Monday, July 29, 2013

The Four Day Weekend From Hell

Hey guys! So we dealt with another insane weekend again. It seems like these will never end! Last Friday the Rocky Horror cast did a special charity show at Ohlone College. It felt like things didn't stop from there! Patrick trained on-site at Berkeley College Monday through Wednesday and then trained from home on Thursday and Friday. When Thursday came, we did not stop moving! We finally have a cooling off period this week where Patrick has some time to relax and doesn't have to train.

On Tuesday, I made the courageous decision to meet Patrick in Berkeley for dinner. What made this such an important step for me is that in order to get there, I had to take public transportation. By myself. For about an hour. So I took a deep breath and got in my car, drove to the BART station, put money on my BART card, found the correct train, and boarded. Because it's very hard to hear the conductor announce the stops, I counted the stops every time we paused to let people off and on by checking them off of a map that I had Patrick print for me. Let me tell you, BART is still not my favorite mode of transportation. It was very stressful. A woman with a screaming baby sat next to me. And then another woman started screaming at the woman with the screaming baby, telling her to shut it up. And then a man came through the trains playing his accordion and begging for change. It was all very nerve racking. When I finally arrived in Berkeley, I was all too glad to get off of the train and above ground again! We were both very proud of my accomplishment, and it really made me feel independant, which I've been sorely needing lately.

So on Thursday, a couple of Patrick's friends invited us to hang out with themselves and a few others at their house. We went for drinks and socialization, which was a good way for us to get started with everything that we had coming up. It was super nice to finally get to hang out with some of these people one on one and get to know them.

While Patrick was teaching on Thursday, I found a cute picture online of daisy nails. I did my own twist on them and they turned out really great!

On Friday, after Patrick was done teaching class, Patrick and I headed over to the local Mazda dealer!
***Let me preface this bit of the blog by saying that I do not have a new car.
 Hercules the 2000 2 door Grand Am is still my baby.*** 
On a night where Patrick and I were just bored and wanted to go for a walk, we decided to go over to the place where many of the dealers are nearby. They all sit on one road. We parked the car and walked through the different lots, pricing cars for me for when I eventually get a job and start making enough money for a car payment (which I never thought possible, but hey, minimum wage here is higher than in Michigan and I do have a decent amount of work experience. We have high hopes for a good job for me, we're just still searching for a good fit). At the end, we found ourselves on the Mazda lot, where Patrick started looking at a car. He was really impressed with the features being offered at the car's price, along with the look and color of it, so the following day we test drove it. He still really liked the car, but sat on it for a while because we didn't have the time to sit down and think it through and he didn't want to make a rash decision.

Finally we were able to make it up there. Patrick was pleased with the deal we were able to make, and we walked out with a new lease on a brand new 2014 Mazda 6! I still have yet to it, but I'm very comfortable with being the passenger in this car. It has so many cool features! Voice command, a back up camera, headlights that turn when you turn so they illuminate where you're driving, and an automatic back suspension lift when you put the car in reverse. It's an incredibly smooth drive and we both really love the car. We went back to the house and got ready to head over to James and Aimee's house for Aimee and Nate's joint Tiki Kiki birthday party! It was fun! We brought our own individual pineapple upside down cakes, which were a hit, and the rest of the food was delicious! Patrick got to show off his new car and we headed home pretty tired and ready for bed.

On Saturday we welcomed a new addition into our home! Patrick already had a hamster (although female, he named it Wall E, after the Disney Pixar film, because the type of hamster is a Robo Dwarf Hamster), and he bought the little guy two connecting tanks, so we decided to get Wall E a friend! Welcome, Eva! She's super cute and tiny and all mine. I love her.

Our buddy, Wall E. He (actually a she, but whatever), needed a friend!

Wall E (right) and Eva (left)!

After we got Eva, we ran a few more errands and then chilled out (napped, made ribs for dinner, watched Hercules, ect.) until the Rocky show. When we got there, we discovered that they were short on security, so I was recruited for pat downs and purse checks after helping out with unloading the truck and moving things around the stage. It is official that I'm being sucked into the Rocky Cast, anyways, I just have paperwork to fill out. I'm already a part of their upcoming "special show," Spaceballs. After there were a couple of drops from the show, there were a lot of re-casts, and a spot opened up that needed to be filled. Therefore, I have a 17 second (or something like that) part in the movie where I play an organ and scoff.

Mmm, thanks Patrick! 
***Side note: About a week and a half ago, while Patrick was training, I walked to 7-11 to get some snacks. On my walk back, I started eating my snacks. On the last bite of my Steak and Jack Taquito, I realized that I was supposed to be on a pescetarian kick. So that day, I gave up. Yay ribs!

After a long night that ended with pure exhaustion and snippy comments because I was so tired, we went home and I fell asleep within a minute of removing my makeup and shoes. I cannot remember the last time I was so tired that I didn't even want to walk up the stairs to the apartment.

On Sunday we ran a couple of errands again and stopped on the way home at In-N-Out! My first In-N-Out experience!

Patrick's animal style cheeseburger and fries.

My mustard-grilled cheeseburger with mustard and ketchup only.

Mmm, strawberry shake. 

While I enjoyed Patrick's animal style fries, I thought my burger was incredibly plain. Then again, In-N-Out is a restaurant for people who like to have it their way, when really, I will accept a McDonald's cheeseburger, and essentially that is what I ordered. So while it's not my cup of tea, it's definitely a better option for someone who is willing to eat outside of the box.

After we finished errands, we had a very short amount of time to get ourselves together and get to Shannon and Jared's for a Spaceballs prop building session and rehearsal (we woke up really late because we got home so late the night before). I was excited to help out because this is definitely something I'm good at. I love crafts and creating something out of things that you wouldn't normally create them out of! I helped by making a sattelite dish out of cardboard and a kiddie pool with Patrick and then I helped Jack put plastic wrap around his giant hair dryer that he made out of cardboard, plastic, and accordion piping, and then we paper macheted it. I felt really useful and was glad to help!

The cloud cover looked like a giant snow drift on the way to Shannon and Jared's. So pretty!

So that's really the end of things that have happened since my post. Really quickly I just want to thank everyone for reading my blog. If you've found yourself here, I want to thank you. I don't live the most exciting life, but for someone who started in the trashy corner of Livonia and somehow found herself right outside one of the most famous cities in the US (and NOT one known for its crime rates and newly announced bankruptcy!), it's just really incredible to realize that two months ago I was serving ice cream and renting out movies for a living. I also want to thank those of you who supported me when I decided to take this step in my life. Your support and love means the world to me and I could not have made it here without knowing there are so many people back home who have my back! You guys are awesome!

Monday, July 22, 2013

St. George Spirits

Hey everyone! We have been busy busy busy this past week or so! Since my last post, we've gotten a lot done. A lot of errands, cleaning the carpet, meeting with friends, and another Rocky Show. Normally Rocky shows are done on the first and last Saturdays of each month, however, this was a special show that we did at Ohlone College, which was this past Friday. Other than that, I've just been trying really hard to adjust, still. I know this will take time, but I feel like I'm having a harder time than I need to be. Hopefully things will start feeling normal soon.

First of all, from Wednesday to Friday, Patrick taught a class from home. For those who don't know, he does analytical data warehousing and reporting. He also teaches online classes so that he can show others how to do this, as well. The type of work he does can take him all over the world... Or as far as his computer desk at home. It definitely has its perks and its downfalls, but I know we're both grateful that he doesn't have a normal 9-5 job. This was a little difficult and pretty boring. A certain distance away from the computer, Patrick's class can not hear what goes on in the apartment, however, we have to make sure he stays on task and pays attention to his class and not whatever I'm doing, so for most of the time during those days I just sat in our room and watched Supernatural on Netflix. Not such a bad way to spend your day, but I did get bored.

Lately I've been having what I can only describe as restless legs, even though I know it's not a medical condition. As I've said before, up until I left the state, I was working my butt off to save up for the trip and the first few months of being here. Then, when I arrived, we still kept going and going and going. I'm no Energizer Bunny! But then, finally, we got a break, and I've been feeling very cooped up and tired, like I need to go run and do something (which, for anyone who knows me, should be quite hysterical). I don't run! I hate exercise and I hate doing anything. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I would love nothing more than to spend my life laying on the floor and eating chips. Now, we all know that this is an exaggeration, but I really do hate physical activity. So imagine my surprise when I told Patrick that I was going to go USE THE ELLIPTICAL MACHINE IN OUR COMPLEX'S GYM. And you know what? I did. Know what else? I LIKED IT. Something is definitely wrong here, but I'm not complaining! Besides a treadmill and the various weight machines that they had in high school that we utilized in either Phys. Ed. or Yoga, I have never been on another actual exercise machine. So getting used to the elliptical was a struggle. When I finally gave up on actually trying, I got into a pretty good groove. But I'll say, it sure helped with the restless legs. I slept really well that night!
Patrick still made sure I had breakfast, lunch, and dinner while he was training. This dinner was super cute. He handed it to me saying "Look, it's X O!"

We found ourselves at a Japanese grocery store at some point this week. This was my first Mochi, and I am not a fan! Although it was super squishy, which was fun. Patrick says the ones with ice cream inside are way better!

I also got to try Pocky, which I chose in strawberry. It was so good!

Look! My sticks had little animals on them! 

Patrick made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. I'm still nomming on them, they were great!

The day he made the cookies, he also made himself a macaroni and cheese grilled cheese. The bread was not the right bread to use so it didn't turn out very pretty, but he said it was still really good!

That same day was our special Rocky show. It's funny how the hospitality and kindness of the cast already has me grouping myself in with them even though I'm not on cast and there are strict lines that I cannot cross. The director and Patrick's good friend, Shannon, is very picky when it comes to what a person who is not on cast can and cannot do, which I can definitely understand from a legal standpoint. If I were to get injured and I wasn't on cast, that could go south really quickly. So I mostly stay out of the way but am more than willing to help out when someone needs me to. Friday I helped out with "tranny bag" sales while everyone else was attending a cast meeting (a "tranny bag" is a little kit that the cast sells that has little items in it that help the audience interact with the movie, like bubbles to blow during the wedding scene, or a newspaper to put over their head during the rainy scene). I also helped unload some of the lighter things from the truck and, of course, ran errands for Patrick (like going to get his drill kit from the car). It was the most fun I've had at a show yet! That night, an old cast member, Dy, played the main character, Frank. She was so awesome! She's one of the first of Patrick's friends to get excited about my move here, so I was really excited to meet her. Dy is an author, too, and I've been dying to get my hands on her first book, so I was really excited when Patrick told me that she was bring a signed copy for me to the show!

I was not a fan of the giant, 9-mile-long bridge that we had to go over to get to Ohlone College. I hate water!

I'm a little more than halfway through the book at this point and I cannot put it down! It's driving Patrick nuts!

Thanks Dy! :)

After the show, most of the cast went to Sonic for food, and then we headed home. Saturday was spent running a lot of errands and cleaning the carpet and going out to dinner at one of Patrick's favorite English pubs in the area, The Swinging Door (which I was really not a huge fan of. I think I'm just a restaurant kind of girl).

Sunday, Patrick and I rose early and headed to meet Dy, her husband Brian, and two of their friends at a place called St. George Spirits, a distillery in the area located on Alameda Island, where an abandoned military base still stands. It's actually really creepy driving in. As I said to Patrick while we were still on our way to the distillery, "This is where people come to get killed." It definitely looked like a scene from "The Hills Have Eyes." Apparently the base was no longer needed, so the military housing and all of the hangars were abandoned. Now they are rented out by the government to private owners like St. George Spirits. But the distillery was actually really cool. Since I don't like alcohol, it wasn't as awesome for me, but I still had a really good time. First, our group did a tasting of some of the different alcohols that they make. Some of them I dipped my tongue in, but I still really hated all of them. I don't understand how people like that stuff. The woman who was telling us about the alcohols overheard me explaining for the billionth time how I hate the taste of alcohol, and presented me with a taste of a Raspberry Liqueur, which, surprisingly, I really enjoyed. A high alcohol content yet a very very slight hint of the burn and flavor of alcohol. At the end of the tasting, Patrick bought me a bottle of the stuff and a tiny bottle of the absinthe that he enjoyed, and then we went on a tour of the factory, which was both fun and very informative. Our tour guide, Pauly, knew what he was talking about and definitely knew how to entertain a crowd.

Though where we were was creepy, the skyline view was really pretty, especially with the fog!

Definitely where people go to get killed.

The tasting menu, which rotates every so often.

The distilling machine! So cool! I think the tubes look like flutes.

A little story about this shark: It's in the middle of the distillery because Edge Innovations, the company that did the animatronics for the movie "Deep Blue Sea" starring Samuel L. Jackson, was actually located next door to the distillery. One day, they ran out of room in their shop and asked the distillery owner if they would house it for them. He obliged and waited for further instructions... Until they learned that the company had packed up and moved. They haven't heard from the company since, so the people at the distillery keep the shark for entertainment purposes. 

I would make a really REALLY good actress.

By the time we were done, we were all a little hungry, so we stopped at a little italian place for lunch. I ordered gnocchi in a gorgonzola white cream sauce, which was delicious. No one knows the love I have for gnocchi. It's my favorite pasta dish and one of my all-time favorite foods. On my death bed, I will want Taco Bell and gnocchi.

After the italian place, we headed to a little tiki bar called Forbidden Island. It was super neat! Although our waitress was really irritating because she reminded me of someone from high school, she was nice and the drinks were good. The virgin options surprised me with how good they were. Patrick and I had a great time and I loved getting to know Dy, she's so sweet and super fun! But when I get tired, I get cranky. Spending the day with people who were happy because they were drinking wasn't the bad part. What was really difficult was sitting in the dark bar, so dark that your eyes had to adjust when you entered, which made me really tired. So when it was time to go home, I was really ready to go home. I even fell asleep on the car ride back. Patrick spent a couple of hours reading before we finally decided it was time to turn in for the night.

I had a really wonderful weekend and though I know I'm struggling, I'm still glad to be here. For those of you that didn't see it, this is what I posted on Facebook yesterday.

"Hey everyone, this is a little note for everyone that’s back in Michigan. Lately I’ve been feeling guilty about my lack of communication with individual people. Yesterday, I actually told someone off about this because they freaked out that I haven’t been in touch with them. The truth is that I miss everyone—sometimes too much—and I’m the one who is having the hard time adjusting. Instead of missing one person from my life, I’m missing all of them. I can’t spend my entire life making sure that everyone back home is satisfied with the amount of contact that I have with them. I have tried—this is why I’ve started a blog, because it’s the easiest way for me to reach the largest number of people (there is not a new entry, I'm just posting the link anyways for reference). But remember, it’s a two way street; if you want to talk to me, talk to me, because I can’t be counted on to remember with everything that’s been going on. You guys get to go on with your daily lives, yet I have to adjust to a whole different world, and you can’t get mad if you slip through the cracks. I do care about everyone, I am thinking about you, I just can’t make a check list of everyone I need to contact every 2-3 days! You can help out the situation by being the one who contacts me, remember that I’m missing you too!"

I'm serious, guys! I can't remember to text everyone on a regular basis! If that's what you're basing how much I miss you off of, stop! That's not it!

To bring some cheer to your day, here's a blurry picture of our Robo Dwarf Hamster, Wall E.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Settling In

Hey all! I know I said I'd try to post every day, however, I feel really bad about not doing anything of significance each day. I, personally, would like to read a blog with pictures, but what am I going to take pictures of? My cat? That's a little bit boring. So I've been saving up some day-to-day events so that I could make one interesting blog post instead of several terribly boring ones.

So today marks my 6th day of pescetarianism! Which, if you don't already know, is pretty much vegetarian, but you allow yourself to eat seafood. My problem is that I don't like a lot of fish or vegetables, so I'm trying to open up my food horizons so that I eat a little healthier. Before, when I was a vegetarian, I went 2 1/2 years before I gave up. And you know what happened when I quit? I almost immediately lost 10-15lbs. The reason for this is that when I would eat, I would base my diet off of carbs and dairy products rather than vegetables, because I'm just not a vegetable person. I have started to get into them more, however, so I'm hoping this time (even though I plan on it being a SHORT time), I will eat healthier because of it. I'm honestly already feeling better, and I feel that, if nothing else, I have at least lost the water weight from eating such a high sodium diet. I hope that, at the end of this, I don't say "Well, I've already gone this long, may as well keep going!" That's what happened before, and I don't regret quitting. I need to remind myself that it's not always healthy to limit yourself like that, especially when you do it the wrong way!

On day two of pescetarian, which Patrick and I were supposed to be doing together, he gave in to a Wendy's Bacon Cheeseburger on a Pretzel bun and hasn't looked back. He regrets nothing. But I'm still sticking with it! Editor's Note: He says "Hell no I don't regret it!"

Later that day, Patrick's friend Delfino stopped over for dinner and dessert, and we ended up playing Cards Against Humanity (which I won, not bad for my first time ever). Delfino just returned from China where he studied to become a Master in Shaolin Kempo Karate. Even before I met him, I was already calling him MASTER DELFINO! He was super nice (as, again, all of Patrick's friends are) and we had a great time entertaining and hanging out.

My delicious peanut butter ball that I made for our company. I wish I had an "after" picture... They destroyed it!

So I forgot to post my super awesome DOLE WHIP SHIRT in my last post! Dole Whip is a sugar-water based non-dairy product that we serve back in Livonia at the Han D Dip. It's super delicious, and until I met Patrick, I didn't realize that it was mostly a Disney thing! In Disneyland, then serve Pineapple Dole Whip (my favorite). In Disney World, they serve both Pineapple and Orange (another favorite). So when I saw a Dole Whip shirt in DCA for sale, I couldn't resist!

A little piece of home :)

In the meanwhile, I've been making myself at home here, reorganizing this, cleaning that, putting this here and that there, and setting up little spots for myself in our room so that I feel more comfortable. Yesterday we did a little bit of shopping. Jackie, Patrick, and I set out for the mall and stopped for lunch at a new place called Paul Martin's (which we thought was much cooler when we misread it and called it Paul Martini's). Because it was Patrick's treat, he encouraged us all to try desserts, too. After our meals (I opted for a prawn salad with apples, candied walnuts, and butter lettuce, served with a maple vinaigrette that neither Patrick nor I liked, so I ended up with some decent dill ranch instead), we each ordered a different dessert. Unfortunately, Jackie immediately dug into hers, so there are only pictures of our yummy treats. 

My cork board! It has pictures of the most important people in my life on there. I haven't dug the others out of storage, yet, so I've filled the spaces with some buttons and a comic strip that I were accessible. These were just the ones I kept handy during the cross-country trip just in case I needed to see some friendly faces. Originally we bought some "cork squares" that "stuck" on "any" surface. Aka NOT ON OUR SLIDING CLOSET DOOR. They kept falling off and the corners would snap off! So thanks, IKEA, for solving my problems with a cheap cork board.

My shelf! After a very long, frustrating discussion in IKEA, Patrick and i decided on this shelf. It's got all of my little memories from home :)

My side of the bed with my giraffe lamp :) 

Patrick's devil's food cake

My banana cream pie

After lunch, we went into Sears to look for a humidifier (and, yes, the people of California hate Sears as much as the people of Michigan do), and found ourselves in the womens' clothing section when God opened up the heavens and said "Here, Brook. I know you've been looking for another bandeau with inserts in it, like the lace one you already have from Hot Topic that you bought when you were like 16, and it's been a really frustrating search. Have some more."

The black one is my original one, the non-lacy blue one is one I found at a store called Ross here. I was looking for ones like that, but when I found an entire table of the lace ones, that one became irrelevant. I love lace! 
Note: The colors are extremely off in this picture. The yellow one is actually a highlighter yellow and the purple one is actually more of a bright dark blue/purple. 

And right he was. When I was 16 or so, I bought a black, strapless, hookless "sports" bra from Hot Topic. It was lace, and I didn't really like it. It wasn't until recently that I realized how useful it was, and I was grateful that I held on to it for so long. So when I discovered its uses, I began looking for another one. We searched Hot Topic again both in store and online, but it looked like they no longer made them. No problem, right? Bandeaus are in, right? Right, except no place makes them with inserts in them for coverage! Too much information? I don't care, I'm so happy! So when I saw a table of them in Sears, I bought them ALL. ONE IN EVERY COLOR. Now I have ALL OF THE LACE BANDEAUS WITH INSERTS. HALLELUJAH. 

Today, Patrick and I are working on my resume so that I can start looking for work. I hope everyone is doing well!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Very Rocky/Disney Birthday!

Hey everyone! I know it's been, like, a week since I've posted, but we've had a lot going on and, in my down time, I've wanted to just chill. I can't seem to relax. The stress and anxiety of the big changes that have taken place are really taking a toll on me. I've been having issues with sleep and my social anxiety is the highest it's ever been. That being said, keep in mind that I am going insane here. Back in Michigan, I was almost completely independent. The only thing I wasn't able to do was pay rent to anyone, but other than that, I took care of everything. I fed myself, worked, paid my bills, and drove everywhere and anywhere whenever I pleased. Here, it's different. I'm letting Patrick pay for small things because we know the next step (which is me saving what money I have left for bills so that I have something to work off of while I job hunt) could really go any way and we have no guarantee of when I will land a job. I'm also bored. Even with everything we've been doing, my life lacks schedule and routine, which kills me. Lately, I've been in a rut, and, for me, that means I'm losing control of my emotions. The biggest sign of that is that I have a really hard time remembering anything, like what day/date it is or what I did the previous day. I'm really hoping that getting back into blogging will help with that because it will force me to remember what I did by recalling events, even if that means I have to ask someone for help. It's better than nothing.

Alright, now that we've gotten through that intro, here comes the fun part! After a few "I'm not leaving this house, I'm going to nap on the floor and eat whatever I want" days, Patrick's birthday weekend started! I'm going to make this post as short and sweet as I can since so much happened, but the upside is that you get to scroll through a lot of fun pictures at the end! So, anyways, Patrick officially went on vacation starting last Wednesday, however, we didn't "do" anything until Friday. Friday we went to a local pub called Cameron's. The cool part about Cameron's is that they have the world's ONLY Smoking Buses! When the smoking ban passed in California, Cameron, the owner, had English double decker buses brought on site. He then ripped out the insides and put in tables, chairs, and booths, and dubbed them "The Smoking Buses!" It was a really quick and easy to allow patrons to smoke in a sheltered, comfortable area. You can even bring your drinks/food out there, however, you have to order them inside first. Cameron's was really super neat and we had a wonderful time.

After Cameron's, I drove home, which was a big deal because I had to drive through some pretty big hills with a lot of sharp turns, in a car I've never driven before, at night, with no guard rails, and to top it all off I have really terrible night vision. However, though I knew Patrick was fine to drive, I wasn't comfortable because I knew if we had been pulled over, he would not have passed a Breathalyzer test. So I insisted on driving. We were both really proud of me when we got home.

Saturday was a Rocky day! The first and last Saturday of every month are dedicated to Rocky shows, but this time, Patrick didn't have to work because it was his birthday show. Early in the day we drove around, running little errands, stopping by Patrick's friend James' house to get Patrick's birthday present (a bacon-themed "Man Crate" from where James works) and stopping for lunch at Chipotle (which I've never had before. It was alright, but I still prefer Qdoba). Later, we got ready and headed out for Rocky! We didn't stay for the entire show, however. We were there long enough for Patrick to get up on stage, be spanked by myself and a lot of the cast as part of their tradition, and then he was surprised by his directors with a lap dance from a Disney princess, aka Jared, aka Riff Raff in full Riff Raff costume with a pink princess dress costume on top. Everyone thought it was hysterical.

Patrick was, I think, most excited about the tiny crow bar that came with his Man Crate.

Bacon themed! Unpoped bacon popcorn, already popped Bacon Ranch popcorn, two types of bacon jerky, bacon flavored sunflower seeds, and bacon peanut brittle (which was delicious)!


Missing home, rocking that MSU shirt! 

Princess Riff Raff!

We said our goodbyes and headed off to Disneyland at 1am and rolled in around 6am. We got breakfast, parked, and headed straight to the park. We went ahead and got my annual pass (Thanks, Patrick! Sorry I ruined the surprise!), and then midday we checked into the hotel, napped, and then got ready for our fancy dinner at Carthay Circle. We stopped at Mad T for a bit before dinner, and then after we ate we headed to World of Color, which is a beautiful light/water show in DCA.

Breakfast at Denny's! Hot chocolate mmmmm :)

Yay, annual pass!

An entire Disney store dedicated to hats :)

Waiting in line to meet Tinkerbell and all of these little duckies were in the pond. Patrick thinks it's hysterical, but I just love birds and ducks and other little critters! I probably took about 20 pictures of the ducklings.


She was so super sweet. I love to see the little ones interacting with the characters. 

Patrick calls me Grumpy Cat because I have mastered the frown. Tink posed with me and we didn't even coordinate it!

Snow White! I was super excited to see her. She was my favorite princess when I was younger and we couldn't find her when we last visited the park!

Snow was actually standing in front of this gorgeous waterfall with statues of all of the characters from her movie. 

I like Tigger...


Getting ready for dinner :)

Awesome dancers at Mad T in DCA! I wish Gabe (my best friend's brother) would do something like this, it would be so fun!

Something Patrick had never seen before in DCA, this was a suspended gymnast act! It was awesome!

The White Rabbit DJ plays while the band takes its break.

The Mad Hatter

The Mad Hatter & Doormouse


World of Color!

The second day, we headed into San Clemente, which is one of the cities that Patrick has previously lived in. He's really trying to sell me on moving there, but I think I'll take my time in making that decision. I just moved! We spent the morning at the local mall, checking things out, having lunch, and making a candle. That's right, a candle! There was this awesome little candle shop in the mall where you could go in, choose your candle shape, color, scent, and decorations, and then make it yourself! It was probably the coolest thing that we did that day. Later, we had snacks and drinks on the pier and then dinner at Carbonara with Patrick's two very good friends, Jen and Fred, and headed back to the hotel. San Clemente is much more small-town than I thought it would be. Patrick stopped into almost every single shop down the streets we walked through to say hello to old friends!

Potted plant at the mall...

And me next to it, for a size reference!

Patrick's OCD made the candle making a little challenging, but we managed :)

Our lovely instructor, Dana, and the yummy-smelling selection of scented oils that go into the candles!

Our "love" candle. It smells so good, we can't wait to light it!

Drinks on the beach :)

Day three was more Disney, but we mostly spent the day in DCA. It was a really nice day, but we could both tell that we were getting worn out from so much activity and we, again, napped and headed back after resting for dinner and souvenir shopping. It was a really great weekend trip.

The new Lone Ranger train that sits outside the front of the park

The back of the train...

Anyone who is familiar with Disney parks knows that the creators and imagineers put "Hidden Mickeys" everywhere in the park. It's a fun game to look for them! My challenge given to me by Patrick was to find 5 on this trip by myself. Unfortunately, a cast member told us about this one, but I did end up finding 5 by myself!

Lining up to meet Mike Wazowski in front of the Monster's University setup

No detail is left undone in Disneyland. Just look at that varsity jacket!

And these bikes!

We even got to see Mr & Mrs Incredible! Here, she's high-fiving me while Patrick snaps a picture.

 Unfortunately, just as we were almost to the front of the line, they went on break, but I still got a hug from Mr. Incredible! This was taken just after he "kissed" me on the forehead. He even made the smoochy noise!

Again, no detail is left undone! Look at these awesome popsicle stick benches in A Bug's Land in DCA. 

Another Hidden Mickey while waiting in line for the Little Mermaid ride!

Even the chairs sport the mouse ears :)

"Buzz Lightyear!" is what I actually shouted when I saw him walking away to take his break. I was pointing and giggling. Hey, Disney brings out the kid in all of us!

Anna, if you're reading this, this one's for you! They were also about to go on break so they stopped the line where it was, but I managed to get a shot of these two goofballs for you :)

Pineapple Dole Whip! Something I insisted on so that I could get a taste of home :) I miss my Han D Dip family!

The most exciting part of my day... Meeting Tim! Tim runs a blog on Tumblr ( and we knew that he was in the park because of his recent posts, so Patrick and I were keeping an eye out for him. We didn't see him the entire day, but as we were leaving the park, we both spotted him and shouted "IT'S THE DISNEY DIFFERENCE!" in unison. A little embarrassing, but not as embarrassing as the fact that the only reason I knew it was him was because I recognized the messenger bag he was carrying that he posted on Tumblr a few weeks ago. I have this weird habit where I only look at the ground when I walk (which is apparently a European habit, because Patrick does the same thing, but I caught on to it because of my Polish great grandmother and he caught on to it because of his Italian grandmother). Patrick, however, recognized him by his shorts, which I didn't realize until later when I remembered that Patrick announced to me that morning "The Disney Difference is in the park today, he just posted a picture. Look for a pair of red shorts." He may not be a super celebrity, but it was still really awesome to meet him! He's Tumblr-famous, to me, and Patrick and I love his blog! Tim, if you're reading this, thanks for being so sweet! 

When we got home, I spent the day cleaning the kitchen, which I've been wanting to do for a week or so now, and then we relaxed. Starting today, Patrick and I are going to be eating pescatarian (which is vegetarian, except you still allow yourself to eat fish) for a short time. We both agree that we could use a good cleansing and that we've been eating a lot of junk lately. Now that all of the big events have calmed down, I can finally start settling into a routine! Thank goodness! Hopefully that will help with my memory. I miss you all and remember that I'm thinking of you! Just because I don't remember to text 30 different people each day doesn't mean that you aren't on my mind :)

Patrick, I'm so glad to have spent your birthday weekend with you and I hope you enjoyed it, I know I sure did! And thank you so much for everything you've been doing for me, from cooking, to making sure I'm doing alright, to doing everything in your power to ensure that I feel comfortable and at home here. You are the best and I couldn't ask for a better partner in life. Happy birthday, hunny!

P.S. Props to me for smashing an entire week into one short post with a lot of cool pictures, eh? I tried!