Friday, February 28, 2014

While cold and blustery weather lingers, I'm dreaming and knowing this too will come, No. 2

Looking forward to still, sunny days so that this downtown fountain with the fitting name--the Car Wash Fountain--will be turned on for all to enjoy. I found this info about it online: "This uniquely shaped fountain never washed cars, but the name seems appropriate given its similarity to a car wash. As a precaution for passing pedestrians, a wind gauge shuts off the pumps if the wind speed exceeds 2 miles per hour." I'm here to tell you, though, that when it's cold, it's off. Who'd want to have the spray freezing on the brick sidewalk, right?

Location: SW 5th Avenue and Ankeny Street, erected 1977 by Carter, Hull, Nishita, McCulley & Baxter. Made of steel.

I took this photo on June 22, 2009, downtown Portland, at 7:22 a.m. Glorious sunshine, shirtsleeve weather. Come on back to us.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

While cold and blustery weather lingers, I'm dreaming and knowing this too will come, No. 1

In my neighborhood, the roses in front of the Albertina Kerr Center will return, in all their beauty to behold.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

First visit to Disneyland! Day One, Post No. 16

On our way along Main Street USA as we headed to the bus stop, a well-lit window called my name at the Candy Palace and Candy Kitchen. Well, to tell the truth, the peanut brittle hollered, "Lynette!" That stuff was perfect--not too sweet, every single nut tasted fresh, and every bite scored at the tip-top of the brittle score. Nearby, a well-lit souvenir store, complete with three huge crystal chandeliers. See, the store is well-lit in this wide shot. Look, Superman's shopping! We're almost to the Disneyland Railroad depot when I notice these lighted balloons. I like the Mickey Mouse ears hat walking by. See it? I love buildings outlined in white lights! The depot looks especially great! On the way to the bus stop. I took this photo at 9:32 p.m. on January 17. Tired but ready to get a good night's sleep and come back the next day! Gotta make good use of the bus pass and the Disneyland four day hopper! I took this photo on January 17 at 11:03 a.m., so we were out and about for 10 and a half hours! Wow! And I just read online that the streets at Disneyland are paved with resilient asphalt to prevent aching feet. Hmmmm. Maybe that's why my ol' self made it there that long on my first day at Disneyland. That and the numerous places I found to sit for a spell.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

First visit to Disneyland! Day One, Post No. 15

We got on the train and rode around to the stop near It's a Small World. To tell you the truth, I cannot remember why we did that--just weren't ready to head back to the motel yet. Am I ever glad that we did! Look at these lights! And I'm also very glad that we were at Disneyland in mid-January because the holiday decor was still out at It's a Small World. Yea! We walked back through the park, taking in several well-lit attractions. This one is in Tomorrowland, the Astro Orbiter. I loved to watch it turn as its elements also turned and went up, then down. I doubt I'd be able to ride it, even with my motion sickness acupressure bracelets--going too many directions at once. I paused in the middle of the street to take this photo of Sleepy Beauty's Castle. It's a shame that Walt and Mickey are blurry! We stopped here to eat supper, the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe. Once we'd enjoyed our sandwiches, it dawned on us that we'd be there still for the fireworks! Our partial view, from a comfortable chair, made us happy Disneyland enjoyers!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

First visit to Disneyland! Day One, Post No. 14

Last in the parade, but first in my excitement--Mary Poppins! And Bert!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

First visit to Disneyland! Day One, Post No. 13

Peter Pan and Captain Hook, at battle for the enjoyment of all parade lovers! Another view of their battle, as it continued for a moment or two. Captain Hook, distracted from his battle with Peter Pan, decided to "visit" those on the sidewalk, to convey his displeasure at their hoops and hollers. He gave up, having no more impact on them than he eventually did on Peter Pan!

Friday, February 21, 2014

First visit to Disneyland! Day One, Post No. 12

The Princess on the float for The Princess and the Frog. I am not familiar with this Disney Princess. Do you know anything about her or the frog that you can share with use, please and thank you? The dress must be something that is reinforced for support so that she is secured at all times on the float--at best, it looks a bit uncomfortable to me. Atop the float for the Princess and the Frog, an entertaining couple. I know not the identity of the lady or the man.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

First visit to Disneyland! Day One, Post No. 11

Roaring from atop his float, the Lion King! One of my favorite Broadway musicals--I count myself blessed to have seen it the first time in London and the second time here in Portland. Those dancers behind the float are on stilts, tall stilts, playing drums some of the time, fringe flying all of the time. Love them!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

First visit to Disneyland! Day One, Post No. 10

Beautiful dancers twirl, wave, and smile along the street in front of the float on which ride five Disney princesses: Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Belle and Rapunzel. I found online this term associated with the float--the Royal Princess Romantic Melodies. At the front of the float I instantly recognized Snow White. Not sure who that other princess is, sitting down on the right. Wearing lavender, Rapunzel is there behind these two, up higher--I recognized her by her braids, the thickest, longest ones I'm likely to ever see. I hope that you can see the smiles on the faces of the two little girls in the crowd, bottom left of the photo. They're waving and smiling, so thrilled to see these princesses right there in front of them! Here at the back of the float, Cinderella and Belle. So, the other princess at the front has to be Aurora. To confirm her identity, I Google Imaged "Princess Aurora Mickey's Soundsational Parade." Yep, she's Aurora.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

First visit to Disneyland! Day One, Post No. 9

We leave the snow behind for this warm January night at Disneyland. Dancers and two of the Three Cabarellos, in their colorful costumes! And here's the third of the Three Cabarellos, Donald Duck himself, dancing away atop his very tall float!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Can't stop sharing these photos of my snowy neighborhood, even on Valentine's Day!

It's just that this particular bus shelter means so very much to my life. And to see it blurred by the falling snow sort of tickles me. Not that I want it to snow like this again any time soon. I took this photo on Saturday, February 8 at 10:37 a.m. The colorful building in the background houses the Oregon Children's Theatre. An abandoned car, in the drive-through, going against the actual direction for service, at the Community Consolidated Credit Union. Club 21, also within walking distance of my building, but across NE Sandy Blvd., so I have never been there. I see no reason to cross a busy street on foot to have a good time. Here's my favorite neighborhood spot to walk to for a good time--The Blue Diamond PDX--which is on the same side of NE Sandy as my building. I took this photo on Thursday, February 6 at 5:24 p.m. Lots more snow fell during the night and on Friday and Saturday. Finally, here's the Blue Diamond on Monday morning at 9:14 a.m. Look at all of that snow beside the sidewalk. I took this photo standing to the east of my bus shelter while I waited for the first bus of the morning commute. I had waited to go to work so that the ice on my sidewalks--which had fallen from late Saturday afternoon, through the night, and into Sunday--had a chance to melt a bit. We were above 32 degrees and had a light rain falling. By the way, I have no idea when NE Sandy was plowed because I didn't go outside at all on Sunday, and the last time I saw it on Saturday at 3:02 p.m., it looked like this. It's obvious that no plowing had happened--the street is practically the same level as the sidewalk, only tamped down some by the vehicles that managed to get from Point A to Point B, wherever that may have been. You can't see it in the photo, but take my word for it. The freezing rain and/or sleet had started to fall, so I walked on home.

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My morning commute bus stop. Hallelujah, it is not like this every winter day.

On Saturday I bundled up, put on my rubber boots with the YakTrax attached and went out for an around-the-block-slowly walk. I took several photos and made 19 videos, ranging in length from 1:26 to 20 seconds. I believe this is the best photo to show you the way it was snowing right then. Taken February 8 at 10:41 a.m.

Almost the same shot, taken Thursday, February 6 at 5:24 p.m. I had finally made it home after a couple of hours, well almost home. I had about 600 feet to go. Whew. On top of the shelter, notice the difference in the amount of snow.

For some reason, this photo will not stick to the Blogger page. Sorry. I've tried various sizes, over and over. 

Finally, inside the bus shelter on Friday morning, February 7 at 6:36 a.m. Notice the difference in the amount of snow here on the sidewalk, about 12 hours after the second photo in this post. Usually I stand up at the bus shelter, especially in the morning. However, last Friday I had no idea how long it would be before a bus came, so I wanted to sit. I did not expect snow to have completely covered both sections of the bench. What to do? I remembered that Thursday the Portland Tribune street box was always filled, so I looked inside. Although snow had blown into the box, I grabbed three dry newspapers from the middle of the stack and spread them carefully on the bench. I sat down, quite pleased with myself. Then I stood up to take this photo which I posted to Facebook. In a few minutes the bus came, I got own, happy to get a seat because it was packed. A couple of blocks away, I realized I just may have been a dummy because I did not pick up and shake the snow off those Portland Tribunes and bring them with me. What if I needed them at the next shelter where I transfer to the second of the two buses that make up my commute? Luckily, when I arrived at that next shelter, it had been shoveled and all that was left on the bench was a bit of ice, so I tucked my raincoat beneath me and sat right down. I looked to my left and saw the bus! Yea! The snowy morning commute neared its end.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Snowy still life. Straight out of the camera.

I looked through the window of one of the side doors on my building and knew that I had to go back to the apartment and get my camera. Very pleased with the result.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Love Spalding.

First, I'm standing there with my iPhone, making a video and talking about how the tracks I'd made a few hours earlier had disappeared in the latest snowfall. Then, my phone rang--my brother and sister-in-law in central Mississippi wondering how I was making it in the snowy conditions, laughing when I said that I was out walking in the snow for fun. Finally, I notice this lady skiing along the sidewalk across the street. By the time I asked my brother to hold on, found the camera on the phone and held it up to take a photo, she had turned left on NE 20th Avenue. My brother and I continued our conversation, said good-bye, and I continued my walk around the block. When I got around the corner, I found a spot out of the wind and beneath a small overhang at the front door of the Sandy Blvd. Clinic, cropped and uploaded the image to Facebook. I figured that would it for the serendipitous sighting of a skier on the snowy sidewalk. Oh, before I forget, more serendipity in the matching colors of the car, the band on the Musicians Union building and the compatibility of the color of the skier's jacket and the rest of the wall color on the building. I love it when unexpected color combinations reach out and grab me.

Later that evening, cabin fever appeared again--it had been coming and going since I got home from work on Friday. Anyway, I decided to walk downstairs and look out the window in the side door of my building. My reward, one more serendipitous sighting of ski accoutrement. Left to right: ski poles, ski pants, skis. The icing on the cake, so to speak, the LOVE hanging on the apartment door, put there no doubt for Valentine's Day. I'm guessing that the word describes very well how the two skiers felt about their outing, skiing the neighborhood and beyond. The green door to the left served as their portal to the winter wonderland that Portland had become, beginning on Thursday around noon and continuing until around 4 p.m. on Saturday when the only thing falling from the sky was either freezing rain or sleet or both.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Looks like a snow cone bar, just waiting for the colorful flavors to be applied

Cabin fever set in. However, with the thick coating of ice on top of the inches and inches of snow, I decided to stay inside. So, I walked around in my building, looking out common area windows. Or standing in the doorways. I'm glad I did because I would have missed the opportunity to take these photos.

A collage of three photos that I took of these icy snow shapes on a row of electric meters outside my building. I didn't plan to make a collage, but once I had uploaded the three images you see below and realized that I just might be able to work, much like I did in yesterday's post, I went for it. Not perfect but certainly satisfying.

Top photo.

Middle photo.

Bottom photo.

Bonus view, wide shot, from the first floor.

Bonus view, wide shot, from the second floor. The snow must really be deep between the two buildings. I don't have any idea how to walk to that spot, plus that snow might be deeper than my boots!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Icy sidewalks have kept me from taking a walk today, so far.

I stood at the edge of the side entrance to my building and took these two photos. Looking west on the left, looking east on the right. I combined them into a collage at PicMonkey.

Here's an emergency alert that arrived on my iPhone three hours ago: Portland strongly urges all residents to stay indoors today & not travel due to ice. I think that is a great idea after realizing that my big ol' self didn't cause a dent in the ice-covered snow on my sidewalk. However, it it gets above freezing, I may put on my polka dot rubber boots with the YakTrax attached and go out to take a few photos. We'll see. Now I'm going to post this and take a nap in the recliner.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Dapper dresser confronts snowy Saturday to get a lemon.

We're in our third straight day of snow! Plus, now it's sleet and/or freezing rain which will continue until sometime tomorrow. I went out for two walks today, one around 10-11 a.m., the other about four hours later on. Just lots of snow on the first walk; no snow on second walk, just a bit of sleet and freezing rain.

On my first walk, I noticed this man, dapper dresser that he is. Who wouldn't notice, snow or no snow? He graciously agreed when I asked if I could take his photo and put it on my blog.


He told me that in his paper bag he had vintage literature--I think he mentioned dictionaries, philosophy and one other topic which escapes me now. When I asked where he got them, he said that he works on the other side of NE Sandy at Old Portland Hardware and Architectural. Then he went on to say that he was walking home, a few blocks south of my building, to get a lemon. He and his boss were going to make some cider. I love Portland!

Friday, February 7, 2014

We interrupt Disneyland for Portland's winter weather--a few photos I took on the way home by mass transit

At the first of the week, the weather man predicted bitter cold, windy days and the rather certain possibility of a snowy Saturday. I predicted to myself snow earlier, if we got enough moisture in the air. Then, Wednesday night the weather man predicted one to two inches in Portland, starting between 10 a.m. and noon, greater accumulation in the surrounding upper elevations. That's what happened on Thursday. Now we're predicted to get snow through the night, maybe less than we had during the day; more snow on Friday, maybe as much as we got on Thursday, starting around 4 p.m. Snow to ice on Saturday, ice to rain on Sunday, then showers and rain through next Thursday.


Conditions on the way home. Thank goodness I had left the office at 3:45 p.m. I didn't check the conditions then, though. I took this screen shot at 4:54 p.m. while riding the second of the two buses I take to and from work.


Layered for success on the homebound commute! I had my camera in the green and black bag, but I knew I wouldn't get to take many photos--too windy, too cold, too wet.

Snow-filled bowls of a Benson Bubbler on SW 6th.

I wonder what happened when he came upon some deeper snow? I saw him while waiting for the bus downtown. I heard a young woman who got on the bus later on remark, "I thought I was a tough bike rider. I wanted to do it. Whew." She'd just put her bike on the rack in front of the bus.

It was a long wait downtown for the second bus. By the time it came, I had lots more snow on me, here and there. The wind blew it everywhere.

Finally, the bus! So packed that the driver couldn't let anyone on at subsequent stops unless someone got off first. I took this shaky photo looking towards the back of the bus--thanks to the young man who gave me his seat!

I took this one looking toward the front of the bus. The narrow rectangle of light on the left is part of the front door out of the bus. The driver was fantastic--personable, calm and skilled--I've ridden with him before. I gave him a hug when I got off at my stop, very happy to be so close to home!

My neighborhood bar, The Blue Diamond PDX, closed for the day earlier as the snow kept coming down--I read the announcement on Facebook. Right about when I took this photo, it looked like it had stopped snowing. Nope, just a momentary thing. I just walked to the front door of the building so I could take a look outside where the street lights are--it's still snowing six hours after I left work, about 10 hours after it started on Thursday morning. Once I got inside my apartment, just a few minutes after I took this photo, I peeled off all the layers, put them on hangers on the shower curtain rod to dry with the fan blowing. Then I cooked myself some breakfast for supper, enjoyed every bite, washed the dishes, and settled down to work on the blog. Tomorrow I'll do it all over again.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

First visit to Disneyland! Day One, Post No. 8

Mickey Mouse on his float, playing the drums. Minnie Mouse, such a cutie pie. Love that piano keyboard skirt and all the petticoats! The genie from Aladdin and some harem girls. Are they known as harem girls in that movie? I haven't seen it, so I don't know for sure. Aladdin is certainly handsome! Undersea creatures from The Little Mermaid. The Little Mermaid herself! She kept that tail of hers moving, flipping it up and down, swiveling on that seat.

More from the parade tomorrow!

From the Disneyland Web site:

Fabulous Floats Watch as beloved melodies from classic Disney movies come to life through thrilling rhythms, Disney Characters and whimsical floats.

  • Music in Motion Rhythmic beats hit Main Street, U.S.A at Disneyland Park!
  • Mickey strikes up the band and leads the way with a syncopated drum line.
  • Colorfully costumed musicians, energetic dancers and many of Mickey’s friends follow to amplify the fun with twinkling cymbals, steel drums and bold percussion.
  • Each fantastic float has its own unique musical style, like crowd-pleasing Bollywood and South American rhythms.
  • Best of all, you're encouraged to join the celebration for a giant jam session

A Symphony of Disney Characters

  • Mickey leads this rockin’ parade, followed by many of his friends, including some royal Disney Princesses.
  • Joining Mickey are Minnie, Goofy, Chip ‘n’ Dale, Pluto and Pals from popular Disney films, including:
  • The Little Mermaid
  • The Three Caballeros
  • The Lion King
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Aladdin
  • Peter Pan
  • Mary Poppins
  • Don’t miss the medley of Royal Princess Romantic Melodies, where these 5 Disney Princesses make an appearance: Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Belle and even Rapunzel.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

First visit to Disneyland! Day One, Post No. 7

After we learned that the Monorail was down, we knew we'd have to walk back to the gates to Disneyland. On the way we stopped to look at this store window which we had noticed the day before--so many different styles of Mickey Mouse ears. In another window of the huge store I saw a T-shirt, one that I really wanted to take a closer look at. The three of us ended up wondering around in the store, the World of Disney, for so long that it got dark. Tired feet, never found the T-shirt. Couldn't find Sharon and/or Jenna. So, I headed for this smooth, low wall, decorated with a scroll shadow. A few minutes there and I was ready to go again, especially when Sharon and Jenna found me. Our ticket allowed us back inside Disneyland itself because we followed their security guidelines. I cannot remember for sure, but I think before we entered the first time that morning, we signed the back of our tickets and showed our photo ID. And we had our photo taken, too, so that there would be a photo of each of us associated with our tickets. And at some point we had the back of our left hand stamped--I think it was when we got off the Monorail and walked out into Downtown Disney. I felt pretty good about the security, and I heard someone talking with the handsome Estaban (while I waited to ask him my question) about having lost a ticket which had been found and all would be well very soon. Those folks at Disneyland thrive on first-class customer service. Number of visitors to Disneyland in the 50 years that it has been open: over 650 million. Number of photos taken here beside Mickey Mouse in flowers with the Disneyland Railroad Depot in the background: easily over 650 million, especially now that most folks either use their phones or their digital cameras which make it so easy to take more than one shot until you get the perfect one. I took this photo at 6:09 p.m. on my first day, ever, at Disneyland. Once we walked back inside and made our way around to the front of the railroad station, I cannot remember where Sharon and Jenna walked, but I stayed on the sidewalk, thinking to myself, "I do believe it is just about time for the night-time version of the Mickey's Soundsational Parade." I remembered reading on the park map that it was supposed to start at 6:30 p.m. I turned to my left, saw a bunch of empty benches just outside the station's entrance, up a few steps and right at the center of the view down Main Street USA. Oh, boy, I thought. Seats for the parade! Well, those seats were roped off for I-know-not-whom. However, just to the right of them, I spied a half an empty two-section bench! I asked the man who sat there with a lady, "Is this saved?" He replies, "Yes, for you!" Yea! Sharon and Jenna came back soon and sat to my left and before too long, the parade began. I took this photo with my iPhone 5 when I realized that I had better check-in on Facebook before Mickey Mouse got too far past me. Was I ever happy to be sitting on that bench at 6:41 p.m.! So cool. So exciting. So real. Remember when I said that the fact that the parade was going left to right in that photo yesterday would turn out to be beneficial? Here's what I meant. Every single element of the parade went from a gate where we were that afternoon by It's A Small World all the way to Main Street USA and out another gate to the right of the Disneyland Railroad Depot, where we were for the start of the night time parade! I'm not sure how that got turned around, reordered so that first was first again and ready for that start--I've looked at the Google Map image of that area and wonder if every single element turned into a building that looks huge on the image. I probably will never know, but I don't care. It's part of the magic that is Disneyland! I'll have parade photos tomorrow and a bit about where we ate our second meal of the day soon--thought I'd get to it in this post, but I'm out of energy. Gotta get to bed, y'all.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

First visit to Disneyland! Day One, Post No. 6

My photos have helped me remember what we did next--hallelujah! I had bought myself two SparkleSkirts the day before at the runner's expo--they're good for walkers, too. Unfortunately, I did not get the correct size which meant another trip through Downtown Disney to the Disneyland Hotel. Or so we thought. Jenna and/or Sharon remembered that the monorail went close by the hotel, so we sought advice of one of Disneyland's information booth employees, a handsome young man named Estaban. Not only a handsome young man, but a gracious one who explained that we could board the train at the New Orleans Square station, get off at Tomorrowland and walk a short way to board the Monorail, then get off not too far from the hotel. Excited, we made it all happen and planned to return to Disneyland by Monorail. Unfortunately, both units of it were down when we had taken care of business at the expo. More about what happened next tomorrow! Little did I realize when I took this photo that I would have a way to show you what I meant about the train tracks being up on a berm which I had mentioned in yesterday's post, raised about the rest of the Disneyland acreage. You can easily see that the brick street is much lower than the place where the train tracks are located. You can see the earth piled up around and above the tunnel, too. Just to the right of the tunnel stands the Haunted Mansion; just to its left stands the huge show building that houses the scary and fun ride that is the Haunted Mansion. Neat-o! Doesn't bother me one bit to not have actually been inside the antebellum building throughout the entire experience. In fact, I felt much less confused than I had been when trying to figure it out later on when we sat down for our second meal of the day, after dark. More about that tomorrow, too. We missed this particular train but soon boarded the one we'd already been on twice earlier in the day. Here's some info about it's engine: No. 3: Fred Gurley, a 2-4-4 built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1894, went into service at Disneyland March 28, 1958. The locomotive, named for the then-current chairman of the ATSF, Fred G. Gurley, is the oldest single piece of railroad equipment in use at any Disney theme park. The 2-4-4T tank locomotive, used in Louisiana to transport sugar cane, was purchased in working condition for US$1300; nevertheless, more than $35,000 was spent on its restoration. A commemorative plastic plaque celebrating the Gurley's centennial was mounted under the engines running board in 1994. In 2008, the Fred Gurley returned from an extensive overhaul and was featured as a static display at the Fullerton Railroad Days. I love these saloon-gal-singing-and-dancing chickens that one sees not too far after entering the tunnel on the train. I've just read online about this scene: Shortly thereafter passengers catch a glimpse of Splash Mountain's "Zip-a-Dee Lady" riverboat finale scene ... All sorts of fun seems to be going on, but I wouldn't know how it actually relates to Splash Mountain because I couldn't bring myself to give that ride a try--fear of heights, motion sickness, fear of getting drenched, I confess to all three. This time while we waited at the Mickey's Toontown station (which is right next to It's A Small World), being in the front rail car allowed us to see Mickey Mouse's float in the afternoon Mickey's Soundsational Parade! You know, if I were a child, I'd be overwhelmed with the amount of excitement every time I turned around. It was so cool, energizing, thrilling, loads of fun. Also, notice that the people standing close by the float are looking to their left which means the parade is moving across the photo left to right. I didn't notice that then, but, boy, did it turn out to be extremely beneficial to us later on that day. More about that tomorrow. We pulled out of the station, rolled through the It's A Small World attraction, and came upon more floats on their way to the parade itself. More excitement! Folks in line for Autopia. Just a few of them. When I looked at the rest of the lines for the ride, I wondered if I'd get a chance to do it later on or on another day. I surely wanted to drive one of those cars! Autopia cars waiting for drivers, seen from the walkway to the Monorail. Cool. Monorail station and sign. Hard to believe that I was headed for it. Wow! Quick photo before it was our turn to board. Queen Mum Leah at the SparkleSkirt venue. Nice lady. Very busy. Graciously OK'ed my putting her photo on the blog.

Monday, February 3, 2014

First visit to Disneyland! Day One, Post No. 5

Recognize this place? Haunted Mansion! Look at the short line. Hooray! It turned out to be a lot of fun! And afterwards, we happened by the nearby souvenir stand where the lady working turned out to be the scariest "human" we came across. When she turned around to answer a question from me, I don't know how I managed to get my mouth to shut 'cause her harridan-like countenance shocked me! All I could think of was: She's perfect to be selling the Haunted Mansion souvenirs! Surely this is her real face, wrinkles and all, and not something Disney did! I mean, we'd already seen a whole lot of senior citizens working at various jobs and we'd only been at Disneyland for about four hours, so it made since to me that a senior citizen would be working the stand. Sharon thought the same thing, too. I didn't sneak a photo, although I was tempted to try to get one. No real reason to invade her privacy. Love the wrought iron and the moss-like cedars growing on the grounds. I know the Haunted Mansion ride had to be scary and had to manage to move gobs of people quickly, but I surely would have enjoyed a few moments on the upper level of this mansion's porch. Inside the first part of the Haunted Mansion. Scary sounds and darkness and motion, then more standing in line until time to get into the ride compartment and travel here, there and everywhere, going forward, going backward, being frightened. A whole lotta fun! I read in more than one place online that the stretching room is actually an elevator which goes down and that we in line had to be moved from this building, under the railroad tracks which are raised up from the street level of the park on a berm that rings the entire park, and into a large show building nearby where the ride takes place. Then at the exit, once we've stepped off our doom-buggies, we make our way back out of the mansion in the photo and back out into the real world.  I believe that to be true, because I've looked at the Google Map image of Disneyland and can see the large show building just behind the Haunted Mansion and on the opposite side of the tracks. Neat-o! Also, I read that at Disney World since there is so much acreage, there is no need to transport ride-goers to another building, so the stretching room actually has a ceiling that rises instead of an elevator that does down!  One last view of the Haunted Mansion, and then we were off! I hope seeing my photos will help me remember what we did next, ha, ha!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

First visit to Disneyland! Day One, Post No. 4

While we ate our late lunch at the French Market Restaurant, New Orleans Square, Disneyland, every which way we turned provided a new opportunity to watch people as they enjoyed their meals and the live music. We had time to hear each of the two bands play two sets of different kinds of jazz. The band in the top photo, the Royal Street Bachelors, played a style I found labeled online as jazz standards--smooth-sounding, good-memory-inducing music I had grown up listening to on radio and television and in the movies. It was during the second set of one band's performance that something happened which provided one of my favorite memories of the trip.

When the boy in the blue T-shirt, with somewhat unruly, thick hair wearing wide-rimmed glasses whose lenses magnified his eyes, walked toward a table, his attention glued to the bandstand, I remember thinking, "He's mesmerized by these men and the music they're making." His mother called him to his chair and put their food down onto the table. I looked away, knowing that I'd look again in a few minutes;  his intensity commanded it. Once he'd finished his mac and cheese and the red grapes in a separate bowl, I saw the boy's mother encourage him to go ahead and get closer to the band; she pulled out her cell phone and filmed the musicians. The boy stood up and walked into the open space between the bandstand and their table, standing there, watching and listening. When I realized that he had started to sing along with the music, my heart swelled. Here stood a young boy making a connection with wonderful music, all the while being captured by his mother, making an unforgettable memory for the two of them. And he knew the words!

I too sang along as I had to most of their tunes, and when the boy looked to his left and noticed me, he watched, it seemed, to make sure that we were saying the same words. Neither one of us was loud enough for anyone else to hear. Once the song ended, everyone clapped for the Royal Street Bachelors. The boy and I still looked at each other, and I spoke to him, "You like this song, don't you?" "Yes," he replied. I was choked up and about to lose it when I held my arms out to him and asked, "Could I give you a hug?" He walked into my arms for a quick hug; I saw his mother smiling as I looked over his shoulder.

My only regret--I cannot remember which song we had enjoyed; nor can I remember whether or not any member of the band sang the lyrics or if it was instrumental only. I have looked a several lists of jazz standards online and still don't know for certain. The song might have been "You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You" or "Someone to Watch Over Me" or "Make Someone Happy" or "Dream a Little Dream of Me." I am not worried about not being able to remember the song. I have no trouble remembering that boy and I knew the words.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

First visit to Disneyland! Day One, Post No. 3

Once we got off the Disney Railroad train and walked down the steps of the depot, Jenna noticed these beautiful blossoms. I am so glad that she did because I hadn't noticed them and would have missed the chance to take these photos. They are in a raised flower bed about mid-shoulder height which made it easy to take the photos, too. Jenna and Sharon, enjoying the sunshine and posing for a photo--after they'd taken mine with Mickey Mouse! See the castle in the background! I'm not sure how I focused this photo because I was just about overcome with excitement to be in this special place which I had loved since I was a young girl. Whoopee! The auto function on the camera took over for me! See, here I am with Mickey! At first, Sharon thought she was taking photos, but there were none in my camera, so gracious Mickey and others waiting for a photo with him allowed us to try again. Happy, happy, joy, joy! Our next stop, this refreshment stand in Main Street USA. I got a bottle of orange juice and a bag of grapes; I drank a bit and ate a few, then put the rest away for later. Fluids, the order of the day so that we fun-lovers could stay hydrated. The predicted high temperature for that day--88 degrees. I think that it made it, too! Later on we decided to eat a late lunch at the French Market Restaurant which is located in New Orleans Square. Turns out there is live music and pretty good food, plus it is next door to the Haunted Mansion. Lunch, sort of cafeteria style: Mighty fine beef and bun arranged as a French dip sandwich, good au jus, crispy chips and fresh grapes--I ate every bit of it and over the hour we sat there, enjoying our food and the music, I drank the entire large cup of Coca Cola on half a cup of ice and the smaller cup of water. Thank goodness there was a restroom nearby.