WIIJ

what is it jess

Snowball 2015

Christian and Jess at the Snowball
posted by Jessica Shortt

Luck is a favorable thing out of an uncertainty

If you have this idea of who you should be and who you want to be, get there by whatever means you can.

I read an article where someone said something along those lines. It really stuck with me. The guy was talking about achieving his dreams and getting to be a great developer, but that meant working two jobs to get through school and if you really wanted it that badly, you would have to do it however you had to, and that included taking a menial job or two.

I went crawling back to Pete's begging for my job back. Well, I walked in and we greeted each other with smiles. My old manager was really happy to see me and everything and it turns out I can work full time because I can't currently go to school. I resisted the urge to get a cup of Davids Tea on the way home because I have a plethora of it in the cupboard and I just made myself some of the Organic Blueberry Jam and researched black pants and chukkas.

I am once again a wage slave. Except this time 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. It's not terrible, but I'm not going to complain. A job is a job right now. Cashiering came back really easily, and I slipped into my routine before I even realized what was happening. The only things I know are going to bug me is that I have to stand in one place constantly and I can't get up and go to a coffee shop and get a latte and I can't even drink tea (which is essentially hot flavoured water, right?!) and I can't look at my phone. Desk jobs are awesome. My back also kind of hurts.

I've been an awful person the last couple of months. My ambition to be a freelance developer in Halifax fizzled out quickly and dried up and prospective jobs I had coming out of that job were non-existent. I've been down in an incredible slump that has caused me to be incredibly and unprecedentedly stressed alongside being apathetic and angry and mean and unable to bring myself to work on personal projects and it's been hard to have the energy to do anything. I've been short tempered and tired and I really don't want to be this way ever again.

Christian has been telling me repeatedly and reassuringly that I'm going to look back on these days someday after getting out of it and think about how it made me a stronger person and how glad I am to not be in this struggle anymore. He may be right, I just couldn't see it even a couple days ago.

The weird thing is, when I went in to Pete's to talk about getting my job back, I got a lot of other stuff coming in that day, like a contract front end dev opportunity and working on a slide deck again and things might finally be looking up.

I'm looking forward to being rid of this particular kind of stress, which is a hard kind of stress because I know I could be making a lot of money and I could just walk down the street and catch a web developer job if I weren't living in Halifax. There's no wonder that all the developers are leaving here. It's also good to be out of this slump because apparently extreme stress can cause your hormones to go wonky and make you crave sugars and retain fat, which is exactly the opposite of what I want right now.

posted by Jessica Shortt

Updates & General Life Things

It's been a little slow. Nothing has been happening, except I got a call from Build-a-Bear to work part-time. 3-8 hours a week, and it would be a group interview. Uh, no thanks. It would be 80 minutes on on the bus total to work 3 hours so that doesn't sound very fun at all. It does give me a little hope though that I may actually find a job.

We've been going steady at the gym three days a week, not missing any days or anything! Christian and I have also started going to yoga on Thursdays, which is a lot of fun and free with the Dalplex membership!! I got us two yoga mats and crocheted some straps so we can carry them to class and the mats are really thick and beautiful. It's so great despite having to trek through all the miserable snow.

Last Friday I set a personal record on my squat. Something I've been hoping for for a while, and I knew it would happen that day. I got form and breathing down and I was ready for it, I even woke up every day that week wondering if it was squat day yet.

I squatted a plate on each side, which totals up to a 135 pound squat! Maybe, hopefully, in a few weeks I'll be squatting myself!

I also managed to stand up holding the same amount in my deadlift, not a personal record but still, I'm getting back up there. :)

The gym has been a big part of what I do and I look forward to it a lot. It's kind of the only place where I feel like I'm making any sort of headway. Christian and I even went during that blizzard on Monday, trekking through a wall of snow. It was interesting.

Another thing I'm growing increaingly proud of is mine and Christian's tea shelf. It's getting really nice and I'm loving drinking tea without sugar or milk. I never knew tea could be so flavourful as someone coming from a strictly orange pekoe background. I've even got a slight grasp on making tea lattes the easy way so I've been making myself soy milk chai tea lattes!

My favourite right now is a white tea called Mango Madness from Davids Tea and it is amazing. I can't get enough of it, so much that I had to go back and get a tin.

I also love how colourful the leaves are in a lot of them! This is Pink Flamingo

Friday night, Christian and I went to the hill nearby and went sledding. The hill was almost empty except for a Dad and his kid. We wiped out a lot, went over some jumps we're almost too old for and Christian got new rubber boots (finally, he wore shoes on a flooded sidewalk walking to yoga Thursday). Afterwards we went and got hot chocolate with whipped cream at our favourite local coffee shop and it was to die for. If you're ever in Halifax, Uncommon Grounds is the place to go.

On Saturday we went to look at yet another house for next September. It's crazy to think that we're already looking for places for seven months from now. It's also frustrating. This one was gorgeous, but had some serious downsides that could become a problem later on (like paying for heating. They said that the people next door in the duplex paid $700 for heat last month!)

Other than that, things may be looking up. I've got some leads on potential jobs and some great friends helping me out with the job search. I don't want to get ahead of myself, because it could be a huge disappointment, but it seems I'm at the lowest I've ever been in terms of life and getting myself through it.

posted by Jessica Shortt

Welcome to 2015

2014 is gone. I had a really fantastic Christmas break (it went by waaay too fast) and we're into a new year. Lots of good movies come out this year, which is pretty exciting. I have plans for a good year, like going to California and getting back into school, which is also something to look forward to, if I can stop stressing about everything.

Also, in a couple days it'll be mine and Christian's two year anniversary. Crazy how time flies. <3

And, as everyone does, I've made a couple resolutions — hopefully ones I can keep up. Basically some things that I've been wanting to do, but since it's the new year and these are things that mean a lot to me, I figured it might be a nice fresh start for the year. They're mostly resolutions that everyone makes at the end of the year and give up over the span of a couple weeks, but they're ones I want to keep doing for longer than 2015.

  • I had given little thought to my calorie intake as of late, because my thoughts were on other things. I've been drinking lattes, sometimes two or three a day, eating way more than I should, taking in a lot of sugar from my marathon teas, enjoying lots of burgers and pizza and cookies and I'm very not happy with how I look currently. I'm starting back on eating healthier to feel better. I also got a perfect tea mug from Davids Tea for Christmas, so I'm expanding my tea tastes! Ones without milk or sugar.
  • I'd stopped going to the gym before our road trip this summer, which I think also spawned the eating thing. I want to go back, and be consistent about it. I loved how I felt while I was going and almost getting up to my body weight in lifting things. I'm starting Monday!
  • I want to start writing again. I feel it's an integral part fo me, something I've been doing for a lot of years sometimes as a coping mechanism and also as a form of funneling my creativity into something. I've been wanting to get back into it for a while, I just needed to understand that it doesn't even have to be good writing, I just have to write every day. Which I am trying to do.

Simple things. Ones that will make a big difference in my general well-being and feel goods and longevity. Also I'm excited to share pictures when I finally get visible abs.

I rang in the new year with my bestest friends. I dressed up and was a pretty girl. We played beer pong, with random-made teams (we also made signs for them), talked about our year and favourite memories and resolutions and even had a snack counter. We went and saw the fireworks at parade square to ring in 2015.

To 2015! May it be a better year than last for everyone.

posted by Jessica Shortt

December Again

It's that time of year again, the apparently most wonderful time of the year. Christmas has always been a weird holiday for me.

The past month has been interesting, for lack of a better word. The job I was excited about going into, being the designer and web developer started spiralling downwards. I found out I wasn't the only unhappy one at my work and it ended with the entire development team giving their two weeks on one phone call. One and a half days into my two weeks she dismissed me. I've been looking for freelance work and keep being told I'm not "experienced enough" or "given my education...", I keep losing jobs. I'm also trying to get back to school and pay off my summer semester because student loans won't help me out and my computer died and it would cost more than the computer was worth to fix it and I had to get a new one it's just been a stressful month where I'm eating more than I should because I just want something to do with my hands and face. I've also been marathon drinking tea again where I had stopped for a while. Not even good tea, orange pekoe with a lot of brown sugar and milk. I'm talking like, six cups a day mostly for the sugar.

I picked up crocheting again after a really long hiatus, making a couple of cute little dolls (called amigurumis), including an octopus and a duck (which I've yet to finish). I made myself a hat, a scarf and some other odd things including a hat for Christian, trying to get good at it. It's very comforting in its monotony.

Octopus

I had started making myself a blanket when Faren asked me to make a couple more amigurumis. Ironman, Batman, Superman and Spiderman for her cousin for Christmas. They turned out okay and I marathoned Pretty Little Liars while I did, but ended up staying up the entire night before I left Halifax finishing it. By 9AM, nothing felt like reality anymore and I was dizzy. Three of my fingers are still actually pretty numb and dry and peeling and I have no urge to crochet again anytime soon. I made the crocheted things including the bodies and arms and legs and capes/ears for Batman and let Faren go nuts with constructing them, mostly because I ran out of time, but also so she could say she made them! It was a lot of trial and error, and some are different shapes (see silly looking Ironman), but I learned a lot and did all of them without a pattern!

amigurumi dolls

But this Christmas, I wasn't really looking forward to anything, in fact, I was vehemently against getting into the holiday spirit because I was a little scared of what trying to enjoy it may bring, but Christian and his family invited me home with them and these days have been some of the most relaxing and stress-free days I've had in a really long time, it feels really fantastic. I can't believe Christmas came so quickly though. But I don't have to spend three weeks away from Christian!

Today Christian and I went for a walk in his hometown to a cafe and had breakfast and special eggnog lattes that looked like this:

eggnog latte

Tonight we started a puzzle and watched a movie and had ice cream in our jammies with Christian's family and it was really awesome. So I guess I can wish you all happy holidays!

posted by Jessica Shortt

Happy Birthday WIIJ!

One year ago today, I purchased the domain for whatisitjess.com, not knowing exactly what I wanted. After writing down possible names for a blog, I decided to purchase this one "just in case someone else bought it before me" and now I'm stuck with it. I've even thought about rebranding, coming up with a cooler name, to no avail. Christian says the name is fine and I guess at this point, it is. What is it, Jess? I still don't know if I know.

The last year has been full of firsts and fun and flying and all that good stuff. From Toronto back to Halifax and down to California. I picked up crocheting, forgot about it and picked it back up again, went to an IKEA for the first time, experienced the coldest winter Toronto has had in years, saw two different red pandas, didn't get a job at Apple after lots of interviewing, couldn't go back to school for a semester, worked, had a lot of stress but also a lot of happiness, I also went on an epic roadtrip and saw so many things on my bucket list. It's been something, one of the best years of my life and I can't imagine it any other way. I like having this blog because (hi mom) I get to look back on it and read through it and remember, I'm excited for what the next year will bring and I'm going to continue documenting it and having fun. Wait and see what is going to happen next. :)

I also know I haven't been posting much lately, but that's because nothing's reeeally been happening. And my computer died and I had to get a new one, and I lost all the files for this blog. And actually nothing's been happening. But I'm working on it, stick around pls.

Cheers!

posted by Jessica Shortt

A Spooky LazyTown Halloween Post

As many of you know, Halloween happens to be my favorite holiday. Well, I'm not actually sure if it's a holiday, but it's my favorite event of the year, even better than my birthday or Christmas. The past couple of years I've been trying to have the most fun with it I can by making my own costumes, which is a blast.

I may be compensating for when it really mattered as a kid to dress up. I kind of copped out. When I started going trick or treating with my high school friends, I just was way toooooo cool to spend time on a costume (they most likely would have made fun of me for actually trying on a costume anyway). One year I went out as Captain Underpants by wearing pyjama shorts and a red cape. It was sad, and I really don't care to look back on it.

I mean, I don't even care about the candy. It's all about dressing up and having fun. Two years ago I made a Harley Quinn costume completely from scratch, buying the material and sewing it together. By hand. Maybe soon I'll get a sewing machine and I can do better because I know I could have done better with that one if it wasn't all hand sewing labour.

Last year was kind of disappointing because I dressed up as Kim Possible and missed the fun and no one seemed interested in doing Halloween. Christian and I tried going to the Halloween geek beer but showed up late and couldn't get in, so we just went to get gelato and went home and I took off my costume and cried a little.

This year for whatever reason I got it in my head that I wanted to be the girl from lazy town after becoming obsessed with this song.

I'm not even sure why. I usually go for redheaded characters like Poison Ivy or Anna. I was still excited this year because everyone was in the house and also excited about dressing up. But I was a real adult and working this year, I was a little scared of my day being ruined. I was thinking I got off at maybe five or six, got home and dressed up way too late for my liking because it seems everyone at my work hates Halloween. Not fun. Who hates Halloween?

The company I work for is launching in Toronto soon and half of our office is gone there, we had to finish a page starting a couple Fridays ago and if it was perfect by the following Monday, we were promised Halloween off. We managed to finish it, I stayed until seven working on it and we managed to pull it off by Saturday. Halloween off!! I was so excited that I just get to be in my costume all day and loving life and sitting around and sleeping in and being ready for the party to follow.

When I woke up at noon on Friday with Christian, he asked if I wanted to go get breakfast at our new favourite breakfast place. It's on Hollis street and it's called PG Cafe. They do all day breakfast and it's so cheap and so good and it's local!! Would suggest for anyone wanting to try new restaurant options because the owners are really nice and everything.

The previous evening, Halloween eve, Christian and I went to find a pumpkin to carve, because it's one of our favourite parts of the Halloween holiday season. It seems we waited too long to find something to carve and the three stores we tried to get a pumpkin from had sold out. People get crazy about pumpkins.

I had a meeting to go to late afternoon on Halloween day, so I wasn't able to get dressed up until around six. But when I did, boy did I ever. Faren so graciously did my makeup for me, and we even tried to put fake eyelashes on me. That didn't work out. But my makeup looked pretty rad anyway.

So, my costume was a while in the making. I wanted to start with a base white dress and dye and then paint it to my liking. I ordered a cheap dress off the forever 21 website, because finding anything in the store is a nightmare. Then I ended up sending it to the wrong address and by the time they opened so I could call them, they said they were already printing off shipping labels so I couldn't change the address. I don't see how it would be so hard to do something like that. So I had to cancel that order. I ended up making my own dress out of fabric I had bought last year for making my own duvet and then was chosen for curtains. Ah well, I got to be creative. It then took forever to paint and glue and cut out extra fabric and make it look like an actual dress and also like the girl from Lazytown's dress. By the time Thursday night rolled around, I was so tired of looking at it that I just wanted Halloween to be there already so I could stop looking at it and other people had to instead of me.

We had a dance party with fun Halloween songs and all the current popular songs about butts and stuffed our faces with fun-sized candy bars and chips and pizza. We got 4 whole kids to our door in one group, so a lot of candy was left for us to eat. I was hoping for more kids. We got more last year when we weren't prepared and we didn't decorate the outside of our house. This year we covered the front step and outside bush with spider webs and caution tape. Maybe it looked too much like an abandoned house.

No one anywhere we went seemed to recognize Christian's costume, which was unfortunate because I think it was good. Can you guess what he was?

We went to the Halloween geek beer held at the CS building at Dal to show our costumes off, and most people were dressed up there. My favourite costume of the people I didn't know was a girl dressed up as a pineapple. We stayed long enough to hear the results of the costume contest, which unfortunately none of us won. I don't see how, because we all had pretty rad costumes. I think it was rigged. A guy who had a beer box on his head and called himself Captain Nova Scotia won first place. So we left and returned home to play sociables and drink Halloween punch.

I already have my costume for next year picked out. It's going to take a bit of work, so I'm starting on it now. I'm really excited and I can't believe that it's so far away right now. We need a Summerween or something.

posted by Jessica Shortt

Our last two days in California 2014

We decided that we weren't going to get to Las Vegas this trip, but there's always the next summer and that means we can add in the Grand Canyon, a true night in Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam (plans already!). That's completely fine though, we got to relax on our last full day in California. We started it off by going to Starbucks and having delicious egg and bacon sandwiches and iced coffee.

We were eager to go find a beach and spend the day relaxing on the sand. We went to get buckets and ice for our ice bucket challenge that we had gotten challenged to days before. It took us much longer than it should have to gather up the things we needed to do the actual challenge, we went to a dollar tree and didn't find anything, so we went to Walmart, which was a really far drive away.

An hour and a half later we did end up near the beach. Finding parking was really really hard. It seemed everyone had the same idea we did because finding parking was a nightmare. We circled around roads, parking lots, got our parking space stolen a couple times and finally found a parking space another half hour later. Then as we were getting ready, we had a steady stream of people asking us if we were leaving or just getting there.

We were at Mission beach, one of the top beaches in Google lists of top beaches in San Diego. There was a bay part that was really nice, and a lot of people had brought giant tents and were pretty much having day parties with barbeques and playing volleyball and playing in the sand. We wanted better. We found the boardwalk somehow, found some digging tools and then tried to record a video.

A nice guy walking by started talking to us. Probably just being nice but ended up recording our video for us and introducing us in it. That was pretty cool of him to do because getting it set up was much longer than I might have been comfortable staying and doing with two Canadian strangers. We dumped icy seawater over our heads, and getting such salty water in your eyes is not a good feeling. Not at all.

That was over with and we were excited about playing in the sand, so we found ourselves a spot and started digging. As you know Christian likes to dig and jabbed at me for not helping him last time, so we started digging deep and piling it on in the center.

The sand here is so malleable and great to build castles with, I wish we had've stumbled upon a sand castle building contest because that would have been fun. After our sand castle was good enough, we started making things into it.

Oh, and of course we had a little helper. Kids love sand castles apparently. She was a bit more of a hinderance than a help, cracking stuff and being a little too harsh and the dad was a little weird. But eventually she got the idea to be careful and did "pat pat" and patted the sand down where it was cracking.

Between hour four and five it really started looking like something, like a real sand castle. My first super hands on one. We didn't even really use buckets, we only used shovels to dig. And it was deeeeep.

At the end it turned out really nice, we were really proud of it and people were coming by and complimenting us about it. You can see the boardwalk in the background. It was a pretty great place. Even though we spent the day digging and sculpting, it was really relaxing, and a nice way to wind down after the hectic week and all the walking around.

It was really hard to leave such work, to walk away from it to let some kid destroy it. But we managed to. In the six hours we actually were at the beach, about four people lost their children and the lifeguards made an announcement. We had a woman yell at us for not looking harder for her child.

We were covered in sand, well I was from head to toe. Christian less. We found a shower, changed and headed out to eat some supper. We found an In-N-Out close and each got two burgers and shared a fries. Just like the last couple of times we had been to the restaurant, we ordered a bunch of burgers to eat because we were going to miss it so much. Damn you In-N-Out for only being in California.

We decided to drive as far as we could that night, backtracking on the fastest highway back. We made it to LA before I couldn't drive anymore and we ended up staying in a pretty dingy motel. The one time we didn't get lucky with the Expedia app, which had served us well on the trip.

We woke up early and spent the next day driving almost entirely. I saw a tumbleweed and the highway was mostly straight and we didn't get back service for a really long time. The speed limit was above average so that felt a lot better. We even greeted a motorcycle on the highway.

We made it back to San Francisco, taking the Bay Bridge in. Traffic was bumper to bumper and not moving very fast at all. Waze keept recalculating because of the build-up, I'm not actually sure why because it was nowhere near rush hour time. But what should have taken five minutes to get on the bridge actually took half an hour.

In the midst of it, Waze told us to take this route where we had to cut through traffic but the sign said only buses and carpools. Well, we were two people and Christian urged me to trust in Waze. We seemed to bypass both the traffic and the toll entirely, which was weird and felt wrong but all of a sudden we were on the Bay Bridge and on our way into San Francisco.

I dropped Christian off at the San Francisco airport and went to find a gas station so I could fill up the car. I had seven miles left on it by the time I did find one and I had to withdraw money to pay for it and I had to use the bathroom so bad and it was weird being alone after the week entirely spent with Christian. I filled it up and drove to San Jose Airport to return the car and get to my flight.

I got the car back on time and found the place I was supposed to go and luckily for me my flight was arriving early. I boarded my plane to go back to LA where I was just that morning, erasing all the efforts I had made today driving to San Francisco.

Christian and I met in Washington and flew back into Halifax together. We struggled with the Immigration form, accidentally checking the commercial goods box when we didn't actually mean to. We got through okay and didn't have our luggage searched.

posted by Jessica Shortt

San Diego Zoo & More Red Pandas

We had found a place late that night that promised a loft with a view of the stars while we slept. The guy had "upgraded" us apparently, and I say that in definitive quotations. It was a very comfortable mattress, and we had a decent sleep, but I woke up and stepped down on the floor and ants carried me to the bathroom. I'm talking like, the floor was covered in ants crawling around and they started making their way up the bed. We didn't stay very long and packed up, shaking things off and got out of there without talking to anyone who was staying or living in the house.

We packed the car, getting some clean clothes and pushing things back in the trunk and went to get breakfast at a place we found on Yelp. We drove down the road, got on the highway, down some more roads and started up a really big hill. I guess this was the first time I had looked in my rear-view mirror and discovered I couldn't see through it.

gasp I think the trunk's open.
What?!

So, if you know Christian, which I'm going to assume you don't, but if you did you'd know he's not the best packer in the world. By that I mean, he waits a little bit until last minute. I mean I suppose we had been living out of our suitcases. Our trunk was filled with clothes of his spilling out of his suitcase and clothes he had bought at H&M in Beverly Hills and some odds and ends he had laying around in our house in Sunnyvale that were stuffed into an H&M bag.

A couple things had fallen out of his H&M bag, because well, it was a shopping bag and the trunk wasn't meant to be left open. We went back around, found some clothes, some small trinkets, some water bottles. We didn't see much else, but they got thrown into the back seat. We went around one more time and found some electrical tape, a run over pen holder and a bracelet from our first rave. Back seat. We went around one more time, slower and stopped on the side of the highway, Christian thought he saw something.

His Kindle was laying in the middle of the highway, on a highway in San Diego, many cars had run over it. It was a mess of crushed screen, buttons completely off, the interior wiring exposed. It was a sad moment. We bowed our heads in a moment of silence for the fallen Kindle.

The line for the place we were going to eat at was really long, so we got frozen yoghurt for breakfast and went to the Apple Store to see if we could fix his phone, which wasn't recognizing the chargey cord. It turned out there was lint in it, and we found ourselves at the LEGO store, playing in one of those free lego pits. Christian became 5 years old again.

Then I got a dress, yay.

We left very soon after that to visit the zoo. We had one of the best burgers I've ever had, so big. A duck came up to us while we were eating and stood right next to where we were seated while we fed him fries. Well, Christian fed him fries and I was a little scared of getting bit. I eventually did give him a fry (a very long one to protect my fingers), and he rips it right out of my hand. Apparently ducks love fries.

We weren't wearing very good shoes for walking and after the multiple days of being on our feet all day, it was safe to say they hurt a little. We still managed to walk around the entire park and see all of the animals.

This was the first animal we saw, a meercat. They were sleeeeeeeping, and a little startled.

Also, I didn't realize rhinos looked like they had armor on.

Hippoes and toucans and weird antelope thing, oh my!

I didn't realized I would look this silly in front of the giraffes. I was hoping to look more kid in a zoo that's very happy to be seeing giraffes for the first time happy.

But this is a baby giraffe.

And this kitty was sitting watching everyone with his paw in his mouth, it was so adorable. :3

And these are elephants.

And this was an elephant with his tongue out waiting for hay to fall in his mouth.

We decided to take a couple pictures with the hippo lying down. I wanted to flop next to it and pretend we were sleeping like the hippo, but we were more adult about it and rode it like a horsie.

Then we saw the red panda. And we saw him for a good twenty minutes. My favourite part, as always. :) He was active and walking around and he wouldn't stay still, but it was still fun to see.

This is Jess watching red panda.

After we were done seeing the animals, the park was almost closed. We went to go get a caricature of ourselves, something we've been meaning to do for a couple months, there were so many places to get it done. I think it turned out well.

Grasping our newly drawn picture, we went on the sky tour in the dark and took a bus back to the entrance. We saw a lot and we were sleepy. We went to this adorable inn, with a king sized bed and white sheets and an adorable little patio all to ourselves. It was definitely somewhere I want to go back to and spend multiple nights at, the nightlife seemed great and there was golfing and some other activities. It was so beautiful.

We watched a couple episodes of Bojack Horseman and ate our weight in Welch's fruit snacks (!!) and went to sleep.

posted by Jessica Shortt

Disneyland! <3

We stayed the night before about a mile away from Disneyland, in a cute place that had a bunch of coffee and snacks laid out for us Airbnb-ers. She offered Welch's snacks, which kickstarted my multi-day obsession with the fruit snacks. Yum.

We went to breakfast at a place the Airbnb place recommended, your typical American diner. It was cool, wood, and we had four different waitresses. Like, we sat down at our table and four of them came over pretty much in succession offering coffee. We got the yummiest food though, very filling. Very very filling. Can you guess which one belongs to which one of us?

It didn't take us very long to find parking. Christian got badly sunburnt the day before in Hollywood so he made us slather on sunscreen. We looked like ghosts walking around. We parked in the parking structure at Donald 3 something the first day. When you get in the minimal security where they give your bag a quick squeeze, we had the option to go left to Disneyland or right to Disneyland:California Adventure. Luckily Christian had got us a 1 park per day pass so obviously we headed to the Disneyland park first. :)

It was one of the hotter days, around 95F ... I mean 35C so we were just sweating the entire day, we made sure to drink lots of water.

It was so Disney as soon as we walked in. We saw Mickey and Minnie as we walked down Main St. We turned to each other and decided that we'd get a picture with them later, we'd have lots of chances to. We never did, as much as we saw them. We said we'd do it later every time. That's okay though, we got pictures with other characters.

We took the "It's a Small World" ride, where, as Christian says, kids disappear to when they get lost at Disneyland. We had the song stuck in our heads for half the day after that. We made it to Toontown, where we found Pluto (Faren thought he was Goofy). So we took a picture with him.

I absolutely love the level of contrast in this picture. I'll have to get it blown up and hung up on my wall. #unedited

What I loved about the park is that care was put into every single aspect of every small detail. They whole-assed everything, didn't half-ass anything. At all. Walking through Toontown felt like walking into a cartoon, there were cool cartoon hills that were kind of a brain-mystifier.

We went on, I think all the rides. Except the Haunted House, which was closed. But it was all lovely. After the rides I liked going and seeing the pictures, you know, even though were weren't going to buy any.

This was my first time on Space Mountain. Oh my god it was my favourite I think. They were all my favourite. But this ride was my most favourite.

This was on a really steep log flume drop.

The Buzz Lightyear game was a lot of fun, we just got to shoot things. After we got out the first time, we turned back around and went in a second time. Christian won both times (as he did with all the shooty games) and my score wasn't 0, it was just lower than his. Way to rub it in.

There were some really cool things there, the mountains they built felt like actual mountains.

There were so many awesome things that describing it wouldn't do it justice. I've said it before, but this is the king of things you have to experience yourself that you just can't take pictures of.

We took a lot of pictures with characters.

In the evening we went to see the parade, which is also awesome. Our feet hurt and we were happy to sit down for a while and enjoy the song and all the Disney characters dancing by. It was something. There were so many people around us after the parade was over. It was crazy.

I think a lot of people left, but we still had an agenda: hit more rides. There was almost an entire section of the park we hadn't got to yet.

We did that and we were just getting off Space Mountain for the second time when the fireworks started. We rushed to get ot the other side of the castle, but they were herding people away from it. We still had a pretty good vantage point. I definitely know they were the best fireworks I've ever seen in my life. It was quite the show and it was so captivating that we mostly stood there watching as they exploded all around us.

After that was over we were on our way out and decided to get a picture in front of the castle. Turns out it's pretty hard to get a good picture in the dark and everyone wants to use flash and not get enough of the castle in. I do really like this picture, regardless of how little the castle is in it.

But this one turned out okay, the last people we asked had a professional lighting thing and shone it on us instead of using flash.

We found a hotel instead of bothering with Airbnb, mostly because the place we booked wasn't responding. We passed out as soon as we got in and woke up the next morning to repeat.

This time we parked in Goofy and went to the other park. Which is awesome and more rides-y than the original Disneyland. The care they took that I was talking about earlier was evident here as well, for example the benches in the A Bug's Life were modeled after used popsicle sticks, with the fruit colouring on half.

Speaking of the A Bug's Life part, there was this 3D adventure in it and there's this part where he tells you to stay seated for the bugs to come out and these things move on your seat. I jumped so far up, and we were sitting in the front row, slightly embarassing.

We also went on all the rides here. A lot were closed for a while, including the biggest rollercoaster there and we had to go back later. There was another Toy Story shooting one which we also went on twice like the Buzz Lightyear one.

It was all a lot of fun and we were really lucky to get on all the rides. I was scared they'd be out of service all day, but I think we just managed to squeeze them in.

The Tower Of Terror was sooooooooo much fun. Remember when I mentioned that really scary drop ride at California's Great America? This was kind of like that but more amazing. It dropped and then went back up and went down and we were totally lifted off our seats and it toed the line of scary and was just plain fun.

We had too much fun in an obstacle course chasing each other with water and I managed to lose my sunglasses. We went to the lost and found later on to describe them and they said they'd send them back but they haven't yet.

On our way to ride the Tower of Terror for the second time, we were stopped at the Cars area and asked if we wanted Fast-Trak tickets to the Cars ride, which was one of the ones we hadn't got on that day. We went for it. The Cars section is also amazing. It looks exactly like the movie town in Cars and they sold drinks in cone shaped cups.

The ride was awesome. I'm glad we got in instead of going on the Tower of Terror again, even though that was amazingly fun. It started off kind of slow and kind of like the movie went but then we met with another car and we raced the other car. Ours won, but it was so exciting and we went through the race like in the movie where he races with Doc(?).

We watched the fireworks in Disneyland from the place between the parks. We were so lucky to have people walking in front of us the entire time the fireworks were going to frantically get into the park at the last hour. Ah well.

We decided to drive to San Diego from Anaheim. A long drive at 10 at night when you're exhausted from having fun and being on your feet all day. I was having a hard time staying awake and Christian was doing a terrible job of helping me stay awake by consistently falling asleep, but he was sleepy too so it was understandable.

All in all, magical. Very magical. Going to do again.

posted by Jessica Shortt
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