Letting Bygones be Bygones

I saw this movie last night with a good friend of mine. What enticed me about the trailer enough to watch the movie were two things: the creepy factor and Jason Bateman. I love Jason Bateman.

Anyway, I wasn’t expecting too much and the only thing that I had heard about the movie was that one scene was so suspenseful, that the audience actually jumped in unison. And I didn’t think this was a horror movie, but I wanted to see what could have made everyone’s hair stand on end.

So my friend and I grabbed a beer and then went to watch the movie downtown. And I was right, it wasn’t a horror movie, but it was very suspenseful. And, the masses were right, there were two parts of the movie where I literally jumped out of my chair. I still swear I hit my friend in the process, but he claims I didn’t. And I have never actually jumped in a movie, believe it or not, but this one did the trick.

For a simple plot, this man, Gordo, comes back in to the lives of Jason Bateman and his wife. I can’t remember Jason’s character’s name, so I’ll just call him Jason. Anyway, Jason and Gordo have somewhat of a rough past, but Gordo wants to just let bygones be bygones (which, does have an ‘e’ in it, believe it or not) by being nice to Jason and his wife. He finds out their address and provides them with a gift. He stops by from time to time to visit and even invites them over for dinner.

At first it seems nice, and it probably might have intended to be. But then Jason starts to get worried and asks Gordo to stop seeing them. He even taunts him with “Gordo the Weirdo.” Well, Gordo doesn’t like that too much. He starts to get creepier and weirder, even outside of his social awkwardness.

That’s when the movie starts to get good, and…when I jumped. There are some slow parts, but overall, its a good suspenseful movie. It really makes you want to know what’s going to happen next. What is Gordo the Weirdo going to do next? Oh, and the ending…that’s pretty jacked up.

I’ll be honest, it’s probably a RedBox quality movie. I most likely won’t go see it again in theaters, but may rent from RedBox so that my husband can watch it. I recommend renting it after it leaves theaters. Good movie, just may not be worth the $10.50 plus popcorn.

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My Best Friend: Edward

Eddie on his ship!

This is Eddie. I call him Edward. He’s in the Navy. He’s pretty tall. He has a bloodhound named Max.

Lunch in New Orleans

This is my best friend.

I’ve always appreciated that I can count my very best friends on one hand. The ones that I can call any time of the night. The ones I can vent to about stupid girlish drama that I get sucked in to. The ones that love me for me and wouldn’t ask me to be anyone else in the world. The ones that I also love dearly and honestly don’t know how I survive without.

I am proud to say that Eddie is my best friend.

Lunch in Missouri

I met Eddie back in the days of high school. He was a year above me, and we talked very little and hung out even less. I didn’t know much about him, other than he used to play tuba in the band and he was best friends with my boyfriend at the time.

Circa 2006

Fast forward a few years to Eddie’s prom and his graduation. I was there because I was still dating this guy who was in the same graduating class. Again, little talking and less hanging out. We were very much acquaintances.

Playing guitar hero in high school.

After graduation, Eddie joined the Navy. But, he came back for my prom, because someone in my group was in need of a date. Eddie gladly agreed. So, we were in the same prom/limo group together.

Prom 2009. Eddie’s the far left and I’m in the light blue.

So, long story short, we were at a lot of major events together and realized that, aside from my boyfriend, we actually got along really well. We turned out to be pretty good friends. We even remained friends after I broke up with said boyfriend.

Now, I know this sounds like a love story, but Eddie and I have always been just friends. To be honest, he’s been there through every serious boyfriend and my now husband. He was there for the breakups (need me to hurt someone?) and the get-togethers (I like Alex, he’s pretty cool).

He wasn’t always physically here (thanks, Navy), but he would always write to me and send me postcards from all the strange places he visited. Well, they were strange to me because I have still never even left the country. I still have all the post cards from him in a box in my office.

He would even send me gifts on my birthday from his ship, because he could never be here. It would even arrive ON my birthday. I still don’t know how he timed that so well. I’ve always loved the presents. It was nice for him to remember me. I still remember being in shock that he not only remembered my birthday one year, but he sent me one of the most beautiful flower arrangements. The flowers were in an orange vase and the roses themselves were actually orange and white colored. (We share a love of UT.)

The flowers Eddie got me for a birthday.

Whenever Eddie comes to visit, I always see him. First we’d just try to catch dinner at least one night before he left, or we’d see a movie. Now, I’m thankful to say, that he’s even stayed with my husband and me in our house for a week-long stay. We’ve even made the 9 hour trip to see him in his current location. We only stayed for 2 days, but it was worth it to see him.

Haunted Castle tour in Missouri.

I always value the time I get to spend with Eddie. I count down the days on my phone to when I get to see him next (if I know a date). I got so excited before visiting him in New Orleans that I couldn’t sleep the night before.

And it gets harder every time to tell him bye. New Orleans was one of the roughest times I’ve had. I held back tears as I hugged him bye and was quiet for a while on the drive home; because this is one of those times where I have no idea when I’ll see him next. It was…hard.

Saying goodbye in New Orleans…

I love Eddie. He is genuinely one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He’s always there for his friends. He will stand up for you and protect you if you need it. He goes out of his way to stay in contact with you, which I am so appreciative of. He’s one of those people where if you need a serious conversation, he’s there. But, he’s also there to talk about nonsense when you need it. He gives and gives and never asks for one thing in return.

I’m also proud to say that my best friend has served in our armed forces for so long. I know you get sick of hearing it, but thank you so much for everything that you do for our country. Even if you’re in the Navy in a land-locked state at the moment ;).

I miss Eddie when he leaves and I hate not knowing when I’ll see him again. I long for the day when he comes home for good and I can just call him when I’m bored and he can just come over. But for now, I’ll wait patiently. We’ll just text and snapchat back and forth. Play some call of duty. It’ll be okay.

A silly night in Gatlinburg.

I love you Eddie; thank you for always being there. Thank you for the long talks and the trip to New Orleans. Thank you for staying in contact for so many years, even if I wasn’t that great at reciprocating it. Thank you for being there for me and Alex. Thank you for coming to visit as often as you can and always seeing us. Thank you for…well, for everything. You truly are, my best friend. I don’t know what I’d ever do without you. I can’t wait to see you soon!

Bourbon Street 2015

Descendants: A DCOM Original

I came home from work a few days ago and my husband is DYING to have me watch “this awesome movie that I love so much I’ll watch it twice.” I was in shock, because my husband is one of those people that will watch a movie once and [pretty much] never have to watch it again. So, for him to want to watch it twice, I figured it was some marvel movie I hadn’t heard of…or some sequel to some movie that came out in 1975.

Boy was I wrong. He pulls this movie up on OnDemand and my mouth drops. For those of you who don’t know, this movie is a DCOM. A Disney Challenge Original Movie, for those that don’t even know what that is. And, not to be rude, but I haven’t even watched Disney channel in years, so my expectations were set LOW.

I thought this movie was going to be, for lack of better words, awful. And I was pleasantly surprised, actually.

This DCOM is about the sons and daughters of all our favorite heroes…and villains. One of the main characters is the son of Belle and “Beast”, who are actually the king and queen of the land. And back in the day when good conquered evil, the king and queen banished all the villains to this magic-less island.

Son of the dwarfs, daughter of fairy godmother, son of Bell, daughter of Aurora, son of Cinderella and daughter of Mulan

Well Belle’s son is about to be King and his first “decree” is to bring the villains children to come to school with him. The rest of the movie is a typical high school movie. Sports, girls, relationships and all the drama. But, with the Disney villains and heroes, it actually makes it pretty interesting.

Now, it’s the not the best acting in the world, but it’s pretty interesting watching Aurora’s mother get all offended when she meets Maleficent’s daughter. And that’s just one example. Oh, and Maleficent is Kristen Chenowith…

My review? The movie sounds ridiculous and stupid. But, it is VERY entertaining and worth it, if you love Disney. I’ve always longed for the “what happens next” after all the movies, and I think it’s a great perspective on the ever-afters. Go watch it! I even hear that they are coming out with a TV show based on it this fall.

Have you guys watched it? Tell me what you think!

BoyHood: A movie that’s worth it.

I’m back into the movie reviewing world! (I will not be partaking in anymore Disney challenges for a while!) The challenge wasn’t the only thing keeping my from movie reviews. I’m also trying to write my first ever novel while maintaining a full time job where I’m trying to grow. Oh! And I’m thinking about going back to school for English!

Not to make excuses…okay, they’re excuses. But, true!

This movie is what inspired me to jump back into my game, though.

This all started because one of my co-workers/really good friends had never seen Guardians of the Galaxy. WHAT. I was in shock. That movie is amazing! (Can you tell I’m just starting to get into the MARVEL world? Haha I’m completely geeking out right now.)

ANYWAY. So, I made him watch it. Which, meant that he got to pick a movie for me to watch. So, he picked Boyhood.

And apparently this is a famous movie that won awards. It even came out in 2014; so it wasn’t that old either. But, alas, I had never heard of it. Thus, I was a little skeptical about forfeiting 2 hours of my life to a movie that I knew NOTHING about.

*NOTE* Come to find out later, this movie is actually 2 hours and 46 minutes long.

Now, I’ll say this. It’s not a movie I would watch again, but the 166 minutes were definitely worth my time. (Even if I did fall asleep at one point.)

The entire film is based on Mason and the many milestones of his life. It follows him and his sister as they encounter marriage (and divorce) of his mother, graduation, first kisses, etc. Also little moments, like family dinners, or hanging out with their dad.

I’ll be honest, I never actually found a plot in the movie. And normally, this would be a big turn off for me. And, at first, it was. But then, I kept watching. It sucked me in, as if I was another sister to Mason. I, as the audience, followed his ups and downs and felt like I was right there with him.

And, for a spoiler, when his drunken stepfather threw the liquor bottle at Mason and it broke on the table, I jumped out of my skin. You didn’t see it coming. And that’s how the whole movie is. You expect it to be like other films, but then they take that twist and show you not everything turns out okay. It’s the closest film to, for lack of better word, “real” life. And, his mom is one of the strongest female leads I have seen in a long time.

And, like I said previously, I still can’t seem to find an actual plot to the movie. So, if you’re reading this because you want to watch the film, just know that upfront.

But I do encourage everyone to watch this film. It will either make you thankful for what you have, or have someone to relate to that ends up okay.

I told all this to my good friend when I came in to work the next day. And then I asked him this: “How did they find actors that look so similar to each other? I mean, whoever plays Mason at age 6 could be Mason at age 15’s mini me!”

He then gave me a funny look and said: “Lauren, that’s what I told you. It follows 12 years of a boy’s life.” And when I looked at him, baffled, he continued with: “It is the same actor. Ellar Coltrane plays Mason for TWELVE YEARS.”

Ellar Coltrane

And I looked it up. He was right. The same actors were a part of this production for 12 years of this life. That’s how long it took to film. And that just added to it for me. How cool is that?

Lorelei Linklater

Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke

Just out of curiosity, has anyone else seen this movie yet? What did you think? I can see where people wouldn’t like it…so I want to know!

Disney Challenge: Last Days!

Here we are ladies and gents! The last two days of the Disney Challenge!

Day 29: Disney Park Detail

This may sound completely off the wall and silly, BUT. My favorite Disney Parks detail is…the trash.

PUSH, the old interactive trash can! He is sadly retired.

The main thing I like is that way back in the day, the cast members would give a child a piece of candy. Then, after the child was finished consuming the sweet delicacy, they would count how many steps were taken before discarding the wrapper on the ground. The magic number? 30.

Why did they do this you may ask? Well, if you take a look around a Disney park, you notice that all their trash cans are stationed no more than 30 steps apart from each other. That’s why you never see much trash lying around. Whenever a guest feels the need to throw something away, they can easily locate a trash can.

*Side note* When I worked there, they were trying to teach us the “Disney scoop”. Its pretty much just to not stop walking and pick up trash as you see it lying around. However, when our leader was trying to show us, she could not find one piece of trash on the ground. Props to you Disney Cast Members!

Day 30!!!: Favorite Picture Taken in a Park

Our Disneymoon of 2014

Now, I could spend hours searching for the PERFECT Disney picture that represents blah blah blah. OR, I could pick the picture that I always go back to. Yes, its a picture of the castle that everyone has. However, this one has so many special meanings to me.

This was taken from our Disneymoon in May of 2014. Here we are gazing up at the castle. A commonly photographed icon. But, ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had a vision of following my dreams. My dream was to find a special man who loved me for me. All of my craziness and weirdness. All of my nerdiness and tomboy-ness. He loves all of it.

And, which is most outstanding….Alex loved Disney BEFORE he met me. I didn’t have to convert him. I don’t drag him to the parks with me. He WANTS to go. He BEGS to go just as much as I do.

I love Alex with all of my heart. And here in this picture, it shows me looking up at the icon that inspired me to follow my dreams, with the man that helped me realize that my dreams can come true, if I just believe.

THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR READING THE DISNEY CHALLENGE!!!! I’ll be back soon with more movie reviews soon!

Disney Challenge Day 28: Park Icon!

I would have to say that my favorite Disney Parks’ Icon would be the partners statue.

I think this just represents everything Disney. And it really does embody one of Walt’s famous quotes:

I also think that Walt is trying to tell us something with his outstretched hand. Now, I don’t know what the actual significance behind it is, but I believe it to be either Walt being proud of what he has done, OR to personify this other infamous quote of his. Which, is my favorite Walt Disney quote. I loved this one so much that I put it on my graduation cap for college.

What’s your favorite icon a Disney park?

Drinking Around the World: EPCOT 2015

This past February, my husband, me and my two best friends decided to tackle the infamous Drinking Around the World Challenge at EPCOT in Walt Disney World.

Our awesome matching shirts.

I made us a checklist so we could each mark what we got to drink in each country. I found a couple online, but none seemed to fit “us”, so I made our own.

The checklist I made for our trip!

Now, the day before EPCOT, Nat ate some not-so-good tuna at the Harbor House in Magic Kingdom. He got so sick we had to take him to the emergency room! So, needless to say, he did not participate in the drinking the next day. But, he was a good sport and took pictures for us everywhere. Thanks Nat!!

First I’ll say what we got to drink in each place, and how we liked it. Then, I’ll give some tips on how things we did that worked, and things we should have done differently. There are 11 countries…that’s a lot to drink in a short period of time! It’s best to tackle it smartly, so you can enjoy the rest of your trip.

Annnnnd here we go!

Mexican Pavilion: La Cava del Tequila

We followed the advice of fellow bloggers and avoided the over-sugary drinks outside of the pavilion and ventured inside to La Cava del Tequila. Alex and I got a Wild Passion Fruit margarita with a chili powder rim. Apparently this is a common alternative to a salt or sugar rim, but I had never heard of it. It’s actually pretty tasty and really gives the drink a good kick. Cortney had a classic margarita and loved it!

Norway Pavilion

Here at the Norway pavilion were mostly beer options, to Cortney’s demise. Alex and I shared a Carlsberg beer, which was actually pretty good. One of my favorites. Cortney’s drink, however, was hilarious. As you can see in the picture, she purchased a Frozen-themed child’s beverage. Its kind of like an ICEE, Cortney just decided to have a Linie Aquavit Glacier shot thrown in. You know, typical. It tasted pretty good when I tried it, but I’ve been warned against just having that shot alone. Nothing dangerous, it just tastes like potatoes? I wouldn’t know, because ours was immersed in Frozen-themed fun.

China Pavilion 

Here you can see that our friend Nat decided to chime in on the fun. But no, his drink did not have alcohol in it, so don’t worry! Here we stopped at the Joy of Tea. Alex and I tried the Tsing Tao Beer (apparently there is a fake draft beer and a purse draft beer, we had the fake, but it tasted the same). If I remember correctly, Cortney tasted the plum wine, which was AMAZING. I want to go back and drink a whole bottle of that.

Germany Pavilion

Well, can you guess what I got in Germany? You get three guesses and the first two don’t count. Oh, you can’t respond as I’m typing this, huh? Well, I’ll just tell you. Beer and pretzels! I got the original Oktoberfest with a giant soft pretzel and Cortney got a sort of wine I believe. She ended up drinking a lot of wine. This was one of my favorite pavilions; we even bought our friend Nat a stein!

Italy Pavilion

Here, Alex and I tried the Peroni beer. To me, it tasted similar to my all-time favorite, Yuengling. Thus, I was in love. It was kind of hard to find places here, but once we did, it was worth it! Cortney had some very delicious Italian wine.

“The American Adventure”

Here we were not tempted with much out of the usual, so I got something seasonal. I got a Sam Adams Cold Snap and Cortney got the Sutter Home Wine. While it was nothing too unique, I enjoyed that they had the seasonal Sam Adams. This was also our halfway marker, so it was good to have something close-to-home to mellow us out.

Japan Pavilion

Here is where things may or may not have went down hill. We all tried the hot sake. It smelled just like moonshine that was cooking. If you don’t know what is, it smells disgusting. Cortney and I did not like ours, but Alex did so he drank both. He started getting sick soon-after. We realized later that sake has a high alcohol content, so…future tip, don’t drink too much sake.

Morocco Pavilion

At the Moroccan Pavilion, Alex and I tried the Habib. Its a fancy word for a strawberry daiquiri, but very tasty. Cortney had a sangria and was very excited to find out that one of the pavilions actually had it.

France Pavilion

At the France pavilion, Alex and I had the best beer I have ever tried. It was called 1664 and I want some more! Cortney tried some French wine. She liked this one too, but she came to find out that if you don’t like beer, you’ll have to adjust a little.

U.K. Pavilion

I got something that wasn’t beer! Cortney took one of our friend’s recommendations and tried the Welsh Dragon. It was amazing! Alex and I got the Leaping Leprechaun, which was equally tasty. Neither of the drinks were too strong, but tasted like they were worth your money.

Canada Pavilion

This is about where I was done drinking, but I had a few sips of Alex’s beer. At this point, we don’t even remember what we drank. And as you can tell in this picture, Alex and Cortney were feeling pretty good.

Thank you so much, Nat for taking all the pictures and being a good sport! We love you!

Some Helpful Tips for Tackling the World!

Now that you’ve seen our adventure, go take one of your own! But first, here are a few tips that I learned from my first time.

  1. Don’t drink too much sake. Or, rather, know what you can handle. You are on vacation after all, you don’t want to face the rest of your relaxation with a hangover.
  2. Share drinks! Alex and I did this and I have never been so thankful. We didn’t get sick and we were able to make it through the entire World. Now, Cortney didn’t share, but her alcohol tolerance is much higher than ours.
  3. EAT. We were thinking about this today. The only thing we ate was the pretzel in Germany. AND WE SHARED IT. You need to eat. And we should have. The experience was fun, but it would have been much more if we had eaten something. We probably wouldn’t have been dragging our feet from the Canada pavilion to the exit. We didn’t even stop for fireworks :/
  4. Start early. I don’t remember what time we started, but I think its a good idea to start earlier. The world showcase doesn’t open until 11am, but if you stay until 9ish, you have plenty of time to do the tour without drinking too much in one sitting and getting sick. (Or too publicly intoxicated to function in a family-friendly park.)
  5. Drink water! This ties in with eating. I also don’t think we drank water. Actually, I’m certain we didn’t. You need to drink water when you are going to consume this much alcohol.

Overall, the trip was a blast and we had a great time! It’s always fun to do this with a group of friends in one of the lighter seasons. February was a great time! I highly recommend this tour and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

Disney Challenge Day: 25, 26 and 27!

I went to visit my grandma this weekend…about 6 hours away with no internet service. Thus, I’m behind again! So here are the two days I missed plus today!

Day 25: Favorite Place to Take a Picture

Honeymoon 2014

This is my favorite place to take a picture! It’s in Animal Kingdom across the lake from Expedition Everest, which you can see in the background. I like the corner specifically, because of the ruins off to the side. We were lucky to see a photopass photographer there last time! She let us do some pretty awesome shots.

Day 26: Theme Park Beverage

UK Pavilion 2015

This past February we did drinking around the world in EPCOT for the first time (blog on this to come later). When flipping back through my pictures, I realized we tried a lot of beer. But, this was one of the few mixed drinks we tried. My friend Cortney got something else, but Alex and I got a Leaping Leprechaun.

Here is the recipe:

  • Bacardi Rum, Skyy Vodka, melon liqueur and sweet-and-sour topped with Sprite.
    • 1 part rum, 1 part vodka, 1 part Midori, 2 parts sweet and sour, 3 parts Sprite

Day 27: Favorite Character I Have Never Met

This is a picture I got off of Pinterest…because I have, sadly, never graced the presence of Peter Pan. Which, is a tragedy, because he is one of my favorite characters! I have just never spotted him around. I think I may actually have to get a times guide this year so that I can make sure to see him!

Disney Challenge Day 24: Favorite Land.

I am struggling so bad here between Tomorrowland and Adventureland…..hmmm…

I love Tomorrowland because of the obvious Space Mountain AND the Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor. And at night, you can get some spectacular photos in this area. HOWEVER, Adventureland has so many more of my favorites…so I pick that land! Here are some of my most treasured parts of Adventureland:

Dole Whips

My husband’s first Dole Whip!

I. LOVE. DOLE. WHIPS. As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, my favorite is the vanilla ice cream with the pineapple juice. Yummmmm. Can’t wait to get some more in October! If you want to try these, the main location is called Aloha Isle in the Magic Kingdom. But, you pretty much gotta love pineapple (or orange).

Jungle Cruise

The backside of water!

I give you….the backside of water! The Jungle Cruise is one of the silliest rides in the World. The jokes are stupid…and I love them. Now, if you’re expecting to see actual animals on this voyage…you might want to wait until you visit Animal Kingdom. But, if you want some light-hearted fun with some of the most bezerk cast members of Disney, venture on!

The open air shops

Taken from Aladdin’s Magic Carpets

As I’m getting older, I do enjoy my fair share of shopping. And let me just tell you how much I love these shops.I’m not entirely sure as to why, though, because I NEVER buy anything here. I suppose I just like to browse all the different items while still being outside.

One of my many shots of the infamous flag.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Ohhhhh Pirates, how I love thee as well. One of the most iconic rides at the park and one of Walt’s last dreams lives in my favorite land. Oh, and the movies are pretty bad-ass too. You can even dress up as some of the infamous characters…

My best friend Cortney dressing up 😉

Swiss Family Robinson Tree House

Swiss Family Robinson Tree House Feb 2015

Okay, okay. Say what you want about this tree house, but I hope they never tear it down. When I was little, this tree was extremely crowded. Pretty much all you did was wait in line while walking through the tree. In fact, I’m kind of glad you guys don’t like it that much. Because, now I can walk right through and stop and enjoy what I want to look at.  Now, complete with Starbucks!

All in all, I love this land and I wouldn’t trade any of it. Except for maybe the Tiki Room show. The original version got a makeover later in the years and “people” did not like the change, so it has been reverted back to the original. I, however, was one of the few that liked the updated version. Alas, it is gone for now.

I don’t really know what my favorite part about this land is…

Maybe it might just be my lust for adventure…

Disney Challenge Day 23: Favorite Resort

Aloha Disney lovers!

For this challenge I am posed with choosing my favorite Disney resort. This is kind of difficult for me…seeing as I have only stayed at the value resorts, the Caribbean and Port Orleans: Riverside. (Disclaimer: I have stayed at other…Grand Floridian, Polynesian, etc. but it was before I could remember, so I don’t want to count as staying there.)

And out of those resorts, I would have to say that Port Orleans is my favorite. I’ve only actually stayed on property for one night when I was leaving the Disney College Program. But, ever since that one night, I haven’t really been able to get the resort out of my head. It truly does immerse you into New Orleans. And I’ve been told you can take a boat to Downtown Disney and that there are carriage rides! How fun!

Here are some pictures for you guys:

Butttt my dream resort to stay in is Animal Kingdom! I’ve visited here in the past when we ate dinner at Sanaa, but, alas, I have never been able to afford a room there. 😦

What’s your favorite resort? Do you stay at the same resort each time? Or do you like to change it up?