Monday, July 25, 2016

Day 1302: Off Again

You know, at this point, I've been home for less than a week after a 10 day excursion to Colorado and back, driving 3500 miles across the country. I visited 8 different states in those 10 days, and now I've spent a meager 7 days at home, catching up on the blog, editing videos, transferring pictures, doing laundry, watching plenty of Scandal on Netflix, and preparing for yet another trip home. 

Yes, home. 

I'm excited to announce that I'll be in Florida for the next week! Part of the time will be spent at a National Youth Event volunteering, an opportunity that I'm really excited about and looking forward to. This trip will bring plenty of firsts for me, including my first trip on Soarin' Around the World and to the new Frozen Ever After attraction, among many other things, but it also is a celebration of the last 20 years of my life, as I'll be heading on my 30th trip to Walt Disney World. Following the conference I'll be spending a few extra days on property to celebrate this anniversary, as well as my birthday, and to do a bit of extra work before the school year begins. That means footage for new vlogs and other YouTube videos that will appear on my YouTube channel over the next several months. 

As always, Everyday Disney will be on hiatus until my return, when I'll have an opportunity to blog about everything I had a chance to see, and I know there will be plenty of updates after this trip. In addition, you can follow along in real time by following any of my social media. I post regularly on Instagram and Tumblr, as well as Twitter. I'll try to do some snapchats while I'm in the parks over the weekend and early next week, and maybe I'll throw in a Periscope too, you never know! 

I've got to go finish packing, but I'll see you all next week! 

Have a magical day!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Day 1301: Dole Whips in Wisconsin

I may have to drive two hours to get it, but I finally got my Dole Whip outside of Disney! 

I may have mentioned a while back about how there are a couple of locations throughout the country where you can locate a real, authentic dole whip without ever stepping foot on Disney property, but for those like me, these locations are few and far between. The closest Orange Leaf to my home used to be about 20 minutes, but when they still existed in Green Bay and Appleton, I didn't know what was awaiting me there. Now, I have to travel two hours to Waukesha to find the closest store, and that's not exactly worth it...even if I could get all the dole whip I ever wanted. 

Still, when you happen to be passing through the area on your way home from a week and a half long road trip, it makes perfect sense to stop on the way and pick up an extra special treat. Granted, I'll be eating a dole whip at Disney in about week, but the fact that I got it in Wisconsin made the entire experience even more special. 

Will I make the trip all the way to Waukesha just for a dole whip in the future? Probably not. But the next time I'm in the area you'd better believe I'll spend plenty of time at the local Orange Leaf. 

Have a magical day! 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Day 1300: Just You Wait

With every passing hundred blog posts, I tend to pause and reflect a bit about how I got here. After all, it feels like just yesterday that I was celebrating the first hundred, and now they fly by with barely a second thought. I've done a lot of changing and growing up in the past year, and it sort of scares me. I'm embarking on adventures that terrify and excite me all at the same time. Not long ago, I was given the advice that whenever I feel like taking a step backwards, I should step forward instead, and it's by that motto that I've been trying to live my life lately. 

Upon returning from Colorado, my car was packed full of stuff. Some of it we brought with us: our suitcases, a cooler, some snacks, and so on and so forth. But then there was an entire laundry basket filled with purchases from the whole family, sent back with us because we had a car and they'd be flying from Denver. I had a few mugs thrown in, along with some sand and a small bust of Abe Lincoln, but for the most part, my memorabilia consisted of postcards, gathered from as many of the locations we visited as possible. They're easy to transport, and I loved the vintage poster styles available at the National Parks. Figuring I had an entire blank wall back in my apartment, I picked up a variety of cards and finally finished hanging the rest of the decor on the wall above my bed. 

The wall, as you can see above, is a mix of various objects, from arrows to postcards to that giant Hamilcanvas in the middle. I didn't intend it, but I realized after hanging the postcards that this wall is a symbol of something, and it's a lesson that Hamilton and Disney both sort of teach us. Despite the fact that we've been so many places and done so many things - I just trekked across the United States for goodness sake - there's still a million things we haven't done. There's always going to be new places to explore and new experiences to be had, and that's pretty awesome. Walt Disney himself sort of reminded us of that, gone too soon, and yet his dream of Walt Disney World was realized. It continues to change far beyond anything he could have ever imagined, and while we mourn the loss of some of the attractions we still love and adore, we must keep moving forward. 

Essentially, we live on a planet that is impossible to see in one lifetime. We could travel everyday of our lives and still not make it to every city or community, and even if we did manage to see every single one, we'd never truly experience any of them. We can never relive history, but we can change it in our day to day lives. We can control our own fates, and unless we take that step forward, we're never going to see anything beyond the blank wall in our bedroom. 

Have a magical day! 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Day 1299: Disney Emoji Blitz

I've been waiting a long time to get my hands on some Disney Emoji, because let's face it, the little pineapple and little ice cream emojis barely represent how magical Dole Whips are, even though it's what we all end up using. And then finally, in the wake of Pokemon Go, Disney has finally come up with a solution: Disney Emoji Blitz. 

Basically just another version of Candy Crush combined with Tsum Tsums, the new game allows you to earn various Disney themed emoji, from churros to turkey legs to animals and characters. When you unlock the items in the game, they're unlocked in a special third party keyboard that you can turn on in the settings of your phone (I have an iPhone, but I'm not sure if it works with other devices). From there, you can share them on Twitter and in Text Messages! 

Unfortunately they don't work the same way as regular emojis, as you can only send three at a time and then copy them to your clipboard, which then sends them as a picture rather than in a small format such as in the message itself. It sort of works the same way as the Star Wars emojis did with the Star Wars app. Still, I'm not complaining, because now I can finally accurately express to my friends what I'm thinking without having them try to decipher the not-so-Disney emojis that come with the phone. 

Plus I have a new game to play while waiting in line at Walt Disney World! Tell me that's not a win-win! 

Have a magical day!

Day 1298: A Closer Look

Since there's so much to see in Marceline, Missouri, I figured it might be fun to give you an extra glimpse inside the museum before my video on the town next week. The museum is in the old train depot, which offers plenty of space, and the majority of the artifacts inside were either donated to the town by Walt himself or to the museum by Walt's sister Ruth. It means the building is filled with unique pieces that you can't see anywhere else on earth! 

The above pictures are in one of the front rooms, which is filled with train memorabilia and artifacts from the film that premiered in Marceline, The Great Locomotive Chase. Just off of this room, you can enter the majority of the museum, which features the artifacts from Walt's sister. One of the room also features a documentary on Walt Disney, which is over an hour long, but offers a nice chance to sit and relax if you're there for more than a few hours. I happened to walk in at the perfect moment of the documentary, when Walt was giving the opening speech for Disneyland. Since I visited the museum on Disneyland's birthday, it seemed like fate that I would catch that portion of the film. 

The brick you see in the picture above is from the original school that Walt attended when he lived in Marceline. Walt had the town promise to keep the cornerstone of the building if they tore it down, and when they did, they were sure to listen. The stone, which is much larger than it looks in this picture, is sitting next to the school replication on the second floor, nearby the model of Disneyland. 

When I mentioned that the Train Depot houses the museum, I'm not kidding. Much of the original building remains, only refurbished to house the museum. The ticket office still stands, filled with extra artifacts that would have been normal during Walt's time in Marceline. Outside, you can still stand on the platform where Walt would as a child, watching one of 70 daily trains go by, and yes, they do go by. You can't spend more than a half hour at the museum without hearing at least one train pass, and it really brings the entire thing together. 

Oh, and if that wasn't enough Disney for you, just as you used to be able to do at Walt Disney World, you can buy a brick to be engraved and added to the path just outside the building. I loved the connection, whether they did it on purpose or not, and while I didn't purchase a brick this time, I hope to do so next time I'm there to continue to help support such a wonderful museum! 

As I said, I'll have a video out next week on more of Marceline, so be sure to keep an eye out for that too! 

Have a magical day!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Day 1297: 3500 Miles

Let me tell you, 3500 miles is nothing to sneeze at. 

When we were amidst the planning for our road trip, I don't think I ever really realized just how far we would be going. You can look at a map all day and never realize just how far you've gone until you're actually in another state 16 hours away from your apartment with the realization that you drove yourself there...and that it's another 16 hour drive home. 

Still, Colorado was a great adventure for my family and I. For us, so used to traveling to Disney all the time, and definitely more used to flying than driving, it was a long haul. And yet, we saw so many different things, and to tell the truth, there were more than a few distinct Disney references along the way aside from the big ones that each got their own blog post. For instance, there was Key West Drive and the Fillmore Recreation Area in Iowa, not to mention the real life Filmore garage we found in Crestone, Colorado! Passing through Altoona, we came across an Adventureland Resort...because yes, that was really its name, and in Cripple Creek there was a Cheshire Cat gift shop. In Durango, there was a Guido Italian Restaurant, and we actually found Sir Axelrod in South Fork, Colorado. Oh, and this guy too: 

So yeah, I did really enjoy my trip to Colorado, and I know there are definitely a few more blog posts on the way about all our adventures. After all, it turns out that the second you leave your apartment, Disney references are all around you. To celebrate, here are a few bonus pictures from the trip as well: 

Have a magical day!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Day 1296: Ghost Ranch

On a trip that took me halfway across the country, I certainly saw more than a few different views, but none of them could really compare to the beauty we found at Ghost Ranch. 

Previous to doing some research on Indiana Jones films, I'd never heard of a little ranch in the northern part of New Mexico. Turns out though, this place is more famous than many of us may realize. Numerous movies have been filmed here, including the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It's also where artist Georgia O'Keeffe set up shop when she moved to New Mexico permanently to live out her days painting the nearby mountains and landscapes that surrounded her. 


The ranch has a visitor fee of a few dollars to help preserve it and upkeep the various buildings, but it's still well worth a stop. They have two museums on the property, as well as several of the original historic buildings, including Georgia O'Keeffe's home. There are hiking trails all over the place, none of which we actually got a chance to use because it was hotter than anything I've ever experienced when we visited. In addition, you can also book a room to stay at Ghost Ranch in their lodge, meaning that for a few days, you can wake up the same way Georgia O'Keeffe did when she fell in love with the same vistas in front of you. 

We only got to spend a little over an hour at Ghost Ranch, partially because it was too hot to stay outside any longer, but I would gladly go back to experience more of it, especially when it might be cooler and I'm not suffering from the lingering effects of food poisoning. If you happen to be in the area, definitely go check out this area though! I'm not kidding when I say it's the most beautiful landscape I've ever seen in my life. 

Have a magical day!