Book Reviews 2018

BOOK REVIEW: The Deal (Off-Campus Series #1)

Hello Worlders~

I have officially finished book number 3 of the year and now I’m wondering is it too early to say that I found my favorite book of the year? Okay, maybe it is, it’s only February and there are still so many books left to be read this year.

Before I get too far into this book review I want to set aside 2 disclaimers. The first one being a trigger warning which is the book I’m talking about does involved both physical and sexual abuse, I will not be talking about it much in the review but I wanted to let you know before you decide if this is a book you want to read. The second disclaimer is that this book is classified as a New Adult Romance novel.  I will not be talking graphically about it but again something to think about before reading it.

And for those of you who are sitting here and thinking “EMMA! You’ve written two whole paragraphs without introducing book.” Well let me introduce it now, I read The Deal by Elle Kennedy. And let me tell you it was….

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And now for the summary…

Hannah Wells is a college junior and a music major and preparing for the big Winter Showcase where she can win a scholarship that would help her and her family finically. Garrett Graham is also a college junior who is the star hockey player and the son of a famous hockey player and destine to go to the pros. When Garrett fails a huge ethics test that threatens the rest of his hockey season he starts brainstorming a way to pull up his grade. So, when he sees that Hannah aced the midterm he does everything in his power to get her to help him. Which is when a deal is struck between Garrett and Hannah, if she helps him study for his retake he’ll take her on a date to up her social status so that the star football player who she has a crush on will notice her.

From the beginning of the novel I felt a connection to the female main character, Hannah. She is shy and slightly closed off to finding love. As well as her sense of humor reminds me a little bit of myself. As for the male lead, Garrett, he is without a doubt a male character that I fell in love with. I thought when he found out about the skeletons in Hannah’s past he reacted in a sweet way and wanted to protect her from the pain that was still haunting her. He also had the kind of poke fun or teasing sense of humor about him that I love in guys.  Much like Hannah, Garrett has some pretty real skeletons in his past. And I feel like these helped make them more realistic well rounded characters who readers can relate to or want to have inter-grained in their lives even if its just through reading about them. Or maybe I’m the only one who loved the characters that much.

In many ways this novel would probably fall under the “insta-love” category since the majority of the novel took place in about half of a college semester which on average is just under six weeks. But it didn’t feel too insta-y. It to me it felt realistic with the way people with a lot in common and strong chemistry would act around one another.

Which brings me to my next point which is that the novel as a whole ran at a perfect pace. There weren’t long extended periods between the more “action-y” moments but it wasn’t action, action, action, bam, bam, bam. There were perfectly spread out. Before this book I was hesitant about how I felt about the New Adult Romance genre because the only novel in that genre I had read was Fifty Shades of Grey and a small part of me was worried that the telling every moment of their day thing at Ana did in Fifty Shades was genre wide. I was happy to see I was wrong. It made me more willing to give this genre a chance with other novels (And I definitely will be reading the rest of the Off-campus series).

Something I adored about the novel is that when reading the characters dialouge it felt like I was listening to twenty-somethings talking instead of reading what an older author thought twenty-somethings would say. Elle Kennedy never used “slang” words in random places or in awkward connotations. One thing I noticed is that she did use a lot of pop culture references but they made sense to the characters. The only thing about some of the references is that it might date the book in a few years when One Direction (who broke up about a month after the book was published #FunFact) or Justin Bieber aren’t as well known.

One of the main complaints I saw online about this book is that to some readers felt it was very “anti-feministic”. And after seeing their reasoning in reviews I can see where they are coming from. But at the same time I didn’t go into this novel thinking that I was going to be reading some great feminist novel so I didn’t have those as a complaints. One of the instances they used as a complaint was that they felt how hard Garrett worked to get Hannah to tutored him was borderline stalkerish. In real life I would probably feel the same way but to me it was a device used in the novel to make the novel more interesting and propel the plot so I was able to overlook the creepiness of this characteristic.

My main complaint about the novel was that it had a troupe that I can’t stand in literature. I don’t want to go into too much detail on it here because I don’t want to give away spoilers but I will say it was one troupe that I can’t stand and have never been able to stand in movies, tv or books. But since it was such a small part of the novel as a whole I was able to over look it.

Like I said this may end up being one of my favorite books of the year and I ended up giving a rating of 4.95 starts out of 5. I would reccomend this book to anyone who is interested in New Adult Romance (or wants to venture into that genre) or anyone whose looking for a “can’t wipe your smile off your face while you read” novel. I wouldn’t recommend this book too someone who doesn’t read a lot of books with characters in their twenties as some of the moments might feel immature or over dramatic if you aren’t used to that age bracket.

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Have you read The Deal? What did you think of the novel? Let me know in the comments.

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Book Reviews 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Fangirl

Hello Worlders~

Its not even February (at least its not when I’m writing the first draft, its currently, January 27, 2018) and I’ve already finished reading my second book of 2018! Making it that I’m one book closer to reaching my goal of 18 books and by writing this I’m working towards my goal of writing a review for all 18 books. So, let’s get started.

The second book I read this year is the widely popular book Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. A books that I continually see on people’s top books of the year lists or favorite books of all time list. But I will be honest from the start, I do not understand the hype of this novel. But before I explain why let me give you some background on the novel.

So, this novel follows Cath through her freshmen year of college. During her freshmen year Cath feels like her whole world is being turned upside down. For the first time in her whole life she is not home to help take care of her bipolar father, a role that Cath believes is her responsibility although in reality is much bigger then even she understands. And although Cath is going to school with her twin sister they will not being rooming together which upsets Cath because not only is she not living with her sister like she always has but she’s also is going to be living with a stranger in a different building. A stranger who doesn’t seem to like Cath and whose possible boyfriend or sex buddy (in Cath’s mind) always seems to be around, begging for Cath’s attention. The only constant in Cath’s life right now is her extremely popular fan-fiction about “Simon Snow” which is a parody of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter. And Cath’s particular Fan-fiction is read by about 10,000 different people.

Okay, so I’m going to be honest with all of you, I really didn’t like this book and I’m not sure how much of this review will be positive. But I am going to be honest without giving away spoilers.

Cath who was the main character (although not the narrator) was a character who I found to be extremely annoying. Starting with the fact that she complained about a lot and was constantly throwing herself a pity party. Even when things weren’t going that badly.  And when given an oppurtunity to fix a somewhat major problem she complained that she had to do that. Although I understand that she was going through a very large and emotional change by starting college, she was mean and judgy towards her sister who didn’t want to sit in a dorm room all night and write fanfiction. I also found Cath to be a little bit of cliche nerd, the type of a nerd who has a hard time excepting that other people could identify as “nerdy” if they didn’t do the same thing as her or didn’t check off every box on her nerd checklist.

Cath did have a love story in the novel, although I don’t want to talk to much about it because there is a small love triangle, although I think its pretty obvious who she ends up with. But I found their love story kind of odd. Through the whole book the love story felt very one side with the guy’s feeling being stronger then Cath’s feelings for him. Although the author implies that Cath has built up a lot of walls because of her mom leaving there were just times when the boy seemed more committed then Cath ever was.

Including Cath’s inability to let people in their were a lot of stories that just felt like they weren’t explored enough. For example Cath’s twin, Wren, has a pretty exciting storyline and it is grazed upon but never really explored in depth. And I know that it could be because the novel is about Cath but I think with the story being told in third person it made the story feel incomplete. Cath also had a storyline about not wanting to let her mom back into her life. I feel like just because Cath and Wren were raised by a single father doesn’t mean that their mom had to come, in fact I think that adding this storyline and a few other made the story feel over stimulate. So, much in fact that some of the stories never felt complete even with the novel endings, almost like Rowell wanted to leave it open ended enough for a possible sequel, which never came to be. Although in FAQ page on Rainbow Rowell’s website (find it here) she says that some of the characters make cameos in another novel of hers.

Although Cath would be consider the main character of this novel, you can also argue that Cath’s fan fiction is a character within the novel. And I’m not going to lie I found the fan fiction kind of boring. I think it was because I didn’t know much about the work of the fan fiction so I couldn’t get into something in the middle of it. It felt like someone handed me the fourth book a series, opened into the middle page, gave me no background and expected me to understand what was happening. About a quarter of the way into the novel I decided to skip the fan fiction snippets and just focus on the novel I had chosen to read.

I went into Fangirl knowing that it was widely popular but not expecting much. The summary, was interesting but not something I would have picked up without recommendation. But after reading I really didn’t enjoy it at all. I wanted to when I started reading and even after finishing it I was to give it a good rating. But when I sat down to write my notes for this novel, I realized just how much I didn’t it. I decided to give it a rating of 2.75 out 5. And if we’re being honest I don’t think I would recommended to anyone who is not already into fan-fiction. Which if we’re being honest might be why I didn’t like the novel, because I had never read a fan fiction until recently.

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Have you read Fangirl? What did you think of the novel? Let me know in the comments down below.

Book Reviews 2018

BOOK REVIEW: We All Fall Down

Hello Worlders~

Happy 2018! I know its kind of late but I don’t think I’ve really posted anything on here yet since the New Year. Just like in years past I have set a reading goal for myself with how many books I want to read and this year I have set my goal to 18. As well as setting a goal that I have the goal of writing 18 book reviews, one for each book here on my bloggy.

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I’m pretty proud of myself too because only one week into January (It took me a while to edit this but I did finish it in the first week) and I’ve already finished my first book! Before I start talking about this book I want to do a little self promo that I posted a video on my YouTube channel discussing all the books I want to read this year, you can check that video out here.

So, without further ado let’s talk about the first book I read this year, We All Fall Down by Natalie D. Richards, I have added the Good Reads link so that you can find places to buy or borrow the book if it interests you.

We All Fall Down follows two best friends Paige and Theo who had been friends since elementary school, I want to say the exact grade is fourth, but don’t quote me on that. Both Paige and Theo are harboring secret feelings for the other one. But on the night that Theo decided to confess his feelings an accident happens involving him accidentally punching Paige in the face leaving Paige with a broken jaw. After months of not talking Paige and Theo both mysteriously get drawn back to the bridge where it all happened. At the bridge, Theo starts hearing the events of the night repeating in almost surround sound and Paige keeps finding items she had on her that night like the sandals she wore and the purse she was carrying. With the help of another, younger, local who also feels haunted by the bridge they strive to figure out why the bridge is haunted and how they can stop it.

I think I’m going to start with the negatives I found with this book to get the bad out of the way faster. Which for me is a I think the way the novel ended. Through the whole book I felt like I was picking up on clues that would lead to an ending that followed a certain theme, I wasn’t sure exactly how it would end but I felt like it would be something within a board topic. (Sorry I know that was vague but I’m trying to avoid spoilers) But when I finally got to the end the ending was completely different then I ever would have thought. Which that wasn’t my real problem, I don’t care that I predicted it wrong. My main problem was that the ending felt like it came out of left field with nothing else in the novel pointing towards that ending. On top of that I found the ending kind of confusing and very unsatisfying.

Going off of the topic of confusing I found a lot of the places and events describe to be hard to picture. With the biggest place being bridge, the way that Richards describe the bridge was hard for me to picture. It might just be that I had never seen a bridge like that but I just couldn’t picture the way the bridge looked. The big climatic scene in the novel also came across as confusing, there was a lot going on at one time and a lot of players involved so it was hard to keep track of where each of the players were at any given moment.

When I first started the novel it was very captivating and I was excited to read it at night when I would have time. But the further I got into the more it felt like I was just reading it because I wanted to know who or what was haunting the bridge. I will say that I was excited to finish the book so the last 20 to 30 pages I read quickly because it did capture my attention a little bit more.

There were some things that I did like about the book, starting with the romance. At first I was like ugh, another cliche romance of the “bad boy” falling in love with the “good girl”. But in the moments when the romance would become more excited I enjoyed it. I also loved the little details that Richards put into their relationships. From Theo describe the moment when Paige went from being just his friend to the girl he liked to the little things that even before Theo fell for Paige that he would do for her. Like bring pretzals to parties so Paige would have something to eat because she refused to eat out of communal bowls.

The aspect of the novel that intrigue me the most wasn’t the paranormal moments which is what I was looking forward to but instead it was the mental health aspect of the novel. Paige suffered from pretty extreme anxiety as well as what I believe may have been some PTSD from the incident with Theo but I don’t believe it was ever “officially” confirmed or diagnosed within the novel. While Theo I believe also was suffering form some anxiety as well as ODD or Oppositional Defiant Disorder. This novel was the first time I had ever heard of this disorder and from what I understand it basically means that he struggles with impulse control as well as being pretty defiant towards authority.  Which describe Theo to a T. Richards showed both character’s disorders thoroughly and descriptively.

I felt that mental disorders really made me question one of the main topics of the book; was Theo accidentally punching Paige something that could be forgiven? Throughout the whole novel I would think about whether I felt that Theo punching Paige while under the influence was forgivable. There were times where I would think that it was an accident, that couldn’t be that bad. But upon further thought I wondered how I would feel if I had been abused or  hurt by someone that I loved to the extend that Paige was even if it was a mistake. Having that thought and a theme within the novel to think that intently about was in all honesty my favorite thing about this novel.

And those are my thought on We All Fall Down. On a scale to 1 to 5 with one being the worst book and five being a fantastic book, I gave We All Fall Down a 3.25. I would recommend this book to someone who has likes mystery but not necessarily to huge paranormal fans because it doesn’t follow that feeling at all.

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Have you read We All Fall Down. What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments down below.

P.S. I did a book talk on this book on my YouTube channel, check it out here.

Uncategorized

My Favorite & Least Favorite Books of 2017

Hello Worlders~

This year I challenged myself to read 15 books throughout the  year. And unfortunately I fell short and only read 10 and about half books. Which is okay, I went through a reading slump when I first started working full time and had to adjust to a new schedule. But I picked back up towards the end of the year. And I’m preparing myself for my next challenge (more on that to come).

In this post I wanted to share my top 5 favorite books of 2017 as well as my bottom 3 books of 2017. At the bottom of this post you can find a link to the corresponding video I’m doing on YouTube for this post where you can get more details about how books got where they got on the list.

Think we should start with the negative with my least favorite book of the year which was…

10. We Were Liars

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No review (I really hated this book I couldn’t even write a review)

Rating: 2.2/5

9. When It Happens

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No review (There was a lot going when I finished this novel)

Rating: 2.8/5

8. Just One Day

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Review Here

Rating: 3.25/5

And my top five favorite books of the year. These books are some my favorite books I’ve read in awhile and I loved getting the chance to read these books this year. Most of these books are ones that I would recommend to people!

5. Anna and the French Kiss

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Review here

 Rating: 3.85/5

Side note: This booked tied (ranking wise) with Until Friday Night but I preferred Anna and the French Kiss hence it getting the 5th place ranking.

4. Everything Everything

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Review here

Rating: 4.20/5

3. Since You’ve Been Gone

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Review here

Rating: 4.35/5

2. The Hating Game

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Review Here

Rating: 4.75/5

I’ll be honest when I finished reading Since You’ve Been Gone in early March I was convinced that it would be my favorite book of the year. But then I read The Hating Game in May I thought there is no way I’ll like a book more then I liked this one (seriously go out and read the The Hating Game you WILL NOT regret it). But then I read a book by arguably one of my favorite authors and even The Hating Game got knocked out of the number one spot. Leaving us with…

1. Forever and Always, Lara Jean

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Review here

Rating: 4.85/5

And those were my favorite (and least favorite) books of the year. Overall even thought I only read ten books (and half since I’m half way through the book I’m currently reading but that will end up on the 2018 list) I feel like I had a really good reading year. I enjoyed most of the books I read and got something out of all them.

I have done two videos on YouTube talking about these books the first one is My Most Disappointing Books and My Favorite Books of the year. Each of the videos give a more in depth look at why I liked and or didn’t like a book.

What were your favorite books of the year? Let me know in the comments below. And don’t forget to watch the corresponding YouTube video (click here) to get all the details about why the books go the rating they did.

 

 

Uncategorized

BOOK REVIEW: Until Friday Night

Hello Worlders~

I hope your holiday season is going well. This time of year always seems to be the craziest. But leave it to me to get the motivation to attempt to complete my reading challenge for 2017. My goal this year was to read 15 books this year and I just finished my 10th book of the year, which included As Old As Time, When It Happens (No review), Since You’ve Been Gone, Just One Day, Anna and the French Kiss, The Hating Game, Everything Everything, Alway and Forever Lara Jean, We Were Liars (No Review) and as of about two weeks ago (I forgot to edited it) I can add, Until Friday Night (Link to Good Reads pages) by Abbi Glines.

Until Friday Night is told in a dual prespective where both main characters, Maggie and West show what is happening through their eyes. Maggie is a young girl who saw some horrific things happen that ultimately left her an orphan after the death of her mother. Two years later she is moving in with her Uncle Boone and his family which includes her Aunt Coralee and cousin Brady. The biggest thing about Maggie is that she hasn’t spoken since her mother’s death when she became selectively mute.

At the same time West has been keeping a big secret from all his friends and his football team which is that his father, former football star of the same high school, is on his death bed dying from stage 4 stomach cancer. West attempts to numb the pain by sleeping around and distracting himself. But when he meets Maggie she becomes all he can think about. And Maggie surprises even herself by speaking to him in an attempt to help him get through.

I had originally picked up this book thinking it would have a similar feel to it that Friday Night Lights (the show not the book, I haven’t read it) had. And I will be honest it did not have the same feel, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The biggest difference I noticed was that instead of being about the people on the team it was really only about Maggie and West.

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A promo shot of the show (Source)

When it came to the characters I didn’t hate either of them but I didn’t love them either.  Maggie, understandably, seemed to over think every little aspect of every interaction she experienced or watched, including every interaction she saw West have. While West felt kind of immature and possessive. Almost every time he referred to Maggie he said things like “My Maggie.” And would even get jealous if her cousin, like her biological cousin, would talk to her. Like nothing romantic was going to happen between her and her cousin but West would get extremely jealous about the whole situation.

When it came to Maggie and West relationship like I said above I didn’t really like West’s possessiveness and that nobody seemed to think it was too extreme. But it was hard to read it in a dual persecutive style because they would both talk about how much they cared about each other but neither of them were really doing anything about those feelings. I feel like this aspect of their relationship would have been a little bit more tolerable in my mind if it had only been told from one of them instead of both.

I felt that the ending of the book went on about ten pages too long, especially because added “twist” you might say that Glines added in seemed unnecessary consider the next novel in the series isn’t about Maggie or West but still left Maggie’s story in a cliffhanger.

Overall I did enjoy the book, my biggest complaints were probably how much they discussed their feeling but didn’t act on them and West crazy possessiveness. On my rating scale of 1 being horrible and 5 being fantastic I rated Until Friday Night a 3.85.

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Have you read Until Friday Night? What did you think? Let me know in the comments down below.

Travel

UNEXPECTED DISNEY TRIP 2017: Solo Disney Day {Day 2}

Hello Worlders~

You want to know a secret? As much as I love traveling with friends and family around the Disney Parks I also love to explore them by myself, which is exactly what I did on Day 2 of my Unexpected Disney Trip!

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This day started pretty similar to the day before. I woke up and had breakfast with my traveling companions. Chad left really early because he was going to be golfing with my dad and his cousin. Marianne and Josh were not going into the parks that day instead opting for exploring Disney Springs and having a pool day.

Since my trip had gotten delayed thanks to the Northeaster I had an extra park day that the rest of my traveling partners had already used. Since yesterday we had gone to the Magic Kingdom and tomorrow we were planning on hitting up EPCOT I chose to go Hollywood Studios, even if there are only 4 rides.

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The ride over to the park was pretty unexciting, much like the day before I had to wait a while for the bus. There were a bunch of grouchy people waiting for the bus with me. In their defense there was a family who waited almost an hour for the bus! Which is something I’m not sure I had ever really heard of.

Once I got to Hollywood Studios I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I still had a while before my first fastpass plus. As I walked in I noticed my favorite Disney character was doing a meet and greet so I hopped in line.

For those of you who don’t know my favorite character is Donald Duck so I was on cloud 9 to see him. The line moved realtively quickly and soon it was my turned. A quick disclaimer I love to meet characters and I’m much like a little kid and I love to interact with the characters. I was super excited to meet Donald because I have a Donald Duck phone case and I wanted to show him.

After meeting Donald I headed back toward Pixar Place so that I could ride Toy Story Mania. It was the first time I had gone on this ride. I just never was willing to wait 75 plus minutes to go on it. But since I had a fastpass I figured why not. I thought it was a fun ride and will definitely go on it again, especially with a fast pass.

After getting off the ride I headed over to what used to be One Man’s Dream, which has since changed names and become something new. I looked around for a little while and then noticed that Moana was doing a meet and greet in there and decided to jump in line. And let me tell you the meet and greet cue was awesome! My meet and greet with Moana was pretty cool, she showed me how to wave find and I did get a good amount attention even given the long line.

After meeting Moana I decided to hop in the little theatre they haver there because they were showing a preview of the live action Beauty and the Beast. Which had either just come out or was going to be coming out that week. The preview was the beginning of the Belle scene and was a good 5 to 7 minutes long.

Soon I decided it was time to get some lunch. I headed over to PizzeRizzo which used to be Pizza Planet. They had over hauled it and re-themed it to the Muppet’s character Rizzo. The pizza was good and the theme was very clean and bright unlike the old Pizza Planet.

After lunch I explore the area for a little while. I debated popping in to see the Muppets 3D show but ultimately decided not to because I really wanted to go on Star Tours.

While I was in line for Star Tours there was a family standing in front of me. They were such Disney going family goals. Everyone was wearing matching shirts, they packed their own lunch were eating in line and just adorable. Plus they scooped out some goals reality by still fighting and showing that going to Disney with young kids is not easy. Once I got on the ride it was pretty uneventful. I wasn’t the rebel spy, I didn’t get puked on and we landed safely on the new planet.

Then it was time to head over to my next Fastpass Plus. It was something that had fastinated me forever but a ride I was always too scared to go on. I was going to be riding The Tower of Terror. For as long as I could remember I thought the Tower was one of the coolest buildings on Disney property. But I’m not a huge fan of straight drops. But I decided to book a fast pass so I didn’t have the long wait to chicken out. While I waited in line I talked to two nice girls who were around my age. They made me feel like they ride wasn’t as scary as it felt. And believe it or not I wasn’t that big of a fan of the ride.

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You see I got a large aderline rush from it but I never got that stomach dropping and doing flips feeling that except from thrill rides. I’m glad I got to experience it but I don’t think I’ll go out of my way to ride it again. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t still take 100s of pictures of the beautiful tower every time I go.

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Exhibit A

I decided that because I braved a ride that had always freaked me out that I would buy a souviner from the gift shop. I bought a sweatshirt which I loved and thought was super cute. While at the gift shop I talked the girl working the regrister. I asked her if she minded me snap chatting (@judy_judy94) a picture of her costume to my friend, Megan, who was going to be doing the College Program the next semester. She was super sweet about it and told me to wish my friend good luck.

I had one more fast pass booked that afternoon and still had time to kill. I decided to head over to the Star Wars Launch Bay. I really wanted to meet Chewbacca because he was the only character I could identify from Star Wars. My meet and greet was pretty rushed which was disappointing but at least I met him.

As I was getting ready to leave the Launch Bay I saw that they had a exclusive meet and greet that only Disney Visa holders could experience. Since I am a Disney Visa holder I decided that I would go and see who was meeting. I was hoping that it would be Darth Vadar or another well know character. Unfortunately it wasn’t a character I knew, which you can totally tell in the pictures because I look terrified and slightly confused.

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I mean look at that face.

I left the Launch Bay and decided that I would go over and ride The Great Movie Ride (RIP). I didn’t know at the time that it would be my last time ever riding my favorite Hollywood Studios ride. I’m glad I got to go but if I had known it was my last time riding it I would have taken some pictures or videos to remember it.

Once I got off the Great Movie Ride I had a pretty much hit my Disney Wall and decided to skip my final fast pass. On my way out I stopped at the Starbucks because I knew I had a busy night and wanted some caffeine. As I was walking out I noticed Miranda Margaret or @miramargaret as she is known on Instagram as. I was tempted to go up and say hi to her but when I saw her I couldn’t think of her name. I recognized her instantly but her name escaped me. Plus she looked a little annoy so I was worried she was having a bad day.

On my way out I called my mom to catch up a little but this time the bus go there super quickly and I barely had to wait which cut our conversation short, the busses are just too loud to talk on. When I got back to our hotel I met up with my aunt and uncle and hurried to get ready for our dinner. That night we would be eating at Artist Point. Which is the upscale restaurant at the Wilderness Lodge Resort.

Before I talk about our dining experience there let me tell you about the adventure it took getting there. We were running a little behind schedule and knew that the busses were crazy unreliable during this trip. Marianne called down the main building to have a taxi sent to us and we waited almost 45-minutes for it to show up! There wasn’t really a reason why it took long other then that it did.

On the way to Wilderness Lodge we had to stop at the Polynesian to drop my little cousin off at one of the kid’s clubs. The intake took a little while but we were able to get a taxi quicker that time and made it to the restaurant just in time.

This was the first time I had gone to the restaurant before and was a little spectical about whether I would like it or not. I’m not a huge fan of “fancy foods” and as my mom says the diet of a three year old.

When we got there we were seated pretty quickly at a nice big table as it would be me, my father, his wife, my aunt and Uncle as well as my Dad’s cousin and his wife. We started off by ordering drinks and I can’t remember the name of my drink, although I believe it was something with apple and it was really good. For dinner I got a Filet Migon with a horseradish cream and that too was very good.

My favorite part of the meal though was our waitress. She was a Chinese woman and she and I talked about the two international parks in China. She said that she hasn’t been to any of the international parks but that she had heard amazing things about the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. One of my favorite things to do at Disney resorts is talking to the cast members about their experience or where they are from.

After dinner we headed over to Contemporary Resort so that we could watch the Magic Kingdom firework show, Wishes (Now Happily Ever After)! Since my aunt and uncle are DVC Members and staying at DVC resort we were able to get up to the top floor of Bay Lake Towers (the DVC resort attached to the Contemporary) which is called The Top of World. While there my dad surprised me with a cake since my birthday was the next week.

We enjoyed the show from the Top of the World. For anyone who may be wondering if you watch Magic Kingdom’s fireworks show from the monorail resorts (Contemporary/Bay Lake Towers/Polynesion or Grand Floridian) they pipe the music of the show in so you can get a full experience.

Once the show was over we picked Joshua back up from the kids club and headed back to our hotel (Saratoga Springs). At the time there was a lot of construction going on, on Disney Property so it was a long car ride. But soon we got home and we all were asleep in probably in less then 5 minutes.

And that is the end of day 2. Keep your eyes out for the next installment of this Trip Report as well an announcement about my next trip!

*This post was not sponsored by any of the linked sites. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own and I was in no way compensated for mentioning them ***
Travel

UNEXPECTED DISNEY TRIP 2017: Trying some new things {Day 1}

Hello worlders~

Happy Travel Thursday! It’s time to do the second day of my UNEXPECTED DISNEY TRIP. If you are new to this travel report, check out this master post here to get all the background.

So, this was my first morning in Disney. I got up that morning and got ready for the day. I originally planned on Disney Bounding on this day.  But right before leaving I realized I couldn’t find what I need to complete the Disney Bound. What I didn’t realize was that I accidentally Disney Bounded as Donald Duck. I wish I had a OOTD pictures for you but I don’t. I was very excited to wake up to no snow. I even snapped (@judy_judy94) a picture of it for snapchat.

Once everyone was ready for the day we headed out to the bustop and waited probably thirty minutes. We even started to worry that we’d miss our first Fast Pass Plus. But eventually the bus came and we headed for the Magic Kingdom!

Although the parks didn’t feel overly crowded getting into the parks felt like it took forever and a day. Their was a pretty big back up that didn’t seem to want to let up. Finally we got into the parks and headed over toward Tomorrowland so we could ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. I went on with my little cousin, Josh, who at the time was four years old. And he still kicked my butt on the ride.

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Once we got off the ride we looked around Tomorrowland and saw that Buzz Lightyear was out doing meet and greets. Meeting Buzz was right up Josh’s alley so we went over and got in line. As I mentioned in my first post I’m not comfortably sharing pictures of other people’s children on my blog without their permission and all the pictures I have are with Josh in them so I can’t “Prove” it happened. But I can tell you Josh and Buzz had a great conversation.

After meeting Buzz we decided to try and get on  the People Mover (TTA) which happens to be one of my favorite rides. While we were standing in line we noticed that the cars kept stopping. Before long they made the dreaded announcement that ride was going to be shut down for a little while.

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We looked on the My Disney Experience app which shows you wait times, restaurant menus and times for the different events happening all over Disney property.

We notices a short line on the Astro Orbiters (AKA the Dumbo style ride in the center of Tomorrowland). We jumped into line, which moved pretty quickly, thankfully. I had never been on this ride before this trip (at least that I could remember). But basically they bring you to the top floor and you climb in these rocket ship looking things. Although this ride gives you a great view of the park I didn’t really enjoy. I always felt like I was going to fall out of the ride car. I don’t think I’ll every ride it again. But I’m glad I got to experience it.

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I wanted to share this picture so you could see the actual ride car {Source}

Once we got off the Astro Orbiters we headed over for our ADR which was to The Plaza! The Plaza is one of my favorite hidden gems of Walt Disney World. For those of you who have never been I’ll give you some directions. You walk directly down Main Street to right before the castle hub, you hook a right as if heading towards Tomorrowland and then it’s right there. If I remember correctly I had a bacon cheese burger and fries. I do remember that it was delicious and as always I would recommend it to pretty much anybody.

After lunch we headed back over to Tomorrowland to see if the People Mover was up and running. Luckily it was so we hoped on. After the delay getting on earlier it was a pretty uneventful ride. Although if we’re being honest I think my uncle Chad and I were both secretly hoping we’d be evacated off the ride. But we didn’t.

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We finally decided it was time to leave Tomorrowland and head over to our next Fast Pass Plus experience which was The Barnstormer, or the kiddy coaster of the Magic Kingdom. It was only myself, Chad and Josh going on the ride. While we were waiting in line it was shut down for about 5 to 10 minutes while they retrieved a hat that had fallen off a guest during one of the last run. But once we got on we had a great 55 second run.

By the time we got off the ride Josh was starting to get cranky so Marianne and Chad were hoping to get him to take a cat nap on the Walt Disney Railroad. I was feeling restless and like I was hitting my Disney wall so I decided that I would meet them at a different stop.

While they were supposed to be on the train I went to the Main Street Bakery which is now serving Starbucks. While I was waiting in line I got a text message from Marianne that they had decided to ditch the train idea because it had been almost 30 minutes of waiting. Instead they’d just walk over to our meeting place.

Where were we meeting? At Tom Sawyer’s Island! For this attraction you take a small raft across the river to the island in Magic Kingdom.  On the island there are plenty of places for kids to run around and get some restless energy out. Josh loved going to Tom Sawyer’s Island and didn’t want to leave when it came time to. This is one of the things that I hope is still open when I have kids because I definitely want to let my kids run around there.

We left Tom Sawyer’s Island because we had a fast pass for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Which you may already know is almost impossible to get fast passes for. So, shout out of Marianne for scoring those. Because Marianne doesn’t do rollercoasters it made it that I had to ride with some random guy. I always feel weird riding rollercoasters with strangers because I become self conscious of my screams or laughter.

Josh was really hitting his wall at this point so we decided to get some dinner. We decided that we would have Columbia Harbor House located in Liberty Square. Which offers a variety of different foods such as fried shrimp, chicken pot pie, chicken fingers and lobster mac & cheese. I had Lobster Mac & Cheese and I will say I wasn’t super impressed. It had almost too many strong flavors mixed together. I’ve had some very good food at Harbor House in the past but I don’t think I would hesitate to try it again. While we were at dinner we also were able to book one more fast pass and we chose Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid.

During the time between dinner and our fast pass we decided to check out the wait time for Big Thunder Mountain since Chad and I had been talking about going on it all day. Unfortunately we deemed the line too long to make it to our fast pass.  So, we hoped on the Walt Disney Railroad (even though the wait was still relatively long) so that we could ride to the Fantasyland stop.

We used our fastpass for the Little Mermaid ride, which was again pretty standard with no excitement. I think this ride is super cute and fun to go on. Plus I’ve never had to wait all that long to get on it and even when I do have to wait the lines moves pretty quickly.

After The Little Mermaid Marianne and Chad were pretty sure it was time for Joshua to head back to the hotel for the evening. I had the energy for about 1 more ride which was the Haunted Mansion. Which is my all time favorite ride. In my mind nothing holds a candle to the Haunted Mansion. And yes I am that annoying fan that quotes the ride. Hate me if you must.

While waiting in line I got a text message from Marianne saying that Joshua really wanted to go on the ride so they were heading over. This was Josh’s first experience on the ride and at first he was really scared but Marianne, Chad and I, along with some of the guest standing near us told him how awesome the ride is. When he got off it he agreed.

Once we finished the Haunted Mansion we headed out and went home for the night. All and all it was a great first day. With the exception of Big Thunder Mountain I hit all my must dos which is a pretty good Disney day in my mind.

Be sure to check back periodically for the next installments of this travel series. Also I want to apologize for the lack of pictures in these posts, for some reason my camera didn’t want to work while I was down there.

*This post was not sponsored by any of the linked sites. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own and I was in no way compensated for mentioning them ***