Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Got "Daydreamed" in Disney

So Disneyland has extended their "Year of a Million Dreams" event. Guests are picked out of the crowd (I don't know how) and are given "Dreams" which can be a Fast Pass to an attraction to a night stay at the Mickey Mouse Penthouse Suite at Disneyland Hotel. A few of my friends had gotten "Dreamed" with Super Fast Passes for the day and others have gotten Mickey Ears.
Amanda and I went on the first of our Disney Tuesdays this year yesterday. We are trying to get (okay, I am trying to get) our per visit cost under $20. With yesterday's visit it is now at $30.82 (that's with our Premium AP).
Usually, we have a sort of plan on how to spend the day. We would have some kind of theme (take as many pictures with characters, cast members, new rides, etc) just to keep things interesting and fun but we didn't have one yesterday. We just roamed around aimlessly. Again our Disney "ju-ju" was working great in that it wasn't too crowded. In fact, it was near empty!
We headed out to try our shooting skills at the Buzz Lightyear's Astro-Blaster. We have a friend whose score we can't seem to get near! This isn't even near our best scores.
We've never sat to watch the whole Jedi Training Academy show at the Tomorrowland Terrace, so we had an early lunch and watched the show. I was thinking it was going to be cheesy but it was very entertaining. It was geared for the kids but it was a lot of fun to watch. The kids were given "training light sabers" and cloaks. They were taught a few moves and then Darth Vader and Darth Maul shows up and the kids fight them one by one.
I am looking for someone (a kid) who is willing to go and when it comes time for them to face either of the "darths" to throw down their light saber and run screaming bloody murder back into the audience! That would be hilarious! Anyone?
After the show we decided to go to California Adventure and check things out over there. While taking pictures of the castle, we noticed a couple of castmembers, on the right side of the castle by the Snow White and the Seven Dwarves figurines, waving people over. They were giving these out.
(Day) Dream Pass
They were passes to stay an extra hour after the park closed. Unfortunately, we were not going to be able to take advantage of it as we were leaving before 5 pm. Since we spotted them and were not really picked out, we were only (day) dreamed.
On the way out to California Adventure, I saw the Omnibus coming around the hub. In all the years I've been going to Disneyland, I've never ridden in it. So...

First time on the Omnibus

See how near empty Disneyland was? This was taken at 1:20 pm!
Near empty park

Took a few more pictures before we went into California Adventure...
In between Disneyland and California Adventure

She gets her initials.
Her initials

Ran into a couple of new friends.
With Chip & Dale

We saw the High School Musical 2 Parade (another movie I have yet to see) and the Golden Dreams show hosted by Whoopi Goldberg. After walking around some more, we headed back to Disneyland and rode a few more rides.

Next time, I think we will have a photo safari day.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Palos Verdes and San Pedro

Took a little drive with James around the Palos Verdes - San Pedro peninsulas to check out the Korean Friendship Bell. The thing was neither of us really knew where it was. I had an idea where but not exactly... so we drove around for a while. All I knew was that it was somewhere in either Palos Verdes or San Pedro.
The plan (which almost never works out) was to have lunch at Bruddah's in Gardena then head out. As we pull up it is obvious that it was closed. Not because it was Martin Luther King Day, apparently, they are closed every Monday! We were in the mood for Hawaiian and L&L was not going to cut it for me.
Plan B became Gardena Bowl's restaurant. James had never been there and Berda took me there a while back. Along with some of the standard Hawaiian/Asin foods, their menu had some things that L&L, Roy's and Ono Hawaiian would never have on their menu (think fried bologna and eggs over rice!).
Once filled up, we headed out. Going up Hawthorne Boulevard, we got to the ocean side of the peninsula. We stopped at the first park we saw (Fred Hesse Community Park) to check out the view and get our bearings. It was a beautiful park with a gorgeous view of Catalina Island and (according to a man walking his two dogs) Santa Barbara Island in the distance. It was cool that it was raining and sunny at the same time. He gave us some vague directions to the Korean Friendship Bell after admitting that he has never been to see it either. Though he was positive that it was in San Pedro not Palos Verdes. We thanked him and continued on.
We stopped at a Starbucks at the end of Hawthorne Boulevard for something to drink and enjoy another view. Of all the Starbucks I've been to (and I've been to quite a few of them) this one has one of the best views, too bad I left my camera in the car.
The next stop was less than a mile away. I saw a sign that said Whale Watching site. Luckily, it wasn't as quick a turn into the driveway as many of our "last minute swerves after seeing a sign from the left lane" experiences, I know long name, but a very accurate description.
It was the Pointe Vicente Interpretive Center. Why it was called that, I have no idea. There was a group from the American Cetacean Society. They keep track of the whales along the coast.
Whale watchers
There are a good number of picnic tables and a seating area facing the water.
The Pointe Vicente Lighthouse is within walking distance.
Pointe Vicente Lighthouse
I've been to the lighthouse a LONG time ago but I don't remember the interpretive center being there. It is a very nice park to have a picnic and enjoy the view, glad we swerved turned into the driveway.
After a couple of halts (read: LOST), I gambled (I say "I" because someone fell asleep) with a right turn and found (read: STUMBLED) into Angel's Gate Recreation Center!
Angel's Gate Park

Friendship Bell

All in all, it was a successful drive! Hah! Who need GPS?

Monday, January 14, 2008

100,000 miles

I guess it is no big surprise to those who know me that I like to go on drives and road trips. I find that driving actually clears my head and is quite relaxing - Yes! even in Los Angeles traffic! It also isn't a big secret that I can usually be "convinced" to make a "turn-around" to Vegas (for dinner), Santa Barbara (for lunch) or even San Francisco (to shop). Last summer, I joked that I might hit 100,000 miles on the CRV before the New Year. It looked like it was going to make it too but it came up short. Things got in the way of several road trips.
Last night it finally got there. On the way to Maxim Cafe for a late night snack. At 99999 miles we got off the 60 freeway to take a shot. James has helped me log in a good part of those miles and we had to take a shot when it finallly hit 100,000. Just as it turned 100,000 miles, we were right in front of a buffet! What are the odds? LOL! Too bad it was already closed. Otherwise, it would have been a perfect sign!

100,000 Miles

I wonder how long it will take to get to 200,000 miles?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Long time tagged

My bro-in-law, Jim, tagged me with this a long while ago and I never got around to it. I actually had it written but only had the first three things on the list. I saved it a while back and forgot all about it. So, here it is... Five Things you didn't know about Me.

  1. I used to be an altar boy.
  2. I did a face-plant the very first time I got on a skateboard (yes it had steel wheels).
  3. I used to be in a Pilipino comedy troupe called, "One Thousand Shoes Players", the show never got sold... go figure.
  4. In the 4th grade, my class had a movie day and we saw "The Blob" (yes the original). I was so freaked out that I made a lame "My stomach hurts" excuse so I can go back to the classroom.
  5. I keep a "bucket list" (though I used to call it "Things I want to do before I die" list, thanks to the movie, it's a lot shorter title).

There you go Jim! What I am supposed to do now, I have no idea.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Resolutions and the first week

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the coming year and what kind of goals I should work towards. I usually don't make resolutions, at least not any serious ones. That way, when I don't stick to them it isn't a big deal. I figure, if it was really important, I don't need a new year to dictate that something needs to be done.
Thinking that way is good in theory but it can also make you lazy and me... complacent. I've decided that I can't fall back on the "it will happen when it happens" way of thinking. I'm going to put it on the line and make a few hard resolutions and really stick to them.

  1. Drop 50: Let's face it none of us are getting younger and the only way I am going to see the other side of 60 years is to get healthier. With a couple of heart surgeries and a rapidly expanding... everything, I've got to get rid of some "pound-age".
  2. To help with #1, I'm exercising more. I am taking to walking around the neighborhood and as I get in better shape I will increase the frequency. So far (first week), I've been walking every other day (Monday, Wednesday and Fridays) with Saturdays as a special treat.
  3. I've stopped drinking soda and coffee since Thanksgiving, thanks to a suggestion from my cousin Rolly. Nowadays, I only drink water, green tea or juice (rarely). I've done better than I thought with this one so I will continue with it.

Those are really the main ones. I have a few other resolutions that are minor self improvements and honestly more for my own ego.

  1. I've really been having a lot of fun with photography ever since I got my Nikon D50. I must say though that for the most part I am still in the dark (haha) with much of what I am doing behind the camera. So, I've started another project (the first one wasn't the success I had hoped-Darn you James and your word) which involves a photo a week for the year and each picture tied in to a song. I'm not too happy with the first week, I hope I get better.
  2. I'm usually pretty good with remembering people's birthdays. Unless there is a get-together or a night out, I will usually let it pass without telling the celebrants "Happy Birthday". If these people are worth having as friends and I love my family, I should be acknowledging their birthdays whether there is a get-together or not.

Those are pretty much it. I am really putting myself on the spot here. By putting it all here for my friends and family to read, I have given them the power to hold accountable. So everyone, feel free to slap that doughnut out of my hand!

Lemon-Butter Club

The Lemon Butter Club had its first meeting Saturday. I know, I know after all I said above, I segue into a Lemon Butter Club report? I did very well actually. So here goes...

I decided that I was not going to be calling anymore meetings for a few reasons, so I told the most of the members that if they wanted to have a "meeting" someone other than myself will have to call one. Stephanie heard of a place from another website, called Asian Buffet in Buena Park and called a meeting. We had 17 people total and 4 new members, Mike & Maria and Paul and Elena.

LemonButterJan (1)

LemonButterJan (5)

LemonButterJan (7)

It was a good meeting...