Three Generations going to the World!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by tarak, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    When we were at the beach this weekend, my SIL bought the kids shirts ala Dr. Suess. Thing 2 was not amused.
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. PracPerfPatricia

    PracPerfPatricia DIS Veteran

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    But Heckle and the Dude look pretty happy...you know what they say-that it's hard to make everyone happy all of the time... :lmao: 2 out 3 isn't bad...:confused3

    (Great Photo...:goodvibes)
     
  4. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! I think I would have been more shocked if they'd all smiled at the same time.
     
  5. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    So American Idol is sort of Disney-related, now that the AI Experience has opened at DHS. My husband thinks I should try out for this. My husband is too kind.* I mean, I can hold a tune. But I’m too old to try out for the actual show, so the idea is just sort of sad to me. I mean, what if you win the day and you’re told “Well, we’d give you this Dream Ticket, but since you’re old enough to have voted for Ronald Reagan we’ll have to keep it. There’s always America’s Got Talent – you could be Pennsylvania’s answer to Susan Boyle! Know anything from Les Miz?”

    I freely admit that I love American Idol – I do admit that my interest wanes after the “audition” episodes until they narrow down the field to the top 20 or so. But I think one of the most entertaining moments in broadcast television in the last several years of had to be the season finale of AI where Katherine McPhee had to sing a duet with Meatloaf and she looked absolutely petrified the entire time that he was going to touch her. Or eat her. Did you know that Meatloaf has recently completed production on a movie called Burning Bright? This is the plot according to IMDB:

    OMG, please let this be true! I cannot wait to see this! It will be broadcast on the SciFi network (sorry - I just can't get into the syfy thing), and it will be amazing!

    Sorry. Got a little carried away. I took Heckle to the AI concert last year and we both enjoyed it immensely. They used to play at the Giant Center in Hershey, which is about 20 minutes from my house. Last year, I drove to Wilkes Barre, which is not. I won’t go there again. The hills on 81 are awful to drive. They are not mountains, which are fun to drive on and at least the fear of screwing the pooch on a switchback will keep you awake. No, these are six lane highways chock full of tractor trailers going 80 MPH and barreling down on you from all sides despite those caution signs that depict a truck veering off the road to oblivion. One of my co-workers poked fun at my complaints about the hills. He said, “You mean the mountains?” I said, “I’ve driven on mountains. Mountains are my friend. Those hilly objects in Luzerne County, sir, those are no mountains. “

    Last nights venue was in Reading, PA. Anyone remember the band Live? They’re from York,PA and wrote a song about York called “S*&t Towne.” Live should write a song about Reading.

    But the drive to Reading was only an hour and there were no 6% graded six-lane highway in sight. So an improvement. Last year’s American Idol concert clocked in at almost 3 hours. There are ten performers who sing an average of 3 songs each. The winner and also-rans sing a few more and there are usually a few group performances. Heckle’s favorite from last year was Jason Castro, who came in 4th. This year, she loved Allison Iraheta and was a huge fan of Adam Lambert. I think she’s still bitter he didn’t win.

    So here is my mini-review of the concert last night. And after re-reading it, I realize it’s not so mini. My apologies.

    Matt Sarver. Big guy. Decent voice. Better than he was throughout the season of the show. Like many of the top ten, he’d be a good studio musician. But there’s not much to gain from seeing him perform live. Diction could have been better.

    Megan Joy. Still hasn’t learned how to perform on stage – she does this strange hip shaking thing that is just unnerving. Amy Winehouse lite. Her performance of Winehouse’s Tears Dry on Their Own just made me want to see Amy Winehouse perform instead, trainwreck that she is.

    Scott Mcintyre. He was a big surprise for me – having toured all summer has definitely improved his control over his voice and it was much stronger than on the show. He stayed squarely in his wheelhouse, which is playing the piano (which he does very well). I can’t remember which songs he sang on his own, but a duet of “Tell Her About It” with Matt Giraud (complete with dueling pianos) was really good.

    Lil Rounds. She has a decent voice. But just like on the show, she came off as a poor reflection of the original artist and there seemed to be no connection to the song or the audience. I was amused, however, when she told “all the single ladies” to swing their arms back and forth and Heckle joined in. Well, she is single.

    Anoop Desai. It was disconcerting to hear the crowd murmur his name after each performance, because it sounded like he was being booed. He has a great voice and seemed comfortable on stage. But I had a hard time banishing the “college kid singing at the nooner” image from my brain.

    Matt Giraud. I didn’t really like him that much during the season of AI. But he was really, really good. His voice is much better than I remember. He first sang “Hard to Handle” by the Black Crowes. I love the Black Crowes and saw them in concert in New Orleans ages ago. Matt’s performance was good and different enough that it didn’t make me long for the original. Man, but he can play the piano. He also sang, “Georgia.” Again, very good and it didn’t make me want to download Ray Charles the second I got home. He also sang “I found you” by the Fray – meh on the original so I was meh on this performance. He did a decent job, but it’s not a song that really shows off one’s vocal ability.

    At some point there was a duet with Lil and Megan. They didn’t connect to each other, the song or anyone in the building. It was like listening to two people singing the same song in different showers.

    *Because I wanted to earn a living as a waitress in LA, I studied vocal music and theatre as a double major in college. Then I decided I wanted to major in people watching, so I picked up a second baccalaureate in sociology. After a brief stint working for an environmental lobby in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I decided to put my skills at play acting to work and went to law school. Being able to pretend that you know what you are talking about is really an invaluable tool when arguing before a judge that my client’s troubled childhood and obsession with Klingons are mitigating factors that should be considered at sentencing.
     
  6. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    Second half of the show opened with Allison Iraheta. Okay – this girl has an amazing voice. It would be amazing if she were thirty, but she’s 17. So even more impressive to me. In other blogs, she’s compared to Janis Joplin (sans the heroin and whiskey) and Ann Wilson. And I think it’s a pretty good comparison (of course, she sang Cry, Baby and Barracuda, so it’s also an easy comparison). She doesn’t strain when she sings , unlike Chris Daughtry sing, for example, whose bulging neck makes my throat ache. When she started to perform Barracuda, Heckle started shrieking at me to record it on my iphone.

    Danny Gokey. I don’t get him. He’s got a nice voice and he connected somewhat with the audience (I’d put him somewhere between Anoop and Matt in terms of stage presence). And I feel badly about him losing his wife. And the posts about him on some forums during the season were just absurd and hateful. But the music he sings is just not my style. So I didn’t pay too much attention. Heckle started to doze off at this point (it being about an hour past her bed time).

    Adam Lambert. At least among the folks around me, the most anticipated performance by a mile. He did not disappoint. I know some people are really put off by the vocal gymnastics. But he is obviously made to perform in an arena, rather than a small venue. He started the set with Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love. At this point, Heckle jumped up and started shrieking. Yes, as a mother, I cringed when he sang “I’m gonna give you every inch of my love.” But I was also grateful that my daughter has such diverse taste in music (which, I fully admit to having a hand in – we listen to everything in our house from Mozart to Bob Marley to Enya to Blue Oyster Cult; one of DH’s fondest memories is when Heckle, at the ripe age of three, yelled from her car seat “play Run to the Hills, Daddy!” *

    The smoke machines were seriously working overtime. He sang Mad World, by Tears for Fears and it was, I think, better than when he performed it on the show. Pulled out a little Foghat in a duet with Allison that was fun (I mean, there’s only so much depth you can do with “Slow Ride.”). I wasn’t familiar with the Muse song, but it was beautifully performed. He finished with a medley of David Bowie that was pretty amazing, but I really wish he’d covered some Kiss or Queen because he’s so theatrical (not that Bowie isn’t, of course). I will likely download his album the second it’s available.

    In direct contrast to Adam was Kris Allen. When Adam finished, Heckle said “we can go now, mommy.” I said no, I wanted to hear the guy who won, too. The pyrotechnics go away, and a simple curtain is unfurled. And Kris performs with his guitar. I really love him. He’s so different from Adam, but his voice is lovely. Where Adam is geared towards the big production, I think Kris would be comfortable performing in any venue, no matter how large or small. I think my favorite performance of his on the show was Falling Slowly. I was beyond grateful he didn’t have to sing that abysmal coronation song written for the season finale. He finishes the set with Hey Jude. Aw. I love the Beatles. The final group sing was “Don’t Stop Believing.” It was pretty good and Heckle and I left the arena singing it together.

    So for me, the highlights were Kris and Adam (with a slight edge to Adam), followed by Allison and Matt with a surprisingly good performance from Scott. The rest were forgettable and the only reason I haven’t forgotten them is that I saw them perform about 16 hours ago. Also, I never knew that the lighter had been replaced by the cell phone as the light of choice during the performance of a rock anthem. And yes, there’s an ap for that. Some days, I feel really old.

    Oh – and 19 days to go! Yay!

    * Iron Maiden
     
  7. pilferk

    pilferk <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    Love the review!

    My wife is an avowed AI addict, and the kids got into it this past season, too (We'd DVR the performance shows and watch them with the kids). For me....hit or miss.

    Like you, I've tried to instill an eclectic taste for music in my kids. We alternate Guns n Roses (the more tame, appropriate stuff), with healthy doses of Miley Cyrus (my oldest loves her), sprinkled in with some Beethoven and even some show tunes. Oh...and Disney music (mostly parks stuff)!

    We'll be doing my eldest's FIRST concert in November to see Miley. She's already chomping at the bit......

    Oh, and they are DEFINITELY hills, not mountains. Anyone that calls those mountains has never set foot in New England!
     
  8. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    The AI concert last year was Heckle's first big concert. She hasn't gotten into Miley Cyrus yet (for which I'm grateful, because I don't know if I could handle the stress of trying to get tickets). But she loves High School Musical. Assuming that the AI concert is in Reading (or closer, with any luck), I'll probably take Heckle again. Not sure if I'll take Jeckle along - she won't be six yet and doesn't have anything close to the attention span her sister had at the same age. She'd be likely to wander away and get into trouble. The first time I took her to the movies, she somehow got her legs stuck in the seat and it flipped up. I thought we were going to have to get the Jaws of Life to get her out.

    Have you started packing yet? :)
     
  9. Flossbolna

    Flossbolna Sea days are just so relaxing!

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    love the "things"! :goodvibes I have seen those t-shirts, but what is the story behind them??
     
  10. pilferk

    pilferk <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    I have to say...getting tickets for this tour wasn't too bad. We're "Mileyworld" (the fan club) members, so maybe that made a difference. That membership was a birthday present LAST year. :)

    If she loves HSM, she's going to FLIP at the HSM presentation at DHS. It's relatively short in duration, but even our kids (who are more into "Camp Rock" than HSM) really liked it. And our son has a typically short "kindergarten boy" attention span.

    We've had similar experiences at the movies with all 3 kids. "Stuck in seat", perpetual "bathroom exploration" trips, etc, etc. Our oldest has surpassed it, our son is now good for anything 90 minutes or less (with maybe ONE "moment" thrown in), but our youngest is still just not able to sit for that long. DW and I share the duties so neither of us misses TOO much of the movie (though I SELFLESSLY ;) agreed to take care of it all when we went to go see Hannah Montana: The movie).

    We've started packing. Everything that CAN be packed, is packed. The "Bathroom tote", most of our snack food, the stuff for the kids birthday party, our "anniversary gear"....all that stuff. We've pulled about 50% of the clothes we need to bring. Sunday we'll do a bunch of laundry, and pull out the rest of what we need...and then pack the suitcases Sunday night.

    Can't believe we're only 6 days away!

    Edit: And Ellen as the 4th AI judge? What do you think about that??!! I might have to actually watch more of the show now!
     
  11. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    My husband has yet to take the kids to a movie. He's not a big movie-goer. He likes to watch them, but is happier in the comfort of our own couch. He also gets sticker shock every time we go to the movies (can't blame him there). How kind you were to not take your wife away from the Hannah Montana movie!

    I hadn't planned to go to DHS this time around, although I might add an extra day to our tickets when we arrive just in case Heckle is determined to go on the Tower of Terror. But we'll definitely go next year (I really want to see the Christmas light show) and I have to admit I sort of dig HSM as well.

    I hope the rest of your work days go smoothly. I suspect that things will be quiet until the week before I leave and then things will go haywire. It's unfortunate that I'll be in the same time zone and accessible by phone - but that's the benefit of caller ID, I guess. :)

    We're supposed to have a garage sale tomorrow (it's supposed to rain, so we'll see how well it goes), and my plan is to take anything that doesn't sell and tote it off to Goodwill. Any summer clothes that they won't be able to wear next year will also disappear - but I'll be sure to keep enough outfits for Disney. That way they won't miss anything (well - I don't think Jeckle would notice, but Heckle has a memory like a steel trap and would notice anything that should be there but isn't).

    I'm actually looking forward to Ellen as a judge. At the very least she'll be amusing and coherent, unlike Paula.
     
  12. pilferk

    pilferk <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    Your hubby and I sound more and more alike. We typically take the kids to the movies maybe 3 or 4 times a year...the rest of the time we buy the DVD or Blu-Ray. Cheaper, our own snacks, and the pause button works wonders! We have a pretty good home theater setup, so (especially for most of the kids movies) I don't feel we miss much by not seeing it on the "big screen".

    We went in early December of '08, and the Osborne Family Lights was my FAVORITE part of the whole trip. It's just an awesome show, especially now that it's all choreographed to music. Just amazing.....

    They haven't, so far. And I don't expect Monday or Tuesday to be any less hectic. My plate for both days is already full...and that's before the rest of the "OMG, EMERGENCY!! HE'S GOING AWAY FOR 2 WEEKS" panic sets in. I suppose, in some sense, it's nice to be needed (JOB SECURITY!!). On the other, it sorta stinks when you're the only person in your entire institution that can do your job.

    I've already warned them: I will have my cell phone with me BUT it's "awful hard to hear it ringing in the parks". :) If they get to be pests, I'll just "forget" to take my cell out of my pocket when I go swimming!! That'll learn 'em! Last 2 trips, they've been VERY good about things and have left me alone. I'm praying for more of the same!

    And see, I found Paula amusing BECAUSE she was so incoherent at times! Unintentional comic relief at it's finest!
     
  13. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    Thing 1 and Thing 2 are from Dr. Suess's Cat in the Hat. They come in with the Cat and wreak havoc. My kids have the same magic ability to destroy a room in 30 seconds flat.
     
  14. TxMickeyLover

    TxMickeyLover DIS Veteran

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    Just wanted to say I am loving your PTRs. The "Thing" shirts are so cute! Cat in the Hat is one of my faves.
     
  15. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    I definitely agree about the benefits of staying at home to watch a movie. It lessens the pain if the movie is bad (or just depressing).

    We were there in early Dec of last year, but we still had about an hour to go before they started and everyone in the group was pretty much done and ready to head back to the hotel. I'm hoping that next year when we go at Christmastime, the girls at least will be able to stay and go with me (and I know my sister will be into it).

    We have an issue brewing at work that will likely come to a conclusion the first day I'm at WDW. Fortunately, I can hand it over to someone else. I wouldn't be surprised to get a call, though. I got called when I was on maternity leave a few times for issues that it was determined only I could deal with. I usually have my phone in my pocket and don't even feel it vibrate, so they'll be lucky to get a hold of me.
    I remember a few seasons back when she critiqued someone's performance and said the second one wasn't as good as the first and he'd only performed once. Nice one, that. I felt bad for the guy having to go and sing something that had already been panned.

    Thank you and welcome! I love just about all things Dr. Seuss!
     
  16. PracPerfPatricia

    PracPerfPatricia DIS Veteran

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    I'm thinking that unless you are really dead set against it-you should try out for AI at the Studios...

    they really push it-push it hard... in the morning when everyone is lined up at rope drop...there are producers from the show and talent scouts recruiting all over the place...

    so if its something you've ever thought about-it's a good chance...I wouldn't give the age thing a second thought...:goodvibes
     
  17. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    Hmm. I can always look at the song list (I'm assuming it's somewhere on this board - I don't think there's been one piece of information that I couldn't get here). Maybe my friend who's coming to our grand gathering next year would do it with me.
     
  18. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    The Dude’s godmother stopped by on Sunday night with her brother and mother. They are lovely people who adore our kids (and our kids adore them right back). Thea Irene is an older Greek lady who looks not unlike the Yia Yia in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I have never seen her wear anything but black and she is somewhat severe. She has no grandchildren and loves to see our kids (usually about once a month). Not having grown up in a Greek family, I think I would have been terrified by her as a child. The second time Jeckle met her, she grabbed Thea Irene by the hand and dragged her into the living room to watch Spongebob. I don’t think Thea Irene knew what hit her. She tends to be very protective of our kids and every time they visit, she lectures my husband about not having a fence around our yard (there’s a pretty tragic back story behind that, so her reaction is understandable, but it still drives my husband batty).

    At any rate, the Dude’s godmother mentioned that godparent’s weekend has been moved to the 25th of October (it’s usually some time in the Spring). She asked if we were still going to be in Florida. I just said that we’d be in town. Heckle was present at the time, but fortunately didn’t pick up on anything. The word “Disney” might have caused some sort of Pavlovian response (would she drool, start listing the rides she has to go on, or just go upstairs and pack a suitcase?), but fortunately the word “Florida” just doesn’t hold the same magic. Any questions would have been passed off as a mistake about next year’s trip. But still. My husband’s family has a long history of spilling the beans a few days shy of the surprise (my SIL’s husband gave away my surprise bridal shower a week early and her daughter gave up the surprise baby shower a few years later). I have less than two weeks to go. I feel like avoiding his family completely for the next 12 days.

    The garage sale wasn’t a complete bust, since I did manage to get rid of a few things. However, we have a lot of clothes and a few toys left. It drizzled all morning – luckily we have a garage, so we still had people stop by. We made brownies and sold them for $.25 each or free with purchase. We didn’t give too many away, let’s just put it that way. The Dude ate 3, I think and then we spent the morning playing hide the plate of brownies from the two year old. At one point, Jeckle declared that she needed to eat a brownie or she was going to die. I think she may have been exaggerating things a bit.

    We managed to sell enough to cover the cost of the newspaper ad and the brownie mix, plus a few bucks. So all was not lost. My good friend is having a neighborhood wide sale this Saturday and it looks like the weather gods are going to cooperate a bit more, so I’ll shlep what’s left (along with Heckle and possibly Jeckle) over to her place bright and early Saturday in the hopes that we can unload the rest. Then it’s on to the flu shot clinic followed by a birthday party at the Viper Pit. When I first saw the name of the venue, I thought “what a horrible place to have a birthday party.” Then I remembered that River Phoenix died in front of the Viper Room, not the Viper Pit. Totally different place. Plus, the Viper Pit is in Etters, Pennsylvania, not West Hollywood, California. Again, totally different place. Although I still find the name Viper Pit a bit unnerving. This is for a group of 6 year olds, after all, and not my high school gym class.
     
  19. disneygirlinnj

    disneygirlinnj DIS Veteran

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    Awww, I still swear that the YiaYia in My Big Fat Greek Wedding was completely based off my YiaYia...except mine was a little rounder in the middle region. :) Always in black and pretty stern, and always cursing of the Turks. But did have a complete soft side to her. Glad Heckle didn't pick up on the slipup!
     
  20. Flossbolna

    Flossbolna Sea days are just so relaxing!

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    Sorry that the garage sale did not go better and good luck for the next saturday. I hope you can keep your secret. When we were small my sister was really good at finding her presents before her birthday or christmas. She did not search for them, but just happened to come across them. My mother was really desperate about that!! :goodvibes
     
  21. tarak

    tarak DIS Veteran

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    I think Thea Irene is a softy as well. She doesn't have any grandchildren of her own, but I think she thinks of ours the same way. I don't know if I have the relationship right, but I believe she's my FIL's first cousin.

    My husband's parents took him to Greece when he graduated from college. At one point, they decided to visit Turkey. All their Greek relatives were horrified that they would voluntarily step foot in Turkey. I think they just agreed to not discuss it anymore.

    My sister was the absolute worst when it comes to snooping for presents. I usually liked to be surprised. I think I'll be able to fool them if anyone slips up in the next few days. If being a lawyer hasn't done anything else, it's definitely improved my ability to bend the truth. Or, you know, lie.
     

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