Back from Disney!

So we got back from Disney/Universal/Orlando yesterday. Although it was fun, it was a very long and draining weekend. We didn’t get quite enough sleep before driving out Saturday morning. After arriving a little earlier than anticipated, we checked into Port Orleans French Quarter (very pretty and the grounds reminded my boyfriend of Hofstra), and headed over to Epcot for the International Food and Wine Festival. I’m glad we perused the menus online before we went so we were prepared with what we wanted to try and which stands we wanted to avoid. We did sit down for a table service lunch, which although tasted good, we regretted getting. We only went to use cast member coupons that expired at the end of the weekend. That’s what happens when you forget about them for most of the year.

After wondering around, we got tired of the crowds and decided to hit up two of our favorite attractions, Living with the Land and Spaceship Earth (the golf ball), before heading back early. Initially I had wanted to stay late enough to see Illuminations, but we were tired and I can see them a different visit. We did purchase some Food and Wine ears before heading back though! My boyfriend very need to model them. Almost too real, yeah?

Oct 25, 2014- Kass F+W ears

Sunday I worked. It was really nice seeing a bunch of my old coworkers again and back making magic. As usual, I got out late which wouldn’t have been terrible, except I had only been scheduled long enough for a 15 min break, but not for a 45. Therefore no lunch for me. I did grab a protein bar and some chocolate which held me over decently well though.

After work we took the boat down to Downtown Disney and got dinner at Ragland Road. We managed to get a table outside, had some really great food and saw a good Irish rock/cover band. Some of the covers they did were wicked awesome. We tried to get some shopping done but between the chaos of the crowds and how drained I was from work, we decided to head back early. I did get some post cards I’m going to mail out to some old roommates and a new antenna topper for me (my old one broke). At the hotel I picked out some ornaments that I had been eyeing and finally got them. I know ornaments aren’t very Jewish but growing up, I did an American Christmas (my dad and his family aren’t Jewish) and my boyfriend and I plan on doing the same.

Monday we checked out, hit up Starbucks, and headed over to Universal. We played on some Dr. Seuss rides, went to Hogwarts, and wondered around Diagon Alley before getting lunch and heading home.

As much as I love heading back to Orlando and working Disney, I was so drained by the end of it, I couldn’t get to enjoy my trip as much as I wanted to. Having to go back to work for 6am today certainly didn’t help.

Still miss Disney every day though. Don’t miss the craziness of it sometimes though.

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Just a Life Update

Just a life update.

Finally got Kass’ car looked at. No major maintenance (yet) which I am majorly surprised at, but at least it got it’s first oil change in 20,000 miles! Finally.

I also got a pedicure- totally needed. Normally I do a basic package or only add on the nail art, but today I treated myself to the next package up, which included a sea-salt scrub/better massage. After working on my feet all the time, it felt really nice. It was my first time at this nail salon, and overall it wasn’t a bad experience. It was just very mediocre. I mean the pedicure felt great and I think she did a good job, but a lot of people, when not working on customers, were hanging out and sitting in the pedicure chairs, putting their feet up etc. I get it’s nice to relax and everything, but by doing that you’re not keeping the place sanitary for customers. I doubt I’ll go back, but at least it was better than the last place, where the girl kept rushing through everything and even got wax on the side of my face when she was doing my eyebrows.

We’re finally headed to Disney this weekend! So after today I probably won’t post anything until we get back. Saturday, when we get there, we’re going to hit up Food and Wine. Sunday I’m working and then we’ll probably hang out in Downtown Disney or at the resort. Monday we’re heading home, but not before we hit up Universal and the new Diagon Alley! Very excited and can’t wait.

So have a magical weekend everyone! Can’t wait to tell you all about it when we get back!

Starbucks Etiquette aka Be Nice to Your Barista

Be nice to your barista.

Don’t get mad at us when we ask you to repeat something. It is loud behind the counter, so please be loud enough so we can hear you over the blender, coffee grinder, oven, and air conditioning. We’re asking you to repeat it because we don’t want to get your name or order wrong.

Don’t throw money at us and walk away. That’s just rude, and you won’t get your change that way.

Please get off your phone when you make your order. It’s rude to both us and whomever you’re talking to. And the transaction will typically take twice as long because you’re not paying attention to the questions we’re asking.

If you’re drink is taking a while, there are usually two culprits: lots of drinks before yours and/ord it’s a frappuccino. Frappuccinos (and smoothies to be honest) take twice as long as any other drink because they involve a blender. And if you got a frappuccino or someone else did, it will slow the process down. Sorry. We complete drinks in the order that they’re taken/placed on the bar. That way we maintain the “first come first serve” pattern. We do our best to at least.

Don’t complain just to get free stuff. If something is wrong we will fix it ASAP (if it is within our power to fix it, if not we’ll find our supervisor/manager). But give us the chance to fix it. Don’t just immediately ask for a district card to complain or ask for a recovery certificate. We want your experience to be positive, so give us the chance to turn it around. If you really want free stuff that badly, join our rewards program. The more you shop the more you earn. Or just make your coffee at home if you hate us that much.

All we ask is that you be a little understanding. We’re human to, and we’re not out to get you. We want to get your order right and we’re sorry when we don’t. And if we run out of product, please don’t get mad at the barista. Baristas usually have no control on how much product is in the store, if it’s defrosted or not etc. It’s fine and understandable to be upset and disappointed but please don’t take it out on us.

And now for a personal pet peeve: it’s not Halloween yet, don’t start asking about drink that won’t come out until after Thanksgiving. I don’t care how much you love them, they’re not out yet for a reason. It’s not on the menu or signage for a reason. If it’s a seasonal beverage, you will know when it comes out, I promise. In the mean time, hang tight and get something else instead.

But all of this wraps up in be nice to your barista. We work long shifts, get up early, work late, and run around for our guests like you. A little thanks, appreciation, and understanding goes a long way.

Art Show!

LAST FRIDAY NIGHT Kass and I went to our friend Jon’s art show down in the Wynwood Wearhouse Project! He was one of several featured artists in the show. There was (really loud) music, tons of art, food, and chocolate! Totally had fun. Mostly just walked around and looked at pretty pictures. Out of respect for the artists, I didn’t take pictures, but there was a lot of cool stuff in the show, including some skull-based work Jon did/does, trees/nature pictures, melted crayon art, pencil sketches, and and iconic landscapes. They had several live bands, and since Yoo-hoo and Redbull helped sponsor (I think?) they had free samples and the Yoo-Hoo bunny. An Ecuador-based organic chocolate company was there too. Such good chocolate ohhhh man. Loved their stuff.

Either way, check out my friend Jon’s work here so that way you can get an idea of what some of the show was like.

Have fun all!

LANTERN FESTIVAL

Saturday was Morikami’s Lantern Festival! Which was lots of fun.

First of all, there was an accident on I-95 which delayed us immensely, in our attempt to go around it, which caused us to miss the members-only hour from 2-3pm, which we were trying to get there for. Oh well. We got there just after 3, so parking wasn’t too terrible yet.

Once we were finally inside, we decided to walk around and explore a little bit before it got too crazy. We “did the circle,” or rather walk around the garden, making our way back to the food and shops. They were selling crafts, tea, and bonsai. We could also purchase lanterns to float out on the lake later that night or tanzaku slips in memory of a loved one. We decided not to this year but we might next year. In the main fair grounds, they had the vendors, and they had games/activities set up for children to play. All very cute of course. Lanterns were strung up along the main walking paths and all in all, the atmosphere was done well.

It wouldn’t be a festival without entertainment, which they totally had. There were two main performance companies that did sets throughout the day: the Chitose Kai Japanese Folk-Dancing School/Company and Fushu Daiko, Japanese Taiko Drummers. The folk dancing was very pretty, but honestly, Fushu Daiko is freaking awesome. Man, I love Taiko drumming. We caught both of them for their first and last sets, and it was totally worth it, especially the drumming. Kass said that really made the festival for him.

They also had (mostly) Japanese food catered. Cornell Cafe, the main museum restaurant, catered food up by the museum proper and I think a BBQ catering company did the food down by the grounds. They were the ones who did our ramen, which was over-cooked and heavily-spiced. I was alright with it, or at least not letting it bother me too much. Kass on the other hand was very upset. There was also a sweet shop where we got mochi, the very first mochi I’ve actually liked too. The guava one was amazing. I dropped the mango flavored one so we went back and bought a second set. Kass also picked up some cold sake. It was alright. Later on we got dumplings from the Cafe, which were decent, but not up to their usual standards. Hazards of cooking in bulk, I guess. But seriously, Cornell Cafe is critically acclaimed (might be award winning??) and one of the best museum cafes/restaurants in the nation on a normal days, so GO EAT THERE ON A NORMAL DAY AND DO NOT JUDGE THEM BY FESTIVAL FOOD. Seriously, they’re normally awesome.

Most of the time we walked around, hung out, and tried not to get aggravated by the crowds. The problem is that normally when we go to Morikami, there are very few people there and we’re able to relax and escape for a bit. It’s kind of impossible to do that during festivals though.

After the last Taiko set, or maybe during their finale, they launched the lanterns from barges in the center of the lake. It was very pretty, even if they weren’t moving very fast. A couple did catch on fire though. Eh, no big deal. They capped the night off with a very pretty fireworks display, which Kass and I lucked out on with our spot. We watched from the other side of the park, through a perfectly located gap in the trees.

We even managed to make it quickly and safely to our car, and make it out with relative ease. Even if the food wasn’t up to our scratch, we had a wonderful time.

Fushu Daiko even has a dojo nearby and I’m thinking about signing up for classes. They’re not terribly expensive, and they even offer a trial lesson for wicked cheap. I’m going to wait a little bit before signing up though, just so we can straighten out our finances a little bit so we can allocate money appropriately.

If we saw you there, hope you had an awesome time. If not, feel free to browse my pictures, located below, and live vicariously through us.

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Fridge Purge! And Organizing Said Fridge

My boyfriend and I had a history of forgetting what we have in the fridge and then letting things go bad because we forgot it was there. So, today we purged our fridge of everything that was going bad and stocked up on a bunch of stuff at BJs. In order to keep track of what’s in the fridge to prevent waste, we bought a set of acrylic sheets from Home Depot.

LIFE HACK: Acrylic is usually cheaper than it’s equivalent sized white board. So we put two pieces up using little pieces of 3M Command Strips, one was 8″x10″, for our freezer list, and the other was 11″x14″ which we use to keep track of what’s in the fridge.

Just because I was in a rush, basically everything is written in black. We plan on developing a color system at some point so that we can just visually tell what is in there categorically. Like green for vegetables, red for meat, yellow for dairy etc. Haven’t made it that far but it’s a good start.

Maybe this can help you too!

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Origami Day 2

I was bored playing World of Warcraft so I did a little more origami…or rather tried. I tried to make two different kinds of boxes but they didn’t come out very well. Truth be told, I didn’t even finish them because I was confused by the directions. I made a lantern. Well, it looks like one, but doesn’t stand up or look very pretty.

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I did make a grade school fortune teller from memory, so I guess that’s pretty cool.

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Hope you too do something creative on your day(s) off!