliboomer, an attraction that even this nerdy theme park girl could not remember the name of. We weren't sure if it was a good idea to go on this directly after pizza, but it was, because it was so much fun! It's basically a reverse, theme-less Tower of Terror. You get shot up, and descend with less force. We then giggled our way to California Screamin', which I also love to bits and pieces. I don't really know why... Maybe it's the carnie music, the wind in the face, the launch (!!), or the total package, but I quite like it - better than Space Mountain even. We then, umm, secretly went on the ride again since the line was so short! I'm drawing a bit of a blank, but I believe we departed at this point and headed over to Disneyland. I was *quite* excited, along with the others. It was nice to see a big, fake castle again :)

Disneyland was PACKED - it almost reminded me of MK at Xmas. I believe it had to do with the walkways starting to be roped off for the parade, the narrow walkways (compared to WDW), and the abundance of AP holders who hang out at DL every night. Heh. And ps, I enjoy using an excessive amount of accronyms. It's only appropriate. I believe the first attraction we headed for was Pirates of the Carribean. I was quite impressed that the line was only about 15 mins long! We rode it, and partway during the ride I stated that Disneyland is the equivalent of a local mall for teenagers. I'm convinced parents just drop them off mid afternoon and come and pick them up around midnight. Someone sitting in front of us nodded and laughed. After Pirates, we hopped off to It's a Small World. Maybe I'm getting confused, but I think I like the one in WDW better. I find the one in DL looks like it needs some work in parts. Unless my brain is getting spotty, in IASW in MK, the water goes right up to the displays, where as I believe in DL the water is getting in a boarded canal (for lack of a better term) in which the boat travels. As well, in spots you would look to the right and see the attraction, but looking to the left would yield a black wall with glitter flowers pasted on it. Meh? Maybe it's like this at MK as well, but I don't think so. Ah well, there were some different scenes and I did enjoy it overall. Erin, however, is one of those people who hates the ride >=)

After the happiest cruise that ever sailed, it was firework time! I was ridiculously excited!! I'm sorry, but I have never seen a firework display that rivals Disney's. EVER. I've seen pretty good ones (Edinburgh) but Disney's are presented so well. The music, the lasers, the story, etc. The budget definitely helps, of course ;) I loved them. At DL Tinkerbell just keeps flying back and forth for a little while, where as in MK she just "flies" from the Castle down to Tomorrowland. Instead of rambling, here is a link to the fireworks narrated by Julie Andrews with great vocal clips of Walt Disney inserted. Anyway, the children singing at the beginning still give me watery eyes and an enormous smile. I still remember the first time I saw Wishes at MK. It was the first weekend we were there, the day we finished Traditions. I remember Dave (eventually "Server Dave" =P ) saying how great it was when it ended and that no one could not feel happy after watching it. I actually like the DL ones a bit better because they are less focused on the movies and feature the park itself. Sometimes I feel like being in the parks too much is like ODing on Disney movies. Anyway, who couldn't appreciate a Star Wars laser fight that takes place DURING a fireworks display?

So the fireworks eventually ended and I wanted to watch them again. And run up and hug the castle. I refrained though. The crowds were still pretty heavy so we diddled in shops for a bit and watched Disneyland - The First 50 Magical Years which I loved to bits and pieces. A short film about Disneyland starring Steve Martin AND Donald Duck? Yes, please!

I think we left at this point and headed to Downtown Disney. I took the looooong walk to the medicine stand (really a magazine stand with random pharmaceutical items) and spent $10 on a bottle of cough syrup that would generally retail for $4.50 at Walgreens. However, it was one of the best $10 I spend in my LIFE - even though the kid working the stand was an idiot and said they didn't sell cough syrup. ("Umm, isn't that it right there?" "Oh, maybe... Yes. Heh.")

Then met up with the others, and we took the shuttle back to the hotel and craaashed.

Up again! We were at DL for opening. Again, took the shuttle over. We went through the gates immediately. I think there was an early entry that morning for resort guests (?? - not sure) so people were already in the parks, but we were still roped off. We snuck into the shops on Main Street to get closer to rope drop. I figure for each person I pass, that is one less person I have to stand behind! The rope dropped, we (and other smart folk) filed out of the shops and took off for Nemo's Submarine Voyage, heading through Fantasyland rather than Tomorrowland. Holy freaking queue. Despite being there mere minutes after rope drop, the queue was still about 45 minutes. The castmembers can't even tell how long the wait will be because the queue itself is so intertwind and lengthy, wrapping around the lagoon. Kerri and I amused ourselves in line and I think Erin thought we were... slightly off. We eventually made it to the ride, and I enjoyed it, although I couldn't justify waiting hours for it. It had some similarities to the Nemo ride at Epcot, but it feels a little more "immersed" since you are actually IN the water, rather than looking obviously from the other side of glass.

Afterwards we went Kerri and I went to Space Mountain for fast passes and then... ummm... I can't remember. We must have done something though? Right, looking at my pictures leads me to believe that Kerri and I went on the Matterhorn. It was fun, and kind of freaked me out. Older rollercoasters tend to do that. We then met up with Erin and rode the Alice in Wonderland Ride. It was, well, what you would expect from an Alice darkride. Then Kerri and I scuttered back to Tomorrowland and went on Space Mountain using our Fastpasses thus having a minimal wait. I believe it's definitely darker than it's MK counterpart, and the starry sky has more of a '3-D' feel to it. And it scares the piss out of me. I think it's due to the extreme darkness and I find myself hunched over in fear I'm going to knock my head off a steal frame somewhere. See trauma A: getting hit with a BASEBALL CAP of the Rock 'n Roller Coaster in the DARK and practically suffering from a broken nose. So yes, I shuddered my way through Space Mountain.

I believe at this point we met up with Erin again at the foot of the monorail (which actually picks guests up INSIDE the park!) and went to the Disneyland Hotel for our character brunch. Definitely NOT a highlight of the trip! It was Goofy's Kitchen, and apparently you only go to meet Goofy if it was your birthday. The food was good, but the characters kept skipping our tables. Our server wasn't really around, so we couldn't tell him. We mentioned this to a character attendant that came to talk to us, but she wasn't concerned. She asked if we had met Donald Duck when coming in. We said no, and she encouraged us to stop and get our picture with him when we left. Well, he wasn't there. Anyway, I ate pizza and ridiculous amounts of canteloupe and pineapple so that was good. I definitely would not repeat the Goofy's Kitchen experience. I dunno, I just wasn't impressed with the overall experience.

We returned to Disneyland via monorail and hit up the other half of the park after taking pictures of the Castle and watching a brief, random Mary Poppins shows that suddenly appeared in front of the castle.

We then went to Tom Sawyer's Island / "Pirate's Lair", pretty much just to meet Captain Jack Sparrow. We couldn't find him, but after exploring caves and what not I saw an area that looked... suspcious. My castmembers flags went up, I could tell it was a photo op set up! I saw a tall fence that had a door "Cast Members Only". My flags got taller. I tried peaking through the cracks but couldn't see anything. Then, Kerri or Erin (sorry ladies, can't remember) looked through and saw him!!! We were quite excited and spied for a bit while he was backstage. Suddenly, unknown to us, Sailing Ship Columbia went by and fired a canon and we jumped about 30 ft in the air in surprise at the nose. We poked around, killed time, and giggled.

THEN HE SAUNTERED OUT. It was a good day. He talked to a couple of kids, then the photos began. I was planning on being all cool and possibly flirting/teasing a wee bit (I know - I'm a moron) but instead got rather ga-ga and stupidly star struck. I think I mumbled something about him having a nice ring and he stated that he had stolen it from a gypsy. Erin was up next. As they were posing for photos I said, "Erin, your shirt is to clean for you to be a pirate!"

Erin: Oh, but I can get dirty.

And I died laughing. I also died some more upon seeing Cpt. Sparrow's reaction... I don't think he knew what to say! He actually said to Kerri when she went up for a photo, "Well, that was awkward."

Afterwards, we were videoing commentary about the event and a couple walked by as we were recapping and said to Erin, "Yeah, he was definitely looking down your shirt!"

And, for a third time, I died. Such great memories! :)

We then went back to Critter Country and went on the Winnie the Pooh ride, mostly because it was there. We also met Eeryoe and Winnie the Pooh and stopped for photos. They are soft, so I like hugging them; however, I want pictures with more interesting characters. They are EVERYWHERE so I feel like I already have their photos 600 or so times. I think we also got fastpasses for Splash Mountain at this point? Regardless we continued towards Adventureland. Went to the Tiki Room, rode Jungle Cruise, and Kerri and I went on the Indianna Jones Ride. Loved it!! We then met up with Erin. I think at this point we returned to Splash Mountain. Umm, I like the MK one better. I just find the audioanamatronics don't look so worn, and ride is a bit slower making it last longer and giving me more time to hum along to the songs. Kerri and I went on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (which always makes me think of my mum and Keri Shields) and did indeed enjoy the wildest ride in the wilderness. We then met up with Erin at Pinnochio. We road that and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. And, I believe, that was the end. Sad. Actually, really sad now that I think about it... Crap. We left to return to DCA for one last adventure on California Screamin. We also went on Soarin', and Kerri bought a hat and jumper. Crap, it's almost like my trip just ended again and I'm bummed again :( Tear. Soarin' is a good ride to end on, however, it's relaxing, impressive, and always makes me smile, especially the smell of the orange groves.

Whoops, my bad, we actually did return to DL to go to the photopass place. I feel like we MUST have done something else though, perhaps wander in shops?

Oh yes, and I missed it above, but at some point Kerri and I went to Toontown. Hmm. We also saw a bit of the Jedi training thing where I was infatuated with the hot Jedi Master. Probably because he had a light saber. Umm, I guess I like fictional characters.

After we left DL (sad) we went to Downtown Disney. Kerri bought stuff, and we went to HOB to eat. Not gonna lie, I was rather drained. 7:00am - 12:00am makes for a pretty long, busy day. We walked back to our hotel, watched some video, packed, and whined about not wanting to go home.


On Monday we finished packing, had some free brekkie, booked airport transportation and went to a mall since we didn't have very much time to do anything of greatness. Getting a cab back from the mall turned out to be a MASSIVE hassle and Erin and Kerri almost missed their shuttle ride to the airport. I continued my day of exploring and, gasp, ventured away from the Disneyland area. I went to Target, must to the envy of Kerri. (It's a weird Canadian in the US thing for us and Target. I can't explain.) I stocked up on stuff that I missed, such as peanut butter chocolate chip chewy reduced sugar granola bars that are like crack and I want them ALL THE TIME, and stuff that is cheaper in the US, such as my facewash that is about half the price as on PEI. Wankers. I also went to a grocery stores and bought random boring stuff like an apple, orange and banana, but also a cantelope that cost only $.50! I could get used to California.

I then returned to Disneyland Resort area as I wanted to look at the hotels and figure out where the closest liquor store was. I received that critical piece of information and started to walk there. I realised about half-way there that if I continued my journey I *may* miss my shuttle. So I freaking booted it back to the hotel and got there JUST as my shuttle pulled in. Seriously, I'm suprised my flip-flops didn't snap into a thousand pieces at the rate I was going.

Arrive at airport. Drink massive quantities of cough syrup since I can't take it on the plane with me. Go through long security line. Read magazines and books at shops. Eat pizza and salad from Wolfgang Pucks. Buy cough drops. Board plane. Fall asleep about thirty seconds after plane takes off. Eventually wake up and land in Toronto. Guy working customs thinks I'm hungover, but really my cough syrup and Targer cold pills screw me up and make me retardedly drowsy. Plus, umm, I had just taken the red-eye flight and it was apparently 5:30am in Toronto. Please be kind to me. Thank you.

Get to Halifax. Drive to Ch'town (which took almost six hours due to me being a moron and getting confused and thinking I went the wrong way [I didn't though], stopping to eat, and stopping to sleep), arrived at parents to fetch my car, tried to stay awake so I would be able to sleep that night, then can't fall asleep and go to work the next day like a zombie. But a happy-I-went-to-Cali-and-saw-my-friends zombie. That's a good kind of zombie to be :)

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