Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Saga of the Turkey Leg

It seizes all of us at different times when we're at the Disney theme parks.  It's impossible to escape, and you never know when it's going to hit you...

It's that sudden desire to eat a turkey leg as big as your face.

(Vegetarians, you have been forewarned, lol!)

Come on, I know you know what I'm talking about!  I know you've felt it too.  It's especially dangerous in Frontierland, where there's that cute little cart, and the smell wafting out of it.  But then you never know when, without warning, you may find yourself heading for the nearest Giant Turkey Leg vendor.

The Turkey Leg fever seized me one afternoon at Hollywood Studios.  I had just come out of the Beauty and the Beast show and was in search of some lunch to munch.

(As a side note: I LOVE this show!)

I couldn't resist one more pic of those pink frilly gowns!!

Anywho, the counter service Fairfax Fare just across the street from the theatre caught my eye,and I decided to jump in line and sample one of their offerings...

Did you know they sell a hot dog topped with macaroni and cheese and truffle oil here??

As another side note, this is a very slow-moving line.  SO you finally get to the front of the line, feeling a little frustrated at the wait, and then more frustrated when you order the turkey leg and the cash register shows that you owe $9.79.  For one turkey leg.  Seriously.

Still grumbling, you get your receipt.  And then the cashier hands you the turkey leg.  And all complaints vanish.  In fact, all thoughts in general vanish, and you just stare at the piece of turkey in your hand in amazement.

This thing. is. HUGE.  And when I say huge I mean it is mammoth.  And when I say mammoth I mean it looks like it could be a MAMMOTH leg instead of a turkey leg!!

lol, ok, that's taking it a bit too far.  But look, it really *is* as big as your head!!

And it looks so delicious too.  Somewhere, a choir of carnivorous, heavenly angels is singing.  It's warm too, you can feel the heat in your hand through the wax paper, and you start to get hungry (as if you weren't already before).

It's such a thing of strange, meaty beauty that at first you just lick it like a lollipop.  But then you find a place to attack and start to eat!

Did I sit there in my pretty white skirt and highly-impractical-but-entirely-fabulous red gingham espadrilles (I know, crazy for the parks, but I woke up that morning and just HAD to wear them!) eating this haunch of turkey like a caveman?

Why yes.  Yes I did.

Once you take that first bite, you have to attack it like a ravenous wolf, because to properly eat a turkey leg of this size you have to make sure you're saying, "ARRgghhh, nom nom nom..."

It is flavorful and delicious and for 10 minutes or so you chomp merrily away.

But then a disastrous thought occurs to you.  In your turkey leg coma, you wonder with a helpless fascination what a huge, fat turkey this thing must have come from, because the amount of meat left seems to have barely diminished even though you've been eating it and eating it...

I know, I know, bad BAD thing to think!!  You push the thought resolutely away, but now another horrible realization dawns on you: you're starting to get full.

With a reckless determination, you continue to chew, slower and slower with smaller and smaller bites.  By now the meat is getting cold and you are certainly not hungry any more, but you know if you stop you won't be able to start again.

A few more bites, and it's all over.

It's a pity, because there's still meat left and you wish you could eat it, you paid so much for it, but you know that, really, it just wouldn't be worth the pain.

With a mixture of disgust, pride, and regret, you give the fowl one last glance, then toss it in the well-themed trash can near by.

Now you know why I have titled this post "The Saga of the Turkey Leg."  Because eating a turkey leg is indeed a saga, an epic journey from start to finish.

I walked away down Sunset Boulevard, and a thought occurred to me: was it really worth the $10 and everything?

The answer comes: Just Yes.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day in the Life...

7.30 -- My ipod chirps cheerfully at me from the side table to wake me up, usually with that "marimba" tune.  I do. not. like. alarm clocks that shock you awake.  The ones that gently weave into your dream and say "hey, sorry, but it's time to face the *real* world again" are so much more pleasant. :)

8.20ish -- I'm stepping out the door of my apartment with lunch bag and accoutrements and id card and name tag and such all accounted for; hop in the car to drive to work.  On the way I blow a kiss to the Polynesian as I pass by, and watch the monorail gliding to and fro on its tracks, gleaming from the morning sun.

Sometimes I pass a parking lot tram tooling along World Drive, always plenty of Disney Transport buses of course.  One morning there were three gleaming old school vintage roadsters zipping along, so cool.

9:00 -- I've parked, clocked in, made sure my uniform is just so, and am ready to step out "onstage."  Some days I'm on the desk, but today I'm out on the curb, greeting guests.  Some memorable moments from this shift...
 Gave a little girl, three years old maybe, a looong strip of Mickey stickers.  With great care she takes each one off and covers her entire shirt with them.  lol, sorry mom!

A wonderful old couple with the most wonderful Scottish brogue/accent walk up and ask for advice on where to use their last dining credit.  I love it when people ask for advice and I can be their vacation planner. :)  Sadly I cannot remember what they went with, but I recommended the french dip/roast beef sandwich at Beaches and Cream, the turkey and brie at ESPN Club, and a few of the counter service at Epcot.

I ask a little smiling cherub going by in a stroller for a high 5.  He puts up his tiny shoe and gives me a "high foot" instead!
 I have two half hour breaks during the day; otherwise I spend my eight-and-a-half hours greeting guests, assisting them with check-in, answering questions, and giving directions.

One day on the curb I got to surprise a family - mom, dad, and two teenager daughters - with the news that they had been upgraded to the presidential suite!!  They were unloading the car, so I went up and introduced myself and said "I have some exciting news for you guys..."  When I spilled the beans the mom just stared at me and goes "Are you kidding??"

lol, nope, I would not kid about something like that!  Apparently it was their 50th time staying at a Disney resort, but they've never stayed on a club level before, so it was perfect timing for an upgrade.  I was so excited for them, it totally made my day.

Even when I don't have amazing news for them, there are lots of guests that are so sweet and appreciative.  A husband was taking a picture of his wife in front of the hotel, so I offered to take a shot of both of them.  The wife mentioned that they didn't have many photos together, so I offered to take another of them in the lobby or wherever.  I wished them a magical day, and as they were walking away the man says, "Never lose that big smile!"  Awwww! :)

5:30 - It's time to clock out.  I get changed into street clothes and head on over to Epcot, where one of my friends is celebrating her birthday.  As I walk through World Showcase I have to stop myself from saying "Hi princess!" or "Happy Birthday!" to the little kids passing by.  After doing it all day at work, greeting everyone that passes you becomes automatic, lol!

6:00 - Find my friends outside Journey into the Imagination, which we all ride together with no wait.  Everyone holds their nose during the skunk scene, and we all contain our disappointment at YET AGAIN having Figment stop us from going to the taste and touch labs. ;)

In the eye lab there's a poster of a girl wearing a Scottish tam, and I had always thought it was a really cute picture, but I could never figure out what it was doing there.  Well somebody finally pointed out to me, it's actually one of those trick pictures, if you look at it one way it's an old fellow with a big nose, another way it's a girl in a cute hat.  I guess I liked the hat so much I was blind to the old man!

6:30 - We walk on over to World Showcase.  Yes, I admit it, I was with one of *those* groups.  You know, the drinking-around-the-world ones.  Rose and Crown was our first stop.  I don't drink much, so at first I wasn't going to get anything, but then I thought about how the drinks around World Showcase do sound tasty, but I never buy any because I'm usually there alone.  And now here I was finally out with friends and I wasn't going to try anything!

So I decided to try a cider and black.  It was cider with blackcurrant juice (they used ribena, which I recognized from the shelves of Tesco's when I used to live in Dublin.  that made me smile), it was very good -- and I also got an order of chips (fries!) to munch while we waited for the British Invasion band to start, and those were even better!

The British Invasion show was very fun -- the benches were full, but the courtyard overall wasn't crowded, the street was clear.  Most of the group that I was with were cast members, and some of them knew all the different performers that do British Invasion and were commenting on who was out.  It's so interesting to be at Disney with cast members, they know so many random things!

So we girls in the group were all dancing around in the street by our benches.  One of the girls, Sam, (I think she gulped her cider a little too quick, lol) ran all the way around the square courtyard during one of the songs.  Then the next song was Crocodile Rock, and we started being silly and waving our arms like a crocodile chomping.  During one of the interminable "Naaaa, naaa, naaa, nananaNAAAaaa" verses, Sam has the brilliant idea that we should ALL run around the square courtyard clapping our hands like crocodiles to the beat.

And so we did.  :)

lol, it was sooo funny.  Luckily the crowd was laughing along with us and cheering us on, and when we got back to our bench we all just collapsed laughing.  After the show we stopped to get a picture with the singers and they said, "We have to get a photo with our dancers!"

The cider and black was the extent of my drink sampling for the night, but the rest of the group charged on ahead, with a grey goose or two in France (I'm told it tastes just like a creamsicle) and a morrocorita (I couldn't even believe there was such a thing with such a name, lol!) in Morrocco.

Just as I was starting to get concerned for their livers, they took a break in Japan and got some food, and we sat at the long table down the middle of the counter service just chatting.

8:45ish - It started to sprinkle in America, and also it was getting late and I had work the next day.  So I took my chance to escape in Italy, and turned around and headed back out of the park on my own.

The music for Illuminations had just started.  Walking along in front of me was a poncho-clad form, probably twelve-years-old, dancing like a free spirit in front of the stroller.  It was too cute.  There's something about that music, and about the rain-washed night just beginning to fall -- I felt like dancing too!

Getting home I thought to myself it was a pretty fun day in the life of a cast member. :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cappuccino Monday

Monday is nearly turned to Tuesday, so I'll make this week's cupcake post quick. :)

I'm actually running out of cupcakes to post on...I need to make sure I get out and try a few new ones this week so I don't run out of material entirely, lol!  But luckily I did try this beauty a few weeks ago, a cappuccino cupcake from the Boardwalk Bakery.

I'm not a huge fan of coffee-flavored desserts, but this one was quite lovely.  It had that light-as-air icing and cake I've come to expect from the Boardwalk Bakery!

Even the cappuccino-flavored creme in the center (quite a generous amount of it stuffed in there too!) was light and delish!

Hope it was a magical day!

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's Flower and Garden Time!

I'll admit it, I've been slacking lately on the blog.  Some days just seem to take everything out of you, and all the energy you can muster goes into pulling up and watching "Once Upon a Time," or "The Voice," or on a particularly trying day, it's gotta be a Jane Austen movie, lol!

ANYway, tonight I'm forcing myself to be a good blogger, dig into the ever-growing backlog of photos and stories I have to share with you guys, and get a post up!

How about some tales from Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival...sound good?  Cool, in the words of my friend Stacy, let's hit it!

Flower and Garden has always held a special place in my heart.  During my high school years there were two summers when we had a Disney trip at the beginning of May, right after I had finished my AP exams.  Both years we caught the tale end of Flower and Garden.  Maybe it was the pretty, princess-y topiaries everywhere, maybe it was my euphoria at having the tests done, but I was enchanted.

So this year I made sure to visit Epcot on the very first day of the festival, March 7th!


The very first thing to greet me on the bridge to France (I entered via International Gateway) were these two twirling topiaries!  They had actually been out a few weeks before F&G started.'s ridiculous that a patch of ivy and green leaves can make your heart melt, but put it in the shape of dancing princes and princesses and it works on me!  This picture has been my desktop background pretty much since I took it.  It makes me think of this lovely scene, which is one of my very favorite scenes in all the Disney movies.

On the 7th there were some new princesses: including Belle and the Beast!!  I just love Belle, look at her white gloves!  And I don't think I've seen that topiary of the Beast before...

It was pretty much impossible to get a good photo of both of them because there were SO many other people taking pics...

I'm definitely going to try to go back early some morning and get some better shots, without people in them!

I was also totally in love with the topiaries of Belle's friends!

Although Cogsworth looks uncharacteristically jolly, wouldn't you say?

Mrs. Potts and Chip!

Even the bed of pink and purple and green beneath the topiaries is so pretty!

One of several festival booths selling gardening things.

They had plenty of Disney pixie dust to add to your garden!

In addition to the little shops, there were also educational displays added throughout World Showcase.  Note the creative potting options suggested here (like rain boots and crocs!)

Moving on to Japan...Aramis (my older brother) loves Bonsais!

And these bonsai trees were really amazing!

The flowering ones are especially lovely!

Also racing through Japan were Lightning Mcqueen and Tow Mater!

lol...doesn't it look kinda like Mater photo bombed this pic??

The All-American topiaries of choice were some friends from Toy Story!

Lotso the strawberry scented bear has moved on from Sunnyside and was ruling over an alphabet-inspired herb garden!

In Italy there was an homage to Lady and the Tramp.  I LOVE those mismatched pots overflowing with flowers and greenery.

 Whenever I have room for a garden I want to have a cute medley of potted flowers like that!

Snow White was skipping through Germany with the seven dwarfs behind her!  Sadly this photo op was even more crowded than Beauty and the Beast, another one to go back for!

 This was another one of the exhibits, it was interesting to see they reused one of the booths from Food and Wine!

There were some sweet panda bears playing around in China!

I don't know if these purple and white orchids covering the palm trees in Mexico were there just for Flower and Garden, but they were GORGEOUS!  And I didn't know you *could* make a palm tree any prettier!

Back by the bridge to Future World we found the bonsai booth, which Aramis was very excited about!


Bonsai everywhere!  The tiny little flowers are so lovely. :)

I love everything at Flower and Garden, but my favorite thing might be the simplest...those floating flowers!!  But I'm going to have to save that for the next F&G post. ;)

For now I'll close not with a princess topiary, but with an actual princess!

Do you see Cinderella walking along down there??

I didn't even know she did meet and greets down there!  It was like her topiary had come to life and she was walking through Epcot.  lol!

Hope it was a lovely Friday!
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