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Disneyland with Family

25 June 2013

Thunder Ranch Petting Zoo
Family comes to town and we go to Disneyland! 

And boy was it one whirlwind of a day. I worked at church in the morning and then ran off to Disneyland with mum right after -- traffic was moderate on the I-5 but five crazy drivers nearly killed us with their swerving and speeding. Where are the coppers when you want them? Lol. After 1 1/2 hours driving south, mum and I were in for a surprise -- very frustrating one, too -- when traffic getting off Disneyland Drive was bumper to bumper. Apparently the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure was closed because of a gas leak so traffic was re-routed to the Toy Story parking lot. After one hour of being bumper to bumper on the road, we found out there were NO bathrooms in the parking lot. I was not a happy Disney guest. No sirrree.

After all that, we made it! Can we all take a deep breathe and say "Finally!" Let the magic happen.
Johnny + Kristy (2012)
Johnny + Kristy (2013)
So we rush into the park and find out that Y and her guys were at the hotel giving the twins an afternoon nap! Shucks. So we meet up with Johnny, Kristy, Tim and Stephanie, for some fun including Star Tours, Matterhorn and Space Mountain.
Thunder Ranch
Petting Zoo

By five o'clock, the rest of the family was ready to play so we all meet up and went to the Thunder Ranch Petting Zoo. The boys LOVED IT and "Cousin Joy" felt pretty proud of herself finding it like I had last time I was at Disneyland.

We had a chance to see goats, sheep and the goat run at 6 o'clock.

Kristy made a new friend!

Washing Hands @ Thunder Ranch Petting Zoo
After playing with the goats and sheep, we had dinner in New Orleans Square before visiting the twins' favorite ride: the rocket ships! They had already been on the ride 2x in the morning but wanted to ride it again with Johnny and yours truly -- a big grin! -- so we all went on the Astro Orbitors in Tomorrowland. The boys must be very brave because I was scared! The "rocket ships" were tilted even upon boarding. Talk about an awkward situation trying to gracefully climb into the ride when wearing a dress.

We also tried out Astro Blasters (Toy Story) but it proved a bit too scary for the boys (sorry, guys!) and Autopia which the boys loved although I did not have an easy time keeping the car going and had to really push on the gas pedal. C even kept saying "it stopped again, cousin Joy!" Lol, I think he might have preferred riding with Auntie Jayne after that experience, haha. Sorry, C!

After meeting up with the rest of the family outside Autopia, we all headed for the park exit with the fireworks playing above our heads. It was a great afternoon and evening with some wonderful people I call family and love.

What was your favorite Disneyland/Magic Kingdom ride as a child? Mine were Storybook Boats and Go, Go Gadget Coaster.

I cannot wait to see Y and her boys on Thursday when they come to visit for a week!! <3

Joy Michelle

Paradise Cove

When you have company in from out of state, it's an unspoken role that you take them to the beach and preferably include a meal with that visit at sunset. So, when my cousin Tim and his girlfriend, Stephanie, came into town from TX, my parents and I took them to Paradise Cove Beach Cafe in Malibu.

Beach Cafe
I have been to Paradise Cove several times but this was the first time I ate my entire meal (it was that good)! I ordered the Ginger Teriyaki Salmon special (menu) and was licking my fork afterwards it was so delicious.

Ginger Teriyaki Salmon
Be sure to ask for a table by the window because the view is sensational (especially at sunset). We watched as the sun descended past the waterline and spotted several sail ships and a dolphin. It's touristy (true) but the food and view make the place a worthwhile dip into your pocketbook.

What restaurants do you always take out of town guests to?

Kissies, Joy Michelle

The Power of Prayer (RE-POST)

13 June 2013

Yesterday, I stumbled across a blog post on "The Power of Prayer" written by blogger Bre. [Thank you, Facebook, occasionally I am quite grateful for viral posts otherwise I would probably never have heard this story.]

(C) Kim Burke
I really don't think I could do their story justice w/ a summary. All that to say -- please take a minute to read it for yourself @ The Power of Prayer and let me know what you think! As one who likes to dream fairy tales do happen, this is a pretty darn close example.

Disneyland Resort: Ariel's Grotto

04 June 2013

S in the queue for Tower of Terror.
On June 1st, one of my besties, Stephie, took me to the Disneyland Resort for a belated birthday celebration. We were amazed to walk onto Peter Pan in 20 minutes! The weather was spot-on, too, with a light breeze keeping us from burning up in the June sun.
Disney Visa Meet 'n Greet

One of the perks of being a Disney Visa cardholder is that you can attend a special cardmember character meet 'n greet in California Adventure and receive a free 5x8 photograph. Saturday's special furry friend was Stitch and so we two gals in blue posed with one of Disney's awesome blue guys.

Ariel's Major Domo
Complimentary button
The day ended with a pleasant surprise when Stephie took me to lunch at Ariel's Grotto in California Adventure. We were visited by some of Disney's classic princesses including, Ariel, Belle, Aurora and Snow White and HRH Minnie. The food was delicious and we both left with satisfied tummies and happy memories. We even received commemorative buttons.

For the first entree, we had a three-tiered tea tray of yumminess including salad, veggies, fruits and cheese with a side of sourdough bread.

For our main entree, I chose the fresh fish of the day, Mahi Mahi. It was beyond delicious and just what I would expect from any of Southern California's four-star seafood restaurants.It was melt in the mouth delicious and the mango salsa was just sweet and spicy enough to make it the best Mahi Mahi I'd ever enjoyed. It was a nice surprise. 

My favorite princess... Aurora!
Although frankly she reminds me too much of Snow White in this picture.

Have I mentioned these delicious desserts? Perfect conclusion.

Our Hostess

Kissies, Joy Michelle

Theatre Review: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Who's ready for a fun girls' night @ the Pantages?

Before we headed out to Los Angeles,
my girlfriend V and I grabbed salads and soups at Panera Bread.

When we arrived at the Pantages in Hollywood we immediately found ourselves surrounded by drag queens and spotted a red carpet with flash bulbs going off. Curious, we questioned a photographer who said that it was "Drag Queen Night @ Priscilla, Queen of the Desert". Pulling out my camera, I had to get some shots of the amazing costumes and platforms we saw. Gosh, these (wo)men could out-walk many girls I know!
Michael Jackson look-a-like

Couture diva! She brought her own hairspray!

Miss Mardi Gras, no?
And now for the show... I went into the show knowing hardly anything but hoping for a fun and carefree girls' night out with my friend V. And boy were we lucky! The music included all-time favorites such as Material Girl, MacArthur Park, and It's Raining Men and could be best described as Mamma Mia on steroids.

The show's costumes and sets were over-the-top hilarious! The number of feathers, fringe, tinsel, platform heels, pink feather boas, disco jumpsuits and Daisy Dukes was endlessMy all-time favorite was the 1st act MacArthur Park. The ensemble were decked out in gigantic cupcake costumes with candles on their heads and umbrellas dripping with streamers. Check out a promo photo below.

(c) Joan Marcus
My main concern had been that the three main characters, two drag queens and one transsexual, would face oppression from religious homophobes.  Thankfully, that was NOT the case and here comes my little cheer of gratitude. The bullies in the musical turned out to be red-necked hicks. The primary bully was in fact an obese, mullet-wearing red-neck woman. (Odd.) 

[On that same note, please be aware that this is not appropriate for children because there are several utterances of the F words and there are two strong homophobic scenes where our two drag queens are attacked by the above mentioned red-necked hicks.]  

So would I recommend seeing this show during the remainder of its LA stop? Yes, 100% yes. 
You will laugh, tap your foot non-stop
and be unable to stop clapping out of delight during the entertaining curtain call.
And be forewarned that you'll likely leave humming an 80's favorite.

Joy Michelle

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