Turning 29 Again at Disneyland, Day 2, Part 2: DCA

We entered Security at DD but it was a breeze, although Rich did have to remove his celebration pin. When we headed through the DCA gates, the CM said, “You need to have a real birthday button” and told us where to get it inside DCA. So we stopped in at the 5 and Dime and got one. They were so friendly and wished Rich a “Happy Birthday” and gave me one that said, “I’m Celebrating with Rich.”

It was hot and we were early for our Lamplight Lounge ressie, so we decided to have a drink at Carthay Circle Lounge, but, first, had to wait in line to be admitted. We were originally going to celebrate Rich’s birthday in the Carthay Circle Restaurant but decided to do Catal the night before and not use up our park time for a sit down dinner.

After about 10 minutes, we were admitted and seated in a cozy table for two. I had the amazing “Carthay Martini,” of course, and Rich had a “Scotch Mist,” considered to be “Walt’s drink of choice,” which is now Rich’s drink of choice.

We were enjoying the atmosphere so much, we decided to order a snack. We got the Vietnamese Beef Tacos, which were so scrumptious! We had an awesome server (Mark) who teased us about hearing Lamplight Lounge call us when we asked for the check. Next time, we’ll just stay there.

Scotch Mist: known to be Walt’s drink of choice – Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch with a Lemon Peel served over Crushed Ice

Carthay Martini: classically prepared with Hendrick’s Gin or Double Cross Vodka, Lillet Blanc Dry Vermouth and Gourmet Blue Cheese Truffle Olives served with an Ice Sphere

Vietnamese Twice-cooked Beef Tacos with fresh Pineapple-Mint Salsa

We then moved on to Lamplight Lounge via the Golden Vine Vineyard and Winery, one of our old favorite hangouts.

Golden Vine Vineyard

Golden Vine Winery

We’d heard so much about the Lamplight Lounge, although we were not fans of the Cove Bar, which was the original watering hole here. The CMs were friendly enough and we had the most incredible Salmon Sandwich that we shared and would go back just for that, but the atmosphere was just “Meh.” I think it might be better outside after dark, but it was hot and we were happy to be seated inside.

Rich reads the Lamplight Lounge Menu

Salmon Sandwich Photo from Touring Plans

We walked around and caught up with new stuff on Pixar Pier, shared a Churro (not the best – better at Fantasyland cart), rode Little Mermaid, Luigis, and Mater for the first time, which we now love more than Luigis. We stopped in at the Cozy Cone for an ice cream cone. We also did our Radiator Springs Racers watch after dark, which is so awesome. Watching may be even more fun than riding, especially with the 90-minute wait.

Stopping for a Churro

Luigi’s

The Cozy Cone

Pixar Pier

Our Lamplight Lounge Video (from iPhone)

Our Radiator Springs Racers Video (from iPhone)

We did our usual peek-in at the merch at Rushin River Outfitters, but didn’t find anything. The atmosphere at night is just so awesome. We walked through the GC on our way out, with a quick walk through the gift shop, a breeze through Security, and a walk back through DD, which was pretty quiet on a Sunday night.

Rich and the Hat he did not get

Overall, it was a very special birthday for Rich (and me), and we had a lot of fun, although the 7.5 miles would take a while to recover from. đŸ™‚

 

 

Turning 29 Again at Disneyland, Day 2, Part 1

For the intro (rant) for Day 2, click on this post. To pick up with Disneyland, continue reading below.

Eventually… we moved step by step to the front gates and we entered with our mobile ticket and at one point thought we were getting early admission. But no, they now let guests line up at the beginning of each land, instead of holding you on Main Street. Alas, no joy there so we turned around and went to the Market, the only place open, for some breakfast.

I found a seat and Rich got us a couple of coffees and two chocolate croissants, whic were truly amazingly delicious. We enjoyed our breakfast, and made our way to Frontierland, which had a humongous line for the Galaxy’s Edge ride, whatever that’s called, I can never remember (Millennium Falcon).

We decided to sit down at a table in front of Jolly Holiday, which was not yet open, and waited for the park to open and the crowd to die down. Our main objective was to get to Oga’s Cantina for our 10:45 reservation.

The park opened and the line began moving and we weren’t sure what the best way to get to Oga’s Cantina was. We asked a security guard and he told us the most direct way would be through the gate past Big Thunder Mountain. We headed that way, but a CM redirected us to the gate past Hungry Bear Restaurant, which, apparently, is the only gate open at park opening.

We noticed Haunted Mansion was empty, so we jumped in an almost nonexistent line and got right on the ride, which was so cool since it was the 50th anniversary of its opening. That was fun. We were moving so fast, we forgot to take any pics.

Then we found our way to Galaxy’s Edge and noticed the line for the ride was humongous. We passed on that – have no interest in that ride – and had to ask for directions on how to get to Oga’s Cantina. Galaxy’s Edge is open and empty and hard to find anything because of the almost nonexistent, non descript signage. I predict they will have to fix this land, more signage, snack and drink options, and Disneyfy it the way they had to do for Epcot and DCA.

We checked into Oga’s and were seated at a booth with one other couple, but then they left and a few adults with about 6-8 kids sat their kids down at the booth while they all stood at a nearby table. The kids misbehaved and took over the table. Eventually, the CM came by and I stood to tell her we were not with them and were there first. She snapped at me with, “I’m aware of that.” Okie dokie!

We got our drinks: Margarita for me (Outer Rim), and a Bourbon thing for Rich (Jet Juice), which he pronounced as very good. We were next to DJ Rex, so I got up and danced with him, taking video and having a really good time. Going in, we thought we’d want to get a booth, but ended up enjoying standing and walking around more. It was a really fun atmosphere and inspired me to produce more DJ-type music. So fun!!!

After our drink and our 45 minutes were up, we asked directions for Ronto Roasters and each got a Ronto Wrap (delicious!) Then we made our way out of Galaxy’s Edge, and out of the park. My hip was starting to hurt and we’d accomplished what we’d set out to accomplish at Disneyland. Time to nap at the Disneyland Hotel to rest up for the evening at DCA. But we did stop off at Salt & Straw to get a cup of ice cream to share and the CM gave it to Rich for free for his birthday (he was wearing the hotel “I’m Celebrating” button — more on birthday pins later).

Impressions of Galaxy’s Edge — I thought I’d be more excited about a new land at Disneyland, but it just wasn’t my thing, at least, not yet. Oga’s Cantina was the real star – that was my favorite part about Star Wars. Ronto Roasters and the shops were fun. Rich got a Black Spire Output t-shirt, which is cool. We’d like to go back to Oga’s and maybe eat at Docking Bay.

Photos below (no captions, self-explanatory, I think). Videos following photos.

YouTube Videos:

Main Street, Part 1

Main Street, Part 2

Waiting for Rope Drop

Millennium Falcon Line at Jolly Holiday

Millennium Falcon Line Starts to Move

Chewy at Galaxy’s Edge

First Look at Oga’s Cantina

DJ Rex at Oga’s Cantina

Oga’s Cantina Cocktails at the Bar

 

Turning 29 Again at Disneyland Resort, Day 1, Part 1

If you’d like to peek ahead, check out the Rich’s Birthday at Galaxy’s Edge, Disneyland playlist on YouTube.

We’d had many plans for Rich’s birthday – when we were living in Florida we’d even booked a Med cruise, but, alas, with the move back west, we had to scale down those plans. But celebrating at Disney is always fun, right?

Staying onsite these days is reserved for special events, and this was pretty special, so we booked the Disneyland Hotel. Unsure about our future travel plans and with the AP we were interested in blocked still, we did not purchase an AP, but got a one-day park hopper to focus on catching up with what’s new, such as Galaxy’s Edge.

While Rich got in the check-in line, Kathy waited in the tea cup in the lobby, and after dropping off our bags in our pool view room, we changed into our swimsuits with a stop at Tangaroa Terrace for some lunch. We snagged a table outside, Rich ordered a Mai Tai and Kathy a Margarita, shared some Pulled Pork Nachos, and an order of Asian Chicken Wings. Tasty and refreshing. It was a hot afternoon and the whole pool area (Tangaroa Terrace) was packed.

After our lunch snack, we headed for the pool, but no chairs were available so like many others, we stacked our stuff on a cement wall and jumped in the pool for a refreshing dip. When we returned to our stuff, this big guy was sitting on our stuff but when I said, “You’re sitting on our stuff,” he got up and just stood there while we got dressed. Really strange, if not rude.

After the pool, we rested until time to get ready for Rich’s birthday dinner at Catal (and Kathy snuck in some birthday room decorations while Rich was out of the room).

 

 

 

Cruising the Mexican Riviera on the Crown Princess in a Mini-Suite

I’m having so much fun creating videos from my iPad (far easier than iMovie on my Mac desktop), so I’m uploading some of my favorites to YouTube. This was an early celebration of our 20th Anniversary cruise in April, 2016, but then we cruised again on the actual anniversary in August – that video will be posted next.

#Mexico #cruising #Princess #CrownPrincess #MexicanRiviera #cruises #minisuite

Port Canaveral: Cruising from Central Florida

Looking back at our most recent time living in Central Florida, we feel immense gratitude for yet another Florida adventure, this time living closer to the beach than Disney World, enjoying beach bars and hanging out at Port Canaveral.

We even celebrated Rich’s birthday cruising to the Bahamas on the Carnival Liberty. So I put together a little video celebrating that time.

Port Canaveral is expanding so whether you’re a local, cruising solely, or combining your cruise with a trip to Disney World, I hope you enjoy it. If so, please like and subscribe to this blog and on youtube.

Thank you!

#Mexico #cruising #Princess #Carnival #Liberty #Bahamas #cruising #Carnival #Cruises #CentralFlorida #DisneyWorld #Florida #fiction

 

 

Cruise Ship Piano Bars/Lounges

One of our favorite things to do on a cruise ship is hang out in one of the lounges with live entertainment, such as the piano bar. Like many cruisers, we started out doing the theatre thing, but gradually backed off from that as our main source of entertainment.

Carnival definitely lives up to its “Fun Ship” theme, and here are a couple of quick videos we shot on the iPhone in the piano bar.

Raspberry Beret

Benny and the Jets

Catching Up With Tasty Treats at Disney and the Beach, Day 3

We woke up feeling like we’d accomplished all we’d set out to do on this trip and thought about driving back home. Maybe it was the overcast skies. We were missing waking up to the desert sunshine. But then we became aware of a bit more business we needed to take care of in Irvine so we repeated yesterday’s breakfast/coffee routine, and drove back to Irvine. It was quite a successful morning, and we were glad we stayed.

By lunch  time we made our way back up PCH to Duke’s in Huntington Beach, noticing the heavy traffic in the opposite direction. Oh yeah, it was some big Volleyball championship going on off the pier – lol! So we left the Challenger with Valet and were seated in the bar since we wanted to eat off the regular menu and not the brunch.

Rich had the Waikiki Classic, which was ribs, chicken, rice, and macaroni salad with a Mai Tai, and I had the coconut shrimp off the appetizer menu with a Margarita since it was Cinco de Mayo or as Rich called it “Cinco de Mai Tai.”

After lunch, we walked the Huntington Beach pier, looking in shops and soaking up the beautiful day.

We returned to the room for our usual nap, and then got up to get ready for Mass at our favorite church. It was a huge blessing for us, outdoing even the last time we were there.

The day had been so wonderful, we were thankful we hadn’t left that morning.