Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Just a quick update with more to come…
Thunder from Downunder
August 11, 2010
Need I say more?
Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
~May The Force Be With You ~
Star Wars Weekends is an annual special event held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that celebrates the legendary Star Wars Saga and the animated television series, The Clone Wars. Little did we know that this year marked the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back which meant Hollywood Studios would be infested with Star Wars nerds lurking at each and every corner.
I am, by no means a Star Wars nerd, but, having grown up with a brother who’s childhood dream was for mum and dad to buy him the Millennium Falcon and a father who absolutely loved the original Star Wars Trilogy, it was hard not being a teeny tiny bit excited. I don’t think the Aussies had the slightest bit interest in Star Wars though, and I can’t really say that I blame them.
I was amazed with the detail and depth that went into all the Star Wars costumes. While admiring a few, it was a delightful surprise to see that one of our College Program Alumni friends, Jason, had scored the face-role of Mace Windu. We ditched the Aussies on a street corner somewhere and jumped in line to grab a photo with him. While waiting, I was astounded with how excited grown men were to be having their photo taken with ‘Mace Windu’. I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything quite like it. We were up next.
Me: Hi Mace!
Mace Windu: Greetings. And which strange planet are you from milady?
Mace Windu: Ah, I was wondering where that beautiful accent was from.
Mace Windu: (To Bryan as we were walking away) Keep an eye on her. The force is especially strong within this one.
Mace Windu: (To me) May the force be with you.
Here’s a few more photos I was able to snap displaying the spectacular costuming and make-up efforts that went into Star Wars Weekends.
It saddens me to say that there wasn’t anything terribly embarrassing to report back on from today’s events. I’d love to tell you that Nicole slipped and fell down in front of hundreds of people, or that Gavin lost his shit again when we watched the Beauty and the Beast musical, but unfortunately I can’t. Despite the lack of incidents, though, a fun time was had by all. It was starting to get dark. The Aussies headed towards the amphitheater to get seats for Fantasmic and Bryan and I headed back home in time to catch the Lost finale. There are simply some things in life that just get put ahead of friendship.
~Hats What I’m Talking About ~
Epcot; the last of the four Disney parks left on our agenda. This saddens me because I know the time I have left with my Aussies is coming to an end. I try not to think about it despite the lingering thought at the back of my mind.
The World Showcase does not open up until 11am so we decide to tackle Test Track and Soarin’ first. We have a fast pass for Test Track so we get through the line with ease and are assigned to our vehicle. We are set for Concourse A. Our vehicle clears the heat and ice condition testing and leads us out into a dark room; we are driving blindly at a rough yet steady pace. We are still in pitch darkness. Out of no where, the overbearing horn of a semi-trailer can be heard as its headlights turn on and shine directly onto our vehicle. The semi-trailer is heading straight toward us. Nicole is startled by the sudden appearance of the semi and starts screaming at the top of her lungs. Our vehicle abruptly swerves, merely missing the semi. I’m pretty sure Nicole shits her pants as she panics and continues to frantically scream. I begin to uncontrollably laugh. I’ve been on test track a few dozen times and I have never seen anyone scream so much at the semi part. I continue to laugh all the way through but stop just in time to pose before we smash into the wall.
We make our way toward Space Ship Earth. Nicole is eager to ride the big ball. Too bad Minnie isn’t here to ride with her, they would have made a great, frisky team. Carlos offers himself and Nicole willingly accepts. We board the ride in pairs. Gavin and Bryan; Nicole and Carlos; Brendon and myself. We take our seats and face forward as the ride begins. We must be maybe three or so minutes into the ride when I notice that Carlos is no longer facing forward, but instead, facing Brendon’s and my direction. I ponder this awkward positioning for a moment until I realize that Carlos is mounting Nicole. Their love continues to blossom.
Our World Showcase adventure is ready to begin. Today, our reason for living is to try on as many different hats in as many different countries as possible. Nicole, however, had an alternative motive; to get drunk. I feel as though this ‘alternative motive’ was a cover to shag Carlos around the world and then to just blame the alcohol. I guess we will never know the real truth. Hey, he’s not complaining, he got to ride Nicole’s magic carpet in Morocco and show her a dazzling place she never knew. It really was a whole new world but unfortunately for Nicole, she closed her eyes. Perhaps to say she was only dreaming? Sound familiar? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Hola! Our first hat country on the list is Mexico. Nothing screams Mexico more than giant sombreros and maracas. Muy bien senor o senorita!
Next up is Norway. I do admit I lack extensive Norwegian knowledge, but judging by the hats and props they had in their gift store, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume they thrive on violence and seek joy from stabbing one another with swords while giant trolls watch on. They are also rather horny; that’s just my visual take. We make use of the props on display and give our best Norwegian pose. Unfortunately we couldn’t find any real trolls lurking around. I was rather disappointed and saddened that we had to use a fake one. Using what limited resources we had, I think we depict a rather accurate photo of Norwegian life today.
Ni hao. Wo ai Zhongguo! It’s China time. Now, having studied and learned Chinese back in high school for four years, I had the whole conical straw hat thing down pat and was quite confident with where my Chinese knowledge level was at. I was, however, unaware that Chinese people spray-pained themselves gold on a daily basis and ran around with their shirts unbuttoned. It’s amazing how much a statue can teach you. Immediately upon realizing this, I tried to find gold body paint, but to no avail. I was also quite mad at myself for not wearing a button-up shirt today. I think I speak on behalf of all the Aussies when I say we failed at being Chinese.
Zaijian China and hello U.S.A. Having lived in the U.S.A. for a year now I encourage my Aussies to pretend to be American by doing what Yank’s do best; patriotism. Americans LOVE being American so we try to adopt this same adoration for our pretend country. We deck ourselves out in ginormous star spangled banner hats and hold our hand to our heart just long enough for the camera to snap. Woah, that’s enough chauvinism for one day, kids. In between frolicking from this hat journey to our next, Nicole fits in another beer; oh my.
We’re cruising in style to our next destination. I snap my fingers. Within second a magic carpet arrives; ‘Carpet, take us to a fez-filled country.‘ We disembark the carpet to find ourselves in a whole new world where every turns a surprise. Nicole walks ahead, eager to explore this foreign land. I hear her bellow from a far; ‘Hold your breath it gets better!‘ I group with my remaining Aussies as we link arms and tip toe around the corner of what seems to be a strange market place. Brendon leans closer and whispers; ‘Hey guys I think we’re in…’ ‘Morocco! We’re in Morocco,’ screams an excited Nicole. Way to ruin Brendon’s blog appearance, Nic!
We browse through the backstreet markets of Morocco until we stumble upon the Fez House. We each put one on. I suddenly feel the much needed urge to move my hips in ways they have never been moved before. I want to jump on top of a table and do some serious belly dancing. I immediately take my fez off. I glance over at Nicole. She is serenading Carlos by belly dancing laps around him. I run over to her and take a giant leap into the air (this is all happening in slow motion by the way) knocking her fez off her head before hitting the ground. We place our fez’ back on our heads, but only long enough for a single snap of the camera.
Bonjour! Upon stepping foot in France I feel the constant urge to make love to any man in my path. Well, not any, but some. After all, Paris is the city of love and who can deny one wearing nothing more than a seductive beret? Since we are at Disney though, we must keep it clean, so, unfortunately for you guys reading this, we are wearing more than just a beret. I have a sneaking suspicion that if you friend request Nicole on Facebook, she’d be more than willing to send you the private photos her and Carlos took in just their berets.
We journey off to the United Kingdom to sip some tea and meet the Queen. Just like Norway, judging by the props available to us in the gift store, I get the feeling that people in the UK enjoy promoting violence via daily heroic sword battles (minus the giant troll watching on). I try to fathom how much had changed since my last visit to London in 2008; the Brits seemed civil and harmless back then. I guess it goes to show that anything can happen.
I was somewhat sad that our hat journey was about to come to an end, and of all countries, Canada had to be the last. Canada, eh? Canadians are completely in denial about their extensive use of the word ‘eh‘. The problem is, they say it so often, they don’t even realize that they’re doing it. It’s similar to the usage of the word ‘like’ by a tween girl; she will say it at least five times within a sentence without even realizing; it’s kind of a second nature. Oh well, at least us non-Canadians know the truth and the truth is all that matters.
We each grab one of Davy Crockett’s hats for our Canadian pose. Nicole grabs a beaver and, without even thinking, gets down on her knees in front of Carlos. Typical of her. We transform into our Canadian selves in preparation for our final photo. Instead of yelling out cheese, we yell out eh? I don’t think the Canadian store attendant taking our photo is too impressed but the jokes on him because I heard him say eh prior to taking our photo.
Our hat-tastic journey around the world is over. How sad. No more parks and only one day left with my Aussies. I want to bathe in a pool filled with my own tears of misery. Attractive, I know.
~ End It With A Bang ~
Tonight marked the final night out with my Aussies. We had plans for another messy night at club Rain. Again, I’d love to report back on the nights events, but I have limited memory of our time there. Strangely enough, there were also no photos taken. Either Gavin was too drunk to operate his camera or he was being kept occupied. Hmmm; my monies on the later of the two.
Speaking of being kept occupied, tonight was the night Nicole and Carlos finally consummated their love for one another by swapping spit. It was a gruesome sight watched on by all. Cheering and applauds could be heard from miles on out. Finally, after nine days, Nicole and Carlos had accepted what we had realized from the beginning; true love.
We drunkenly stumbled our way out of the club to attend to the dire needs of Kellen who had passed out in the back of Ali’s car. Right there, in the parking lot of Rain, we exchanged our good byes and farewells. Much to my surprise, this was a tear-free event. This is an odd occurrence for Gavin and myself as we usually dribble and drool on each others shoulder while sharing a farewell embrace. I jump into one car, my Aussies in another and we drive our separate ways; Gavin driving an entirely separate way altogether (re. chapter title).
The last nine days with my Aussies was way too much fun; an epic hot mess, if you will. I am so happy that they took the time to come over to Disney for a visit. We made magical memories that will last a life time in my heart. See you guys back home in Australia!
~ The End ~
Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
~ Nicole’s Coming of Age~
I was amazed with how energetic and awake I felt after running on only four hours of sleep. I was out the front of Animal Kingdom bright-eyed and eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Aussies at 10am. I did, however take a much needed detour to the food and beverage stand to purchase a Vitamin Water which I downed in 0.092 seconds to help ease my mild dehydration from last nights insane bevy intake.
Today was Nicole’s 25th Birthday and we had an epic day lined up to celebrate. In order for the celebration to begin though, Nicole would need to be present. It would probably be nice if Gavin made an appearance too since him and Nic go way back. I do not have my glasses on but upon straining my pretty hazel eyes, I see what seems to be a herd of sheep approaching. This would make sense since we are at the Animal Kingdom and all, but, oh, no, wait, that’s just Brendon; our token New Zealander that pretends to be Australian. I hear that’s what all the cool kids are doing these days. I’m delighted to see that Nicole is right up there behind him, oh, and what do we have here, a Gavin. Nice of you to join us… Sleep well, did we Mr. Thomas?
We head over to Guest Relations. I force Nicole to wear a birthday pin and for the rest of us to wear ‘I’m Celebrating‘ pins. Unfortunately for Nicole, I am celebrating her oldness. She glances over at me, unamused. I pretend to be oblivious as I mischievously continue chuckling at my awesomeness.
Today we figured we would get wet before visiting Mickey and Minnie. If she saw we were wet before meeting her then she wouldn’t have to waste any of her precious time flirting and teasing. We gently place our butts down on the Kali River Rapids ride and strap ourselves in. Judging by the name of the ride, I predict the mere rapid or two ahead.
In a stern yet serious voice, I warn the Aussies that there is a slight (extreme) possibility we would end up completely soaked from head to toe and everything in between (yes, I am subtly referring to soggy butt crack). I though this would be enough for them to take me seriously. I guess I should never assume, especially after an epic night of heavy drinking. We disembark our raft a wee bit heavier than when we hopped on. Fastest weight gain of my life. Chafe much? This calls for a whirlwind ride on Expedition Everest to dry off.
Upon entering the Festival of the Lion King, we take a quick detour to our right. We wait in line for some time to meet Mickey. This isn’t just any old Mickey though, this is Safari Mickey, all decked out in his safari gear. I’m not too sure if this is a fortunate or unfortunate event, but it’s that time of the day again where Gavin loses his shit. No one has a mirror on them so we are unsure if we still look like drowned sewer rats. I ponder this thought for a moment; Mickey… Mouse… Wet Aussies… Drowned Sewer Rats… Mice… Rats = Family. Perfect! Now, if only I had a piece of cheese to offer at this family reunion; I hate showing up empty handed. Despite my entire backside dripping wet, we still take a cute family portrait.
It’s reaching park close. My clothes are still damp and I’m pretty sure I smell of wet cat. I worry that my Eau de Wet Cat will soon start attracting the male Cheetahs and Lions on the Kilimanjaro Jungle Safari. We go our separate ways to wash up and plan to meet back at Downtown Disney soon after for Nicole’s birthday dinner.
~ Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue~
I had only heard good things from friends whom had previously attended, so I was expecting utter amazingness at its best for tonight’s birthday dinner celebration. The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is an old fashioned dinner show that includes foot-stomping music, nostalgic comedy and an all you can eat dinner buffet at the Pioneer Hall in Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.
The dinner show is hosted in a western-feel dance hall and brought to life through the use of wild west music, singing, dancing and cheesy yet hilarious comedy provided by Claire de Lune, Johnny Ringo, Dolly Drew, Six Bits Slocum, Flora Long and Jim Handy. Good thing Brendon and I both wore plaid.
We were booked in for Category 1 seating. Our table was only a few meters from the stage and smack bang in the middle of the hall. We had a great view. A Cast Member came around to take our drink orders. Unlimited beer, wine and sangria were on the drink menu; amazing! I ordered myself a beer. In between all the singing, dancing and crowd participation, Cast Members brought out a countrified feast of all-you-can-eat fried chicken, smoked BBQ pork ribs, vegetables, baked beans and freshly baked corn bread. The food was absolutely delicious and went down a treat with my five glasses of beer.
At times, I think I speak on behalf of the four girls at our table when I say I had a hard time swallowing my food. We were all distracted by the super hotness that was the lead male character. He could square dance around me any day. It was much to our delight when he approached Nicole for her birthday and started dancing around our table. I think I almost choked on a chicken bone. It would have been a lovely last sight to see. While us girls were busy trying to pick our jaws up off the table from admiring this handsome character and his extremely tight blue leggings, Brendon had found a love interest of his own in the show. When the mood seemed right, Brendon would flash a wink over in her direction and attempt to seduce her with the tiger like rollings of his tongue.
The cast do a tremendous job staying in character and playing the part although sometimes going off script and adding an extra bit of hilarity to it all. Crowd participation is encouraged throughout the show making it all the more enjoyable.
Dessert was strawberry shortcake which is shared between you and your neighbor. It was scrumptiously delectable and I wish I had more of if to devour right this minute. While still consuming this little bit of heaven, the cast came through to each table handing out old fashioned washboards and encouraging everyone to make as much noise as possible on it with their spoon. It wasn’t the most pleasant of noises but it was damn right fun. Every one picked up their napkins and swung them up above their heads for the grand finale, and just like that, it was over.
~ The Nip Slip ~
Vulgar slang (verb)
……..1. A wardrobe malfunction leading to the indecent exposure
………….of intimate parts.
……..2. When a nipple slips out of an article of clothing, partially or
.…… ……fully, and is noticed by someone else.
……..3. Something that happened to Nicole at Typhoon Lagoon.
It was a scorching 98º Fahrenheit out at Lake Buena Vista today. It could only be assumed that Typhoon Lagoon would be endlessly busy with hot and bothered guests trying to cool off from the sizzling Florida sun. Little did they know and to their surprise, today (and for today only) they would get more than just the price of their admission ticket. Today, Thursday May 20, 2010, an innocent little boy, myself and the other ten million billion guests enjoying the Typhoon Lagoon wave pool would fall victim to Nicole’s right breast <insert Jaws music here>.
The waves come crashing toward us with quite a temper. Each one seemed more tumultuous than the one before. I was standing in the middle of the wave pool; the water level sitting just above my shoulders. The others swam ahead to depths much greater than their own. I felt comfortable here. My feet were still firmly on the pool floor. I assess my immediate surroundings making sure I would not crash into any annoying little children as I catch the next wave back to shore. All is clear.
A tremor is sent through the pool. I look up ahead. A behemoth roaring wave is gushing towards me, taking with it everything in its path. I position my body facing forward in free-style position with my head still turned behind me. Timing is everything. I take a deep breath and throw my head down. The monstrosity of a wave knocks my body around and takes me for a ride back toward the pool shore.
The water level is much lower here than where I was previously standing. Before rising, I make sure my boobs are still in my bikini top. I would be horrified if I ever stood up and they were just hanging all out for the world to see. I find my feet and stand up. The water level is now at my waist. It takes me a second or two to shake the water out from my noes and ears before I begin scoping my surroundings for my Aussies. Brendon; check, Gavin; check, Nicole… AHHHHHHHHH!
I am engulfed by a fierce case of laughter. I am laughing so hard I can hardly find the time to breathe so that I don’t suffocate. I try to get the right words out but all I manage to do is just point. Nicole glances over to see what all the commotion is about. She sees that I am pointing in her direction. I am still a hysterical ball of laughter struggling to breathe and talk. She appears confused for a second until she feels slightly aroused by a breeze rushing over a part of her that is meant to be covered up. She looks down. Her right boob is hanging out of her bikini top. Nicole’s mouth drops. The life guard on duty catches a glimpse and begins to giggle. Right at that moment, a small child, no more than nine years of age surfaces from beneath the water right up beside Nicole. To his horror, upon removing his fogged-up goggles, the first thing he sees is Nicole’s breast. His mouth drops open too. Nicole immediately begins to shove her boob back into her swim suit. The poor child has just lost his first shred of innocence in a wave pool at Disney World. If only he had an underwater camera with him; now that would make for an awesome show-and-tell story when he returns to school.
I manage to contain myself just as Gavin and Brendon make it back to us so I can tell them what they missed out on. I feel they are somewhat relieved that they didn’t experience the torment of Nicole’s boob. We all laugh at Nicole’s expense.
~TO BE CONTINUED~
Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
They may look harmless and innocent, but please, do not let their angelic, semi-tanned (minus me who clearly matches the wood top) appearances fool you. They came from all over Australia; Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane with only one thing in mind. With their powers combine they were an indestructible partying, booze-consuming, and adventure-hungry force… a force that Carlos was not mentally prepared for.
~ The Arrival ~
It was a sweltering summers evening here in Orlando; much like the one we are currently experiencing here tonight. All the Aussies had arrived safe and sound to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Check-in went as smooth as one could hope. The resort was nice enough; comfortable beds, an adequate bathroom for Gavin to beautify himself in and a nice pool with a water slide, that’s right, a water slide. Moving on up in the world, people!
It could not have been more than five or so hours after arriving that the bright-eyed, eager youth of Australia began begging and pleading with me to introduce them to the cheapness that is American alcohol. They didn’t have to ask me twice. After all, who was I to deny them of such a privilege?
~ Ale House ~
It would be a lie if I said I wasn’t nervous. I felt comfortable enough but I knew I was taking a risk by crossing cultural boundaries. I mean, it just didn’t seem fair introducing a country that is quite capable and at ease of drinking anyone and everyone under the table (this is just one of many Australian stereotypes, but one we stand by; one we are truly and wholeheartedly proud of) with a bunch of piss-weak Americans. I thought long and hard about this. I figured that at worst, we would just sacrifice Nicole; our one drink wonder, and that would make us even. This made sense in my head. All seemed fair again. Enough delaying, bring on the buckets and pitchers.
Pitcher after pitcher after pitcher was consumed. It was a marvelous sight; the Australians and the Americans mingling together as if we were united as one (under the rulings of her majesty, the Queen, of course). Beer got the party started until shots just added a whole new definition to crossing boundaries. The saying ‘beer before liquor, never been sicker’, was completely blown out the window tonight. We were all just bouncing off the walls like one big happy drunken family that had just been reunited after twenty odd years of being lost at sea. The alcohol slowly yet surely began to work its magic. Speech became difficult and the right words seemed somewhat troublesome to get out. Conversation quickly took a turn for the worse. Well, maybe not so much for the worse, but enough to send Gavin into a table-hitting ball of laughter and for me to fall to the floor while simultaneously hysterically laughing and crying at the one time. See, even when I’ve had too much to drink I can still multi-task. I should add that to my resume. This is where true love begins to blossom between Aussie Nicole and American Carlos. Will cupid pull through for the sake of us all?
When the night ends with the purchase of three shots and five beers as well as food for $25 and two car loads in a bar parking lot harmoniously screaming out a drunken rendition of Backstreet Boys ‘I Want It That Way‘ (while Carlos makes it his duty to mount me in the front seat, of Bryan’s car), you know you’ve had a good night (and perhaps too much to drink). This almost brought a tear to my eye. I felt at ease with my decision to introduce my Aussies to my Americans.
~ Magic Kingdom ~
A new, sober day. To be honest with you, I’m not quite sure how I got myself out of bed this morning. Today would be the first of four Disney park days. Magic Kingdom is the only dry park on Disney property and just as well after our ‘welcome to America‘ Ale House adventure last night.
Would it be Magic Kingdom without a cliched jump in front of Cinderella’s Castle photo? Yes, we do range from ages 19 – 25. Don’t you be judging now…
Magic Kingdom really is the place where dreams come true. No matter how old you are here, there is always that brief moment where you revert back to your childhood and let the kid inside of you come out and get excited. Now, whether you express this sense of excitement or not is totally up to you, but don’t go being in denial about it; it happens to the best of us. I dropped the tough girl persona within minutes of stepping foot into the Magic Kingdom almost one year ago to this day. And since we are being honest, yes, yes I did download ‘Celebrate You‘ by Corbin Bleu, the pre-tune to the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade and yes, maybe I do sing along and dance to it in front of my mirror when my room mate isn’t home!
lo·sing ones shit (sht)
Vulgar slang (verb)
…1. The act of meeting Mickey and Minnie for the first time.
.. .. … .I’m going to lose my shit when I see Mickey and Minnie.
Today was Gavin’s day to, as he’d loosely refer to it as, ‘lose his shit‘. This is a very simple process for one Gavin Thomas. It involved presenting him with either Mickey or Minnie Mouse. The two of them simultaneously would clearly be sensory overload for the young Mr. Thomas so it was much to my delight when we stumbled upon Mickey’s House and were greeted by the two of them in a separate building out back, possibly Mickey’s garage? I think Mickey and Minnie’s secret rendezvous meeting point seemed to be the more appropriate answer; these two were out of control all over every one. It was something like out of a reality TV show titled Minnie Gone Wild. I’m not sure what side of the bed Miss. Minnie woke up on this morning (or if she mistakenly popped a few of Mickey’s Viagra pills), but she was rather touchy feely; throwing kisses out left right and center then dashing mischief glances over toward Mickey in hopes to see him jealous after she’d smooch it up with all the boys. She was all about the hand action; hugging, poking, tickling, hands around everyone’s waist. Mickey could do nothing more than silently suffer and accept the fact that his girl was feeling rather whore-ish on this pleasant summers day. Who would have thought Minnie had a frisky side to her; definitely not me. All this hot Minnie action was, no doubt, causing Gavin to experience heart palpitations like no other. He shoved his camera into my hands while mumbling a quick ‘Oh my God’ under his breath and leaped toward Mickey for a long, loving embrace. Gavin had officially lost his shit.
I had not had my photo taken with Mickey or Minnie for some time now so I figured since we’d waited in line, I may as well take advantage of this situation (and of Minnie). The anticipation and all that sexual tension that was floating around the room proved to be all too much for the Aussies, because after all of this, we got wet. Very wet. That’s right, we rode Splash Mountain and got drenched from head to toe. Not what you were thinking, right? Dirty buggers.
Our night at Magic Kingdom ended with a big bang. I can’t say I’m surprised if you suspect that Minnie had something to do with this, but fortunately for Mickey’s sanity and the longevity of Disney World, you are wrong. Get your mind out of the gutter, people. I’m talking about the Wishes Fireworks Spectacular! Since arriving at Disney World last year, Wishes has quite possibly been my favorite thing ever apart from the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor so I was ecstatic to be sharing this treat with my Aussies. This would be the last time that I’d be seeing Wishes as it is going on hiatus over the Summer and being replaced with the Pirates and Princesses Fireworks Spectacular. Knowing this, I felt a teeny tiny bit sad, but also eager and excited to experience what was to come. The lights around the park dim and a sweet, innocent little voice begins reciting the lyrics to Star Light, Star Bright as the first round of fireworks shoot their way up into the dark night sky. Pretty sure the Aussies are at a loss for words and I’m quite confident that Gavin is discretely having one of his little moments. Oh Wishes, how I will miss you and the lingering memory of the extended Wishes Holidays Spectacular that I will hold ever so dearly in my mind. Somewhere between Wishes ending and us trying to exit Magic Kingdom through a stampede of guests, we ended up at Steak ‘n’ Shake. Today was a good day.
~ Let it Rain ~
Tonight, as promised, we had made plans to venture out to club Rain. Now, I will begin by being honest with you straight up. I really do not remember much from this night. It may or may not have something to do with the self-consumption of two shots and six beers in a short period of time; I’m just saying, this may have something to do with it. I can quite confidently tell you that the night began by pre-gaming with my Aussie and American boys (and girls).
From here, I can also confidently report to you that we made it into Rain, despite being somewhat tipsy at the door. I remember lots of dancing and drinking; Bryan handing me drink after drink. At one point I remember our Aussie and American crew completely owning the stage but the rest of it is just a blur; a blur of fun, none the less. Somewhere along the line, it ended up looking like the hot mess below.
I don’t know how we made it out, or how I ended up in Ali’s car, but what I do know is that I was ecstatic to hear that we were making a 3am Maccas run. Late night (early morning) Maccas runs are possibly one of my favorite things to do when drunk. Nothing makes you feel better upon waking up that next morning knowing that you devoured a McNugget Meal only hours earlier and passed out on a full stomach. A good night was had by all, except for maybe Nicole who’s empty heart beat only for Carlos and perhaps Brendon who had been approached by another male and asked how much his services would cost. We got home somewhere between the hours of 3 and 4am. We needed to be up at 8am for another day of debauchery. This was going to prove to be quite the task, especially since Gavin was no where to be found.
~TO BE CONTINUED~
Today I booked my return flight back home to Australia.
August 14 2010 will be the saddest day of my life to date.
I don’t want to leave the U.S.A. or my awesome Disney family. I am happy here. This is where I am meant to be. I hope by the most random of luck that the Green Card Lottery comes through for me this year and if not…
WARNING: Please have anti-depressants waiting for me back home. A really big bottle of them. You guys have no idea what you are in for.
<For a more accurate image of me, please envision the above male as a female. Thank you.>
…. Here at Disney, I make the magic....
♥ Today I got asked if my accent came from Boston.
Lady: Is that a Boston accent you have there?
Me: No, it’s Australian.
Lady: Weird, I could have sworn you were from Boston.
Me: Boston, Melbourne, kind of close.
Lady: *Nods in agreement.*
♥ On Saturday a lady yelled out to her husband, “Come check this out, this girl is from New York but her name tag says she’s from Australia!”
Lady: Why does your name tag say Australia?
Me: Because I am Australian.
Lady: You sound like you’re from New York.
Me: Pretty sure I’m Australian.
Me: Yes, very.
♥ On Friday I was talking to a family, all of which had Australian accents:
Me: You guys are from Australia?
Me: Me too! What part?
Mum: Canberra, you?
Dad: YOU SOUND LIKE A BLOODY YANK!
Me: Thank you. No tickets for you.
♥ Last week some British couple were amazed that I said ‘cheers’…
Man: *Laughing* You said cheers, that’s funny (thinking that I’m making fun of him).
Me: Why wouldn’t I? I’m Australian.
Lady: You’re Australian?
Me: Yes *points to name tag that says Melbourne, Australia*
Man: How long have you been in the U.S. for?
Me: Seven months.
Lady/Man: Woah, sounds like you’ve been here for seven years.
Me: Thank you. No tickets for you.
♥ Some random day a few weeks back…
Lady: Are you really Australian?
Me: No, I just wear this name tag for fun.
Lady: Oh, OK!
♥ Another wonderful couple making my day…
Man: Wow, you’re a long way from home!
Me: Yes, nothing a 25 hour plane ride can’t fix.
Lady: Funny, you sound like you’re right at home though.
Me: I get that all the time.
Lady: I’m not surprised.
♥ And one more time just because American’s make me laugh…
Lady: Are you from Boston?
Me: Only on Wednesdays.
Lady: Good thing today is Wednesday then!
It is such an odd concept to grasp; it is already 5:24am on January 1, 2010 back home in Melbourne, Australia.
Right now it is currently 1:24pm on December 31, 2009. Odd.
Each year I sit at home texting my mates here in the U.S. wishing them a Happy New Year almost a whole day before they actually reach it, but now that I am here, stuck in 2009, it is such a puzzling thought. Oh well. Stuck in the past it is… well, at least for the next 10.5 hours.
Oh, by the way, I’d like to thank you all for the wonderful ‘Happy New Year’ texts at 8am this morning. I was all snuggling in my blankets, sleeping and dreaming away ever so soundly when my cell phone crazily started buzzing away. Nice gesture, only I rolled over and went back to sleep.
Happy New Year to every one back home in Australia.
I hope you have a safe and prosperous 2010 and
that all your wishes and dreams come true…
and let’s be honest, they will come true because
you will all get to see me again in 2010. Ha!
Ringing in the New Year in Australia…
This year has been one of the best years of my life. There is just simply too much to mention, but if I tried to sum it up it would go something like this…
New job. New friends. Life changes. Responsibility.
Bushfires. Australians unite together. Hating on
old job. Excitement and good news. Stress. Quit new
job. Quit old job (finally). Stress. Left my friends.
Left my family. Emotions. Canada. Visit old friends.
Moved my entire life. America. Disney. Started a new life.
Overwhelmed. New experiences. New responsibilities.
New friends. New job. New culture. New learnings.
New place in life. New outlook on life. More travels.
Old friends. Kelly Clarkson. Missing family.
Missing friends. Missing my cat. Lonely Christmas.
Here’s to 2010. I hope it’s an amazing year for all. I know I’m damn well looking forward to it!
‘Four seasons in one day
Lying in the depths of your imagination
Worlds above and worlds below
The sun shines on the black clouds hanging over the domain
Even when you’re feeling warm
The temperature could drop away
Like four seasons in one day.’
This song reminds me of my beloved city, Melbourne.
The lyrics are true to their word, especially now that it’s summer there.
Melbourne really is the best city in the world.
Four Seasons In One Day – Crowded House
Three hours sleep and before I know it, I’ve got a window seat with Southwest Airlines and I’m en route to Dallas, Texas. Extremely excited for what’s to come within the next 48 hours, but at the same time, extremely tired due to previous nights activities. My excitement and nerves prevail over my lack of sleep. I’m bright eyed and on edge when we touch down at Dallas Love Field Airport in Texas.
With a quick stop over at our hotel (The Sheraton Arlington over by Six Flags Over Texas, which, by the way, was absolutely superb and a gem of a find (3.5 star Arlington – Grand Prairie Hotel choice on Hotwire for $53 plus tax, normally $150 per night)) we headed over to one of my favourite places in all of Texas, the Fort Worth Stock Yards, to get a feel of real Texas. It was a chilly 39 degrees Fahrenheit out; an extreme difference from the Orlando humidity that we left behind hours earlier. The best cure to keep warm was the cure for many of life’s problems… shopping! Oh, and how could I forget, a trip to my most favourite candy store in the whole entire world!
I started to eat my way through the candy store…
But apparently this is a punishable offense in Fort Worth…
I scored myself an early release thanks to some good friends who paid bail. Thank goodness for that. Could you imagine telling the other inmates what I was serving time for?!? Ridiculous! I quickly got over my jail stint and not before too long, it was time to catch up with some mates over dinner at Chilis.
Back to the hotel, some quick Facebook, Twitter, Skype and MSN time, five hours of sleep and beep, beep, beep, beep, off goes the alarm at 5:30am! So sleepy. Eyelids so heavy. Eyelids slowly closing. NO! Stay awake. Eyelids heavy; drooping. AWAKE! Today is the day!!! Nervessss <insert gagging action here>.
We began our seven hour drive down to Corpus Christi just after 7am. It felt like the longest seven hours of my life, mainly because of what was still to come. We talked; we napped; we ate; we joked; we laughed… Actually, we laughed rather hard at this sign on the back of a truck that was in front of us in traffic…
We eventually made it to our hotel, the Holiday Inn Express Corpus Christi, which we also scored on Hotwire for an insanely good price. We dumped our stuff in our hotel room then got dropped off at the American Bank Center Arena at around 4pm. Here is where we met with Kelly Clarkson’s security, Brian. He escorted us into the arena and we found ourselves a seat while we watched Kelly Clarkson’s band rehearse during sound check.
Next it was my turn to jump up onstage and sing with Kelly Clarkson’s band. I wanted to vomit on myself. I was so bloody nervous. I felt like I was about to give an oral presentation in class, and God knows how much I hated those parts of my assessment. I was introduced to Kelly’s band members and we started to chat while we got organised. They were all so sweet and make me feel a little more at ease. I can’t sing for the sake of my life which makes me want to puke all over the place even more, but I try my best and sing Kelly’s current single, ‘Already Gone‘.
Those 3.5 minutes felt like an eternity but I am so glad I got to do what I had just done. I jump off stage and run to Nicole who informs me that she didn’t want to startle me, but Kelly Clarkson had come out and was sitting in the front row watching me while I was up on stage. I was so nervous that I didn’t even look around the arena while I was singing. Once Nicole told me that, I was angry at myself for not noticing Kelly there, but at the same time, I was kind of relieved I didn’t see her. If I had noticed her sitting there, I think I would have froze in fear and then perhaps either a) wet my pants, b) vomit or c) a and b combine. Haha. What a great impression that would have been! I will spare your ears the agony and continue to allow you to live your life with the gift of sound by not posting and video of me singing.
We got to sit there and watch a bit more of the sound check before heading out to dinner at Whataburger.
After dinner, we met up with Brian again and he took us out back of the arena to meet the one and only, Miss. Kelly Clarkson!!! Although having met her several times back home in Australia, I still freak out and get nervous. What do I say? I don’t want to come across as a stuttering fool!?!
The doors swing open and out comes Kelly, all cool and down to earth. She’s so cute and tiny up close. She’s also very short, but I already knew this. She sees me standing there and walks over while she begins to tell me that she saw me singing on stage earlier. I apologize for any damage I may have caused to her ears and she starts to laugh at me while giving me a big hug. She asks about my accent and I tell her I’m actually from Australia but I’ve been interning at Disney World. Kelly seems to get really excited by this and thinks it’s the coolest thing ever that I work at Cirque du Soleil. She notices I have a Disney World bag in my hand and asks if it’s for her. I nod my head and remove the Minnie Mouse Christmas stocking from the bag. “Adorable” she says with a smile from ear to ear. I explain that the stocking is stuffed with Disney treats for her and the band and that she should share. I go to put the stocking back into the bag but she grabs at it and digs her hand inside to check out what it’s filled with. The first thing she sees when she looks inside the stocking is a Disney Christmas rice crispy treat.
Kelly: Is that a rice crispy treat?!!?!?!??! (She asks in a way too excited voice. She reminds me of a little kid!)
Me: Yes, Disney style.
Kelly: OH MY GOD! I LOVE rice crispy treats! I’m so eating this all by myself!
Kelly: Not the rice crispy treats!
It’s photo time. I apologize to Kelly in advance if this will muck up her already styled stage hair, but I’d like to have our photo wearing Disney Santa hats. I usually get silly photos with Kelly but figured I wanted something Christmassy (cause tis’ the season) that would remind me of my time at Disney so I bought along my Minnie Santa hat and I bought Kelly a Mickey Santa hat.
Kelly thinks the hats are too cute and does not seem too bothered about it possibly messing up her hair. She yells out that she has a ‘fat head’ while she struggles to fit the hat over her ears. When she finally gets it on I tell her that her Mickey ears are crooked so she straightens them up and asks me how she looks; “Adorable” I answer back.
Kelly: Are you going to smile real big???
Me: Well, yeah, of course!
Kelly: AWESOME! Me too!
We chatted a bit more before her Tour Manager, Tim, gave me the ‘wind it up‘ signal. We said our goodbyes and then had one last hug before I left the meet and greet room to make my way into the arena to find my seat in preparation for the concert.
I could go on and on and on about how amazing the concert was. Kelly was sharp as always, her vocals were spot on and she looked great. She’s has such an amazing energy on stage and it generates through out the audience. She really is a rare talent to find these days and I will continue to be a fan for many more years to come.
For me, this show was like a bitter sweetness. I had just had the most amazing day possible singing on stage with Kelly’s band, watching her band sound check, meeting Kelly Clarkson and scoring free tickets to the concert. If you could not tell, that was the sweeter part of the bitter sweetness. At the same time, it drew an end to the three shows I had the opportunity to see on the ‘All I Ever Wanted’ U.S.A. tour. Bitter. Actually, bitter, with a side of bitter; I will be missing the Australian tour in April of 2010 because I will still be in Florida. Sad. But sweet. I mean, it’s not every day you get to say you work at Disney World!
Oh, how convenient that Bing Crosby’s “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” just started playing on my Pandora Radio Christmas list. Boooo. No, I wont be home for Christmas, and yes, this is my first time ever being away from my family and home for Christmas. I can deal with this no problems, but every time this song plays I get a little bit sad, just a teeny weeny bit because…
So, feeling a bit down about this, a few Cirque mates (who are also spending their first Christmas away from their families) and I were feeling rather Christmasy on Monday night. We decided to head down to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and check out the ‘Spectacle of Dancing Lights’. I’d heard about this from other Disney Cast Members and the hype surrounding it, so I was extremely excited to get down there and check it out, especially since Australia doesn’t really go all out with the Christmas lights… and besides, I’m a sucker for Christmas!
OH. MY. GOD. is all that comes to mind. I could not believe my eyes! The set up was INSANE! Sooooo pretty. I don’t think I’d ever seen anything so amazing before in my life! Not one single wall went to waste, there were lights absolutely every where. I stood there kind of dumbfounded for the first few minutes. I’m pretty sure Mike has a video of me running around with my mouth wide open and all you can hear me saying is “Woahhhh!” I was like a five year old let loose in a candy store. I felt so happy at that exact moment in time… until “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” started playing over the sound system haha.
You’re probably wondering where the ‘dancing’ part comes into all of this, right? Right. Well, every 10 to 15 minutes, a Christmas carol comes blasting over the sound system and the lights start dancing to the beat of the song. As if the non-dancing lights weren’t already good enough, the dancing lights come along and kick the non-dancing lights right in the butt! Ouch. This is just all too much for me. I must look like the biggest tool ever to grace this planet as I walk around in awe with my mouth hanging open. Again, I feel like a six year old allowed to stay up all night and watch TV instead of going to bed at 8pm. So, so pretty. Nothing tops this. I start to feel a little bit OK about missing Christmas in Australia; just a little bit.
I could post a plethora of photos and videos from this event, but not a single one will do this spectacle justice. Do yourself a favour and get your butt down to Hollywood Studios from now until July 4, 2010 to check this out. You will not be disappointed!
Hollywood Studios closed at 8pm so we had to get moving. We were all still in a very Christmasy mood so we headed over to the AMC at Downtown Disney and went to see Disney’s ‘A Christmas Carol‘ in 3D. Two thumbs up. Amazinggggg. I’m so glad we picked the 3D session and not the regular viewing because this movie just looked so phenomenal in 3D. I found it rather amusing how much they made Colin Firth’s character look like him and Jim Carrey did a sensational job voicing many of the characters. Although this may seem like a children’s movie, I think it was rather creepy at parts, enough to scare little kids!
What a great start to the holiday season 🙂
Today was the day I tested the extreme limits of my stomach… more specifically, my stomachs stretch-ability to fit abnormal amounts of food into it. Before exiting my apartment this morning, I had a one-on-one chat with my tummy informing it that it had to be on its best behaviour today when un-human-like portions of food would be sent over for acidic break-down. My belly seemed to obey these orders and for this, I am extremely grateful and proud. More so grateful that I was able to make it back to my apartment at the end of the day without getting sick from the over-consumption of delectable delicacies.
What on earth am I talking about? I hear you ask. Well, today, Countess ChiChi and myself headed to the 2009 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival to eat the world one last time before it comes to a sad and untimely ending on November 8. Today was indeed a magical culinary adventure which involved myself, my mouth and my stomach… Oh, and how could I forget, the wonderful Countess ChiChi.
I’d reveal Countess ChiChi’s identity but I have been threatened by the Countess herself, that if, and I quote… “post that picture of me looking like a disheveled mess in that red Fez then it’s on like Donkey Kong. Not a threat that would hold up in a court of law, just saying ;)”. As eager as you all are to have me reveal the Countess’ identity, I’d rather survive and continue blogging for you all. Apoligies go out to my thousands of adoring fans, I can undestand your disappointment with me right now.
First stop Argentina. Beaunos Aires to be precise. I ordered the Beef Empanada with Tomato Salsa. Under normal circumstances (ie. Back in Australia), I would never even consider sampling this sort of culinary treat, but having encountered the amazingness that is an Empanada at Bongo’s Cafe (Downtown Disney – Westside) previously, I knew that my tastebuds were in for a celebration. Tastebud party in my mouth, everyone’s invited! Mmmm delicious. At this moment, my stomach felt like it was at one of those coin-operated window strip shows; it was only just getting teased… I had yet to pay more for the deliciousness to continue.
Next up; Ni hao Zhong Guo… “Lynda, dude, what the hell, it’s like you’re speaking a completely different language!?!” It’s because I am, fool! Hello, China! Shanghai, if I recall correctly. Again, not extremely big on Chinese food and I’m not one to sample foods I am not familiar with, but when Countess ChiChi informed me that the Pork Pot Stickers at the Shanghai kiosk were similar to that of dim sims, I was all over those babies like a fat kid on cake.
Considering I am pretty much one of the fussiest people ever to grace the planet Earth, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed my Pork Pot Sticker. I’d never consumed one before so I really had nothing to compare these too, but they were delicious none the less. Note: The chop sticks were strategically placed there by Countess ChiChi to enhance the quality of the image. I used my fingers to eat. So lady like, I know.
Now, I know I’ve blogged about this bloody lamp chop at least two times before, but I can’t help but spread the word on how amazing it is, seriously, do yourself a favour and head to the Melbourne, Australia kiosk! Lamb is rare here in the USA, so to be able to visit EPCOT and easily purchase something I love so dearly and have come to appreciate so much more now that it’s so hard for me to find is a nice privilege. I’ve said it once and I will say it again, the Grilled Lamb Chop with Red Wine Sauce and Murrary River Sea Salt goes down a treat and is absolutely delectable. It gets the two thumbs up from me, mate!
By this point, my belly was starting to feel quite the bit full, but it remembered that deal we made prior to departing for EPCOT. It was going to be true to its word. Good belly. With this being said, off we went to England to sample some English cuisine. Walking towards England I couldn’t help but dart my eyes toward the “Traditional Fish & Chips” sign hanging by the English Pub. I had been craving Aussie style fish and chips for some time now, and knew the Brits did fish and chips pretty similar to how we do it Downunder, so the Countess and I stopped and shared a serving of Traditional Fish and Chips.
Now, the fish was no Aussie flake, but it was rather tasty, the best I’ve sampled so far in the USA. The chips, well, the chips were AMAZING. They were actual thick cut chips, none of this french fries crap. Hot, salty, thick cut chips. Can you please pass me a napkin so I can mop up my drool. Thank you. Scrumptious and rather filling. My belly was feeling quite content at this point in time. You’d think by now that I’d maybe be full, well, yes, I was semi-full, but was I about to stop eating? Hell no! The world is my oyster. Om nom nom nom.
We made a quick stop by Mexico to pick up a Churro, which, let me tell you, is like sex on a stick. Absolutely scrumptious in every way possible. Crispy, sugary and cinnamony on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside; heaven. From Italy I picked myself up a Primavera. I’ve blogged about this slushy drink before, but to refresh your memory, it is an ice mix of strawberry, banana and peach. It is so full of flavour and extremely refreshing in the Florida heat. I gulped that baby down like it was going out of fashion! Ahhh, brain freeze!
It was time to give my poor, helpless belly a deserving yet short break. The Countess and I had successfully eaten our way around the world at EPCOT so we decided to depart and hit up Downtown Disney. ChiChi had never been to Downtown Disney before so I was excited to show her around and let her indulge in my 40% merchandise discount which she was quick to accept and take advantage of. After a short stint of shopping, we treated our taste buds to chocolate dipped strawberries from Goofy’s Candy Company and a wonderfully pleasant dinner at Portobello Restaurant at Downtown Disney’s Pleasure Island.
I’m retiring my tummy for the day, it deserves it.