Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Happiest Place on Earth

Back in March we participated in Disney's volunteer program and earned two Disney passes, which had to be used by December 15.  So we called some friends, calculated gas mileage, scrapped together some pennies, asked my sister to watch all the animals, and headed south.

We drove and drove and drove some more.  We listened to back episodes of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me to pass the time. And drove some more.

And finally we arrived.  DISNEYLAND!  We actually stayed two nights with our friend Debi, who is an amazing artist and just happens to live in Los Angeles.  She is lives in the Brewery Artist Lofts, a former Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery turned artist-in-residence community. 

Our gracious hostess doing a little product branding.  Debi has an annual pass and gleefully accompanied us into the park.  And she mentioned to some other mutual friends we were coming into town, so with the wonder of texting, Chris was able to meet up with us in the park.

The park was not crowded, so we were able to hit all of our favorite rides before lunch.  Indiana Jones, Tarzan's Jungle House, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Innoventions, Sleeping Beauty's Walkthrough, Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear's Astroblasters. (I got the high score.)

On our way through the castle back into Fantasyland we found the Evil Queen, and had to stop to show our reverence. She was pleased by our recognition of her greatness. 

Then on to Autopia, with a lovely example of LA traffic, including irate drivers. (Chris is a deaf interpreter and has a very expressive face.)

Lunch, teacups, Finding Nemo, Jungle Cruise, Pirates and Indiana Jones for the second time, running around the former Tom Sawyer's island, now Pirate's Cove. I'm sure I'm forgetting something in there, like Winnie the Pooh.

After the amazing fireworks and 'snow' on Main Street we ran back into Fantasyland for awhile, rode the carousel, Mr. Toads Wild Ride, Storybook Canal, and Snow White's Scary Adventures.  Through Sleeping Beauty's Castle one more time.  While waiting in line for the Haunted Mansion, the rain that had been threatening all day finally opened up and poured.  It was after 11pm and we were done.  A total of 13 hours in the park.  Don't know when we'll get back south again, but it was all worth it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Stuck in Mud

Today was the 8th Annual EcoKids.  Today it also rained.  A lot.  In the last 24 hours it dumped 1.77 inches on Grass Valley, of which 0.64 was received in the last 6 hours.  Yep, that would be the same six hours during which we set up the Burton Homestead, opened, and subsequently were utterly rained out.  

This wasn't just a little rain.  How do I know?  Well, first off is this nifty website produced by the National Weather Service that I posted on Facebook during the last storm.  Be sure to play with the different time scenarios during and after a storm.  So very cool.  So yes, over half an inch during the time frame in question.

Secondly, there was water sheeting off of the ground, which then lead to the further observation that our meadow aka parking lot for the event was rapidly turning very soggy.

Why do people assume that just because they  have 4WD that this won't happen to them?  People were very nice but a bit dismissive of my AWD Scion.  I could feel how slick the ground was, thought I was going to make it, but no.  Completely stuck, almost to the bumper line on the passenger side.  So people in 4WD and big pick ups tried to make it out and got equally stuck.  Luckily my Geico insurance coverage included tow service.  Within 15 minutes I had a tow truck and got pulled out of the mud.

The tow truck driver made short work on installing the tow bolts on the front of my bumper.  I never knew that's what those big eye bolt looking things with my spare tire stuff were for.

We made it home ok after that, where DH had started a fire in the wood stove and had a lovely pot of our locally sourced chicken (see previous post) whipped into a lovely chicken veg rice soup.