Finding Halloween Spirit at the Happiest Place on Earth [Gal About Town: Fashion and Travel at Your Fingertips]...

I’ve been having a hard time getting in the Halloween Spirit over the last few years, as you may have read. The idea of getting into costume seemed more like an unappealing hassle instead of something fun to do for one night a year. But having a husband whose favorite holiday is Halloween, I had to put my All Hallows Eve annoyance aside, and help him celebrate his favorite time of year. For weeks, my husband had been looking into “fun” things to do for Halloween week. Yes, a whole week of Halloween activities. You can guess my, um, enthusiasm. Our plans for the holiday slowly came together, yet our “couples costume” was still non-existent. We had parties to go to, friends to meet up with, and even tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland, but I was still completely uninspired. Then one evening, two nights before our first Halloween outing, we decided to put the movie Up! on. It’s one of our favorite movies and we can never get through the first ten minutes without crying. It even inspired us to start our own “Paradise Falls” travel fund. And it hit me, we were going to Disneyland as part of our Halloween extravaganza, we might as well go as Disney characters! Carl and Ellie were two characters we could easily relate to, and the clothing they wore when they first met was both iconic AND easy to acquire! We already owned a few of the items, and the rest only took a trip to the thrift store and a Halloween shop. And what is more comfortable to wear than a pair of overalls?! I was actually excited again to get in costume. And once it all came together, it was pretty darn adorable....

Turning Your Dream Trip into a Reality [Gal About Town: Fashion and Travel at Your Fingertips]...

The other day Ernessa posted a blog about longing for her dream trip and regrets of trips not taken. It inspired me to write this blog. My husband and I have quite the list of dream trips that we plan on taking. We’ve already taken a few (Bora Bora, a summer in Europe, and a cross country road trip) but we have an extensive list, and being that life is short, we really need to get cracking. We know we will be taking a trip this winter…and we’ve saved up enough travel points to make it happen, but where exactly? That is what we are unsure of. Christmas in the Alps? Playing with the elephants in Thailand? An Outback adventure in Oz? Or climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro? As we work on making our dream trip a reality, I wanted to share a few ideas and tips to help get you that much closer to your dreams. 1. Paradise Falls: JP and I were inspired by the Disney/Pixar movie, Up. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out on some cinematic greatness. The protagonist couple of the movie is in love with idea of travel. Their dream trip is to visit a magical place called Paradise Falls. All their lives they scrimp and save to take their dream trip, but cars break down, and roofs need replaced, and they constantly need to break their savings bank. Sadly, they never make the trip together. After JP and I watched this movie, we made a commitment to each other that we wouldn’t let this happen to us. We set up our own savings account called Paradise Falls that is separate from all of our other accounts. It exists solely to pay for our travels, and is never to be touched,...

Grown Ups at Disney World [Michael Gutenplan]

Two adults take a vacation to Disney World over a holiday weekend. While this would be a great start to a surely hilarious joke, it is the true story of my friend Julia and my true-life adventure for a fantastic, fun filled few days in Central Florida’s best-known theme park with an adorable rodent problem. It all started a few months ago when my college friend Julia emailed me about our annual trip. In the past we have met up in Pittsburgh (where we went to school) or in New York City (where she works and my family lives). This year, Julia offered a whole slew of options and at the bottom of her list was the most magical place of all – Walt Disney World. For some people, a trip to Disney would include cyanide pills, as they would without a doubt want to kill themselves rather than be stuck in the humid air, waiting on line for hours to watch animatronic children sing about what a small world it is, but for me, it was an adventure into happiness, a chance to relive my youth and be a child for a few days. So without hesitation, I agreed to Disney and started preparing to drink the proverbial Kool-Aid of the happiest place on earth! One of our main goals of this trip was to make sure that we kept it an adult vacation and Disney World seemed to have a whole world of activities and restaurants geared just for adults. In addition to the parks themselves, this resort destination has fantastic dining, great themed hotels and a whole variety of leisure activities and sports. From the research that I did, I learned that Labor Day week was actually a great time to...

The Angriest Man in the Happiest Place on Earth [California Seething]

There’s nothing particularly happy about the Anaheim train station. It’s a tiny little depot in the parking lot of Angels’ stadium with a couple of tired vending machines, concrete benches and one small ticket window. There’s also a sign on the door that reads “Station may be closed at points throughout the day for 30 minutes or more to accommodate meal breaks.” This is a significant improvement over their previous sign: “Closed whenever I’m hungry, bitch.” Of course, this is a tiny underutilized train station in Southern California, so they could probably close down long enough to roast and consume an entire pig and no one would notice or care. After all, commuting by train is only slightly more popular around here than commuting by yak – which is actually surprising, since you can take the yak in the carpool lane on the 405 – but only if the yak has a sticker. Man, I’d kill for a 2006 yak. Anyhow, after spending eight hours in the bowels of the Happiest Place on Earth, it was pretty jarring to be suddenly spat out by taxi into the joyless Amtrak ennui of the Anaheim station. I sat on the platform in a daze like a wadded up towel on the Penn State locker room floor after a Second Mile event – sopping wet and rumpled and wondering if I really just saw what I thought I saw and how the hell I’m going to tell anyone about it. I’d never been to Disneyland before, because I always just sort of took for granted that I’m the sort of person who would fucking hate Disneyland a lot. I’m not really sure why that is. I guess if I really think about it, it’s because Disneyland represents...

Summer Time, and the Livin is Nerdy [Fierce Anticipation]

Forgive me, dear readers. It has been five months since my last blogumn. There has been much speculation as to where I have been, and I will simply say NONE OF IT is true (unless you assumed I am right where you left me, in which case, yes it’s all true). I was approached to write a Fierce Anticipation this week, and despite a sinus infection of biblical proportions (did they have matzo ball soup in biblical times?), I bring it to you. I rise from the NyQuil ashes like a mythical phoenix with a stuffy beak. So kick of your shoes, throw on some Foghat, and pour yourself a mojito/margarita/Arnold Palmer/water(?). This Fierce Anticipation is all about summer time, and the living is nerdy. Fiercely Anticipating  Previously, I spoke about how here in South Florida, our changing of the seasons is about as noticeable as a mouse fart (read: not very). The one season we do notice quite well is Summer. You can best notice summer ANY TIME YOU WALK OUTSIDE when you are hit with one of two things: 1) a crushingly severe heat and humidity like being wrapped in a blanket that is both on fire and damp at the same time, or 2) a thunderstorm that rivals The Tempest, which we affectionately call “3 pm.” Despite it being hotter than the devil’s taint, summer in South Florida is something I do, oddly, enjoy. Now, I say “oddly” because, genetically speaking, I am well insulated (hairy and chubby) which does not bode well for the tropical, near equatorial summers of South Florida. I’d be bet suited for a colder, more Northern climate. Like a viking, or a bear. My summers, however, are amazing for me for several reasons (if you’ll indulge me...