Monday, December 5, 2011

World AIDS Day 2011

Well, this is a few days late....but this past Thursday, December 1st, was World AIDS Day.  This is always an important day for me both personally and professionally.  I hope everyone took the time on that day to commemorate the way that HIV & AIDS have changed and shaped the world in which we live-----to remember all those who have been lost, to honor those who are still a part of the struggle and to celebrate the future heroes who will hopefully be a part of one day creating a world without HIV & AIDS!

Here in Rochester, there were events all over the place....we had a luncheon at work and there was a large community reception and ceremony on Friday the 2nd at which one of my employees was honored with an award for HIV Prevention Educator of the year (an esteemed award named after a colleague of mine who passed away a few years ago....and an award of which I was the first ever recipient a few years back).

In addition there was a benefit concert with local musicians, singers, poets and dancers performing to commemorate the day and to raise money for a great program called "Safe Sex Inc." that is co-led by my organization and that empowers urban youth to educate and advocate around health and safety issues.  It's an annual benefit show, actually, that chooses a different youth-oriented program or agency to support every year.  I haven't been to the show in several years, but this year I was encouraged to attend by some friends and colleagues.  The event was a very nice evening out (Jason came with, of course---and we were able to connect with some of my coworkers there)....and it also included a surprise:  I was honored by the organizers. with the "Embrace Life" Award for excellence in the field of HIV prevention.  It was a really touching honor on a professionally & personally significant day!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Our apologies.....

Greetings readers, followers and fans….if any of you are still even out there!!  I know that we have have left this blog woefully stagnant for a very long time now.   Life has been crazy here with both our jobs and cheerleading and planning the wedding and everything there has just never seemed to be any downtime for blogging; and every time I think I'll sit down and post an update, I can't muster up the energy or creativity and find it's just easier to either take a nap or turn on the TV or play with our puppy, Merlin (who is doing wonderfully!!)…or some combination of all three!!  LOL So please accept these flowers as a token of our sincere apology….and be assured that there are new posts coming to this blog very, very soon!  We do intend to post a little about our vacation earlier this fall….and, of course, there will be wedding updates to post as plans are starting to fall into place!  So check back soon and often for updates on life here on our end!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Long overdue...and long awaited....MERLIN UPDATE!!

OK, OK, OK......I know that we are excited about our recent marriage....and our upcoming wedding (April 21st everyone!!!)...and our Labor Day weekend/week trip to Walt DisneyWorld and Disney cruise (we actually arrived yesterday and I started writing this post in our hotel room while Jason and Kimberly got ready this morning).....and I know that many of our followers (all of YOU!) are also excited about those things...

...but there's one other thing that many people have been waiting on, as well....

...a Merlin update!!  And so, before I start posting blogs about our time in Florida at Walt DisneyWorld and our first trip on Disney's newest and biggest ship, the Dream, here is a little update for all you Merlin fans....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Gay marriage comes to Rochester, NY....

....and the Libey household!!

Yes, that's right----it's heinously overdue...but finally a new post on our blog.  I know I've once again gone into terrible delinquency in posting to this blog lately (it's been over a month since our last post was about our July 4th trip!!)'s been a busy time here the past has been crazy, our summer schedules have been very busy, Gay Pride was in mid-July (which is a lot of time and effort through my full time job), we've been doing work in our house and yard while the weather is nice (bought a new bathroom sink/counter/vanity top---which is now installed----and ordered new storm door and sliding doors for our deck...anxiously awaiting their arrival), Merlin has started obedience classes (post to come on that later---I promise)....and, of course, there's also the teensy little fact that WE ARE FINALLY LEGALLY MARRIED!!!

So here is the (belated) story of how same sex marriage came to the Libey household here in Rochester...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Merlin's Great Adventure...

OK...I've been meaning to post this for a few days now....but it was a busy holiday weekend followed by a busy week back at work!!

So this past weekend was quite an eventful one for our little family!  We celebrated the 4th of July weekend by visiting Jason's family and so there was lots of fun for everyone....including Merlin who got to go on his first big boy road trip.....AND visit with quite a few puppies---most of whom are part of Merlin's extended family!!

We were leaving on Saturday evening to head to Jason's parents' house in Central NY (about an hour and a half south of about a 2.5 hour drive from home).   This was going to be the first time that everyone except Jason's step-sister, Bridget, had met Merlin-----AND his parents live in a rural area with lots of trees and tall grass----so we decided we wanted to make him look spiffy by giving him a bath and then also giving him his first flea/tick treatment before we headed up there......

Monday, June 27, 2011

Merlin update

Merlin in one of his new little doggy Tshirts. for those of you who have been anxiously awaiting updates and more pictures of's your fix for this week! *smile*

Merlin has had a pretty eventful couple of weeks since he moved in......

Friday, June 24, 2011

Something to be excited about OTHER than our puppy....

I know that many of you who read our blog have been waiting for more updates on our new puppy, Merlin....and I promise they will come soon (we have more pictures and he had his first grooming appt. and vet appt. this past week, there are new haircut pics, etc.----but we have to load them off the camera and stuff).

However, right now Jason and I have something even more exciting to celebrate than our new puppy (although I know that's probably hard to believe *wink*)-----and that is that tonight in the late hours before the NY State Senate closed its session....we won same-sex marriage in NY State by a 33-29 vote (we only needed 32 votes to win)!!

I certainly don't presume to believe that everyone who reads this blog because they love our Disney trips or our stories about our new puppy necessarily supports the cause of same-sex marriage....but I do hope that no matter who you are, if you have gotten to know me and Jason (either personally or through our blogs) that you know what an important issue this is for us.  I was literally in tears as watched the senate session vote live on TV and it became clear the vote would go in our direction.  Words really can't express how profoundly this moves us.

So.....anyways....for those of you waiting for more Merlin-related posts, yes they are coming....soon I promise.  BUT....there will also be other adventures to blog about in the near future, as well----like our September trip to Disney and Cruise on the Disney Dream.....AND A BIG GAY WEDDING SOON, TOO!!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Merlin's first few days at home!

Me & Merlin on the drive home from picking him up
WARNING:  I am becoming one of "those people"-----you know, the annoying ones who share tons of pictures of their puppy thinking everyone wants to see them....and talk incessantly about their puppy and his habits and quirks and potty successes and failures and thinks others want to hear about them. LOL

I'm sorry, I can't help it.  MERLIN IS JUST TOO CUTE!!! *smile*

So anyway....Merlin finally, after months of waiting, came home for good this past Saturday.  I would have posted about it earlier except I seriously could not pull myself away from him long enough really to even check emails...much less write posts on this blog!! *LOL*

So anyway...he came home on Saturday and it's been great so far.....

Monday, June 6, 2011

Puppy Prep---the next phase!!

So here is the most current picture of our new puppy, Merlin, that we've gotten.  Isn't he adorable?!?  We can't wait for him to finally come home and live with us full time----which I learned this past week will happen THIS COMING SATURDAY, JUNE 11TH!!! HOORAY!!

Of course that means that we have to kick the preparations for Merlin to come home into high gear!  We have already done quite a bit....

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Our weekend....

...of relaxation and puppy preparations!!

I had a rare weekend off from the gym and coaching this weekend (because the gym was closed for a tournament) and so I was able to spend all weekend at home with a mini "staycation"!!

On Friday night when we got out of work we decided to go see the new Pirates movie (opening weekend) in 3-D.  I have to say that I liked it quite a bit----I'm not an avid fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise...but this was probably one of my favorites of the films.  I'm pretty sure it's because mermaids were a big part of the story and film and I love mermaids...but was a nice way to spend a Friday night.

After that relaxing evening was time to knuckle down and get some work done...

Souvenirs galore....

OK, so I know I promised while we were still on our vacation that we would post some pictures of our magnets and other souvenirs from this trip (and I know at least one reader out there is hoping to see a picture of the new Tigger figurine I got). 

So here goes....a few of the things that we got to remember this trip by:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Update on our puppy, Merlin...

We got a call from Mary Jo yesterday.   Mary Jo is Jason's step-sister's future mother-in-law and is the one who breeds the family of yorkie puppies where Bridget (Jason's step-sister) and Sheila (his step-mother) got their puppies....and that's where our little Merlin was born and is living until he can come home with us!  Mary Jo just called to give us an update that Merlin is doing very well, playing a lot, eating well, socializing with people and the other dogs (and cat) in his home well and is even already crate trained to pretty much sleep through the night and potty-pad trained and has started going outside to potty as the process of house-training him not to have accidents has already started.  He will go for his second round of shots after Memorial Day and then we can bring him home in early to mid June.  We're so excited----and look how cute he is in this picture they sent us of him hiding under the coffee table!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Some more portraits from our trip....

So we've finally gotten around to going through our CD of professional images and portraits from the second half of our vacation.  We ended up with a CD that had about 150 pictures (maybe a few more).  The pictures ranged from character photos to our regular dinner attire to our formal wear to some casual clothes to some VERY casual clothes (like PAJAMAS! hehehe)....and even some unique and fun poses----by this point in the trip we were really having a good time with the photographers and we go a bunch of new favorite pictures.....

The case of the missing comments.....

Hey readers----So I logged on this morning (it's been a few days since I was on the blog because life has been a bit hectic) to catch up with comments on the blog.  I know that some comments were left because I got email notices about them----but they seem to have vanished!  I don't know if it's a technical glitch or what, but it appears that if you left a comment on or after May 11th, it didn't make it onto the blog and is I can't reply to any of them!  If you did leave a comment or question and want to try to post it again, feel free!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Many, Many THANKS!!!

Greetings readers and fans!!  So now that the vacation is officially over, there are a number of "Thank You's" that I want to put out there:

  1. First, and most importantly, a huge THANKS (& hug) goes out to my dear friend (and fellow Disney cruise enthusiast) Hadley.  I haven't mentioned it previous to this post, but the only reason any of you were able to read this blog during our trip was because when I realized that the ship's internet service was going to block my ability to blog, Hadley stepped right in and volunteered to post our blogs for us.  So every day I would write out the blog in an email and send it to her and then send her a separate email with a compressed file with all the necessary pictures.  She would then log in for us, piece it all together, do the necessary edits and post it.  Without her not only would there not have been a blog up to this point, really---but I'm not sure I would have had the energy to come home and try to catch it all up now! 

Saying Good-Bye to the Disney Wonder....

The image to the left is the only door magnet that was left on our door overnight our final night on the cruise and stayed there until we finally left our cabin for the last time on Tuesday morning.   I need to thank a DIS friend (I think Sandi, right??) for making this door magnet for us on our last cruise....and I have loved it so much that I bring it on all vacations since to use on our last night....because it so accurately captures my feelings about getting off the ship (or leaving our resort when we're at the parks).

Nonetheless----the vacation had to end.....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Monday, May 9th, Day At Sea----and last day on the ship!

Well, the last day of our cruise had arrived….and, as you can see in the attached picture, the weather was once again lovely and the seas were calm.  On the way North we had used the outside passage (the captain had the night prior given a detailed explanation over the P.A. system about why----but in a nutshell…it's maritime law for the region that any ship sailing out of Vancouver and up to Alaska for the first time, must always use the outside passage for its inaugural trip North).  Now that we were returning to the South and into Vancouver, however, we got to use the famous "inside passage."

The seas were not entirely smooth, but they were decidedly smoother than they had been on the way North-----I'm assuming that has something to do with being in a slightly more land-locked waterway rather than open sea….but I may be wrong.  Also, the shore line (on either or both sides) along the way was much closer and so lent itself to more great views.

Sunday, May 8th, in Ketchikan, Alaska

Well, Mother's Day found us in Ketchikan, Alaska.  The weather out our window was, as you can see in this picture, wonderful.  Score another point for Disney pixie dust because we got ANOTHER mild temperature, sunny day!  Honestly every port we landed in thanked us for bringing some magical Disney good weather.  We felt so fortunate to have been so lucky with the weather because, while we certainly would have made the best of whatever weather got thrown our way, it definitely made the vacation that much nicer that we had nice days with sun and not having to bundle up like we were in the frozen tundra!!

This was a unique day because it was a port day for us...but it was a late port day.  We're used to waking up and the ship is either already in the port or is pulling in shortly and you get off the boat first thing in the morning.  We weren't due to arrive in Ketchikan until around noon, that gave everyone on the ship all morning to sleep in or find something to do.

Saturday (5/7) in Juneau, Alaska

 Saturday morning found us arriving in the capital of Alaska, Juneau.  Juneau is a much bigger city than Skagway was----but was still had a very Alaska feel---especially because the city of Juneau apparently has no roads into or out of it.  There are roads within and throughout Juneau (I think our tour guide told us there are less than 200 miles of paved roads in the entire city)----but all of those roads dead end at the edge of the city or just beyond it.  So it is impossible to drive to or from this city.  You must get there by boat or plane.  It's a little odd to think about as a "lower 48-er" where it feels like every city is connected to every other city in some way....but Juneau is kind of an island on land!

As was becoming the norm in Alaska, the views were picturesque.  As you can see from the picture here, taken out the window of our cabin, this city (and the entire state of Alaska it would seem) is one giant postcard----and it's AMAZING!  You can't really tell it from this picture either (it was taken pretty early)....

Monday, May 9, 2011

Friday (5/6) in Skagway, Alaska

 Friday morning found us pulling into Skagway, Alaska.  This Alaskan port gave us another opportunity to bust out a new custom door magnet (pictured here). This one is particularly fun because all the components except the lettering and the background are 3-dimensional (they're cut-outs for scrap-booking) that blend the great outdoors and Disney as themes-----so we thought they made for a great Disney Alaskan magnet!

So, we knew that our good luck with the weather couldn't last forever.  We've had some blustery days and some rough seas and some gray skies....but not very many that were really kinda nasty.  Unfortunately, Skagway welcomed us with rain in the morning and it was not very warm either.  THIS is the Alaska weather that everyone had warned us about.  Still, Jason and I weren't freezing (we're from Upstate NY after all and it was snowing the week we LEFT for this vacation----and rumor has it that it snowed in Syracuse while we were here at least once, too!).....but even still----gray skies, rain and wind are never a welcome sight on vacation!

Even still, however, we soldiered on.....

Sunday, May 8, 2011


 Well it's 8:30am on Sunday morning, May  8th here and for those of us from the USA it's Mother's Day-----we're off the coast of Alaska in the Pacific where we don't have any cell service.  That means we can't call our moms to wish them a Happy Mother's Day or tell them we love them (although I did send an email)..... we thought we'd do a quick departure from our trip report blog and send out a blog message (since we hope our mothers are reading this blog)....

Thursday (5/5) Day at Sea & Tracy Arm

  As I mentioned in the last blog, our Thursday was technically a day at sea because we were not getting off the boat.  We did have some sights to see, however, because it was the day we were scheduled to go through Tracy Arm.  I'll warn you now that this is a very picture-heavy blog (some of you will likely love that, others will be bored with all the pictures of scenery! LOL)

Because Tracy Arm is technically in Alaskan waters (we think), we considered this our first day IN Alaska....and so we put out our first of two Alaska door magnets (our main picture on this blog today)----which we also made over 50 copies of and shared with all our DISBoard fish extender friends, as well! :)    Even though Tracy Arm was the highlight of the day...we had several other things on the I'll talk a bit about some of those before we get to the scenic view(s).....

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Wednesday (5/4)---Day at Sea on the way to Alaska!

  Well, on May 4th we were at sea making our way from Canada up to Alaska!  The route we are taking is called the "outside pass" (or at least that's what WE are all calling it because we're not taking the INSIDE pass! LOL).  We have a day at sea, then a second day at sea although that second day is technically a day in Tracy Arm (a fjord in Alaskan waters----more on that in the next blog) then our 3 ports (Skagway, Juneau & Ketchikan) before a final sea day and then we get off the ship in Vancouver (BOOOOO!!! lol).  Here is an illustration/map of the Alaskan portion of our voyage:

Days at sea are lovely because they are relaxing.....and today fell squarely into that category....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tuesday (5/03) in Vancouver!

  Greetings from Vancouver---where we spent Tuesday....the last day of our first cruise and first day of our second cruise!  This picture is again going to be credited to our friend Sandi who emailed it to us----it's a picture of the Wonder in the port of Vancouver.  Doesn't she look pretty?!?!

So, Vancouver day had arrived.  We had a full morning and day planned because we planned on doing a Disney shore excursion in the port, then re-board the ship and get ready for another "first day" of cruising----Sail Away Party, fun with friends, dinner.....ah...this is the life!!   When we awoke, this is the view from our balcony:

This picture makes it look a little dreary/cloudy...but really it wasn' was just early.  I think this photo was taken at about 7:00am.  We got up that early because we had an early excursion and we needed to eat breakfast first....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Catching up and posting some pictures!!

Hey first of all, I know some people noticed that I did post about our day in Victoria earlier today but that the images didn't come through....that problem has been if you read that post earlier, go back and re-read it.  There are a lot of great pictures uploaded there from our trip to the aquarium and the butterfly gardens now.

Also....we are on our way to Alaska...we had a great day in Vancouver (which I will post soon...once I've had a chance to sort through our pictures and rest a bit and write)......but in the meantime I thought I'd post some portraits/pictures from the past several days of our trip.....

Monday (5/2)--Oh Canada!! (Our Day in Victoria)

Well, Monday brought us to Victoria, Canada.  For many on our ship, today was their last day aboard the ship as they will be disembarking tomorrow in Vancouver and beginning their journeys back home.  Thankfully...that does not apply to me and Jason....or any of our table-mates (Randall, Kevin, Rob, Larry, Deb & Janette) or many of our DIS friends either.  We are all booked on what we call back-to-back cruises meaning that when the the cruise is over we stay onboard and do the subsequent trip, as well----this one going on to Canada.  I have to say that this is our second back2back cruise and we LOVE this feeling----knowing it COULD be over today (as it is for many others) but that for us there is still more to come!  It helps the "last day of vacation depression" from setting in too deeply!

So anyway----Victoria, Canada.  We were able to sleep in a bit this morning, which was nice.  We had our traditional character breakfast with a chance to meet some of the world-famous Disney Characters, but it wasn't until 9:30am and our excursion was not actually until 11:45am (because we weren't even scheduled to pull into port until after 10:30 and I think we were still running a little bit late from the appendicitis incident from a couple nights ago----although I also think that the captain hauled some serious butt to pick up lost time and keep us as close to on schedule as possible! LOL).

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sunday (5/1)---Day at Sea

I chose this image because this is pretty much exactly what our Sunday was-----they don't call it the day of rest for nothing!*smile*

Our Sunday was a day at sea---which means a day of relaxing and just enjoying the ship and each other and our friends on the ship.    There aren't a lot of pictures in today's post since we didn't do much.....but here goes....

We woke up kind of early for a day with nothing to do really....but there was an important reason.  You'll recall that  earlier on in this trip, we had the chance to meet up with a woman named Deb Wills, the founder of when she was at DisneyLand....well she is on both these cruises with us, as well----and she had a special event planned for this Sunday morning.

Saturday (4/30) in San Francisco----with a group of friends!! we seem to have internet access here in Victoria, Canada this morning and about an hour before time for us to meet up with our shore excursion I will try to catch up with the past two days of missed blogging!

Well as I mentioned....San Francisco was an overnight port for us----so after a long day on Friday, we went to bed and were up bright and early Saturday morning.  On Friday we did not do an official Disney Cruise excursion, as you'll recall---we just ventured out on our own.  On Saturday, we didn't do an excursion through DCL either....but we didn't exactly venture out on our own either.  A friend from a previous cruise (and a mutual friend through many of the wonderful DIS people that we've already mentioned in these blogs) named Michael actually organized a group adventure for a bunch of people for this second day in San Francisco and we were invited to join them.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Friday in San Francisco---On Our Own!!!

Friday morning we were up at the crack of dawn---literally---and none too happy about it! LOL  But we wanted to be awake and join our fellow cruisers upstairs on the open decks to be a part of Disney's first sailing beneath the Golden Gate Bridge to enter San Francisco.    Before we could head up on deck, however, we had to put our specially designed San Fransisco door magnet on our door! :)  I've included a picture of it here for everyone's viewing picture.

Now.....on to the adventure of sailing beneath the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time ever on a Disney ship.....

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 2 on the ship (4/28)---A Day at Sea!!

Well our second day aboard the ship was one of our favorite things:  A SEA DAY!!!  Many people ask us, "What do you do on sea days? Don't you get bored? Don't you feel trapped on that boat?"  NO!!  In fact, we actually looked at what we had to do during the day the night before and thought....."AHHH...tomorrow is going to be so relaxing!  We don't have much to do, we'll just hang out!"  Then before we knew it we were getting ready for dinner! LOL

So the day started relatively early---7:30am---and we were greeted with a beautiful sunny morning.  This picture was the view from our balcony....but don't be fooled.  It was COLD! The wind was really whipping up and the boat was moving a bit (which Jason and I don't actually mind) and we needed windbreakers/sweaters to be out on open deck.  We had gotten up so early because we needed to be down by the gift shop at 9am so we could get in line to get the collector's pin (which we will make into a collector's magnet) for this cruise....

First Day Aboard the Ship (4/27)

So, faithful followers.....we're back (temporarily).  We have pulled into San Francisco and now that we're back at land in a US port, I can get internet access that is reliable and fast (and free---through my cell phone!!).  So I'm going to try to back track and give you blogs of the last couple days you've missed while our internet was shotty.

So when we left off, we had just had lunch with some of our DIS Friends onboard which was awesome.  Once lunch was over, we went down to talk to the dining managers with Deb & her mom because they weren't thrilled with their original dining assignment but were able to get themselves switched to be on the same rotation as us (so they'd be in the same restaurants as us every night) AND put at the table NEXT to ours (which was empty)----so they basically will get to eat with/near us each night which will be fun. 

After getting them hooked up with a better dining arrangement, it was about time to get into our rooms, so we headed up to our cabin---#7622.  The picture posted here is of our sad, lonely, undecorated door.  If you have sailed Disney before or read our last blog, you'll know that we (and many others) decorate our cabin doors with later during this trip we'll post pics of our door spruced up a bit-----and we'll post some pictures of some of the special magnets we have for this trip. (Note:  On our last trip we had a new magnet for every day of the cruise, but for this trip we just didn't have the time to do that prep we have brought back some of our themed magnets from previous cruises and we only made a few new magnets...but we'll be sure to share!)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Houston---we have a problem!!

Hey readers and fans!

So if you read our blog from last year ( or noticed the post yesterday...we have had sketchy history with the internet on the ship in terms of whether we are able to post blogs or not. Well that has proven to be the case again now. The internet service here on the ship apparently blocks personal sites and blogging sites (probably because they use a high level of bandwidth---which is in scarce supply and already kind of slow when you're using satellite internet at sea). So there may be a momentary pause on our ability to post new posts-----or at least posts with pictures. I am pretty sure (I tested it before we left) that I can make TEXT posts by submitting emails to the blog (like this one) but they will not contain pictures. Jason and I are going to explore a work around and what we can do....but for the time being we will either not be posting at all or we will email in text only posts. If we have to do the latter, then we will go in and add the images and pictures later when we aren't blocked anymore (like in ports, etc.).

So in short-----keep your eye on the blog. We are still here....we're having a great time....we're just experiencing technical challenges....but watch the blog because it WILL be coming back!

Erik & Jason

(Note:  You'll notice that this post now has a main image.  I was able to log in just momentarily through the filter and add that picture....but I'm not certain how well that will work moving forward especially as I try to load larger images from our camera, etc.....but at least I see that the emailed messages if nothing else you'll be able to log on and READ about our'll just have to check back later to actually SEE any images from it!!)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We're onboard...and LIFE IS GOOD!!


It's amazing how, no matter how many times we board one of these Disney ships---every time is like the first time and every time I just about cry walking through the door!!

We were able to get on wel before the majority of the crowd because we got to the port early (and thank heavens, too, because they had major software problems with the check in shortly after we arrived that caused the check in process to be much slower than normal for Disney and so we were able to avoid that frustration).  Once onboard we had some lunch at Parrot Cay (one of the restaurants for all you non-DCL folks) with Debbie and her mom Janette, Scott & Lynn (all DISBoard friends from previous trips) and another couple. 

We're in the port!

We made it to the port....HOORAY!!  We were so early I could hardly stand exciting!  We were like the 6th person in line so we got into the port very early.  We met up with many old DIS friends in line...and even met our four tablemates who, ironically, ended up in line right behind us.  They're two couples...they know each other before this cruise but invited us to be their tablemates, as well. Their names are Randall & Kevin and Rob & Larry.

Now we're in the port building waiting to board the ship.  Here are a few pictures taken here at the port....unfortunately the port is not as well designed as Port Canaveral so you don't get nice views of the ship....but you can tell it's there...and that's what matters!!!   Here are some shots for our DCL friends who can't join us on this trip....just to hold you over til the next time you are on one of the ships:

On our way!!

We are on our way!! We are on the bus on the way to the excited to see the ship as we turn the corner...and then to reconnect with all our old cruise friends and meet new ones....and then soon we will be able to board the ship and the next leg of our adventure can begin!

Cruise begins today---not sure when next post will be.....

Greetings readers!!  Ok we are awake and preparing to leave for our shuttle to the port to start our cruise.

For those of you who followed our last vacation blog, you may recall that we had a lot of problems keeping the blog up to date----both because we were so busy on the cruise AND because the internet on the ship is not always the most reliable.  So I wanted to put a general warning out there to check back here often (or I think you can subscribe for updates, too).  I am going to TRY to post updates at LEAST every other day (maybe more often if I have a good connection and time).....BUT if I end up with technical difficulties, I cannot promise I will be able to get online and make the posts.  If that is the case then I will start to stockpile the posts and when I have internet service again (either during the cruise or after we get home) I will start posting all the updates at once----so you'll have lots of leisure time reading!! *SMILE*

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Some Photos from our time at DisneyLand....

So those of you who know me and/or our blogs will remember that Jason and I are very big into photos from our vacations.  We take a lot with our own camera (and phones), but we also really love investing in photo packages both in the parks and on the ship(s). 

In the parks, they have a great system called "PhotoPass" where they have Disney photographers posted throughout the park and you get a card you can scan that collects all your photos electronically and then you can review them and order prints or a CD with all the digital files----we LOVE this system and we always get lots of pictures taken and then buy the CD.

Well this past weekend with the girls, the four of us did PhotoPass to the hilt!  In just over 3 full days, we were able to get over 250 pictures taken!!!  Jason and I picked up the CD today and there are so many amazing pictures from our trip already that we are already able to look and see all our wonderful memories. 

We thought we'd share an assortment of our favorite photos from this CD collection......

Our LAST day at DisneyLand....

Well, it's our last full day here at DisneyLand.  Johanna left yesterday afternoon and Kimmy's flight home was today.  So we woke up early and hung out in our villa for a little bit (she stayed in our villa last night since Johanna had already checked out of their Kimmy got to sleep in our secret bed under the TV! Yipee!!).  Kimmy had a breakfast to go to so she walked with us to meet up with a group of other Disney fans and then we said our good-byes.  It was sad....we really wish she and Johanna were cruising with us again. :(

So I mentioned that we met another group of Disney fans this morning.....

A little Disney PRIDE.... this is pretty much just a silly filler feel free to skip it if you want to....but as Jason, Kimmy, Johanna & I were spending time in the parks this past few days....we noticed a theme in merchandising:  RAINBOWS.

Now, we're pretty certain that it wasn't intentional (and in some cases the items were even marked as "World of Color" themed), but we couldn't help but notice that all this rainbow Disney/Mickey merchandise had a certain GAY PRIDE kinda flair! LOL  Every time one of us saw a new rainbow themed item, we'd say "Oh good...another gay mickey!" LOL

So we thought we'd do a little pictorial blog of some of our favorite Disney PRIDE items this season here at disneyland:

Monday at DisneyLand & California Adventure....

Jason & I meet "the big cheese" himself Monday in the parks.
Well, it's not even 7am yet and I'm awake---have been for over an hour---I guess my body is still a little bit on East coast i figured I'd get up and post a short blog about our Monday in the parks here.

Because we'd done about 90% of the rides and attractions that the two parks here have to offer....we were able to have a very casual and relaxed day.  This was nice just because it's a pleasure to have a vacation where you're not constantly on the being able to spend a more leisurely day was very nice.  It was also nice because Monday was the nicest day we've had here in California yet.  It was in the mid-70's most of the day (according to the weather updates on our smartphones) but the sun was out the entire day so it felt even warmer...

Monday, April 25, 2011

And now.....Club 33....

OK, so Easter Sunday was our dinner at Club 33....a highlight for our stay here in California and, in truth, one of the primary reasons that the girls (Johanna & Kimberly) decided to join us here at DisneyLand----not that I'm sure they don't both love spending time with us (*wink*), but because we invited them to share the experience and they knew, like we did, that it was not a chance that comes along all that often (or possibly ever again)!!

So, before I go too far into talking about night at Club 33, I should give a little background on what it is and how we came to be invited to eat there.......

Our Easter Sunday at DisneyLand

Well, I did not get a chance to post a blog yesterday about our day with the it's time to play a little catch up now.  Yesterday was, obviously, Easter Sunday----and we decided to spend it in DisneyLand proper (NOT California Adventure).  This is the Disney park that most people think of when they think Disney-----the castle, the Dumbo ride, etc.   But people who are only (or mostly) familiar with Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL might be surprised to know that while there are a lot of similarities between the East Coast and West Coast versions of Disney Parks....there are a lot of differences, too....which means that getting to spend a full day in DisneyLand here in CA, while it would be fun for us no matter what, was still a nice experience because it is very different from the Orlando park that we are so used to!

(Note:  I know some people have asked if there was anything extra special done because it was Easter and my answer is, sadly, no----not that we noticed at least.  There was some Easter themed candy and food and our resort had an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids....but there was nothing like a special parade or anything like that....and we didn't even see any characters in special Easter garb, either.....but maybe we missed it!)

So on with our Easter at DisneyLand.....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

 Good morning readers and followers!!

It's an unpleasant hour here in Anaheim, CA (6:45am to be exact) and we're up and about to get ready for our day. 

For those who celebrate---however you celebrate---we thought we'd post a message of HAPPY EASTER!!!!


...we know that it is also a special time of year for our Jewish's wishing all of you a HAPPY PASSOVER as well!

First FULL day at DisneyLand....

OK, so the picture to the left is NOT from's actually a picture I took of Jason yesterday in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle and the iconic statue of Walt & Mickey in the main DisneyLand park...but I forgot to post it, so I thought I'd post it today.  Isn't he cute? :)

Besides, it seemed a fitting picture to post for a blog about our first full day (with Kimmy & Johanna, of course) here at DisneyLand...even though we spent the day in the OTHER park here:  California Adventure.  (For all you non-Disney folk out there, California's DisneyLAND has two main parks---DisneyLand and California compared to Florida's DisneyWORLD which has 4 parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom & Hollywood Studios) plus 2 water parks).  So today was a California Adventure Day for us......

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My new favorite feature of our villa......

OK...this is totally silly.....but this is my new favorite feature at a DVC villa that we found in our villa here at the Grand Californian.  To the left is a picture of me with the entertainment center in the living room of our villa.  It's very nice....flat panel TV, DVD player...beautiful big wood piece of furniture....but wait......there's more......

Our first evening in DisneyLand.....

Well our first night at DisneyLand has come and gone...and how lovely it was!  Jason and I were the first in our group to arrive at DisneyLand so we checked in and unpacked a bit and then decided to venture out of our room to get some light breakfast groceries----juice, bagels, cream cheese, fruit, etc.  The benefit of staying in the villas is you have a kitchen and so you could, in theory, cook and eat all your meals in your room----although we never do.  We always get breakfast, at least, but we never feel like we want to lose time in the parks or anything by coming back to make food.  Here in DisneyLand, however, everything is much smaller and closer together than it is in the resorts in Florida and so we've found that we can walk from both the parks and to our room in less than 15 minutes-----so if we ever decide to come out and spend a few days again...we may seriously consider doing some grocery shopping and just making meals to save a little money! don't want to do that on your first day in the park.......

Friday, April 22, 2011

We are here!

Jason with display welcoming us to the happiest place on earth!
Well, it's 7pm here in California...and we arrived safely!  Our flight was mildly stressful because bad weather in Chicago made us leave Rochester late (don't you just LOVE sitting in an airplane on the runway?!) and we thought we'd miss our connection in Chicago.  That flight was delayed, too, though....which was good that we didn't miss, but then we got into CA a lot later than we'd expected.  It worked out OK though because by the time we got to our resort our room was ready.......and it's gorgeous!!