My First Time to the Street, “Sesame Street” that is…

All I can remember of the 1970’s is sitting on the green shag carpet in my parents living room, crossing my legs, getting comfy, and sitting WAY to close to the TV.  I can still feel the excitement of hearing the beginning chords…the sight of that famous street sign and hearing “Sunny day, singing the, clouds away….”   Every day I learned lessons from Big Bird to even Oscar the Grouch. And man did I laugh…do you remember the one where Ernie pulls Bert’s nose off? I remember losing it, and knowing that this show wasn’t just a show, it was an experience, and it was so many of our childhoods.

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So when I heard that Sea World was opening up their own “Sesame Street” Land….I was estatic! Yeah, I know it’s not the “original” set from the show, but it was close enough. The sign, the famous stairs and home, Oscar’s trash can, and so on.

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And thankfully I was able to meet the Sesame Street friends before Covid hit, and I was blessed to meet most of them. I laughed with Ernie and Bert, I chatted with Prairie Dawn, and I gushed over Big Bird. Yes, the child in me was out to believe and out to play. Remember playing? It was SO much fun, you can see it on my face.

The highlight for me was Mr. Hooper’s Store….this was my first introduction to death as a child. When Mr. Hooper passed away, it really gutted me. I didn’t understand it and the show did such a great job explaining it and helping children understand the pain they felt, it was a moment and lesson I clearly haven’t forgotten even now. They give him a nice honor in the store, and I appreciate that very much.

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If you loved it as a kid, and your kids now watch it or grandkids, this is worth the ticket alone to Sea World. It’s a nice shot of nostalgia that we all need these days, to remember the “good old days” and to enjoy with other generations the Sesame Street friends. Check it out and thanks for stopping by!

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Thank you for your support!

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Rising Above the Fear when Dreaming Big

So as most of you know by now, I am heading on the road again this summer, maybe even sooner.  My big idea, or dream, is to see all 48 States within a year and finish them with a trip to Alaska and Hawaii- life and money permitting. I dream big, this is what I have been doing since moving to Florida in 2011….somehow I have convinced myself I can do anything my mind says I can. And yet….the voice of fear has grown louder these days.

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It’s not something fun to admit or even write about, yet so cathardic to put on paper what I have been feeling lately because I want people to know that these BIG ideas come with sharp edges.  I want to share my adventures, to inspire others to get out into this big, blue World and see everything it has to offer. Yes, I know that this World is a bit upside down these days and more cautions are needed to enjoy the smallest of things, but I refuse to put a period where a comma should be.

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Being on the road for a year is no easy task, and I am going into this like a mission. With all the beauty to see, I want to spread kindness by random and not so random acts, across this great Nation. I am hoping that by raising money to help others will also help those dark days where I start to feel lonely.  Thankfully I don’t suffer from depression, but I do have anxiety attacks from time to time when I feel cornered. I mean, don’t we all? 

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So with that said, fear does set in from time to time when I have moments of quiet in my day.  Will I be good enough? Will I enjoy it, will others enjoy it? Will it be worth it? I know some will think, why are you doing it then if you are scared or hesitant. Well, I can tell you that EVERYTHING in my life that I have done thus far that has scared me to the core, has always, in some way, paid off. Moving here was terrifying, leaving was terrifying, starting to write again was terrifying, and always putting myself out there for ridicule and judgement on a daily basis is terrifying.  I have learned that inspiration always comes with consequences, ones you never saw coming.  You deal, you breathe, you move on.

I think fear is my biggest hurdle for this adventure and I know that as I check off every day leading up to this, that feeling will either shrink or grow. Once I can put that to bed, there’s nothing stopping me. So as I prepare my maps, my plans, who I am staying with or visiting, what route, etc…I will be battling this demon until the moment I shut the car door. Then the hope is to leave it in my driveway in Florida, pull up my big girl pants, and drive away. It goes back to that old saying “What would we be capable of if we weren’t scared?” I guess I am going to find out…stay tuned.

Supporting feels so good!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Disney, Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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My Love Affair with “A Goofy Movie”

I was at the Memorial Mall in Sheboygan, WI with my Dad and my then 2 year old daughter- it was 1995. We were shopping at one of the Video Stores and came across “A Goofy Movie” which just came out on VHS. My Dad bought it for my family and I was so excited – Goofy had always been my favorite character. And so we watched it, over and over again, and it became a family favorite over the last two decades.  Every song memorized, every line still laughed at.

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It would be in 2019 that I would get the next “Goofy Movie” fix when I headed to MegaCon and a young gentleman came as “Powerline.” If you don’t know who that is, it’s the singer in the film that Goofy and his son, Max, wind up seeing in Concert. Honestly, I have danced to “Eye to Eye” many a time when no one is looking. Check out the YouTube videos that people have done of it, they are excellent!

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Next to the American Adventure located in Epcot in Walt Disney World lies a small alley way where the Celebrities come in and out of for their Concerts….(See Richard Marx). But it’s also used as a training area for new Cast Members earning their ears as “friends” of the Characters. It would be here I found Max one day by chance, and I was so excited because he isn’t one that’s out a lot. It was a good day.

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Then a friend of my site reached out and told me that she KNEW Kevin Lima. Who is Kevin Lima? Well, he THE Director of “The Goofy Movie”…. In fact, it was his FIRST! He also went on to direct Tarzan (another family favorite and another tie I have to Kevin), 102 Dalmatians and ENCHANTED!!! Who doesn’t love Enchanted?!? I mean he worked with AMY ADAMS!! How COOL is that? Then to make it even cooler, he is married to Brenda Chapman who co-directed Prince of Egypt, Brave, and headed the story of The Lion King. So basically this duo is a Disney dream team come true! …..Kevin also voiced “Lester” from “Lester’s Possum Park.”

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So during my Midwest travels, I received an amazing package from Mr. Lima. He wrote me a note on “Enchanted” stationary and DREW me a pic of Goofy and Max together…I was dumbstruck!!!! I was so touched by this gift and that he took the time for some nobody like me, it was just so cool.

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Goofy and Max were in the Christmas parade this past year at Magic Kingdom, and every time I saw them I thought of the drawing. Thank you to Kevin and my dear friend who connected me to him…I will forever enjoy it.

Thank you for your support!

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Route 66…Luna Café and Al Capone

Excited to find every nook and cranny on the “Mother Road” also known as Route 66 in Illinois…I found myself in the itty, bitty city of Mitchell. Because I was coming through early, the Café unfortunately was not open, and possibly not open at all due to Covid at the time. It is known to be one of the few that are still in business on Route 66.

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Built in 1924, two years before the infamous road existed, it became a hot spot for gambling and scandalous behavior. It was rumored that if the “cherry” was lit up on the famous neon sign outside, that was a sign to the women in the area that the place was ready for “entertainment.”

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On top of practically being a Brothel, the place became famous for hosting THE Al Capone. He would frequent here coming back and forth from Chicago, meeting up with many a fellow gangster between those famous walls.  You can also visit Al Capone at his grave in Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery in Hillside, IL.

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The infamous neon sign still stands today for everyone traveling down Route 66- check it out next time you’re in town!

 

 

Thank you for your support!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Disney, Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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Dorothy’s Grave from “The Wizard of Oz”

Yes….I know what you all are thinking. Wasn’t she fictional? I mean, Judy Garland was a real actress and person who played her, but there was no little girl who went to the land of Oz…right? Well, if you asked my 8 year old self that I would CONVINCE you that all of these things did in fact exist. But the 40s something self knows better…and then I stumbled across something that made me love this movie even more.

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Located in Bloomington, IL at 302 E. Miller St, lies a beautiful Cemetery known as Evergreen Memorial. And up until 2020, I had no idea that Dorothy was a real little girl. Yes, Dorothy Louise Gage was the niece of Frank L. Baum and tragically she passed away at the young age of 5 months old from a pneumonia like illness called “congestion of the brain.” To honor her memory and comfort his family, Baum gave her the honor of being his lead character in his beloved “Wizard of Oz.”

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Then many decades later, several oak trees in the Cemetery started dying off. Instead of just chopping them down or pulling them out, they got creative and carved the likeness of Dorothy, Toto, and the yellow brick road from the one nearest to her grave. 

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I went looking for it in June of 2020 and I was NOT disappointed! First of all, it did take some time to find her headstone.  There is a marker on the drive that tells you the area she is in, but you still have to do some walking to find it. The tree sculpture is on the LEFT of her grave, the marker is straight in front of her about 20 feet, and she is located between two bushes towards the back.

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Honestly seeing the little girl’s grave was emotional….knowing that she died so young, knowing she was the light of a childhood book and movie and that Mr. Baum and his family stood on that very spot to wish her a tearful goodbye. It’s a beautiful spot and I wished I had brought a teddy bear or something for the little soul. It is definitely worth checking out and paying your respects…I can only hope that she is skipping on her own yellow brick road right now. Some odd trivia for you…Dorothy passed away in June, the same month that Judy Garland passed away as well. In fact, Judy passed away on my birthday…and I played her in our Oz production in High School. Crazy huh? It’s a small world after all…

Thank you for your support!!

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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A Terrible Idea…Don’t You Just Love Those?

So as you all know now, I have something big coming down the pipeline this summer that I am getting pretty excited about. And every movie and show I watch, seems to point me in one direction of how to cleanse myself before this next adventure of adventures. I am going to be working really hard on so many aspects of my life over the next 5 months, but one has me terrified. Which means I should probably do it. If I have learned anything over the past several years is that if it is crazy uncomfortable, I should go with it. If it scares me to try, then try. Why? If it’s worth getting scared about, then it’s woken something up in me that maybe is worth exploring.

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I have done this before, and it felt amazing. I just don’t know if I have the courage to do it again…regret tastes bitter. And yet, to have nothing to worry about, nothing to be tied to, AMAZING. So as you all know, I collect Disney items, Pop Funkos, etc.. and I do enjoy them.  But as collections have grown, and things just aren’t as “exciting” to me anymore, I find myself wanting to join the minimalist movement even more. Maybe it’s age, but “stuff” doesn’t do it for me anymore. I find I am reverting back to my childhood where I got a brand new Barbie and she was exciting for all of a day, maybe days, and then I was already wanting another one. 

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Back in 2011 when we moved to Florida, we sold 90% of our belongings. We moved to Florida with two vehicles and some bins- that’s it! We had to go and rebuy beds, furniture, which we were prepared to do, but for a small moment of time, we didn’t have much of anything- just each other.  I won’t be going AS extreme, but I have a lot of collections that I think I am ready to sell and find a new home for. I believe we can enjoy stuff for a period of time and then let it go…as hard as it is, I think it frees our soul to enjoy OTHER things, and honestly, it recycles the item over and over again for many people to enjoy.

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I think I have found a taste for adventure that I didn’t know I would hunger for so much. I want to climb mountains and explore caves, I want to picnic in parks and get caught in the rain. Sounds like a good dating bio. LOL. My point is that I don’t want anything to hold me back from the freedom that living with all this “stuff” could bring. Sure, it’s scary- it’s scary even typing this. Heck, I don’t even know if I will have the courage to post it. But WOW do I love the idea, I LOVE the feeling, and I KNOW that it would make others just as happy. And if you GAVE me the stuff, know that I have enjoyed it, but it’s time to let other hearts love on it.

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So what do you think- am I nuts? Will I walk past the newest Popcorn bucket at the Parks and instantly want one? Probably, maybe I will need a reminder of why I won’t need it anymore. Why I DON’T need it anymore. Have you ever done this? Sold it all and onto the next chapter? Stay tuned….

Thank you for your support!

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Some of My Favorite Photopass Pictures Taken

Since the conception of Photopass at Disney World, it has been a fun scavenger hunt for many of us to find that special spot or magic shot for our collection of memories. I have SO MANY that I’d have to say this is my favorites of the ones I could actually find. Are you like me where you have changed different computers, memory cards stacking up, etc? Half my stuff on this computer, half on the other…I could spend weeks just organizing the pics I have taken. So we are going with my favorites I could find thus far….and I will share more as I dig deeper into other sources.

I’m going to kick it off with one of THE funniest Photopass pics I have ever taken…not for what “I” am doing in the picture, but what the experience came down too. Wendy and I were hanging out at Studios, something we did often over the years, and decided to make it a “Character Evening” and see how many we could hit in one night. So we mosey on over to the Star Wars Bay and see if Kylo is home and wants to come out and play. Sort of speak. It’s our turn, and he was just awkward. We didn’t know how to pose, how to react, it was this script he had (recorded possibly) that made the entire experience this ODDEST one I have ever had at Disney. Hence, this pic among MANY shows the confusion with Wendy and I and it deserved to be here.

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The next one comes to you from Star Wars weekends. During the summer, Studios would host these weekends in celebration of everything Star Wars. The best part were the Celebs who you could meet and get pics with, on top of some really fun photo opps. This particular year they had the Rancor from “Return of the Jedi” and we all lost our minds! So my friends and I did this funny pose with it, thus the Rancor photo was born.

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This next picture really needs no introduction….you can read all about my nightmare HERE when I rode Everest for the first time. Yep, I was terrified, was pretty surprised I made it off the ride with dry shorts honestly. Pretty much why this picture is gold….it’s the only time I will ever be on this ride and thus the forever evidence stands.

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Another Wendy moment of the same evening, but it’s HER that makes this such a fun picture. We were chatting it up with Woody and Buzz and just shooting the breeze…not sure what was said here anymore for her to make this moment or why I am laughing so hard. But it just makes me smile everytime I see it because of the moment caught.

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Emily and Kyra, my daughters, wanted my hubby, Craig and I, to ride “Slinky Dog” with them for the first time. I agreed, but it IS an open air coaster, which makes this heights girl VERY nervous and scared. Thankfully we rode it in the dark, and I didn’t think it was too scary, but Craig’s face tells a completely different story. (The girls were in a section behind us, not shown)

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For my 45th Birthday, I decided to get pics with 45 Disney Characters (or more) in all 4 Parks total. There were so many wonderful ones, but my favorite wasn’t even with a Character. This one was taken by Photopass but I had edited and cropped it, hence why it looks different than the others. If you didn’t know, you can ask to hold the balloons for a GREAT pic!

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I have a lot like the one below…so I picked this one just because it was the year they had brought Scrooge McDuck to Animal Kingdom. I love that Photopass catches these moments of pure joy, it’s the finest example of what a hug brings people….oh, the magic!

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It would be an insanely early morning in 2019 that Kymie Walker and I met up to tour Galaxy’s Edge on its OPENING DAY!! We had so much fun that day that I will FOREVER remember it with just one glance at this picture- May the Force Be With You!

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In 2019, our family dressed up for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. One of the photo opps were with all of the Three Hitchhiking Ghosts from “Haunted Mansion.” I was SOOOO excited to get this one- I am Ellie from UP and Kyra is Nani from Lilo and Stitch.

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This last one of one of my favorites because it was on a good year where Craig and I were working on our health and feeling really good about ourselves. I love our smiles in it!

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I hope you have loved this collection, I know I will be sharing more in the future! Thanks for stopping by and I will see YOU in the Parks.

Thank you for your support!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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Meeting a Disney Legend…. Marty Sklar

Back in the day, there used to be the cutest little book shop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios called “The Writer’s Stop.”  Known for its cozy chairs, the smell of coffee, and the carrot cake cookie (The BEST baked good on Disney property!) – you could snuggle right in here and shut out the Park crowds for a while.  The perfect stage setting for a Disney legend showcasing his latest book, and I wasn’t about to miss it!

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Open to the Disney public, and what I mean by that is that if you were lucky enough to be here, living here, vacation, whatever, and you had access to Studios that day, you could get in line for the Meet and Greet of a lifetime!

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And if you dare ask WHO is Marty Sklar, well he was the Imagineer of Imagineers. If you’re looking at something at Magic Kingdom, he had hand in it.  From the construction to the writing, this man had magic on his fingertips. The imagination in his brain must have been something amazing- just seeing a portion of it when I ride “Pirates of the Caribbean” or walking by Cinderella’s Castle is mind blowing.

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It was a hot day when I got in line, but I didn’t care about the sweat pouring down the back of my legs…I was about to meet a legend! It took about and hour, meeting some readers of mine while I waited. It was finally my turn and I was SO NERVOUS. This man created so many wonderful things! He was so kind and so sweet, I enjoyed the entire experience of getting his autograph. (It was to be a Christmas present for my husband- which he FREAKED over!)

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Opportunity like this one was why I moved to Florida…so I could take advantage of those “pop up” moments that come up out of nowhere and give you like a day or sometimes even hours to get your keester over to the event ASAP.  (Referring to also the Stars of “Harry Potter” showing up to Walmart on a whim for a signing of the new DVD out- check it out HERE). 

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He was a great man, and sadly we lost him in 2017.  But his magic, and legend, will live on forever…thanks Marty for the memories!

Thank you for your support!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Disney, Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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