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Archive for January, 2011

Since being back in LA, I have basically started Spring Cleaning a couple of months early. There’s spring-like weather in Los Angeles right now though, and that coupled with Changing-for-the-New-Year mentality makes it seem to work out all right.

First up, as some who may have talked to me or follow me on Twitter know, was the Great Closet Clean-out of 2011. To be perfectly honest, even though I cleaned out my wardrobe before I moved across the country, I held onto WAY too many items from high school or early college that had some kind of sentimental value or that I just felt I couldn’t get rid of for one reason or another.

After 4 almost full days of pulling out EVERYTHING I own and trying it ALL on (can we all groan together on this one? because that was a draining process, let me tell you…) I boxed up a bunch of stuff and carted it off to Good Will.

Step One — complete!!

After being gone for practically a month, I came back realizing that my closet wasn’t the only thing I had to clean. So in all the rest of my spare time (save a few days that were BEGGING me to go to Disneyland…oops?) I have been SCOURING my condo. Literally. It hasn’t helped that every time I vacuum, Gracie follows along behind me beheading stuffed toys and dragging their insides all over the living room.

My new favorite cleaning invention though, is this:

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers!

I’ve been using them to clean the grout in my tile floors, and get rid of weird marks on my walls left from my lovely puppy and they really are Magic.

The last major change has been a Spring Cleaning of myself…if that makes any sense. Really, what that means is I actually started going to an exercise class, which I’m really liking and really hoping to stick with, even when I start to get busier. It’s called Cardio Barre and it has been KICKING my butt, but it really is fantastic. It’s this crazy combo of free weights and ballet barre exercises with a little yoga mixed in, and it makes you sore for days.  I’m making a more concerted effort to get a little more toned and be a little healthier in general (not that I’m THAT bad to begin with, but I am trying to cook more from scratch etc…)

To be honest, I’m taking a page out of Miss Katie’s (of Marriage Confessions) playbook and trying to Bloom Where I’m Planted. I LOVE LA, and that has never really been a problem, but I always felt so so busy with everything I was doing right from the start that I haven’t really expanded into the area yet as much as I could be — taking classes in the area, meeting more people, just getting out there. So far, I think I’m off to a pretty good start this year 😉

AND I’ve been getting in some quality Disney time to boot — including seeing one of my VERY best friends Erin and her husband Mike the past couple of days (I may just have to blog about it once I get pictures loaded.)

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Winter Weather

We woke up to ice this morning in NC, and ice means it’s best to stay off the roads — so I’ve been doing laundry all day (not exactly a ton of fun.)

It’s the first round of ice down here since I’ve been back visiting, but it has certainly not been winter-weather-free. I’m actually kind of enjoying the snow and ice, because it’s pretty much my one chance to see some powder and layer up now that I’m living in LA. We even got snow the day after Christmas, which was close enough for me!

Some fun holiday/winter moments the past couple of weeks:

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Christmas Eve Dinner

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Christmas Morning -- hence the no-makeup-and-bathrobe look

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Gracie and Nora

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My little "devil dog" covered in snowballs

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Snow covered trees looking kind of Whoville-esque

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Early morning snow fall. Lovely.

 

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I believe Day Two of our mini Florida vacation started out as just Magic Kingdom (mainly to see the Christmas decorations) and Epcot, because it’s our favorite and you can’t see it in California.
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But then I realized that it was necessary to go back to Kilimanjaro Safaris in Animal Kingdom (the place I spent my College Program days, for anyone who happened to forget, or is new) since we were going back to Florida. And Jen wanted to ride Expedition Everest if we were going to go there too…

And we totally forgot that Hollywood Studios has the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Christmas time! We hadn’t seen those before either, and there are literally millions of Christmas lights there. MILLIONS.

Yet, we also wanted to see the Holiday Wishes fireworks show at Magic Kingdom…

So in the end our day ended up like this:

First, Animal Kingdom (at 8 AM! Rise and Shine!)
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We got a Fastpass for Everest, rode Safaris, and…got a little turned around somewhere near the monkeys for a few minutes (it’s been two years! that’s a long time).

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The baby giraffes are my favorites.

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Then, we headed to Ticket & Transportation Center (or TTC, for those familiar with the ever-present Disney shorthand) where our car would live for the day while we park-hopped to our little hearts content.

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This was where we picked up the monorail to go to Magic Kingdom, to make sure we saw all the decorations in the daytime (and got a Fastpass for Space Mountain!)

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Next, it was back on the monorail to get to Epcot in time for lunch in France at Les Chefs de France – yummy!

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Remy stopped by our table, and everything!

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And I found out my CP friend Tyler was working at the Canada restaurant Le Cellier that day (très chic!) so I stopped by to say hello.

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Seeing old friends always makes me smile 🙂

After a quick tour around the world:

 

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Germany, all decked out for Christmas

…and a ride on Spaceship Earth and Journey in to Imagination, it was time to ferry it over to Hollywood Studios.

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Here, we enjoyed all the lights; somehow forgot to take a picture with my friends Ryan & Alex, who came over to the park to say hi and see the lights; and took a quick pass in the Art of Animation store, which is one of my favorite stores in all the parks (yes, I have favorite stores.)

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Then, we took a bus to the Contemporary Resort next to the Magic Kingdom, and walked over to the park (this is a semi-secret trick to avoid the insanely long lines to get a bus back to the TTC).

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Holiday Wishes

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The grand finale

After fireworks, we rode Winnie the Pooh, Space Mountain and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority ‘PeopleMover’ (an old favorite from my CP days, which is oft-ignored by guests when so many other big name rides are in the park and demand doing.)

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Finally, at about 11:30 or so that night, it was time to head back to the car and collapse in a heap of exhaustion at the hotel before driving home the next afternoon (we stopped at Downtown Disney again on our way out for a quick pass through the ginourmous World of Disney store, and lunch at Earl of Sandwich)

Here’s hoping it’s not another two years before I can make it back!

[For those keeping count,

Total Parks Visited: 5 (MK, twice)

Modes of Transportation Used:  5 (Car, Tram, Monorail, Ferry, Bus)]

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