Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Break 2014: Day 5

April 14, 2014

My family had three days in the park, so we decided to spend one full day in Disneyland, one full day in California Adventure, and a day to complete whatever we missed. This was our Disneyland day. The first thing we did was check when we could meet Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder because that was a MUST for Summer. The first show was at 11:05, so we had some time to kill. We stayed in Fantasyland until the time came. 

My dad's "excited" face.

While there, we met Rosetta and Tinker Bell at Pixie Hollow. Rosetta was adorable, and Summer had some good laughs about crocodile tears with her. After saying goodbye, we turned the corner to see Tinker Bell. Sloane had always loved her, and it was cool to see her interact with her again. 

My grandma and I rode on Small World, which was the ride that I loved as a child and rode about ten times. I understand why I had to ride it so many times. There was so much happening, and the song is so simple yet true. I think Small World embraces each culture in the world and unites them in the end as if it's Heaven. It truly is a wonderful ride. When the ride came to an end, Summer, Sloane, and I spotted a very special character, the Mad Hatter, and dashed over to him. The last time we were there, Sloane met the Mad Hatter and cried because she was so scared of him. We told him about this and he decided to recreate the memory. He made the exact same face, and he didn't even know it!

We then rode the tea cups because it seemed appropriate. 

At that point, we had time for one more ride, and we chose Snow White's Scary Adventures. About halfway through the ride, the ride stopped, and the lights turned on. An announcement told us that there had been some technical difficulties. Summer started panicking that we would miss Rapunzel, but luckily a man escorted us off of the ride.

We arrived at the Royal Theatre in just the knick of time. We got seats in the front on the carpet, and the show began shortly. The short play was funny, and the actors playing Rapunzel and Flynn were amazing. Afterwards, we stayed to meet the characters while most of the crowd left unknowingly. Summer was so excited and almost cried. Rapunzel and Flynn were interactive and gave her such a wonderful experience for her to remember. 

Later that night, we watched Fantasmic. It was absolutely breathtaking and amazingly well done. At one point, I even saw Prince Phillip on the big steamboat.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring Break 2014: Day 4

April 13, 2014

I bid my farewells to the friends that left with the bus and joined my mom to take a shuttle to the hotel we'd be staying at for the next three days. Our plan was to use public transportation to get to Newport Beach so that we wouldn't just be sitting around the hotel waiting for our family to arrive, but the lady at the front desk said that the public transportation in Anaheim is complicated. My mom didn't want to pay $50 for a taxi one way though so my mom created an entire plan by looking at the bus routes on the Internet. I knew she was working too much though and that we could simply find our first stop and ask the bus driver from there, but she wanted every detail mapped out. We went on our way and started our adventure by not being able to find the first bus stop. My mom finally found it, and just as I had expected the bus driver knew a much simpler and convenient way to get there. He even gave us a free bus book and we payed $5 each for an all-day pass rather than the $12 each we had read about on the Internet. When we got off of his bus, we were worried that we had already missed the next buss that only ran every hour, but luckily it was late. The woman driving this bus was hilarious. It was the end of her shift, and she just talked to us and yelled sarcastic comments at the drivers. One of my favorite parts about the city is the bus drivers. They're usually patient, helpful, and funny in my experience. We arrived at Newport Beach and shared a peanut butter cup shake from a quaint 50's themed restaurant on the pier. As we enjoyed our shake, two sea lions swam up to the pier and barked at the fishers. They were adorable and were probably eating the fishers's bait. We lounged on the beach for a few hours before leaving on the bus again.

The longer we rode on the bus, the more my mom began to worry that we were on the wrong one because she didn't recognize the area. We got directions from the bus driver that once again assured us we were going the right way. I looked out of the window at one point and saw a scruffy looking old man holding a sign that read "homeless not hopeless". The bus came to a stop, and the man put down his sign and pulled out a huge wad of cash. I'm shocked at how easy some of those people's lives are. In The Pursuit Of Happiness, he didn't sit and beg for money from other people. He worked and tried to create a better life for himself. If beggars are making this kind of cash, it's no wonder that they're not willing to give it up. I'm not saying that these people are worthless, and people shouldn't help them out. I just believe that many of them don't have the intention of saving that money and trying to get a job. It's not a great photo, but it still captures the same story.

Soon after passing the man, my mom and I arrive at our stop and exit the bus. We have trouble finding our next bus stop, which adds some tension of frustration, but we find it eventually. The tricky thing is that the bus we were boarding was coming to the end of its line so you have to transfer onto the northbound bus. When we get to our hotel room, my sisters welcome me with hugs and we tell them our stories until nighttime. So for any of you planning to take public transportation from the Disney area to Newport beach, I would suggest boarding the 43 southbound all the way down Harbor Blvd. then transferring onto the 71 exiting at the Ocean Front stop. On your way back get onto the 71 again at the Ocean Front stop. I can't remember the bus stop at which you transfer, but you can always ask your bus driver. Once you get off there, board the 43 southbound again until you arrive at the end of the line. Then transfer onto the 43 northbound and ride until you get to the stop nearest to your hotel or wherever you may be going.

Spring Break 2014: Day 3

April 12, 2014

Continuing from my last post, I woke up at about 6:00 am to get ready for the day and meet in the hotel lobby at 6:45 am just like the bus driver had repeatedly instructed. The choir had been waiting for the bus to arrive, and at that point it was 7:00 am, the time we were supposed to leave by. We discovered that the bus driver herself had slept in even after telling us not to. We were late to the college and barely had time to rehearse before stepping onto the stage. Our practice sounded horrible, and I was physically unable to sing on key. I was very worried when they called us to perform, but after a prayer from my choir teacher I was hopeful. We sounded great on stage, and I'm quite proud of our choir. The judges gave us some pointers that made us sound even better, and then we were finished. We changed out of our performance clothes and into some comfy clothes for our day.

The rules were changed because of the incident from the night before, but it wasn't too bad. We were arranged into groups that had at least one chaperone per group, and I was happy because I got Lauren and Alex even though we were placed with some... questionable people. The group was pretty fun though and most everybody was nice. There was an exception for a boy, but I think it's best not to talk about it on the Internet where everyone can see. Let's just say practically every girl loved him, and I wanted him to know that I felt quite the opposite towards him. We spent have of our day in Downtown Disney, which was frustrating because we were just walking aimlessly around the place, and I got antsy because of the crowds and undecided plans. 

At 4:00 pm, we were allowed to go into Disneyland. We rode more rides until 8:00 pm, which was the time of our awards ceremony. Drama began to unfold with that briefly mentioned boy during this time. It was nothing life changing, just your typical high school stuff, but it was hard for one of my friends because she was torn between what decision she should make. I helped her as much as I could, but I hope she did the right thing for the situation. Our choir won second place in our division, and our teacher won the spirit award because one of the judges thought she was absolutely adorable, which she is. 

On our drive back to the hotel, Alex and I had great conversation, and I began to wish we had become friends sooner. I'm switching schools next year, and I pray that our friendship lasts. When we returned to the hotel, Alex and I quickly changed into our bathing suits to swim until the pool closed or until somebody kicked us out, whichever happened latest. There, we met three boys who had also participated in Heritage Festival. They were very polite and funny and traveled from Oregon, which I was happy about just because I love the mention of the state. They invited another one of their roommates, who came down with a guitar in his hand. He was talented and had good music taste. He sung Sleeping With Sirens songs and A Day To Remember songs. I joined him on the last song, James Dean & Audrey Hepburn, before they had to leave. Just as Alex and I were drying off, my mom came down to take us to our rooms. We accidentally stayed up until 12:00 am because Alex's phone had not been working. Oops! My mom was a bit angry only because she had to stay up so late, but the night's memories were worth it.

Spring Break 2014: Days 1 and 2

April 10-11

Last Thursday I left for Anaheim with my choir for Heritage Festival, though most of our trip was spent in Disneyland. The first day was only an eight hour travel day down to our hotel. It wasn't very exciting; we watched an awful superhero movie on the way there, and I swam a bit when we arrived. The fun really started on Friday. We had a park-hopper all day, and we planned to stay from 8:00 am to 12:00 am. I spent the first half of my day in Disneyland with my mom until 1:00 pm, which was our check-in time. The last time I went to Disneyland was ten years ago for my little sister's third birthday, which means I was about five. It was exciting and a bit scary to return and relive some of the memories.  I met Aurora, who is still my favorite princess, Cinderella, and Ariel. I was nervous that it wouldn't be the same as from when I was younger, but it was amazing. Aurora was kind and brightened my face with a smile, Cinderella was so elegant, and Ariel was quirky and friendly. She asked me to sing one of my favorite songs, so I decided to sing the first verse of Us by Regina Spektor since I sing it all of the time at home. It was nerve-wracking to sing it without the piano to distract my fingers, but I'm proud of myself for doing it. 

I also rode Mr. Toad's Wild Ride for the second time. Last time I cried for about ten minutes after the ride because I was so terrified of going through hell. The second time wasn't much better either. I grasped onto my mom for dear life the entire time and screamed numerous times. We rode on some other kiddie rides, and they were all adorable. We weren't rushing to go on any rides though because we were staying for three more days after our choir left. At check-in, we met up with another group from our school and went to California Adventure. There, I was persuaded to go onto California Screamin' on which I definitely screamed (and cussed a lot more than I'd like to admit). The girl sitting next to me, Lauren, was cracking up the entire time. I sat out on most of the rides that the group went on, but I did experience Soarin' Over California. It was such a relaxing and beautiful ride. It turns out that not going on rides is a sort of adventure in and of itself. For example while Alex, my mom, and I were waiting for people to finish Grizzly River Run, a man sat and played folk tunes in front of where we were sitting. He was very talented and even threw in some Phineas and Ferb songs, but everyone walked past him like he was nobody. We were basically the only ones clapping for him. It made me a bit upset with human nature, but I enjoyed the music. 

After our check-in at 5:00 pm, we returned to Disneyland, and I met up with Serena and her mom. Serena had been going on rides by herself all day because her mom is pregnant and wasn't allowed to go on most rides, so we got fast passes for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Peter Pan's Flight, an amazingly detailed and beautiful ride by the way. While waiting to go on Peter Pan's Flight, my mom got a text from my choir teacher saying that we actually have to meet again at 10:00 instead of 12:00, so we rushed off to our meeting spot directly after Serena and I finished the ride. Apparently, our bus driver had a different schedule than us and had already started her 16 hour shift or something. When we arrived at the parking lot, people began to notice that Stephen, our foreign exchange student, was missing. Everyone's phones were dead including his, and nobody had a clue as to where he might be. A few of the chaperones continued to look for him while the rest of us piled onto the bus and sat until 2:00 am because the bus driver couldn't leave without him. One of our students got a text from him saying that he was okay but had taken a shuttle to the wrong Holiday Inn. We picked him up and returned to the correct hotel where I cried myself to sleep because I knew I had to wake up in about four hours to leave for our performance at Fullerton Junior College.