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Old 05-10-2013, 05:31 AM   #226
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You got a great shot of your hummingbird. That's really nice.

Love all the christmas pictures. Seems like downtown Orange might be worth a visit sometime.

And I'm drooling over the cookies. Nice job with the decorations.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:04 AM   #227
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Yum, cookies! I hope your Christmas cookies tasted as good as they look. I have a little tree like yours, only mine is silver. I have to put it up on a side table though, otherwise my cat will bat at the ornaments. So I always have to kitty-proof for the holidays, lol!

I bet you guys are getting every last penny you spent out of the patio furniture, and hopefully Larry isn't bugging you too much when you go outside.

And I'm guessing one of your movies was Love Actually, because of your title for the last chapter. As soon as I read it, that song got stuck in my head, lol!!
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:51 PM   #228
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Awwww, don't blame Harry too much. It's how they are made. I watched a super interesting special on hummingbirds on Nat Geo Wild and it said that a steady supply of nectar is the key to survival for them -- the literal difference between life and death. They have to eat every 15 minutes. So they stake out their feeder or cluster of flowers and guard it viciously. So Harry is who he is. He'll get more used to you and watch -- he will come to feed as you are hanging the feeder back up after a refill right in front of your face. The hummingbirds used to do that at my parents' place in SoCal all the time.
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:06 AM   #229
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
You got a great shot of your hummingbird. That's really nice.

Love all the christmas pictures. Seems like downtown Orange might be worth a visit sometime.

And I'm drooling over the cookies. Nice job with the decorations.
Glad you liked my shot of Larry. And our cookies.

Downtown Orange is definitely worth a visit if you ever have a lot of extra time on a trip. It's really cute and idyllic.

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Originally Posted by laur roo View Post
Yum, cookies! I hope your Christmas cookies tasted as good as they look. I have a little tree like yours, only mine is silver. I have to put it up on a side table though, otherwise my cat will bat at the ornaments. So I always have to kitty-proof for the holidays, lol!

I bet you guys are getting every last penny you spent out of the patio furniture, and hopefully Larry isn't bugging you too much when you go outside.

And I'm guessing one of your movies was Love Actually, because of your title for the last chapter. As soon as I read it, that song got stuck in my head, lol!!
The cookies were definitely delicious! We were happy with how they turned out. Glad to hear that you have a fun little Christmas tree as well. We need to replace ours with a big one soon, but we'll be sad to retire our little one. Luckily, no need for us to kitty-proof. Yet...

Larry isn't such a bad sort in the long run. He still screams at us whenever he decides we're a threat to his feeder, but recently a few more hummingbirds have successfully come around without him chasing them away quite as quickly.

And of course Love Actually is one of our favorite Christmas movies. It's one of my favorite movies period. I just love the joy it brings every holiday season.

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Originally Posted by Pesky View Post
Awwww, don't blame Harry too much. It's how they are made. I watched a super interesting special on hummingbirds on Nat Geo Wild and it said that a steady supply of nectar is the key to survival for them -- the literal difference between life and death. They have to eat every 15 minutes. So they stake out their feeder or cluster of flowers and guard it viciously. So Harry is who he is. He'll get more used to you and watch -- he will come to feed as you are hanging the feeder back up after a refill right in front of your face. The hummingbirds used to do that at my parents' place in SoCal all the time.
Yeah, hummingbirds are extremely interesting. We were really excited to have Larry at first, but we got mad when he started chasing away other hummers even once we had gotten a second feeder. He's not too bad though. We still like it when he comes around, and maybe someday he'll decide he likes us a little more
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:14 AM   #230
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Chapter 31
There’s a Tree in the Grand Hotel


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Old 05-16-2013, 02:34 AM   #231
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I love your pictures of the trees. Even though it isn't nearly as impressive as the one in the GC, I do like the one at PP. The blue colouring is special in itself.

Hoping to see you posting about Carsland soon.
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:05 AM   #232
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I love the GCH, it is so beautiful at any time, but at Christmas it must be spectacular. I love the pic of the tree from above, good shot! One day I hope we can see Disneyland in all its Christmas splendor!
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:47 AM   #233
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1. "Love Actually" - You have probably not followed any of my holiday trip reports (they're all in one big thread), but I have mentioned Love Actually about 100 times, over and over, every year. My readers are probably sick of me talking about Love Actually! I am a sucker for almost all Christmas movies or TV specials in general, but I have said repeatedly that -- just as you said -- Love Actually is not only one of my favorite Christmas movies, but one of my favorites movies of any kind, period! It often pops up on cable at non-Christmas times of year, such as (of course) Valentine's Day, Halloween and even St. Patrick's Day! Currently I think it's in the Cinemax rotation (it jumps back and forth between HBO and Cinemax), and then after it has done its 'uncensored' run it will probably move over to TNT or ABC Family in its PG-rated form.

In fact, in my last two DLR holiday trip reports (from Dec. 2012 and Dec. 2011) I used specific verses from Christmas songs as intros to each individual segment, to kind of set the holiday scene and punctuate the scenarios. The funny thing is that in one installment (from the 2011 report, I think), I used lyrics from Bill Nighy's wonderful "Christmas Is All Around" rendition.....and no one knew what it was! (I guess that idea went over well!) One person even suggested that she may have to Google the lyrics to find out what song it was! Well, I take that back -- fellow DIS'ers Molly/bumbershoot and Jenny/rentayenta are also big Love Actually fans, but otherwise, no one knew it.

I found another person who seemed to know about Love Actually in the Walking Dead thread here on the DIS (because of the Andrew Lincoln tie-in), but it seems that many folks have not seen it, not heard of it or just don't like it.

So when I saw your Love Actually comment, I got excited and had to speak up! I thought, "Yay! Another kindred spirit!"






2. The Paradise Pier Hotel tree - What I always say to people about that tree is that they have to be sure to see it in person. While it looks pretty in photos, it does not translate as well in photos as it does in person. Do you agree with that assessment?

I love, love, love the PPH tree. Color-wise, and in terms of overall allure, the PPH tree is by far my favorite. It does seem a bit detached from its surroundings in a way -- it doesn't blend into the PPH as well as the GCH tree blends into its setting. Rather, it stands out. But I have been in the PPH lobby in the past when people were literally gathered 'round the tree, oooh-ing and aaah-ing, mesmerized by the warm, deep glow of the blue-green colors. It is truly striking up close. At times I have wanted to run into the PPH lobby and burst into song at the sight of the tree!

As far as overall context and theme, the Grand Californian Hotel tree definitely wins the race because it fits so well in that 'elegantly rustic' theme -- the dim lighting, the dark wood, the hearth, etc.

Both the GCH tree and the PPH tree have an edge over the Disneyland Hotel trees, because they are towering. The DLH trees suffer from not having a big cavernous space to thrive (otherwise known as "low ceiling-itis").






3. I loved your photo of the twinkly outdoor GCH trees as the lights were coming on! I love those trees! I love to see them both at dawn -- just before sunrise, when everything on the GCH property is still and quiet -- and at dusk before it gets dark. There is something about the twinkly trees against the background of the deep pre-dawn and pre-dusk blue sky that fascinates me!






4. The carolers at the GCH - I love them too! This is definitely an area where the GCH wins out over the other 2 DLR hotels. While the carolers visit each hotel, the settings at the PPH and DLH are not conducive to relaxing in comfy chairs with beverages in hand, enjoying the music around the trees. The GCH lobby environment is perfect for really being able to enjoy the carolers because the overall atmosphere is inviting and you can actually gather 'round the tree. I have seen people sprawled out on those sofas, feet propped up on the tables, snacks and drinks in hand, shouting out requests. I have seen children stretched out on the carpet in front of the chairs and sofas. It's lovely -- and it's a great thing to do at Disneyland Resort to enjoy a tiny bit of the holiday cheer without spending any money.

I often recommend to people on this board that they should take a couple of hours to visit the GCH lobby during the holiday season so they can sit comfortably and listen to the carolers. Unfortunately, I have recommended it so much that now I can't find an available seat when I try to sit in the GCH lobby! I have talked it up so much that I have talked myself right out of a chair!




I'm already a Christmas fanatic, but I must say that looking at your photos has given me that "Can we just skip all of summer and fast forward to the holidays?" kinda feeling! I need to get back to DLR and see the PPH tree and the GCH tree! That's what a great TR does -- it makes the reader want to be in that particular place, at that particular moment in time!
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:52 PM   #234
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Loved all the pics you've posted lately--especially the one of you two together in Santa's chair, the trees lit up with white twinkle lights outside of the Grand Californian, and the Paradise Pier tree, which we love!

You and Tracy do such fun things together--you really enter into the spirit of things and it's so fun to read about them. I love how you participate in acitivites that some wouldn't do unless they had kids--they are missing out!

I second SherryE in that I too, wish we could bypass summer and just get to the Holidays, but enjoying your posts about the Christmas season are helping!
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:41 AM   #235
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
I love your pictures of the trees. Even though it isn't nearly as impressive as the one in the GC, I do like the one at PP. The blue colouring is special in itself.

Hoping to see you posting about Carsland soon.
I definitely agree about the PP tree. It was fun to see and matched very well with the theme of the hotel! Something like they have at the GC would look very out of place at PP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieDisneyNut View Post
I love the GCH, it is so beautiful at any time, but at Christmas it must be spectacular. I love the pic of the tree from above, good shot! One day I hope we can see Disneyland in all its Christmas splendor!
I definitely recommend Disneyland at Christmas-- and we only saw the hotels and Downtown Disney! We're already looking so forward to seeing the actual splendor of the parks decorated this year!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
1. "Love Actually" - You have probably not followed any of my holiday trip reports (they're all in one big thread), but I have mentioned Love Actually about 100 times, over and over, every year. My readers are probably sick of me talking about Love Actually! I am a sucker for almost all Christmas movies or TV specials in general, but I have said repeatedly that -- just as you said -- Love Actually is not only one of my favorite Christmas movies, but one of my favorites movies of any kind, period! It often pops up on cable at non-Christmas times of year, such as (of course) Valentine's Day, Halloween and even St. Patrick's Day! Currently I think it's in the Cinemax rotation (it jumps back and forth between HBO and Cinemax), and then after it has done its 'uncensored' run it will probably move over to TNT or ABC Family in its PG-rated form.

In fact, in my last two DLR holiday trip reports (from Dec. 2012 and Dec. 2011) I used specific verses from Christmas songs as intros to each individual segment, to kind of set the holiday scene and punctuate the scenarios. The funny thing is that in one installment (from the 2011 report, I think), I used lyrics from Bill Nighy's wonderful "Christmas Is All Around" rendition.....and no one knew what it was! (I guess that idea went over well!) One person even suggested that she may have to Google the lyrics to find out what song it was! Well, I take that back -- fellow DIS'ers Molly/bumbershoot and Jenny/rentayenta are also big Love Actually fans, but otherwise, no one knew it.

I found another person who seemed to know about Love Actually in the Walking Dead thread here on the DIS (because of the Andrew Lincoln tie-in), but it seems that many folks have not seen it, not heard of it or just don't like it.

So when I saw your Love Actually comment, I got excited and had to speak up! I thought, "Yay! Another kindred spirit!"






2. The Paradise Pier Hotel tree - What I always say to people about that tree is that they have to be sure to see it in person. While it looks pretty in photos, it does not translate as well in photos as it does in person. Do you agree with that assessment?

I love, love, love the PPH tree. Color-wise, and in terms of overall allure, the PPH tree is by far my favorite. It does seem a bit detached from its surroundings in a way -- it doesn't blend into the PPH as well as the GCH tree blends into its setting. Rather, it stands out. But I have been in the PPH lobby in the past when people were literally gathered 'round the tree, oooh-ing and aaah-ing, mesmerized by the warm, deep glow of the blue-green colors. It is truly striking up close. At times I have wanted to run into the PPH lobby and burst into song at the sight of the tree!

As far as overall context and theme, the Grand Californian Hotel tree definitely wins the race because it fits so well in that 'elegantly rustic' theme -- the dim lighting, the dark wood, the hearth, etc.

Both the GCH tree and the PPH tree have an edge over the Disneyland Hotel trees, because they are towering. The DLH trees suffer from not having a big cavernous space to thrive (otherwise known as "low ceiling-itis").






3. I loved your photo of the twinkly outdoor GCH trees as the lights were coming on! I love those trees! I love to see them both at dawn -- just before sunrise, when everything on the GCH property is still and quiet -- and at dusk before it gets dark. There is something about the twinkly trees against the background of the deep pre-dawn and pre-dusk blue sky that fascinates me!






4. The carolers at the GCH - I love them too! This is definitely an area where the GCH wins out over the other 2 DLR hotels. While the carolers visit each hotel, the settings at the PPH and DLH are not conducive to relaxing in comfy chairs with beverages in hand, enjoying the music around the trees. The GCH lobby environment is perfect for really being able to enjoy the carolers because the overall atmosphere is inviting and you can actually gather 'round the tree. I have seen people sprawled out on those sofas, feet propped up on the tables, snacks and drinks in hand, shouting out requests. I have seen children stretched out on the carpet in front of the chairs and sofas. It's lovely -- and it's a great thing to do at Disneyland Resort to enjoy a tiny bit of the holiday cheer without spending any money.

I often recommend to people on this board that they should take a couple of hours to visit the GCH lobby during the holiday season so they can sit comfortably and listen to the carolers. Unfortunately, I have recommended it so much that now I can't find an available seat when I try to sit in the GCH lobby! I have talked it up so much that I have talked myself right out of a chair!




I'm already a Christmas fanatic, but I must say that looking at your photos has given me that "Can we just skip all of summer and fast forward to the holidays?" kinda feeling! I need to get back to DLR and see the PPH tree and the GCH tree! That's what a great TR does -- it makes the reader want to be in that particular place, at that particular moment in time!
1. That's funny about Love Actually. I just consider it to be a Christmas classic along with all the rest and always assume everyone else does too! I don't know of another movie I've ever seen that uses the music in its score so perfectly. When the music swells at the climax with Jamie walking through the streets of Portugal and Sam running through the airport, I am always reminded why it's one of my favorite movies ever.

2. I'm glad the PP tree isn't like the GC tree. They're two very different hotels and the feeling of one is much different than the other. We really liked that one as well. It was very pretty in its own way. You're probably right, though, that it doesn't translate as well to pictures as the GC one.

3. We loved those tree lights. They're so simple yet SO pretty!

4. Having the carolers definitely felt like an "attraction" we could enjoy without needing to pay admission to the parks. We loved how festive and just joyous the whole GC lobby was.

Of course, in general we just LOVE Christmas too. Definitely one of my favorite times of the year anywhere, but especially in Disneyland.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheshirecatty View Post
Loved all the pics you've posted lately--especially the one of you two together in Santa's chair, the trees lit up with white twinkle lights outside of the Grand Californian, and the Paradise Pier tree, which we love!

You and Tracy do such fun things together--you really enter into the spirit of things and it's so fun to read about them. I love how you participate in acitivites that some wouldn't do unless they had kids--they are missing out!

I second SherryE in that I too, wish we could bypass summer and just get to the Holidays, but enjoying your posts about the Christmas season are helping!
Glad you're enjoying the pictures! We really do try to DO as much as possible whenever we can. We certainly enjoy making the most of our days And I'm sure some people think we're weird with all the things most people don't do without kids, but they are indeed just missing out on the fun!

Yes, I would be fine if Christmas came soon. In addition to the decorations coming back, we've been talking recently about how we want to see Haunted Mansion Holiday again!
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:45 AM   #236
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Chapter 32
We’re Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo


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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:56 AM   #237
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The girl at the counter scowled at your for using a 2-for-1 deal?? I agree. If they don't want people using it, they shouldn't offer it. It doesn't matter what the admission price is!

That is a very cute "zoo"...more of a menagerie than a zoo. I love the bears and the raccoons. Hoping to see more pictures of this place in future posts. I love animals too.


I haven't been to the SDZoo in a while. I had to google to see what the price is when you said it was almost as expensive as DL tix. Not quite....but single admission to the zoo is pricey. The price to the SDZ costs nearly the same as the Melbourne Zoo here. We have a yearly membership to the Melbourne; and that gives us unlimited entry to the Melbourne Zoo, the Werribee Wildlife Park (African safari) and the Healesville Sanctuary (it houses indigenous marsupial animals). If it weren't for the fact that you have to drive 2 hours to get to SD, the yearly membership might be worth it for you and Tracy.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:35 PM   #238
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That's a cute little zoo, I didn't know it was there either.

At my house, we just leave cat food outside for the feral cats and we get to see possums, raccoons, and skunks all for free!
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:34 PM   #239
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Hi Taylor. I just found your TR and have finally finished reading through it. I’m planning a trip to Disneyland next year. You are a really good writer and I’ve enjoyed reading about your adventures.

I live on the east coast and can certainly understand wanting to move to California. The weather really gets to us sometimes. You picked a good time to move. You missed a lot of snow this past winter. One storm we got over 2 ft. of snow. Just last Saturday the temperature was 48 degrees at 5 o’clock in the afternoon. Today was a nice day though.

I really enjoyed reading about your stay in Colorado. My sister lives there, in Highlands Ranch. I’ve been there at least 10 times (probably more, I’ve lost count) in the last 20 years.

Colorado Springs…been there several times. I’ve done all the touristy things there….Garden of the Gods, Olympic Training Center, Cog Railway to the top of Pikes Peak, Broadmoor Hotel. We always went to an ice cream shop in the Broadmoor whenever we were in the area. Loved Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, feeding the giraffes, so much fun! All your pictures brought back many memories.

My niece attends CU in Boulder. Last time I was in CO we went to Boulder but really didn’t have much time there. I’ll definitely go back when she graduates.

Glenwood Springs…been by it but never stopped. I’ll have to put that on my bucket list for the next trip. One trip we drove all the way to Grand Junction to see Colorado National Monument. It was beautiful.

Sorry about your troubles on moving day. Glad you are settled in now. Looks like you made a great choice and everything worked out in the end. It’s a really cute apartment and I love the ear hats on the wall.

I’m sorry you didn’t get jobs at Disney. Here is a quote from Walt Disney. “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me…You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” Well said Walt! Hang in there, you never know what the future holds for you but I think there will be bigger and better things for both of you.

Your Thanksgiving dinner looks great. Except you are missing something…..something green….veggies!!! (Sorry, the Mom in me just came out.) Homemade pumpkin pie is the best…so glad you were able to get more ingredients so you could make it again. Can’t have Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie!

Christmas at Disney looks awesome. Your pictures are terrific. What kind of camera do you use?

Sorry for being so long winded.

p.s. How has your health been? I'm hoping you are doing much better.
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:18 AM   #240
monkey30
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Great updates! LOVED the tree in at the grand. It was so pretty when we were there in December. I understand how easy it is to just sit and relax and lose time there.
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