Disneyland Paint the Night Electrical Parade

So there is a lot about my trip to Disneyland last year that I never got to talk about. One of them was the Disneyland Paint the Night Electrical Parade. I am a big fan of the Main Street Electrical Parade in Disney World so I HAD to see the Disneyland version.

Paint the Night Electrical Parade

This electrical parade has a ton of insane colors.

Paint the Night Electrical Parade

One of the only times I got to see Tigger in California.

Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Each float was a different move/character.

Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Then it was princess time!

Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Of course Ana and Elsa had their own fancy float with Olaf.

Paint the Night Electrical Parade

Then the parade ended when Mickey came out on this crazy, trip, spinny thing. You would have to see it to understand haha.

I really enjoyed the parade. The music was very upbeat. We sat in the freezing cold for like 2 hours, but it was worth it.

California Adventure

I’m back! Oddly enough I thought I had pre-written posts for all last week. What a mess I am.

Last week was a bit of a mess. I got back Monday from California and tried to play catch-up at work all week. Be prepared for LOTS of Disneyland posts coming up!

California Adventure

On Thursday Jill and I woke up at the crack of dawn and headed to the airport. Our flight was at 6am to Cali.

California Adventure

We took United, which I normally hate, but there was free movies! Who watches a disaster movie about an earthquake taking out California on the flight to California? This girl! But for real San Andreas was a good movie. I <3 the Rock.

California Adventure

Morning sunrise! I am a huge window seat advocate.

California Adventure

I also work Jill up about 6 times to show her the scenery out the window. Sorry Jill, but how pretty!?!

California Adventure

We landed at 9 something in Cali after a 5 hour flight. Time change is the worst. Then we had to wait around for the Disneyland shuttle bus we pre-booked beforehand. No Magical Express out there.

Cheryl, Kristen and Spenser had gone out the night before. They got fun doughnuts at this famous place. The s’mores on fire doughnut was amazing! Sugar coma.

Then we went to the race expo. More on that tomorrow.

After we went to the Holiday Inn to check in. Disneyland only has 3 on-site hotels. The hotels around it are in walking distance and cheaper so we went with that. Cheryl made sure to book the Frozen suite though.

California Adventure

After check-in we decided to grab lunch and then head to the beach.

California Adventure

When you are in Cali you eat at In-N-Out burger!

We decided to go to Huntington Beach because it was the closest.

California Adventure

Sadly the beach was pretty cold and the water was freezing. It was still really pretty.

California Adventure

California Adventure

There were a lot of seagulls on the beach, but they are not as friendly as east coast seagulls.

California Adventure

West coast beaches are pretty.

California Adventure

California Adventure

After the beach we headed back to the hotel. We all showered and then headed out again. Spenser wanted to go to a hockey game and some of Cheryl’s old coworkers lived near Santa Monica. We figured we would drop Spenser off in LA then grab dinner in Santa Monica and pick up Spenser on the way back….

California Adventure

Then we got in LA traffic. Seriously people in California do NOT know how to drive. We passed 4 accidents. Their main problem is the highways don’t have a shoulder to pull off on.

California Adventure

We made it eventually and then in Santa Monica we went to a cute Mexican place.

California Adventure

After dinner we all took a stroll on the pier. California was cold!

California Adventure

It was a nice first day on the west coast.

Manayunk Bridge Trail

On Saturday I knew I had to go for a run. I laced up my shoes and headed outside. I had checked the weather before I left and it looked like a good running day.

Manayunk Bridge Trail

Sadly when I got outside it was raining! Not a hard rain, but rain nonetheless. I usually will not run in the rain, but I decided it might be a passing shower so I kept going downtown.

They recently opened the new Manayunk Bridge Trail and I wanted to check it out.

I got lost…but eventually found the entrance.

Manayunk Bridge Trail

Its at the bottom of High and DuPont, just an FYI.

Also the bridge is only open from 8:00am to 6:00pm in the winter.

Manayunk Bridge Trail

The bridge was really cool.

Manayunk Bridge Trail

It goes over Main Street in Manayunk and over 76.

Manayunk Bridge Trail

There were actually a lot of people out on the bridge, even in the drizzle.

Manayunk Bridge Trail

Manayunk Bridge Trail

On the other side of the bridge is the Cynwyd Heritage Trail. I never knew that it was there the whole time! The bridge was just the new way to get there without having to drive all the way around.

Manayunk Bridge Trail

The trail was really nice. There was a dirt trail on the side of the asphalt trail. There were bike riders, runners, walkers and lots of dogs out.

Manayunk Bridge Trail

Halfway down the trail was West Laurel Hill Cemetery.

Manayunk Bridge Trail

There are a few Laurel Hill Cemeteries in the area and they actually promote people running and walking through them. I was weirded out going through, but I took a picture inside. It’s really pretty.

Manayunk Bridge Trail

I decided to run to the end of the trail. It stopped raining and the map said the whole trail was only 2 miles long.

Manayunk Bridge Trail

At the other end was Cynwyd Station. I turned around there and ran back and from there to the bridge it’s only 1.8 miles.

Manayunk Bridge Trail

For shorter runs on the weekends I am definitely going to keep this trail in mind. It was so pretty with all the fall foliage.

Manayunk Bridge Trail

Now I have 3 cool trails right near me to run on! The possibilities are endless…

Bachelorette Time in Nashville

So last weekend I was off to Nashville to celebrate Becky’s bachelorette.

I flew Southwest for the first time. I made sure to check in exactly 24 hours before my flight so I had a good seat. Even though a lot of people paid extra for A boarding, there were more than enough seats when I got on in B.

Southwest

When I got to Nashville I had to take an Uber to the hotel. My driver could not find me. It was an ordeal, but I got there eventually. Everyone else had gotten there the night before so they were all still hungover in bed anyway.

After I forced people to wake up, we decided to go on a brewery crawl. We were originally going to go to a beer festival, but day of tickets were crazy expensive. Our fault for not getting them in advance.

First we went and got lunch, then we headed off to the breweries, which are in walking distance of each other.

Nashville

We had fun bachelorette accessories too!

Our first stop was Jackalope Brewing Co.

 Jackalope

We got a flight of four beers. I love trying new craft beers. We were going to do a tour, but they were booked for a few hours.

Next we headed to Yazoo Brewing Co.

Yazoo

We went on a tour there. It was actually pretty cool. We got a different beer to sample of each stop of the tour.

Yazoo

At this point I had consumed a lot of beer, but we kept on going.

We walked down to Tennessee Brew Works.

Tennessee Brew Works

This was my favorite place. We got flights of beer and played intense games of giant connect four! I realized I am horrible at the game, but it was fun. We also had some really delicious food.

Finally we went to Czann’s Brewing Co.

Czann Brewing Co

It was onlyย about 6:00pm at this point, but I was beat.

We headed back to the hotel for a little bit. Asย Becky did her hair I passed out along with everyone else. Becky thought we were in for the night so she headed out with her bro. When we woke up an hour later we were so out of it, but we went to dinner and then to some bars after.

Nightlife

Day drinking really gets me in my old age.

The next morning we woke up frantic because we had forgotten to check in for our flight! I was all the way at the end, but we were awake so we decided to go for a run.

Run

It was cold, but sunny. We went over the pedestrian bridge to the stadium and then down along the river.

Nashville

Then we went back over the bridge and down Broadway a few miles to get Becky a cupcake for her birthday. The girls who run the store were late and seemed very hungover. Luckily we got one cupcake then took an Uber back.

We had breakfast and then walked to get beer for our beer bike tour!

Sprocket Rocket

I have seen these bikes before, but never been on one before. It was so fun!

Sprocket Rocket

Unfortunately they overbooked our bike so some people had to rotate sitting on the seat in the back. It was really fun though. They made sure to keep our beers full and took nice photos of us throughout the tour.

Sprocket Rocket

Halfway through we stopped by the river to take some pictures and go to the bathroom at a nearby bar.

Sprocket Rocket

It wasn’t really a tour because we blasted music and sang the whole time. It was a lot of exercise when you had to go up hills.

Sprocket Rocket

If you are ever in Nashville make sure to ride the Sprocket Rocket!

Jenis

Then we went to a BBQ place and next door was Jeni’s Ice Cream! Day made!

Then it was time to head to the airport. It was a really short trip, but lots of fun.

My flight home was not so great. It was 2 hours late so I didn’t get home until 1:00am and by the time I got to my apt it was almost 2:00am! I was really annoyed with Southwest because I had to pay more for parking since I went into the next day, but they have amazing customer service! I tweeted at them how I was mad and they responded and sent me a voucher for my next flight. EVERYONE FLY SOUTHWEST!

Back to Kaaterskill Falls!

In February Cheryl, Cindy and I went to Hunter Mountain to celebrate our birthday. While we were up there we hiked to Kaaterskill Falls. It was a gorgeous frozen waterfall.

The cabin we were at for Cindy’s birthday wasn’t too far from the falls so we decided to go see it not frozen!!

Kaaterskill Falls

The whole trail looked so much different in the fall!

Kaaterskill Falls

Because it’s only a mile trail, it was packed! When we went in February there was only a few random people there.

Kaaterskill Falls

The falls were so pretty! We couldn’t really get too close since it was a lot more dangerous to walk across with the rushing water.

Kaaterskill Falls

Kaaterskill Falls

Here’s a side-by-side comparison!

Kaaterskill Falls

The trail is mainly flat and the falls are beautiful. If you are ever in the area make sure to check it out!

Catskills Birthday Cabin

Last year Cindy had her birthday party at a cabin in the Catskills. It was a lot of fun and she decided to do it again this year.

I had to work Friday and Cindy was late so we didn’t leave until 8:30. It’s a four hour drive so we didn’t get to the cabin until almost 1am!

Catskill Mountain House

I napped a little in the car so I was able to stay up for a little while when we got there. The house was great. It had a hot tub! I went to bed at 3am which is LATE for me, but everyone else went to bed at 5!

Catskill Mountain House

The next morning when we woke up we could actually see the property!

Catskill Mountain House

We had our own lake!

Catskill Mountain House

It was rainy in the morning so we made breakfast and then we went exploring when the rain stopped.

Catskill Mountain House

Catskill Mountain House

On the property map they said there was an old bus. We decided to go and find it. It took a little bit, but we finally found it!

Catskill Mountain House

When I saw bus I thought old vintage VW bus or something. This was an old army bus!

Catskill Mountain House

Catskill Mountain House

The inside was pretty creepy. I feel like a homeless person might have lived in it at some point. There was all random stuff.

Catskill Mountain House

Catskill Mountain House

We all brought food for a pot luck dinner so we made everything when we got back.

Catskill Mountain House

Family dinner!!

Catskill Mountain House

After Ralph made a fire. He had some things that made the flames different colors. It was a nice night out, but still cold.

After we went in the hot tub for a little. We were all pretty tired from the day so we didn’t stay up too late.

Catskill Mountain House

The next morning it was beautiful out.

Catskill Mountain House

Catskill Mountain House

Catskill Mountain House

What a great weekend!

Holland America: Nieuw Amsterdam

Now that I have FINALLY finished all my cruise blog posts, I thought I should do a review of the ship.

We sailed on the Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam. I really liked the ship. It wasn’t huge, but it also wasn’t small.

1. Daily Carpets

Daily Carpets

When you are on a cruise for two weeks, it starts to get hard to figure out what day it is. Every day they changed the carpets in the elevators. It was very helpful because I could always remember what day it was!

2. Entertainment

Entertainment

They had a variety of entertainment options. The two main ones that stood out were Jeremy in the Piano bar and the B.B. King Band. Jeremy was by far the best entertainment on the boat. We went to the main show lounge a few times, but I didn’t really like any of the acts they had there.

The one thing they could improve on is entertainment. They had a bunch of stuff to do during the day, but we were never on the boat. Then the stuff at night was lacking when everyone was on the boat.

Thank goodness for Jeremy.

3. Food

Breakfast

We ate breakfast every morning in the main buffet dining area. The food was good, but it rarely changed. They had a variety of rotating options, but after a few days I was done with the food. Except for bacon. I loved the bacon.

Manhattan Dining Room

The Manhattan Dining Room was the main dining room on the ship. You could either pick a meal time or eat when you wanted, but you had to wait for a table if it was busy.

We never had a problem getting a table.

The food was good. The menu changed every night, but they had a main menu that was the same every night.

Taramind

Tamarind was one of the specialty restaurants. You could pay extra to eat at these restaurants, but you also had to make reservations.

Tamarind was Asian.

I LOVED their food. We actually at there more than once because it was so good. We thought the menu would change, but it was the same menu both times. Luckily there was so many other things I wanted to try after the first night that I was able to eat new stuff the second and still it was delicious.

Canaletto

Canaletto was also a specialty restaurant. It was Italian.

The menu was meant to be family style. We ate here twice as well and the first time we tried sharing food, but it got annoying. The second time we went we shared the appetizers, but each got our own main dish. The service there was not great. They always forgot to come back to us.

Pinnacle Grill

Pinnacle Grill was the last specialty restaurant. It was an upscale restaurant. We ate there one night. The food was awesome, but very small portions.

La Cirque

One night they turned the Pinnacle Grill into La Cirque. It’s a famous restaurant in NYC.

They said they “transformed” the dining room so I thought they were going to decorate it, but they just changed the plates haha. The food was good, but not really worth all the hype.

4. Drink Package

We got the drink package when we booked. It was great, but I probably wouldn’t have done it outside of that. We were not on the ship enough to utilize 15 drinks per day (except the day at sea).

5. In Conclusion

All-in-all I really liked the boat. The staff was amazing and the food was usually always good. I would recommend Holland America to anyone going on a Mediterranean Cruise with family. It had a decent mixture of age groups.

Mediterranean Cruise: Venice, Italy

On Wednesday we arrived in our last port of call…Venice, Italy!

Venice, Italy

Sadly it was raining when we got there.

Venice, Italy

We had all day Wednesday in Venice and then we got off the boat on Thursday and had all day. We decided to wander around a little bit in the rain.

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

After a while we decided to call it quits. A lot of stores were closed in the rain, which was odd.

Venice, Italy

So we got some treats and headed back to the boat.

When we got back we had to finish packing. Our bags had to be out in the hall later that night for departure.

After dinner we went for the last time to the piano bar. Even though Cheryl was exhausted I made her stay with me until it closed. It was the last night!!

Venice, Italy

The next morning we got breakfast and then headed off the boat. I was sad to leave, but two weeks was a long vacation.

We took our bags on the people mover over to our hotel. We booked one right by the bus/train station.

After we checked in (our room wasn’t ready yet) we decided to walk around.

Venice, Italy

Luckily it was BEAUTIFUL out!

Venice, Italy

Venice was a lot cooler in the sunshine.

Venice, Italy

We stopped at a cafe and got a cappuccino.

Venice, Italy

There was also a ton of boats out. There we barely any the day before in the rain.

Venice, Italy

There was a lot of places to see.

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Around lunch time we headed back to the hotel to check in.

Venice, Italy

We had walked a lot. My aunt, uncle and mom decided to stay at the hotel and relax. We had booked a tour of the Bell Tower (Campanile) so Cheryl and I took the boat bus back toย San Marco Square.

Venice, Italy

I am so glad we did because the tour was awesome.

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

We learned all about how the clock used to work. It was so cool how these heavy weights moved all the pieces.

Venice, Italy

Then we went to the top of the clock tower.

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

After we walked back and visited the Rialto Bridge.

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Then we headed back to the hotel. We had to take a gondola ride so we wandered around until we found someone.

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

I was literally petrified the entire time. I kept thinking the boat was going to flip!

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

After the gondola ride we took everyone back to Rialto Bridge.

Venice, Italy

It was getting late and we were all hungry and tired so we took the boat bus back to the hotel to eat dinner.

Venice, Italy

As we were finishing dinner it started to rain. Luckily we were next to the hotel. I slept ok that night. Not sure if I had gotten used to the boat rocking!

The next day we got up and took a bus to the airport. We got there early just in case.

Then we were headed home!

Venice, Italy

I had an AMAZING time in Europe.

Two weeks was a lot, but I am so glad I had the experience with my family. Based on my trip I HAVE to go back to Italy. It was my favorite and there is so much more for me to see!

Mediterranean Cruise: Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor, Montenegro was our second to last stop.

We tethered in the bay and then took the boats to shore. We only had a few hours in Kotor so we booked an excursion through the cruise.

Kotor, Montenegro

The town itself was beautiful!

Kotor, Montenegro

We learned some history about Kotor and then took a walking tour around the town.

Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor, Montenegro

The churches in Europe, especially in these small towns, are so pretty.

Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor, Montenegro

Then we had some time to explore on our own.

Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor, Montenegro

Then we got on busses and headed to the mountains.

First we got on a big bus, then transferred to small vans because the road up the mountain was small and treacherous.

Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor, Montenegro

In the town there was an awesome old, small church.

Kotor, Montenegro

Then we went to the old olive oil processing house. As we were learning about how olive oil was made some bats came out of hiding. I started freaking out. Luckily we left soon after.

Kotor, Montenegro

Then they served us a traditional lunch with meat, cheese, bread, olive oil and zeppole type dessert with syrup.

We also got wine and grappa. Grappa is like moonshine and HORRIBLE.

Kotor, Montenegro

Then we were serenaded by a local band and a local girl did some traditional dancing.

Kotor, Montenegro

The lunch was so fun and the food was delicious! I am so glad that we booked that tour.

Kotor, Montenegro

Then we headed back to the boat. I am sad we didn’t have long there. I loved the country and the people!

When we got back on the boat we went to the towel folding demonstration.

Kotor, Montenegro

I love the towel animals and learning how long it takes to master them was cool.

Kotor, Montenegro

The view on the way out was amazing!

Kotor, Montenegro

Then we spent the night in the piano bar as usual.

This was our last night at sea :(

Making Ice Cream at Turkey Hill

So after our half marathon a few weeks ago, the rain started. I was glad we had finished running, but we didn’t want to sit inside all day.

Instead we decided to go to Turkey Hill.ย I worked in an ice cream shop for 8 years when I was younger so this was right up my alley.

Turkey Hill

Cheryl called after the race to schedule us a time at the Turkey Hill Experience.

You can pay to go in and sample ice cream and iced tea and also learn all about the company. All day they have limited classes to make your own ice cream. You have to schedule that in advance.

Luckily we did because by the time we got there the whole day was sold out! Other people thought of the same thing when the rain started.

We got there early so we wandered around a little. There are stations you can go through to build your own ice cream. I decided to make mine before I went in.

Turkey Hill

I called it the Cocopeanutpretzie Ice Cream.

Then it was our turn to make it for real!

Turkey Hill

Everyone has to wash their hands when they get inside.

Turkey Hill

On the wall are inclusions aka the good stuff and the tables had flavors and sauces.

Turkey Hill

We even got fun hats to wear!

Turkey Hill

Everyone starts with vanilla soft serve ice cream. Then you can add a flavor extract. I used coconut, but you only need a few drops or it becomes overpowering.

07a Turkey Hill

Then we added our inclusions. They told us more than two would be too much.

Turkey Hill

I put in pretzels and peanut butter cups.

Turkey Hill

Next was the sauce. I put in peanut butter and marshmallow.

Turkey Hill

Finally we mixed it all together, without over mixing it.

Then they put all our ice cream in the freezer to harden. While it was freezing we learned about Turkey Hill, their process and their facility.

Turkey Hill

Turkey Hill

Turkey Hill

Then they gave us back our slightly frozen ice cream and it was time to eat! It was seriously a lot of ice cream. I got a lid thinking there was no way I could finish it.

Turkey Hill

After we made ice cream we decided to walk around.

Turkey Hill

I milked a cow. It was not easy.

Then I walked around and read the history.

Turkey Hill

When I found the packaging section I decided I needed a carton for my Cocopeanutpretzie Ice Cream. I liked that you had a number and each machine knew what you did on the last one.

Unfortunately I never did get the email with my creation.

Turkey Hill

I was eating my ice cream as I walked around and then BAM it was gone! It was really delicious.

Ice cream for lunch!

If you are ever in the Lancaster, PA area definitely check this place out. It was a lot of fun.