D23: Pook-a-looz

Holy moly - how cute are these things?!?
I guess you can't see them very well from this photo, but google "Pook-a-looz".  You won't be disappointed.


D23: The Boys

The final thing we did on Day 1 was see a screening of the documentary The Boys. The movie was about the Sherman Brothers (also Disney Legends). 
I’m always shocked to find out that most people don’t know who the Sherman Brothers are. They’ve been writing songs for Disney for over 50 years. They have since retired, but Richard Sherman was at the movie screening. After the movie, he played the piano and sang about 9 songs for us! He’s 81 years old, and he knew all his songs by heart. 
He was amazing. It’s not every day that the song writer who sat in Walt’s office and played “Feed the Birds” for him plays a mini concert for you.

If you’re unfamiliar with the name “Sherman Brothers”, you will know their songs. They wrote the songs and lyrics for Mary Poppins, Jungle Book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (not a Disney movie), It’s a Small World, Winnie the Pooh and Parent Trap. They also wrote a bunch of songs for Annette Funicello when she was a teen star.

The movie was really interesting. These brothers wrote songs together for many, many years. But the movie chronicled their personal lives, where they were not friends at all. Just recently Richard Sherman’s son met Robert Sherman’s son for the first time in 40 years!!! They got to talking, and decided to make this movie together.

Currently, Richard Sherman (the one who sang for us) lives in Beverly Hills and Robert Sherman lives in London. They still do not contact each other. They didn’t have a big fight or anything. They were just never really friendly at all. All those years they worked so well together all day, then went home to their families and their families never had any contact at all. It seemed kind-of bizarre, and it made for an interesting story and a great movie.

So day 1 of D23 came to an end. There is no way we will top this day! I mean, we saw Richard Sherman play piano and sing … that’s simply amazing. There is no way we can top this day … or can we?!?


Lucky the Dinosaur

Lucky the Dinosaur is the first walk around animatronic figure Disney made. I think he made his debut in 2006-ish.

I met him once at Animal Kingdom, but this time you could walk next to him and touch him. Good stuff!


Wall-E and Guido

There was a large room at the D23 expo full of new rides and stuff for all the theme parks. Inside we got to meet the life size Wall-E and Lucky the Dinosaur.

They also had a life size Guido and Luigi from Cars. I assume they will be a part of the new Cars Land at Disneyland.

Guido is just so cute!


D23 - Day 1 cont ...

After the Legends ceremony we got to take photos with Wall-E and the turtle from the classic Disneyland Electrical Light Parade.

While we were waiting to see Lucky, Jonathan pokes me and says, “Hey look who it is!!!” Well, there are people everywhere, so I have no idea what he’s talking about. I figured he was pointing out a Disney Legend or something.

Turns out, Paul Scheer, who I loved on Best Week Ever was right in front of us. My first celebrity sighting ever! I made a quick decision to just get his autograph and not take my photo with him. I figured taking a photo would draw attention to myself and him. Now I wish I would’ve gotten my photo taken with him … oh well.


D23 - Day 1

Day 1 was special to Jonathan.  They were doing the Disney Legends ceremony open to to the public for the first time ever.  To be named a “Disney Legend” is a huge deal.  They started the award in 1987, and there are only about 200 people who have won.  Basically it’s awarded to anybody who is a pretty big deal in Disney history.  Jonathan has read many books about Disney Legends, and he was super excited to see the presentation.

People who have won in the past are:  animators who worked with Walt Disney on all those old movies, the 2 “kids” who always seemed to play brothers in all those ‘60s movies (Swiss Family Robinson, Shaggy Dog, Old Yeller), Tim Allen, Steve Martin, Imagineers who designed and built Disneyland, etc.  This year we saw about 10 people win the award including:  the current voices of Donald and Goofy (their acceptance speeches were HILARIOUS!), all the Golden Girls (only Betty White attended, and her speech was hilarious as well), the Imagineer who’s head is Madame Leotta inside the Haunted Mansion ride (her real name is Leotta) and Robin Williams.  He’s a wild guy!

 After the ceremony, while the thousands of people were trying to get their cameras and cell phones back (b/c they confiscated them), we hung around inside the theater.  There we ran into X. Atencio (he worked with Walt Disney and he wrote the theme songs for both Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion).  He’s a Disney Legend!

We also ran into Kathryn Beaumont - the original voice for Alice (Alice in Wonderland) AND Wendy (Peter Pan).  We also got autographs from Mary Costa, who was the voice of Sleeping Beauty.

What an awesome presentation and we got 3 autographs!

Oh, and before the presentation we got to see 30 minutes of the new Princess and the Frog movie and Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls and the voice of the main character in the movie) sang a song.  She was great and the movie looks hilarious!  During the entire D23 expo we kept seeing pieces of Princess and the Frog, I think I’ve seen pretty much the entire movie.  I guess I’ll have to wait until December to see the entire movie in the correct order.



Ok – I admit it. I had a BLAST at the D23 Expo in California.

If you haven’t heard of D23, it’s an official fan club that Disney started this year. There are tons of unofficial fan clubs out there, but this is the first one run by Disney. The very first day they announced it, Jonathan signed up. And the very first day they announced they were having a convention in Anaheim (where Disneyland is), Jonathan bought tickets for all 4 convention days.

Now, I was not excited about a 4 day convention … especially when Disneyland is 2 blocks away. I figured I would go for a couple hours each day with Jonathan, then leave him there and head to the parks on my own.

The convention floor was fairly boring, but the presentations they did were amazing!!! I had such a great time, and the presentations always had a little twist.

For all the big presentations they took away your cameras and cell phones, so you couldn’t take any pictures or video anything. They were always showing us clips of movies and ‘never before seen footage’ of stuff, so video taping was especially forbidden.

The hour long lines were kind-of a bummer, but it always seemed to be worth it at the end.

Specifics about the presentations and photos to come … stay tuned!



I did something awesome on 9/9!  We got to evacuate off the MCO monorail.

If you’ve never been to the Orlando International Airport (MCO), after security, you hop on a monorail to go to all the gates. It’s only about a 1 minute ride. It just goes up then back, up then back all day long. I don’t think there are any drivers.

Our monorail stopped about 3/4 of the way there. We waited and waited (while watching the 2nd monorail pass us a couple times). No announcement or anything.

A Southwest employee on a golf cart on the tarmac noticed us and signaled that he was going to call somebody. A couple minutes later, a businessman picked up the emergency phone, but nobody ever answered on the other end.

After only about 5 or 6 minutes, our car (there are 3 cars to the monorail) decided to escape. Another business man managed to manually open the door, and we one by one stepped out onto a concrete slab, and walked towards the airport.

It was funny to look at the people still standing around cars 1 and 2. They were all looking at their door and wondering how we all managed to escape.

About 2 minutes later, some airport workers came to fix the issue and the monorail finally made it to the terminals.

I wish I had my camera handy (it was at the bottom of my bag) to take a photo of us walking where were weren’t supposed to walk!


Great Quote!

"No one will question your integrity if your integrity is not questionable." -Nathaniel Bronner Jr.


Great Quote!

"The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time but also to leave the wrong thing unsaid at the most tempting moment."


Mary Poppins

In 2008 Jonathan turned 30. He really wanted to see Mary Poppins on Broadway in NYC for his birthday. So we priced out a trip to NYC, but it just wasn't in the cards. Instead we road tripped to Atlanta, GA.

Now its 2009, and Jonathan has yet another birthday. This year Mary Poppins is on tour, and, lucky me, it's stopping in St. Louis (where he's from). So we flew out to Missour-A for a short weekend trip to see the show.

The Fox theater in St. Louis is pretty cool. It's a really old theater that's been totally restored. It's like a pagoda and a rich antique collector threw up in the theater. It was very ornate with tapestries, lion statues, large mirrors and carvings all over the walls.

Now, and I totally alone in my dis-liking for Broadway shows. I've been to about 5 or 6 different shows, and I just don't really enjoy them. It's not that I hate every waking moment, but I'd rather spend my money elsewhere. Mary Poppins (for me) was no different. The show was cool, with the different flying and dancing effects. Most of the songs were from the original movie, even though the show followed the plot lines of the book (Mary Poppins actually bolts from the family with out notice 1/2 way thru the show!). Still, for me … I'd rather spend my money on football tickets.

I wanted to take more photos inside the ornate Fox, but there was a big sign that said, "no cameras allowed", yet they didn't even search my purse. I took a couple photos of the stage (pre-show), until I got yelled at.

All in all, it was a fun show, and I think Jonathan had a great birthday!


Ted Drewes

Ted Drewes is a St. Louis tradition. I love cheesy places like this. I guess it's been around since the Route 66 days.

Their specialty was a 'concrete', which I had no idea what it is. Eating 'concrete' does not sound very appealing to me at all. Turns out, a 'concrete' is similar to a Dairy Queen Blizzard. I guess Ted Drewes sells only vanilla custard (what's the difference between custard and ice cream anyways?). Then they mix the custard with all kinds of crazy things.

Every time I get a Blizzard of a McFlurry, I ALWAYS get Oreo. This time, I'm on vacation so I went a little nuts. I got walnuts, chocolate and caramel. It was called something … like "The Duke" or something (that wasn't it … but something royal sounding). It was delicious … but it was also MASSIVE! I really wanted to eat the entire thing, but I just couldn't do it.

I know whey they are called 'concretes'. When the server handed me my order, he was holding the cup upside down. The custard mixture didn't move! But it wasn't hard at all, it was smooth and creamy.

If you're in the St. Louis area, look up Ted Drewes!


Thrift Store Goodies!

So I'm in Illinois to visit my brother and parents.

The one thing I love do to when I come to visit is to go the thrift stores with my friend Julie. We normally find nice stuff (last year I bought 2 Gap skirts) and we also find t-shirts for under $1. Since we're near Chicago, there area always Cubs and Bears t-shirts.

This year we made 2 awesome finds. Julie found a William Sonoma burger press for $2.62. I'm sure it normally cost over $20 at the mall.

And I found a like-new Brian Urlacher Bears jersey for $3.63! Jackpot!


Florida birds

It's hard to tell how massive these birds are, but that bush is about 4' tall, and the birds are totally hunched over eating who-knows-what.
When these sucker stand up, they are scary!
And they sound like dinosaurs. Well, I base that off the movie Jurassic Park, who made up their dinosaur noises ...
When I opened my curtains one day to wash the windows, these things were standing RIGHT THERE. Made me jump!