Caught on the Wrong Coast

When the musical chairs stopped, we thought we’d found ourselves at home – that was the goal. But now it looks like we were caught on the wrong coast. Who knows when California will open Disneyland? It’s been over 6 months with no word of an opening date. But WDW has been open since July.

And rumblings of cruising are being talked about – from Florida ports. You can bet your bottom dollar there will be no cruising in/out California ports for some time.

And proof of more Governor Newsom nuttiness is his proclamation that as of 2035, there will be no gas-powered cars sold in California. And where is he going to get power for future automobiles? They already can’t supply enough electricity for their state – they often borrow from us here in Nevada.

If this is what Democrats look like, no thank you. You exchange one kind of lunatic for another.

The only silver lining I see here is that Knott’s Berry Farm is doing all they can to offer several special dining/shopping events. We all want Disneyland to do the same. I guess they figure they’ve got it covered with Downtown Disney – but how much more exciting would it be to actually be inside the park. Snacking, sipping, and soaking up the atmosphere is what we mostly do at Disney anyway.

Musings by Morning Light

Again, I am up before the first morning light as the red-hued hint of the rising sun intersects with the last vestiges of neon from a nearby casino. One of the many things I love about the desert, filling me with a lifetime of memories that harken back to childhood.

At times I miss meeting first light of New Smyrna Beach out on my Florida lanai overlooking green grass, trees, and pond. Other times I’m reminded of our first Florida living adventure in the Tampa Bay Area.

And maybe because it’s been almost 2 years since our return to Las Vegas or blame it on the pandemic, but I can almost miss passing through El Paso on our way moving between the West Coast and Florida.

I’ve enjoyed our moving adventures (but not always those necessary in-between stages), although they have also meant leaving pieces of our hearts in distant places where you can’t just hop in the car at a moment’s notice and experience them again.

But being close by doesn’t guarantee peace as Hardy Falls attests. As we go about our daily business, the emotion sometimes overwhelms me as, just for a moment, I relive feelings of home and family, Skipper, Lovey, and Buddy, and I long to turn back time.

Gratitude for today’s blessings pulls me out of the past and into the future, one step at a time.

Disneyland Reopening – Can You Feel it? Apparently, Not

So I’m getting all revved up, really feeling the vibe of a Disneyland reopening date announcement as “imminent” to quote Governor Newsom. I even spent hours today creating a video using some of my Disneyland footage and a song I wrote/produced for #50/90 this year called “Can You Feel it?” Perfect, right?

And then my Mickey balloon is deflated once again.

Masks and Thieves

So yesterday we decided to do something we rarely do these days – go out to lunch. One of our favorite places is Sonrisa Grill, the Mexican restaurant at Lake Las Vegas. It’s a fun drive and walk with great food and views.

We noticed that a few people we passed were not wearing masks, which is a bit disconcerting, especially since we’re used to going to Downtown Disney, where the mask requirement is enforced.

And the truth is, while I do wear a mask when I am out, I choose not to do a lot of things because I’m just not comfortable wearing a mask for more than an hour. So, truth be told, I really won’t be flying to Florida during this time – I can’t imagine wearing a mask for 4-6 hours. I’m also not sure I could really do Disneyland, although we’ll get a chance to test how long I can wear a mask at Knott’s Berry Farm next month, although for most of that time we’ll be sitting and eating/drinking so it shouldn’t be too bad. And there’s a relaxation station where masks are not required.

So on the thievery front, we were informed that our “Hitchhiking Ghosts” Christmas ornament was delivered by FEDEX yesterday, but we never got it. When we called Disney, they said they are out-of-stock now and will refund our money. Grrrr! We’d purposely ordered early to make sure we got them and now either the FEDEX driver kept it (not the first time this has happened in Vegas), or it was delivered to the wrong house and they kept our package.

Some photos from yesterday’s lunch:

Blue Sonrisa Margarita

Spicy Margarita

Salmon Tacos

Shrimp Tacos

Are the Disneyland Rumors True?

Adam the Woo lifted my spirits with this optimistic video about Disneyland possibly reopening soon; in fact, the anticipated announcement from DCA via Josh and Newsom is expected sometime today. I’d been hopeful watching the Spence video but crashed when nothing happened and then I saw that Mayor of Anaheim video that David posted – that was a real downer.

Anyway, check out this video and see what you think:

“This is a Disaster,” says Anaheim Mayor

After yesterday’s brief glimpse of hope that drew tears, today is heartbreaking on so many levels. I am so pissed and frustrated and heartbroken – not just for me but for everybody who lives/works in Anaheim and needs Disneyland to open – NOW!

And the injustice of how this pandemic has been handled throughout the country is infuriating!

Anywhere, here’s the video from FreshBaked where David discusses the mayor of Anaheim and his address to Governor Newsom. I swear, there must be consequences for the governor’s actions – how is it one man retains such control over the entire state of California?

Magic Bands to Masks #ThrowbackThursday

Reading the “Disneyland Drama” article in my daily Disney Food Blog newsletter, I must say I’m happy to see this issue spreading beyond locals in California and nearby Las Vegas. I’ve been having interesting comment exchanges on FreshBaked about how ridiculous and political this whole issue of not giving California theme parks the information they need to officially open.

I also must say that as much as I can’t stand the idea of having a lunatic president for another 4 years, this whole Newsom thing doesn’t bode well for my impression of what the Democratic party might do if elected to the White House. We are so hosed!!

Anyway, each morning I feel like we really might book a trip to Florida – I can’t sit around and wait on every breath Newsom takes – that’s just not healthy! So I thought it would be fun to put together a #ThrowbackThursday video of our time living in Florida when our magic drawer held our Magic Bands. Here in Las Vegas, we still have a drawer but now all it holds are masks.

Here’s the link to the video – please like and subscribe! Thank you!

PS – I got a migraine after publishing this post and video. I’m calling it Newsom. Btw, Did you know his exwife is a big Trump supporter? There’s no way this whole thing isn’t political.

Catching up with the Blog Before Dawn

With the West Coast burning and Disneyland still closed, it’s easy to make plans to fly to Florida and go to Disney World. As I get up to feed the cats before sunrise and peek at the dirt backyard, It’s easy to remember my early mornings on my Florida lanai as the sun was just starting to break through the dawn.

But I’m a West Coast girl through and through and can never be away for long.

This year has not been kind to any of us, including the West Coast. This weekend would have been our second attempt to attend the Knotts Berry Farm Festivals – “Taste of Calico” and “Taste of Knotts,” but we cancelled because of the San Bernardino Fires and excessive heat in SoCal. The first we cancelled because Rich had to have emergency dental surgery. So…. we’ve bought tickets for the third event for next month – something about Fall o’Ween. Here’s hoping we actually make that.

Disneyland is making progress with opening a few stores/restaurants at Downtown Disney and now indoor dining has just opened. We were there for my birthday in July – World of Disney shopping followed by lunch at Uva Bar. That’s the last post I posted.

Now that indoor dining is permitted, perhaps we’ll get to Napa Rose for Thanksgiving after all. That’s the one hope that prevents us from seriously booking a Florida trip, although I’m not sure we’re up for flying 4-5 hours wearing a mask with no cocktail to get us through the flight – lol!

But if cruising starts up later this year in Florida with no hope for us actually getting into Disneyland any time soon (due to allowing in the back log of people before any new tickets are sold), and certainly no sign of cruising out here, we may just have to fly to Florida after all.

 

Happy 65th Birthday Disneyland: Our First Trip Back to Downtown Disney (#YouTube #Disneyland65)

Happy 65th Birthday, Disneyland! This was the day Disneyland chose to reopen nut the state of California (ie Governor Newsom) rejected them. And the way he keeps shutting down the state, who knows when Disneyland will open again.

But our recent trip to Downtown Disney was a real pick-me-up to help tide us over. We’d hoped to get back to Anaheim for Rich’s birthday and had made reservations at the Hilton (while we were lunching at Uva Bar at Downtown Disney), but Hilton just cancelled them. They’re not opening by mid August after all.

Listening to Walt’s opening speech on July 17, 1955, I knew I had to update our youtube channel with a video of our recent time at Downtown Disney. The video starts with our driving by the Grand Californian, on to the Simba parking lot, and then Downtown Disney, concluding with lunch at the Uva Bar (Catal).

The Downtown Disney/Newport Beach Birthday Trip

Yes, we did it. We finally decided to go forward with staying at the beach, booking outside dining at Tommy Bahama in Newport Beach for my birthday dinner, and the next day lunch and shopping at Downtown Disney. It was pretty awesome. And we felt totally safe. People were wearing masks (definitely at Disney) and most other places we went, too. Life felt almost normal – certainly nothing like what you read in the media. Ugh!

The tyrant governor newsom should investigate his “data” a little more thoroughly and figure out where, exactly, these spikes are coming from and the reasons for them. Because I could see no reason for them or the closures where we were. Of course, we stayed outside and chose wisely. It did seem a bit more loose when we drove by the donut shop on Newport Beach. People were wearing masks but I couldn’t say they stood 6 feet away from each other. Maybe that doesn’t matter as much if you’re wearing a mask?

Here are some photos from the trip starting with the birthday dinner at Tommy Bahama, Newport Beach, kicking it off with a Mai Tai:

First Sip

Incredible Calamari with Cilantro Slaw (shared appetizer)

Rich’s Ribs

Kathy’s Coconut Shrimp

Key Lime Pie to share (Rich insisted – lol)

First Cut

First Bite

Evening walk on Huntington Beach

Everything was delicious and we took half the rack of ribs and a couple of shrimp back to our beach hotel for dinner the next night.

The next day we drove to Downtown Disney at around 11 am to secure a parking spot in Simba Parking Lot before it was full.

The CMs teased us that Rich was wearing an Angels mask, and Kathy was wearing a Dodgers mask (to match her blue outfit,she explained). Yeah, right, they said – lol!

Not sure a Dodgers mask goes with a Mickey hat – lol!

We stood in line for about half an hour for entry to World of Disney (nothing compared to those who arrive later in the day).

In line, waiting to enter the World of Disney

After the walk from the Simba parking lot, temp check, and security, 30 minutes in line for World of Disney, 45 minutes and $200 of shopping later, we were desperate to take off our masks at the Uva Bar and have a drink and some lunch.

Scanning the menu from the iPhone

Rich toasts Kathy’s birthday with a glass of Spanish Chardonnay

Enjoying the atmosphere, company, and refreshments at the Uva Bar in Downtown Disney

Rich’s Fish Tacos (Garlic Fries substituted for Sweet Potato Fries)

Kathy’s American Cheeseburger, Garlic Fries, and a Glass of Argentinian Malbec

Lunching at the Uva Bar at Downtown Disney was Magical! We felt safe and it was so like us that we didn’t even feel cheated that Disneyland or DCA weren’t open. We’re just waiting for the Grand Californian to reopen. Oh, and our server noticed the Angels and Dodgers masks and said her boyfriend was Angels but she was Dodgers. lol! The food was delicious and we took half the fries back to our beach hotel for dinner, but they didn’t heat up well. Darn! They were so yummy!

We returned to our beach hotel and admired our World of Disney shopping haul: Baby Yoda plush, 65th Anniversary Photo Frame, “the child” top for Kathy, coral top for Kathy, the Mandalorian t-shirt for Rich, Disneyland 65th Anniversary socks for Rich, Star Wars mask for Rich, Baby Yoda mask, and Mickey Mouse mask (matches her purse) for Kathy.

All in all, it was an awesome and much-needed trip and great birthday celebration even though we were originally disappointed that Napa Rose wouldn’t be open. It was nice to change it up. We’ll see what’s open for Rich’s birthday.

We’ll be uploading some new videos on YouTube.

I Love Masks, Fireworks, the Making of Frozen II, Disney World, and Church

This morning we stopped at Albertson’s for our weekly grocery shopping and for the first time since “The Bob,” I was actually in a grocery store. It was early on a Sunday morning so it wasn’t busy at all, especially the morning after the 4th of July firework shows lasting until well past midnight. Really cool displays all around us, so that was fun, but eventually, I really wanted to get to sleep. 🙂

Anyway, I realized wearing my mask this morning that I was starting to like it, if not love it, because it gives me my own personal space from other people. I didn’t have a panic attack. My ears didn’t hurt. I didn’t get a headache, although it wasn’t for that long of a time. Honestly, we both hope that some of these “social distancing” measures stay in place well beyond this Pandemic. We don’t need to sit or stand up close to strangers. We don’t need to dine so close, you can hear others’ conversations and vice versa. Dining alfesco can be pretty awesome.

We’ve been watching the making of Frozen II on Disney Plus. Totally LOVE it!!! I or rather we both prefer this over the making of the Mandalorian, although that’s cool, too, but much more technical. The making of Frozen II has story and music and animation and reminds us both of our Silicon Valley days. Stressful, yes, hard work – oh yeah, but a heckuva lot of fun!

Since I’m now retired from the tech world but spending my days writing and producing music, I miss that interaction. Writing and music are both so solitary. I mean, I love my alone time, but I also like some communal teamwork time, too. Anyway, it’s inspired me to act as if I have a team – lol! I’ve got plans to decorate my studio accordingly.

Adam the Woo flew to Orlando yesterday so I’m looking forward to seeing his videos (and others) of the opening of the parks in WDW. Still haven’t heard exactly if/how Downtown Disney is going to open on Thursday so we can make more concrete plans. Really frustrated with Disneyland or rather California and thinking of seeing if we can do WDW later this year.

Just when we were able to get back to church, we got word that our priest was exposed to “the Bob” and so he will be quarantining for the next couple weeks and there will be no church services.