Monday April 8th
I got my office set up in the room and put in a full day of work. I taught my Body Acting class for AnimSchool, and finished up a new picker for Scout, our dog character.
After class was over we headed out to have some lunch. We found this really cool restaurant called, Farrel's Ice Cream Parlour. It was themed out with turn of the century Americana. I liked the environment, but the food was bland and expensive. They weren't very busy, but it seemed like every 5 minutes they were banging a drum and singing happy birthday to somebody. Part of me wonders if they were just making up birthdays to have something to do.
After lunch, I finished up my work day and that evening we went to a local drive-in theater. I haven't been to one since I was a kid. The last movie I remember watching at a drive-in was the live-action Popeye movie (1980). It had to be a re-release because I can't possibly be that old. We took the whole family to see "The Croods". I wish we had one of these close to home. It was one of the most fun movie-going experiences we've had in years, and the first time we've all been able to go to the movies together without worrying about one of the girls chewing through a seat cushion.
You have to wait for the sun to go down before the movie can start.
The concessions were reasonably priced and they had some really good mexican food that they actually cook right in front of your eyes. We spent under $20 for the whole family which basically fed us for the night. We enjoyed this theater food more than the burgers at Farrel's which cost us over twice as much
The Monsters University trailer looked great.
Tuesday April 9th
Tuesdays are my long days. I teach three classes for a total of 7 hours of class in one day. In between I worked on future lectures. I try to incorporate slides, videos, and live demonstrations into my lectures to better illustrate ideas, and to keep it interesting for my students with short attention spans. You know who you are!
Here's an example of one of my slides.
Wednesday April 10th
We set aside certain days as vacation days during this trip. We spent the entire day at Disneyland.
It's been over 6 years since we've been to this park.
Kyra saw so many people driving around in little motorized carts, and for a short moment she thought she found her very own. She was ready to take Kaylie on leisurely tour of the park, but quickly discovered that Mr. Toad had forgot to fill the tank with gas.
Come on Kaylie let's go check out the churro stand!
Kaylie decided to fall asleep before the Tiki birds starting singing, so we both rested outside while Leslie, Kyra, and Anthony watched the show. It was a nice break.
Nobody holds me when I want a nap!
Sure play in the dirt, daddy only put a second mortgage on the house to bring you here.
My score on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters! Zurg has put a bounty on my head.
We don't like to wait in lines to see characters, so we scheduled a character meal at Goofy's Kitchen located in the Disneyland Hotel.
The meal was buffet style, and had a nice selection. I was happy with the food, but we spent nearly $200. I don't understand how Disney can feel justified in this price point for a buffet meal with a few characters walking around. I won't be doing this again unless we get the free dining plan included in a vacation package. Also, the server, who is only responsible for bringing us drinks, got an automatic 18% gratuity. I quickly realized that I shouldn't aspire to animate for Disney, but to wait tables instead!
I felt completey justified when I picked Goofy's pocket.
We sat in traffic on the way home. It took nearly 2 hours to get back to the hotel. But at least we had hard-wired internet! : /
Thursday April 11th
I woke up with a sore back but the kids cracked the whip shouting, "Disneyland!", so we headed back to the costliest place... er I mean happiest place on earth.
Right from the start I knew we were in for trouble when I saw these storm troopers harassing an innocent girl. I would have helped her, but I didn't want to lose my place in line for Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters.
Kyra kept sticking her tongue out at the troopers which eventually scared them away.
Leslie and Anthony used nifty fastpasses I got for the Indian Jones Adventure ride and I took the girls to the nearest pile of dirt. Apparently there's something magical about the dirt in Disneyland.
After a long romp in the dirt, Kyra passed out. She kept mumbling gimme more dirt, which I thought was a little unusual.
Wake me up when you find a new pile of dirt.
We eventually made it to Toontown. I decided to go straight to City Hall to request an investigation on the contents of the magical Disneyland dirt, but they swore it was normal dirt. I guess even Disneyland isn't exempt from political cover-ups.
My only recourse was to take it to the big cheese himself. He gave me the silent treatment. This conspiracy must run deep if even Mickey is too afraid to talk about it.
On my way out the masses gathered, obviously there to support me on my quest to uncover the dirty truth about the shrouded soil. They literally erupted into applause as I perused the overly sanitized streets. If the Disney dirt was on the up and up, then why, suddenly was there none to be found!
Friday April 12th
Lunch at the Disney animation studios.
I joined several friends at the Disney Animation Studio for lunch on Friday. It was definitely fun to see all of my friends making another awesome movie (Frozen), but I was also there to shoot some video of our instructors for AnimSchool. These videos should be appearing on the school website soon.
The new animation building named after Roy E. Disney, Walt's nephew.
I wish I had more pictures to share, but I get so distracted with catching up with my friends that I literally have this one lonely photo as proof this day ever happened.
Saturday April 13th
AnimSchool, the beach, and friends!
Most of the day was spent teaching 2 classes and getting caught up on work, but the last fleeting hours of the day were spent at the Aliso beach park with our good friends, Jarrod and Laurell Showers. They brought along three tiny people they called their children.
This is Jarrod. He has a wife and 3 kids, but I'm too absent-minded to take pictures of people.
I hadn't eaten a meal at all that day and it was already dinner time. I ended up driving up and down the PCH for nearly an hour searching for food. I finally found Ruby's Auto Diner. I went in hoping there was a slight chance they served people. I was fully prepared to use my acting skills and fool them into thinking I was a Ford Mustang if they didn't.
Just moments after we finished eating, Leslie and I stopped for a quick photo on the beach. And wouldn't you know it, that little punk photo bombed me!
You win this round seagull... well played.
We stopped off at the Showers' house for some AnimSchool business. Jarrod needed some video for a little instruction piece he is making, so we decided to meet up at Disneyland the next day and shoot it.
Sunday April 14th
We skipped breakfast at the hotel and sped to meet up with Florian Perret at California Adventure. He got 3 of us in with his Silver pass, and Brien Hindman gave us two passes so the entire family got into the park for free!
We rushed to get our fastpasses for Radiator Springs Racers, and then settled down for breakfast at Flo's V8 Cafe. The Brioche French Toast was amazing! If happiness had a flavor it would taste like this.
Brioche French Toast
Baked and served with Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas. $7.99
Baked and served with Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas. $7.99
We scurried over to the Bug's Land and rode some rides and eventually met up with our good friends, the Showers. Jarrod was way too excited so the man in the dark glasses came over to put a stop to it.
Excuse me sir, I'm gonna have to ask you to stop having fun until the ride has started.
We rode several rides, but then headed over to the Pier to have lunch and shoot the video for Jarrod.
After the video was complete Jarrod and family headed back home and we headed back to Cars Land. We met some celebrities as we walked the streets.
Kaylie swears that Red farted, but I just thought she was passing blame.
Time to use our fastpasses on Radiator Springs Racers!
Anthony and Kyra are ready to race!
Why am I shouting?!!
This is my new favorite Disney attraction. This includes all attractions across Disneyland and Walt Disney World. My hats off to the Imagineers that pulled off this themed land, and especially this attraction.
Leslie and Anthony got to use the last two fastpasses while I watched the girls. Kaylie passed out and Kyra photo bombed her while she slept.
I wasn't sure if Kaylie fell asleep, or was "put" to sleep.
I was so proud of her stealthy technique, I bought her some ice cream. Yum!
The next thing I know Red drives by, I hear what I thought was a horn blast, and suddenly Kyra's ice cream started melting. I began to wonder if Kaylie had been telling the truth all along!
What's happening daddy?
We tried to ride Soarin', but it was closed. I can't be sure, but I bet Red had something to do with it. So we decided to park hop over to the Magic Kingdom.
Leslie and Anthony decided to ride Pirates of the Caribbean so I got some snacks for me and the girls. Instead of eating the snacks they decided to play in the dirt with random children.
Hey kid you like dirt? Then chase me around this tree!
Kaylie dropped all pretense and showed her addiction to the Disney magic dust.
It's like candy!
Mmmm... i'm lick some is my favritish...
And of course when she crashed and I told her what she did, she was ashamed.
I have ashamed.
This wasn't the only addictive substance Disney exposed my poor innocent children to.
Quick while daddy's not looking!
To end the day we dined at Pinocchio's Village Haus. We were here nearly 7 years ago with Anthony.
And they're still looking for Monstro.
That about wraps up this week. Come back soon to see the second week of our vacation!