Friday, July 15, 2016

Celebrating All the Things

Normally around this time each year, I get a little panicky that summer is slipping by too fast.  This year is no exception, but I'm happy to say that it's been a blast so far!
Since summer "unofficially" starts on Memorial Day weekend (you know, when all the pools open), that's where I'll start, too.  Memorial Day weekend happened to coincide with the 30th birthday of yours truly.  I *may* have mourned the loss of my twenties for a day or so, but then my hubby took me to The Wilds for a weekend getaway.  If you haven't been there before, it's a wildlife conservation center in Ohio where the animals roam free Savannah-style.  (Well, as close to "roaming free" as they can.  The herbivores and carnivores are still very much separated--it's not "The Circle of Life: Live on Stage!")  I've wanted to go there for pretty much forever, so we packed our bags and stayed overnight in one of their super-fun Yurts.

We even splurged for a "Wildside" tour, where you travel the park in a small truck to get up close and personal with the animals.  It did not disappoint.
Shortly after the holiday weekend, my little sister graduated from high school.  (Sniff.  Now I really do feel old!)  To commemorate, we all headed to Disney World for a week of family festivities.  The revelry also included birthday celebrations for two of my sisters, and an honorary birthday celebration for me.  (Did you know that Disney cast members wish you "Happy Birthday" all day long when you wear a birthday button in the parks?  I sure didn't, and got startled more than once!)  It was an awesome week featuring:
Epic EPCOT desserts!

We almost got everyone to look at the camera.


Mmmmm....waffle sandwich....

Holding hands is required.


And of course, I had to embarrass everyone by demolishing one of those ginormous turkey legs in public.  (If you recall from my 2013 trip, it's tradition!)  

My little sister said I looked rather primal devouring the thing, with my scrunched-up nose and meat-tearing head jerks.
I've been to Disney many times, but this is the first trip where we got to experience the "Magic Bands."  I must say, the technology was really neat--even spooky at times!  (Like when the mirror ghosts smashed my little sister's face with a cake on her birthday at the "Haunted Mansion.")  However, the bands kicked me out of the family on our very last "It's a Small World" ride.
After all of that merrymaking around the Magic Kingdom, there was still more celebrating to be done post-Disney.  As I mentioned in my last update post, one of my writing buddies and I challenged ourselves to some writing/illustrating goals in May.  The endeavor carried on into June so we could both kick our goals in the butt.  My target was to edit at least two chapters of Pirate Ferret (check!) and to doodle something every day. (I had to make up a few sketches at the end of the month, but double-check!)  Here are some of my favorite sketches from the challenge:


Kristy finished her goals, too, so we marked the occasion by stuffing our faces at a delicious Chinese buffet.  Trophies and medals are nice, but you can't beat all-you-can-eat dumplings and egg rolls!

And lastly, that dash of Disney magic inspired me to finish one of the "It's a Small World" illustrations for my nephew!  I still have several to finish painting, but I'll celebrate accomplishing one!  :)
The rest of the summer is chalking up to be pretty darn busy, but there are also plenty of exciting plans ahead.  I hope you're all having a fun and sunny season!