My California Adventure – Gina Positively Disney

My California Adventure

I recently went on a business trip to the Burbank Airport (Bob Hope International). The company I work for manages airports and I’m in HR. So off to Open Enrollment meetings, I go! In my mind, I was thinking of this as a dry run for our eventual trip to Disneyland! I did learn some things along the way.

Yes, I work for airport management but I don’t love to fly. Once over the two hour mark, I get extra edgy. The flight to CA was non stop. I took motion sickness pills but think I should have taken something much stronger (tequila). The way home had a layover in Phoenix, AZ. That was split but still had four hours straight. Not a great time. Next time, I will try to stop more at the half way point (Texas) or take valium!

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We stayed at the Beverly Whilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. It is famous for the movie Pretty Woman and is at one end of Rodeo Drive. This is just a bit out of my reality. I still love All Star Music and think Port Orleans French Quarter is amazing! We went to some great restaurants including The Ivy.

The Beverly Whilshire was built in 1928 when the city had about 18k residents. It has served as home to Elvis Presley, Warren Beatty and John Lennon. Much of the original opulence and charm are still apparent today. The original Post Box, woodwork and marble accents add an air of old money. My room was a junior suite with a balcony. I was in awe. I could very easily get used to that life! The breakfast bar was really yummy. There are two restaurants onsite -The Blvd and CUT by Wolfgang Puck. There is also a spa and fantastic pool area. The level of service was beyond what I have ever seen.

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We went to The Ivy in Beverly Hills for dinner one evening. The BW provides car service to bring you and pick you up (2016 Mercedes). The restaurant is in an unassuming small brick building. Once you walk to the entrance, the French Countryside decor only takes a backseat to the copious amount of multicolored roses. They are everywhere and in great abundance. There are blue plates and floral patterned pillows everywhere. The feel is very comfortable and it just improves with the complimentary champagne as you wait for your table. The interior is set in small rooms with no more than four tables per. It’s very private and intimate feeling. The food was great. Really loved my seafood pasta. It had a long fancy name but I don’t remember it, just that it was great! The banana split was beautiful but has to be shared. They send you on your way much poorer but with fresh baked cookies! Apparently this is a celebrity hot spot and we had missed Woody Allen.

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The Ivy

We hung out at The Grove Shopping Center and saw the really nice Christmas decorations. No celebrities. Wasn’t really looking. I did see Jesus near Sunset Blvd one afternoon. He’s looking good.

My take-aways:

CA is not as warm as FL, so check out the weather.

LAX and Burbank are about the same distance from DL so I’ll go to Burbank for less hassle.

Travel time is at the mercy of traffic – thus my decision to stay onsite.

Become wealthy.

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Nightmare Fuel in Burbank

Enjoying Disney World Even After You’ve Lost A Little Of The Zippity Doo Dah In Your Step

Enjoying Disney World Even After You’ve Lost A Little Of The Zippity Doo Dah In Your Step

As a family we had been very fortunate to be able to go to Disney on a yearly basis. When we were younger it was easy to hit more than one Park in a day enjoy every ride at every park we went to and never stop until the last firework exploded in the sky. We even did this while chasing after high energy children.
Now that I’ve gotten a little bit older I find it not quite as easy to keep up with the crowd so I’ve decided to make it fun but at a different pace. Even when visiting parks with a large group of family and friends of all ages I know that I can also enjoy myself by staying cool finding a relaxing place to sit and people watch. This includes never missing a parade, having a perfect view of the show at the castle (which I consider to be the yellow tables in front of the Plaza Restaurant) and enjoying all of the performances that you can find throughout the parks. I should also add that getting on the train and riding around Magic Kingdom and going on the People Mover are two of my favorite ways to relax and enjoy the sights.

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Just because I’ve slowed down a bit doesn’t mean I am not loving every minute of my visits it just means I have more time to stop and smell the roses.
I guess if I have to slow it down it couldn’t happen at a better place.

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Always make each day your best day!
PD

Quick Service Part 4 – Earl of Sandwich, Sleepy Hollow and L’Artisan des Glaces

The Earl of Sandwich

Earl of Sandwich

Yes, the Earl of Sandwich does remind me of Panera Bread. Nothing wrong with that, I like Panera. The food here is reasonably priced and always fresh and yummy. The salads are some of my favorites along with the soups. I know it’s warm in FL but we do get soup weather. The menu does change seasonally but that’s part of the charm. Who doesn’t want a Thanksgiving sandwich in the fall? They have different bottled drinks as well as the fun Coca Cola machine.

The location is wonderful in Disney Springs and has plenty of inside as well as outside seating. This is a nice quick stop to fuel your day of shopping!

Sleepy Hollow

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Sleepy Hollow is located just over the bridge from the left side of the castle into Liberty Square in Magic Kingdom. Think one word – WAFFLE. While they have many delicious items I would say that they are most well known for their Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. I know you either like that sort of thing or you don’t but I can tell you by the feedback and lines that it’s a pretty big deal. They also offer a waffle with powdered sugar and/or cinnamon as well as the always fantastic funnel cakes.

They also offer coffee, tea and assorted soft drinks. Not to be confused with the Starbucks on Main Street that does not serve waffles.

L’Artisan de Glaces

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If you enjoy wonderful quality ice cream, you have to visit Epcot’s France Pavilion. They have a generous variety of flavors and some sorbet also.  The shop is very cute and charming. The staff is always very nice and will even give out samples. There is limited seating outside of the shop.

You can order 1 or 2 scoops or go for the famous macaron ice cream sandwiches. They are as beautiful as they are yummy! There are waffle bowls and some sauces and even a hint of Grand Marnier if you are so inclined. Not to be confused with the booth that sells frozen orange Grand Marnier slushes – they are deadly!

Stop on by because there will be something for everyone!

PD

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

 Pictoral and video links

 
Now that we finally got Halloween out of the way it is time for the most wonderful time of the year! As the parks begin to make their transition from pumpkins to snowflakes Hollywood Studios is ready to dazzle you with the 20th, and final Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. During the holidays the Streets of America goes from a concrete and brick jungle to a Christmas light spectacle as you enjoy lights dancing to your favorite holiday music. The beauty of the event is hard to put into words so here’s some pictures to try to show you. 

Hint: there are 90 hidden Mickey’s in this years spectacle. Also, you may be able to see some beloved characters from Disney classics. 

   

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

   

    
 
 
    
    
    
  

Video:

20th Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
20th Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (Tree)
20th Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (Windows)

As you can see there is a ton of detail and imagination that goes into the show. Make sure you leave some time to walk around and take pictures. This is a “must-do” during the holiday season at Walt Disney World!

Enjoy!!

PD