If You Go to Disneyland With Erin, Part 2

We joke to ourselves that Erin lives in The Bubble, a special place where everything is warped in her direction, flowers turn up to face her, and lines happen to other people. This phenomenon is never more apparent than when we go to Disneyland, where Erin exerts a special control over her surroundings, bending the world to her enthusiastic will and making it provide her with special experiences that she can’t even entirely appreciate yet.

I’ve written about this before. At least once. At least twice.

The last time it happened, I wrote “I can’t wait to see what happens next time.” Well, this is what happened the next time.

We walked in the front gate, and within 30 seconds Alice grabbed Erin’s hand and led her dancing around and through the crowd before settling down to watch the Mad Hatter lead some dads in a dance number. I caught the second part of this on video, but since it happened so damned fast after walking through the gate I was still gathering my wits. I hadn’t expected to be required to capture any special moments so soon.

I was not one of the daddies.

 

On the next day of the trip, as we were walking out of the park to go somewhere, the same Alice and a different Mad Hatter followed Erin’s lead in a long, improvised dance number. It was hilarious. Who gets to do this? Erin, that’s who.

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Since it was Christmas time, we sat and enjoyed the Christmas parade. We watched the floats float by, the characters waving and playing and dancing, and Mrs. Claus knitting in her rocking chair. As Mrs. Claus’ float passed by she called out to Erin, Adrian, and Erin’s BFF by name, wishing them a Merry Christmas. When Santa’s float passed by he did the same. These personal shoutouts during the Christmas parade were arranged by our friend Steven, a Disney fanatic and former cast member who usually joins us on our visits and who wears awesome shirts like this:

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We had dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen on the last night of the trip, and one of the characters making the rounds to the tables was Snow White. Erin was very excited, because she had just seen Snow White at Disneyland a few days earlier (more on that later), and she couldn’t wait to reconnect with her and get her autograph in her little autograph book. There was no way I was going to spoil the meeting by letting on that this Snow White probably wouldn’t remember an interaction that happened in the park itself a few days earlier (you know, because there are several actresses playing Snow White…you know that, right? Oh, sorry), so when Erin saw her approach the table and launched into her “It’s so great to see you again!” kind of greeting, I caught Snow White’s eye and gave her the ol’ “You know, from the other day…you took took her on a parade around the castle with Cinderella and the Queen…” and Snow White played along and said “Oh of course I…Oh, it’s you Erin!”

Wait. What?

I should back up a little. See, on the second day of the trip, Cinderella, Snow White, and the Queen took Erin on a promenade from Tomorrowland, through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and out the other side, then back across the front of the Castle.

Please give it up a little for the dad who walked backwards around Disneyland to record this and who didn’t bump into a single person. Skills: I have them.

 

IT. WAS. AMAZING. It was unique and envy-inducing and so special that it was the kind of thing you see and think “Wow. I bet that family paid a crapload of money for that special moment…” and you’d be dead wrong. It happened because Erin is Erin, and she’s been molding Disneyland in her image for years and she is genuinely, honestly, loved in that place.

When the walk was over, and hugs were doled out, Snow White gave Erin a big kiss on the cheek, leaving a lipstick memory behind. Erin wouldn’t let us wash it off, and days later when she saw Snow White at Goofy’s Kitchen she wanted to show her that she still had it there.

“Oh, it’s you Erin!” Snow White exclaimed, because in this weird world we were in of course it would be the very same Snow White here at the table as had held Erin’s hand around Disneyland.

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She admitted it took her a moment to recognize Erin without the hat she’d been wearing, but once she realized it was her she spent a crazy amount of time at the table with Erin and her little BFF (our friends joined us for the second half of the trip). It was no hit-and-run table wave, but a visit with a friend, and it was exactly the kind of thing that happens in Erin’s Bubble. When it was time to go, Snow White planted another lipstick memory on Erin’s cheek.

This is what happens when you go to Disneyland with Erin.

The Best Camera Is the One You Have With You

(This is a sponsored post for the LG Nitro™ HD smartphone. I like the phone, but you should know I’ve been compensated for my words http://cmp.ly/3/kqVumG)

I’m wandering around Disneyland, and the camera I happen to have with me is a phone. Normally, this would bum me out, since the phone I usually carry is a rhymes-with-ack-very, and while it’s fine as smartphones go, as a camera and video player it is…not the best. I usually bring a dedicated point-and-shoot camera with me to take pictures and record video, but now that I’m phasing the roomy Dad Jeans out of my wardrobe because of a fairly successful slimming-down regimen, I don’t have the cargo space for extra devices.

Enter the LG NitroTM HD (http://www.nitrobylg.com), a super-slim Android-powered 4G smartphone that has a crazy widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio true HD display, and a really nice camera capable of capturing full 1080pm HD photos and videos. I was very lucky to receive one from LG the day before we left for our trip, and I’ve been making good use of it.

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I want to be able to carry one device that is worth using as a phone, still camera, and video camera. We go to Disneyland a lot, and I’m always trying to snap pictures that are worth keeping, worth printing, and worth sharing. I also want to be able to shoot good-looking video without dedicating a bag just to camera equipment. I never bring my expensive handicam with me on trips because of the bulk, and I’ve either missed capturing special moments on video, or settled for inferior video recordings. With the LG NitroTM HD I don’t have to settle now.

Switch on the 1080p HD setting on YouTube to get the full effect of the recording.

 

What makes the LG NitroTM HD display so amazing?

  1. Real RGB stripe pixels for amazingly accurate color
  2. 329 pixels per inch for sharper, crisper images
  3. 16:9 aspect ratio for widescreen entertainment
  4. Efficient display for optimal power consumption
  5. Up to 7 hours of talk time

Over the last five days at the park, the LG NitroTM HD has taken nice pictures and video, and displayed them for my immediate review on a screen that makes mistakes and successes obvious right away (instead of having to wait until the pictures are on a bigger laptop screen).

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Most importantly, I’ve been able to use it as a smartphone, camera, or video recorder throughout the day for anywhere between 8 and 11 hours. Those are pretty full days at Disneyland, and we were busy.

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We’d have been lost without the Nitro.

And a good navigator.

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(What makes LG Nitro’s True HD IPS Display so amazing? 16:9 Aspect ratio for widescreen entertainment, sharper, crisper images, amazingly accurate colors and more. Exclusively available on AT&T’s 4G LTE network. Find out more at www.NitrobyLG.com.)

It’s Never Too Early To Make Your Kids Bake Cookies For You

We’re playing at the Sacramento Children’s Museum at the moment. It’s in an office building east of downtown. There’s a good mix of kinetic/science play and situational/costume stuff. They also have an art room and a water play area.

It’s smaller even than just the ground floor of the San Jose Children’s Discovery Museum, and is barely larger than the free Junior Museum and Zoo in Palo Alto (and doesn’t have a zoo). But the PA JMZ has a foundation of rich supporters keeping its doors open, while the SCM seems most closely associated with the local public works agency, so they have to charge the $7 entrance fee.

Looking around at the stations makes me want to be more creative, because I know I could build so much of it so easily.

Silicon Valley Garage Children’s Museum, anyone? I won’t even charge admission. Time to buy some golf balls and PVC pipe.