Vacation Highlights! (Pictures)

Guess where I just was (again)! :)

Cinderella Castle

I might be just a little bit obsessed.

Anyway, here are the major highlights (copied from my Disney blog):

+ Boat ride to Downtown Disney. It was beautiful.
+ Magic Kingdom Rope Drop.
+ Star Tours 3D. Holy crap is that ride awesome now!
+ Garden Grill. I think they outdid themselves this time. Everything was delicious, and as usual, the character interaction was top notch.
+ Kilimanjaro Safari. There were TONS of animals out!
+ A gorilla strutting out, squatting in front of all of us spectators, and proceeding to show us how he does #1 AND #2. Quite entertaining!
+ Festival of the Lion King. It was fantastic as always. And I was FINALLY in the giraffe section.
+ Dancing with Phineas and Ferb! The line to meet them was long and hot, but we were entertained! And when it was finally our turn? Rock on!
+ Seeing the Torch Lighting ceremony at the Polynesian. (I am determined to stay there someday. I love that place.)
+ Chocolate-covered marshmallows rolled in mini Reese’s Pieces. YUM.
+ Aidan and me finding reasons to laugh hysterically in the hotel room, probably driving poor Adam crazy.
+ Living With The Land. Always a neat ride, and we had an entire boat to ourselves.
+ PeopleMover. So relaxing. I’m always sad when it’s over.
+ The Memories castle show. OK, they could do without the pictures. Just show us the effects on the castle. So awesome!
+ Aidan falling in love with Pirates of the Caribbean.
+ Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (always awesome).
+ Surprising Aidan with a trip to the LEGO store in Downtown Disney.
+ Meeting nice people in line or on the bus.
+ Liberty Tree Tavern. Good food. Very busy, though.
+ Soarin’. Always a good time.
+ Weather. It was hot, but we had plenty of water and one of those spray fans. We were OK.
+ Watching Aidan enjoy Mission Space: Green, and Test Track.
+ I am not as obsessed with getting character photos anymore, so a little less standing in line for that. It made the characters we DID get more special.
+ Sitting in one of those little side streets off of Main Street and discovering a few secrets. :)
+ No rain!
+ Seeing Space Mountain with all the lights on. WEIRD!
+ Naps in Hall of Presidents and Carousel of Progress. I KNOW, but believe me, I needed them!

It's Us! YAY We're Here! In the Animal Kingdom

Wishes Safari!

Us With the Boss! Epcot

Aidan's Yummy Dessert Catch Ya Down in New Orleans

Rockin' Out With Phineas and Ferb

Aidan is Hula Hooping and Clapping! Pretty Birds Aidan and Duffy

There’s plenty more where that came from, right here: [LINK]

‘Til next time! :)

1 Comment

Oh Well Hello There! (Multimedia)

Wow, it’s been a very long time since I’ve updated. I’ve just been busy working and relaxing and OH YEAH I WENT TO DISNEY WORLD AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MONTH I guess I forgot to mention that, huh?

Sorry about that. Seriously, this working full time (more than in most cases)–well, I’d put the deposit on the trip in September of 2010. Then fourth quarter started. Then there were the holidays. The days went by in a blur, and before I knew it, I had to rush around preparing for the trip. It was crazy–a Disney trip has NEVER snuck up on me like this. I’m usually on pins and needles counting the days for it to hurry up and get here!

Ronni and Adam

So, Disney World came upon us FAST. We had a blast. :) I spent most of that first day in denial and in a daze, but that might have been because I was so darn tired cause I couldn’t sleep the night before! I didn’t start to feel like it was real until after the Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade!

We stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter, which is one of the moderate resorts. (We usually stay at Pop Century, a value.) OK, I got spoiled. The bus stops were close to the parks, the resort was small and quiet, there was a hot tub, and it was just pretty! (Check in was super slow, but we ended up meeting some people from Columbus OH who just happen to be now living in the house that Chris grew up in. How is that for coincidence? Guess who was singing “it’s a small world” all afternoon after that?) Anyway, Adam and I decided that it’s worth the extra $$ a night for all the extras we got out of it. We’ll be staying there this June as well.

(God, imagine if I ever get to stay in the Polynesian! Talk about spoiled rotten, right? But that won’t happen for a long time, not with rooms starting at $400 a night. Yowsa!)

Almost every character I met hugged (or kissed) me, some more than once! I even got a hug from Tinkerbell. The hugs from Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen (the highlight of my trip) were the best, though.

Hanging with New Orleans Royalty!

Did I mention that Tiana is my favorite Disney princess? Oh well, now you know. :) On Sunday, our first day there, we were going around Magic Kingdom, and I’d mentioned to Adam that meeting Tiana and Naveen would make my trip. It would make my YEAR. We couldn’t figure out where their meeting place was, but we’d been planning on hitting MK the next day, so we figured we’d look for them there. Well, Adam and I got to the park at Rope Drop (I highly recommend doing that–it’s awesome so early in the morning!), and we ended up RIGHT BEHIND THEM as they walked down Main Street. When we got to their meet and greet place, they let me take pictures with them and chatted with me and it was like, amazing. I was like this when it was all done:


Yea, that was a pretty awesome day in the Magic Kingdom, even if it did rain quite a lot. It was warm, and I rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad twice (ended up riding it five times total during the trip), and it was the day of the Main Street Electrical Parade, where Adam and I were quite entertained by a total brat who was 11-years old and acting like a spoiled princess (she had visited the Bippity Boppity Boutique at some point during the day–she was ALL done up). Adam and I nicknamed her Veruca Salt. :o

Although we had a great trip, I don’t know if I’ll go in January again. The crowd level was pretty great for the most part, and soaking in the hot tub in the evening was nice, also. But a couple of days, it got pretty cold, and that’s not what you want to have to deal with when on a vacation in FLORIDA. We only had one day of rain, though, and one day it was absolutely perfect out. So the weather is hit or miss, and a lot of things were being refurbished or fixed up. Tarpilicious! Not that I noticed…too much. I was too busy gawking over the fact that Christmas stuff was still up for the first few days of the trip. I was thrilled, to be honest, because dude, I might still have my Christmas decorations up, and I figured if DISNEY didn’t have theirs down, then I shouldn’t feel bad. (Of course, once I came to this conclusion, all the decorations were gone the next day. Even the poinsettias that had been planted were changed to purple and pink and yellow flowers.)

You know what this means right? I really have no excuse. I have to get the Christmas decorations down. And I will… sometime next week. Maybe.


Here are a few more picture highlights:

Wishes Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Main Street Electrical Parade The Selzer Family

Breakfast at The Crystal Palace Tree of Life

Adam, Me, and Flik Cinderella Castle

Beautiful Castle It's Duffy, the Disney Bear! Chillin' with Dale

Castle Reflection

Adam and Ronni Smooches in Magic Kingdom

Us with Mickey Mouse!

And you can see many more pictures here: Disney World 2011

It was nice seeing Adam’s family at various times throughout the trip as well. Eli ran the Goofy, Melissa ran the half-marathon, and Adam’s parents were there for cheers and support. Also, Cassidy brought little Lola which was awesome because she seemed to enjoy the park in the best way a little baby could:

On the Mad Tea Party

We ate good food (Liberty Tree Tavern, Garden Grill, and Boma FTW), saw parades and shows, rode rides (yea Expedition Everest, Tower of Terror, Rock N Rollercoaster [twice], Space Mountain [twice], and of course, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad), and really had an amazing time. I cannot wait to take Aidan this summer. Because OH YEAH we are going again! Twice in one year for me, and Aidan too, because his father is taking him in August. ROCK.

Oh yeah, I have six words for you: GIANT CHOCOLATE AND M&M COVERED MARSHMALLOW.

So getting another one of those when I go in June. Mouth is watering just thinking about it.

OK, that’s enough for now. :) Hope you enjoyed my short recap. Talk to you soon… but first, I leave you with some LOLz for days:

Okee dokee, artichokie. I’m gonna sign off before I get tempted to add more gifs. I am tired. I did four yoga sessions today and attended a kirtan. I should sign off. But I might play a game or ten of BeJeweled 3 before I actually turn in.



I Can Has Corn? (Lots of Pictures, Long)

Yes, indeed, we had corn. Got a lot of it from one of those roadside stands in Iowa. Nothing like sweet, Iowa corn. Well, except the corn we had at a potluck. 18 cups of bi-color corn, baked in a pound of butter and a pint of half-and-half, frozen, and then slow cooked for hours. Yeah, probably enough cholesterol to last me until Christmas, but DANG was it good.

Corn Pretty Landscaping

Iowa was busy, overwhelming, and fun. Aidan had a blast, and meeting little Lola was amazing (and did nothing to alleviate this ever growing ticking of my biological clock that has restarted for some reason). Lola is a total adorable squishy little sweetheart. I love her.

It's Baby Lola
Precious little Lola

Us with Baby Lola
Here we are, with little Lola

Aidan was so good with Lola. He loved holding her, and every time she’d cry, he’d hold her cheek and rub her ear and calm her down. I forgot how magical babies are to kids, and I don’t know HOW I forgot, because babies are magical to me, too.

Aidan and His Cousin Lola

One of my favorite parts of the trip was visiting a century farm. That means it’s been around at least 100 years, original farm house and everything. Interesting that I was able to get a decent cell phone signal at a century farm, but there you go. While we were there, we got up close with some turkeys, saw some peacocks and chickens, and Aidan gathered some eggs that we had for breakfast the next morning. Just so you know? I will never eat a “regular” egg again if I can help it. Organic, cage-free, grain fed eggs from now on. They are SO much better for you and they taste way better. And I always buy brown ones because they’re cool.

The ones we ate from the farm came from Easter Egg Hens (Araucanas), and the eggs were different colors, like light blue or light green or yellow. Very neat and pretty, too.

Anyway, here are some photos from the farm, including one of the eggs from the Easter Egg Hens:

Turkeys Are Funny Aidan + Tractor

Gathering Eggs

Farm Details Pretty Eggs

We visited with lots of family and took lots of pictures. I’ll try to refrain from posting too many here, but I must post some, of course!! :)

Dinner! Selzer Girls Girls! It's the Family!

Super Parents! IMG_0812

Aidan and Little Lola Grandma Bel Sharon and her Grandkids

…and the obligatory Selzer silly photo:


* * *

When we got back from Iowa we immediately jumped into finishing our summer with Aidan.

City Kid
Aidan is definitely a city kid!

We tried to make the most of Aidan’s last week here. Monday, we went out to dinner with Adam’s agent and some other cool writing folks at the Atwood Cafe. It was very yummy. I had the pork duo which included pork belly. It was my first time having pork belly. IT WILL NOT BE MY LAST, FOLKS. Wow, it was good. I had pineapple upside down cake for dessert, also good.

Pork Duo Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Crookshanks got really, really sick. Adam was afraid that it was the end for Crookshanks. Fortunately, we put two and two together and realized that the poor cat was just constipated. The vet prescribed him some Metamucil, and Crookshanks has been MORE than fine. He’s jumping and wailing in the morning for attention and chasing Helena and climbing to the high shelf like normal. (Oh wait, he puked today, but that’s because he ate some carrot leaves. Silly cat.)

We took a trip to this huge shopping center Oak Brook, where the sales tax was only 7% or so, and I got 15% off of my American Eagle purchase (a pretty yellow shirt and some earrings) just for checking in on Foursquare. Aidan loved all the fountains out there.

Aidan Loves Fountains

I loved that it was like Easton, but WAY bigger. I was overwhelmed! (I am looking forward to Christmas shopping out there!) Aidan was pretty patient, considering, so he earned himself a Build-A-Bear that he named David.

David at Molly's Cupcakes
David, hanging out at Molly’s Cupcakes

We ate dinner at Home Run Inn Pizzeria, and that pizza really was delicious. Something about the sauce… and the cheese. It reminded me of this pizza place I used to go to when I was little called Scotto’s Pizza. Anyone who shopped at Randall Park Mall in Cleveland in the early 80s would know what I’m talking about. Mmm. We definitely want to go back. After dinner, we all shopped some more. I *finally* used my Michael’s giftcard that I’d gotten for my 30th birthday back in 2004! It was still good! I was tickled pink. I wasn’t sure if I’d gotten that card before or after they passed all those laws preventing stores from screwing over gift card holders. At any rate, I picked up some scrapbooking stuff because guess what? I plan to do some serious scrapbooking this fall and winter. I am very, very, very behind on my scrapbooking. I want to make an Aidan book, a Ronni + Adam wedding book/honeymoon book, a Disney World 2009 book, and a family book. Seeing as I am not all that ambitious with the fancy embellishments and stuff, it’s gonna be a lot of paper and stickers. :) I am going to post some of my old layouts on Facebook. If we’re not friends there yet, why not?

Oh, and I went to Whole Foods for the first time. But not any Whole Foods. Folks, this was the most epic Whole Foods ever. Oh my God. This place is HUGE. It has all these food bars, free WiFi, a cheese counter, a fish counter, fruit forever, breads, tarts, cupcakes, cookies, salad bars, soup bars. Holy cow. I can’t even. And samples everywhere. Oh yes. I even tried an anchovy (and it wasn’t bad). Aidan was pretty bored (he wanted to get home to play with a toy or something), but I was fascinated. I hope I didn’t act like an idiot. We prefer going to Trader Joe’s (it’s way cheaper) but Whole Foods is fun, too! Nice people work at both. Nice people behind counters can be a rare thing to find in Chicago.

Summer is now winding down. :( I didn’t care much for the steamy nearly 100 degree days, but I’d rather have that than dead of winter any day! Now, it’s cooling down and I like where the weather’s been lately–low 80s or high 70s. Aidan went back to Ohio yesterday. He got to walk onto the plane with the Captain again, which thrills him to pieces. In the meantime, I was trying to hold back tears. I wasn’t fooling anyone, though, and a sympathetic mom hugged me. Adam and I went and drowned our sorrows in a trip to Burlington Coat Factory, which really didn’t help much. I got a cheap yoga tank and a cute short-sleeved hoodie (orange!), but there were some people in there who I wanted to shake!

Now it’s quiet in the apartment. So very quiet. At dinner, Adam said “Focus on eating,” because it didn’t feel like a meal without him needing to say it at least once. But there was no Aidan to say “I am.” :( It’s weird without him here.

But there is a lot to keep me busy in the meantime. I’m picking up more proofreading gigs (most of them are from home, which is great), I’ve been listening to kirtan like crazy, we’re gearing up for a trip to visit my family (especially AIDAN) and friends in Ohio, we’re going out on the lake in a boat next week, MOCKINGJAY comes out Tuesday, I’m going to meet Suzanne Collins in October (I’m #221 in line!), OVFF and Windy Con will be happening in a few months, a new America’s Next Top Model starts soon, Doctor Who Series 5 will be out on DVD, Beauty and the Beast will be out on Blu-ray™, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 will be in theatres, and I’m trying to talk Adam into a Disney World trip in January, when it’s cheap enough with the free dining that we’d get to stay in a moderate resort rather than Pop Century (although I LOVE me some Pop Century).

For now, I’ll continue my yoga, enjoy listening to kirtan, work on my writing, reading, and just enjoying life as much as I can. ‘Til next time.

David Watches the Planes


The Winding Down of Summer (Long, Multimedia)

I can’t believe how fast the summer went. My mom was here for a week; that sped by. I can’t believe I’ve already been home from Disney World for a week. Life’s too short, babe, time is flying….

My mom was here and that was cool. She made us fried chicken and meatloaf, and she bought me a new doll. (I am up to 11 dolls now–and just when I think I have enough, I find out that a bunch of new ones are coming out next week. Aye yi yi.). Here is my mom, Aidan, and me at McDonald’s for lunch one day:

Isn’t my mommy pretty? :)

And here are a bunch of pictures from the week she was here. She had her first Chicago hot dog, she spent lots of time with Aidan, and even went to American Girl Place with me. We also went to Naperville, where I love to go to get away from the city and shop at the indie stores, especially Anderson’s Bookshops.

DSC02094 Buzz Mommy! Mommy at Hot Doug's Cuddle Wuddle


Goofy Family Portrait

Riverwalk Crime Scene

Sonali Matthews
New doll, Sonali

After my mom left, it was time to throw ourselves into preparing for Disney World. That meant last minute trips to Target for stuff, laundry, and packing. And then, the night before, the neighbors behind us had a guest who was drunk and yelling from 7pm until 5am, when I had to get up. I got NO sleep. I’m pretty sure they were still yelling when we left at 6am for the airport. I thought, foolishly, that I’d get to sleep on the plane. Nope. I mean hello, a flight to Orlando, where Disney World is? Kids and babies. Babies hate flying. Babies were screaming the whole time. My iPod Skullcandy ear buds were pretty good but I still didn’t sleep well. Fortunately, I had enough adrenaline running that I was able to hit the parks at about 2:15pm and I kept going until 1am, when the awesome Extra Magic Hours ended. Woohoo.

Family Photo
We really are having fun. It’s just that the sun is all up in our faces. :D

A few highlights that we didn’t get video of pix of. On our first night, we were eating at Liberty Tree Tavern. There were LOADS of people celebrating birthdays. There was a birthday in our room. After everyone sang Happy Birthday and applauded, Aidan yelled out the biggest YAY I’d ever heard. My first instinct was to be kind of mortified, but then the entire room burst out laughing. Another thing happened at LTT. Aidan had asked for a root beer and was given a Coke. I told him to ask the server nicely for a root beer instead, which Aidan did. Not only did the server replace Aidan’s Coke with a root beer, he gave it to him in one of the $7 souvenir cups with a light-up Lightning McQueen!

Aidan's Bonus!

Watching Aidan during the parades was SUCH a treat. I remember how I felt the first time I saw a parade, but it was nothing compared to watching Aidan see Celebrate a Dream Come True and Spectromagic.

Aidan also got to help the, well, I call them Magic Makers. They’re the guys with fancy brooms that paint Disney characters on the ground with water.

Magical Characters

Aidan was so enthusiastic during the shows that he got singled out at Crush’s Turtle Talk, and it was hilarious. He was next to the man who got picked on during Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor so he was on the big screen quite a bit. During two parades/parties, he was pulled out into the street by characters and performers to dance, and at the end of the Toy Story Block Party Bash, he got a little Nerf ball that says “Block Party Bash” on it. He was terrified of Soarin’, but when we got off, he said he loved it and said “Can we do that again???”

Garden Grill, as usual, was a pleasure. The characters there are TOP NOTCH, you get to see them tons of times, and the food is outstanding, especially the blueberry buckle. YUMMMM. 1900 Park Fare’s characters were hilarious. And autographs are fun.

I watched the High School Musical 3 show, and we got to meet the $heriff of Nottingham from Robin Hood and Marie from The Aristocats. And THE FAIRY GODMOTHER!

Fairy Godmother

But you don’t want to read my jabber. You want to see MORE pictures, right? Here goes!

Southwest FTW! Adam and Aidan

On the Magical Express

Daisy Duck Aidan and Goofy Me and Lilo

Us With the Mouse

Aidan and Dale Aidan, Adam and Mickey

Aidan and Stitch Aidan and the Gang

Aidan and Spaceship Earth Love! Aidan and Buzz

Here’s a slide show of the whole trip, minus the Photopass pictures, which are not here yet:


And if you’re still reading, I encourage you to check out this video of highlights I made of the trip (if you haven’t seen it already).

About halfway through the trip, Adam said “We’re coming back next year.” :) Wheeee! He mentioned trying out Chef Mickey’s, and I sure do wish we could stay at the Polynesian, but hey, I’ll be happy with Pop Century again if it means having more money to spend in the parks. Shopping for Disney stuff is FUN (especially during the parades when the stores are pretty empty)!

Aidan went back to Ohio on Sunday. :( Fortunately, he didn’t cry at the airport. When he cries, I cry. Or at least a lot worse than normal. But when he doesn’t cry, I feel OK. It’s been so quiet here, though. I miss kissing his little cheeks, and I keep watching videos of him over and over just to hear his voice. He started first grade yesterday. Apparently, he’s popular. Kids leaping out of their seats because they were so excited to see him! How fun is that? Today, he rode the school bus to school. I can’t believe my baby’s a first grader now. First grade is like REAL school, you know? Next summer should be fun, with all the reading he’ll be able to do.

OK, I guess this entry is long enough. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go and continue recovering from a busy August. I’ve been hit with a cold or mini-flu or something and I’m been drained. Hope you enjoyed my recap and my Disney memories! :)

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