Monday, October 30, 2017

October Pt. 2

What a fabulous month it has been!  Crazy, that's for sure, but fabulous nonetheless.

Day-to-day life is kind of a drag.  Work, school, work, school, work, school, repeat.  But it is the little things that shake things up and make life happy!  Like coming home to homemade ramen!  Bailey has some serious talent.


Cute things also make life happy.  Like all of the things we bought at Daiso!  The day we drove into California, we got there with just enough time to hit a Daiso before it closed.  I was excited to show my family that wonderful place, and it did not disappoint!  We came home with some fun things!


I was having a bad day the other day until we visited Evan's Family farm.  I snuggled this kitty for at least an hour and my life drastically improved.  I may need to adopt a kitten soon!


Here I am with another animal friend!


For all of your pumpkin, squash, and autumnal fun needs, be sure to visit Evans Family Farm.  It never disappoints!


I had a HUGE crisis the other day.  Long story short, because a class I needed isn't going to be offered next semester, that ONE class was going to throw my entire graduation off a semester.  HORRIBLE right?!  Plus then I would graduate in a December which is not convenient at all for a teacher!  I tried everything I could to get special permission or something, but nothing could be done.  Also, it's not my fault at all, because I just barely got accepted into the Secondary Education program, and I couldn't take it before I got accepted.  So, life was sad and I cried, but Bailey cleaned our room and bought me treats and flowers which made me happy... but also made me cry again because he's so sweet.

FYI about a week and a half after my adviser told me to give it up, she emailed me with some special permissions that she got me from the Department Head.  I again cried, but this time tears of joy.  Crisis averted - I will graduate on time!

Happy Halloween tomorrow!  Tonight Whitney invited us over for some tacos and pumpkin carving.  I wasn't feeling the whole carving thing, so I painted my pumpkin instead!  Bailey did a mix of both and I think his pumpkin turned out adorable!


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Anaheim Disneyland Day 2

We got up bright an early this morning to make sure we hit some specific rides!  We started with the Haunted Mansion which I LOVE.  Of course, I prefer it when it is not "Nightmare Before Christmas" themed, but it is still fun.  I don't mind those sorts of changes when they're only seasonal!

We also went on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride which was fantastic as usual!  New Orleans Square is one of my favorite areas of Disneyland (it is tied with Fantastyland!) so it was really nice to spend some time there this morning!  And it was also nice to eat the food.  Churros for breakfast!  I'm not usually a churro sort of gal, but Bailey bought this smores churro and it was actually really tasty.


We split up at that point because guess who was in town?  Bailey's very best friend Mike!  We didn't know they would also be in Disneyland until our drive here, when Mike's girlfriend posted a Disneyland picture of them on Instagram.  We ran into them first thing in the morning yesterday in the line for The Guardians of the Galaxy, but didn't have the chance to spend time with them until today.

These boys are impossible.  This is literally the best picture I got of them together.

We went on Splash Mountain, which I really hate!  It gives me so much anxiety!  Of course I always like it in the end... unless I get wet.  I didn't get very wet today though!  We also went on the Winnie the Pooh ride again since that line is always short.  I had Bailey snap a picture of my "hidden Mickey" while we waited in line.  It's not a very good picture.


We didn't spend a ton of time with them because they had the fancy fast passes to things and we didn't.  So it wasn't long before we were buying food (I LOVE THE CORNDOGS) and treats again and meeting up with my family for the Indiana Jones ride!  I always forget this, but the Indiana Jones ride is probably one of my favorites!


We hopped over to California Adventure for a little bit after that, to see if we could avoid the crowds by doing so.  It was pretty crowded there too!  We fulfilled Bailey's dream by buying one of these souvenir cups, though, so it was worth it.


For lunch Bailey bought a hot dog but all I needed was a dill pickle.  I am obsessed with these!

My hair, by the way, is an attempt at Mickey ears.

Afterwards, Bailey and I spent some time just him and I.  I had been dreaming of a Disneyland date so I'm so happy we got to spend the time together!  We explored Toon Town a little bit and Bailey just loved this boat.  I think he has a thing for boats.


What I really wanted to do was go on the little kid rides all over Fantasyland.  I just love Fantasyland!  Bailey was a good sport as we went on things like the Mr. Toad Ride and Snow White's Ride (which I screamed so loud on!  It is seriously the scariest ride in the park!!)


We bought some treats before meeting back up with my family.



As one must always do, we got some pictures with the castle!  It is just the tiniest little castle, but it makes my heart happy!



Mom and dad headed back to the hotel after that, but us kids stuck around, determined to make it to the fireworks show.  We hit a couple of rides, getting on Alice in Wonderland just in time before they stopped letting people on!  Here was our view from the line:


We made it to the fireworks show, which was so fun!  And so CROWDED!  Check this out!  I took this when we were leaving the park.



Thus concludes our Disneyland adventure, unfortunately.  Oh what fun we had!  Probably one of the best family vacations we have had in a long time!  Tomorrow we get to drive all the way back to Utah then begin real life again.  But I don't want to think about that right now!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Anaheim Disneyland Day 1

You know, it feels kind of cool to have to specify what Disneyland I'm referring to.  I have a new goal, you know, since Disneyland Shanghai, to visit all of the Disneylands in the world!  Of course in the end, I don't think any of them will beat good old Anaheim Disneyland.  Emphasis on the "old" - mom, Bailey, and I really noticed this trip how run down Disneyland is getting!  Haha, in fact, a good portion of our sentences started with, "well in Shanghai...", probably driving everyone else crazy.  Like I was saying though, as beautiful, sparkly, new, and clean Disneyland Shanghai is, there's no place like the original.  I have so many wonderful memories of Disneyland, I feel so nostalgic every time I come!

I posted a couple of weeks ago the "little" present mom and dad gave all of us.  Two day Disneyland passes!  Since then we have been SO excited for our fall break trip.  Even Bailey has expressed his excitement (he normally keeps his excitement to himself)!  He told me, "I have always dreamed of walking down Main Street to the castle holding hands with you - I am so excited for that!"  Good thing he doesn't read my blog, because it would probably embarrass him that I wrote that.  But I thought it was so sweet!

Anyway, today was Day 1 at Disneyland and it was just perfect!  We actually started in California Adventure because my mom is one of those strategic visitors.  We booked it straight over to the Tower of Terror - EXCEPT IT WASN'T THE TOWER OF TERROR.  Yes, I was aware that they changed it, but of course I was upset seeing with my own eyes that such a travesty was true.  I'm really bitter about it, if you can't tell.  I did ride it and I did have fun.  They did a great job!  But they should not have changed it.  They should have just built "The Guardians of the Galaxy" ride next to the Tower of Terror.  Make a little neighborhood of tower rides.


Since Kylie is pregnant(!!!), she didn't go on round one of that ride.  Seiji had stayed with her, and I stayed with her while everyone else went again along with Seiji.  Kylie and I wandered around looking for food and found a net of fish, which almost sufficed.


We ended up meeting everyone at Flo's Cafe.  Oh my gosh, cutest place ever!  And the food was tasty.  Our first meal in the parks!


We went on the Cars ride (which I love!) and explored Cars Land just a little bit.  It is so cute!  And it was extra fun to see it all decorated for Halloween.


California Adventure is fun, but we were all anxious to get over to Disneyland.  Before we left, someone offered to snap a family picture for us.  Which was great and all except that Bailey was in the bathroom!


Off to Disneyland we went!  We had an 11:30 reservation to get to at Cafe Orleans.  Oh my gosh - Disneyland food!  SO GOOD!  (I'll try not to bring up Shanghai too much but I must at this point to warn you that Shanghai Disneyland food isn't that great.  Anaheim is where it's at.)  We love the pommes frites, mint juleps, and of course, the beignets! 


The rest of the day was spent exploring, riding rides, and eating all the food!


We ate dill pickles, barbecue skewers, cream cheese filled pretzels, and of course, Dole Whip!


One of my very favorite rides is It's a Small World.  It is probably the creepiest thing in the entire world.  Imagine going on it alone in the middle of the night!  Terrifying!  But as long as I have a boat full of my people, I am as happy as can be on that little cruise.  As you know, I'm obsessed with different cultures, and I love how they are portrayed on this ride!  There's so much to see and I wish it went even slower so I could take it all in!



Public Service Announcement: The Matterhorn now gets you wet!  That was definitely a surprise!  Also their new monster is so freaky.


After a while we ventured back to California Adventure to buy some Ghirardelli shakes/sundaes.  Bailey and I shared one and it almost killed me in two ways because 1. it was $14 for ONE SHAKE and 2. half of it was like straight brownie batter!  It was the most delicious and deathly shake I have ever experienced!

After that, Kylie was feeling tired as many pregnant ladies do.  So she and Seiji headed back to the hotel to join dad (who headed back just a little earlier).  Then it was just Bailey, mom, and I - the ultimate travel trio!  We decided to fulfill one of Bailey's dreams and spend hours in Cars Land.  He has seriously been SO excited for Cars Land.  He hasn't been to the area since he was 14 so he had never even seen it (it is fairly new)!  He thought it was just about the coolest thing ever, and drug us through every single gift shop.



We decided to go on the Cars ride again, and then to wait in the fairly long line for "Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters".



What.  The.  Heck.  It was the most random ride I have ever experienced!  I didn't even know it existed, so just in case you didn't either, basically you sit in a car as it "dances" to Italian music.  Haha, how random is that?!  Dancing cars!  We had a ton of fun on it though, as the three of us squished into one car.  It was random, but I would totally go again!


The rest of the night was pretty anticlimactic, as we decided to wait in line for some Boudin bread bowls filled with chowder.  The line looked insanely long but we thought, "how long does it really take for them to scoop soup?"  Well apparently it takes a REALLY long time because we waited for at least an hour and a half.  Not even kidding.  We thought several times that we should give up, but we persevered!  And was it worth it?  Still not sure.  It was kind of freezing outside.

After that it was back to the hotel for us!  What a wonderful day at Disneyland it was!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

October Pt. 1

I love October!  The weather has been just gorgeous lately.  We have this huge tree with the most vibrant colors that is the first thing I see every time I drive into our yard.  It makes me so happy!  The next thing I see are my little goat friends.  There are so many of them!


I had a meltdown at work the other day.  After giving a tour, I started talking to the Chinese girl in the picture below.  We talked about where she was from and where I had lived.  Her host family piped in and asked if, because they knew I had been in the area, I attended the Suzhou branch.  Apparently they lived in Suzhou and attended my same branch for about a year, and left just a few months before I arrived!  We chatted about the people who we both know, and once Monica and Andrew's names popped up, I just started bawling.  It was very embarrassing and upsetting.  I got a picture with them anyway!


Speaking of our BFFs Monica and Andrew, look how cute they are supporting us from the other side of the world!  What she said in her caption just cracks me up.  And Dumplinghead - he cracks me up too!  They are seriously the best!


Bailey's campaign is STILL going on but he's taken on a few other political responsibilities in the meantime.  He was recently elected as Utah's Young Republican Secretary!  Now, don't ask me what that is or what that means.  But it sounds pretty cool to me.  Here he is looking handsome at a Young Republican Convention.


Ramen is one of my favorite foods!  If you are a Utahn looking for some good ramen, check out the Sage Market in Salt Lake City.  We traveled up there for Seiji's birthday today to delight in some delicious food!


Tonight while Seiji gamed with his friends, Kylie and I did some crafting.  Of course, cute crafts call for quirky pictures.  I quite like how these fall garlands turned out!




I can't believe October is halfway over!  It has gone by so quick.  It will be Christmas before we know it!  Yes... I have started thinking about Christmas already.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Skyline Drive

We set off early yesterday morning to Skyline Drive for some camping!

The drive to the general area was not even that long.  However, once we were in the general area, my parents, Bailey, and I realized we had no idea where we were meeting the rest of our family.  We drove around for maybe like two hours!  It was a beautiful drive and we tried to remain optimistic, but really it was just kind of frustrating that we were completely lost.  That's what we get for not having Grandpa with us!

One benefit of getting lost for so long was that we did get to see so much of the area.  We did the actual "skyline drive" which gave us a nice view of, well, everything!  We hopped outside for some pictures, but that lasted for about 2 seconds because of the crazy wind!



Finally we spotted a paper plate that said "Trudy".  We drove towards it and found a series of paper plates, guiding us to our campsite!  Bless our family for assuming we got lost and helping us out!

We were so happy to make it there!  Bailey and I set up camp in the tent we'd share with Seiji and Kylie, and spent some time chatting with everyone there.  It was all family except for a few of my cousin's friends and an employee from my grandpa's shop as well as his wife.  His name is Fernando and he is awesome!  I have no idea how to spell his cute wife's name but it sounds like "Maru".  We talked about Mexican food with them for about an hour, and Bailey got to practice his Spanish!

Pretty soon I was ready to head towards the aspens.  Oh my gosh they were so beautiful!  I spotted a bright yellow patch, gathered up my crew, and off we went on an adventure!


Bailey was cracking us all up.  He had found a pit of mud, and he just thought it was the coolest thing ever.  I thought differently.  In fact, I thought that a good percentage of that was probably poop.  Of course, that inspired him, and he spent the next hour shaping it into poop and leaving it in places to trick people!


Other than the poop mud, we had such a nice walk!




I love when my grandpa brings his side by side camping!  He took me on two rides yesterday, and somehow I fell asleep on both of them!  That's kind of a bummer, considering that they were probably the prettiest fall rides ever.  But there's just something soothing about the sound/feel of a side by side I guess.



We spent the evening hanging out and eating beef stew.  I was so happy because I don't remember the last time my entire immediate family went camping together!  Even Shakee came!



Soon it got dark and we were off to catch some crawdads!  We didn't find any at all though.  Just this boat.


This morning we woke up, ate breakfast, threw some hatchets, and cleaned up camp.



It was just a short little trip, but a good one for sure!