Disneyland and Zack’s Visit

I’ve had a pretty exciting life lately. I took a trip to Disneyland with Steve. And, as promised in my last installment, Zack came out for an action-packed visit. What follows are simply the highlights of an incredible couple of months.

For an update on the state of Cassady’s tail, click here.

In the interest of quick loading, I’ve separated out part of my exciting life. To hear all about my softball expertise and my parent’s visit, click here.

Disneyland

In the middle of May, Steve had to go down to L.A. for the Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3). Whenever he’s down there, he makes an effort to take a trip to Disneyland. This time, I went with him. I met him Thursday afternoon at E3, and spent a few hours seeing what the video game industry had to offer. For the most part, they were offering scantily clad women. In college, during Pledge week all the fraternities would get beautiful women to sit at their information tables, trying to convince potential pledges that joining that fraternity would turn them into a chick magnet. In much the same way, many game developers used sexy women to lure computer geeks to their booths. There were women in cheerleader outfits, in leather boots wielding riding crops, and, my personal favorite (as well as the most prevalent), in teensy-tiny white T-shirts and purple leather pants. However, I did get to test out the new sequel to Parappa the Rapper. I can’t wait to get it!

After a complete sensory overload of flashing lights, roaring engines, and bodacious cleavage, Steve and I made our way to Anaheim, where we checked into the Disneyland Pacific Hotel. Shortly after we arrived, we went to Disneyland for the evening. It wasn’t too crowded and we were even able to go on the Indiana Jones ride 3 or 4 times. Since we only had a few hours before the park closed, we made a mad dash around the park, even riding the Hurl-o-rama, otherwise known as the teacups.

We went to sleep early that night in anticipation of the long day ahead. The best part about staying at a Disney hotel is that we got early admission to the park. The park opened to the public at 9am, but we got in at 8. This was the last time we got to ride the Indiana Jones ride. Within seconds of it turning 9:00, the line for that ride wound around the 2 hour mark. It was very crowded at Disneyland that day, so crowd navigation was vital. We did manage to get reservations for lunch at Steve’s favorite restaurant, I think, in the entire world. This meant standing in line early in the day, but it was worth it.

Steve at the Blue Bayou

I was very good about not giving in to too many temptations that day, but I did make one purchase: a way-cool set of Tigger ears which I’m modeling below.

Anne in Tigger ears

As we ran around the park, we kept an eye out for characters who weren’t totally swamped by little kiddies, then we made our move. Somehow, Steve managed to get me to pose with 2 different characters, but avoided it himself entirely.

Anne with Dale

Anne with Goofy

It was truly amazing how quickly the day passed with the rides, the food, and the shows. We saw Billy Hill and the Hillbillies in the middle of the day. It was the perfect interlude from the crowded streets of Disney. It was also truly hilarious. I highly recommend it for your next trip to Disneyland. Despite the bustling activity of the day, Steve and I did find a few moments to relax amidst the hubbub.

Steve at Disneyland

Zack’s Gnarly Visit to San Francisco

As an employee of a Lucas company, I was able to go to an advance screening of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. I was also able to bring a guest. Since Steve is also an employee, I decided to invite my good friend Zack. He flew into San Francisco the Friday night Steve and I returned from Disneyland. The plan was for me to meet Zack at his gate. Unfortunately, we were both a bit confused. For some reason, I got it into my head that his flight landed a half an hour later than Steve and I did, so it’d be perfect to meet Zack at his gate. However, in fact, Zack landed a half an hour before we did. Of course, I didn’t realize this until Steve and I were about to board our own plane. When Steve and I got off the plane, we rushed to his gate, but Zack was nowhere to be found. I went to a pay phone and called my voice mail. No message from Zack. So we headed down to baggage claim, but didn’t see him there either. Terrified he’d decided to take a cab to my place, I had him paged. Hallelujah! Zack came around the corner. Turns out Zack didn’t have my phone number or my address. He didn’t even remember what town I lived in, so information was no help. We decided next time we’d have a contingency plan. We’ll see if we actually remember.

But all’s well that ends well, and we made our way to Steve’s car and across the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin. The next morning, Zack and I awoke at 6:45 so we could get to the theatre and stand in line. Although we were guaranteed admission, the seats were not reserved so we had to get there a bit early. We met Steve and his guest, Aaron, in line, then made our way into cinematic history. I will not discuss my views of the movie in this arena, but anyone wishing to comment on it may e-mail me.

After the movie, there was a huge luncheon for all Lucas employees and their guests at the Marin Civic Center. Since we went in separate cars, Steve and I spent a lot of time looking for each other. But Zack did get to see George Lucas as he entered the tent, about 15 feet away. Later, we made our way into the display tent where they had set up some props from the movie.

Anne and Zack

We were all pretty beat by the end of the day, so we lounged around my apartment for a while, watching Stargate. Then we went out to dinner and Spike and Mike’s Festival of Animation. We decided to leave the site-seeing for Sunday.

Sunday morning (maybe afternoon would be closer to the truth), the three of us went to IHOP for brunch, then ventured into the City. We decided to hit the touristy Pier 39 first. We spent a few hours wandering the stores, seeing the stinky sea lions, and looking at Alcatraz. For our afternoon snack, we hit Ghirardelli Square and had some truly incredible sundaes. Finally, we left the City, stopping on the other side of the bridge to take some pictures.

Zack at the Golden Gate Bridge

Steve and Anne at the Golden Gate Bridge

Next we made our way to the redwoods of Muir Woods. Below, Zack and I make gnomes of ourselves in the huge hollow of a burned-out tree.

Anne and Zack at Muir Woods

Zack met some lovely girls at the forest. Here he’s trying out his best pickup line on them. “No really! It’s this big!”

Zack at Muir Woods

And Steve was very cute as he tried to hide from the camera.

Steve at Muir Woods

After Muir woods, we sped away to Tony’s Seafood Restaurant, which is situated right on the water. You can get some fantastic, fresh seafood there. The next day, I had to go to work. But I took a long lunch in the middle of the day so Steve, Zack, and I could go up to Skywalker Ranch for lunch at the Main House. Zack’s dream was fully realized and he hopes to make it back to lovely Northern California sometime soon.

Zack at Skywalker Ranch

For those of you who have admired the benefits of being my friend, all I can do is remind you that Episode 2 will be out in about 2 short years. You all have plenty of time to suck up and get in good with me!

Coming Attractions:

The Fourth of July picnic at Skywalker Ranch. I won a ribbon! And Steve and I went to the Oakland Scottish Games to see the legendary caber toss. Plus much, much more.