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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happiness

Happy Halloween!! It doesn't even seems like Halloween even though I'm pretty sure all my blood was replaced with sugar tonight...hmmm anyways.

I'm at work and I'm reading a book I got (from work) called the happiness project. I mentioned it in my previous post (which I'm sure you ALL read with wild abandon) tonight as I was reading, I'm only six pages in btw, I read something that really struck a cord in me. Im going to quote it best I can from my iPad.

"Aristotle declared happiness to be the summum bonum, the chief good; people desire other things, such as power or wealth or losing ten pounds (if only!my personal note), because they believe they will lead to happiness, but their real goal is happiness. Blaise pascal argued, all men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. One study showed that, all over the world, when asked what they want most from life--and what they want most for their children--people answered that they want happiness. Even people who can't agree on what it means to be happy can agree that most people can be happier according to their own particular definition.

She goes on to explain that the opposite of happiness is unhappiness, not depression. There is a difference.

I'm trying to be happier but it's hard, especially when you don't have a firm grasp on what it is exactly that makes you happy. Some find comfort in food and mistake it for happiness, when in reality afterwards you often feel guilty and beat yourself up (personally). Others find happiness in running, or crafting, or spending time with family etc. the list goes on because we all find happiness in different ways.

I was asked a few weeks ago by one of the leaders in my church who I look up to a lot. He asked me what I was Up to, what I was living for. I answered my usual, I work a lot, I take a lot of pictures. He said that's not what I mean, what I want to know is what you live FOR. What gets you out of bed in the morning? The truth is, there's not much else in my life besides work, church, photography. Those things can and do bring happiness but there has to be more. I am on a quest to find my happiness.

What makes you happy?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October Crafting

This is my FAVORRRRITE time of year, hands down. I don't mind the rain and the wind it's worth it! The colors are intense and it give me an excuse to drink hot apple cider (or this really good herbal/organic tea that I had last night at work, it's peppermint with red clove and it's called world peace or something..it's delicious). It also gives me an excuse to craft a little bit since the weather isn't great anymore. This month has been super crazy but I have had some time to get my craft on. Please forgive me for saying that. It won't happen again...
This was a hat I made during my night shift hours. It took 2 nights and it was done. I love the gradation of colors in this noro yarn. There was enough yarn left over to make these:
The only trouble is, since the yarn is self striping, my 'gloves' are different colors...wooops. OH well I plan for them to be my car hand warmers for my cold early morning drives home. I don't necessarily like to have my fingers covered, even though they are the coldest part of me, it makes me feel confined so I made them easy. If you'd like to make a pair, just cast on 36 stitches (they are a little loose so you could do 32 as well, they stretch). Then work in knit 2 purl 2 ribbing throughout the whole piece until you reach your desired length. Then leave a long tail and stitch up the sides, leaving a hold where you want your thumb to go. Super easy, made both in less than 2 hours. The girl I babysit hinted heavily that she would like a pair for skiing so I have another pair almost done for her.

Again with the sideways pictures :( grrrr. oh well. I made this several weeks ago. I got a free baby pumpkin from Hovander and spray painted it with chalkboard paint. Then I used a chalk marker to countdown the days until halloween! I love Halloween!!

This isn't crafting at all but when I do have a few minutes, I've been enjoying some books. I don't really read during the summer (THAT much) so I'm reading when I can now. I've read the Host once or twice before and it's one of my favorites so slowly but surely I plan on reading this through the winter, library books take precedence since they need to be returned. The Power of Six is the sequel to I am Number Four (which was made into a movie). They are written for teens but I've been sucked in once again (Twilight, Hunger Games etc). I just finished this 2nd book last night, I think it's overdue...SORRY library. The last book is called, the Happiness Project. I just got it as a gift at my work's staff meeting Monday. Since I have an overdue book I've only read the first few pages but I reallllly like it so far. I'll have to finish it up and let people borrow it because even the first few pages made me open my eyes.

This last Monday for FHE the Pratt family and the Peck family met at the church again to update our Ward's Missionary board. We had 6 missionaries out at the beginning of the year, then 5 and we had clocks for all of them because they were all in different time zones. We also had each of their pictures and addresses with a string showing where they are serving. Now, there are only 2 missionaries out, Sister Pratt and Elder Peck. So we decided to update it again. We each printed several pictures from while they've been in the mission field and stuck the up there. We also got red push pins and started marking where ALL the missionaries from our ward have gone since 1980. It's pretty fun to see where members of our ward have served. We also bought blue pins to represent the members of our ward who have served missions but weren't always in F2 and started sticking those up there. It will always be a work in progress but it's fun to do.
Lastly, this is my project for today. We are making pillowcases for YW activity tonight. I'm not the best seamstress. I like to sew, I don't like patterns or instructions (it's that darn ADHD again) so we'll see how it goes. I've enlisted the help of several sewers in our ward to come help! It should be fun.
Now I just gotta see if I can make a sample between now and then.

Even though this month has been crazzzy busy I still find time to do some things that I want. I've been spending lots of time on the computer photo shopping which used to be a really fun thing for me, now it's feeling like a chore, but once I get the 12 photo shoots I have scheduled done and take a break, I will learn to enjoy it again.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

PB2

Is this the future?! I heard about this product a few months ago but was reminded of it yesterday when Dr. Oz had it on his diet show. It's a powdered peanut butter product. Here's a picture:
It seems weird, powdered peanut butter...? but I've heard it tastes just as good as regular PB except it is a lot healthier. Here's what Amazon has to say about it

"Through a unique process created by Bell Plantation that does not involve the use of any chemicals; over 90% of the fat is removed from the peanut. Essentially the oil is squeezed out of roasted peanuts and what remains is a peanut powder. The resulting all-natural product is unbelievable!The possibilities for PB2 are limited only by the users imagination and creativity! An outstanding natural protein source sprinkle on shakes, yogurts, smoothies, great for outdoor sports. Excellent for ice cream as it will not seize while processing, ganaches, frostings, truffles, souffl├ęs, cakes, muffins, brownies. Dissolves easily for savory applications- Asian noodle sauces, breadings and crust especially for seafood. It is also wonderful for baking either reconstituted or as a powder"

2 Tablespoons of this stuff is 45 calories...compared to 188+ per 2 Tablespoons of the 'real' stuff. CRAZZZY. I tend to go skimpy on the PB because of the amount of fat and calories but if I get this stuff, I can indulge and use more than a tablespoon at a time. This will drastically cut down on my morning smoothie calorie wise. You just mix it with a T or two of water. excellent.

Here's a recipe if you're interested:
1 banana the riper the better
1 Cup of milk--about
a spoonful or two of cocoa powder
a small squeeze of agave nectar (or honey)
1-2 T peanut butter
1/2 cup ice

Blend it all together and you have a pretty healthy breakfast. I usually only drink half because it's packed with calories but now with this powder stuff it won't be as bad. Huzzzzah!

Please note, I've never tried this product but I think I'm going to order a container and see how it is. It's like 4 bucks so it's worth a shot.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Time To Prepare

2 times every year my church has what we call, General Conference. It's where the leaders of our church spend the weekend giving talks and teaching us. It happens every April and October. 

It just happened 2 weeks ago now. This was one of my favorite talks. I still have some that I need to read/watch though :). This guy talks about how we need to prepare now, and not waste time. I'm an excellent time waster...I can prove it to you...right now...I'm blogging when I SHOULD be doing the dishes and finishing up my lesson for tomorrow. So I think I need this lesson/talk more than the young women I'll be teaching it to tomorrow :). 

I printed out the talk and started highlighting all my favorite parts and pretty much the WHOLE talk was highlighted blue when I was done so.
 
This is the handout I made for all the YW.




Now I really gotta go do those things...after my small dance party :D Although NOW is really THE time to prepare...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Give A Chicken

I have been thinking a lot lately about how lucky and blessed we are to live where we live. I'm not ignorant to the struggles our country has, the fact that many are homeless, hungry, jobless, etc...but personally, everybody I know has SO much compared to the rest of the world. I don't know any sports stars, actors, singers, or people who are just rich and famous because of their family, but I do know a lot of good every day people. People that try to make a difference no matter what their circumstances.

I want to be more like them. So often I say, I NEED this. No, I don't really NEED it. I have a nice house, nice clothes, nice food, nice 'stuff'. I need to get out of the habit of saying, I NEED this or that. I hope people know when I say that, I don't really mean it. My life will go on if I don't get it, it's of little consequence in the big scheme of things. My church teaches that all the temporal stuff doesn't matter when it comes down to it. What matters is charity, service, learning, growing. We give a tithe of 10% of all our income and that goes to help those in need, whatever that need might be. It provides food for the hungry, disaster relief, to help build up the Church and further the work of the Lord. I have always paid tithing without thinking much of it. When I was younger if I got a dollar, I'd give 10 cents. I remember one time I got a $20 bill and I was so excited, then I realized I needed to give $2 away. I thought I was beating the system so I got out my piggy bank and dumped out all my change and gathered $2 in coins (mostly pennies), I stuffed that into an envelope and handed it in on Sunday. The guy I handed it to joked and said he would be walking sideways all day because of all the change in his pocket. But my $20 bill was still in tact. I've always been a saver so I'm sure that went into my piggy bank until a later date anyways.

My point is, I have always had what I NEEDED, and much more. My parents one year didn't have much money around Christmas time (they've told us this story, I don't remember), so they went to the dollar store and bought us several $1 items and I think my mom made us a few gifts. Apparently, we were just as happy with our silly cheap toys than with anything else we could have got. The point is, I don't remember!! Christmas is magical as a kid and still as an adult I love the Christmas Season. More than Christmas morning, I love decorating, listening to music, making treats for people, buying/making gifts for those around me. I am often more excited for everyone to open what I got them than anything else. Don't get me wrong, presents are great, but I think as a society, we over do it. Christmas isn't about gifts, it's not even about music and eggnog. It's about the birth of Jesus, it's a time to celebrate his life.

I know a few people who are struggling this year and probably stressing out about the fact that Christmas will be tight this year, but I hope they remember there are many other ways to celebrate.

My point in this whole post wasn't to talk about all that, I'm not sure why I did but I often don't know why I say/do things.

A blog I frequently read posted about her family this year. They got this catalog in the mail the other day and her kids took it outside and started circling all the things they wanted to give. It's a catalog that let's you make donations to many different needs in anyway one can afford. When her kids were done, she totaled up their amount and she realized that if they donated all the items, her kids wouldn't have a full Christmas. She told them this and they all thought about it for a minute and her 3 boys and 1 daughter came to the conclusion that they would like to get one box of legos to share and the rest of the money could be spent on donations for other children. They were able to add a milk goat to their list as well since they were so unselfish. I think that is amazing. I think/know their Christmas will be just as full if not fuller as it would have otherwise been.

I thought the example that her 4 kids (all under 8 or 9 I think) choosing to forgo their personal WANTS to give another child something they NEED was/is incredible. I wish I could have been more like that as a kid, and I want to be more like that now as an adult.

This year for Christmas, I'll still give my 'regular' gifts but I might throw in a few surprises too. I ordered two catalogs from their site so they should be here soon, if anyone would like to see them, you can order online as well. I don't belong to their church or anything but I think humans helping humans should be everyone's goal. I know even the people I know who are struggling would be more touched with a gift for someone else than for themselves. I think those who have been in tough situations can sympathize much more others' who are in the same boat.

Here's a video about chickens. It costs $14 to provide a family with a dozen chickens (or other poultry) that will provide them with food and income. I could go buy the newest DVD release for $14 or I could provide a family with food for $14. It really puts things into perspective.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

are you {Totally Rad}?

Is there something that you love to do but get frustrated because it's so tedious and repetitive? Maybe you wish there was a way to cut the time it takes you to do that thing in half. Maybe if you could cut the time in half, you'd be able to do MORE of that thing, or you'd just have more time for whatever else you're little heart fancies.

I've been mysterious enough I'm here to tell you the secret of how to cut the time it takes you to make boxed macaroni in HALF...kiddddding. You probably just got really excited sorry for deceiving you. What I'm really here to share is much cooler than cooking a box of macaroni.

It's a program that has literally cut my photo editing time in HALF. Let me take you on a journey.

Maybe about 4 years ago I made my first big purchase (besides my cameras). I bought photo shop. HOLLLA I was so excited and started editing my photos right away. The only problem was it was so tedious, if I took 100 photos in a session (that's a lie I take way more) I would chose let's say 20 to edit. Well I would have to do the same process on almost each photo before getting it to a happy place. After a month or so I decided that photo shop wasn't my best friend anymore, until! I ran across this fancy website for photographers. I don't think I even thought about what I was doing, I just bought their Totally Rad Action sets...both of them. My heart hurt a little at the price but let me tell you what, they were worth every darrrrn penny. I saw an instant improvement and was able to cut my editing time in half. They had wrapped up all the tedious-ness in the little details into one, easy-to-use button. Perfect.

Fast forward a year or two later. I got an email telling me all about a new Totally Rad product, Dirty Pictures. At first I wasn't sure I wanted to click it because, I'm a good LDS girl and the name made me nervous. But upon further reading and seeing pictures I realized it was a way rad photo shop plug-in to put texture on my photos. Once again, I clicked the little Buy It button. Gulp. Once again, totally worth it. I had just started getting into textures and it was taking me awhile to put them on my photos but now, I could do it with just a few clicks. DONE.

Now we come to present day. Just a month or two ago I was checking out the Totally Rad Facebook page and they were giving away something called Rad Lab. Of course I needed to know what this was, so I was back on the fancy website watching the video on this new product. Can you guess what I did next?


Well let's not talk about it, I'm an impulse buyer.


BUT once again I was thoroughly impressed. After working with it for about 34 seconds I realized it's potential. I could open up my photos with this plug-in and in just a few clicks make my own action recipes and run it on 20 photos in 5 minutes. Umm helllllo!! Before TR I typically spent 4+ hours in front of the computer for just one photo session. Now (depending on number of photos) I can have a whole session done in 45 minutes or less. DOH. It's a no-brainier. once again worth every penny. I sound like I'm sucking up but there's just not much bad I can say about these products. The time I've saved by using them is growing exponentially and I'm able to book more sessions and get them out the door much quicker. That's worth it.

Now I can have afternoon tea (I don't, but the point is I COULD), I can spend more time putting my rubber band ball together, I can finally shave my whole leg, not just the front, but mostly I spend time NOT looking at the computer screen for hours on end. My eyes thank you Totally Rad.

Some quick examples and a screen shot! Try to contain your excitement and keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times. (Sorry Disneyworld still on the brain)
This is what the screen looks like when you open Rad Lab. Instant reward, no more wondering what something will look like and spending 20 minutes figuring out just the right look. After you pick a look you like, you have the option to save the "recipe" for future use. That way next time you want to get the same look it just takes .4 seconds and one click.

Now here are some before and afters:
Edit took aprox. 34 seconds.
again took less time to edit than it probably takes you to clip 5 fingernails.
just a few extra photos. I have time to post them all because of all the time I save with all my Totally Rad products.

If you're a photographer, or if you think you're a photographer, or if you've seen a camera, or if you have heard of a camera, I recommend these products to YOU. Rad Lab has streamlined my whole work process and my social life thanks you. (Who am I kidding? I still practice hermit-like tendencies) The point is, I could be social if I wanted to now.


P.S.
RIP Steve Jobs. Thanks for inventing my computer and my iPad and my iPod. You were a genius.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Where for art thou?

Have you ever seen someone wearing something really cute and you end up coveting it? Have you ever asked that person where they got said item? Have you ever kicked yourself for NOT asking? If you answered yes to any of hose questions, chances are you're a girl! Well I'll get to my point.

While in Florida I rode a bus with a girl who had the CUTEST shirt ever, it was modest, it was colorful/floral-ly, it was in my opinion, the perfect shirt. This might sound silly but I really wanted to ask her where she got it because I wanted one. In theory someone should be really flattered if someone asks you that question right?! Our whole trip to downtown Disney I debated asking her and since I'm the shyest person on planet earth, I chickened out. WHY?! It's not like I'll ever see her again!! I think I was just self conscience you see, due to my profuse sweating and my crazy person hair. I should have asked because I'll tell you what, when you google; modest, floral shirts....you could be looking for a long time.
And for all I know,she could have bought it for $100 in some fancy European boutique. But you better believe im going to keep my eyes out for it. I loved it. That sounds silly but I did. I should have taken a picture to show you but I'd prefer not to be arrested for stalking on my fabulous vacation, that might put a damper on things.


Anywho this is from my iPad so sorry For lack of pictures and any/all misspellings.

Monday, October 3, 2011

HPOE Day 4 & 5

Day four of our wonderful trip found us, finally, at the Magic Kingdom!! Yahooooo. Let the Memories Begin.
Like all the other days, it was HOT. Probably one of the hotter days of the week.

We were sure to take advantage of the free cool down system they offer:
Splash Mountain. We got 2 fast passes for this ride. It feels really good to be splashed with cold water on a hot day. We did goofy faces for ty. This ride helped us cool off very well. It also camouflaged our sweaty-ness win win.
just a few more:
we're violent like that haha jkjk
this picture didn't turn out. But my dad and I ran over to this side of the park before they closed while they had the fireworks show and nobody was in line. They let us stay on the ride for 2 turns since there was no line. Even though it was like 11pm it was still hot and the water felt good...we were in the front and I got SOPPPPING wet. next time we go we are going to bring old books to 'read' on the ride. this time we pretended to be asleep. Man we are funny.

We accidentally got stuck on this reallllly boring ride called the carousal of progress. we almost missed our lunch reservation because of this dumb ride. but it's all about the AC remember so we weren't really that mad.

We also went on Space Mountain, thunder mountain, (basically all the mountains were covered), the hall of presidents (accidentally fell asleep, dont' judge, haunted mansion, etc...there are a lot of rides here. OH DUH my favorite, Pirates was CLOSED the first half of the day, luckily for them it reopened before we left. That's my favorite boat ride.

We also got ONE count it ONE bowl of Pineapple Dole whip to share between the four of us. LAME. I wanted to bathe in the stuff it's so good but perhaps it's better for everyone that I only got a few bites, it allowed me to still fit on the plane seat for the ride home.

here's jack sparrow....you're welcome

after a day at MK we traveled over to Downtown Disney where we decided to skip our dinner reservations and do a little shopping. We didn't do much though. We got some italian ice and walked back to the bus. 


This is at the lego store. They had lots of things made out of legos, imagine that. legggo my lego.

After we decided that was a waste of time we headed back towards magic kingdom. We ended up getting dinner at some fancy hotel that had the monorail driving right through it. Then we took the monorail back to MK where we went on space mountain...awesoooome!! Then sam and my mom decided to go on that ride again then go over to it's a small world (gag me), so my dad and I booked it over to Splash Mountain again. I accidentally stepped on some kids hand because the whole park was sitting in front of the castle to watch the fireworks which meant, NO LINES!! we also got to watch the fireworks on the ride so booya.

After getting off the ride we tried to beat the mass exodus but the fireworks show got over at the same TIME dangiiiit. We ran as best we could through the crowd to get the heck outta dodge. We met up with my mom and sam at the front and fast walked it over to the monorail which had a HUUUUGE dang line. I'm sure the people who were stuck behind us had to wait an hour or longer to catch their ride. We made it on in about 10 minutes, YES.

At this point my foot was hurting something fierce from all my sweet maneuvering/running through the crowd. my foot was so swollen my shoe wouldn't fit on it YIKES and I couldn't move my toes. bad news bears. but I preservered.

We then monorail hopped to catch the one going to Epcot. Once there I shut down one of only 2 open lines because my pass was soaked from splash mountain and it jammed the machine. GRRREAT. but they fixed it and the guy was really nice and kept telling me not to worry about it.

Since Epcot was open late it was pretty busy so all the rides had long lines. We decided to shop at one more place. After that we got 'lost' although I knew where we were. I could hardly walk at this point so we decided to call it a night and headed back to a boat.

Since day 5 wasn't anything fun I'll combine it with this post:
Day 5 was our last day :( we woke up and ordered room service for breakfast then started packing. We had a shuttle bus waiting to take us to the airport. We were on the plane from 11:30pm (florida time) to 6pm (our time) with one brief layover in Atlanta again. I'm happy to report that my father did not receive a full body pat down at this airport--huzzzah!! It was a long day. I changed the language on Sam's personal TV on the flight to Dutch and thought it was the funniest thing in the world (could have been the Dramamine). Couldn't sleep at all on the flight again. looked at a skymall catalog, my favorite part of the airplane ride.

After landing in Seattle we gathered our belongings and headed to our car. We decided to stop for dinner since the last time we ate was at 8:30am Florida time so we were hungry. We found a Chipotles mmmm mmmm gooood I tell ya.

Then we got home a couple hours later and went right to sleep...after talking to my aunt and uncle for a bit.

It was such a fun trip and I can't wait to go again!!

One last picture from our Hollywood Studio day:

Tower of terrrrrro. I had just got done doing something really funny and I stopped right before it took our picture. DANGIT. look at the top row on the left, they were from austriala and one of the ladies was like peeing her pants she was so scared. The people in front of us were French and weird.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

HPOE Day 3

Beware: all these pictures are bad quality because they came from either my phone or my dad's point and shoot.

This day we went to Hollywood Studios. It was one of the funner parks of our stay. The only bad part was I had to rent a scooter because my foot hurt like a zebra to walk around on it. I felt like an old lady and it stressed me out really bad. Here is proof of my scooter-dom
ya I was super happy about it. Just like all the other days today was HOT, at least it wasn't raining though (although apparently it rained while we were on Aerosmith rollercoaster because my scooter was all wet after we got out but it stopped quickly.)

This was my favorite ride probably of the WHOLE week. Seriously if you ever go here, you HAVE to go on this ride. It has good music, it's in the dark, you go upside down several times but you don't really know it because it's in the dark. It's legit. The only bad part was when I almost shut the whole ride down because I dropped my huge scooter key down into the track in the beginning...ya awesome, NOT. They had to call maintenance in to get it out which caused a small delay but it was better than shutting the whole ride down...phew!!
Here is our picture while we were on the ride:
this is taken right at the beginning as it SHOOTS you super fast into the dark tunnel. we are so original. we rode this ride a few times because it was just that fun. it's a fast-passer for sure though because the line is always long.
we also went on the Hollywood Tower of Terror a few times in a row. This one is MUCH less scary than the one at California Adventures. It doesn't drop you as fast and the people aren't in character as well, they aren't scary at all but in Cali. they are all in character and scare the life out of you.

Like I said, it was HOT. so whenever we could take comfort in air conditioning we did!! This was kind of fun, I don't watch/like American Idol but it was a cool concept..mostly because of the AC. My person didn't win so I was bitter for 12 seconds then I got over it. Anyone can audition then they chose 3 to perform at each showtime at the park. Then the audience picks 1 winner from each show then all the winners go back to compete that night. The winner gets a golden AI pass which lets them cut in line at any of the real AI audition spots.

After that we walked (rode) over to the Indiana Jones stunt show
That was pretty cool. They are really good stunt persons.
We went on a few other rides. We FORGOT to go to the otherside of the dang park so we missed all the cool areas with the fake towns which sucks but i guess we'll be going again. If it wasn't so hot I think we would have had more time/patience to explore more.
After this we tried to find a place for lunch since it was like 3 and we didn't hardly have breakfast. No air conditioned places were open/had an opening so we decided to leave the park and grab lunch at a bakery at our hotel. They had really good sandwiches.
We rested a bit again and showered/swam to cool off. This night we had dinner plans made by DIS. It was all kept a surprise so we had no idea what/where we would be doing/going. We all met at big shuttle buses which drove us back to Hollywood Studios. We got to go behind the scenes and skip all the crowds/lines (holllla). We were taken into a big room where they keep all the extra park props. We saw lots of lion king lifesized puppet things, finding nemo, beauty and the beast props etc...We had snacks here and stood around and talked for about 45 minutes.
They also brought in the two people you see on the right who are dressed up. They are CRAAAZY. They stayed in character the whole time. The lady kissed my dad on the cheek and forehead which made him embarrassed. Here they were talking to Sam about how understated he was acting and how he would be perfect for the part of a little orphan boy who wears lederhosen, and begs for the last cup of porridge while dancing. It was for a new movie they were developing. They were pretty funny but they followed us around ALLLLLL night long and never once got out of their weird characters.

After this ew were led across the whole park to a special VIP section that was blocked off for the Fantasmic water/light show. We were served dinner while we waited for the show to start. Then we watched the show...which was kind of scary for little kids. I held Reagan during this show and she kept her ears plugged the whole time and at one point, quickly grabbed my hand and covered her eyes with it then placed them back over her ears. I just kept telling her Mickey would save the day and he did. It was a fun show and it was nice that we didn't have to deal with the HUGE crowd. We got to have dessert while all the people filed out and watched us with envy.


Once we were done with that part they had us walk back across the park even though it was now closed...and we stopped in the Pixar area of the park. That's when the announced they had rented the Toy Story Mania ride for us to ride on for 2 hours. They had prizes for who got the best score, 1st place was an iPad, 2nd was Bose headphones (which was what I was going for) and 3rd was a kindle. I guess that ride always has an hour or longer wait time and it's hard to get on it so it was cool that we got to have free reign over it.


At one point they told us to get off and go meet Buzz and Woody and some army men who were waiting to have their pictures with us. Then we could go back on the ride for however long we wanted.
I didn't win anything...boooo I was actually pretty terrible at this game. It was really hard and we all had carpal tunnel afterwards it seemed like. We were all sweating like crazy because it was such an intense game. hahahaha

After our time was over it was around 12pm so we got back on our shuttle buses and went back to our hotel for the night. It took awhile to unwind after that crazy game. It was really fun though.

Stay tuned for Day 4, the Magic Kindgom!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

HPOE Day 2

(HPOE stands for Happiest Place on Earth from here on out :))

Day two started out a lot earlier than we all would have liked...we had to be down in the lobby at 7:30am. Once all the DIS people were gathered we walked out to wait for the boat to take us over to breakfast at Epcot. They opened the park early for us and we walked over to the aquarium room place and had breakfast. They also honored the people who have worked there for 20 years at breakfast. Afterward, we decided to catch a bus and head over to Animal Kingdom.
This park was probably our least favorite of all the parks because air conditioning was scarce here. But it was still fun. We only went on one side of the park though. It was more for younger kids in my opinion.

We went on a fun safari ride through Africa here. It was realllly cool. You sit in this big truck jeep thing and drive through 'Africa'. They have all these animals that roam free (roaming free might have been an illusion, I'm sure they have a way to keep them separate) around this part of the park, hippos, lions, cheetahs,  ostrich, giraffes etc...


Giraffes and Elephants are my favorite...although that's not a good picture, I have a bettter one but blogger is buggin'.

Next we went on the Everest ride which was the funnest one there. It has a yeti theme and you get in this roller coaster thing and you go backwards, frontwards, in the dark, up, down, all around. It was fun. We went on it two times in a row.
these sideways pictures are driving me nuts but blogger doesn't give me the option to change it. Some people got really freaked out on this ride but I thought it was a blast.
We ate dinner at some fancy restaurant...the only one we could find with AC so we stretched out or experience there :). Did I mention that Florida is HOT? cuz it is, and it's humid. Next time we go were are all bringing 4 outfits per day geeeesh.

After lunch we wandered around. Sam lost his wallet by the river raft fast pass booth, more on that later. We made our way over to the river raft thing that promised to get us soaking wet, which is exactly what we wanted. That was the other fun ride here. My dad and I sat on the side of the raft that didn't hardly get wet AT ALL, the ones who didn't want to get wet (Tiana, Stephanie, my mom) got sopppping wet. Lucky doggggs.

After that someone had the brillant idea to go to the stupid 4D bugs life show. I have said it before and I will say it again, I HATE 3D and 4D is just much worse. I knew what to expect so I propped my feet on the seat in front of me and used my legs to hold my bottom off the seat where I knew 'bugs' would be crawling. I honestly get so much more scared at the little kid rides than the upside down roller coasters, I swear. You shoulda seen me on Finding Nemo, forgetaboutit. I hid my head behind Sam that whole ride...

After that terrible experience we decide it was really hot and we were tired so we made our way to the front of the park where we asked the customer service section if someone had turned Sam's wallet in, they had (!!) so he got that back with everything still in it!! Only in Disneyworld.

We took a bus back with the Pratt's...well half of the Pratt's. Then Sam and my dad went swimming while I took a cold shower and got changed. It started pouring down rain while they were out so we waited for it to stop.

After resting for a little bit we decided to go to Hollywood Studios. The rain had stopped and we made dinner plans. After being told wrong directions we decided to walk 15 minutes to H.Studios since it was just going to be faster. After about 10 minutes of walking, the park was in site and it DUMPED on us. I mean we were soaked to the skin after only a few minutes. We were stuck. There was no cover, no way to get out of the rain. So we decided we needed to go back to the hotel because it looked like we just went swimming in our clothes:
sooooooo..............

we decided to check the park and see if we could catch a bus back but buses don't run from their to our hotel, only the boats. So we were told to go to the boat dock...once there they said they were shut down because of the thunder and lightening, so we ran to the bus station he told us too...it was the wrong one and by now there is a line that was too long so we started walking back to our hotel. We figured we were already sopping wet and it was actually a very comfortable temperature for the first time our whole trip.

While running and puddle jumping in the rain I got a stress fracture in my foot which made it just lovely to walk on the rest of the week. My $300 camera I had just bought 3 days before FOR THIS TRIP was completely ruined from the rain (Amazon is the best though they are sending me a new one free of charge!!). So that left me without a camera for the last several days of our trip so I had to use my phone.

Once back at the hotel, we made a huge wet mess getting to our room and getting changed. Then we decided to wait until the rain stopped and go back to the park since it was opened late. We ordered room service and got under the covers for warmth. Well the rain didn't stop, and most of the rides were shut down anyways. My dad and I walked on the boardwalk to a small store to get some treats but that was it for the night. LAME.

Stay tuned for Day 3 at HPOE!!

P.S. It's FREEEEZING HERE!! I have 2 photoshoots today so I'd better layer up, and figure out how to walk normally on my bum foot.

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