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Merrin : Come Find Me.


Merrin

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At the start of this new challenge, I'm afraid I'll have to be completely off goal on a few things, because I don't expect I'll get much reading or smart eating done when I'm in Disneyland!

 

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I'm immensely nerv-cited about this trip. It's not the first time I've gone away by myself, but it's the next step on that series of quests in my life. I'm not good at planning nice things for myself. I'm not good at spending time and money on myself, and truly seeking out joy. I began putting the idea out there when I first joined NF, of trying to go and do amazing things just because I want them. That resulted in flying to a new city, all on my own, to see a live show of a podcast. It was a great time, and it started giving me travel and social confidence. I won't deny it's been hard, yet amazing, for my anxiety.

 

The next big trip took some time to happen, but Camp presented itself as a perfect option. It was a controlled environment, which felt safe, with lots more strangers than I would have interacted with normally, which scared the pants off me. But I went, and found people that were supportive and loving and incredible, and doing these amazing things for myself, taking up space in the world and pursuing the things that I love, began to feel possible. Camp helped me find my bravery again. Camp helped me see how to dream big again.

 

So, I want to take myself to Disneyland. And I deserve to take myself to Disneyland. And I'm going to take Character selfies and eat glorious food and have all of the magical fun.

 

But I need to be honest in a big, weird way here. I'm never someone who does things this big on a whim; the time of year isn't without purpose, and neither is the choice of destination. Going to Mesa in the spring for a podcast was arbitrary. This date is not.

 

This date, eight years ago, used to mean something. This being the first anniversary of that day since the divorce, I find myself needing to take it back, to be somewhere not my home town, but also somewhere that would feel safe, happy, inclusive. I wanted to go back to Disney, somehow. For New Readers, Disney World was how I met my ex. I went there, not to pursue love, but to pursue a new experience: the internship away from home. I grew up in Huntington Beach, CA, and Disneyland was a shining part of my childhood. I wanted to work for them. I wanted to be inside the magic. I had my own reasons for going to Orlando. I loved Disney on my own, and I wanted to reconnect with that. I couldn't let this person take away a place that is so big and magical and shiny for me. I couldn't.

 

I'm scared that I'll feel lonely, instead of alone. I have to remind myself that I went to the internship barely knowing another soul, ready to work in the parks and live with strangers. I think I'm scared now because I don't have the job as an excuse, I don't have busy friends or roommates as the reason I'm alone. I'm going by myself because I wanted to go and it was a trip that I need to do on my own, a time of year I need to spend more on my own. I don't need to worry about arguing over rides or food or show times. I can just enjoy myself. And that's a scary thing for me.

 

I'm writing this out and trying to be as forthcoming about this as possible, because it feels important to explain myself. I know on some level I've been needing the external justification from Ifrit, how I deserve to have good, fun things. I'm here sharing with my Nerds because you guys helped me get here. You helped me see that taking up space and seeking joy are necessary. You helped me be patient and gentle with myself, and learn to do the things that will help me heal and grow.

 

I'll be flying out Monday and coming back Wednesday to begin tracking all my main goals. I'll consider any steps from the Parks as bonus exercise. I cannot promise I won't eat seven beignets for breakfast.

 

(Additionally, I chose the challenge title from Sigma's new single featuring Birdy. The lyrics and video are powerful, to say the least.)

 

Our Cast of Characters:

 

Merrin: Me! 31 years old, foodie, soda free for 1.5 years, lover of avocados and bacon, Ravenpuff, passionate about sewing, bubbly introvert, depressive, baker of cookies. 

 

Rebecca: The name for my Depression; the Monster I frequently try to kiss on the nose.

 

Ifrit: Boyfriend! Main supportive force, disliker of avocados, expert bacon cook, incredibly weird, incredibly intelligent, Slytherin, introvert, archery master, stealer of snuggles.

 

Part-Time Spare Spoons Puppy: only the best and sweetest and smartest dog ever, tolerant of hugs, fetcher of rope, murderer of sticks, giver of snuggles.

 

This Month's Focus

 

Darebees: Daily as possible. Hoping for Bronze level.

 

Paleo: 1 fresh meal per day, including days off. Keep carbs/snacks (-fiber) at 100g maximum.

 

Sewing: 1 hour minimum nights off for various production. Check lighting/fan set-up.

 

BBW: Mondays and Fridays.

 

Reading: 1 hour per work shift.

 

Adulting: laundry on Tuesdays, floors on Thursdays, kitchen daily.

 

Journal: bullet items as needed, daily summary post on here.

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Sylph Spellblade | Level 10 STR 5.2 | DEX 4.2 | STA 6.2 | CON 11.32 | WIS 6.75 | CHA 7.3

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Wow. It is beautiful to see growth and courage in action, I hope this trip is as amazing for you as it sounds. Go on all the rides and eat mickey-mouse shaped food until you're ill! (Maybe not at the same time...)

Current Challenge: The Cliffs of Insanity  Previous Challenges: #1#2, #3#4#5#6, #7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14#15#16#17#18#19#20#21#22, #23, #24, #25, #26#27#28#29#30#31#32#33#34#35

Battle Log: Operation Fly-By-Night

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

― Neil Gaiman

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Your story is awesome and empowering!  I took my first solo trip 2 years ago, also to go to Camp.  You're spot on, it's hard yet amazing and so worth it for yourself.

 

Good for you and ENJOY!!!  Disney sounds wonderful, and you are so worth it!! ^_____^

i am not waiting for a hero.  i saved myself long ago.

Level 50 Bardic Time-Mage; of the Furious Heart

STR.55  DEX.43 STA.48 CON.51 WIS.53 CHA.65

"Well...in the end, it boils down to two simple choices. Either you do or you don't.

You'd think with all the problems in this world, there'd be more answers. It's not fair...
...But that's the way things are. The choice is yours."

»  kom starkru

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I like this challenge. I'll be following along.

On 12/1/2016 at 2:12 AM, Merrin said:

You helped me see that taking up space and seeking joy are necessary.

Now the next step is to go beyond taking up space and seeking joy to CONQUERING THE HELL OUT OF THE SPACE THAT IS YOURS AND STALKING JOY AND MAKING IT YOUR OWN!

Current Challenge Original 1,2,3, R 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51

52,53

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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16 hours ago, Cascade said:

Wow. It is beautiful to see growth and courage in action, I hope this trip is as amazing for you as it sounds. Go on all the rides and eat mickey-mouse shaped food until you're ill! (Maybe not at the same time...)

 

Ahh, thank you! I know it will be amazing. I will eat as many Mickey things as I can find! (Definitely not going on the tea cups, tho.)

 

11 hours ago, shaar said:

Your story is awesome and empowering!  I took my first solo trip 2 years ago, also to go to Camp.  You're spot on, it's hard yet amazing and so worth it for yourself.

 

Good for you and ENJOY!!!  Disney sounds wonderful, and you are so worth it!! ^_____^

 

Thank you, that's always good to hear. Those solo trips seem so difficult but the adventure is always worth it. I will enjoy, and thank you again for the praise. Got me crying a little.

 

6 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I like this challenge. I'll be following along.

Now the next step is to go beyond taking up space and seeking joy to CONQUERING THE HELL OUT OF THE SPACE THAT IS YOURS AND STALKING JOY AND MAKING IT YOUR OWN!

 

CONQUER SPACE! DO FUN THINGS! CLAIM ALL THE JOY!

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Sylph Spellblade | Level 10 STR 5.2 | DEX 4.2 | STA 6.2 | CON 11.32 | WIS 6.75 | CHA 7.3

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Epic Quest!

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Following! Your trip sounds amazing! I'm excited for you. 

Gargoyle Ranger | Level 46

2021 challenges:  46 (current)

2015-2020 challenges: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 |15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 || 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 || 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 || 43 | 44 | 45

 

My epic quest | MEATBALL WARS

You don't get better at anything unless you start doing it.

Being alive is heckn swell. 

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On ‎12‎/‎4‎/‎2016 at 9:26 PM, fitnessgurl said:

You got this!

 

I did it! I did the thing!

 

On ‎12‎/‎5‎/‎2016 at 8:35 AM, NeverThatBored said:

Following! Your trip sounds amazing! I'm excited for you. 

 

Thank you! Glad to have you on.

 

Paleo: no success for tonight. Had Chipotle for lunch and dinner.

Adulting: will get laundry started once I get home. Floors/kitchen once I wake up.

Reading: going to finish current Stephen King short story.

Journal: check.

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Sylph Spellblade | Level 10 STR 5.2 | DEX 4.2 | STA 6.2 | CON 11.32 | WIS 6.75 | CHA 7.3

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I left a balmy Anaheim at noon yesterday to come home to 9* weather and a decent drift of snow. Thanks, Colorado, I was wondering why I had left you in the first place.

 

I don't know where to start on writing about this trip. After getting home and getting some food in me, Ifrit wanted stories. I tried to talk my way through the day at each park, which attractions I went to, what I did between them, but it kept getting sort of muddled. I would go to one part of the park, do the attractions there, then wander back to the main street or hub to look at shops or eat, then go to another land for the attractions there. I guess the order of everything isn't all that important, but the memories from each area that will stick with me.

 

Monday: California Adventure
 

Spoiler

 

A Bug's Land felt so delightfully immersive, even though the area holds rides for small children. There were pencil-sized speakers, Christmas lights with bulbs as big as my torso, benches made from stained popsicle sticks (which looked so damn real, they should've smelled like sugar), a gigantic cereal box to walk through, and leaves as big as umbrellas overhead for shade. I was standing with my head upside down for several minutes to read the cereal box. The train ride had a box of Casey Jr. Circus Animal Crackers which had been chewed up. Little things which I love to notice and appreciate, that theme the world so entirely and build the parks into a cohesive whole.

 

I didn't want to like Cars Land. The franchise has always felt silly. Unfortunately for me, Cars Land has one of the top five rides in the park. It starts out like a mildly exciting dark ride, where the Car zips you around the desert a bit, and then tours you through the city. However, right at the end, it becomes a high-speed race ride, with 60mph bank turns, big air on hill jumps (looking at you, San Fran, looking at you) and beautiful desert scenery throughout. I could've believed I was actually in the desert, racing through incredible paint-rock formations. It was more fun than I was expecting. I had a big, silly grin on my face from the picture at the end of the race. I was laughing at every turn or drop that surprised me.

 

I knew I had to go and meet Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. I had been told last year at Disneyland that he only appears in California Adventure. I planned a Disneybound outfit to look like him. I had a fake rabbit puff accessory with me to complete the look. I didn't buy ears before going to see him; I was just too excited. I had heard that he would stop making appearances after 4, so around 3:20 I was booking it from the Pier back up to Buena Vista street, to find his gas station. I sprang over to the Cast Member. "Excuse me, when will Oswald be stopping in today?" She pointed just across the street. "He just went over to that bench." "OK THANK YOU BYE." Running is frowned upon at Disney, but I was going at fast as my boots would allow. I skidded up to Oswald, likely mumbling "It's you it's you it's really you oh my Gawrsh it's you." We exchanged a wonderful hug. He immediately threw his hands up in the air, gestured to my pants, then his pants, then clapped excitedly. "I know! I got the memo! We are super stylish!" I pointed out my bunny puff, to which he pointed to his ears in response. "I forgot, I'll get them soon!" He held his hands to his face and nodded, then gestured at me to cross my arms. We did the 'cool' back-to-back pose, then did a sort of 'tada' pose. The Disney photographer is always nice enough to use your phone instead of their camera. Oswald blew me a kiss as I walked a bit away. I had to sit and give myself space for the flood of happy tears. I sat and drank my plastic flute of Prosecco, and continued to shimmer in my joy. I think I made one parent concerned that I was drunk, given how overexcited I was.

 

I was sitting on the pier, having finished a miniature turkey pot pie, and was sipping on that same Prosecco. (I only got one drink.) I could see just across the way to one of the festival stages, where a Bollywood dance troupe was performing. I immediately charged over to watch. They were beautiful. I cried. I stood on the pier and smelled the water and felt the late afternoon sunshine.

 

No one was in line for Grizzly River Rapids, so I immediately got on, along with seven young people who had clearly already ridden a time or two. "Watch out for the drip!" Too late, the drip got me as we went under the bridge. Rude. The raft dropped and spun and crashed about, but once wasn't enough, especially since I barely got wet and there was still no line. The second time through saw me soaked, but still laughing from the great plummets and constant threat of cold, soppy doom. I had to strip off my overshirt and wear my hoodie the rest of the night.

 

The ride for Ariel was exactly the same as in Disney World, which surprised me. DW doesn't often copy rides from CA/DL, but they did for the new Fantasyland expansion. I love the immersion in this ride, because the queue is themed like the prince's castle, the seats are gigantic clam shells, and you drop backwards through a spray of real bubbles and a projection of waves that really feel like you're diving underwater. The animatronics are so good in the ride. Ariel and Eric look great in the boat scene, Ursula's scene/animatronic was awesome (and so were her eels), and it feels like being inside the animation.

 

Of course, I had gone on Tower of Terror to start off my day. Nothing like a good boost of adrenaline on top of the two hours of sleep I'd had. I love the attraction so much. I love going through the queue and touching the crumbling plaster details, admiring all the dust and cobwebs on everything, soaking in the 'something is definitely wrong here' vibe. I did get to talk to another guest for most of the queue, which was really nice. Crying "Oh no oh no" right before the ride drops did not make me feel better. Still, I love how I feel from the ride, the big woosh of weightlessness in the stomach that spreads into a tingle of the limbs and the brain. Delicious. The park held a special edition "Final Check-Out" for Tower of Terror, where the ride was dark the entire time. No projection cut scenes or special effects, just the dark of the elevator cabin and the narration. I couldn't be sure we were moving. How high up were we yet? How many narration sequences were there? Will he talk one last time? When will it go? When will it go? WHEN WILL IT GO?! I don't think I've had so much fun being so scared in quite some time, and Disney knows how to deliver on that fun edge of excitement and abject terror. I screamed my head off, and even when the doors opened and I could see the rest of the park, it was only a second of night-time lighting, nothing like during the day, and it made the plunge into absolute darkness that much worse each time. I wish I could've done it again.

 

When it had gotten dark, I went on the open swings ride on the Pier. I couldn't keep my eyes open because everything was spinning so fast and it felt so scary, but I kept peeking out at the Pier, then shutting my eyes and feeling like I was flying.

 

The nautilus swings were mild, like a wide, lazy circle, and gave me much more time to look out and appreciate the Pier. Everything was covered in lights. It felt like the holidays. It felt like magic.

 

It felt like home.

 

There's a ride similar to the 'Crazy Chipmunk' that nearly every old theme park or boardwalk had. That's what's left me so in love with CA as well; I grew up loving the boardwalk as a kid, and all of the rides on the Pier had that magic. I could see across the entire run of the Pier for a few seconds in between each twist and dip and bunny hop. I shouted "You can see everything!"

 

The biggest highlight of the Pier was the roller coaster. The queue was fast, and I got to be in the last seat of the coaster. Score! As we went around the track, I noticed some familiar looking tech just above the edge of the water. Rocket sled? Rocket sled! I couldn't keep it in. "ROCKET SLED! ROCKET SLED! GO! GO! GO!" The coaster ticked back once, twice, ever so gently, then threw us up a huge hill into some wonderfully sheer banks, air-heavy hops, and a great loop where I think I saw my feet before we finished. Turns out that ride had a single rider line I hadn't noticed, so I immediately ran back on for a second run. I have a photo at the final drop of the ride where I popped up some victory signs.

 

I didn't think to utilize the Fastpass system for a seat to watch the night-time show, so I was afraid I couldn't find a good spot, but I snuck in behind some rope on the bridge going across the main pier. The light show was a selection of holiday songs, with holiday and winter and family and love themed clips throughout; they played Feliz Navidad for The Three Caballeros; there was an instrumental of Little Dreidel with water effects in blue, yellow and white; the lights all across the pier lit up and danced and synchronized to Carol of the Bells, with bursts of flame going off across the water; snowflakes projected on the ferris wheel and rollercoaster as waves of light ran across the mist; characters hugging and decorating Christmas trees and celebrating the season. I cried the entire time. The second from the show started to the end, just waves of tears running down my face.

 

"I'm here. Maybe I'm on my own, but I'm here. I'm not really alone, because I know Ifrit is thinking about me. I can't feel alone, watching all the holiday scenes, because I know all of them, close at heart, know them in reproduction of my own life, remembered skating with my parents, remembered leaving college and how worried they were, remembered leaving the state for the internship where I knew I wouldn't be alone even there. I did it. I brought myself here. I'm at Disney, for Christmas. I'm home."

 

 

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Sylph Spellblade | Level 10 STR 5.2 | DEX 4.2 | STA 6.2 | CON 11.32 | WIS 6.75 | CHA 7.3

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That's so lovely~ <3 I'm glad to hear you had such an uplifting experience. 

Gargoyle Ranger | Level 46

2021 challenges:  46 (current)

2015-2020 challenges: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 |15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 || 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 || 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 || 43 | 44 | 45

 

My epic quest | MEATBALL WARS

You don't get better at anything unless you start doing it.

Being alive is heckn swell. 

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4 minutes ago, NeverThatBored said:

That's so lovely~ <3 I'm glad to hear you had such an uplifting experience. 

 

It was everything I had wanted it to be, and a bit more and a bit less. There were rough spots, but I know I spent more time smiling and crying with joy and purely enjoying myself.

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Sylph Spellblade | Level 10 STR 5.2 | DEX 4.2 | STA 6.2 | CON 11.32 | WIS 6.75 | CHA 7.3

17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Battle Log

Epic Quest!

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11 hours ago, Merrin said:

 

I did it! I did the thing!

 

 

Thank you! Glad to have you on.

 

Paleo: no success for tonight. Had Chipotle for lunch and dinner.

Darebee: 12/8 15 V-Ups tbc. Optional bonus 2-min 90* side leg hold.

Adulting: will get laundry started once I get home. Floors/kitchen once I wake up.

Reading: going to finish current Stephen King short story.

Journal: check.

Woohoo!!!! *high five*

L3 Human Ranger/Assassin

Str. 6 Dex. 2 Sta. 1 Con. 12 Wis. 8 Cha. 3

https://www.nerdfitness.com/character/58014

Motto: Where there is life, there is hope.

Soli Deo Gloria

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Sewing: some pattern layout work done on Friday. I need to transfer all pieces of Jihl's coat to muslin in order to size it up and work with it easily.

 

Paleo: eggs for breakfast. Going grocery shopping in the morning because I have no fresh food right now.

Darebee: matrix tilts 1/2 credit. 

Reading: finished two short stories last night.

Adulting: still behind on floors and laundry. My body has decided to prioritize sleep which cuts into my chore times, but I ran myself pretty ragged at Disney, so recovery time is needed.

Journal: behind two days. I don't bother to log things on my days off, which is silly, because my days off still have goals.

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Sylph Spellblade | Level 10 STR 5.2 | DEX 4.2 | STA 6.2 | CON 11.32 | WIS 6.75 | CHA 7.3

17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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Remember how any walking from Disney was going to be bonus activity? I beat my all-time step record! 22,729, which equaled 9.93 mi, far outstripping the last record set at...Disneyland...last year. Ahahaha! Tuesday was nearly as admirable, with 13,565 steps, for 5.93 mi. I know that Monday saw me walking back and forth across CA several times, whereas Tuesday was in Disneyland, and the hub shape makes it easier to get from place to place in a shorter amount of time.

 

And I only ate three beignets, and had a mint julep with them, and it was so, so yummy. The ground and all Guests in that area were covered in powdered sugar.

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Sylph Spellblade | Level 10 STR 5.2 | DEX 4.2 | STA 6.2 | CON 11.32 | WIS 6.75 | CHA 7.3

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Disneyland

 

Spoiler

 

I tried to selfie in front of the Disneyland train station, but the lighting was weird, so a cast member got some good pictures of me. I had on my Oswald ears for most of the day, which got a great reaction at least once. Coming out of a shop in a back alley of New Orleans Square, a woman stopped short and just stared at my hat. "I've never seen those before!" I leaned in so she could see the character icon on the front. "It's 'Oswald the Lucky Rabbit', you can meet him on Buena Vista Street." She nodded and went on her way. I had to ask a Cast Member where to find the fabled 'Mint Julep', which turned out to be a tiny service counter behind one of the main restaurants. They had beignets in three and six packs. I am only one human, and thus ordered three. They came in a white paper bag, which was full of powdered sugar, so you could toss them about and get them nice and covered. I sat, ate, and people watched. The beignets were light, sweet, crisp on the bite but melty pastry perfection. I felt content.

 

Normally, I turn right from the Castle Hub into Tomorrowland, but this trip, I chose left. A long line in Aladdin's Oasis led to a meet and greet with Moana. I didn't wait in line, but I did get a good look, and the character actor was beautiful, and her clothing, from what I could notice, was perfectly screen accurate. (As if it wouldn't be.) I went into the shops, scouring for penny presses to make for Ifrit. There was a Moana press! (Again, I shouldn't be surprised.) There's also a shrunken-head-doctor who tells you to do silly things and then prints off a fortune. I did feel a bit self-conscious playing along. Shiny pennies and new pins in hand, I queued up for Jingle Cruise. Ifrit and I missed it last year, because they were still doing the overlay when we were in the parks. I kinda loved Jingle Cruise, for all the dopey jokes and animatronics of it. That's the charm. The hippos were eating all the fruitcake, the palm trees were festooned in tinsel, and, hey, those present boxes have suspicious bite marks....HOLY HECK A SPLASHY SWARM OF PIRANHAS! Hilarious, I screamed and then laughed. Our skipper was adorable and snarky. Several riders were enthusiasts, like me, because many of us joined in to say "And now, the Eighth Wonder of the World, the backside of water!" My Oswald ears are so tall the boat nearly knocked them off.

 

The Indiana Jones Adventure offered a single rider line. Sometimes there are perks to being alone. I got to walk up the exit line, giggling the entire way at the long queue on the other side of a bamboo wall. I was on the ride within minutes, having a great time. It's built like a Jeep, with all sorts of jerky turns, rumbly road areas, a rickety bridge, fire explosions, and projection effects. (Swarms of scarabs. Ehblechblechblech.) By the second day, my knee was touch-and-go, and this was the first ride to show it. I couldn't immediately stand to get back out of the Jeep, and before I knew it, a Cast Member was right by me, offering me a hand up, and holding off the person about to board behind me. I often feel like Disneyland has lost some of the magic that DW has, but there are still Cast Members that put in that extra care.

 

Even after the beignets and a couple of great rides, the morning still hit a low point. I was in line for Pirates longer than I can recall for the attraction; the line went across a bridge and back, and then up past the manor house and back. It was only frustrating because those aren't normal queue areas, so there was nothing to look at or enjoy. I got my own bench on Pirates, and usually single riders get grouped into seating areas (like with Indy, the seats are 4x2 so I was next to a few others), but I was all alone in the back of the boat. We bobbed through the Bayou, and I people-watched the folks eating in the restaurant inside the attraction, and smelled that Caribbean water smell. The drops were fun and got some good 'woos!' out of me, but as our boat rounded the corner into the town, I felt terribly lonesome. Who in the world comes to Disney by themselves? Wouldn't it be more fun to enjoy the attractions with someone? I can't really make stupid Pirate jokes to myself. (Okay, I can, but I was feeling gloomy.) I texted Ifrit, and he reminded me that he was proud of me, and of the work I had done to make this trip happen, and that I deserved to have a good time. That helped quite a bit.

 

I wasn't sure which land to go to next, so I went back up the main street to check the shops for pins and pennies. What I hadn't noticed going into the park the first time was that several of the shop windows has these transforming displays! I stopped and watched one for a bit, then decided to grab a bit of sidewalk for the Holiday Parade. I'm not huge into parades, but I was interested in everything Disney was doing for the holidays. I was glad that I took in the parade. As soon as the music started, I was crying. I cried at the main princess float, and the Frozen float, and the storybook floats. I cried when Santa went by. It was the boost I needed, a little jolt of magic to keep me going. Right as I stood up to go, a kind citizen tapped my shoulder, and handed me my wallet. It must've dropped out when I was scrambling for my camera.

 

Before the parade, I had picked up a FastPass for Haunted Mansion Holiday. Because of the special overlay, the line was sitting at upwards of a half-hour almost the entire day. I only regret not getting to enjoy the queue, with all the gravestones to read, and spooky ghost instruments and tablets to play. I love all the NBC additions throughout, most especially the evil wreath climbing down the hallways, and that Miss Leota was in a gigantic crystal ornament this year instead of her usual crystal ball. The ballroom itself always smells like gingerbread, and the house this year was definitely made/influenced by Sally Stitches. It was the looming, thin façade of Jack's house, patch-worked together with icing stitches all over. Haunted Mansion never fails to put a smile on my face, even with all the silly old 'booo' animatronics.

 

My last stop out of New Orleans Square was over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which had been closed for some time, but just re-opened. The half-hour queue it had listed was non-existent. I guess I was still feeling a little gloomy, because I wasn't quite feeling the ride yet, until we hit the main drop. Due to Ifrit's injury, we didn't ride this last year, and apparently this version is different than DW. A blast charge went off as we entered the main mountain, and kept fizzling and sparking as the cart climbed the hill. Right at the top, it hit a barrel of explosives! The cart dropped down into some awesome banks and hops, and that had me going for a while, partially because that effect was just so dang fun. Right when the ride slows down, it passes a miniature Old West town, and I was trying to peer into all the tiny shops. It was too cold and dark besides to bother with Splash Mountain, but I did go on Winnie the Pooh. I'm fairly sure the birthday scene smells like honeycakes. I realized that BTMR had left me woozier in the stomach than expected, so I found lobster bisque in a bread boule and sat near the Haunted Mansion, people watching and enjoying such good, good food. I went to check on Fastpass for Space Mountain; return time 11:05-11:55. I really didn't think I'd make it the whole night. Instead, I picked up a juice and a coffee, and checked over my pins and the map for a bit.

 

The time was slowly approaching for the fireworks, so I busied myself with a few attractions in Fantasyland. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is great because it has a little moveable steering wheel. Pinocchio is fun because it's a classic. Matterhorn also had a single rider line, and it's definitely in my Top Five for this park. The Yeti is so awesome. SO AWESOME. I screamed like heck when he popped up both times, and the banks and drops it does throughout are so good. I forgot that it splashes down just a bit at the end. It was so, so cold. I was glad I had my hoodie on. I risked waiting for It's A Small World, even though the line was thirty minutes and the show was starting in forty. The entirety of the attraction was covered in lights; it's probably the best façade in the park, and I was excited to see what they had done on the inside. I was only one or two boats away from getting on, but I was starting to get nervous. "Miss, what are the odds I'll be out of the ride in time for the show?" She checked a watch. "The attraction is fifteen minutes. So you might miss just the opening by a few minutes." I clearly looked not okay, but was ready to bail from the line, despite waiting the half hour. "Here. Come back with this afterwards." She pulled what equals a Universal Fastpass from her pocket, and let me out from the top of the queue.

 

With my leftover coffee, I occupied Hoodie Town on some steps and just sat and enjoyed the park. The lamps, the trees, all the buildings, decorated like any Christmas dream. When the fireworks began, I quickly realized I was behind a bank of trees, so I crossed over to watch.

 

And I cried. I cried, and I cried. The theme was 'Remember the Magic'. There were beautiful projections across the façade of IASW. There were fireworks timed to Carol of the Bells. There were beautiful falling twinkle fireworks. I love those the best.

 

And at the end, it snowed. Snow fell out of the air around Fantasyland, and the lights were glowing all around us, and it felt like magic. It felt like everything I wanted this trip to be. The snow smelled like gingerbread, and it stuck to my hoodie and my shoes, and no one quite wanted to leave the thoroughfare. We just stood there, in awe, in a moment, holding that magic.

 

Once I had stopped crying, I remembered that magical Fastpass in my pocket, so I hurried myself over to Hyperspace Mountain. I wanted to hate the Star Wars overlay. I didn't. It was awesome. It turned the ride into a battle/chase scene with some other ships, where our ship was dodging lasers and swooping up high and then sideways and then dropping all over the place. That got a really good set of giggles out of me. I wanted one last ride. Always that one last ride. I decided on Alice (and would've gone on Peter Pan, too, but it still had a long line). I love the simple Animatronics along with the digital effects.

 

I walked slowly out of the park, past the carousel, through the castle, stopping for a few last photos. Down Main Street, through all the shops one last time, enjoying the decorations in each. I watched another one of the shop displays as it transformed scene by scene, telling the opening of Aladdin. I took a picture of the railroad at night, then made myself walk through the turnstile.

 

After crying a bit more, I went into Downtown Disney for many toys and presents. I needed a stuffed Oswald, but DL doesn't carry them. I found Tsumtsums for Ifrit and myself, Haunted Mansion socks, gingerbread popcorn, a new ornament, and build-your-own metal versions of the castles, the train, and the Haunted Mansion. I also found a few more penny presses.

 

I texted Ifrit how I couldn't stop crying, from so many mixed emotions. And he said the perfect thing. "Only until next time."

 

 

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Sylph Spellblade | Level 10 STR 5.2 | DEX 4.2 | STA 6.2 | CON 11.32 | WIS 6.75 | CHA 7.3

17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Battle Log

Epic Quest!

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My house got broken into Monday morning, when I was home alone. I was initially alerted to something suspicious when there was heavy knocking on my screen door, and then the house door, within fifteen minutes of Ifrit leaving. I saw two individuals go to their car just across the street. I watched to see them drive off, or turn around, but they stopped at the end of the street. I went to the far room of my house to look out a window and try to catch a license plate. Just as I did so, I caught a glimpse of a young guy on the side of my house. I heard another guy pull on the waist-high chain link fence, and jump it. I ran to the back room to ensure it was locked, hoping that another secure door would dissuade them. I was wrong. I looked right at one of the young guys through the window of my back door as he kicked it in. For some reason, they ran past me into the basement. I recall shouting "Please leave" but as I did I was retreating through my kitchen. I immediately went to the bedroom to pick up the loaded gun from under the bed. With my left hand I dialed 911.

 

I stayed in my living room, watching the kitchen entry in case they tried to get into the garage. I never saw or heard them leave. Dispatch stayed on with me until one officer got there, to clear the front yard and escort me out of the house. Another officer calmly approached me and requested to disarm me. After he did so, I went and sat in the Sarge's SUV. His name was Al. He had a calming presence. I called Ifrit to tell him the basics. The Sarge walked me back to the house to give my full verbal and written statement. Ifrit got home while the statement officer was there. CSI came in to investigate my broken door, and get pictures of tracks from the snow in the back yard. I got to talk to the victim's advocate lady, who was immensely reassuring. She paid for a handyman to come by that afternoon and reinforce the door. 

 

Nothing at all got taken. The statement officer said this was likely a string of burglaries, due to the description of the car and the thieves. 

 

Physically, I'm okay. Emotionally, I'm somewhere between medium shock and medium anxiety. Being near the back room makes me nervous. Cars too close to the house are making me paranoid. I'm sleeping okay, for now. I'm worried about the next time I'll have to take the bus anywhere. I'm starting to think we need to move in the spring, no matter what.

Sylph Spellblade | Level 10 STR 5.2 | DEX 4.2 | STA 6.2 | CON 11.32 | WIS 6.75 | CHA 7.3

17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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Epic Quest!

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AHHH that's TERRIFYING. It sounds like you're holding up fairly well under the circumstances. I'd be a mess! I'm so glad you're ok. 

Gargoyle Ranger | Level 46

2021 challenges:  46 (current)

2015-2020 challenges: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 |15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 || 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 || 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 || 43 | 44 | 45

 

My epic quest | MEATBALL WARS

You don't get better at anything unless you start doing it.

Being alive is heckn swell. 

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Sorry that happened, your instincts were perfect, good job surviving. I hope it never happens again.

Current Challenge Original 1,2,3, R 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51

52,53

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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17 hours ago, NeverThatBored said:

AHHH that's TERRIFYING. It sounds like you're holding up fairly well under the circumstances. I'd be a mess! I'm so glad you're ok. 

 

I think I am a mess, now that the initial shock is wearing off. I had to put up craft paper to cover the windows in my sewing room, and also over the window to the back door. Seeing out into the street makes me nervous. I was calm under the circumstances, but looking back, it felt like being in a waking nightmare.

 

17 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Sorry that happened, your instincts were perfect, good job surviving. I hope it never happens again.

 

Thank you. I am definitely grateful I was taught those instincts and felt capable of using them. Victim's advocate says that these things basically never see a repeat trip, so I'm cautiously optimistic.

  • Like 2

Sylph Spellblade | Level 10 STR 5.2 | DEX 4.2 | STA 6.2 | CON 11.32 | WIS 6.75 | CHA 7.3

17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Battle Log

Epic Quest!

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Paleo: chicken for lunch at work.

Adulting: Go to mall. Got bank errand and some presents done today.

Sew: all of loli-star is laid out again, need to load machine and match pieces.

Journal: check.

Sylph Spellblade | Level 10 STR 5.2 | DEX 4.2 | STA 6.2 | CON 11.32 | WIS 6.75 | CHA 7.3

17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Battle Log

Epic Quest!

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