Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Its the most wonderful time of the year.

Last night was the first home game. Well as far as preseason goes that is, the regular season home opener is still just over a week away. I watched as my husband dressed in his suit, shaved and got ready for the beginning of this season, all the while thinking here we go again.

I sat there wondering what the year would bring. A lot of joy I hope. Minus all the heartbreak. A lot of fun, and some challenges. Sure. As mentioned before, nights when I won't even want to see my husband, and then others when I want to celebrate with him and share in the wins. I always wonder if I am truly ready for it all again. It is after all a long season, sometimes running til June. Which means a lot more nights and mornings that I will be watching my husband do the same routine as that morning.

Though its always different in the beginning of the season. Unlike the end of the season, when he is tired and worn out. At the beginning, its all happy and LETS GO CAPS and possibilities. He will say how wonderful this year is going to be. How they have done this and that over the summer to improve. This year, he is just saying the first half of the year doesn't matter. Its the playoffs that do in the long run. In a lot of ways he is already saying he just wants to fast forward to then. Get the regular season over with. He is that excited for the future.

As for myself, being the fan that I am, I can't help but think of it as a fresh start, a I love this game, love this team and this year will be the year sort of feeling. Its the itch that I have been dying to go to a game, to chant until my voice goes. To root, to holler, to make fun of the drunk guy that sits behind us. Or worse the annoying guy who flaps his arms up and down as though he is going to fly away. I suppose they don't call it the Eagle's nest for nothing now do they?

Its the amazing guys on the ice and the talent they bring. And no, I am not just talking about who is cuter than the other. Because while granted some of them are quite easy on the eyes-I am not about to lie here-the fact is, I actually know a thing or two regarding the players other than if they prefer boxers or briefs. Its the fact that when they get out there, right about the time when the announcer finishes the whole, 'Your Washington Capitals' that you realize just how pumped up they are. How much they work as a team, and while their may be one or two that are individually great players. When it comes down to it, they are that much better as part of a team. I have been watching the game for years now and while there has been talented teams in the past, I say this has got to be the most talented yet. I can feel it.

And just as I have foolishly believe this to be the year in the past. This year, is our year.

Truth is this year I actually believe it.

Just remember, none of this matters.

Until April.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A total me day.

The final weekend of September means, its the final weekend before I become a widow. The final weekend before I have to work my schedule out with a hockey schedule, which requires just a little bit more of creative planning. That being said, because of it being the last weekend my husband let me have an entire day to myself.

Sort of like a mother's day in September.

So how did I spend my not so official mothers day?

Well to begin with, getting a much needed haircut and color. I always seem to put it off way to long, for two reasons. One being I am just lazy, but the main reason is financially. Which makes me wait as long as I can before it drives me crazy and I can no longer stand it. Of course, I always leave there saying I should have done this a lot sooner. And a lot more often. Its always amazing just how much a haircut can do for one's spirits. I decided after seeing a photo of Kaite Holmes to go ahead and get it chopped off in the exact same fashion. So for the past two weeks I have been anticipating, and yes worrying a bit that it wouldn't look exactly the way I thought it was going to look. I even thought about scrapping the idea and backing out of it entirely. But as I sat there in the chair I thought what the hell, it's hair. It will grow back. I handed the picture over to my stylist, the same I have had for the past three years and waited for her to tell me it wasn't a great idea. Instead however she stood there and beamed, claiming that this would look absolutely fabulous, including the hair color. She also promised it would be easy to maintain and that I would love it.

There was however no money back guarantee.

I guess its a good thing I absolutely loved it.

Afterward I met up with one of my best friends to do a little retail therapy and dinner. Spending way more than I probably should have, on things I am not so sure I even needed. OK I take that back because I actually did need those shoes for an upcoming wedding, so maybe I did need some of it. But after a few hours and an incredible feeling I realized there are times. When its just needed and accepted. This being one of them. I mean its not often anymore that I get the time to spend with a good friend, complain about men and just enjoy the day. Don't get me wrong, I love and adore my son. I love my husband. But with a hockey schedule, a full time job, a two hour commute one way, and school, I tend to forget to take the time to enjoy friends. To enjoy life at times.

And just like my haircut, I left my friend, thinking I should do this more often. Maybe not spend so much, but get out, hang out leave my son and Andy at home for awhile.

And just be me.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Let the Memories Begin!



We all have them. Our first memories of our favorite moments. The moments that capture your heart, that stay with you forever. The memories that thirty years from now you will still look back and cherish. Which is why for 2011 Disney has announced the launch of their new campaign, Let the Memories Begin!

Starting in January of 2011 guests and lovers of Disney alike will be able to share in some of the most memorable moments as they watch their selected photos be projected onto Cinderella's castle in Disneyworld, or It's A Small World ride in Disneyland. Photopass photographers will be ready with camera around the parks to capture the guests magical moments. And with somewhere around 500 photos possibly being projected daily, you will have plenty of opportunities to be seen.

Of course this is not limited to just experiencing it in the park. Disney is reaching out with new ad campaigns with commercials, ads and other social media. Where recent guests could very well show up in and star in one of their very own commercials. Just imagine having you and your closest friends see your daughter's face light up through the tube as she meets Belle for the first time!

Even if you haven't been to Disney recently or plan on going any time soon, you are still encouraged to get into the act and share the memories you do have. Whether it was your first trip, a special engagement, celebrating your honeymoon. Everyone has their certain favorite memory. Now come and share it with the world.

Sharing those magical memories is easy:

1 Share your memory whether it be on DisneyParks.com/Memories; Facebook.com/WaltDisneyWorld; Facebook.com/Disneyland; Youtube.com/DisneyMemories; or Myspace.com/DisneyParks.
2 Next Describe your memory. These may be uploaded pictures and videos. Or just a few thoughts.
3 By hitting the “submit” box and, once reviewed, a lifetime Disney memory is stored and shared.

And join me in the next few days as I share some of my own favorite memories throughout the years and many trips down to the most magical place on Earth.

For more information, or to share your memory please visit http://memories.disneyparks.disney.go.com/

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

One week till widowhood.


We are now a week away from the Caps first home preseason game. That's a week away from becoming an official hockey widow from now till the end of the season. A week away until my husband will be spending more time in men's locker rooms, with barely clad players-ok I realize this sounds horrible. But I assure you its only to interview. Or so I am told. A week away until names like Bret, Vogs, Ovi and Laich are once again staples at the not so frequent dinning room table of ours. Names, that are so familiar to me they are practically family.

Now I could for selfish reasons say, the season is way to long as it is and I want my husband back sooner rather than later. As much as people turn to us and say 'how awesome' that job is, how amazing it must be to work for them. At the same time, they don't see the long hours he often puts in, away from home. Away from me, and my son. Granted the reward and all is pretty sweet but coming from a wife married into the organizations during hockey season, weekends aren't weekends anymore. Evenings aren't either for that matter. Planning takes a hell of a lot more effort than it does during the off season. Our lives revolve around the hockey schedule during these months. The good, the bad, or the ugly. We live it all. And time together turns into minutes together.

However the Caps fan in me is saying, its a small sacrifice to make and by all means you can have him for as long as it takes, preferably until June. Because after last season's heartache, I expect nothing less. Nor do I for myself, the organization or the fans want anything less. I don't want to deal with the mood swings it brought on from one very unhappy husband. I don't want to deal with the ache, the void that it left me ever again. And I expect, neither does the team.

No I don't expect every game to be won, or every battle to be easy. After all, there are 82 games, the odds of winning them all are about as likely as my chance of having a private conversation with the President himself. Not to mention we have 29 other teams who I am pretty sure want it just as much as we do. And as we learned last year, the regular season does not mean. Much. When all is said in done, as long as you come home with a shiny silver cup, then that's good enough for me.

So by all means, do whatever it takes to play till June, even if that means I won't exactly speak more than a sentence to my husband for the next several months.

In the end, it will all be worth it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

4 unexpected things to do at Disney.

So you want to take a Disney Vacation. Great! The thing is, you aren't much of a ride, or even a theme park kind of person. Well there is good news. Disney, isn't all about theme parks and rides. In fact there is much more to there than one might think. So without further ado, here are my favorite things to do beyond the parks.


Horseback Riding


As someone who happens to love horses and horseback riding herself I admit this has been one of my favorite activities to do outside of the parks. Located at Fort Wilderness Campground Tri-Circle-D Ranch is home to the horses seen on parades and special events around the parks.
Guests are taken on a 45 minute trail ride throughout the grounds on the very horses you see on Main Street every day. Accompanied by two guided cast members, who are there not only to act and lead the way through the trail, but were quite helpful in answering any questions one may have. Guests take a leisurely trip where they could encounter magical critters and some amazing scenery. Horses are well trained and capable of holding up to 250 lbs. Riders should be over the age of nine, no experience needed. Reservations are strongly recommended and should arrive thirty minutes before the scheduled time.

Cost-$42
For reservations please call 407-WDW-PLAY.


Cirque du Soleil-La Nouba


Looking for a Broadway type of show in the heart of Disney? First run in 1998 this high energy showstopper aims to please. This 90 minute show treats guests to a visual delight featuring acrobatic, circus like performances from some of the best and brightest athlete, performers and dancers. Bring the family, sit back and be prepared for one of the most exciting and most imaginative 90 minutes you will ever experience. The show runs most days, except for Sundays and Mondays. Please note there is no intermission.

There are four ways to order tickets, and ticket pricing varies from seating area to seating area.

To order tickets, call (407) 939-7600.
In person at the Box Office next to the Cirque du Soleil store at the West Side.
Through your travel agent
Online up to six months in advance at: www.cirquedusoleil.com

(information thanks to allears.net)

Paint your own Pottery and Make your own Jewelry

While my family and myself was down at the World this past July we took my mother who recently was involved in an accident and was injured. Not being much of a park person anyway, we were on the search for something other than hopping from park to park we looked at the activities guide provided to us when we first signed in to the hotel. What we found was two classes/sessions. One, a jewelry session and the second, a pottery session. We decided to make our way down just to check it out not expecting much of anything. Let alone a variety. We were pleasantly surprised. Offered at most Deluxe hotels, (we were guests at Animal Kingdom Lodge) this relaxing event shows the unlikely side of Disney Magic most would never know about unless looking for. Pieces are fairly priced and vary depending on size of the piece and length of the jewelry made.

Pottery is welcomed and open to anyone while the jewelry making is only open to those over the age of 13.


For those that are interested please see guest services early for schedules and resort offerings.


Spas and Salons


Going to Disney, isn't exactly the kind of relaxing getaway you thought about? Think again! With three deluxe resorts offering full spa's and several others with spa services you are bound to find some time for a relaxing day fit for any princess in waiting. With world class accommodations and spa services, they offer massages, manicure and pedicure's. Most are for adults, but several are now offering such things as Mommy and me services and my first manicure for the younger guests.
Please see guest services to schedule an appointment.


4 things most would never think about while visiting Disney, but all offer guests a chance to experience a different kind of magic.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How low can you go?

What do you do when you suddenly realize your baby isn't a baby anymore?

For the past 19 months we have taken him up to bed, placed him in his crib where he has somehow magical stayed until the wee hours of the morning. Thankfully we were one of the lucky few whose kid actually slept through the night. Actually lately we have had to wake him up more often than not to get him off to my mothers house where he spends most the day.

But this past Sunday that all changed. It being the weekend, and neither of us having to work we decided to play it a bit lazier than usual, staying in bed for as long as we can, or rather as long as Logan would allow us to. But somewhere around seven thirty I am am woken by my son, who is bawling his eyes out. Waking up I take a moment to adjust to the rising sun when I notice the sound is not only getting louder but a lot closer. I must be imagining I think because I know we put Logan down, and my husband was still fast asleep by my side.

And that's when I notice it. The small figure standing in my doorway frame, his tiny hands clinching and un-clinching. My son, somehow miraculously over night has learned the art of climbing out of the crib.

I rush and bring him to our bed knowing that to some this is highly frowned upon. And I listen as he rattles on his sad woe is me act. My husband stirs beside us, finally realizing we aren't alone.


So what does one do when they realize their baby isn't a baby anymore?

They learn to lower cribs.

Followed quickly by locking the bedroom door.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Application Day

And so all begins the most magical time of year again.

That is however, if you are a Disney vacation planning fool who has a knack of helping others plan their own dream Disney vacation. While the panel is called, the Disney Moms Panel, you don't have to be a mom to actually be a part of it. A dad, a grandmother or just someone who has that passion for all things Disney works as well.

I woke up this morning feeling very much like a kid on Christmas morning. I knew this was the day. The day when applications would start being accepted, when twitter would go nuts with things like #2011disneymomspanel and well wishes from every walk of life. I made sure to get to work, start up my computer and get everything situated just so I could sit and stare at the computer's clock as it read that it was just barely 8 in the morning.

I had an hour. It was all so very reminiscent to my childhood, sitting there waiting for my mom's coffee to finally get done so she could come out only to watch us tear through the presents within five minutes. But I would wait, and I would be patient until 9 in the morning. But you better believe as soon as 9 rolls around I would be hitting that link and....

And I have a meeting at 9, its Monday. I forgot. I would have to wait that much longer to apply. Making it that much more agonizing. I would sit through the meeting and think about what the questions be, and the meeting would be a total waste of time I could just see it.

Which is why I was more than thankful that the meeting was canceled.

At 8:45 I decide to park myself in front of my computer, and promise not to so much as breathe before I finish the application.

And still I wait. Twitter as predicted starts blowing up with the good lucks and pixie dust and all the warm fussy's. By now I have five minutes to go, and I admit I start getting a little nervous. I made it through to round 2 last year. Would I be able to live up to the same sort of answers I had in the previous year? Does it even matter if its not exactly the same? Last year was the first time that I had applied so.

By 9 I am excited, nervous and thrilled. Here is my chance to do something I love. I generally love seeing the smiling faces when I help them plan their dream vacation. Whether it was paid or not does not concern me, because its something I want. I finally log on to the site, and begin answering the questions.

Now I don't recall all the questions from last year. But from what I remember they were rather generic. At least the ones from round 1 were. And they were rather easy for me. This year however, yeah its a little harder and I take the time to really think what I want to say. Because lets face it, 100 words isn't exactly the easiest to explain everything you want to.

But after two hours of thinking, proofreading and rereading once again I came out with the best answers that represented me and hit submit. Knowing that once I did the only thing I could do from then on out, is wait until the day when we all hear a yea or a nay.

November 8th seems like an eternity from now.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Please come to Boston

Labor Day weekend was spent in my favorite city; Boston. It has been six years since my last visit and honestly not much has changed since then. But that didn’t stop me from enjoying the long weekend with some of my favorite people, in my favorite city.

After a short and gorgeous plane ride we landed at Logan early Saturday morning. Earl had passed the night before, bringing in gorgeous skies, and a pleasant breeze. Did I mention the perfect temps to do a little exploring?

Speaking of exploring, lets do some shall we?

Boston Harbor

The site of the Boston Tea Party is where we spent most of the morning. Watching boats come in and out, couples hold relax on the barriers and tourists snap pictures. Today its not the tea party that you see, but cruises and day excursions-including whale watching-that come in and out of it's ports. In the background, the Boston city skyline with its mixture of old and new captures the true beauty of the city.

Born and raised in the DC metro area I am ashamed to say, DC does not hold a candle to restoring and keeping their city the way it was. Yes, its a gorgeous city in its own right. But most of the buildings that had been here long before any of us were are no longer around. Torn down, they are quickly replaced with new more appealing buildings that do little to remind us of where we have been. And the history we need to preserve. Thankfully what DC lacks, Boston makes up for.

Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market

Looking to do a little shopping? One of the oldest open market places in the country still operates much like it did when it first opened in 1742. Along with Quincy Market and North Market, it hosts a variety of shops and restaurants featuring anything from ladies major league sports wear to the famous Cheers. No, unfortunately, no one there knew my name. Along the cobbled sidewalk, vendors, street performers and natives mix and mingle. Proving that while some things change over time, very little does as well.

Now on top of Faneuil Hall lies a weather predictor. Typical for the time and era, however be warned this is not your typical N, E, S, W. But rather a grasshopper. There have been many theories to why this is, but if asked its a grasshopper.


Of course, it also is home to several Bars, most of which have at least a bit of it outside. A perfect combination for those that love the gorgeous cool temps and enjoy a good drink at the same time. I give credit to the bar pictured here or having the most unique name and sign ever.


Paul Revere's House

Ah yes, the man famous for the midnight ride. Or was he? You see for those non history buffs-Mr. Revere never fully completed his midnight run, but was captured before. Leaving someone else to complete the ride for him. What Boston trip would be complete without a trip into the very place he called home, along with two wives and their 16 children (5 whom died in infancy) As I had mentioned earlier one thing I love about the city is how they mix the old with the new. How you can have a house built in 1680-note here he was not the original owner-next to a building built centuries later.

If you chose to take a tour-which will cost you $3.50 per adult, you will step back in time to when things were simpler, kids were quieter and people were a lot shorter.

The house has been restored over the years but many of it's pieces were of the Revere's themselves or gifts and replicas from the time frame. In today's standards the house is small, with no hallways-the concept of a hallway took a hundred years or so to develop. The attic to where the children would have called home inaccessible to guests but it doesn't take away of the beauty and the amazement from things. The wood is gorgeous, the tables still standing. In fact standing in the house made me realize that you don't exactly need a 5 bedroom mansion to be happy. It's nice but all you need is the necessities.And other than the fact my husband had to duck to get into most of the rooms, could still be used to this day.


The Freedom Trail


Like the Revere house, one should not leave Boston without taking a stroll along the freedom trail. You can either hike the two mile plus trail yourself, stopping along the way at Kings Church, Bunker Hill and various graveyards or you could chose as we did on this weekend to take a tour. Having done both, I found both positive and negatives with both, while the tour guide was fabulous and had a lot of information, we weren't able to go at our own pace and often skipped several attractions we had hoped to go into. We found when we went on our own we were a little more free with such things as touring the King's Chapel and the Old State House. Though I do admit, I had to snap a picture of me standing right where the massacre-which was only five gentlemen-a massacre back then. If you were to drive through the city you would never notice it was there, nestled in between a heavy trafficked intersection its unnoticable to most, including myself who had no idea it was there the last time I visited.


Again, Boston is a great tourist city. Bring your walking shoes for this trail and be ready to snap some incredible shots. I had way to much fun doing so while our tour guide explained people fighting for independence from the British. Some key things to look out for while walking this trail are the following: the Old State House, and Granary Burying Ground for which the grave sites of Sam Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere and the Franklin Family are located. The Old North Church is the site where the phrase 'One if by Land, two if by Sea' is best known for


Ghosts and Graveyard Tours

After all the walking and site seeing your probably ready to have a little fun. Why not try a lighter side of the Boston tourism in the form of a fun and exciting Ghost and graveyard tour? After all, Boston is one of the most haunted cities in America. Go back in time as this 90 minute tour takes you through some of the most haunted stories. From the Boston Strangler to the Omni Park Hotel haunting's-which includes the owner and a female ghost- you are taken on a journey not for the faint of heart. If your looking for a good time one evening and don't mind getting a little spooked I highly recommend this. I have taken the tour twice now, and it only seems to get better with each tour. Though be aware that they don't allow anyone under the age of 10 and its highly recommend that they be 13 or older.



So next time your looking for a vacation, a long weekend getaway or a beautiful drive up the East Coast, try Boston on for size. You just may find yourself falling in love with America once again.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Disney Planning for others



By now everyone knows of my love for Disneyworld. They know how much I enjoy every minute of planning every detail. From the flights, to the meals. To figuring out which resort we will be calling home. But what you may not know, is just how much I enjoy helping others who have yet to get hit with the Disney bug plan their own Disney vacations.

I was contacted last night by a friend who plans on taking her almost four year old daughter to my magical place. Neither have ever been, which means as a newbie she was looking for anything. She began looking at things but didn't even know where to begin, and that's when she said she knew exactly who she would go to. That person just happened to be, yours truly. I must say, I was touched that out of everyone she came to me. As she stated there is a lot of information out there, some more helpful than others. But as someone who has never even ventured the idea of Disney prior to this, she became overwhelmed and lost. She figured I would know and be able to pick apart things even further. Or rather as she said, she felt like she would be getting an inside track of everything.

Lets face it, vacation planning can be hard enough. To quote my friend 'its just so overwhelming' to most. After all how do you make sure you know what your doing, four parks, two water parks. An interactive indoor park? Not to mention a downtown shopping center area and all those food choices. Even myself, a veteran of the whole planning process looks back now at the days when I didn't know half of what I know now and still admits to needing help and researching things from time to time. I can only imagine what it must be like to someone who has never been to Disney.

We sat there as I explained the dining plan, the ticketing options. Fastpasses. Which resort may be best to fit her needs.

And what I find in return is pure enjoyment. Watching them get all excited about it. Seeing their eyes light up when I talk about the electric water parade or the fact that no they don't just have to do parks all day. Something inside of me bursts with a little more pride seeing them put things together. And ok so I admit, knowing I had a hand in getting them to this point dif doesn't hurt. In fact its even a sense of accomplishment. I have helped yet another person out. While they may be the ones that are heading down to the world. It is I, who gets excited for them.

As my friends conversation moved on to other things, she asked if she had any other questions could she come to me?
Naturally I smiled and said absolutely. She knew where I was.
And then in true Disney fashion I told her to have a magical day!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

How I spent my weekend

A couple of months ago I wrote expressing me getting the ‘new car itch.’ After driving my 2003 Mazda Protégé for nearly eight years I figured it was about time to update my wheels to a family car, considering well I do have a family now.

So I did my research and I fell absolutely in love with the 2011 Hyundai Sonata. Maybe as I stated it was the sleek design, the fact it looked a hell of a lot fancier than it should. But do not let this fool you. I was also quite impressed and interested in the fact that it had amazing reviews when it came to safety. Before I knew it, I had to have this car. It was my destiny. It was my passion. I was in love with this car as much as I could be. I hadn’t even test driven it when it was made. And once I did, my fate was sealed. I was going to have this car one way or another. Of course it took some convincing but my husband who wasn’t exactly sure that A) we needed a new car. And B) a Hyundai really? But finally I got him to agree that it was time. Just after my 30th birthday I drove home in my brand new silver Sonata, ‘a very happy women’ to quote my own words.

Now something about this car made me feel great. The way it drove, the way it looked. I loved the fact that people were talking about it when I drove in. It may sound extremely weird but it’s the truth. And it was beyond a doubt the smoothest ride I have ever driven.

But little did I know that this car, would not only be one of the greatest cars I had ever looked into. But would also save my life, along with my family. This past weekend, my husband and I along with my 19 month old son was off to meet my parents for dinner. The light turned green, pausing I waited and then made my way. The next thing I knew, I was surrounded by a sea of white, the smell and sight of smoke scaring my half out of my mind. I had been hit. From somewhere.Later we were told the other car ran the red light, hit us, and then ran into two other stopped cars on the other side of the median. He did not have insurance. I got out of the car, amazed that I was able to still walk. My husband, who had been in the passenger’s seat ran around to get our son out of the seat we had just bought the weekend before. We walked away, and looked at the tangled mess that was now my Sonata. Other than a few scrapes and bruises, we walked away unharmed.

The car on the other hand, did its job and sacrificed its own in order to save us.


Thankfully our local rescue squad was right around the corner.








Once they moved out I got a look at what my car was now. I will not lie, I think I cried just a bit.








I just couldn't believe we walked away from this all unharmed. I truly believe this car saved our lives.








And while I know its just a piece of metal, and can be replaced, our lives can't. Which is the important thing out of all this.










So thank you Hyundai, for our lives. When this all clears up, should I need a new car you know I will be right back.

Sociable