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Disney World, Disneyland, Protests, Birthday Trip, The Bob, and Other Ramblings

Like most of my ramblings, similar to Adam the Woo’s, these are just thoughts rambling around my brain at the moment. And most are based on what I’m watching and reading. To hear Adam’s thoughts about Disneyland opening, check out today’s video. I totally can’t wait to be in the neighborhood again! I am so missing my SoCal life!!

It was good to see Pete and friends of the DIS dining at the Wave at Disney World. It’s also nice to see what progress is being made at a Disney theme park I might actually go to. With no word on what will be open at Downtown Disney when it opens July 9, it’s hard to make birthday dinner plans. Hope we get some news soon, or we might be planning a trip back to Florida – lol.

It’s disheartening to read reports of spikes in “the Bob.” In spite of my resistance to being told to wear a mask, just know that I do wear one in requested places, and I expect others to do the same. A lot of talk about these spikes but nobody seems to remember the protests where thousands of people across the country (and world) stood shoulder to shoulder without wearing one.

Speaking of protests, I must say, this is what I like to see: members of the BLM movement with peaceful police interaction, although I wish the BLM person had been wearing a mask. I applaud him for approaching the officer and asking if he thought he was a bad person for protesting (or something like that).

Orange County Register, June 24, 2020

We are planning the birthday trip carefully, choosing to avoid places with crowds, although if we were to go to Downtown Disney, I’m trusting Disney will enforce social distancing. All of this remains to be seen. Just wish they would release the specifics of what they’re planning.

FreshBaked was recently in Palm Springs and concerned over the lack of social distancing with the crowds and wondering if we’re ready for Disneyland to open, if this is the way people insist on behaving. The difference is, I would think, is that Disney will enforce it. Palm Springs isn’t, at least not out on the sidewalks.

As Adam the Woo said, Disney seems to be ready, but the public may not be.

 

More Cruise Cancellations (#cruising #OasisoftheSeas #RealWomenWearRed)

After last Friday’s big whopper announcement from the CLIA, today Carnival Cruise Lines announced their cancellations through September and some even October.

Our money is on no cruises on any of the major cruise lines until next year. And why we cancelled the late November, early February and even August Princess cruises, because we had a triple plan: 2 short cruises and then we’d make Platinum for the 25th anniversary Med cruise in August.

Final payment for the late November cruise was September and without any ships sailing before then to show us how the ships are going to handle this Bob thing and whether the experience appeals to us before final payment wasn’t going to happen. We’re not sure we want to commit to any cruise until we see what it’s going to look like. The only cruise we still have a deposit on is in 2022.

We’re also in wait mode for Disneyland and WDW – we want to see what the experience looks like before we make any plans – when we can make plans because we don’t have an AP at either park. So, it’s very doubtful cruising or Disney is in the cards for 2020 for us.

Our Oasis of the Seas video is still climbing (68K as of right now), but it’s fewer than 25 seconds so I cannot use any of the YouTube tools to promote our channel. I uploaded it for fun and was ignorant of Youtube requirements or really any possibilities for the channel. I since uploaded a longer one of Oasis of the Seas Part 2, but it hasn’t caught on quite like the original.

I would like to bring your attention to the “Cruise the Caribbean with the Women of Real Women Wear Red” (and Real Women Sing the Blues) video. That was so much fun – brought back the excitement of when the first book was first published.

I’m playing at working on the third book in the “Real Women” series that my agent had requested back then. Sales aren’t what they once were, so I’m not sure about the time commitment, especially because I’ve been so focused on writing/producing electronic dance music (EDM). But sales are picking up again, motivating me to get back into the writing groove.

Let me know if you’d like to see more of this.

All of Life is an Argument: Church, Masks, Disney vs Cruising, etc.

I’m happy to say I finally made it back to church and wore my Angels mask for an hour. I’d tried the neck thingie first, but it felt too claustrophobic with too much material, too tight around my neck, and overall felt more uncomfortable even though it was thinner. I mean, it was 102 yesterday.

But, have you noticed, I mean, how could you not, right? How all of life has become political? Every little thing you say or do is now scrutinized and judged. and argued Whether it’s going to the grocery store, eating in a restaurant, wearing a mask, opening Disney parks or cruise ships, or not, etc., etc.

There is such passion around the tiniest piece of life today and it’s all made political whether you want it to be or mean it to be or not. All of these arguments taking place on social media and behind-the-scenes are now internalized so that should you make what seems to you to be an innocent comment, the person shouts at you as if you’re arguing with him/her because the arguments (s)he’s been involved in are taking place in his/h34 head. The audience he/she) is now speaking to has changed, but his/her way of communicating has not.

For example:

  • I read in the paper about the phases of re/opening and the governor shouts “it’s science!”
    Who said it wasn’t? Not I.
  • The priest at the church says we must all wear masks and he is enforcing it, stating what he told one person who disagreed with him, “use your brain.”
    Okay, I think we all were wearing masks at the time he stated this.
  • I hang out with a cruise channel’s impromptu live chat last night to talk about the latest news that all cruise lines have suspended sailing until fall. We’re talking about “plan B.” I mention my plan B is Disney, but that’s tricky, too, because it’s all a waiting situation in both. She goes on a rampage about how cruise ships are safe and cleaner than any Disney park with rides and kids, and all the ICK that goes with it.
    I wasn’t engaged in a “what’s worse argument.” Besides, who says we’re talking about rides? We do what they do on cruise ships – mostly eat and drink.
  • A vlogger talks about Disneyland opening and his companion insists quite passionately that Disney parks cannot open before professional sports.
    Wow!

It’s all wearing me out.

I read this cool quote from one of the desert fathers (from the Wisdom of the Desert), and I think he may have been onto something (similar to Matthew 10:14):

If anyone speaks to you about any matter, do not argue with him. But if he speaks rightly, say, “Yes.” If he speaks wrongly, say to him, “You know what you are saying.” But do not argue with him about the things he has said. Thus, your mind will be at peace.

 

Knott’s Berry Farm, California Missions, and Friendly Masks

What I’m Watching:

Knott’s Berry Farm is one of my favorite childhood hangouts. We went there often as a family. The first time I knew what my parents were spelling out was when they said we were going to K-n-o-t-t-s B-e-r-r-y F-a-rm.

We were in the car and I recognized what my mother was spelling and shouted, “Knott’s Berry Farm!” lol! That’s when my mother knew spelling in front of the kids would no longer work. Ironically, Knott’s was also the celebratory place we went after I won the 6th grade spelling bee.

Impromptu visit to Knott’s after school with my cousins (me in the dress)

My favorite parts about Knott’s is the old Knott’s, the mining town, Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant, the Reflection Chapel, and the Missions of California.

I loved studying and visiting the missions in school. I would come home and talk nonstop about “Father (now Saint) Junipero Serra,” which was pretty funny since my grandmother was busy trying to impart her Jehovah’s Witness religion on us.

In those days, my mother put on pretenses whenever her mother was around and my grandmother influenced me greatly when I stayed with her. But I like to say I met Jesus in those Missions through Saint Serra.

So, instead of being all caught up with the things we can’t do, I’m trying to focus on the things we can do. And so we’re planning on having lunch at Mrs. Knott’s during my birthday trip. The Marketplace is now open and it will be fun to see it again.

  • Disney Springs with Tim Tracker

Also, I’ve noticed that seeing people wearing masks doesn’t freak me out quite as much when I see friendly people I recognize wearing them. And speaking of masks, Tim Tracker has been trying out several different ones and his latest one in his Disney Springs video looks promising.

I’d tried the neck thingie he wore in his Moss Park video, but it’s tight around my neck and I still can’t breathe wearing it, but the Disney Springs mask might be worth a try, especially with the strap thingie he wears so his ears aren’t being pulled – that’s another issue I’ve found.

We still haven’t heard what/if restaurants at Downtown Disney will be open when it opens July 9, so we’ve made reservations at a beach restaurant for my birthday (impressed by their social protocols they have in place). But we’re hoping to pop in to DD, if it looks like it will work for us. Disneyland and the hotels won’t be open before my birthday so they will have to wait until the August trip.

It’s hard to make any plans during this time because we just don’t know what things are available and what they will look like. So we will have to remain flexible. I’m looking forward to the trip, though, and getting back to frequent trips to Disneyland and the beach from our new home in Las Vegas.

Mandalorian, Star Wars, California Face Masks, Cruise Cancellations, Disneyland Petition

(Warning: the following is a rambling of facts and opinions in a stream of consciousness.)

We’ve been watching the “behind the scenes” story of the Mandalorian, which, for the most part, has been interesting. My main issue with it is when people who have not lived through something make assumptions and statements that just aren’t true. Like they were surprised when George Lucas made a prequel to Star Wars, asking whether he’d even thought about it early on. Well, having been there, I remember that was rumored early on. That’s one of the things that made it all so intriguing.

The other statement the directors made, most, of who were just teens or kids when Star Wars came out, was that the theme is “family.” It’s not about family. That’s the concept everybody loves to use today. Family is money in today’s climate – family is the new religion. No, Star Wars was originally about a boy searching for his father and, therefore, his own identity. That’s the part that grabbed my attention. No doubt because I, also, was searching for my father, even though I called some other man “dad.” And any search for identity also has a spiritual aspect to it.

Other than the search for his father in Star Wars, I much prefer the Mandalorian and would love to see its presence in Galaxy’s Edge. I mean, Baby Yoda is just too cute!

Baby Yoda Balloon at Disney Springs

And now on the face mask issue in California. You may have read that the California Governor has deemed them required, overriding counties. I hate this time we’re living in. When Governors deem it necessary to overstep their bounds. And perhaps it is necessary sometimes – some people just can’t be trusted. But it reminds me of life in the Jamestown show (from the Downton Abbey people) we’re binge-watching.

I read that several restaurants in Orange County seem to have no health & safety strategy in place and thoughtless people stand just as close to you as ever, wearing no masks. I’ve never enjoyed people pressing in on me. I need my space, and, as it turns out, it’s a good health practice. With my birthday trip coming up, we’re trying to plan carefully where we can celebrate.

I’ve also read that now the petition to not open Disneyland has 35,000 signatures. If people don’t feel safe, they can stay home. We each have that decision to make. Because the world needs to be open. We can’t just hide under our beds, although, it’s tempting to say, “please wake me when it’s over.”

We cancelled all three cruises we’d booked. Princess refunded our deposits in a couple of weeks, so that was pretty fast with all the delays we’d heard about. We just can’t imagine enjoying cruising once they do sail again. At least, not yet.

As for Disneyland, I’m looking forward, I think, to seeing people in the parks again, although it breaks my heart to see humans wearing masks and keeping necessary distances. It’s not natural. It’s not what Disneyland is about. What a sad world we live in.

I suppose the biggest tragedy for me during all of this is that my illusions about the world have been shattered. But maybe that’s a good thing. There’s only one way to “be at peace in the storm.”

My Orange County (CA) Life: Nostalgia, Disneyland, and Denny Pezzin

This morning Adam of The Daily Woo is eating his meal (Denny’s) at his favorite location outside the Anaheim Convention Center, talking about whether he will be interested in securing entrance to the opening of Disneyland. Well, of course, we would all love to since it’s happening on Disneyland’s 65th anniversary.

It’s really hard for me to be cut off from Disneyland. It’s one reason we moved back West each time we moved to Florida. The easy access to Disney World and the beach in Florida couldn’t compare to the much longer 4-hour drive to Disneyland and the beach from Las Vegas. Disneyland is special to many people, but especially to those who grew up there and maybe even more so to those who grew up there but no longer live there. Disneyland is family.

The years I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, working in Silicon Valley, were filled with trips to Disneyland just to touch that childhood nostalgia. My mother tells the story of us watching it being built when I was quite small and my step dad was in Korea. As soon as his stint was over, we went to Disneyland for the first time with my mother, step dad, his daughter (Sherry), and me. You might have seen this photo before:


Disneyland: then and now (me on the lower right, afraid of the “old Lady” in the rocking chair)

This was taken several years ago, perhaps around 2010. We updated the (now) version in the same spot just last summer when we were there on Rich’s birthday.

August 2019

As so many of us, I was also aware of being in Disneyland when Walt was walking around Main Street. My mother, ever so discreet, would say quietly, “There’s Walt.”

Back to my Silicon Valley days with trips to Disneyland in the 1990s. I would often stay at my favorite Embassy Suites where Denny Pezzin would perform his “One Man Show.”

Since then, he’d moved to Florida when we were there the second time around. His father was living there after his mother died and Denny was there to help him during his time of grief. Denny and his wife have since moved back to SoCal in the desert area where he performs at various venues with some trips to the OC (at least before the “Bob” affected our lives).

I subscribe to his YouTube channel and he uploads a performance daily (or close to it). So check out today’s Denny Pezzin performance, an Elvis Medley, “The Wonder of You” and “One Night With You.”

I’m really feeling the pull of my childhood and younger days and can’t wait to get back to my Orange County and Disneyland, especially Galaxy’s Edge, DJ Rex, and Oga’s Cantina.

Rich enjoying a Jet Juice at Oga’s Cantina

Grooving to DJ Rex

Missing Theme Parks – Are We On the Wrong Coast?

(Warning: this is a bit of a rant with contradictory emotions!)

I’m really missing theme parks. Even Universal Florida and Sea World look fun as I watch Mouse Steps and Tim Tracker videos, and I normally skip them. I’m a bit frustrated with California and its slowness to open. Now I feel like this is the wrong time to be out West – lol! (Especially since 1000s have signed a petition to NOT open Disneyland yet).

And Mr. CheezyPop (originally from New York) sits in his apartment in Los Angeles and complains about Orange County lifting their mask restrictions. Normally, I adore him. But, like any OC girl who avoids anything L.A. I’d like to say, “Mind your own business.” Especially if you’re not even from California. Sheesh! I’m really sick of this global world and people sticking their noses into other people’s business. Boundaries, people. Boundaries.

Earlier in the Pandemic, I was glad we were back West, but I’ve had enough of closures. We haven’t been to Disneyland since Rich’s birthday last August and in SoCal in general since last September. Our focus has been on building/buying/moving into this new house ever since we went under contract last October. This is a long time for us to stay put, especially in Nevada when our recreation is in SoCal. That’s one reason we moved to Florida three times – Disney and the beach within reach. Unless you’re in a Pandemic, of course. Lol! But at least they’ve opened or are opening in Florida. In California, who knows?

We definitely won’t be celebrating my birthday at Napa Rose this year since the Grand Californian isn’t supposed to open until July 24th. Or is it the 23rd? I don’t know, I’m so pissed about all of this, I try not to even think about it, let alone read about it.

The problem is… people are the problem. You think maybe things could open safely if we took precautions but many people just won’t do it. I get it. I don’t get it. I hate this whole situation. As someone who already struggles with depression, I have to say, this only makes it worse. (Apparently, this has become quite the problem worldwide during this time.)

But plans are afoot – the OC Register posted an article here. But every article you read about this situation includes a recap of why things have “shuttered.”

That brings me to words/phrases I have come to despise:

shutter
pause
shelter in place
Coronavirus or Covid-19

I’m just rambling today I know. There are good days when I can immerse myself in writing and music. There are not so good days when I can’t. All I can do today is watch videos of people in theme parks. And that makes me smile, and long to do the same.

 

Why Did We Leave Las Vegas?”

The question we’ve asked ourselves more than once during this long, arduous time has been, “Why did we leave Las Vegas?” If we hadn’t, we could have avoided much of the emotional and financial stress, although nobody has any idea what they would have to deal with had they taken a different road.

It would have been comforting to have been in familiar surroundings during all of this, like the second time around when we moved back into our home. But we sold the Vegas home before we moved to Florida last time, and that enabled us to buy the Florida home. That had been a difficult decision to make and we almost didn’t. Still, there were reasons to go. But if we’d known we would leave Las Vegas only to return to Las Vegas, I doubt we would have left. I guess that’s why you can’t see into the future.

When I started thumbing through our photos and vids, I remembered all the fun and excitement of our 18 months in Florida the last time around, including building a beautiful home in a golf course community near the beach. A dream come true! So I put together a video to be able to remember and reflect on that special time in our lives, even with all its difficulties.

This video takes you from the “Welcome to Florida” sign to landing in a local apartment, to house hunting, touring model homes, picking out options from the model home, beaches, tiki bars, Walt Disney World, and the last few gorgeous sunsets from our Florida home.

I now have the answer to the question, “Why did we leave Las Vegas?” We would have missed out on all of this:

Hope you enjoy. Don’t forget to like and subscribe. Thank you.

Margarita Monday with Sharon at Sea #Cruise #Travel #amwriting

Okay, so our new latest thing is hanging out with Sharon at Sea and the gang on YouTube on Monday nights. We’ve even reserved a cabin for one of their group cruises, and are considering a second one.

So all of this having happened last night, got me excited to make a video for my novels Real Women Wear Red and the sequel, Real Women Sing the Blues, to replace the one I had on youtube years ago (before Goggle bought it and messed it al up). I kept thinking I’d try to recreate one, albeit, a bit different than before, but I did keep the same music. It’s just too perfect.

Maybe we can’t cruise right now but it’s such fun to hang out with other cruise lovers, and to relive the glory days of writing these two novels, remembering our past cruises.

“Dear Kitten” and Other Laguna Beach Fun

I’m watching Adam the Woo’s video for today, one in a series of local SoCal food locations offering take-out, pick-up, drive-thru, etc. Lo and behold, he’s at the first Taco Bell in Orange County in Laguna Beach.

Well, once again, the Woo is taking me back to my childhood and teen years. I even based a short story on Laguna Beach in Dear Kitten. Laguna Beach will be one of my first destinations sometimes this summer, hopefully, for my birthday.

Dear Kitten…

Dear Kitten, My Favorite Pussycat,

Love,
TomKat

Kitty Arness hasn’t been called “Kitten” since her college days. So when a chance encounter reunites her with an old love on Laguna Beach, she realizes she longs to be “Kitten” one more time.

Still hurting from the breakup all these years later, she must make a hard choice: to hold onto her pride or forgive and forget, especially when she reads the writing in the sand.

AVAILABLE NOW on amazon.com as a standalone or part of an anthology for your Kindle.

Cruises, Theme Parks, and Masks: Shall You? (#Covid19)

To borrow a phrase from Adam the Woo – lol!

Like us, you’ve probably been watching all the videos about the opening of Disney Springs, Universal Florida, and, perhaps Disney.

Masks are the norm now, especially with the news that the “Bob” isn’t really caught by touching surfaces but through cough, sneeze, and speech. David of FreshBaked seems to think this will be the new normal for the unforseeable future. I disagree. I don’t believe this is the “new normal” but the normal now – the in-between normal.

Soooo, will I retract my statement about avoiding places where masks are required unless absolutely necessary?

The Disney Springs video showed the CMs making it seem like fun, as I’m sure all of Disney will, and even the guests having fun does make me ask myself if it’s worth it, wearing a mask, that is, for the sake of fun? Even if the masks are tolerable, will it still be fun if you have to wear one? That’s the question Disney and other theme park fans are asking themselves, even if they’re willing to take the “risk.”

I will say I’m quite pleased by the positive approach from Disney Springs, Universal, and Carnival Cruise Lines. I’d much prefer to hear of potential openings, not cancellations and closures like most cruise lines and Disneyland.

We’ll be watching Carnival to see what happens with cruising changes and how it’s all handled. Will we still want to cruise? Right now we have 3 cruises booked with Princess. The first is the end of November, but since final payment is due September, their silence about their plans is a bit disconcerting. Not sure we will move forward with it (assuming it will still sail), if we haven’t had a chance to see how they’re handling it. We don’t plan on being the guinea pigs.

As for Disney World, I read that they submitted their plans for reopening but without a date. But I’ve heard nothing on the Disneyland front. Not sure Napa Rose will be open on my birthday, which is before Disneyland’s birthday on the 17th, which some are suggesting might be the reopening date. So many of us probably won’t really know what we will do until it’s time to do it.

Two4Disney on YouTube:

Btw, our Oasis of the Seas video is still climbing with almost 55,000 views as of today. Our subscribers are growing, too. Please join us by subscribing to our YouTube Channel.

PS – The top 3 YouTube channels we like for Disney and Cruising:

Disneyland (sometimes Disney World):

The Daily Woo

FreshBaked

MrCheezyPop

Cruising:

CruiseTipsTV

ScottSingerCruises

SharonatSea

Novels set on cruise ships:

Real Women Wear Red Book 1 and Book 2

Pool Shopping and First Restaurant Dining In Experience (#Covid19 #LasVegasOpen)

With restaurants dining in service opening up throughout the Las Vegas Valley, we first thought we’d drive out to the winery and heat lunch there. But with the temps heading for the 90s, we decided we’d rather go pool shopping. With a dirt backyard, we need to figure out what it is we’d like to do back there. So we donned our masks and headed for one of the fiberglass pool people out in Henderson, to check out their showroom and to get the details on pricing, etc.

The pools looked soooo appealing, especially on a hot day, but we were a bit put off by the pricing. We thought they’d be less expensive than a gunite, but, still, it seemed a bit out of our reach if we hoped to continue traveling when we can travel. That’s the thing, with the world shutting down, did we really want to depend on it for travel and recreation or depend on ourselves, although limited to our backyard and places nearby going forward?

But I have to tell you, if I could do it again, I wouldn’t wear a mask when we’re just interacting with one business owner and a cat. He wasn’t wearing a mask, and I almost fainted wearing mine. I just can’t breathe in these things. And it was awkward wearing when when the owner wasn’t. While Rich was wrapping things up, I went out to the car so I could take this thing off.

Then, being close to Lake Las Vegas, we wondered if our favorite Mexican restaurant was open so we called them. “Yes, come on down,” they said.

We parked in the garage like normal and it was busy. We took the elevator to avoid people on the stairs, and Rich cleaned his finger after pushing the buttons. Families were all over, although I think we all kept our space from each other. We then hiked down a long set of stairs to the restaurant area and I avoided using the handrail.

There was a sign indicating social distancing. We were seated in our favorite row of tables, but the middle table was taken out in our row to offer up that space. Yay! This is the way dining should have always been. I’m liking this social distancing.

Our waitress was wearing a mask, we got out our hand sanitizer (as we’ve been doing for decades), to use after we put our menus down and gave our order. I tell you, first thing up: a Margarita to recover from that whole mask experiences. Chips and salsa were delivered by another waiter wearing a mask.

Lunch was soon on the tables and I totally enjoyed my tacos and Rich loved his enchiladas. It felt soooo good to eat out again, one of our favorite ways to celebrate life.

Later, we stopped by Target to buy some rugs for the new house – there’s always something new to buy with a new house. The supply was quite low and, wearing that stupid mask, I just couldn’t think straight. We ended up not getting what I wanted for the master, but, instead, used it to decorate the kitty’s room – lol!

Summary: it was awesome to be dining out again, but I may try to avoid places that require a mask. Themed masks are kinda cute but still claustrophobic.

I’m loving social distancing – it’s the way it should have been anyway. I’ve never been a fan of close-in dining, overcrowded theme parks or cruise ships that keep getting bigger and bigger. But I am so waiting to see if Napa Rose opens by my birthday in July, It’s become my annual tradition. So sad if it doesn’t. I’ve had enough of the world being shut down. It’s way too depressing. Even if I’m not going places, I like to think other people are.

Btw, we found the rugs we were looking for online, but, as keeps happening, they wouldn’t accept our address. Our neighborhood is too new and they rejected it as not being legit. Believe me, we’ve been through this too many times to mention.