Monthly Archives: November 2011

It’s A Small, Psychedelic World

The facade of Small World is really something to behold. The artistry of Mary Blair is incredible for one, and it’s so large and majestic.

Okay, maybe majestic isn’t quite the right word, but anyway.

Christmas Small World is just about as good as it gets.

Okay, I'm going back to "majestic"


The facade also makes an excellent projection screen for things such as The Magic, The Memories, and You, and of course, something I’ve dubbed Psychedelic Small World.

It’s a show that happens every 15 minutes in which a series of images are rather frantically shown on the facade along with festive music, like from the Nutcracker.


The show continues with various things

Looks like wrapping paper!

Some of it is just lighting up existing elements of the facade.

All neon-like

I'd call this more of a primary color set

Some of the pictures are easier to follow than others.

Either drums or a very confusing birthday cake

Some are much more straightforward

Dude, candy corn is for Halloween

And some use each panel to show a different story.

This gets confusing

And then after this big buildup, the whole facade goes dark and all at once does this:

I kind of think you have to be there to get the full effect

The frantic changing of images and hyped up music, coupled with the weirdness of some of the color schemes and pictures that move like maybe you’ve had too many adult beverages truly make this experience rather psychedelic.

Christmas Decorations

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I love Christmas and the whole holiday season. We have a ~10-year-old fake tree, purchased after many years of live trees (well, trees cut down in the prime of their lives). I love the smell of a (formerly) live tree, but I did have 3 big problems with it: 1) Pine needles. Everywhere. 2) Disposal–where do I put this thing (no, my city does not have one of those fancy programs where they drop it into a lake and it becomes a refuge for fish or something), and 3) Guilt over having killed a tree. So we invested in a fake tree and it’s one of those pre-lit ones that’s all easy and stuff.

Or I should say it WAS one of those pre-lit ones. Kevin dragged that puppy out tonight and plugged it in only to find one out of four sections lighting up. He jiggled the tree a bit (no kidding, stood there and shook it) and two more sections lit up, which on the one hand, YAY! but on the other hand, is that safe? Still, the last section eluded us, even after I gave it a good shake myself. Kevin checked the fuse (good) and replaced a few bulbs, but…nothing. So he made an emergency Target run to buy a couple of strands of extra lights to fill in the blank spots, and you can barely tell the difference between the 10-year-old lights, which are the old fashioned ones that only light up when you shake the tree, and the new LED lights that kind of burn your eyeballs out if you look too closely.

Now if we were REALLY cool, we’d have a tree like this:

This is a cool tree

Granted we don’t have the height in our living room–or I should say the dining room since that’s where we’re putting it this year. That part of the house is frequently baby-gated off so Theo can’t get to it. I know some kids do just fine with the tree in the room and putting the non-breakable ornaments at the bottom and all, but my child isn’t one of those. We did have a fleeting moment of “hey, that might be okay” but then saw him driving the coffee table around like it’s a car, so, no. Last year we set the tree up and then surrounded it with portable dog fencing. All was well until I was in the other room and heard BAM! BAM! BAM! I went to the living room and saw this:

I took this with my cell phone--can you tell?

Yes, the mostly-naked Theo simply hopped on his toy 4-wheeler and proceeded to ram the fencing until it caved in enough for him to reach it. He’s got a bright future as a construction worker.

Anyway, if you want a tree, Disneyland does it right.

From more of a distance

I heard that they used to get a live tree–or get a very tall live tree and a bunch of smaller ones and plugging the branches in the holes of the original tree, but now the Disneyland tree is fake. It does lend itself to a nice, even triangle shape, and allows for maximum ornament coverage

Isn't this a gorgeous picture? Kevin took it.

Disneyland is–shocker–wonderful in their holiday decorations, starting at the gate

This is a bad picture. It isn't even so bad it's awesome. It's just bad.

But when you round the corner onto Town Square, you catch your glimpse.

The holidays have begun!

Back toward Small World, they have cute little wreaths with cutouts. I don’t remember these from last year so they’re either new or I’m completely unobservant (let’s face it–probably the latter).

He's from Canadaland!

I thought he was particularly cute

And the castle, of course, is amazing.

Near Snow White's Grotto

Taken by Kevin, of course

I can’t wait to go back!


What I’m Thankful For

Today is very special for me, not just because it’s Thanksgiving, but because 10 years ago today, I got to marry the love of my life.

Kevin and I got married at the Redondo Beach Public Library–a historic library (no longer used as a library) overlooking the ocean.

It was pouring rain. And I mean POURING. We specifically, and as it turned out wisely, arranged an indoor wedding because I just KNEW it was going to rain. I was right. It was so bad–the venue had very limited parking so it was mandatory valet parking. My cousin pulled up and got out of the car only to have a huge gust of wind blow the car door shut. Running. He had to wait for AAA to get it open and accidentally missed the ceremony!

We also had a very special member of the wedding party.

That’s our little dog, Scout. We lost her last December when she was almost 15 years old. We still miss her.

But what an amazing day. Right as we walked down the aisle, the clouds broke and we had the most beautiful sunlit ocean in front of us.

The ceremony was just lovely.

We had our kiss and then our special family member.

The toasts were heartfelt, funny, and very moving.

Our first dance was choreographed because honestly, there’s nothing worse than a wedding dance of couples draped all over each other like drunkards stumbling home at midnight.

Then it was time for cake! We had a spice cake with an apple spice filling to follow the Fall theme.

I told Kevin if he shoved cake in my face I’d divorce him right then and there.

He chose the fake-out instead.

With the champagne toast

And then the party started

This is my mother, by the way:

We did take some time to be together

We were surrounded by a crowd of love

And we had some very special memories of people who have since passed away.

My uncle Tom and my Grandpa Rosiak, who is Theo’s namesake.

A polka with my beloved Grandpa Siok. He passed away a week after Theo was born, just long enough to see pictures of his great-grandson.

Congratulations abound

It was exhausting

And my feet hurt

But oh, so, so worth it.

Happy Anniversary, honey. I love you more and more with each passing day.

Wintertime Enchantment Holiday Lighting

We hit the park tonight for the first time since the holiday decorations went up, and gosh, it reminded me of why I love holiday time at Disneyland so much. It’s just so beautiful. The castle looks amazing, the tree is awesome, and Main Street looks fabulous. Not to mention Small World.

Well, I’ll mention Small World in another post.

It was pretty crowded today, not surprisingly two days before Thanksgiving, so we didn’t expect to do much other than soak in the atmosphere. Well we tried to ride Small World (that again?) but the line was huge, so we skipped it.

We did arrive just in time for the castle lighting, more formally known as the Wintertime Enchantment Holiday Lighting. This was a first for me, although I always knew such a thing existed.

First they darken the park


We were about 1/4 up Main Street from Town Square.

Then things start to sparkle. There are little white lights that go on and off on the castle, on the garlands above Main Street, and the big tree (which I didn’t get a picture of).

The sparkling was more impressive in person

Then the castle gets fully lit up

And Shelby takes a not-so-great picture of it

And then one of my favorite Disneyland holiday things–it snows!

What's this in your hair?

I will never get tired of the snow at Disneyland, particularly the look on kids’ faces when they see it for the first time. Theo is an old hat when it comes to Disneyland snow, but he still oooohed and aahhhhed over it.


Following that, the castle is fully lit and just beautiful.

A snowy fairy tale

The castle lighting happens about 4 times a night, so check your entertainment schedule and position yourself in front of the castle somewhere to check it out. It’s such a nice little touch of holiday magic.

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