Tag: vacation

May 18

And We’re Back!

Personal 21

Howdy Bookworms!

Soooo, I just got back from vacation… Again. I KNOW we were just at Disney World in March, but shortly after we got back my parents called. They had a two bedroom condo booked in Orlando for May and offered to let us stay with them. I mean, how can you turn down free accommodations?! (We are, in fact, grown ups, though, so we ponied up for our own airfare, food, and park tickets.) Plus, this time we not only went to Disney, but also to Universal, which means… HARRY POTTER!

hpphotosI drank a lot of butterbeer (YUM), rocked a Ravenclaw top and a time turner necklace (#housepride), and generally nerded the frick out. If you’re unfamiliar with the Universal theme parks, there are two: Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventure. Islands of Adventure houses Hogsmeade and Universal Studios houses Diagon Alley. (Sorry to disappoint y’all, but neither is an entire HP theme park. Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are each a segment of larger parks.) I had fun at both parks, but if you only have one day to set aside for a Harry Potter park, Universal Studios is where it’s at. Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure is cool and Hogwarts Castle is certainly something to see, but it is cramped as all heck in those shops. Authentic maybe, but the park was pretty dead overall and you couldn’t even walk in the Hogsmeade shops. Apparently the good folks at Universal learned their lesson though, because Diagon Alley is three times the size of Hogsmeade and the shops (though perfectly charming) are much more equipped to deal with a large, nerdy crowd. Sometimes it’s just NECESSARY to procure a Ravenclaw bookmark without being jostled.

disney1I don’t care how old I am, I will NEVER be too old for mouse ears and Disney ridiculousness. I bought myself a Minnie Mouse headband only to later see the world’s most glorious Alice in Wonderland ears. My mom bought me the Alice ears because apparently she likes me. Also, Cheshire Cat candy now exists, and if you’ve got a spare $700 you can buy the killer painting in the corner. (I do not have a spare $700 dollars, so it stayed in the shop, but it’s so pretty!)

miscHere are just some oddball photos. You can see where I got my capacity for being adorable in mouse ears. Also, DESSERT. And cocktails. And flowers. And my name because it’s two first names and it amuses me endlessly. Oh yes, and that’s Chilly Willy the Penguin hanging out in the middle there. So, other than pining for my theme park homeland(s), things are great. What were y’all up to last week? Catch me up, Bookworms!

 

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Mar 09

Vacation: All I Ever Wanted

Personal 37

Hola Bookworms!

I’m sorry I was so scarce last week. Actually, I’m not. I was on vacation at Disney World. Because that’s how I roll. (No, I did not go to the Harry Potter parks. Another time, I assure you!) I didn’t warn y’all in advance because I saw once of 20/20 that you should never tell the internet when you’re not home. Not that I don’t trust YOU, my lovelies, but the nameless faceless internet? Eeep! I’m nothing if not paranoid. In any case. Pictures!

Here’s what we were eating…

disneyfood

Here I am going selfie crazy…

disneyselfies

It was also Flower and Garden Festival time at Epcot and, well, you know I had to capture the insane beauty of the topiaries, right?!

epcottopiaries

 

So yay! I’m back and I’m refreshed and I got a lot of reading done en route. What happened with y’all last week, Bookworms?

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Sep 17

Airplane Reading: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Coming of Age, Fantasy, Mystery, Young Adult Fiction 3

Hello bookworms! I’m back! I was on vacation, but you’re not supposed to say things like that on the internet, because 20/20 says that’s an invitation to burglars to, um, burgle your home. As we did not want to be burgled, I claimed to be an international super spy instead. Smoke in mirrors. (Mark it off the bucket list- I used three forms of “burgle” in two sentences.)

Jim and I went on our first “real” vacation. We went to Florida this past January, but it didn’t count because Jim had to work while we were there. THIS counted. 10 days at Walt Disney World! Don’t you dare go judging, we are simply young at heart.

I went to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party as the Cheshire Cat. The Queen of Hearts was suspicious…

The first of my three meetings with Alice. What can I say? I’m a fan!

This is one of Mary Poppins’ penguins! All time favorite movie. All time favorite animal. Mr. Penguin is preparing to give me beak kisses here.

I learned several important things on this trip. First- the concept of personal space is one that is not shared by all cultures. Second- no matter how much zumba SHOULD prepare you for walking all day, it does NOT. Bring Advil and blister bandages (I was actually prepared for this, but still. Ouch.) Third- I am still not quite ready to have my own children. The vast majority of kids were adorable, but there were enough jerky little punks to make my womb shut tight for a while still.

What does this have to do with reading? Other than my obvious obsession with Alice in Wonderland, nothing. So…Let’s talk about what I read on the plane!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs was my choice for travel reading. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting from this book, but whatever my expectations were, it certainly wasn’t what I got. Miss Peregrine combines aspects of A Wrinkle in Time, Harry Potter, and the TV show Heroes. Our protagonist Jacob is a teenage boy traumatized by witnessing the tragic death of his grandfather. He sets out to learn about his grandfather’s childhood in the orphanage he inhabited during WWII. What Jacob doesn’t realize is that his grandfather was more than just a Jewish refugee from Poland given asylum on a remote Welsh island. He was “peculiar.”

“Peculiar” people basically have super powers. Some are invisible, some can fly, some can light fires, some can resurrect the dead, and some can make things grow into elaborate tree sculptures (if teleportation is not an option for my personal super power, I wouldn’t mind having the ability to grow hedges into amusing shapes. Runner up super power acquired ). It is said that the peculiars often hid out in plain sight- as sideshow acts in circuses. That’s kind of brilliant, because as I mentioned in my post on The Night Circuseverybody expects crazy fakery in circuses.

Another trait amongst the peculiars? Some of them can see the invisible monsters that are trying to exterminate the peculiars by devouring them. Yes, the MONSTERS that want to EAT peculiar people. Are you still with me? Good.

In order to keep the peculiar  children safe, they live within time loops that allow them to hide from the monsters. A time loop is essentially the same day played over and over again- so the children never age and are hidden from the monsters. The time loops are overseen by… how do I describe this without it sounding stupid? There is no good way. The time loops and the peculiar children within them are overseen by shape shifting bird-woman nannies.

Jacob stumbles across the time loop and discovers that his grandfather was devoured by a monster, not a pack of wild dogs (a pack of wild dogs in Florida. Really? Gators are so much more glamorous.) Jacob and the peculiar children work at solving some mysteries, chaos ensues, the day is saved by a team effort of super powers. You know the drill.

It sounds a little ridiculous, but it’s actually a pretty good book. The only gripe I have is that it was left sooooo open ended. I’m a little concerned that this story won’t hold up as a series, but hey what do I know? I certainly liked it enough to check out book 2.

Also! I was apparently nominated for THREE blog awards while I was away! Thank you, thank you, thank you to Pocketful of Joules, Quirky Chrissy, and The Life of a Thinker for nominating me! The rules for accepting the award include some extra odds and ends, so it may be a while before I get around to all of it. But thank you from the bottom of my wormy little heart! 🙂

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