February 20th, 2015


Happy Lunar New Year!

It turns out that it's probably a good thing that we ended up working on Monday, because we ended up taking the day off today. But we were on our feet a lot, so it's also a good thing that we have taken measures to make sure we don't need to go anywhere (like the store) tomorrow, and hopefully we'll have a nice relaxing weekend.

As for what we did today, we went to the Lunar New Year celebration at California Adventure! Last year, we tried to go, but we went in the evening, so we missed most of the cool stuff. So this year, we were determined to make sure that didn't happen, and we went in the morning. And boy are we glad we did! It was sooooo cool! ...And most of the coolness will not be expressed well here, because of course there were a lot of visuals. I took a lot of pictures! Maybe one day I'll have the time to upload them.

First, they started off the festivities with a procession led by Mulan and Mushu. They had fan dancers and ribbon dancers and acrobats and drummers. And a dragon! It was really long and swirly. And they all took turns performing, and it was soooo pretty.

They also had coloring! The coloring was hard, because not only was the design really intricate, but we were using crayons (for one thing), AND they kept announcing new performances that we wanted to jump up and look at! Then we'd have to come back and find a new table with crayons because the one we were using had been taken by some other group. But the coloring offering for Lunar New Year was a paper lantern! So you finish coloring it, and then you take it to the people who handed it out, and they'd cut slits and tape it together to form a paper lantern. The people running this craft came from the Cerritos Chinese School.

One of the performances we had to abandon our coloring for was...I think it's called a lion dance? I don't know. *checks Wikipedia* Yes. A lion dance. Brought to us by guest performers from the...something something Kung Fu Association. I'm sorry I don't remember! They seemed like a really cool group, too. Anyway, they did cool lion dance stuff, and it was really neat, because the lions would interact with the crowd--the white one (there was a white one, a black one, and a yellow one) tried to eat the head of the boy sitting in front of us! But they were usually friendly, blinking at the small children and letting them pet their heads and stuff. One of the things that really stood out to me was that there was absolutely no pretense that the lions were not people in costumes, and at the very end they even did a thing where they flipped the costumes off so you could clearly see the people inside them. Anyway, it was awesome and I really do need to upload pictures.

They also had calligraphy! All you had to do was wait in line, and a professional calligrapher would write a lucky/happy phrase or your name in Chinese. We got "a bright spring day" and "birds singing, fragrant flowers," because we love spring and flowers and birds. We also waited in the line to get your name, so we could get something for Gaston and Alice, because Gaston wanted to come see the festivities but had work.

After we decided we'd seen all there is to see, we bought t-shirts. Then we played the fishing game at the Midway, because when we went with Alice's family, we noticed they had new little prizes for it, and we didn't have those ones yet, so we needed them. The fishing game involving taking a magnetic fishing pole and catching a plastic fish that has a colored dot on the bottom. You're guaranteed a prize, and it's only $2.50 to play! So we had two of the little prizes, and there were four new ones. The idea was to get the two that we failed to get last time. But! I ended up getting a medium prize! And since it's a really cute fisherman Mickey plush that we don't have (we do have a bigger version of it), and I can never say no to Mickey, I got that one instead. We'll be back for the little pink fish! (Now we have a whale, a starfish, and a turtle.)

Then it was off to Downtown Disney for lunch. But on the way, we decided to do some window shopping on Buena Vista Street...and ending up doing some actual shopping. But they were having a deal! You could save a whole two dollars! ...Actually a whole buck ninety. So, to save a buck ninety, we got TWO Chinese Zodiac mystery pin sets. We always wanted to collect that set, especially since we translated Fruits Basket, and today we were celebrating Lunar New Year and they had a deal, so we gave in to the temptation (and saved a buck ninety!). But we're really glad we got them, because the box does not do justice to how shiny they are! We now have the Horse (Maximus), the Rooster (Chicken Little), the Tiger (Tigger), and the Dog (Pluto).

Then we had lunch, and then it was off to Build-A-Bear to get a Pinkie Pie, because we have a coupon and a gift card. So we picked up a Pinkie Pie skin and got in line to stuff it, and we got to the sound place...but there was no Pinkie Pie sound box. And we were like, "We can't have a talking Fluttershy and a mute Pinkie Pie. That would be the most wrong thing ever. That would be opposite land!" So we waited until we could ask an employee, and she checked and said they didn't have Pinkie Pie sounds today. So we sadly returned Pinkie Pie to the Pinkie Pie bin and made a note to try again later, or order things from the Internet.

The Internet is probably also where we will buy the other thing we wanted to buy but didn't today: Big Hero 6 t-shirts. They just didn't have any that we really liked. The really sad thing about that is that today we got our Big Hero 6 manga comp copies! But Hiro and Baymax aren't doing meet & greets anymore, so we can't have them sign it. Even though we got the books a whole month early, they were too late. Alas and alack.

Finally, we wanted to ride the train around Disneyland. Gaston was all up in arms a couple of weeks ago because they had closed it for refurbishment--he was adamant that Walt Disney would Not have approved shutting the train down for any amount of time. Our opinion was that it depended on what they were shutting it down for. If it was awesome, Walt would have been all for it. So, now that it was up again, we wanted to check it out.

But first! when we got into Disneyland, the brass band was out serenading. They were playing "I Just Can't Wait to be King" from The Lion King, and being us, we walked up to watch and sing along. The conductor, for some reason, had his back to the band and was moving as if to conduct the audience, which was good and bad, because it made us want to sing all the more, and we got really carried away with it, too. Zazu yells a lot in that song, and it's fun to yell, so. Of course the conductor noticed, aaaaaaahhhhh. But he seemed really happy that we were singing along! Yay! But he brought attention to it! Yay...? We like to sing and we like to have attention, but we've spent so much time around Singers (including Gaston) that it makes us not like to get attention While Singing. That's why we sing In Choirs. And to make matters worse, all the instruments in a brass band are B-flat instruments, which means all the songs are in a weird key. It's fine when you're yelling as Zazu--you're not singing, you're yelling. But when you're trying to sing Colors of the Wind, it causes problems.

But it was fun anyway. They finished the Lion King song, and the conductor was like, "Do you know all the words to any songs from Pocahontas?" and we were like, "We sure do!" And he's like, "Okay, we'll play Colors of the Wind!" And then he asked what other movies we know all the songs to, and we said, "Do you know any from Hercules?" Sadly, no. I'm hoping he went backstage and started planning for them to learn Go the Distance or Zero to Hero. So they went with Under the Sea instead. And it was all a lot of fun, but they had abbreviated versions of the songs and we never knew which parts to edit out! So we got lost when they made the jumps. But we didn't want too much attention anyway. And they ended with a classic Disney medley, including When You Wish Upon A Star, Heigh Ho, and Zippity-Doo-Da, and the conductor asked everyone to sing along to the last one.

Finally we went on the train...and there were no changes. We can't even say they needed to shut it down while they did refurb on Splash Mountain and the dinosaurs, because those parts of the ride were all blacked out! It was really funny, though, because the modern day Grand Canyon part was still on, so we got to see all the stuffed animals, and then it was all blacked out, so we were going through a dark tunnel. And one of the conductors came onto the PA and said, "Normally this is where we take you back in time to see the dinosaurs, but our time machine is on the fritz. But I'm told that if you chant, 'I do believe in dinos! I do! I do!', you'll be able to hear their calls." So she led us all in the chant, and after we chanted a few times, she started making dinosaur noises. It was the best. One of the roars sounded almost like it said, "I want a churro." We all applauded at the end.

And then we came home and spent an hour answering a survey about when we experienced Frozen Fun back in January.

Today I'm thankful for getting to go to the Lunar New Year celebration at California Adventure, all the neat entertainment they had, getting to sing along with the Disneyland Band, the amazing dinosaur conductor, and having a stash of chocolate that helped us resist the urge to needlessly spend money on snacks.