My super talented and creative friend Laura Fisk of Fisk & Fern is THIS MINUTE creating a Breakfast Taco tea towel for you to add to your extensive tea towel collection. (I KNOW I’m not the only one with an extensive tea towel collection… right?) Anyways. When she releases it I’mma put it up here. So watch this space. And in the meantime here’s Queso and Margaritas. Which are the perfect bookends for tacos.
I love Austin, Texas. I belong there. Even through hundred degree summers I forking THRIVED in Austin. We are flying down tonight and I’m READY.
There are so many things that could be #3 on this Austincentric Favorites list. Obviously my friends. (but I count them in as just being Austin.) Pluckers, Jack Allen’s Kitchen, Deep Eddy Vodka… but this week it’s the reason why we are going to Austin.
Austin City Limits. Three days, drinking wine out of sports bottles in a field. Where my friends are. And also all this music, and usually sunshine, and beer, and the most ridiculous food. Right now it is looking like it could be overcast and rainy so I’mma need someone to get Dick Cheney to turn on his weather machine and fix that shirt.
I shipped a box down to my Disney hotel on Tuesday so that we can restock our Owner’s Locker with shampoo, conditioner, my new favorite beach waves hair cream, a box of glow bracelets… I should have take a photo of the contents but until 15 seconds ago I didn’t know what my favorites were going to be this week.
We are leaving Friday for the long weekend. Our youngest is turning 18 on Saturday and we cashed in all of our JetBlue frequent flier miles and Disney Rewards Visa points to bring her and 2 of her friends to stay at Bay Lake Tower. We are going to the Halloween Party, it is the first weekend of the Food & Wine Festival and Tiffany is going to be singing for the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, I can’t wait.
I think half of the battle for regular Disney visitors are finding:
the perfect park bag.
the perfect park shoes.
the perfect comfort/convenience items.
So here we go:
My perfect park bag is the Kavu rope sling bag. I’ve been using the same one for the last several years and it still looks BRAND NEW. Which is awesome, but also- c’mon! I want a new one. (Specifically the space pops one– how great is that?!) There are a ton of pockets- the front one fits my iphone 7+ perfectly, and that’s a monster so I can’t imagine a phone that wouldn’t fit there to be easily accessible. It is comfortable to wear, I don’t find myself getting all sweaty under it. It fits EVERYTHING. I generally start the day with a couple of bottles of water, a cooling towel, charging cords, a sunscreen, a single neatly folded poncho, my phone, and a small wallet with ID/Annual Pass/Gift Card/Disney Visa Card. I generally end the day without the water bottles but WITH a cake pop or school bread or carrot cake cookie, a set of ears, various souvenirs, three damp ponchos, and still room for more.
I love this bag.
I go back and forth on the perfect park shoes. For a year or two they were Sketchers lace up sneakers with memory foam cooling insoles… and then my feet decided that being confined like that would RUIN EVERYONE’S DAY. So I’m all set with that for now.
I have had much luck with Sanuk Yoga Mat Slings – they have fabric that hugs your foot while still giving them lots of room to breathe – which keeps them from getting cranky – which keeps ME from getting cranky. (never wear these to the beach, you will never get the sand out of the sling bit)
BUT THEN I bought a pair of these Fit Flop Uberknit flip flops. I committed the first Disney mortal sin of wearing brand new shoes, straight out of the box, for a full day at Disneyland and they were so comfortable I broke the second Disney mortal sin of wearing the same shoes two days in a row. No regrets. I bought a second color and these two pairs might be the only shoes I bring for the weekend.
And for #3 I’m essentially asking Genie for a million wishes because I can’t pick a third and instead I’m listing some of my favorite convenience items.
The Disney Park Poncho – the original and the best – I decided one year that I was going to buy those disposable little ponchos and it ripped while I was putting it on mid-rainstorm. So.
I mentioned I have an Owner’s Locker the locker is packed with ponchos, ears, full sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner, any meds we might need, bandaids, sunscreen, bug spray, aloe, etc. So now I store our ponchos in the Locker, but before that I’d just bring them back and forth each in their own quart sized ziplock bag.
Cooling towels. I’m a better person when I have one wrapped around my neck. These are NOT in our locker, because they’d be all mildewy so I bring them home to wash between visits. At quick service counters you can ask for free glasses of ice water. I ask for 2, and one of them is just to submerge my cooling towel in. Game changer.
and finally – power. I have a few different kinds of portable power sources for our phones but the Fuel Rods available on property hold more than a full charge and are replaceable on site – so you don’t have to go back to your room to recharge. Your first fuel rod also comes with a little cord and a few different phone adaptors. It is expensive at $30 but I feel as if we have recouped the spend multiple times over so far.
So that’s what I’ve got. And other than the poncho and the Owners Locker these would work for a day at any amusement park or field trip or hike.
Y’all. on the 9th I had to have a tooth extracted and then this weekend I cracked a tooth on the OTHER side of my mouth – on an egg salad sandwich. So it was the tooth’s time to go I guess. So, I’m still not really eating anything delicious. But! Today someone brought a bag of fun sized candy bars to the office and there are Three Musketeers bars- which are definitely my speed right now.
So I ordered three boxes of chocolates from See’s. And technically I bought extra to share but I might keep all three for myself because the world is shitty right now and I’m a sucker for a berry creme chocolate. And chocolate in general. And pretty much anything I can eat without worrying that I’m going to stab myself in the gums or break another tooth. (my teeth aren’t all this fragile, just those two.)
I have no regrets, #becausechocolate
I got an email today with this dress in it. I’m not buying it because like I said – dental work – and also I’m currently pretending that I’m going to Egypt for 17 days in January/February. THOUGH. if I were going to Egypt this dress seems like it could be amazing with a giant hat to wear onboard the Sonesta Star Goddess as we travel up the Nile. Oh… I’m definitely putting together a fake packing list Pinterest board for my fake adventure through Egypt. hang on…
Anyways, like I said- I’m going on actual vacation on Saturday. I’m going to Disneyland! Don’t roll your eyes at me, I know I was in Disney World last month but this is different. I’ve never been to Disneyland! And everyone is going – Dave, the girls, my sister and her husband and my nephew, and the girls are each bringing a friend… it is a Disney field trip of the highest order. AND. we are doing a VIP tour because it stresses me out to be responsible for other people’s vacations – so to make sure we cover everything… getting a plaid. Wicked excited.
I’ve been making the same list over and over this week – tweaking it a little each time. But yesterday morning it occurred to me that I’m bringing a big-ass-suitcase because I’m NOT stressing out about fitting my outfits and shoes into a little suitcase to prove that I can. That’s not fun at all.
How do I pack for Disneyland? Is it weird that I’m looking at strangers’ Instas to see what people are wearing in their photos?
news breaks that Justice Kennedy is retiring and there goes all of my travel excitement and actual anxiety hits and none of this fun silly stuff matters.
I picked the wrong administration to start a blog about shopping.
I have been in Disney World- Traveling My Feelings with a large side of Eating My Feelings- and celebrating my birthday. When things at work get crazy, or when I’m sad, or I’m happy enough to be experiencing a break in the clouds of depression that makes me want to DO ANYTHING… I plan Disney weekends. It gets me out of my head, it gives me something to focus on and to get ready for. Making dining reservations and fastpass+ ride plans is a concrete step forward while giving me something bigger to look forward to. Plus it is really fricking fun.
And there’s packing. I start packing in my head and on paper weeks before I go. I have an entire Disney wardrobe- clothing I would never wear during my day to day in Massachusetts where I have always worn black, even in summertime. (I’m working on that right now but that’ll be another blog post for another day.) The quest for the perfect park shoe is never ending- if you have a suggestion I’m open to hearing it! I’ve found that my old school Fit Flops work the best. Skechers GoWalk sneakers with the yoga mat soles are also awesome, but the INSTANT my feet get sweaty it is all over for me, so I can’t wear things that require socks. Your mileage may vary on that.
In the photo at the top of this I’m wearing a LulaRoe Carly dress, I think it is a size Small, which cracks me up every time- I wear Small and Medium in that style interchangeably and find them to be some of the best park dresses I’ve got. My shoulders are protected from the sunburn I would otherwise get and it is a swing style, giving me lots of room for Mickey Waffles and Dole Whips. I’m also crazy about the bag I’m wearing – it is a Kavu sling bag that I got from Amazon and I will never go back to another style bag for the parks. The Kavu fits 3-4 of the thicker Disney ponchos, a bottle of water, phone, a cord and a fuel rod. Plus the other little necessities of the day- sunglasses, cool towel, advil, sunscreen… they’re also cute and easy for security to look through as I enter the park. So. A Kavu Bag. The way to go for sure. I have the Black Topo style but see Space Pop in my future! (the link to Amazon is an affiliate link- if you buy it- and you should!- I’ll make a tiny bit which I’ll put towards my next one.)
Disney trip planning gives me an excuse to do all of the things I love all at once – shopping, list-making, thinking about food… and the payoff is a trip to a place I love with people I love.