Friday, October 26, 2012

Fall Snack // Dried Pears

One of my favorite things about fall is dried pears. I have always loved them and I do not like store bought ones, which is why I must dry my own pears every fall. It is so simple and the yummiest snack. Dried pears are much sweeter than apples (which is probably why I like them so ddaaang much).

Using a small paring knife (or whatever knife you prefer) you first cut the skin off your pears. Then slice the pears in thin 1cm thick slices. Place the slices on your dehydrator racks. Dry 6-8 hours or whatever your dehydrator's directions say for pears/fruit.

My Tips:
  • Use as much of the pear as you can. I literally have the thinnest core of the pear left. Even the smallest pieces still dry to be yummy dried pears! 
  • I cut and put my pears on the dehydrator right before bed, then I wake up and they are done. I then cut more in the morning and leave them there all day. Repeat.
  • I bought my Nesco American Harvest Snackmaster Encore Dehydrator and Jerky Maker from Bed, Bath, and Beyond

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Haunting Dance Moves

We went to our annual Thriller Dance Show put on by Odyssey Dance Company, with Matson's sister and her hubby along with some of their fun friends. I love Thriller and it really brings out the halloween spirit in me. We really enjoy it. Definitely take advantage of the buy one ticket, get one free (for all students--don't forget your ID cards).

Dinner at the Pie

Read about our Thriller date last year here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Facing My Fears at Six Flags

Our last day in California was all about Six Flags Magic Mountain which is known for all its coasters. This does not mix well with me. I am much more of a Disney person, I love Screamin' over California at California Adventure, but a ride where you feel like your body has no control is no bueno. I am so afraid of roller coasters.

Most people who have a fear do not like to touch those fears with a ten foot pole. When was the last time you saw someone with a fear of spiders put a tarantula on their hand and be totally ok with it? I am the exact same way, so when we all discussed Six Flags I thought, "Oh H to the L no! I will not be going on any of those roller coasters. I'll just watch and take pictures like a little mommy." We arrived right when it opened and it was not busy at all. We walked right onto our first ride Tatsu. (Tip: We got to the park right when it opened on a Friday in October and were done with ALL the rides by 4pm, which was when it started to get busy due to people getting off work and school). We got on. I sat between my brother and Matson. They both told me this was probably the scariest ride besides X2 the mother of all roller coasters and I literally could not believe I was strapping myself into this mess. WHAT AM I DOING!?

We started climbing up, we got going and I won't lie, I am putting this all out here for you people -  instantly there were tears falling down my cheek. Who am I? A 2 year old little girl? I felt like an idiot for it but more than anything I was scared out of my pants so I didn't really care that I was crying. My hair was flying around, small tears were raining off my face and all while the two beside me were screaming out of excitement. I closed my eyes and waited for the dumb coaster to be done.

However, halfway through the ride I opened my eyes a little bit and my tears had flown away a loop ago. It wasn't half bad! I walked off not feeling totally great, but it wasn't completely horrible. I faced my fear and I would say I conquered it. I went on all the roller coasters all right after each other since there were no lines. I was nervous but I just did them. Since we were going and going and going on these with no wait, I really started feeling sick after Goliath (probably our 10th or more coaster), which I blacked out on.

I only have this one really bad lighted picture off my brother's phone of N* and I from Six Flags because I didn't want to bring a bag on all the coasters and worry about my phone flying out of my pocket.
I ended my day of coasters after going on the first loop roller coaster in America, Revolution. That one was just old-fashion shaky that more played with my bladder than my excitement. I waited while they went on X2 a couple of times. Then everyone was feeling sick and a little tired due to the constant roller coastering I know it's not a word, so we bounced after going on all the rides.

Ride Ratings:
Most Unsafe: Colossus - They run it backwards during the Halloween season. We sat in the back, so we couldn't see anyone else behind us and seriously I thought we were going to fall off the track. It was intense going backgrounds on this huge wooden roller coaster and not knowing what was coming.
Least Scariest Yet Still Thrilling (At least for the roller coaster handicapped): BATMAN The Ride
Highest Thrill: Tatsu - I didn't go on X2 though. You ride laying down pretty much - like flying.
Most Likely to Get You Sick: Goliath - Due to the G-Forces I seriously saw multiple big black dots.
Craziest: The Green Lantern - This is a vertical roller coaster. A very cool concept that I had never even seen and it was very intense. Go look it up on YouTube or something.

Monday, October 22, 2012

You are NEVER too old for Disneyland

We walked into Disneyland before it was opened. We snapped the classic Disneyland pictures in the front of the park then headed straight to Tomorrowland.

While the boys grabbed a fast pass for Space Mountain, we got in the growing long line of Autopia. For some reason this line always gets really long throughout the day. We went there first and still waited a good 15 minutes, which was probably due to the gas go-kart cars breaking down every so often.

We went on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. I beat Matson...I know, I am a video game baller. We also went on Space Mountain, which they changed for Halloween by adding these little red ghost like creatures. Not my favorite add in, but it was still good. I'd just prefer the original.

Me working Matson in Astro Blasters.
I was obviously taking it very seriously.
All of us waiting in line at Space Mountain

We pretty much went on almost every ride and went everywhere, we even went to Toon Town and I don't think I had been there for since I was a youngin'.

We even made it to the petting zoo. Matson's first visit here.
He thought the goats were quite funny.
Food - Pretty much our whole Disneyland day was surrounded around food. When we would eat, what we would eat, what snacks we wanted, what rides we would go on because that was by a certain food place...yeah, that's how you know you are a chubby. Planning every piece of food you're going to put in your mouth.

Cafe Orleans - We were all starving so we stopped and ate in New Orleans Square (near Haunted Mansion) for lunch at Cafe Orleans. We had a super good experience eating here and left satisfied. Matson got the Monte Cristo sandwich, I got the Mac N Cheese (not on the menu for adults, but it is so good and you just gotta ask for it since it is only on the Children's Menu), and we got 2 baskets of the pomme fries. MISTAKE. We could barely finish one basket because the meals were large but OH MAMA they were good. Fries tossed in parmesan, garlic, and parsley! Cafe Orleans is more expensive than other places in the park, but you get a full meal that fills you up which is worth the money rather than paying for a not so good pizza in Tomorrowland.

The popular Monte Cristo Sandwich. Soft fried bread around ham, turkey, and cheese and served with a berry dipping sauce and fruit. Matson loved this sandwich, although it was a little too bready.
I am a huge mac n cheese lover. This one was good and fresh.
I loved that it was served with fruit and veggies...adds in some nutrition!
The dip it is served with is deliciously addictive.
Tiki Juice Bar by Dole - You can't go to Disneyland without having a Dole Whip. Seriously, so yummy. Even though the line is rather long (we waited in the second sneaky line inside the tiki room entrance/waiting area, that was long too), it is so worth and very refreshing. We were in line for about 20 minutes in early October...just to give you a little idea of how long it takes.

We shared the Dole Whip Float. The pineapple soft serve on top of the pineapple juice. 
Corn Dog Truck on Main Street - We ended our time in Disneyland with a corn dog from the red corn dog truck right off main street. for a somewhat sort of/kind of dinner (we shared since our lunch and dole whip filled us up so much). We just had to. They are not your usually corn dog. They are so fresh and so delicious. We just got the corn dog, even though the menu only has the option of ordering it with chips or apples and a drink. You can just get the corn dog.

We gobbled this thing right up, I barely got a picture. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

California Adventure

Besides Cars Land, we did a lot of other things in California Adventure. Like...

1. Matson went on Toy Story Mania for the first time. And he loved it because he beat me.

2. We went on the new Little Mermaid ride. Haunted Mansion style with the forever circling carts, but the ride was actually really good! New favorite princess ride!

3. We made T*, who does not like ferris wheels, go on the sliding ferris wheel.

4. I got a little clammy and nervous all over again for Tower of Terror (click on the picture below). I just have no idea when it's going to drop! Most thrilling/scariest ride ever but I kind of like it when I look back on it.
CLICK ON THIS to make it bigger FOR A LAUGH.
Me and curly hair lady in the front win for most scared. Haha.
N* pointing to the camera is pretty great too.
5. We went on Screamin' a couple of times. Such a good CLASSIC roller coaster.

Please just look at the asians in front of us. I love it!
. And of course, The World of Color. They have redone the show since I last saw it and Matson got to see it for the first time. It is such a Matson thing so I was just as or more excited for him to see it!

Matson loved it and seriously we have soooo many pictures of colorful water on our computer now, thanks to him. We left World of Color just so happy and in the Disney mood.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Disney's Cars Land

Our first day in California we headed to California Adventure. We waited in the front of the park for the park to open, while my brothers waited in the Fast Pass line for the new Radiator Springs Racers Ride in Cars Land.

Our plan of attack was to head to Cars Land before it got too busy. Since it is a new part of the park we used our speed walking skills to the max. Overall the best thing about Cars Land is the amazing details. It looks just like Radiator Springs in the Cars movie. Disney did it again, everything is perfectly themed - from the amazingly painted rock features to the all things come in a cone food at the Cozy Cone Motel.

1. We went straight to the line for Luigi's Tires. It is a slower moving line since there are only a couple of people that can ride at a time. Yet, we went there first so it was only a 5 minute wait. It is sort of like bumper cars, yet you are floating on air. Not the most thrilling ride, yet a very cool concept.

2. We had a couple hours until our Racers fast pass, so we left Cars Land for a while to go around the rest of the park.

3. We came back right before our fast pass time to try the delicious food at the Cozy Cone Motel cones. 

The Chili Con Queso. Total man food. My one bite he would let me try was good.
The soft bread shell it was in was good and fresh. 
Red's Apple Freeze. The passion fruit foam was not my favorite,
but overall a yummy, refreshing drink!
4. Radiator Springs Racers lived up to all the hype! It was such a great mix of a ride. You get the story in really great graphics and detail (you feel like you are driving around with Lightning McQueen and everybody) AND you get a fast thrilling roller coaster-like feel too!  Even though we had a fast pass, we waited in line to go on it a second time. Well worth it!

Waiting for the ride to start.
Ride pictures are the best. You all know you love my hair in the front middle.
5. At night, we came back to Cars Land to see it lit up. It really was a cool, different feel. Definitely worth going back at night.

6. While there at night we went on Mater's Junkyard Jamboree. The line moved very quickly since there are two tracks they are feeding people onto. I thought this would be a total kids ride, but it was seriously so much fun! I was laughing the whole time while getting swung back and forth!  

Matson and my brothers waiting in the line.
Matson on the ride
Cars Land was a hit including the rides, the food, and the atmosphere. It would be even more of a hit for a child who lovvvvess Cars the movie.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

More Bounce in California

We went to California for a couple of days at the beginning of October. We had some free miles from our trip to Cancun last year that we needed to use so we went with T* and N* to meet up with my brother who lives in California. It was a fun trip. We went to Disneyland, California Adventure, and Six Flags Magic Mountain.

We arrived at Long Beach and headed to Fashion Island for some fun and dinner. I seriously wouldn't have minded if we just spending our whole vacation there...Matson and our credit card bills would have to disagree. It literally is a fashion island of paradise. So many shops. I gotta go there with my mom and sister sometime. We'd have a hay day. 

Anyway...we ate at R+D Kitchen for dinner. They have a small menu and I would say it was about $15-$20 per person. YET, the food was really good and I got a burger (which never happens, that's usually Matson's role) that was dayyy-yum good and HUUuuuuge. Let's just say my brother ate my other half for me. Matson ordered the french dip and loved it even more than the burger I ordered. The hand-cut fries were also pretty good.

My Big Burger. My mouth could barely fit that in it...and that's saying something.

After dinner we shopped around a little. Then headed to our hotel to just relax and get some sleep for our next full day of Disney fun! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Belated Birthday

It's been crazy busy for us over here. We have been to California, enjoyed General Conference, and been super focused on school these last two weeks. A little over two weeks ago was my birthday on the 29th of September. It was a fun one! We started my birthday out by opening the infamous Grandma Doris Package. It did not disappoint this year. Laughter arrives as soon as I rip open the box.

This red suit is a geeem.

This note was on top: "To the first girl [I was her first granddaughter] who will be giving me my first great grandchild!" I hate to disappoint you Grandma, but T* (my brother and his wife) may beat me to it. Ha ha. Read about another great Grandma Birthday gift here.

My family met up with us at Provo Beach Resort to do some indoor surfing. I hadn't done it in a while and it was so much fun! We made my dad do it by paying for him before he even arrived, so he had to it. He was worried he was going to get hurt (biggest excuse). I am happy to report he was not hurt and surfed his first try and was surprisingly good for a 50 year old. At least he came, my mom would only watch and didn't even come in a swimsuit. I conquered the barrel roll on a boogie board and after we all ended our session, my mom kept telling us that she could do it better than us. Psshhh.
Matson surfing
Dad knee boardin'
N* just boogie boarding
Having a blast boogie boarding! I really was laughing and having so much fun! 
For dinner, we all met up again at Macaroni Grill. I was seriously craving their Macaroni Cheese and so was Matson and N* too apparently.

Matson has closed eyes, of course. Read about Matson's Closed Eyes in Photographs Disorder here
I got spoiled on my birthday and got some great gifts! We ended the night by seeing the hilariously entertaining Pitch Perfect movie. "I sometimes have the feeling that I should do crystal meth, then I think hmm...better not."

Throughout my birthday and days after I was finding cute little notes like these all over. Thanks to sweet Matson! He was so fun and treated me like a queen...he even cleaned the whole house for me on the morning of my birthday! SAY WHAT!?

My in-laws spoiled me too with a homemade meal, my favorite eggless chocolate cake, and some special gifts! Oh and cuddle time with my little nephew was the perfect ending to my birthday.