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Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Prayer

Photo courtesy of New Line Cinema - The Nativity Story.
"O God our loving Father, help us rightly to remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men. May Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake, amen."—Robert Louis Stevenson

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Teatime Tuesday - Want to go for a spin?

Photo courtesy of Disney's website.

I've professed before on this blog, of my love for all things Disney and all things Alice, so of course, I love it when those two things intersect. Take for example, the tea cup ride at Disneyland.

Disney's Alice in Wonderland animated film premiered in July 28th, 1951. The Mad Hatter's Tea Party attraction opened a few years later on June 17th, 1958. The ride is located in Fantasyland and is inspired by the "unbirthday" celebration sequence in the film with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare throwing a crazy tea party. The ride control house looks like Rabbit's house from the film. There are colorful Japanese lanterns strung over the tea party, along with lots of plants and real flowers, as well as large metal flowers that all add to the garden party feel or setting of the ride. The ride is whimsical and fun, and I think the art design of the ride really captures the spirit of the tea party in the film.

There are 18 brightly colored giant tea cups to chose from and they spin on three different revolving platters which are all mounted on one larger turntable. You control how fast your tea cup spins by rotating the wheel in the center of your teacup. That's a whole lot of twisting, spinning, madness!

If you ever get a chance to visit - then make note that the orange diamond-decorated cup is the fastest spinner, along with the purple cup. If you'd rather take a leisurely spin through the tea party, then try to get one of the two heart cups, which are the slowest. It's better to ride this attraction earlier in the day, because the lines and wait times are longer when it gets later into the day. However, my favorite time to ride the tea cups is at night, because the lighting is just beautiful. The Japanese lanterns are lit with a wonderful glow and the large metal flowers also serve as lamps, with lights in the blossoms. It really does add another magical level to the experience.

Below is a fun video of the ride, taken from inside one of the tea cups. I hear that song and I can't help but smile. :-) A very merry unbirthday to you! :-)

Have you ever taken a spin on the tea cups? Or do you avoid rides like this because of motion sickness? What's your favorite ride at Disneyland? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Musical Interlude - Zooey Deschanel

It's that time of year again, when the Valley of the Sun pretends to experience winter weather, the streets are filled with stressed-out crazed drivers anxious to get all their shopping done, my neighbors beat me yet again at getting the outside Christmas lights up, and my weekly musical interludes turn to Christmas music.

I don't remember much about the movie Elf, except that it was cute and funny. I also remember being impressed with Zooey Deschanel's singing.  Below is a link to her singing, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" in the film.  It turns out that in addition to being an actress, Zooey has her own folk/indie band called She & Him and she writes her own songs.  I definitely recommend you check out some of their stuff. (I love this one song in particular.) She has a voice that is perfectly suited to an old fashioned way of singing. I just love the quality and color of her voice.  I hope you like her too.