Monday, August 28, 2017

Disney Reviews Snack Edition: #17 - Coca-Cola Store

I debated putting this one under shop reviews instead of snack, but since we did treat it more as a snack location (although we did buy some Coke swag), I decided to lump it in with the snacks.

To avoid the Am-butt (my nickname for her as a child, BTW) picture, I'll just use the one she was taking when I was taking mine:
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Oh, what the hell...mine is better anyway (which is rare because Am is an amazing picture-taker)!
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The backside is equally as pretty, just with an entirely different aesthetic (the Coke building, not Amber - she's gonna kill me if she reads this!):
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We shopped the three levels for quite a while (although I only managed one picture of...wait for it...a light fixture!):
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And we had already left the building when we realized we forgot to go to the roof-top bar which was why we went into the store in the first place, so back in we went to the top with evil, left-hander-hating Freestyle machines everywhere!
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Considering it was about lunchtime, it was pretty deserted:
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There was also still a bit of construction going on around Disney Springs (which is mainly all finished now), but here was our view:
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Notice the water tower? I LOVE water towers almost as much as lighthouses and interstate walls! Yes, we've already established I'm weird, so no need to go there!
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Poor old Planet Hollywood!
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And the reason for our visit...Cokes from around the world!
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and backwards:
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It's been WAY to long to remember the good and the bad, but it was an equal mix of each. Their menu is here on the Disney site if you're interested. Nothing got spit through the air, but a few got swallowed with a bit of gagging (not a euphemism). Others got fought over until the last sip was gone. Me personally, I didn't like the non-sparkling ones much. Most tasted like flavored salt or seltzer water (without the bubbles). I'm also pretty sure that we both walked out of there a bit sick to our stomachs from all the sweetness. They also have a full bar with alcoholic drinks as well, but it was a bit early in the day for that!

Not sure we would do the big tray again, but at least we can say we did it and it is a really cool store for Coke fans. Now that they have started "New Coke"'ing Coke Zero, my love has dropped down a bit, but at least I have an original Coke Zero shirt in my collection thanks to that store. SAVE COKE ZERO CLASSIC! Hear me Coke people, your new Coke Zero Sugar crap SUCKS!!!! Damn the man, save the empire...sorry, getting carried away!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Weekly Stitching and Asper tics

I didn't stitch any this past week, but it was one of the roughest week's I've had in a while, so it wasn't surprising plus, there was another reason I'll discuss in a minute. I did stitch today though, so I did get in a few hours. I left off here last week:
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I wasn't too focused today, but I did make it here:
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Cinderella is starting to take shape! Wonder if she'll be as creepy-skinned as the other ones?

Now for the non-stitching part, so you guys can skip the rest of this if you want to. I might even post a gross picture in there somewhere and those with weak constitutions might be better off elsewhere.

Aspers are known for having tics...movements or actions that can appear irregular to others, but we use them as a calming effect. If we are really stressed, the tics can be self-harming. Last week was a really bad work week, so my body suffered. I also have a work task that has to be done tomorrow morning that has literally been making me sick for days, which has only made it all worse. In the past few months, I've started back on a tic that I haven't done since my teen years and this particular tic makes it hard to stitch.

When I was really little, my tic was banging my head or various limbs against walls or objects. I eventually found out that a lot of Asper kids do this. I still have a scar on my right knee from banging it against a babysitter's footboard when I was two. When I couldn't express myself verbally, it was the way I tried to communicate (although it never worked obviously, just made me look weirder). I banged my head against the wall a LOT when I went to daycare.

The physical tics changed throughout my youth, but when I hit my teen years, I developed a new one...sawing on my right wrist with my left thumbnail. It was a lot easier to hide this tic because I was fat, geeky and weird and most people didn't notice me anyway. I didn't do this tic a lot because, when your wrist is all tore up, it makes it hard to do everyday things, even when it's not your dominant hand. I was a pretty suicidal teen as well, so sometimes I think it was probably a full on self-harming action without the conscious knowledge of it.

Eventually, I settled on two other "normal" tics (or as normal as they can be). One is tapping with my left fingers on my right arm like I'm playing a piano or typing. If I'm really stressed, I'm wringing my hands, sometimes leaving bruises. These are the tics I've lived with for about 30 years.

But for the past few months, I've started reverting back to my high school tic...carving on my wrist. Most times, I don't even know I'm doing it until it starts to hurt. My therapist suggested I bandage it when the urge starts, but the bandage drives me insane, worse than the after effects of the tic.

When I went to St. George Island a few weeks ago, I was sporting quite a few deep claw marks on my wrist, but I truly believe that trip, be it the drive or the water, made it heal a lot faster than it should have because, by the following Tuesday, all that were left were new scars.

Needless to stay, last week I started in again and made a bit of a mess. I bandaged it Saturday because I had to take the pups to the vet to get their flu shots (another long story for another post) and I didn't want anyone to notice, but the bandage looks like I've been suicidal, so it draws attention anyway.

Trimming my nails back doesn't help at all. I will unconsciously pick up something sharp and do the same thing and I've even caught myself chewing with my teeth. I figure, if it's going to happen, might as well keep my nails than risk accidentally picking up a knife. I also tried wearing my watch on my right wrist, but I can't stand that either...it belongs on my left (and yes, I've even used my watch as a "weapon" without knowing I'm doing it by digging one wrist into the other). Sometimes I will pour rubbing alcohol on it, partly for antiseptic reasons, and partly to remind me to stop (because THAT hurts), but the minute things go stressful again, I'm carving away.

It hurt a little stitching today with all the bending (the skin keeps pulling apart), but I did it anyway to keep my hands busy and lessened the desire. It kind of makes me wonder if cross-stitching hadn't become a tic for me. I noticed that I started back on the wrist carving when I stopped stitching. I stopped carving the other week when I was stitching and I started carving again this week with no stitching. If I can keep myself stitching, maybe I can break this tic again.

But alas, I can't go on a thousand mile trip every single weekend and tomorrow is now upon me and I've got a small festering wound once again.

It's not too bad and I've done worse damage, that's for sure. There are a lot of scars on that wrist (although it's hard to tell from this pic). So do I wear a bandage to work and try to explain why I'm wearing it, or do I let it just go and risk tearing into it even more? Considering I work in the medical field and I'm not always in "clean" areas, it will probably have to be bandaged, but in the act of worrying about work tomorrow, I have inadvertently made things worse because not only do I have to deal with tomorrow, I have to do it with a big sign on my wrist saying I'm a nut-job. The joys of Asperdom.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Disney Reviews Snack Edition: #16: Amorette's Patisserie

Disney Springs brought Downtown Disney into a whole new world (pardon the pun). With the addition of some great new shops and restaurants, there are also a ton of snack places. Last spring we tried The Ganachery and I wasn't too impressed with it. Granted...and yes, everyone take a deep breath...I'm not a huge fan of chocolate (unless it's dark or white or red velvet), but there is a reason.

When I was a kid, I mentioned that after that first "unforgettable" trip to Disney World, I went with my Aunt and Grandmother on their vacations instead of with my parents. My Grandmother, Aunt, mother and uncle are from Pennsylvania, about halfway between Harrisburg and Philly, and they went there a lot to visit family. Way before the town of Hershey had amusement parks and hotels and the like, all it used to have was a chocolate factory and a very small town. The town, in an effort to appeal to visitors of the day, emitted a chocolate scent in the air all the time, but it didn't smell like real chocolate. Ever smelled something "chocolate-scented" like a pencil or lip gloss or something? THAT is the smell the town pumped into the air and it made me physically ill the entire time we were there. Since that moment, I haven't liked chocolate too much at all, especially Hershey's. Does that help redeem me a bit? I don't think they still do it, but when we go through there next month, I'll let you know (more on that in another blog post).

Anyway, back to Amorette's, in my usual Disney picture-taking way, I somehow managed to miss taking a picture of the front of the building. I even went back to the spring pictures to see if I got a shot before it was was finished, but this is the best I can do-it's the gable to the left of Amber:
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Oh, and I may have mentioned this before, but in case anyone has glanced at pictures and noticed that my Sister's butt or boobs seem to be in a lot of them, it's because she often walks too fast for me so she's always in front of me (hence the butt shots) and well, boob-wise, if I'm taking pictures of something in front of her or something she's holding, there is no getting around them! Just ignore it. I don't even notice how many I have half the time until she says something about it.

Amber and I both did a pretty good job on the inside though:
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Yes, these are cakes you can buy, very very expensive cakes, but cakes none the less and each is a completely different flavor:
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They were making this one while everyone watched:
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Rare occurrence...Keebles butt (not that you can see it between my purse/camera bag and shopping bags)-sometimes she likes to get me back. Not that it works...I have neither butt nor boobs...I'm all belly. I am the typical "Pooh-shaped" Disney person:
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Exciting right? Not really, but here's the good stuff. We came away with three purchases, two for me:
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And one for her:
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After being carried around Disney Springs and back to the Beach Club, the smaller ones didn't fare so well, but my little cake held up well and it was AH-MAZ-ING! It took me a couple of days to eat it though, so thank goodness for Disney resort room fridges!
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You can also buy it in a bigger version (which is outrageously expensive, even compared to the character cakes), but I opted for the tiny $15 version (it was probably 2.5 to 3 inches round and maybe 4 inches high?). It's their signature cake, and per their menu page, it's described as: Eleven layers of Red Velvet Cake, Chocolate Cake, Cherry Mousse, Chocolate Mousse, Raspberry Pate De Fruit Jelly, and Italian Buttercream.

The other two desserts were "OK", but probably shouldn't have been eaten that night instead of the next morning for breakfast. Overall, this is my favorite "sweet" addition to Disney Springs, I just need more money to go there!

Oh, and I'm trying to keep my Disney Reviews page updated as I go, but if I miss one, just let me know!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Disney Restaurant Reviews #27: Blaze Pizza

From the time that we went to the Flower and Garden Festival in March until this past trip in September, Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) had grown exponentially and was nearing completion stage. Of all the changes that Disney World has been going through, the upgrades to Downtown Disney have been my favorite because I LOVE LOVE LOVE Disney shopping! But we also got tons of new restaurants, Morimoto Asia we tried in March (to mixed reviews). This time we went more casual with more "counter service" type places, the first one I'm going to review is Blaze Pizza.
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I am NOT a fan of "build your own" type lines, but luckily I had Amber with me. I tend to whisper in her ear what I want and she orders for me. If I had gone alone, I wouldn't have been able to eat here and I did end up bolting not long after our orders were placed. It was just too cramped, loud, and wild in there for me.
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Now, this is one of the reasons why I hate to wait so long to do reviews...I can't for the life of me remember what each of us had. I think mine was pretty much a Margherita (obviously), but I don't know what Am had. They write the orders on paper and then put the pizza on top of it (which I wasn't a fan of because of the ink), so I can't tell what was on each).
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Close-ups of each:
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We also got salads and drinks-and since they had a Freestyle machine, we did get a bit creative (but I can't remember what we had). Oh, and as a side rant, is it just me or do Freestyle machines HATE left-handed people? I can't, for the life of me, ever get one of those stupid things to work and Amber has no issue whatsoever (she's right-handed). I've gotten to the point where I don't even try anymore, even locally, but anyhoo, here are the extras:
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I will have to say, after the chaos of inside, we chose seating outside (never a good idea in Florida, but it was a breezy night) and it was, quite possibly, one of the best pizzas I've ever eaten in my entire life! Seriously amazing! If we could have licked the paper, we would have (and I guess we could have, but it would have been gross). I'm not a big fan of going on vacation and getting "normal" type foods that I can get at home like pizza and burgers (which kind of ruins yesterday's review, doesn't it?), but this was definitely gourmet pizza and it was one of the cheapest dinners we had the entire trip! It will be a definite stop on every future trip we can squeeze it into, that's for sure!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Disney Restaurant Reviews #26: Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe

Normally, with reviews of places I've been dozens of times before, I will scour years and years of photos to show every single meal we've eaten there throughout the years. Now that I have almost 45,000 pictures, most of them of Disney, I don't think I'm going to do that this time. Sorry.

Since they changed my beloved Pecos Bill's, Magic Kingdom counter service has taken a sharp downturn. We have eaten at Cosmic Rays throughout the years, but it's usually because Amber can't stand yet another Taco Salad from Pecos. Now that's not a problem (unfortunately). Oh, and by this time in my reviews, do I need to explain the difference between table service and counter service? I hope not, but think of counter service as like McDonald's and table service as like Olive Garden (bad comparison, but they were the first ones that came to my head).

Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe is located in Tomorrowland, but we approached this time from the Fantasyland side:
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There are three different bays for ordering and each bay used to be a different thing...hamburgers, chicken, and salads, but now they all have the same stuff:
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Like Pecos Bill's, they have a toppings bar, so whatever you order is pretty much "naked" and you fix it how you like:
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We opted for the standard burger fare:
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I wish these cups were more sturdy and could survive a trip home! I LOVE the Halloween cups!
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What sets Cosmic Ray's apart is the joy that is Sonny Eclipse! After all these years, I'm surprised he's still there, but I absolutely ADORE him and I know his entire spiel by heart!
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This was one of the few times we got to see the entire show and I loved it (yet another reason why this trip was the absolute best one ever!) and we had a great, unimpeded seat too, so it made it even better! I think Amber got a bit frustrated because she wanted to go and doesn't understand my fascination with him, but she did allow me to watch the entire show and didn't complain too much when I sang along! I figure he'll be gone soon too, an old standby from a by-gone Disney era (plus, he's broken down quite a bit and constantly having to be repaired), but I sure hope not! Besides, the Yeti at Expedition Everest has rarely ever worked since day 1 and he's still there, so why not Sonny? If the time comes, you will see me in a Save Sonny shirt, that's for sure!

For anyone interested, here's his full show:

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Disney Reviews Restaurant Edition: #25: Cape May Cafe

I have to admit, I have wanted to try Cape May forever, but had been too chicken before. Buffet's are hard on solo trips and my Sister isn't a big fan. But since we were staying at the Beach Club, I figured it might be the best time to try to "sneak" it in and I'm so glad I did!

Sorry...didn't do such a good job straightening pictures, did I?
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As per usual, Hidden Mickey's abounded:
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We had to wait a while so I took dozens of pictures of this plant stand for some reason:
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And can't forget my obsession with Disney lighting:
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There were all these displays of child beachwear framed all over the resort, but I found them more creepy than anything and have very few pictures...you talk about spooky vibes!
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It's never easy taking pictures in a food line, but I tried:
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The dessert bar:
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I was very careful which night I picked to make sure I got peel-n-eat shrimp, but I think I picked a good night because all three of us had numerous plates...by now I barely tell who's was who's, but does it matter? Oh wait...olives...this one is definitely mine, my Sister HATES olives:
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Crab legs...has to be Amber's:
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In front of Matt, so I'd say it's safe to say it's his:
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Big pile of white creamy stuff that is not horseradish...must also be Amber's:
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More olives...mine again:
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Amber's desserts...she shared with Matt:
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My desserts, I share with no one:
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We tried really hard to squeeze in on another night, but this restaurant stays so booked up, it was just too impossible. Despite it's mixed reviews on fan sites, we found the food to be extremely fresh and cooked to almost perfection in every instance. The prime rib guy was incredibly stingy, but aren't they all? Must be a job requirement. We all literally ate until we were almost sick, but we still wanted to keep going, hence our desire to try to get in again. Maybe next trip!