Saltimbanco to Hit Aussie Soil in 2011

October 12, 2010

If you’ve been following my blog for some time now, you’d be well aware that I spent July 2009 – July 2010 interning with Walt Disney World at Cirque du Soleil’s resident show, La Nouba.

I can still recall the way my eyes lit up while watching the show for the very first time. I was captivated; it was almost trance-like. La Nouba was a world where dreams became reality; a place that allowed me to escape to a land of  make-believe and fantasy, even if only for a short while. La Nouba was the first Cirque du Soleil show I had ever seen and since then, I have had the pleasure of adding Mystère, Zumanity and LOVE to my viewing collection.

From April of 2011, I look forward to revisiting this fantasy world once again. Hot on the heels of its European stint, Cirque du Soleil is bringing the Saltimbanco over for an Australian arena tour.

Saltimbanco explores the urban experience in all its myriad forms: the people who live there, their idiosyncrasies and likenesses, families and groups, the hustle and bustle of the street and the towering heights of skyscrapers. Between whirlwind and lull, prowess and poetry, Saltimbanco takes spectators on an allegorical and acrobatic journey into the heart of the city.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday October 18, 2010 at 9am. If you are a Cirque Club Member you are able to purchase pre-sale tickets from Thursday October 7 at 9am – Sunday October 17 at 11pm. If you would like the opportunity to pre-purchase tickets, it isn’t too late to sign up and become a Cirque Club Member – it’s free!

You don’t want to miss out!

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Tour Dates: Cirque du Soleil – Saltimbanco 2011

Perth: April 21 – May 9, Challenge Stadium
Adelaide:
May 12 – May 22, Adelaide Entertainment Centre

Melbourne:
May 25 – June 11, Rod Laver Arena

Hobart:
June 15 – June 19, Derwent Entertainment Centre

Brisbane: July 8 – July 17, Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Newcastle:
July 20 – July 24, Newcastle Entertainment Centre

Sydney: July 27 – August 14, Acer Arena
Wollongong:
August 17 – August 21, WIN Entertainment Centre

More information: Ticketek

 

 


Longing to go back to Disney

August 19, 2010

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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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It has been five weeks since my Internship came to an end and I stopped working for Walt Disney World.

It has been ten days since I left Orlando, FL for Las Vegas.

It has been five days since I left Las Vegas to fly back home to Melbourne, Australia.

Not a second goes by where I don’t think about my Disney family. I miss them so much. I miss everything; the friends, the freedom, the lifestyle. I wish I could go back to day one and do it all over again.

Before embarking on this journey, I used to think I knew everything about myself, but now I’m not so sure.

There are things I never thought I wanted in life, that now I want; things I thought I wanted, but now I don’t.

My time abroad has been a life-changing and eye-opening experience that I will never take for granted.

I have met so many amazing and wonderful people and am blessed to have them in my life, even if it was only for a short while.

This is the parting gift that Bryan left me with.
I haven’t been able to watch it yet without crying.

Disney College Program
July 2009 – July 2010
Best time of my life.

Part I

Part II


Exiting the Circus

July 15, 2010


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Location:
Orlando, Florida, USA
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For the last twelve months of my life I have watched people from right around the world who have grown so close and dear to me depart as their Disney College Program experience had come to an end. As I sit here typing this from my apartment here at Chatham Square for the last time, I have tears rolling down my cheeks. The Cirque du Soleil; La Nouba soundtrack is playing in the background; certain parts triggering my mind as I run through my queues in my head. Although I really should be packing, I can’t bring myself to realize that this amazing whirlwind of a life-changing experience is about to conclude.

Last night, sadly, after one entire year of working for Walt Disney at Cirque du Soleil, my Disney College Program came to an end. It was a series of many lasts:

  • My last ride to work with Bryan; someone I have come to love so dearly
  • My last time putting on my hideous blue pants and blazer
  • My last time proudly wearing my Disney name tag
  • My last time clocking into CDS for my final shift
  • My last time laughing and joking around in the dungeon
  • My last pre-shift meeting on the stairs before first show load
  • My last time ushering a Cirque du Soleil show
  • My last time assisting Disney World guests
  • My last time calling cameras on the radio
  • My last time screaming out ‘Mop Help’ to Lalita
  • My last time working with a team of extremely amazing people from all over the world where I really feel like I belong
  • My last time clocking out of CDS to mark the end of my final shift
  • My last ride from work to Ale House to enjoy loaded fries and a few beers with my Cirque crew
  • My last ride from Ale House back to Chatham Square with friends that have become family for me while I’ve been here

My time here on the Disney College Program has been something that words can’t even describe. Twelve months ago I would never have thought I’d have grown so attached to so many people. Everyone is so different and unique and it’s quite hard to sum them up. I love each of them all dearly and each for different reasons.

If any of you happen to read this, thank you all for being you! I love you all so much and and I am going to miss you all terribly. I will definitely be back to visit, sooner rather than later.

Again, thank you, it’s been a blast.

-xoxo-










Thunder from Downunder II

June 17, 2010

Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
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CHAPTER 4
~ 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.
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CHAPTER 5
~ 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.

We arrive early and line up to have a group photo taken. We know this is going to be another money-maker, but the photo is too cute to turn down.

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.

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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.
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CHAPTER 6
~ The Nip Slip ~

nip slip
Vulgar slang (verb)

……..1. A  wardrobe  malfunction  leading  to  the  indecent  exposure
………….
of  intimate  parts.
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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.

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~TO BE CONTINUED~


So Long, Farewell, Auf Weidersehen, Good Bye…

April 15, 2010

Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
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Every few months the one disadvantage of the Disney College Program comes around. Someone’s internship comes to an end and it is time for them to go back home and for us to say farewell.

Unfortunately, this time, it just so happens to be one of my close friends, Jung 😦

Here’s some photos from our last outing all together at the Magic Kingdom…

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Flower Power?

March 28, 2010

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival started a few weeks age here at Walt Disney World, and last weekend I finally got the chance to check it out.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

For those of you who have never experienced the Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot before, it is a spring special event filled with a colorful array of flowers, gardens, topiaries, live music and educational events. It runs through March 3, 2010 – May 16, 2010.

Now, I’m no gardening expert nor am I an earth hippie, but I do appreciate amazing gardening art in the form of topiaries… and not just any old topiary…

Boooooooring!

BUT…

DISNEY TOPIARIES!

Yes, that is right, Disney topiaries; the art of growing plants and training them over a frame to create a three dimensional object in the form of a Disney character! Actually, I will be brutally honest here, this sounds like a completely slow, long and boring process, but the final results are somewhat amazing…

Grandma & Grandpa Mickey & Minnie upon entering the World Showcase

Bambi looked adorable in Canada

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go...

Lady & The Tramp in Italy

Mickey & Minnie in the USA

After admiring all the fine Disney topiaries at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, it made me gain a whole new appreciation for gardeners and gardening; and for a split second there, it was almost enough to make me want to go outside and do some gardening of my own… but no, far too lazy for that so I shall sit here and enjoy typing this blog… a much easier alternative to showing my appreciation.


Case Of The Diminishing Australian Accent…

February 25, 2010

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….
…. Here at Disney, I make the magic....

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♥ 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.*
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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.
Lady: Odd.
Me: Yes, very.
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On Friday I was talking to a family, all of which had Australian accents:
Me: You guys are from Australia?
Daughter: Yes.
Me: Me too! What part?
Mum: Canberra, you?
Me: Melbourne.
Dad: YOU SOUND LIKE A BLOODY YANK!
Me: Thank you. No tickets for you.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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!
Me: Yes.


Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

December 1, 2009

Discounted Cast Member tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom? Hell yeah! Sunday was pretty much the only available day from then until Christmas that I’d have free to attend this event, so there really was no hesitation or second thoughts about it.

I’d heard mixed opinions about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party but the negatives weren’t enough to hold me back. I was beyond excited for this night, so much so that I even went out and bought an adorable Minnie Santa hat with ears and a bow; so cute. Whether I looked ridiculous or not is a matter of opinion, but hey, it kept my head warm… at least that’s my claim.

Entrance into Magic Kingdom

The front of Magic Kingdom had been decorated for Christmas and decked out with wreaths and lights, it looked so pretty. Upon stepping foot into the Magic Kingdom, my eyes were instantly drawn to Main Street. I’d looked down Main Street many times before and seen Cinderella’s Castle at the very end, but I’d never seen it look as beautiful as it did tonight. The Castle was sparkling and glistening in the nights sky. It had been completely draped in fairy lights to give it that frosted, icy look. It was truly spectacular. I was blown away by its beauty. I walked down Main Street with my eyes glued to the Castle at all times. I was so attracted to it that it took me a good few minutes to realise that it was snowing down Main Street, fake snow, but still snow none the less. Quite the sight if I may say so myself. I continued to make my way towards the Castle to admire its beauty up close.

Me looking cute in my Minnie Santa hat in front of Cinderella's Castle

One of our friends, Liz,  is a performer in the Christmas stage show that they present at Cinderella’s Castle so we went to watch her do her thing. The show was so cute and a lot of fun and really put me in the Christmas mood. I was bopping around to all the Christmas carols while admiring the gorgeous costumes they all got to wear.

After the show was over Liz had told us to meet her at the side of Cinderella’s Castle because she had arranged a meet and greet for us! I was soooooo excited. This made the night even more amazing than it already was. Bryan and I headed over there and waited until someone came to get us. A few of the cast came out as well as Mickey and Minnie! Lots of other performers also had their families there to see them.

Bryan and I with Liz and a few of her performer friends

Mickey and Minnie; so cute!

Next up was the Wishes Fireworks Spectacular, Christmas style! I’d never seen the normal Wishes before but I had heard the Christmas one was a heap better so I was super excited and pumped up.

My hot chocolate and my cookie!

Before the fireworks show began, it started getting a little chilly outside so we decided to take advantage of the several stations giving out hot chocolate and cookies to the guests. I’m not a huge fan of cookies, but this one was delicious! It was covered in colourful sprinkles and seemed to just melt in my mouth. The hot chocolate was super great and really hit the spot. There were marshmallows in there to make it taste extra good! Bryan had bought a whole heap of candy canes along with him and was telling me how he likes to break up a candy cane and put it into his hot chocolate. He said that you stir it around and wait for it to melt and then the hot chocolate has a peppermint twist to it. This sounded delicious so I gave it a try, and, sure enough, it worked and my hot chocolate tasted DELICIOUS! It was pretty much a mouth-gasm. So, so good. I highly recommend it!

We returned back to Cinderella’s Castle and secured our spot to view the Wishes Christmas Fireworks show from. A voice came over the sound system informing us that all the lights throughout the Magic Kingdom would be dimmed in order for guests to view the fireworks show… and then, it began…

Speechless. Hands down possibly one of the most amazing things I have ever seen before in my life. It was definitely the highlight of my time here to date. It was spectacularly beautiful. The castle lit up in different colours, the fireworks shooting out over the top, the Christmas Carols playing; it was just… lost for words. It really was something. There was a couple in front of me hugging and kissing while this was all going on. The family to my right had their arms all interlocked and were hugging. For a brief second I got sad again thinking about how I wont be home for Christmas but watching the amazingness that is the Wishes Christmas Fireworks Spectacular made all if this OK.

There was just one thing left to do… make our way over to view the Christmas Parade which two of our friends were performing in. We secured our spot and sat down while waiting for it to begin. Sure enough, another two hot chocolates with marshmallows and candy canes were consumed. Mmmmm 🙂 The parade was all sorts of cute fun. I saw my favourites; The Beast and Belle and Aladdin; Winnie the Pooh and friends and of course, Mickey and Minnie… oh, and how could I forget… Santa!

Sadly, this brought our night to an end. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party was such an amazing night and I wish we could have stayed there forever! It really was something special and I will never, ever forget it. It’s one of those things that will stay with me for life. If you get the chance, I highly recommend you get your butt over there to check it out. It’s on select nights throughout December and runs from 7pm until midnight. Pleaseeee, do yourself a favour and go! You wont be disappointed 🙂

Bryan and I before leaving. This is a one of the professional Photo Pass photos.

xo


Jan The Van + 6 Hours Later = Phoenix!

November 12, 2009

Previous blog entry:

The next morning we had to be up at 6:30 am to drive to Phoenix in Jan the Van. I thought I’d hate myself at that point but I was first up, first showered and super cheery that morning haha. Weird, I know. I guess it’s cause I learned my lesson of never mixing beer with liquor and just stuck to the beer… all seven of them :-) haha.

So the idea to hire a mini van and road trip from Las Vegas to Phoenix to attend back-to-back Kelly Clarkson concerts came randomly over one too many beers at a Chili’s restaurant in Thackerville, Oklahoma back in September. Mini van? Chili’s? Thacker-what??? The whole idea was kind of a joke at the time, and a very random one at that, but some how, when it involves Kelly Clarkson, we make it happen… and make it happen we did!

We checked out of the MGM and left Vegas at around 8am. I was hang-over free, too bad our driver couldn’t say the same thing. Poor Crys. OK, so let me do you all a favour and cut a long drive, short. This is pretty much all we saw for six hours straight…

Desert, desert and more desert...

Interesting, I know. Oh, there was this one exciting moment where we got to drive over the Hoover Dam…

Hoover Dam; ooooo, ahhhhh.

I’d been there before but it was still exciting, because when you drive over the Hoover Dam, you are saddling the boarder of Nevada and Arizona. This also means once over that line, you lose an hour of your life that you will never get back. Just like that. Boom, gone. We are now on Vegas time +1. After the excitement of the Hoover Dam settled, it was pretty much back to this…

The vast desert lands that Jan the Van withstood.

There had to be some way to keep ourselves amused… six girls, one van… and did I fail to mention another mate, Don, was following right behind us… *light bulb turns on* ding, ding, ding… Don, the answer to six girls van boredom… Oh Don, I really do not know what we would have done without you because once that light bulb turned on in our amazing brains, you consumed sixty minutes of our life (that sixty minutes we lost crossing the boarder haha).

With Don trailing close behind us every minute of the way, we decided to embark on a Don Photo Shoot. This was the kind of photo shoot that didn’t require signings of any sort of release papers or any permissions granted. Little did Don know, he was the star of  our Vegas to Phoenix Photo Shoot. He was working it for our camera out of his own time, and all for free; what a champ!

ADVISORY: No Don’s were harmed in the making of this photo shoot.

In all fairness though, Don really has no one to blame but himself. I mean, what do you expect when you decide to trail a mini van loaded with six ladies working off three hours of sleep on the way to Phoenix to see Kelly Clarkson play at the Arizona State Fair?  One can only conclude that Don brought this on himself. I already took a vote and, sorry Don, but majority rules, your own fault.

"Squeezing Don."

"Licking Don."

"Eating Don."

"Holding Don."

"Hydrating Don."

If you will ever so kindly turn your head to the left and observe Exhibit 1. We titled this one ‘Squeezing Don.’ Although Kelly is clearly squeezing Don’s head while driving, he doesn’t seem to be in too much distress and can still handle his vehicle quite well (better than the average person whom squeezes while driving).

Exhibit 2 entails Kristi ‘Licking Don‘. Today is Don’s lucky day however, as it seems licking Don was not enough for Kristi, so she threw in a bonus head light wash too! Mmm, tasty.

Eating Don‘ is pretty self explanatory, although it seems as though Kelly got more than she could chew when she decided to guzzle down the road before munching on Don. Save some room for Don, Kel! I am marveled by the fact that Don hasn’t swerved off the road even though a giant mouth is coming straight towards him! Way to go, Don!

‘Holding Don’ in Exhibit 4 led to the re-vamp of an old favorite, and it went something like this… “I got the whole Don, in my hand, I’ve got the whole Don, in my hand…” You get the drift.

And last, but not least, please draw your attention to Exhibit 5 or as some of us would like to call is “Hydrating Don.” We thought after five hours on the road, Don was starting to get a little thirsty in the desert heat, so it was only fair that we shared our coke bottle candies with him, much to his (or at least we hope) delight.

Thank you for entertaining us for one hour, Don! You’re a star.

When we finally made it to our hotel we didn’t have too long before it was time to head out to the Arizona State Fair to, once again, see Miss. Kelly Clarkson perform live. I’d never been to a State Fair in the U.S.A. before so I was rather excited, especially after all the talk I’d heard of glorious fried fair foods in all shapes and forms. Our tummies were grumbling before the show started so we feasted on a pre-show snack of foot-long corn dogs!

Our foot-long corn dogs at the Arizona State Fair.

I’d never had a corn dog before. To be honest, I’m not quite sure we have them back home in Australia, so for anyone reading this that has no clue what a corn dog is, it is pretty much a hot dog on a stick. Instead of a hot dog bun though, there is corn bread battered around the frankfurt. Quite tasty. My stomach had finally stopped eating itself (for the time being) and was quite content with its first sampling of fair food. The concert was about to start so I informed my belly that a smorgasbord of fair delicacies would await it post-show.

Kelly Clarkson and my future husband, Cory, performing in Phoenix, Arizona.

After tonight’s show, Kelly and crew have an eight day gap before their next show, so she didn’t hold back on her voice. Girl went allllll out and it was absolutely, ridiculously, incredibly amazing! So I thought Vegas was the best I’d seen her in a long time, well take Vegas and multiply it by five and you have Phoenix. It was made that one bit sweeter because pre-show, Jess had a meet and greet with Kelly and requested she sing ‘Ready‘ for her birthday (Ready is one of Kelly’s songs not included on the concert set-list). When you request something like that, you never actually expect it to happen, but, low and behold, half way through the show Kelly announces that she needs to sing this song because Jess asked her too and it was her birthday… and sure enough, she starts singing Ready! Can you say, AMAZING!?!

Kelly Clarkson singing ‘Ready’ for Jess’ birthday…

Upon stepping foot out of the concert venue, this is what awaited us…

Australia would never have anything like this!

Om nom nom, pepperoni pizza!

Where to begin? My eyes felt bigger than my stomach. I feel like I had died and gone to junk food heaven! The girls started by making a grab on a slice of chocolate fudge which, although extremely rich, was absolutely scrum- diddly-umptious. I treated myself to a hugeee slice of delicious pepperoni pizza. Sorry Australia, but the U.S.A. definitely does pizza better, especially of the deep-dish kind *picks jaw up*.
.

Really? Pizza on a stick, anyone?

I know what you're thinking, and yes, they did just put pizza on a stick.

Hmmm, still hungry. The smell of turkey legs barbecuing away were too good to pass up. I’ve seen turkey legs all over Disney while venturing through the parks, but I’ve never been brave enough to try one… mainly because, when you work at Disney, you hear horror stories from the other cast members in food and beverage about what the turkey legs are really made from and it kind of  turns you off. However, this was not Disney and the smell was too good to say no to! Kelly and I decided to split one, and split one we did.

Hmm, you're soooo big... how do I fit you in? 😉

Ah-huh! Got ya!

After buying our turkey leg we both kind of just stood there looking at it, not entirely sure how we were going to tackle this. I was confused. I’ve never had to eat something this big before without a fork and knife… gahhh! Get in my belly!

This is ridiculous. You look so good and smell so good, so, what am I waiting for? Ah, screw it, I’m just going to sink my teeth into you and if my mouth just so happens to bite and chew, then so be it. Have a nice journey down to my belly Mr. Turkey Leg. And just like that, the first bite was taken. Mmm turkey-licious.

While the rest of the gang feasted on chocolate-coated frozen bananas, deep-fried Oreos, hamburgers and ice cream sundaes of sorts, my tummy was in two places at once; happy-ville and full-ville. That was it for me.

Belly: Belly to brain, belly to brain, come in brain.

Brain: Yes Miss. Belly, what can I do you for?

Belly: So full. Enough with the hunger signals already.

Brain: Alright, alright, quit your whinging will ya?

Belly: Cheers, mate.

Yeah, something like that. Haha. Everyone soon got full and tired so we grabbed a case of beer and headed back to our hotel, but not before we got our photo taken with our amazing Jan the Van whom we had to return in the morning. Bye Jan, you will be missed.

Jan The Van and her entourage!

We headed back to our hotel room, drank some, sang Jess happy birthday after midnight then all went to bed. Kristi, Jess, Crys and Don headed out early morning, but Nicole, Kelly and I had a later flight and scored a much-needed sleep in. That afternoon at the airport, again, while consuming Chili’s, we devised another crazy random travel plan… but will we succeed in our planning? No time to think about that now, my flight was about to board!

It’s always nice when you board your flight, sit down, buckle up and then the Captain comes over the intercom announcing that there will be a slight delay as there is rough weather over Texas so he’s requesting extra fuel in case we hit bad weather and have to circle a few times or make an emergency landing. How comforting. Glad he could share that with me. I would have preferred the simple, “We’ll be departing a few minutes behind schedule and are expecting some turbulence over Texas on this evenings flight.” Much better, but noooooo.

Well, it’s been nice, guys. No, really, it has. Back I go to work at Disney. In case you were wondering, this is what it looks like when flying out of Phoenix… Deserty goodness right there.

View from my window after taking off from Phoenix.


Happy Birthday Walt Disney World!

October 1, 2009

October 1, 1971 marked the official opening of the
Walt Disney World Resort and Magic Kingdom