While I've been in Disney World for the holidays for two years now, I've never seen the Dancing Lights that the Osbourne Family sponsors in Hollywood Studios. I meant to go last year, but then I got sick around the time I was planning on going, so I never made it. Well, I was telling this story to one of my coworkers and she decided it was high time I saw the Dancing Lights.
One day after I got off of work early-ish, she and I took off and went to Hollywood Studios. We were only there for about two hours, but it was the most fun two hours I think I've had in quite some time. We walked around staring at all the holiday decorations and the holiday windows on their main streets. We walked in and out of the stores, just staring at the Christmas products deciding what we would buy if we were rich. We stopped at their Starbucks at Trolley Car Cafe, because even though we work for Starbucks we still can't get enough. It was cool seeing how their setup differed from ours, and how new some of their machines looked, since they are a newer store.
As it was getting dark, we started meandering over toward the streets of America to get a look at the lights. Now, I've seen them in daytime, so I know how intricately they're laid out. As we were walking that way the lights flickered on, and when I say flickered I mean they turned on so brightly that we saw it happen from the opposite side, which made us even more excited for what was to come. We kept creeping closer and closer and Christie kept telling me how awesome and amazing they were and that I was going to cry (I didn't -- but almost did).
We kept getting little sneak peeks in tiny openings here and there, which made me even more excited. We finally turned the corner and I couldn't believe my eyes. It was so amazing and breathtaking. The Christmas music was blaring and the lights were dancing along with the song. The lights only dance along every other song, so it's not too overwhelming. We would take a few steps and then stop because I couldn't believe my eyes. They have hidden mickeys (literally over 100), hidden characters, and cute little setups along the way.
It would be one place that I wouldn't mind working because seeing the lights night after night wouldn't ever get old. They're so well timed to the music, and so intricate that it's almost unbelievable. We stayed for about six or seven songs and then started to make our way out. However we came across a little shop on the left that smelt wonderful so we had to pop in. I can't think of the name off the top of my head, but I think it's called the writer's studio or something along those lines. They had free little hot chocolates with whipped cream on top (which were delicious) and was a little break from the hectic scene that was the Dancing Lights.
After we got some hot chocolate the song "What's This" from Nightmare Before Christmas was playing so I HAD to go back to the lights to see it because it's Christian's favorite song from that movie so I took a little video to send to him. Since we were back in the lights, Christie told me we had to walk back toward the other side because there was a little area in the back that is quiet/incredibly beautiful, so off we went. She was right, and it was almost like a little sanctuary in the back.
Apparently as it gets later in the night, the streets get more and more thinned out so it's not as hectic. I would love to go back and look at them at least one more time before they disappear for good. While I'm sad that they won't be there after this year, I'm excited to see what happens with the park in the coming years.
Since I had bought the box set for the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, I was incredibly eager to pick up the second book as soon as I had finished the first one. These books are so well written, it's easy to get through them. If you haven't picked up the series, I would definitely suggest doing so. I wrote about the first book in a previous blog post, so if you haven't seen that I would definitely go check it out.
In the second book, we meet back up with Percy Jackson and his friends from the first book, Grover and Annabeth. However this time, we meet up with another very important character, Tyson. Tyson is a boy at Percy's school, who is a little different than usual. Percy doesn't really think anything of it, and tries to treat him like normal (a good lesson for everyone), and tries to keep the bullies from picking on him. Percy and Tyson form an unusual friendship that spans time. After Annabeth saves Percy and Tyson from a gang of monsters who try to attack them at school, they all head to Camp Half-Blood. That's when things start to get even weirder.
At this time, the camp is under attack from monsters because someone poisoned the tree that guarded the camp, who is actually one of Zeus' daughters (Thalia). Thalia was turned into a tree to save her life by her father when she was trying to make it to camp. Chiron is blamed for actually poisoning the tree, so he is fired from camp and not there when they make it back to camp. To save Thalia, and Grover, we learn that the heroes must go on a quest to find the golden fleece. This fleece is located in the Sea of Monsters with a Cyclops.
However the leaders of the camp do not actually give the quest to Percy and his friends, they give it to Clarisse, a daughter of Ares. With a little help from Hermes, Percy decides to go on the quest anyways, which leads him to the Sea of Monsters. What happens next? I guess you'll have to read the book to find out.
In this book, we see Percy begin to show a little more growth. While he is "growing up" during these books, it's also very hard to imagine what is going on at this time because he is only about 13/14 years old. It's odd for me to think of someone that young going on these quests, but in this world that's "normal." This book greatly differed from the first one, though still very enticing, because we meet different characters, and old characters reappear as well. The tasks that Percy and his friends must endure are getting more and more challenging as the series goes on.
Though I've said it a million times already, these books are absolutely fantastic, for anyone of any age. They're an easy read, and absolutely entertaining the whole way through. I'll be passing the book series on to my mom after I finish reading them, and after talking with her about what the books are about she's very excited too.
I wouldn't go out on a limb and say that Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday by any means. Is it one of my favorites? Yes. Is it my absolute favorite? No. But this year, all that may be changing because this year I get to go home for Thanksgiving.
I kind of last minute decided it was time for a short visit home about two weeks before Thanksgiving. I got my schedule for the week and saw that I had two days off. The only thing that I needed to make my dream a reality was to get Friday off as well. As soon as I woke up in the morning, I posted on our Facebook page of shift trade/give away that I was trying to give away a super short morning shift on that Friday and would love someone to take it, if they could. Not even five minutes later a girl had commented that she could take my shift. I was elated.
After I put the shift trade in, the next thing to do was tell my parents. My mom didn't think it was a good idea, because I'd be exhausted from traveling so much to actually enjoy my time there. However my dad saw things a little differently. He was excited I was coming home but not so excited that I was going to drive. It's only a 10-12 hour (max) drive home so I don't think it's that bad. My dad doesn't quite see it like that though -- he's more worried about the crazy drivers and my safety. So what does he do? He told me he'd buy me a plane ticket home if I could find a cheap one.
Somehow, god only knows, I managed to find a super cheap flight home and my dad told me to book it on the spot. It's nearly impossible to find flights that go from Orlando --> New Orleans so to find one within the price range I was looking for, I was ecstatic. Plus it's on Southwest which means that I am able to bring bags there/home with me, which means that I can actually bring stuff that I forgot at home back to my apartment with me.
I'm so happy to see my family again, and spend a little bit of time with them. The holidays are always stressful, but I'm glad that going home will make them a little bit easier.
Moving out has been an interesting thing to say the least. The past few times when I've moved out, I've either moved into an apartment that I was only going to be in for my duration of the college program, or I was in a sorority house, or a house that I was only in for a year during school. I've never really had to buy my own things for my own house/apartment. However, this time I've had to.
I've come to realize how much stuff my parents have that I don't have/need to get, and what makes a house a home. My parent's kitchen's are awesome. They're stocked full of things that you need for cooking obscure recipes and for cooking family recipes. The first few nights we were here, we didn't have ANYTHING at all really, and it was so difficult. Now when I'm in the kitchen and I go to reach for something that I don't have (which happens more often than not) I write down what I need. If I go to reach for it more than once, or think about it more than once, I put a tally down next to it.
Now, when I go shopping for decorations/things like that I mainly go to HomeGoods because not only is it cheap but they've got some pretty awesome stuff for decorating/the home. The only bad thing about the store is sometimes when you find something absolutely perfect, they may not have multiples of it because they only have what's on the floor (for the most part). So sometimes, you may not be getting a full set of whatever it is that you wanted.
For me, one of the things that I really wanted after our ant problem was little containers to sit on the counter that hold sugar and flour. My mom and dad both have containers at home that hold our flour and our sugar, which is awesome but I wanted something a little more decorative that could just sit on the counter so I didn't have to pull out the big tub every time I wanted something. Now this may change, but for right now it works.
I found what I wanted right away, but could only find one of the jars. It was perfect -- it was white with a brown cork top that fit right in and had a little fleur-de-lis on it. I walked around for what felt like forever looking for a duplicate and couldn't find it so I settled for three other ones, with a matching oil and vinegar set as well. The jars, a kitchen utensil holder, and a spoon to put on the stove to set down your cooking spoon while you're cooking only set me back about $40. Which for me, was practically perfect. I'm very much in the mind set that you don't have to have a lot of things all at once, but more so create the perfect collection one week (or so) at a time.
Living and working in Disney World is one of the most blissful and the most stressful things I think I've ever done. Now, don't get me wrong I don't actually live in Disney World, but I live close enough that I don't have to stress about getting to work on time (for the most part). It's one of the most magical places, that's for sure, and working here reminds me on a daily basis how blessed I am to be doing something that I like in a place that I love.
Don't get me wrong, there are days that are hard, and there are days that are stressful, but the good days most definitely make up for the bad days. To see a little boy or girl get excited about something in our store, or even an adult to be thankful for the coffee that will help them get through the long day that is inevitably ahead, it's very humbling at all times. Every time that I see a family come in with a Make A Wish badge on, it breaks my heart just a little bit. And every time I see a family come in with a family reunion, or first visit button it makes me smile just a little bit harder. I work for Disney, but in a Starbucks, so the questions that I get on a daily basis can range anywhere from a typical Disney question to a Starbucks question that I've never heard before in my entire life.
One of the things that I love most about working is that when I'm not working, I can go into the parks and just relax. I can go in for a few hours here, and a few hours there and really become familiar with the parks and the nooks and crannies that each park has. There have been days where I've just sat in the Hub of the Magic Kingdom and watched as the families go by, or on a bench in Italy and just watch everyone hustle around Epcot trying to make the most of Food and Wine as it goes by. Just one look at my instagram, you can tell that I really do love this place and the people that I've met because of it.
I somehow wound up here after college, trying to delay working for the 'real world.' I finished my first College Program and headed off to Disneyland Resort to try my hand working out there. I came straight back (to be closer to family) after I finished my program out there, and wouldn't change it for anything in the entire world. If you ever have an opportunity to work for this company, even if it's just for an internship, I say do it. Because you learn more about yourself in two weeks here than you do in months/years anywhere else.