Monday, May 29, 2006

Our Memorial Day Classic (Rivera Family Style) - Ode to Disneyland

While Christopher and Steve were in Santa Barbara enjoying the sun, the view, the baseball tournament and the vacation away, the twins and I made do with what we could back home. So, we resorted to our good ol' stand-by - Disneyland. The following is a picture-by-picture detail of what we encountered, enjoyed and divulged in whilst the baseball half of the family were away: Everyone should at one time or another stop by Downtown Disney to take in the atmosphere. It is culturally-diverse, has a variety of shops, and a boardwalk-type feel to it. ESPN Zone hosts the Sunday Night Sports show with Rob Fukizaki from ABC. This is the actual location from where they broadcast. Norm Nixon, former L.A. Lakers, frequents this spot. Upon entering Disney's California Adventure, you are greeted by the monumental San Francisco Bridge replica. Once in a while, the Monorail travels through the bridge. The first ride the twins rode on was California Screamin' pictured behind in the background. It's the one white rollercoaster with the landmark Mickey Ears. Here the twins are pictured on the boardwalk again this time with the renowned Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel in the background. Next to it is a giant swing shaped in a peeled orange to signify Orange County. Clever, huh? I think Ariana was distracted by a pigeon. More of the twins on the boardwalk. I really was impressed with how this pictured turned out of the Tower of Terror. It looks like a postcard doesn't it? But it boasts a frightening drop of 6-stories of breath-taking fun. The cast members really do play their parts quite nicely, too. We're on our way to Grizzly Peak's water ride. I love the landscaping at Grizzly Peak. The water fall is very refreshing. You only feel a slight hint of the mist while standing in line. More of the water fall at Grizzly Peak. We stopped to take a picture of this funny ol' bear just after getting completely soaked on Grizzly Peak. Aaron was happy to know he wasn't the water-magnet this time. I was! I was soaked beyond recognition.

Here are the twins just outside of the Hyperion Theater. This is in the Hollywood back lot.

The "Aladdin" show is appearing at the Hyperion Theater. It's a "must-see" production.

At the entrance of Downtown Disney, between the tram drop off and the entrance to Disneyland Resort, is the World of Disney store. I recommend shopping here if you want to beat the crowd inside Main Street, or if you aren't visiting the parks, and are taking in the sights at Downtown Disney, this is a great store to visit.

The twins pose in front of the 50th Anniversary decor (oh, and Mickey too)!

Once inside Disneyland on Main Street, the twins take a minute to pose with the Indian. Don't ask me what Ariana is doing.

The twins take a picture at the entrance on Main Street with Sleeping Beauty's Castle appearing faintly in the background.

In Frontierland, just outside of the Aladdin storybook show, the twins take a picture with the Carpet.

You'll hear some corny jokes (or attempts at crackin' some corny jokes) while on the Jungle Cruise. Even though the majority of their one-liners are scripted, it's interesting to hear what ad-libs these tour guides come up with. Once we got stuck at the very end of the trip and they had to send out a rescue boat to come get us. It was pretty funny.

The Aladdin attraction interacts with the audience. It's a nice family-oriented show.

Aaron taking a solo picture outside of the Disneyland.

Ariana taking a solo picture outside of Disneyland.

This little boardwalk reminds me of a Beatles picture I once saw. This is on the way out to and on the way in from the McDonald's across the street. You'll save a ton of money eating here rather than eating inside the park.

I've been intrigued by sign posts lately. I can't explain why really. But this one has absolutely no meaning, or at least none that makes any sense. Yellow what? Bus? Hmmm...and we need to know this because? I can't imagine what foreigners must interpret this sign to mean. Got me.

Outside of the Tikki Room, there are some artifacts that caught my eye. Like this one. Open wide and say "ahhhhh...."

There's nothing worse than arriving at the front of the line of a ride you have already stood in for over 30 minutes than to hear the cast members announce "The ride is temporarily closed due to technical difficulties. Please try back later." But luckily we just arrived at Indian Jones ride and only waited at the very most 10 minutes after which time they reopened the ride. Whew! But here is another sign that intrigues me. This has been the story of our day practically all day.

Once we left Indian Jones, it was instantly nighttime. Here is a picture of the rocket ride just outside of the Tomorrowland (adjacent to Sleeping Beauty's Castle).

Here is a replica of a rocket ship just outside of Space Mountain.

After a 4-5 year hiatus, Space Mountain reopens with a new look and new feel. You gotta check it out!

This is a somewhat futuristic picture of Space Mountain as it illuminates a space-aged neon color.

One of my favorite rides as a kid was Autopia and wouldn't you know it? It's one of my kids' favorite rides today.

Another picture of Autopia.

I tried to get a better picture of Mr.Toad but after several bum pictures, this actually was the better of the bunch. I don't know what about this picture makes me laugh, but it does.

On the Snow White ride, I tried to get a picture of the Wicked Witch in front of the Magic Mirror. It was an eerie scene and this picture doesn't do it justice at all.

This the Wicked Witch's potion book in the Snow White ride.

I really love this picture of the Seven Dwarf's house. It's so enchanting.

One of my all-time favorite rides is Small World. It is a timeless classic. Something about this ride intrigues me. Perhaps it's seeing the many cultures represented and the many visitors that search for their country. I love to see them snap pictures of their culture. A sense of pride fulfills them for a short 16 minutes.

More Small World pictures.

Even more pictures of Small World.

More of Small World.

One more...

This is Steve's country represented. Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

And here is the lone Filipina. You gotta love the winged-sleeves.

Tahitian dancers.

Hula dancers.

I really love the attention to detail the designers put into even just a simple item as luggage (pictured here at the Small World train station).

Another view of the luggage at the Small World train station.

And finally, the last picture of the night is of Mickey's Toon Town.

Friday, May 26, 2006

American Idol - Tribute (of some sort) to Clay Aiken

Like every other fan (or not) of American Idol, I watched the finale and result show on Wednesday. Believe it or not, this was the ONLY show I was able to catch because I had school every night.

Question? Was it me or was something just not right? I was especially puzzled by the "odd" behavior of the Clay Aiken wanna-be. He was so certain he "sounded" and "looked" like Clay. What's worse is AI airing ( exploiting) him with his attempts in singing an Elton John classic. It was William Hung all over again. I couldn't take much more of it. I began to claw at the walls and my horns were protruding out from the top of my head, when all of a sudden.....

....a bright light shines from beyond in the distance...a dark silhouette glimmers...It', it can't be...It's......

...THANK GOD!!!!!!!! It's really Clay Aiken. He really did come to save the night.

My horns returned to its proper and upright position inside my head and the walls were spared once more. No biting off of anyone's head in my household.

If you haven't seen the video of AI when Clay came out, here it is. For your viewing pleasure:

I'm usually not this critical, but this was a no-brainer. I apologize if I offend.

I'm a fan of

Thursday, May 25, 2006

May Shout Outs!

Elysse's birthday - May 21st
Alicia's birthday - May 22nd
May-Ann's birthday - May 27th
Ronnie's birthday - May 29th


(Anyone else? Anniversaries? Graduations? Come one, come all!)

And They're Off!

It's traveling time again. The Placentia Mustangs (Christopher's travel ball team) is hitting the road this weekend. This time they're off to Santa Barbara, CA. Ahhh, picturesque Santa Barbara...or at least I think it is. It just sounds far, doesn't it? Games begin Saturday, May 27th and go through Monday, May 29th - with a potential to play in the Championship game on Monday.

Join me in wishing the Mustangs a great tournament!!!


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Words of the Day

I have a white board at home in which I write the family's schedule for the week. On the top of the white board, I have the letters "W.O.D." which stands for "Word of the Day". Every week I randomly select and write a new word on the board and the kids' responsibility is to look it up, tell me the definition, and to use it in a sentence. Pretty simple.A friend at work sent me this list of W.O.D.'s:

ASSMOSIS: The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.
SEAGULL MANAGER: A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.
BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around in a group discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed and who was responsible.

(Not exactly kid-friendly, but funny as heck!!!)


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Where's Waldo...Um, I mean, Annie

I have to tell you...with the Spring semester behind me now, I am having withdrawals. It's Tuesday night and I think I should be at Biology. The kids and Steve still ask me: "Do you have school tonight?" Ummm..."No, finals are over with remember?" is my reply. And to think I have two more weeks of this until Summer school begins. Which only means one'll be seeing alot more postings on this blog! Lucky you.

We Don't Watch TV...

...We watch all sports channels. There's a difference. Honestly, there's not one TV in this house that isn't on a sports channel (or at the very most, for the non-avid-sports population in this househould, the Disney channel or Cartoon Network). I can't tell you what a regular TV show or even what a mainstream news station looks like (except maybe NCIS! Ha...did you like that shameless plug Burt?). I kid you not - 24/7 sports is always on in my house! Do I dare tell you that Steve falls asleep with the remote control in his hand? And of course, there's a sports program showing. But don't try and sneak in to shut off the TV. The minute the TV goes off, his sleepy-eyed highness wakes up and says, "I was watching that!" Yeah right. In your dreams, maybe (literally). One night I attempted to turn off the TV but realized that Sleeping Beauty was laying right on top of the remote controls. How ever in the world am I going to get those now? And wouldn't you know it, I resorted to manually shutting it off; and just when I thought "mission accomplished", dude wakes up and delivers his infamous line, "I was watching that!". I can't win.