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).

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.

 

Birthday Trip: The “Plan C” Compromise

One reason I was up at first light is that I was thinking about Plan B (staying at Caesar’s), instead of driving to SoCal (Plan A) after Governor Newsom “dimmed” the lights on outside dining, bars, etc. At bedtime, we were both excited about Plan B. But somewhere during the night, I came up with Plan C, which is a bit of Plan A (SoCal) and Plan B (Vegas).

I still wanted to go to SoCal – it’s been too long since we’ve been during this house building project, and I need to see, smell, and hear the ocean. I need a road trip. It’s my birthday. So we will do the big dining celebration here in Vegas (Border Grill, one of my favorites), and then drive to SoCal for my birthday for a couple of days. It looks like Downtown Disney will open as planned with outside dining restrictions. You can read about it on AllEars. And we can drive down PCH to enjoy the ocean, and maybe even find a beach.

The other mood enhancers for today have been watching some DIS videos – here and here. I totally wouldn’t mind owning a Disney vacation home. 🙂

And I’m missing cruising. If you’re missing cruising, too, enjoy a virtual cruise here.

 

 

First Light in the Desert

One of my joys when we were living in New Smyrna Beach, Florida was the first light shining on the pond from our Lanai. I knew I would miss that. But, on the other hand, I absolutely adore first light in the desert, too. Sunsets and sunrises are simply gorgeous. And from our bedroom window on the second floor, we can even see the lights from the Strip.

Here’s the view from our living room window – the photo is from my iPhone and doesn’t do it justice:

The view of our “Tree of Life,” as we like to call it. Reminds us of Animal Kingdom.

I like to get up at first light, say the Divine Office along with the audio, write in my journal, and sip my coffee. It’s quiet and contemplative.

I think it’s important to focus on what we have during this difficult time for everybody. And this is my blessing.

Breaking News: California Shutdowns (including Orange County)

When I lived in California, I must confess I sometimes flipped people off. Okay, I was much younger then, but how can you not do that as part of the California lifestyle? Thankfully, since I left, I don’t think I’ve flipped anybody off – lol!

But I’m now ready to flip off California itself after that ridiculous Governor declared shut downs for 19 counties, including Orange County. I can’t really celebrate my birthday in my beloved childhood county (indoor restaurants closed and beach parking closed), my annual tradition whenever I’m not living in Florida.

We cancelled the trip. I think. How could we not? What are we supposed to do, order delivery from our hotel room? Peek at the ocean as we drive down PCH? I can’t imagine that Downtown Disney will open at all until later because these shut downs aren’t just for the 4th of July weekend, but for the next 3 weeks. Not much of a celebration. Will keep abreast, though.

 Screen shot of the video so it’s a bit screwy

San Diego is not on that list nor Napa, Sonoma, or San Mateo. So there are other counties to visit, but the birthday trip is a short trip and we cannot really go beyond Orange County. If things change in Orange County for our August trip, we might go then. But I’m sad and mad, having looked forward to this trip for so long.

In the meantime, Plan B is a staycation at Caesar’s Palace. Drinks out by the pool and a nice dinner out.

I really like how the Florida governor is handling this. Check out what he said in this post.

I did a little research on Governor Newsom and he is a typical Bay Area liberal – I lived there for 23 years and I recognize the sort. I also learned he’s another one of those Democratic Catholics I disagree with. So, having discovered he’s a fellow Catholic, I may have to forgive him. Okay, so maybe I won’t flip him off. 🙂

But reading this pisses me off all over again.

 

 

Independence Day – the Irony of It

Happy July!

Reading the OC Register this morning, I see that the California governor is going to tighten restrictions today. Who knows what that means but I’m hearing “bars and beaches.” Laguna Beach is talking about closing before the 4th of July. In fact, all of this is happening now to prevent a huge spike over Independence Day.

Oh the irony of that name. You may as well cancel the 4th, because, frankly, we don’t seem to have any independence these days.

But what does independence in this context mean anyway? The ability to not wear a mask? Not to stay socially distant? But if you don’t wear a mask, or stay socially distant, things close. Not much independence in being forced to stay home because nothing is open.

I’m especially concerned because for all intents and purposes, we’ve been locked down in Vegas since the end of September. Returning from our trip to California, we decided to go ahead and build a home here. During that time we were so focused and financially strapped and uneasy about leaving the cats with a new pet sitter in that strange rental, that we stayed in Las Vegas.

Ten months in Las Vegas straight is a record for us. Geographically and culturally, we’re basically a suburb of SoCal. And it’s normal for us to visit every six weeks or so during the warmer months of the year. Mostly Disneyland and the beach. And my old neighborhoods, of course. 🙂

No Napa Rose for my birthday celebration. And now maybe no beach. We’d give California the finger and cancel the trip if it we weren’t in such need right now to see the beach – the beach that belongs to not only California residents, but the entire country. Closing the beach is not the way to celebrate “Independence Day.”

I get it, but I don’t like it. Some people can’t be trusted and they’re deciding what I get to do and what I can’t do right now. Not feeling very independent at all.

Oh the irony. We escaped lockdown well before the 4th, so now we may be back under lockdown orders by the 4th!

First Trip Back to Disneyland Property

Watching this morning’s youtube video: the one where Katie and Spence (Best Life & Beyond) meet up with Adam the Woo and Pixar Charlie to bike/scooter the perimeter of Disneyland starting with the Anaheim Convention Center (site of the D23 Conference each year).

When I got my notification, I wasn’t too sure I wanted to peek in. I’ve been trying to focus on living without Disneyland. 50/90 starts on Saturday and that should occupy my attention through September. October brings Rocktober and in November, there’s something similar to NaNoWriMo (novel writing month) called NaSoAlMo (album writing month). Anyway, you get the idea. Keep me distracted so I can forget about this crazy world right now. I can’t keep up with its ups and downs. I don’t want to keep up with the ups and downs.

I also realized these songwriting groups (mostly male) do for me what the old men on the front porch did for me when I was a kid – you know, the one I wrote about in this post. A nice change from the women in the living room (aka women writers) talking about babies – lol!

Anyway, I’m thinking we’ll keep our ressies near Disneyland and try to get into Downtown Disney on my birthday weekend.

Mask Headache

Today we went to Home Depot. I wore my mask. After about ten/fifteen minutes, I was done. Instead of continuing our browsing, we finished our business so we could leave. I’ve noticed that after wearing a mask, I get a terrible headache around the back of my head, where I usually get stress headaches.

We keep hearing and reading of spikes in “The Bob.” Paul of The Motorhome Experiment, said in his Live show last night that the spikes in Florida are up because of the testing that’s being done everywhere. He calls it the “Corona Chaos.”

Sue, my DVC friend, calls it “medical theater,” and she works in some sort of state-run long-term residential facility.

I love their attitude.

I hate to hear of the spikes. But I have a feeling that none of my activities are spiking anything. Even without a mask. The spikes are probably more likely due to those who *must* gather closely together in crowds, throwing caution to the wind. But here in Nevada you must wear a mask as soon as you leave your home. Exercising in the fresh air? Must wear a mask. More than six feet from the next person? Must wear a mask. It’s getting ridiculous!

Thanks, Nevada governor. He’s definitely getting on my nerves again. He’s also still restricting churches to 50 participants, although restaurants/bars/casinos are only limited by percentage – not total number. There’s a lawsuit underfoot.

No more than 50 people can attend church and because some churches have thousands of members, we’re told we can only go to church once during Phase 2. And now the governor is delaying opening up to Phase 3. So church, for all intents and purposes, is still in the same camp as brothels and tattoo parlors.

What has horrified me the most about all of this is how much control the governors seem to have, although lawsuits are being filed questioning this.

Seriously still thinking about the full-time RV life when Rich retires. Then we can move from state to state if something is too distasteful to have to remain in one state.

As for the birthday trip, I’m also seriously reconsidering our plans to stay in a large hotel near Disneyland in case we can go to Downtown Disney. Disney has revealed no specific plans about who will be open, who will not. How do you get a reservation? Nothing. Nada. Zip. And it will be busy, mark my words. Especially since the theme parks will not be open anytime soon. People will clamor to get into Downtown Disney.

With California always on the verge of lock down, I’m thinking we might go back to Plan A, which was to stay at a smaller beach property and perhaps get food delivery and drive along the coast. Anything not to wear a mask. But I must see the ocean. Smell it. Walk it. Okay, I might have to wear a mask for that.

Las Vegas Showgirls Wearing Masks

When I saw this photo, I’m pretty sure I must have flashed a huge smile. Showgirls in masks. Gotta love Las Vegas!

The governor of Nevada is starting to win me over, especially when he said how “Nevadans are independent people.” Oh yeah! But he also asked that we show our independent spirit by each donning a mask. lol!

I do wear a mask when I’m out in public, but I also don’t choose to go out in public very often. It was okay during church, but I really struggle when shopping. Like today, we went to a couple of furniture stores shopping around for a living room chair. Looking down at the tags, my glasses slip off my nose (that’s what your nose is for if you’re a glass-wearer – not masks), and when I shove them back on, they fog up. Really an unpleasant experience. So I get it the resistance not to wear them. But if it’s true wearing a mask is the difference between spreading “the Bob” and not spreading it, I’m pretty sure we must wear them.

On a side note, I was watching the Tracker Live show today where they were talking about theme park news, and then, of course, a little peek at Jackson, who is so cute! But must Jenn talk about his bodily functions all the time? And breast feeding?

It reminds me of when we’d drive to the Central Valley from Orange County to visit my step dad’s family. Inevitably, the men would go out to the front porch and talk while eventually, a few people would jump in the car to get some rock salt (I was usually in that car) to make some home made ice cream. The men would take turns with the crank, and the women would sit in the living room and talk about babies, ad nauseum.

I, of course, would be sitting with the men on the porch. Their conversations were much more interesting, even if only because they weren’t talking about babies. Ah, how I miss those days. Never thought I’d say that – lol – but the problem with everything being online today, especially today, is that you can’t just leave the conversation when the women (and now men, it seems) start chatting about their kids bodily functions, breast milk going sour, etc, etc.

You know, I did all of that as a kid, although back then babies were mostly bottle-fed. I helped raise my half-brother and half-sister. I heated the milk, fed them a bottle, Gerber’s baby food, burped them, changed diapers, emptied the “diaper pail.” (Now here I am talking about those same things I dislike hearing about – Ooops!)

Anyway, all I wanted to do was to grow up and be an adult. Progress. Move on. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed the lifestyle working in Silicon Valley. Maybe that’s also why I enjoyed trips to Las Vegas from San Francisco. And maybe that’s why I, for the most part, love living in Las Vegas.

I miss having easy access to Disney and the beach (or at least, what used to be easy), but Vegas is where you can hang out without kids. Because even cruise ships are all about families it seems today. Cruising also used to be more about adults. You can’t even go to work and enjoy that same kid-free zone when they have “take your kid to work day.” lol!

(Okay, I absolutely adore kids at Disney, so don’t go all crazy on me. Time and place. Time and place.)

YUM!

Break it to Me Gently #Disneyland

The YouTube video I watched over coffee this morning was FreshBaked’s live show from last night. You can watch it here.

Basically, David and Liz and the people in the chat were discussing all the changes around Disney and Disneyland right now. When will Disneyland open, Splash Mountain’s redo, and other unPC rides. As I’ve said before, I don’t think we need to rewrite American history and erase the stories of the people who lived before us. When they do that, I feel like they’re also erasing me.

If you must take Disneyland away from me, please do it after I’m gone. Disneyland means more to me than a theme park. I was there when it was being built. I saw Walt. I lived 8 miles down the road. It’s home. It’s family. It’s compensation for my mother sending my father a “Dear John” letter for another man while my father was serving in Korea, preventing me from knowing my father until my late 40s. Talk about complications when you pop into your father’s life at that late date. Next month marks 2 years since he was gone from this earth. I miss him every day.

Taking Disneyland away from me is like losing my father all over again. This year I may get to celebrate my birthday at Downtown Disney, unless Governor Newsom takes that away from me, too.

I tried to substitute Walt Disney World for Disneyland when we moved to Florida 3 times, but my heart knew the difference. And if certain people have their way, that will be taken from me, too.

My heart can’t help but sing “Break it to Me Gently,” and, yes, I prefer Brenda Lee’s version over Juice Newton’s.

Oh, oh…break it, break it to me gently
Give me time, oh give me a little time to ease the pain
Love me just a little longer, cause I’ll never never love again
Cause I’ll never love again

 

What I Love Most About Disney World (#myHappyPlace)

Disneyland is my home park, having grown up 8 miles from there. It sends me back to my childhood in a flash.

But what I love about Disney World over Disneyland are the resorts! I can (and do) just hang out there and have a ball. So, I’m really enjoying the videos from vloggers who are posting from the resorts.

Here’s one we watched over lunch and it really lifted our spirits. We’re wondering now if we should try to book a stay this fall, if we get the opportunity. Might be more fun than dealing with all this Disneyland (and California) crap.

(Ooops! I meant to be all positive and happy here.)

Anyway, see if this puts a smile on your face:

Disneyland Opening Delayed, Destroying the Past, Dumbing Down

Disneyland Opening Delayed

Of course, the news that Disneyland wasn’t granted permission by the state of California to move forward with reopening plans would be on my mind today. But the good news is, Downtown Disney will still open in time for my birthday trip. The parks were never in our plans.

The following is either a rant or me thinking out loud (and, therefore, sometimes contradictory):

Checking out what the vloggers have to say, I’m a bit disturbed by Mr. Cheezypop one again. His first words are, “Good on you California.” Remember, this is a New York transplant living in Los Angeles, not even Anaheim or Orange County. Whether or not, it’s “good on you California,” the question in my mind is how much of a Disney fan can he be if that’s the first thing out of his mouth and not an expression of some sadness or disappointment over the delay? Honestly, I didn’t listen to any more after that.

Even if we’re in the “delay Disneyland” and other theme parks camp, you would probably at least express some regret. Like “BLAB” (Best Life and Beyond”) did in their “What’s Happening Wednesday” live chat last night. I’m looking forward to hearing what David of FreshBaked has to say in his live chat tonight.

At least WDW is opening and it’s fun to peek into that. A WDW friend staying at a DVC Resort this weekend said this, “Disney is requiring guests to wear masks when in public areas in the resorts – for that reason I’ll be limiting my time in the public indoor areas. I’m not planning to wear a mask when out by the pool. I’m happy to stay 6 feet away from other people!” Love her attitude.

Yes, the whole point about reopening was that we still need to take precautions. Each must decide what they’re willing to do, and if they’re not willing, they need to avoid those places if they cannot meet those requirements. Nevada is now requiring masks in public, and so I continue to take that into account when making plans to go out.

Destroying the Past

The other news that annoys me is this insistence to go around and tear down anything from the past that the current political climate disagrees with. As a person at a certain time of my life, I must say I’m starting to feel that by destroying statues and icons, ripping favorite books and movies and historical sites, revamping Disney rides to be more “PC,” they’re destroying ME. By wiping out these things, you’re wiping out the people, too.  History is “our story.”

The wisest thing my mother ever said was, “Don’t judge the past by the present.” If you didn’t live it, you don’t understand it.

Dumbing Down

And that brings us to the last topic: dumbing down. I feel like I’ve had to dumb myself down throughout most of my life. The best part about the 23 years living in the San Francisco Bay Area was living among intelligent people. Their politics? Not so much. But in today’s social media frenzied world, the dumbest people are shouting the loudest, and their stupidity is affecting the rest of us. God Bless them all.

This Lyle Lovett song comes to mind, especially the chorus:

God Will

God does
But I don’t
God will
But I won’t
And that’s the difference
Between God and me