Sunday, September 23, 2007

meeting famous people by accident!

Well, here we are in our long trip in March to Connecticut to visit Diana Canova! We stopped off in Virginia to see some of the Olympic skaters in a special show, which Was Great. The end of the show had everyone skating to James Bond songs. The Amazing part was that we were staying in the same hotel as the cast, which was right across the street from the civic center it was held in. The morning after, as we were checking out, we actually rode down in the same elevator - just the three of us - with the Silver medalist herself, Sasha Cohen! It was Amazing! I didn't recognize her at first, Mayu did. So I did like an annoying, ordinary fan and got out the ol' souvenir book that we'd bought at the show the night before, and asked her to sign it. Then, like a typical Japanese person, Mayu asked for pictures with both of us, and like a real trooper, Sasha agreed. She was very nice and patient. It seems the bus hadn't left yet, so Mayu was able to wait by the bus until the Gold Medalist arrived - Shizuka Arakawa! Actually, Shizuka passed right by me in the lobby as I waited with the lugguage. Mayu really, really admires her, so it was a dream come true for her, to meet her and have a photo taken together. What a completely unexpected meeting. You hear about this sort of thing happening in films, but it's never happened to us. Until now!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Universal Japan

I know all these photos make us seem like world travelers, but such is not the case! These here are a few pictures from Universal Japan, which we went to around the same time as our first DisneySea trip. But let me warn you - we went to USJ during a holiday, and it was packed. It was INCREDIBLE! I have Never seen lines like this. And I've been to DisneyWorld in Orlando MANY times. But the lines at USJ were never ending. I'm talking a MIN. of 2 hours each. So we only got to do a couple things there. My feet were crippled. I like to walk, but I am Not used to standing all day. Here's what we did:

Back to the Future ride - a simulation that last about 5 minutes, so is Not worth a 2+ hour wait!!

Shrek 4-D film - and I'm not a Shrek fan (to me, farting and burping are not kid's comedy). We go to a Lot of movies, almost everything that comes out, but we had no interest in Shrek the Third.

Maybe that was it. I just can't remember doing anything else, except pushing through crowds in the shops (which were Packed!) and lamenting that I didn't go on Jaws first, because I had no idea the lines would be like this. Did you know that groups of girls even brought cards to play in line? Smart. I'll bring my Ninentendo DS next time!

It's a great place though. You just have to hit it during times that aren't teeming with students. When is that? I'll let you know when I find out!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

more from that Stone Mt. trip

More images from the Stone Mountain trip! We drove completely around the mountain and came upon a lovely covered bridge, so we stopped and fed the ducks. Nice trails for walking or biking around here too.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


More photos of Disney - this time it's DisneySea in Tokyo. I always thought it was clever of them to call the place next door to Disneyland, DisneySea. Makes sense, huh? Especially since you can see the ocean from many viewpoints. It's a lovely, lovely place. Even though Magic Kingdom is great (Pooh's Honey Hunt being one of the best rides, and Much different from the rides in America), DisneySea is magical to me because it's completely different. The Only thing you'll recognize is 20,000 Leagues. Otherwise, all the rides are new to American eyes. It's really worth going just for Sea.

We were fortunate to go in Fall, our favorite season, and they really decorate it up! By then the Haunted Mansion is in its Nightmare Before Christmas mode, which lasts through Christmas. But that's okay, Paul Frees isn't the regular voice there anyway.

And one of the best restaurants - in terms of atmosphere - is the Alice in Wonderland one in Fantasyland. Cute inside and out with parts of the original soundtrack playing all thru the place. Even the bathrooms are great and thematic. Now, it's not the best food in the park, and like Disneyworld itself, not great variety, but some of the stuff is interesting, like the Unbirthday Cake. Luckily it was my unbirthday the day we went, so I got to have the cake.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

new books

Well, Disney folks, hope this post won't be Too boring, but I figured it's time to talk a little about my upcoming books again. We've done an incredible 12 books within the last 30 days! Most of these are out now, including books on Jerry Colonna, Jack Mercer (voice of Popeye), I Led 3 Lives (TV series about communism), Remington Steele, and Fred MacMurray.

The Bionic Man/Woman book will be here within 10 days. This is a very popular book. I don't even have cable, but I'll have to try to see the new Bionic Woman show that's starting soon. It was even advertised on my popcorn bag when I went to the movies in Tallahassee last month!

I'm very proud and honored to have the Jerry Colonna book in my catalog. As I mentioned before, my favorite Disney cartoon is Alice in Wonderland, and he's the March Hare in that of course. He's also an insanely crazy looking geezer with a huge mustache and a voice that would stop a bullet. Not many people know that Jerry was best friends with composer John Williams' father; he was even best man at Jerry's wedding. And little Johnny Williams played with little Bobby Colonna years and years ago. So, a few months ago, I was so surprised when John Williams, the man who scored my childhood via Star Wars, Close Encounters, Jaws, Indiana Jones, etc., etc., agreed to write a foreword to this book! Amazing, isn't it?

And speaking of Alice in Wonderland, everyone's going to be Very pleased with Fredrick Tucker's book on Verna Felton (voice of Queen of Hearts in AIW, plus a slew of other Disney cartoons), which promises to be huge and full of photos NO one else has ever seen. This author is doing an impressive job on a fantastic voice talent.

Friday, September 7, 2007

yet more Disneyworld!

Couldn't figure out what else to put here, so I thought I'd share some more DisneyWorld photos. Last time we went, we overdid it. We went for 2 days and did all 4 kingdoms. Advice: DON'T EVER DO THAT! You need time to walk and marvel and Rest. We felt like we'd been there a week. Actually, more tired than that. Because our first trip together was for a week. And that was glorious.

So, we went to Animal Kingdom, MGM (both of those you can do in a day), Epcot and Magic Kingdom. Epcot and MK need a full day or more. Next time we're going to wander around some of the shops and hotels and other things that are more for couples. We'll be sure to post the results here!

This guy imitating Johnny Depp was Great. He was there the day before the last Pirates movie opened. And we didn't get to do that ride because the line was LONG. I've been there many times but I've Never seen a line like That before. Usually you just walk right onto it, or maybe a 5 minute wait.

We were there for Epcot's great flower show too. Here ----------
you see the Peter Pan boat in the entrance, and Stitch's is in there somewhere too.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Disneyworld part 2!

Since there are so many Disney fans out there - including ourselves - I thought I'd post a few more goodies of our last trip to Disneyworld. It's funny, but the first time we went together, in Sept. 2005, coming out of the Haunted Mansion, one of the Disney guys was giving a tour, and I overheard him talking about Paul Frees. I couldn't believe it. So, completely out of character, I walked right over and introduced myself to the group as the author of the Paul Frees book. I even had a copy with me, hoping to get someone interested in carrying the book there (an impossible task, by the way; but at least I had Mayumi take a picture of me with the book outside the Mansion, which I'll use as an author photo on the back of the 2nd edition, which I'm planning to put out in 2009). Well, I don't know how many people were impressed or even Interested, but the guide was. :)

Of course, nothing beats staying on the grounds, in an official Disney hotel. Not just the cuteness and convenience factor, but you get Extended Park Hours. But be careful! Last time we were there at a very popular time, and you don't want to be at the park that has the Extended times on Those nights. You stand in line a Lot!

Below is where we stayed. Fantastic looking hotel! But to be honest, the worst service we've ever had. I didn't expect rudeness at Disneyworld. It's nothing I ever experienced before. But here, yes, I'm afraid. Of course, that doesn't rob from the magic of the place, and we really didn't come in to contact with a lot of the workers often, so........ doesn't really matter, does it? But I Was surprised to encounter it.
By the way, to the left is what we bought last time. Mayumi loves Stitch - but refuses to put cookies in him!