Monthly Archives: November 2011

Watching People

Surprise, Surprise (TV series)

Image via Wikipedia

So, I am borrowing from this Sunday’s NY Times from their article “Watching People Watching People Watching”, about reaction videos and watching other people react to them.  Kind of confusing, but this had me thinking about the videos that families make when they surprise their loved ones with a trip to Disney World.

Disney highlighted some of them on their commercials of late and You Tube has lots of these videos.  I love to watch them, and they make me a bit teary-eyed, even if I don’t know the family.  Just the idea of getting that reaction of joy and excitement from your loved ones is so overwhelming.

Mr. T and I were trying to remember if we ever surprised our daughters like that, and I think maybe one time we did.  The details are vague but we probably woke them up one morning and said “get dressed. we’re hopping a plane for Disney World today”.  Since Mr. T worked for the airlines, it was easy for us to do that on a whim.  I wish we would have video taped it because that would be a cherished moment for sure.

I must have looked through a dozen or so videos, but thought I would highlight this one because the girls are so giddy. The teen-age boy is another story, however.  Disney Surprise

Did you ever plan a surprise Disney trip?


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For all of the years that we have been traveling to Disney World, I have one moment that rises above all the rest:  October 2004, we were chosen as the family to open the Magic Kingdom.  When I title this blog “Bittersweet” it is because this memory is always tinged with a bit of sadness when I put all the pieces together.

Mr. T and I  arrived at the park early that day to attend a “Behind the Scenes” tour.  My oldest daughter accompanied us although she was not going on the tour.  Being the Disney lover that she is, she just wanted to be at the park early.  My youngest daughter, being the teenager that she was at the time, chose to sleep in at the hotel with her friend that she had brought along on the trip.  We had offered to bring her friend, hoping to alleviate some of the moodiness and angst that accompany a teenager going on vacation with their

Opening the Park-2004


We were waiting at the gates to be let in for the tour and my daughter was talking to cast members and asking if she could open the park.  The cast members responded that this honor usually goes to a family and not an individual.  Running back over to us, my daughter said that if we would forego the tour, then we could be the family that opened the park.  Weighing the choices of losing $150 for not taking the tour, or choosing the once in a lifetime chance to open the park, it was not a difficult choice.  We hopped on-board the trolley in the Magic Kingdom, headed towards Toon Town and boarded the train with all of the characters.  My heart was pounding wildly, Mr. T was visibly giggly, and my daughter was a hair shy of insane.  I’m thinking all the while though, about my daughter at her friend back at the hotel.  I’m trying to remember if we tried calling the hotel.  It would seem odd that we wouldn’t, or else we were thinking that they could not possibly get here in time to join us.  At any rate, we rode the train to the front of Main Street, got off on the platform with the characters, and heard the announcer say something about “the T Family from Missouri”, counted down from 10 and then whooped and yelled and threw confetti to open the park.  Frankly, the whole thing was a blur because I could hardly believe it was happening.

The sadness comes in when I think about our family being incomplete on this occasion;  my daughter, in her teen-age rebellion, not wanting to spend time with her family, and also because her friend passed away shortly after this trip.  I wonder if life would have changed for either of them if they could have been with us that day to experience the pure joy and happiness of that moment.  I don’t think it would have, but it is a wonderful thought to have.


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Gosh, I hate getting writer’s block.  I’m sitting in my office trying to get inspired by something to blog about, and then my eye is drawn to my new (empty) Disney Photo scrapbook.  So, do I write about how cute it is, or how long it takes me to scrapbook photos and mementos from each of my trips?

To give you an idea on my procrastination, I have a box in the basement with stuff from our cruise that we took in 2008, yet to be entered into a scrapbook.  I tell Mr. T, that you cannot rush creativity, but really, it’s just lack of time.  8 hours of work, 8 hours of sleeping, plus other stuff to be done during the day, and scrap-booking takes its place at the back of the line.

The thing is, I LOVE to scrapbook.  I can get lost for hours in all the papers, stickers, embellishments, and chip board letters, but it’s just a matter of deciding what comes first, laundry or scrap-booking.  I can almost do 2 of them at once, since my workshop is in the basement, and so is the laundry, and I don’t know why I don’t.

I typically go into a scrap-booking flurry this time of year with various projects slated as Christmas gifts, but I have not planned any photo gifts this year.  The only thing I am currently passionate about is the cards that I make every week to send to my sister.  My sister, who is fighting cancer, lives 350 miles from me, and the cards are the thing that I use every week to let her know that I’m thinking about her and to send her a weekly hug, since I can’t be there to do it in person.

So, how prompt are you about either scrap-booking your pictures or getting them into a photo-album?


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Week-End Stuff-“On The Street”

Street sign at corner of Fifth Avenue and East...

Image via Wikipedia

When the Sunday New York Times is delivered to my door, the first section that I browse to is “Sunday Styles”, and to the photos of Bill Cunningham in his pictorial column “On The Street”.  The man is a genius with the camera and has an amazing eye for fashion.  Bill, recently interviewed said that he is not a good photographer, he just loves to see beautifully dressed women.

In case you don’t know who Bill Cunningham is; he is a reporter for the NY Times, but with a twist.  Each day he rides his bicycle to 5th Avenue in Manhattan and photographs the fashion trends of the everyday woman. What makes this even more amazing is that he is 80 years old.  I recently watched a documentary about his work, titled “Bill Cunningham-New York“, and learned more about the man who journals my favorite section of the NY Times.

Bill is not a designer, although at one time he was a milliner.  Bill is a documentarian on the state of fashion.  Here are Bill’s own words on what he does:  “The main thing I love about street photography is that you find the answers you don’t see at the fashion shows. You find information for readers so they can visualize themselves. This was something I realized early on: If you just cover the designers in the shows, that’s only one facet. You also need the street and the evening hours. If you cover the three things, you have the full picture of what people are wearing.”

Bill at work:

Woman on the street

Bill on his bike

Shoe Shots

So, to Bill, thank you for your contribution to Fashion.  Hope you have  many more years of pursuing your passion.  If you would like to read the full article on Bill, here is the link:


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Black Friday

Credit cards

Image via Wikipedia

I do not participate in the craziness of this day. For the life of me I don’t know why people get up and the crack of dawn and fight the crowds, all for the sake of getting a bargain. For some families, I know it is a tradition, but I see no fun in it whatsoever. The only thing that could possibly redeem this horrific shopping experience is a good lunch afterwards. Other than that, count me out!

For those of you that are sitting at home like me, watching QVC, or doing some on-line shopping, I want to point you in the direction of a website that I was just introduced to:  This is more that just your Disney Store.  This is high-end stuff!  Very high-end.  If your tastes lead you to consider purchasing a Walt Disney Signature Dream Belt and Buckle by Justice Bodan for $209.00, then this is the place for you.

Disney Belt

I perused the necklaces, and those were not too pricey, ranging from $80 to $345.  The site also features Home Furnishing such as chairs, lighting, pillows and tables.  Not really my taste, but you might like them.

To really knock your socks off, visit the Wall Art collection.  Starting at $59.99 and rising upwards to five large, you can own a piece of Disney artwork.

Walt Disney Signature Small World Wall Art

For those “hard to buy for” on your list, this site is worth a look, especially if they are Disney fans.  Just bring lots of cash, or your high limit credit card.


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Giving Thanks

I took this picture at Kouzzina knowing that it would definitely be something that I would post about:


This signage says it all for me.  There is nothing better than celebrating the people you love, both friends and family, around a table of food.  Some of my fondest memories growing up were the dinner parties that my parents gave.  There was always lots of people and lots of food, and everyone always had a good time.  We would sit around the table for hours after the meal and just talk and laugh.

My brothers and sisters, all obsessed with food, have our parents to thank for this affliction.  For us, food equals family, love and good times.  It’s as simple as that.

As you sit around your tables this Thanksgiving, give thanks not only for the bounty of food, but also for the great treasure of having family and friends to celebrate with.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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The devil is in the details.

As all of us Disney-philes know, no detail is spared at the resorts or the parks.  Every single nut, bolt, trash can, etc., is designed with the location theme in mind.  How many of us, though, actually take time to appreciate this minutiae in our travels to the World?   For the first time, armed with my camera, I photographed some of these details during my morning walks.

This piece of furniture in the Boardwalk lobby really freaks me out.  Almost as scary as the clown pool.

Creepy Smiling Girl chair

Under the heading of creepy; a lamp in the lobby of the Yacht Club.

Monkey Lamp

All the years I have been eating at the ESPN Bar, I never noticed the arm and the dumb-bell on the roof of the building

ESPN "Strongman"

or that the door-handles are in the shape of baseball bats

I’ve always known that Boardwalk Villas is a beautiful resort, but I had never taken the time to appreciate the aesthetics

Mission Style lighting on the storefront

The art-deco design of the banners hanging from The Screen Door

Scrollwork on the roof peak above Jelly Rolls

"Old Fashioned" signage above the pool showers

Iron-work detail of the Boardwalk railings

An "out-of-the-way" garden

This new-found appreciation really made this past trip very special.  I hope to be able to do more of the same on subsequent trips.

Just for fun, I’m posting the below picture to see if anyone can identify it.


Thanks for following along with me today.


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