The Best Baseball Stadium Ever...PetCo Park

The first time that Christian and I went to San Diego, I fell in love with PetCo Park. We walked all over, and I fell in love with the city. But it was as we drove by that I fell in love with the park. It's in the middle of downtown San Diego, and the views inside the stadium are absolutely stunning. Since Christians sister and brother-in-law live near San Diego, we always had a reason to go and visit. 

The park opened in 2004 and is the current home to the Padres. Now, I don't know a ton about baseball, but my favorite team is the Padres. Partially because the stadium is beautiful, partially because their colors are blue, and lastly because Christian's favorite team is the angles and I had to choose a different team. He said that I couldn't be a Dodgers fan, and the A's and the Giants were too far away. So, the Padres it is! 

One of my favorite things about the park is that, even if the tickets are sold out (or the tickets are crazy expensive) is that you can still get in. Instead of buying a ticket to the game, you can get access to this little grassy park area right next to the stadium. Even if you buy a ticket to the game, you can still have access to the area. 

Before I left, Christian had promised to take me to a Padres game. I had been wanting to go to a Padres game since I first saw the stadium and the second Friday before I left, he made it happen. A ton of stuff had been going on, and I was working crazy hours, but we made it happen. He drove the four hours (because hey, traffic), and we made it in time to see the second inning. We walked around, and he showed me the sights. It was bittersweet because it was our last game at a stadium while I was in town. It was a good game, and something I'm glad that I was able to experience while I was still there. I can't wait to go to more when I go back to visit.
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Breakfast Dates: Steakhouse 55

One of Christian & I's favorite things to do is go to breakfast. Breakfast food is the best food, hands down in both of our books. So while I was in California, Christian pretty much made it a point to make sure that I ate at all the best breakfast places he could think of. We ended up going to a place that was one of his family's favorites, and one of his favorites, Steakhouse 55. Steakhouse 55 is located in the Disneyland Hotel, nestled away in a back corner. We had gone there for dinner a few weeks before but this time he wanted to show me breakfast.

The atmosphere in general is worth it, and the breakfast isn't that expensive. It was so delicious, and definitely a place that I would like to go back to whenever I go back to California to visit. We both ended up getting the same thing, with different sides. I got the fruit and he got the potatoes, but we ended up sharing (typical). The breakfast was amazing, and the service was fantastic. There's honestly not much I can say otherwise besides that if you have the chance to go for breakfast, you should take it.
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Take Me Out to the Dodgers Game

Since Christian's favorite team is the Anaheim Angles, and my best friend's favorite team is the LA Dodgers, I had to check out both. I had been to a couple of games with Christian, so it was finally time to go to the LA Dodgers Stadium to "get the full experience." Let me just say it was quite the experience. Eerin and his brother picked me up from my apartment, with snacks in tow, and we went on our way to the game. 

I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but the second that I got there, I was ecstatic. We were there super early, so we waited outside the gate for about 15 minutes. Once we got in, we got a free t-shirt since we were there insanely early, and I ended up buying an all black flat billed LA dodgers cap. After watching a few innings, we walked around and I got some nachos. Now, here's the thing. I love nachos. Every stadium that I go to, I get nachos. It's a new tradition, you could say.

After the game, which was a really good game, we went to get some hot dogs and just talked all the way home. It was such a good game, and something i'm glad that I experienced. I loved seeing the scenery (which is way better than Angles stadium, if you ask me), and the company was just way too good to pass up.  
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Pluto Meets A Service Dog

One of the most magical things, and probably the sweetest thing, that I saw while I was in Disneyland was the day that Pluto met a Service Dog. I'm not sure why the service dog was there, or what was happening, but it was so cute. Some friends and I were just walking into Disneyland to hang out for a little bit, when on Main Street we spotted a little bit of a crowd gather. We, being the nosy people that we are, wanted to see what was going on. So, we scooted our way over to see what was happening. Then out of no where, we see Pluto on the ground posing for pictures with a huge service dog. I honestly think the pup was a great dane. It was so cute. 

Working in Disneyland gave me some access to some of the most creative and magical moments that happen all over the park, and even gave me the opportunity to create some of my own. I was able to talk to families during the parades, and fireworks, and get to know them. I had the power to make a decision to do something, if I wanted to. It was such a great feeling creating something special for families when they didn't expect it. It was so great to get families and walk them to the front of the line when there were crazy lines, or even something as simple as giving the young ones a sticker or a drivers license. 

My most memorable magical moment that I created was for a little boy. He was about seven years old, and he had lost his one of a kind, create your own, droid from the Star Tours store. He lost it somewhere on our ride, and after about 20 minutes of having other people searching for me, and searching as much as I could, I wanted to do something more about it. So, I talked with my lead, and they gave me permission to replace it for him. I was able to give the gift of another, one of a kind, droid to this little boy, who spent his own money on it. His mom was so grateful and he gave the biggest hug in the world. It's the little things like that, that meant the most. It wasn't super expensive, and it brightened this little boys day.  
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Throwback Tuesday: Bowling with the Disney World CP's

This is one of the first pictures that I have with some of the people who have changed my life for the better during my first college program in Walt Disney World. We had gone bowling at Splitsville in Downtown Disney to just hang out and get to know each other better. It was the first time we went there, but definitely not the last. They had a great deal for $5 bowling with shoes after a specific time, and we figured why not. 

The people in this picture helped me, for better or for worse. I laughed and cried with them, they were there for my 17 hour days, and my 6 hour days. When I got the flu they were there for me, and since we celebrated pretty much every holiday together, they were my family. We may not all talk as often as we would like now, and it's hard to keep in touch when everyone leads such different lives, but we try. We've still got a group text message going on, and we still follow everyone on snapchat. It's not the same, but it's something. It's good to see how everyone is doing on Facebook and see who's planning on coming back and when.

I was originally going to post this on Thursday, but it's only right that I post it now, as I start my career back with Walt Disney World down in Orlando. Today I'm going through traditions, and it brings back all my old memories from my first program that got me started down a path where I wanted to be going. I'm not sure how the people are going to be at my new location, or even if we'll get along. While I'm nervous about beginning this new path with the company, I'm excited to see where it will take me.
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Building A Bed From IKEA

Before moving to California, I had never been to IKEA before. I had heard of this wonderful, magical place but there wasn't one near us that I could go to so I had never went. However, whenever it came time to move out of College Program housing and into a real apartment, one of my friends asked me to accompany her to IKEA to help get furniture and a bed and build it. Silly me, thought that it wouldn't be that difficult, so why not. When I got to IKEA I was so overwhelmed by the amount of things they had, I didn't know where to start. 

She had been to IKEA before because that is where she got her furniture for college from, so she was basically a pro at this. She walked me through the upstairs (and downstairs), and showed me everything which helped me get an idea of what I wanted to buy for my apartment in Orlando. Everything was going great. We walked through, picked out her furniture, picked it up from downstairs, and checked out. Then came the hard part: getting everything into the car. Boy oh boy was it a challenge. She has a Honda Civic, which aren't the biggest cars in the world (space wise), so we had to really think. 

It was a good thing that I'm pretty good at Tetris and she's pretty good at helping lift things, because about an hour later we got everything into her car and were on our way back to her place. By the time we got everything out the car, with a stop to get pizza along the way, it was getting dark outside. Little did we remember that her room in her apartment didn't have an overhead light, so we definitely couldn't build the furniture that night. Once we got everything out, and into her room, we said goodbye to the apartment for the night and headed back home.

The next day, I promised her that I would help build her bed after our 8 hour shifts at work. We were exhausted and hot, but we had a mission. After about an hour, we finished building the bed and we were so proud. The literal first words out of our mouths were "we didn't kill each other, and we're still friends." That, my friends, is how you know your friendship will last.
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California Food: Wing Stop

Almost everything that we did in California revolved around food, especially when you get off of work.  Need to talk to your best friend after work? Go get some food. Tired after work? Get some food. California has a lot to offer in the food department, with so many different places to choose from and so many different types of food to consider. 

I had never heard of Wing Stop before moving to California, but apparently it was a huge deal to one of my friends. After we had gotten off of work one day, he offered to bring me home. But before that, since we were hungry and it astounded him that I had never even heard of Wing Stop, we made a pitstop on the way home. We had some stuff to talk about, and I wanted to get some advice from him. Plus, he was obsessed with Wing Stop and we were hungry so why not! 

When I got there, I was a little overwhelmed by all the options, so it took me a moment to look through everything and make a decision. I ended up getting garlic parmesan and honey bbq, because I knew if I wouldn't eat the whole thing, then Christian would eat the rest of them for dinner. We ended up getting fries to share, and we both got a coke. I'm not a really big wing person, but I loved them and Christian was super jealous that we got Wing Stop without him. No worries though, he did get my leftovers and loved them.
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The Sweetest Date Night

My boyfriend is probably the sweetest person I've met in quite some time, definitely one of the reasons why we're dating. Now normally, I do all the cooking. I'm from the south, and I've grown up cooking/in the kitchen so I don't mind. We've got the agreement that if I do the cooking, he'll clean the kitchen up afterward. 

I've cooked for Christian many times, and every time he asks me what he can do to help me out, whether it be just cutting vegetables for me, or grabbing something that I forgot. Most of the time I like to cook by myself, so he would just keep me company but every now and then I would let him help. He would ask all the time if he could cook for me, since I always did so much for him, and finally one day I relented.

One day as a surprise, he picked me up from work with all the things he needed to make dinner in the back seat. I was shocked, but pleasantly surprised. He told me to go shower and take a nap and when he was done he would wake me up. So that's just what I did. It was the sweetest thing to come home to after a long day working outside in the heat. He ended up making chicken parmesan, one of our favorites. It was one of the kindest, and thoughtful things he could have done, especially since he's lactose intolerant. Seriously though, I've lucked out. Completely
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Tomorrowland: A Movie/My Home

When I got to Disneyland I wasn't sure where I was going to be, the only thing that I knew was that I was going to be working in Attractions. As soon as I got to traditions, I found out that I was going to be working in Tomorrowland. I was so excited, I didn't know where I was going to be (attractions wise), but I didn't care. I was excited to work in Tomorrowland. 

Tomorrowland quickly became my home. I spent a lot of time there, even when I wasn't working. The people there became my family, and it became the most comfortable place for me in Disneyland. I felt safe there, even when the park was full past what should be capacity.

And then the movie, Tomorrowland, came out. It was exciting, and not at the same time. I was kind of apprehensive about going to see the movie because I knew nothing about it, but at the same time I wanted to see it because I work there. There wasn't as much merchandise that came out as I thought there would be, and getting it was practically impossible. Probably one of my only complaints. 

Christian and I went to see the movie shortly after it came out (it was actually the first movie we went to see together in the theater), and to be honest both of us weren't really impressed. It was cool to see the premier, that was held in Disneyland, and have all the stars come out. But otherwise, I didn't really have much to say on the matter. I liked what they did in the parks to promote the movie, and it was cool to have a premier happen while I was working there, but otherwise I wasn't super impressed. 
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One Big Disneyland Family

One of the best things about working in Disneyland is how close you become with your coworkers. you see these people literally every day, sometimes six of seven days a week. You work about 40 hours with them, if not more. They become your support system, your best friends, your team. You trust them with all your heart and you couldn't imagine doing anything without them. 

About halfway through my College Program in Disneyland, we had a get together dinner for Autopia, where I worked. We really didn't expect too many people to come out, but we didn't really know how many people to expect. The greatest thing about the people at Autopia? They show up. Literally about, 75 people showed up that night. We took over the back room at a fast food joint place thingy and had the best time. We were all there for hours just talking and drinking and eating. One of the best things about it was the fact that people who had gone to cross train at their second and third attractions came back and saw everyone too. 

I couldn't be more grateful for these people. They had my back, literally and figuratively. Whenever I needed anything, they would be there with advice or with a shoulder to cry on, and whenever I almost stepped out on track without paying attention because I was so tired from working a 47 hour week (that I signed up for) or working 10 days in a row, they would literally pull the back of my shirt so I didn't step out in front of anything without checking. Working in attractions is not easy. It's hard work, especially when the track is 15 degrees hotter than it is actually outside, but I couldn't imagine doing it with a better crew.
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Early Morning Walks to Work

Because Disneyland is such a small place, you can literally park at one end of the Resort area and walk to the other end. My boyfriend got rehired working for Disney close to the end of my program, and since he brought me to work most days and picked me up, it was the least that I could do to have him park where he was working and walk to the other side of the Resort Area to my job.

One morning he had to be at work, clocked in, by 5:45 am, but I had to be at work for 7:30. This meant we woke up at 4:30 and left his house at 5:15. SO. FREAKING. EARLY. But it was okay, because he goes out of his way for me all the time. So we got there, and he told me I could sleep in the car and then walk to work when it got closer to actually starting but I decided to just walk with him to work, and then go from there. 

Since he was working with the hotels, and I was working in Disneyland, this meant I had to walk across Downtown Disney. Let me just tell you, it's kind of creepy walking through Downtown Disney that early in the morning when nobody else is awake, and nobody else is even thinking about being there that early. The park didn't open until 8 that morning, and it was about 5:30, just in time to watch the sun rise. As I was walking, I stopped to take pictures, and just to take in the moment. I was so lucky to have the opportunity to work in California, and I couldn't be more grateful for the chance. 
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The Disneyland Castle: My First Impressions

When I went to Disneyland, I wasn't sure what to expect. Everyone had talked to me before about how I shouldn't expect too much whenever I came into Disneyland for the first time (at Traditions, no less) I was a little bit less than wowed. I have to admit, when I first saw it, I didn't know what to think. I think the first words that came out of my mouth was "That's it?" Coming from Walt Disney World, I thought that it would be a bigger spectacle, even though that went against everything that I was told previously. 

I was expecting it to be as large as the castle in Disney World, I wanted it to be the focal point, and instead it wasn't. But you know what it was? The original. The one Walt built from scratch. It was the first, and the building block for everything to come. It provided a generation with the belief magic still existed and that anyone could be a kid again. It allowed you to walk down main street and look around, while walking toward a beautiful castle. 

As I worked at the resort, my apprehensive attitude and preconceived notions about the castle began to fade away. I began to look at it differently, and I began to love it for what it was. I began to love it, and although now when I walk into Disney World I appreciate it for what it is, but I also love the Disneyland castle for what it is. Plus, how can you not love it when it's decked out for the 60th? 
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The Aquarium of the Pacific

One of my favorite things in the world is to go to aquariums. In fact, my first date with Christian was actually to the Birch Aquarium in San Diego. It was so much fun, and a really great first date but that's for another day. Ever since I moved to California, Christian had the idea of taking me to The Aquarium of the Pacific, which is in Long Beach, California. It's not actually that far of a drive from where we were leaving, so we decided to go one day with my roommate. She adores aquariums as well, and Christian and Sonya were friends too, so why not. 

When we got there, I was so excited. It was so much bigger than the Birch Aquarium, so I immediately knew that we were going to be spending a lot of time there. In total, we spent about three and a half/four hours there. They had so many exhibits to look at, and so many different pools that you could touch some of the animals with. One of the things that sold me on the aquarium in general was that there was a sting ray touch pool. I don't know why but I've had a thing for sting ray's recently. They're so freaking cute and I just want to watch them and pet them, because look at their smiling faces. How can you not love a smiling face like that. 

One of the really awesome things, that we all took part in, is that in their guide booklets that tell you information about the aquarium and the different exhibits that are at the aquarium, there is a scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt has about 30 different presses to look for. When you go to the exhibit there is a paper press (one that produces a seal in each page), at each station that you have to find and make an impression on. It's so much fun for kids, and even adults to do. 

One thing that specifically stood out to me was a wall of pictures from Katrina 10 years ago, vs today. It was crazy to see that even out in California, people still cared about Katrina, to an extent. It was good to see my home, somewhere I didn't think would care, in a comparison aspect where it showed what it used to look like and what it looked like years later. One question I always seem to get asked when people find out that I'm from southern Louisiana is if Katrina affected me at all. It did, and it's hard to explain how it didn't affect my life. But this was a good way to start to explain things to those who may not have been there. 

We all had a really good time, and it made us feel like kids again. 
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The Angles in the Outfield

My boyfriend's all time favorite baseball team is the Anaheim Angles. He was born and raised there, so it's only natural that it's his favorite team. When I was in California, we made sure to go to a lot of baseball games, partly because they're his favorite and partly because he wanted to teach me baseball. The first baseball game that we went to was an Angels game with his family, and it was the most fun game ever. We spent a lot of time watching the game, but we also took a break here and there to walk around the stadium. It was so amazing to walk through the stadium and see everything through his eyes. He would get giddy when talking about certain things or memories that he had while at the stadium. 

The second time that we went to Angles stadium, it was just Christian and I. Though I love Christian's family to death, it was really special to go to his favorite place in the world with just him. He and I got higher seats than the last time, but that's perfectly fine by me because I like being up higher to watch the games. I know everyone loves to be up close and personal to the players, but I feel like I can see better when I'm higher up...just me? 

We sat next to a nice older couple who we chatted with about baseball and the memories they had in the stadium. It was a nice evening, really. Then when they left about halfway through the game, they gave us vouches for hot dogs and sodas. It was so nice of them and something they didn't have to do. Around the 7th inning, we got up to walk around and get some food. It was a good date, and something that I learned to love. I didn't grow up with baseball, but learning it through his eyes made me love it almost as much as I love football.
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I'm Leaving on A Jet Plane -- But Not For the Final Time

Even though I was prepared to leave Anaheim, I don’t think I was really ready for it. After maybe four hours of sleep, my alarm started going off and it was time to go. I started moving first then woke Christian up. It was time to go. We gathered all my stuff in three suitcases and a backpack and brought it out to the car.

We were going to try and stop for breakfast at McDonalds but I was nervous about making my flight on time and there was an accident on the road so we decided against it. When we got to the airport we parked and just sat there for a second. It was time. We had to go. We made it to the airport before Southwest even started letting people check in for the flights so Christian waited with me to check in. When we finally got to bag check, we weighed my bags and one of them was over by 3 pounds…cue my meltdown. I didn’t want to make Christian mail me anything, even though he knew my bags wouldn’t make it fit anywhere else. He took it like a champ though and let me freak out only to be the kindest person and tell me he would ship me the two mugs I didn’t have room for in my luggage. I finally gave in and my suitcases came just under weight.

As we were walking to security things got hard. I knew I was going to be the one to tell him to leave, and he didn’t want to go. We had tried to prepare for this as much as we could, but leaving is never easy. I took my bags from him and then started walking toward security. I could tell he was tearing up a little bit and my chest started to swell. We kissed for one final time, and then I asked him to go. He walked out the airport, and I ducked my head and went through security silently bawling the entire time. I’m pretty sure everyone felt bad for me going through, but everyone was really nice about it.

Since I had about 45 minutes at this point before my flight even started to board, I stopped at Starbucks and got a much-needed coffee and a bagel, because I had to make it through the day somehow. We finally got on my first flight, which stopped in Phoenix and everything went smooth (after they escorted two people off). We were running about 10 minutes late, but we made it leaving me 40 minutes to get to my next flight...across the airport. I ran as fast as I could and made it with just enough time to get to the restroom and grab a bottle of water and a snack and got in line to board the flight. Little did I know, the flight wouldn’t take off for 30 minutes because they over scheduled the pilot. Once we got going though, everything went smoothly. I sat next to the most adorable kids and we chatted and I wrote…a lot.
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The Very Last Day -- Part 2

We had decided to go to dinner a couple weeks ago with our friends Katie and Joe, and that’s just what we did. After a quick stop by my friend Kaitlin’s house to say goodbye, we got on the road to head to Pho 45 in Garden Grove (which was amazing). We met them for our ‘last supper’ and the whole time we just joked about everything that we were going to do in the next few years, even though I wouldn’t be there. It was a nice gesture and I know that I’ll be included in as many things as they possibly can.

The final stop of the night was to Yogurtland to have frozen yogurt (and sorbet for Christian) with our friends Eerin, Hilary, and Jordan.  It was a place that we frequented often so it’s only right that my last stop of the night was to get desert with them. We stayed laughing and talking for about two hours before things settled down and got serious. When it was time for me to go, I held everything together (like I had been doing for the past few days). We said goodbye then Christian and I got in the car to go home, and that’s when I lost it. We got maybe a block down the street before I started bawling crying. I texted Hilary to tell her just how much I’d miss her again and that it was her fault for making me lose it (but  not really) after holding everything together so well. She laughed and said she waited until she got in the car to start crying.

When we got to Christians house we stood outside for a second so that I could at least make an attempt to pull myself together…it didn’t really work.  When Christian’s mom saw me, she gave me the biggest hug ever and assured me that I was always welcome to come stay when I visited. She’s one of the kindest people that I’ve ever met in my entire life and she always makes me feel welcome. We stayed up talking with her for another hour before we all realized that it was almost midnight and Christian and I had to be up at 4am.

I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my last day (for now) in California. I’ve never felt more loved and cared for in my entire life, and I can’t wait to go back. 
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