Disney Day 3: Animal Kingdom

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Sunday was our day in Animal Kingdom. The day started with a hiccup as we were seated late to our breakfast reservation at Boma, located in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It was a buffet, and probably the best part of the day. The food was amazing, especially the asparagus and zebra cakes that we requested at the end. They’re basically balls of chocolate mousse or ice cream covered in white chocolate and drizzled with more chocolate. I could sit and eat them all day, they were that good.

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Unfortunately, the length of our meal caused us to miss out fast passes for the Nemo show, which turned out to be a silver lining as it got us fast passes to both the dinosaur ride and an avatar one!

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Upon arrival to the park, we went to see the bug show in the Animal Kingdom tree which was entertaining as I remembered it to be. Last time I was at Disney, my seat buzzed and this time I got a fake stinger straight to the back… I think I prefer the buzzing!

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Next, we went to meet Scrooge McDuck who was so charming and I loved meeting him.

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After our photo-op, we climbed on a playground for a bit before heading over to watch the Festival of the Lion King in Harambe, Africa.  This show is a must see and I was so glad we fast-passed it. I could watch it over and over! They sang, danced, tumbled and had plenty of acrobatics and aerial dancing. It was awesome!!! After the show, we checked the MyDisney app and noticed that the Kilimanjaro Safari had a relatively low wait time so we walked over to ride. While waiting in line, Hannah’s glasses broke, which was less than ideal, but we saw lots of animals on the ride!

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After our safari, the group broke off to shop and I went to find dessert. I ended up getting a cookie and a cupcake. I was also sure to hunt down a couple of walls located in the marketplace of Harambe before we left the African sector.

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By the end of the day, we were all tired and done, but decided to meet Minnie and Mickey anyway. The entire trip, I was very pleased with how happy and polite all the cast members were, until this incident. While taking photos, a cast member ripped my phone out of Hannah’s hand and said that she would be responsible for taking photos. Not only was she not supposed to do this, but the photos turned out awful. Fortunately, another cast member, who knew how to use an iPhone, took a group photo before the interference of the rude employee.

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That night, we took naps until about 9. The members of my room, Hannah (my actual roommate), Jason (Jethyl) and I decided to take a trip to the New Orleans resort for Gumbo and to explore. I was sick of the horrible park food we’d eaten earlier and ready for an adventure. I’d never had gumbo before and had low expectations but it was so good. After eating, we went to play and found some crocodiles who resembled us and a wet playground to climb on. We made a fun video with Jason on the ground yelling “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair” before we popped up on the edge of the playground tower and flipped our hair over the edge. After frolicking around for awhile longer, we ubered home and went to sleep.

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Sleeveless white button down // Similar animal print skort 

Disney Day 2: Epcot to Magic Kingdom

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I started day 2 exhausted and woke up thinking it was 3am when in reality, it was 7:50. Eventually, everyone got up and made it to Epcot. In my last post, I neglected to introduce my friends fully, so here we go. 6 of us went on this trip: me, Hannah, Felicia, Jason, Jason and Jeremy. I’m not sure how we managed to get all boys with J names and two Jasons, but we did. Top left is Jason, who we call Hoff. Top middle is Jason aka Jethyl who is standing next to Jeremy, all the way to the right. Felicia is in the middle and Hannah, my roommate, is all the way to the right.

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Because the World Showcase wasn’t fully open yet, we wandered around London and Paris before making our way to Belgium, where we managed to be the first in line for waffles!!!

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I’m sorry… the old Cashel can’t come to the phone right now…

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After eating, we wandered to various countries, stopping for food and riding The Three Caballeros boat tour in Mexico. Hannah and I got fish and chips in London before being  stood up by Mary Poppins. We did meet Sleeping Beauty, however, but she wasn’t that nice of a person. The group reunited to ride The Land before spontaneously running into Jasmine on our way to the worst restaurant experience of our lives.

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We had made reservations at Via Napoli which was probably the worst decision of the trip. When our food came, it was clearly reheated and the most disgusting looking thing I’d ever seen in my life. The sauce looked gross like it was out of a jar as if the chef had done absolutely nothing. The pasta was mushy and I was horrified. Because we were in “Italy,” and therefore our waiter was actually from Italy, I obviously decided to complain. I scooped some of the excessive sauce with my fork and plopped it back down, before doing the same with the pasta, and asking him what the heck it was. He tried to explain but I was like no, and asked him if he would eat it. Clearly the answer was no because he immediately offered to get me different food. I asked if there was anything on the menu that he’d actually eat, and if so to bring that. In my hangry state, I came off a lot more aggressive than I intended, but 20 minutes later, I had edible eggplant that wasn’t half bad. The tiramisu after was surprisingly good and made the meal almost worth it.

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Princess Jasmine was the sweetest!

After dinner, we walked around and explored some more of the countries. I loved the blue and white colors of Morocco. My friends decided to go ride some more rides while I went back to the hotel for a 30 minute power nap before Magic Kingdom.

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Once I arrived at the park, we headed straight to our Fastpass for Splash Mountain. As we passed the line, I overheard an employee ask a father and his children what they’d done that day. “We waited in line,” he replied, in the least amused and most irritable tone possible.  Once in our log, I definitely overhyped the drop in my head. It actually wasn’t that bad, although my eyes were squeezed shut in the photo. Half of our group walked out soaked and one of the Jasons, Jethyl, had a giant wet spot on his pants that looked exactly like he’d just wet himself. It was priceless!! I would post the photo but I don’t think he’d appreciate it. Once off the ride, we ran over to the presidents show and the group kept correctly answering the pre-show trivia. The attendants were very annoyed it was our group with all the answers, espceially when we walked out for fireworks instead of going into the actual show!

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Finally, it was time for fireworks. The show was incredible and also had music and projections on Cinderella’s castle. I wish I could see it again and again!!

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After the fireworks, we went to ride Winnie the Pooh which was just the sweetest! After, we got on the teacups. The other Jason of the group, Hoff, decided to spin the teacup way too fast. I couldn’t think of the word stop so I just started slapping him and laughing. It was a good time! After the teacups, we ended the night on Pirates of the Caribbean which was a surprisingly fun ride!!

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Top // Shorts // Minnie Ears

Disney Day 1: Hollywood Studios to Epcot

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Our Disney trip started at 4:30am in the back of an Uber who turned onto a bridge going the wrong way, straight into oncoming traffic. Somehow, we made it to the airport, and boarded our flight to Orlando. After what felt like the quickest flight ever, we arrived at our resort and got ready in what had to have been the world’s most poorly lit bathroom.  From there, it was off to Hollywood Studios!

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Hollywood Studios is my least favorite park and was half under construction, making it even worse. I didn’t even want to spend the half-day we did here, but the rest of the group insisted, so we went.  We started in Toy Story land, the newest addition to the park, which was extremely packed. We all wanted to ride the family friendly slinky dog rollercoaster because it looked slow enough, but the wait time was over an hour, so we passed. Because everyone was getting hangry, we grabbed a quick service lunch at Woody’s Lunch Box and had BBQ brisket grilled cheese. It was actually good, but definitely not the best food you can get at Disney.

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After eating, we hopped in line for Toy Story Mania, which took forever but was a lot of fun. In line, I was questioning if I even would like it since the line was so crowded and stressing me out but once we got to Mr. Potato Head we were practically there so I decided to stay in line. It’s one of those 3D rides where you shoot targets. After the ride, the group broke off. Hannah and I walked around to shop and explore while the rest of the group went to nauseate themselves on some “real” rides whose wait times were relatively low.

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While shopping, I was on the hunt for a cute Disney t-shirt but found nothing, until I checked the kids section. I own way too many children’s clothes but I couldn’t pass on a shirt talking about CUPCAKES! I was especially thankful I bought it later that night when I realized my sunscreen hadn’t quite done its job.

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After shopping, the gang headed to see the 3D muppets show, which I highly recommend, and the Indiana Jones show, which was cool for the times the professionals were actually performing. Afterwords, we hopped on a shuttle for Epcot to make our fast passes and dinner reservation.

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Upon arrival to the park, we went straight to Spaceship Earth, the ride in the giant Epcot ball, and were able to get on within minutes thanks to our fast passes. The ride takes you through the history of earth before fast forwarding to outer space where you get a view of planet earth. The ride moves slow but is partially in pitch darkness. I found it a bit strange that in the “important” parts of history featured, it goes from the civil war to making newspapers and skipped both the first and second world wars.

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At the exit, we took photos with the famous bubblegum wall before booking it over to Teppan Edo in Japan for our hibachi dinner. As we power walked over, I changed into the t-shirt I bought earlier to cover my shoulders from the sun. I didn’t even slow down or flash anyone… now that’s talent! Dinner was amazing and I especially enjoyed the chocolate ginger mousse cake at the end, which was my first dessert of the night.

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After dinner, we had fast passes to Soarin’ which has been expanded in recent years. It is now scent infused, so when you fly over the elephants you smell dirt and grass and when you fly over a tropical island it smells just like a candle. The amount of places we flew over was insane and it looked and felt real! The ride definitely prompted me to add a couple of new travel spots to my mental bucket list. After Soarin’, we did one more ride, Mission Space. I thought I couldn’t handle it because it was very enclosed. At the part I had to pull the tight safety bar over my head I started to freak out, but I closed my eyes until it started and it was actually kind of fun, but I wouldn’t do it again.

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Finally, we walked back over to France for dessert from Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie. I got this amazing dessert, Cafè Liè Geois,  which was chocolate, coffee and cream mousse, and ate it while watching the fireworks show, Illuminations, Reflections of Earth. There was fire, fireworks, lasers, lights and a big globe. It was very cool! Tired, sore and on hour 18 of our day, we hobbled to the crowded shuttle and finally made it to our beds.

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Top (old Lilly Pulitzer), Skirt, Shoes, Minnie Ears

Passing Through The Palms

I can’t believe fall break is over. After 5 days of going non-stop I’m feeling pretty tired but also refreshed. I didn’t look at anything school or work related for the entirety of my time at Disney (not that I would’ve had time even if I wanted to) and am feeling sluggishly motivated to transition back to work mode. Disney was magical. Coronado Springs, our resort, although under construction, was a beautiful escape and quiet. While strolling around one morning, we came across this gorgeous row of palms and couldn’t help but snap a few photos. I am currently in the process of putting together all the posts from the trip and can’t wait for them to be finished. It’s going to be a struggle seeing my computer broke again and isn’t going to be repaired probably ever… STRESS!!! Nevertheless, they should be going up within the next couple of days!

Disney Itinerary

I need a vacation. This weekend my laptop broke which was a total nightmare. Of all weeks for it to go, it had to be the one that I had 5 papers to write and law schools to start applying to. Fortunately, a friend lent me her old one and after 4 days without my computer, Apply finally fit me in and fixed it in a couple of hours!!! Thank God I didn’t have to buy a new laptop, I was definitely expecting the worst.  Amid all the chaos, the stressful part of my semester is nearly over!  I’ve almost completed my law school applications and in just a day, my 5 of my closest friends and I are going to Disney for Fall Break! It’s going to be my first actual vacation with no studying or work in 10 months and is very much-needed.

This past weekend my roommate and I sat down and finalized our plan. I typed up a detailed schedule outlining what/where we’ll be going, eating, doing and riding. We’re all especially excited for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party after dark. Disney villains will be roaming the park and crowds shouldn’t be as heavy.  We even get to dress up! I’ll be dressing as Aurora (Sleeping Beauty). The other two girls of the group are planning to go as Belle and Tinker Bell, and have coordinating Beasts and Peter Pans.

Anytime I take a trip somewhere busy or unfamiliar, I need a plan to stay on task. This will be especially helpful for our group of 6, all of whom love knowing exactly what to expect out of our days. Keeping everyone organized and on the same page is going to be crucial for a successful trip, hopefully free of fighting. On our schedule is our flights, the parks we will be visiting each day, our dinner reservations and the rides we have fast passes for. While it provides just enough structure, most of the days are free time for the group to break off and do whatever they feel like. I think every vacation spent “going” needs an itinerary of some sort and this is ours!

Friday

6:05-8:25am: flight- DCA-MCO

Morning: Hollywood Studios

Afternoon: Epcot

  •  4:50-5:50pm: Spaceship Earth
  • 6:00pm: Dinner at Teppan Edo- World Showcase
  • 7:50-8:50pm: Soarin’ Around the World
  • 10:00pm Fireworks Show

Saturday

Morning: Epcot

  • 9:00am: arrive to the park
  • 3:30pm: Lunch at Via Napoli- World Showcase

Afternoon: Magic Kingdom

  • 6:30-7:30pm: Pirates of the Caribbean
  • 7:40-8:40pm: Splash Mountain
  • 9:00pm Fireworks Show
  • 9:05-10:05pm: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Sunday

Morning: Animal Kingdom

  • 9:40am: Breakfast at Boma- Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • 10:30-10:45am: Finding Nemo, The Musical
  • Wait in line for: Safari/Everest/Kali River Rapids
  • 12:30-12:45pm: Festival of the Lion King

Afternoon: Free

Monday

Morning: Magic Kingdom

  • 9:45-10:45am: Buzz Lighter’s Space Ranger Spin
  • 11:20-12:20pm: Jungle Cruise
  • 1:00-2:00pm: Meet Tinker Bell at Town Square Theater

Afternoon: Magic Kingdom/Free

  • 5:15pm: Dinner at Maya Grill- Coronado Springs Resort
  • 7:00pm-12:00am: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (arrive as early as possible)

Tuesday

2:00-4:10pm: Flight- MCO-DCA

The Swing Bridge

The Swing Bridge (which squeaks if you jump on it) is a green metal walking bridge in Milford, New Hampshire. I love bridges, incase my posts haven’t made that evident enough, especially when they’re fun colors… and of course I intentionally coordinated my top to match the bridge. This green bridge has such nice entry ways, although the body looks a little run down, and I was a little afraid of dropping my phone through the cracks in the wood floor into the river below.

Shorts // Similar Top

How to cut out negativity, and why it’s so worth it

Whoever said that one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch wasn’t kidding. Everything in your life can be going great and one toxic presence, either a task, obligation or person can make you blind to all of it. Somewhere in life, we become wired to focus on the negative so much that we end up overlooking all the good around us. One toxic person or upcoming event can drain the life out of you. They are always in the back of your mind, forcing you inside your head, challenging you to cut them loose, yet we almost never do. Saying to yourself “hey, I’m going to change something in my life” is terrifying. Change is not fun, but sometimes it’s very necessary. If you feel like something or someone is causing you more stress or negativity than they’re worth, cutting them out is 100% necessary. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to cut a toxic person from my life, then put it off over and over again. Looking back, I always wished I’d done it sooner rather than later and have never regretted it once. Some things or people in life are worth the effort and some are not.

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Once you realize you’re ready to part ways with the vessel of negativity, you have to just go for it. You owe it to yourself and your sanity to get it over with, ASAP. Once you realize how bad something is for you and that it is in fact time to let it go, waiting around with this knowledge without acting on it is even worse for you than before you realized that this thing (or person) needs to be out of your life. Biting the bullet is the hardest part, but it’s important to remember that it was your decision and that you are in control of what you surround yourself with, what you are doing, and where you are going. Remembering why you chose to cut the negativity out makes the original shock that accompanies the change worth it. The challenge of overcoming the change becomes much easier if you surround yourself with the positive things in your life, meaning people, hobbies you enjoy and the best form of yourself. Sometimes we are so focused on being “on” for others that we give ourselves the short end of the stick. Taking the time to re-channeled the energy and effort that once went into the negativity into yourself is absolutely crucial.

Starting over without the negative person/event/other feels foreign, but getting used to it and replacing what the negative took up with positive things makes their absence unnoticeable and newly unwelcome. After I cut out a negative person, for example, out of my life, I realize how many great people that I have. I always reming myself that you have to let something mediocre go to make room for something really great to come into your life. I’m completely ok with letting things that feel negative or draining leave my life because it’s just making room for good things and great people. Having less draining people and soul sucking obligations takes a huge weight off your shoulders and lets you see more possibilities for yourself. Just like when you’re super happy it’s as though you’re wearing rose colored glasses, when you’re surrounded by something negative it’s as though you’re wearing blinders that filter out what’s out there and how many better things you could be doing. Going forward, I think everyone needs to not feel bad about cutting negativity out of their lives and to stop making excuses to themselves.  Everyone owes it to themselves to be happy, be surrounded with amazing people and to love what they’re doing every day. Life is just too short to do otherwise.