crazycatperson goes a-cruising!

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I think Newsies arrived on the trolley.

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Monsters, Inc. taxis, and a Mickey sighting.

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The view from our one-bedroom unit. Wish we could've been another floor or two up.

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Cars Land during the day and then in the evening. I have some even better photos from the following night.

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It was Dapper Days at Disneyland while we were there, so you'll see a few folks dressed spiffy in a few of my photos. Most of the men went for "dapper-ish," with suspenders and bow ties over shorts and a shirt being pretty common; long pants with a tie and vest were among the more dapper outfits. A very few men went the whole nine yards with a jacket and hat. The women were generally dressed better than the men, and quite a few came close to a true mid-20th century look. This couple were the only ones I saw who got it completely right. Hats, jackets, and she even has white gloves! Perfection! They were dancing to the 1950s music in Cars Land. Wish the photo were better.

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Stand in the middle of this plaza and look right, there's California Adventure. Look left, Disneyland. And Downtown Disney is just a little ways behind you. THIS I really liked about the Disneyland Resort.

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Main street and the hub, or whatever they call that stuff in Disneyland.

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Sleeping Beauty's Castle and some of the scenes from the walk-through attraction.

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A couple of scenes from the Pinocchio attraction queue, and the Matterhorn from the Storybook Land ride queue.

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Storybook Land Canal Boat ride. It wasn't easy to get photos here because the scenes were either behind me or behind the people sitting in front of me. The last one behind my boatmates depicts Arendelle from Frozen, Of course, they didn't waste time getting that one in here.

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It's a Small World. I don't mind the Disney character additions at all, and I really appreciate their having a North America section, which is lacking from the Orlando version.

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Black kitty! Also Tomorrowland and Buzz Lightyear.

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I've already posted my best (such as they are) World of Color photos. Here's one from California Adventure on day one that I missed earlier.

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So, it's past 3:00 am where I am...but only just past midnight in California and 9 p.m. in Hawaii! Jet lag is so much fun.

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On to Saturday and our second day in the Disneyland parks.

I woke up relatively early, although not early enough to make their morning Extra Magic Hour. Never did make one of those. Hubby preferred to lounge around the rooms, so I headed out to Disneyland Park all by my lonesome again. My first stop was Haunted Mansion, which had a horrendous line the previous afternoon so we skipped it. This morning it wasn't so bad, so I got in the standby line. I've already said that I prefer WDW's mansion, but Disneyland's Nightmare Before Christmas version is wonderful. Loved it. Did it again later with hubby. The first three photos are from my first ride, the last three from the second.

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Next up I did Snow White's Scary Adventures since we don't have it anymore at WDW. Hubby arrived in the park while I was in the queue, so he met me there. We wanted to get FPs for Haunted Mansion, but first I wanted to hit a couple more Fantasyland attractions before we left. First we did Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, no photos, which I really enjoyed. I actually watched the film earlier this year so I'd understand what was going on when we got to Disneyland, but that really isn't necessary to enjoy the ride. Hubby prefers Winnie the Pooh at WDW, but I could go either way and can understand why many people miss the ride's WDW version. And after that was Alice in Wonderland, photos of which I've already posted. I did get this photo of the teacups while we waited in line.

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Next up we headed over to Haunted Mansion to get those FastPasses. The window wasn't too far away, so we hit the nearby French Market counter-service restaurant for lunch. This was a great choice for something other than burgers and fries. After lunch, hubby hunted down a smoking area while I hunted down a restroom, then we counted down the two or three minutes left until our FastPass window opened for Haunted Mansion. That done, we went to nearby Critter Country and got FPs for Splash Mountain, then back to New Orleans Square to hop the train for a spin. We went all the way around and then one stop past because I wanted to walk through Disneyland's Toontown. But the Mickey's Magical Map show was just starting across from the Toontown train station, so we headed there instead. This was a seriously impressive show; not many shows at WDW can measure up. I apologize that my photos aren't better, but we were sitting near the back and I didn't want my phone to be in the way of the folks behind us so I took the photos pretty fast.

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When the show was over, I asked hubby if he wanted to see the original It's a Small World, and he agreed, so I got to ride it a second time, yay! Then we finally made our way to Toontown. The old Toontown Fair at WDW was never much more than a walkthrough for us; we may have visited somebody or other's house, but we rarely stayed long and sometimes never made it at all - guess we were just too old. But THIS Toontown! OMG! I was NOT expecting a complete Roger Rabbit Toontown! It was so freaking awesome! And they had a Roger Rabbit ride! But we didn't have time for it; our Splash Mountain FP window was just about to open. So we grabbed Roger Rabbit FastPasses, hopped the train back to New Orleans, and made the quick walk to Splash Mountain. Which is not nearly as nice as the one in Disney World. First off, I hate the single-file ride vehicles, which are pretty darn uncomfortable. Second, the ride seems a whole lot shorter and doesn't seem to tell the story of Brer Rabbit's adventures as well as WDW's Splash Mountain does. But on the bright side, it was HOT so we didn't much mind getting a little wet.

Once off that ride, hubby grabbed a quick smoke and I headed back to the train station, since Toontown was just one stop away. Hubby joined me quickly enough, and we waited...and waited...and waited. These trains supposedly come every five minutes, but not this time. And our Roger Rabbit FP window was coming close to its end! With ten minutes to go on the FPs, we gave up on the train and speedwalked back to Toontown. If we'd been too late, I was going to plead with the CMs to let us in since we're from Pennsylvania and might never get back that way again. Well, we made it with just a few minutes to spare, not that it mattered. No CMs were manning the FP entrance at all. The entrance was marked poorly; we ended up in the standby line by mistake and had to switch over. And of course, THEN a CM finally showed up and demanded our FPs. Beyond that, the standby line wasn't all that long so none of it really mattered anyway. So we boarded our ride vehicle. There was a wheel with text on it that seemed to indicate that we could make our car spin by turning the wheel. We're not spinning, I said. Wrong! The cars spin all on their own! This is NOT something I needed to deal with, so I grabbed the wheel as hard as I could to prevent the car from spinning. This was HARD. It REALLY wanted to spin. I liked the ride, but I think I would've enjoyed it more, and been able to see more of it, if I hadn't been so preoccupied with keeping the darn car from spinning. Don't think I was able to get any photos of the ride due to having both hands on the wheel, but I do have some good photos of Toontown.

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By now it's late afternoon and I'm tired, hot, and desperate for a shower. So we jumped the train one more time and made our way to the park entrance. Along the way we saw the Grand Canyon and prehistoric scenes the train passes in the Tomorrowland section of the park (so you can't see backstage stuff). The dinosaurs were yet another happy little moment for me, since they were part of the Ford exhibit at the New York World's Fair and I had seen them some 50 years ago as well.

If some of these scenes look familiar, I'm pretty sure they were reproduced for Ellen's Energy Adventure.

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And that was the last I saw of Disneyland. I'd planned on returning later that evening to see the nighttime parade, but never made it - I was just too darned tired to go back for a 10:45 parade, and we had to be up in the morning to catch the Super Shuttle back to the airport.

But here's one last photo that I took earlier in the day. It's one of those popcorn turner things, I forget what people call them. I saw a few around Disneyland, and they are pretty cool.

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After we returned to the room and I showered, I wanted to get back into California Adventure since we hadn't seen much of it the day before. Hubby, on the other hand, wanted to relax in the room's hot tub. So I headed to the Grand Californian entrance and made my way to Paradise Pier to ride Toy Story Midway Mania again. This is when I discovered the darned ride doesn't have FastPasses in Anaheim! WTF is up with that? The standby line was 40 minutes long and I didn't have much more time, so I had to skip it. Instead I rode Mickey's Fun Wheel in one of the non-moving cars. The lines were relatively long and small parties were combined to speed things up, so I got to ride with a young couple, maybe high school age and definitely not much older than college age. They spent a lot of their time taking selfies of themselves while I gaped at the view from up in that car and took a few photos along the way. Several times along the way we could see the motion of the moving cars because they were rocking right beside us, and the girl riding with me said it looked terrifying. Her boyfriend said it looked fun. I said, "I agree with her, it looks terrifying."

After the ride I checked the TSMM line again, but it was still 40 minutes long. I was getting hungry but didn't want a lot, so I stopped at one of the little hot dog carts they have all over California Adventure and got a hot dog, chips, and a bottle of water. I wasn't expecting much from a hot dog wrapped in a foil bag, but dang, that thing was actually really tasty! I seriously considered getting another but really wasn't hungry enough. And thanks to the bag of chips that came with the hot dog, I didn't have room for the popcorn I'd planned on getting. But that hog dog was worth it.

After that I started walking - through Cars Land again, through Bugs Land, and over to the Hollywood Tower of Terror. Of course I wasn't going to ride it, but I wanted a photo before I left the park. Right about now hubby texted to say he was in the park - right as I was about to leave. He met me at Tower of Terror and we walked through Hollywood Land and then down Buena Vista Street so he could get something to eat in Downtown Disney. (I tried to talk him into one of those hot dogs, but he wasn't interested.) He wasn't sure what he wanted; the first thing we passed was the La Brea Bakery and Cafe, and a sandwich or bowl of soup sounded good to him, so we stopped there. Then back to the hotel, and then time to pack and stuff.

At some point during this day we also bought some stuff at the World of Disney store - a Disneyland 60th Anniversary polo shirt for hubby, and Disneyland 60th T-shirt for me, and also a 60th pin for me, even though they didn't have one with a cat. Photos of those will come later.

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Sunday morning I walked through Downtown Disney to get our breakfast and lunch at Earl of Sandwich and took a few photos of the Lego store along the way. Also a couple last photos of California Adventure before we left. And then it was time to meet the Super Shuttle. They send you emails and texts reminding you that you have a reservation and then telling you exactly where your shuttle is in transit, what its number is (especially helpful at the airport since there were several of them coming and going), and when it's arrived. Ours arrived before the 15-minute window opened and unfortunately had to stay until the window closed because the other couple boarding at the Grand Californian didn't arrive until right when our driver got clearance to leave without them. I will give them a little leeway since they appeared to be Asian tourists and perhaps didn't understand the emails and texts, but EVERYBODY knows how to tell time, right? So not much leeway.

And that's the end of our anniversary adventure.

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And the aftermath of this incredible, amazing vacation?

We now have TWO additional cruises booked.

The second one I've already mentioned here; we will do the cruise portion of the Big Meet Up in October 2016.

The first will be in May, a five-day Royal Caribbean cruise to Bermuda. This was not so much because we wanted to try a different cruise line (although we do want to compare what comes included on DCL with what you have to pay extra for on other lines; I'm sure the price difference isn't as big as it seems based on fares alone). This is because I want to go to Bermuda, where my grandmother was born and raised, and DCL doesn't go there. So Royal Caribbean it is.

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crazycatperson wrote:
And the aftermath of this incredible, amazing vacation?

We now have TWO additional cruises booked.

The second one I've already mentioned here; we will do the cruise portion of the Big Meet Up in October 2016.

The first will be in May, a five-day Royal Caribbean cruise to Bermuda. This was not so much because we wanted to try a different cruise line (although we do want to compare what comes included on DCL with what you have to pay extra for on other lines; I'm sure the price difference isn't as big as it seems based on fares alone). This is because I want to go to Bermuda, where my grandmother was born and raised, and DCL doesn't go there. So Royal Caribbean it is.

Bermuda is beautiful! That was our first cruise and so far with regard to service and enjoyment of activities on the ship has been the best. Our port stops were more interesting in California and the entertainment was better quality on Princess, but for everything else, the edge goes to Royal Caribbean. Are you sailing out of Baltimore? I think they usually sail the Grandeur of the Seas from there because the boat has to be small enough to sail down the Bay and clear all of the bridges. It's been 10 years, but I recall that boat being quite nice and I think it was recently renovated.

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Wow, thanks for sharing CCP! Looks and sounds like you had a great trip.

Bermuda is beautiful - we haven't cruised there, but since Ken's youngest brother lived there for a few years, we did get to visit. You will love the pink sand.

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Finally getting caught up on your trip report. Sounds like a great trip. I loved Mickey and the Magical Map. I hope to see it again when I go in January.

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alicemouse wrote:
crazycatperson wrote:
And the aftermath of this incredible, amazing vacation?

We now have TWO additional cruises booked.

The second one I've already mentioned here; we will do the cruise portion of the Big Meet Up in October 2016.

The first will be in May, a five-day Royal Caribbean cruise to Bermuda. This was not so much because we wanted to try a different cruise line (although we do want to compare what comes included on DCL with what you have to pay extra for on other lines; I'm sure the price difference isn't as big as it seems based on fares alone). This is because I want to go to Bermuda, where my grandmother was born and raised, and DCL doesn't go there. So Royal Caribbean it is.

Bermuda is beautiful! That was our first cruise and so far with regard to service and enjoyment of activities on the ship has been the best. Our port stops were more interesting in California and the entertainment was better quality on Princess, but for everything else, the edge goes to Royal Caribbean. Are you sailing out of Baltimore? I think they usually sail the Grandeur of the Seas from there because the boat has to be small enough to sail down the Bay and clear all of the bridges. It's been 10 years, but I recall that boat being quite nice and I think it was recently renovated.

Yes! We're sailing from Baltimore, and that is the ship.

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JanJ wrote:
Wow, thanks for sharing CCP! Looks and sounds like you had a great trip.

Bermuda is beautiful - we haven't cruised there, but since Ken's youngest brother lived there for a few years, we did get to visit. You will love the pink sand.

LOL if we have time for the pink sand. I have cousins I haven't seen in decades and others I've never met at all and that, along with seeing where my grandmother grew up, is priority number one.

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Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Anna Potatoes
From the culinary demo we attended on the Disney Wonder
Measurements are all American and not metric; sorry, everybody else in the world

Braised Short Ribs

2 pounds short ribs
1 pound whole tomato, rough chop
2 ounces tomato paste, 2 cups water to dilute
2 ounces dried cherries [this was omitted on the ship because they had none; the dish did not suffer from the absence]
2 ounces whole garlic clove
1/2 ounce fresh thyme
2 ounces olive oil
2 cups Port wine
2 ounces beef bouillon, 2 cups water to dilute
6 ounces seasoned flour [I don't know what "seasoned" means since the recipe mentions salt and pepper along with the flour]
8 ounces sliced button mushrooms
8 ounces Spanish onion, rough chop
8 ounces carrot, rough chop
8 ounces celery, rough chop

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Season the ribs with salt, pepper, and flour. Add them to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned and crusty, about 10 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a shallow baking dish in a single layer.

2. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and mushroom to the skillet and cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Incorporate tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Add the wine, beef base, thyme sprigs [and tomato paste with water - this step is omitted from the recipe but I assume this is where it would be added] and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour the hot liquid over the ribs.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit [I would do this well before reaching this step so the oven is already hot]. Transfer the ribs to a large, enameled cast-iron casserole stockpot. Cover and cook in the lower third of the oven for 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is tender but not falling apart. Uncover and braise for 45 minutes longer, turning the ribs once or twice, until the sauce is reduced by about half and the meat is very tender.

4. Transfer the meat to a clean, shallow baking dish, discarding the bones as they fall off. Strain the sauce into a heatproof measuring cup and skim off as much fat as possible. Pour the sauce over the meat; there should be about 4 cups.

5. Preheat the broiler. Broil the meat, turning once or twice, until glazed and sizzling, about 10 minutes. Transfer meat to plates, spoon the sauce on top, and serve.

Make ahead: The braised short ribs can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Anna Potatoes

3 pounds whole Yukon Gold potatoes
1/2 ounce fresh thyme
1/2 ounce fresh oregano
1/2 ounce fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 ounces olive oil

1. Rinse off potatoes, dry them, and slice thin using a kitchen mandolin and place them in a bowl. Drizzle oil over potatoes. Add remaining ingredients and toss well.

2. Arrange and overlap potato slices in a greased 8-inch pie plate.

3. Cover plate tightly with foil and bake in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 35 minutes.

4. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until potatoes are very tender and crusty; let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes.

5. Using a metal spatula, carefully loosen the potatoes from the pie plate and place an inverted serving plate over the potatoes. Holding both plates, invert and unmold, then cut into wedges.

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Here's my Disneyland loot - the front and back of my 60th Anniversary T-shirt, my 60th pin, and my lanyard with the rest of my cat pins and the 60th pin. Think I need to rearrange the pins so the left and right sides are balanced.