New Year’s Eve, Adventures in the Asian District, and Ziggy Tales

It’s New Year’s Eve!  Almost time to start putting away the Christmas decorations until next year.  I wish I didn’t have to say good-bye to my collection of nutcrackers though.  Today’s the last day of 2014 and all in all it’s been a pretty great year!  It was my last year of elementary school.  My family went on vacation to New Orleans and Disney World.  So awesome!  I started the dreaded middle school and it hasn’t been that bad.  I turned twelve.  I changed dance schools and I got a part in the ballet company’s production of The Nutcracker.  I am excited about 2015 and all the good things to come.

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Well, ever since we went to Epcot at Disney World this summer, I have been interested in Asian snacks, mostly Japanese snacks.  I asked for a lot of different Japanese candies that I saw on Amazon for Christmas and my sister, Ashley, bought me a bunch of it for my present.  Some of it was good, like the green tea Kit Kats.  They taste just like the green tea lattes that my mom gets from Starbucks.  Yum!  Some of it was meh.  But, it just made me want to try more of it. Have you ever had dried seaweed or shrimp crackers?  What about dried squid?  So, ever since last week, I’ve been begging my parents to take me to a couple of grocery stores in the Asian District of the city where we live.  Today, my mom worked half a day and when she got home, my mom and dad took my brother and me to get some candy.  We didn’t spend very much money at all, but we got a lot of stuff, and I found more Kit Kats. I also realized that I could read the ingredient and nutrition labels because they are in English!

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Finally, I wanted to tell you about Ziggy.  He’s been quite a good dog since I’ve been sick.  He’s even taken to sleeping at the foot of my bed.  I think he was being extra nice to me because he knew I had the flu.  Well, the other morning when I was still out of it from being sick, I went to feed him his breakfast.  He eats Cesar dog food.  I took it out of the can, plopped it in his bowl, and went back to bed.  Pretty soon, I heard dad calling me.  He sounded mad.  Oops!  I forgot to break up Ziggy’s food.  So, he picked up the entire square shaped, wet dog food, put it in his mouth like a sandwich, and proceeded to take it over to the carpet to chew pieces off of it.  Dad was mad about the dog food grease that Ziggy got on the carpet.  So there goes another one of Ziggy’s Tales.  The moral of the story is:  remember to break up the dog’s food or he’ll think it’s a burrito and carry it away from his bowl.

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Happy New Year everybody!

Confidence!

When I was in the gift shop in Japan at Epcot in Disney World, I bought a doll named Tsukiko.  She is a Japanese Confidence Doll made by Kimmidoll.  They had a lot of dolls that represented different emotions and feelings, like Happy, Love, Brave, Gratitude, Creative, Adventurous, Kindness, Laughter, Joy, Wisdom, and a bunch of others.  I chose Confidence because it is something that I have struggled with from time to time.  Today was a big day for me.  It was my last day at the studio that I’ve been dancing at for the last five years.  I was sad to be leaving all the other girls and my teachers, but I am excited at the same time.  I want to spend more time working on ballet and perfecting my technique and to take some time off from doing competitions, at least for a while.  It’s scary to be going to a new studio, so when I saw the Confidence doll, I knew I had to have her.  Whenever I am feeling discouraged, I will remember my doll.  Whenever I feel like there is something that I can’t do, I’ll remember my doll.  Whenever I feel like I want to quit, I’ll remember my doll.  Whenever the mean girls start talking, I’ll remember my doll.  Whenever, I need to stand up for myself or for somebody else or for something that I believe in, I’ll remember my doll.  She came with a note and it says:

My spirit is bold and courageous.

By believing in yourself and staying true to your convictions,

you show my courageous spirit.

May your self-assurance boldly lead you,

so you may do everything with calm confidence.

 For all the girls who sometimes feel like I do – BE BOLD.  BE COURAGEOUS.  BE CONFIDENT!

Tsukiko, Japanese Confidence Doll

The End of My Vacation – Good-Bye Disney World!

Last Sunday and Monday were the last two days spent at Disney World.  My older sister, Ashley, flew home on Sunday morning.  My mom and dad drove her to the airport early in the morning.  My brother and I were still asleep back at the hotel.  Ashley had to go to work on Monday.  We didn’t have any plans on Sunday or Monday, so we went back to Animal Kingdom and Epcot on Sunday and back to the Magic Kingdom on Monday.  We visited shops we missed or that we just had to go back to one last time.  We also chased down the rest of the characters that I wanted to see.  On Sunday evening, when we got back to the hotel, my brother and I swam in the hotel pool while my mom and dad did laundry.  We ordered Disney pizza for dinner.  They delivered it in a little truck that looked like a golf cart.  The pizza was, MEH!  You know you’ve been on vacation a while when you have to do laundry!  On Monday night, we had one last group activity with all of the dancers from the studio and their families.  We ate dinner all together at a place called the Odyssey Center in on the lake in Epcot.  Our plans were altered a little bit because of the rain.  Yes, RAIN!  It poured like cats and dogs on our first day at Disney and it poured like cats and dogs on our last day at Disney!  Right after we left the Magic Kingdom, got on the Monorail, rode to the first entrance gate, and then rode the tram back to our parked car, the sky opened up and it started to rain like crazy and continued to rain for the rest of the night.  We got back to hotel, fell asleep for a while, then got dressed, and drove back over to Epcot.  It was raining so hard that we didn’t want to wait for the tram.  So, we walked really, really fast through the parking lot, the front gate, and into Epcot to meet everybody at the Odyssey Center.  We all had on our Disney parkas and had really big umbrellas.  We still got pretty wet, especially our shoes.  After dinner, we were escorted through Epcot to the far side of the lake to France, where we went to watch the nightly fireworks show.  They had a spot reserved for us right on a balcony overlooking the lake.  The show was called IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. First of all, the walk over there was killer.  Second, did I mention it was raining like crazy?  Third, because of the lightening, they delayed the fireworks show!  We got over to our spot around 8:50 p.m.  The show was supposed to start at 9:00 p.m.  Guess what?  It didn’t start.  Every ten minutes a guy came over the loud speaker to tell us that the show was being delayed due to the lightening.  By the time it was 9:15 p.m. everybody was soaking wet and people were starting to leave.  We stood there under our umbrellas waiting and hoping.  It would suck for our last night at Disney to be rained out!  We started thinking about leaving.  Our guide was pretty sure that if the show hadn’t started by 9:30 p.m. then it would be cancelled.  So, we waited……. And we waited……..and the guy came back on at 9:30 p.m. and he said that the show was still delayed.  Delayed, not CANCELLED!!!  As long as the show hadn’t been cancelled, we were gonna wait.  And so we did.  Soaking wet, but we waited.  At about 9:50 p.m. – a full hour later – the show started.  And it was spectacular!  Awesome!  Stupendous!  I am glad we waited.  After the show, we ran out of there.  Us, and hundreds of other soaking wet people!  Did I mention that my mom wasn’t happy about standing around for an hour in the rain?  But, you knew that already, didn’t you?  It rained and it rained and it rained.  Back around the lake, to the front gate, under the Epcot golf ball, out to the parking lot (no need for a tram), and finally, the car!  We got back to the hotel, dried off, and got in bed.  The next day was Tuesday.  We woke up early, got dressed, packed the car, said good-bye to Disney World and started our long drive home.  We drove all day on Tuesday and stopped at a hotel in Baton Rouge for the night.  We got up early Wednesday morning and drove the rest of the way home, arriving after 7:00 p.m.  I had the best time at Disney World.  It was better than I imagined it would be, but I was so happy to see my dog, Ziggy, and to sleep in my own bed again.  Thank you for letting me share my vacation with you.  Take a look at the rest of the pictures that I didn’t show you in my earlier posts.

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Duffy the Disney Bear Mickey Mouse lanyard

Tsukiko, Japanese Confidence Doll Japanese soda

 

 

 

The Best Vacation EVER!!!

It’s been exactly one week since I posted to my blog.  Sorry I’ve been away for so long everybody, but I was on vacation, you know.  Well, I’m back home now.  We got here last night and without a doubt, I can say that our trip to Disney World was the best vacation EVER!!!  My parents might not think so, but as for me, OH YEAH!!!  I am going to pick up where I left off last week.  I told you about my first day at Disney, last Wednesday.  We spent the day at Animal Kingdom.  It rained cats and dogs and we finished the day by eating a delicious dinner at Tusker House.  On Thursday, I got up bright and early because I had a dance workshop at Epcot.  We were over by Italy in a dance studio.  It had dance floors, mirrors, and a ballet barre.  I think it is where people who work at Disney rehearse for shows.  The lady who taught the workshop was a former member of the Radio City Rockettes.  It was a fun workshop and I learned a lot.  After the workshop, my parents, my brother, my sister, and me walked around Epcot visiting all the countries in the World Showcase, which includes 11 countries – Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan, Morocco, France, the United Kingdom and Canada.  There were so many neat shops in each country and so many cool souvenirs to buy!  I especially liked Japan.  I rode Space Mountain with my brother and my sister and my mom and dad got on Mission:  SPACE and Soarin’ with us, and that’s saying a lot because my mom hates heights (Soarin’) and she’s claustrophobic too, so her getting on Mission:  Space was a BIG DEAL!

We also met lots of characters at Epcot.  I actually chased around all of the Disney princesses from park to park and got them to sign my autograph book and take a picture with me.  In the afternoon, we went back to our hotel room because we were exhausted.  It was so hot and we were so tired from all that walking.  On Thursday night, we returned to Epcot, where we went to the Princess Dinner at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Norway.  We chose to go to this Princess Dinner instead of the one at Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom because we read a lot of comments on the Internet where people recommended this dinner and said that even though Cinderella’s is more popular, this one is often better.  And let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint.  I dressed up in my Tiana shirt and my green tutu.  You know I had to dress like a princess to meet the other princesses.  I met Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Ariel from the Little Mermaid, Aurora from Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White…..all in one place.  The food was super good.  I had salmon and garlic mashed potatoes.  We had the best time!  Epcot rocks!

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