I’m Going To Disney World, Part 4: Star Wars!

So, where were we?

Star Wars

Last time in Part 3, I dreamed a dream, of Des dreaming a dream, of a hotel we call “The Lightning McQueen Hotel”, which is actually a Cars family suite in the Art of Animation Resort. We arrived there just after sunrise, got our MagicBands and found out that our Disney travel agent ROCKS because Cassidy really did get a purple one. Meanwhile, our rental minivan was idling on the curb while Scarlet, Des and I were in a magical but real world of Cars dreams come to life. Sort of. Got that?


Star Wars

We drove from the resort to Hollywood Studios, which probably didn’t take too long. I was likely in a daze of sunshine, palm trees (transplanted or not), and the beat of my own heart, which beats in time to the Star Wars movie scores. Did you know that? Ask my doctor. It’s true! As you can tell from the first photo, everyone in my family was wearing a Star Wars shirt. In fact, we got to the park before the gate was up, and I noticed that entire families had Star-Wars-coordinated their outfits. These were my people! I was their person! Except, I don’t have a good Star Wars shirt or two (or three) apparently?

I do have Star Wars underwear, but sadly, no photos of that.

And so, it wasn’t a crowded day. We went through security and metal detectors and purse searchers, and everyone was friendly, of course. The gate finally lifted, and we bolted to line up to sign up for Jedi Training Academy. On line, we talked to many other Star Wars nerds fans and learned some good ins and outs of the park. We signed Scarlet and Des up for 2:00pm, even though they told us over and over they didn’t want to do it. We signed them up anyway, because Jedi Training Academy.

Heading to Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World? Here's everything Star Wars that we did, and all of this before 10:00. So much to see and do! #StarWars

Help me with something here, people. Throughout the day, we’d walk by the young Jedis training against Darth Vader and Scarlet and Des both looked at me like I had three heads. They said, “He’s a bad, bad guy, and also dead, right? So I’m confused. Why is he here, and why would you want us to train against a bad, bad guy?” Well oh my stars, they’re right!

They’re too young to stop believing that all of these princesses and Jedis and villains are actually REAL – (yes, yes, I know they’re real people, and that princesses and villains are real life things and that Jedis are kinda real too because of the power of the human spirit..) – but too old not to exercise sound logic. Cassidy and I spent a lot of time explaining why we’d take our dear children to a park teeming with dragons and awful villains. We explained that they’re reformed, or under control, or imprisoned, and that there are a heck of a lot of good guys there who outnumber them. And isn’t that based on reality?


Chewie is real! We loved on him and when it was time to say goodbye, he said “Bye” in his famous way.

Inside Star Wars Launch Bay, we saw a Jawa peeking around a corner. I shrieked. Then one came up behind me to scare me, and I shrieked, and it shrieked, and I asked where the Banthas were, and we all hung out for some quality time together.

(Des is THRILLED.)

Then, I went to meet Kylo Ren, while the rest of them chickened out and wandered around Star Wars Launch Bay.


Heading to Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World? Here's everything Star Wars that we did, and all of this before 10:00. So much to see and do! #StarWars



Heading to Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World? Here's everything Star Wars that we did, and all of this before 10:00. So much to see and do! #StarWars



Heading to Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World? Here's everything Star Wars that we did, and all of this before 10:00. So much to see and do! #StarWars


We chatted. He was not nice. He told me I was part of the resistance and I said, “Always”, and he said I was no longer welcome near him, and I said, “But should we hug or something?” And he declined, but I think he wanted to hug me.

Then we met back up, and the kids were so curious about Kylo Ren and why I’d want to hang out with someone who killed his own father. Excellent question, that. And why did I come back so flushed and giddy after hanging out with someone I would never let my kids near even in a galaxy far, far away? Iron-clad logic, that. Alas, the kids usually give in to the magic and wonder and stop asking so many darn smart questions. Just let the darkness and the light take you away, young Jedis!

Next up, we made our way outside because they were all going on Star Tours and I was going on The Great Movie Ride. There were always Star Wars shows going on at a main stage, and Stormtroopers patrolled through the park often. I even got stopped by an employee because there was a Star Wars parade crossing in front of me. Des saw two stormtroopers and said, “I want to go tell them they’re bad!” So we raced over to them and Cassidy said, “My son has some words for you”. They turned towards Des and he froze. Instantly bolted between Cassidy’s legs so scared. Then they started with the “Hold on there….calm down….calm down….calm down….calm down. The threat has been removed. You’re out of danger.”

Stay tuned and you’ll read about it!

Next up, more stories! FROZEN sing-a-long! More photos – and not ONLY phone photos like this post turned out to have?

A Long, Long Time Ago, and Very Far Away..

Like in New Jersey…

There lived a girl who could one day frankly say, “If it wasn’t for Star Wars, I wouldn’t have a family. Not this family.

I think about it a lot, during these changing seasons. I think about the changing seasons of my life. How I got from there to here, but it wasn’t just this straight line. It was this whole “Connect the Dots” puzzle, or maze, and there were always other ways to turn or connect, but would I still be where I am today? That’s what fascinates me SO MUCH! A left turn instead of a right. A postponed trip. Saying “no” instead of “yes.” Saying “yes” instead of “no.” The first thing I said “yes” to, after college graduation and Phi Beta Kappa, baby, and after graduating with honors (baby), and after going on a road trip in an ice storm to Key West (baby, baby) without an inkling of planning, or even knowing I was going to do something like that..THIS:

I said “yes” to a job fair at a Rutgers Dining Hall. I’m sorry – a “career” fair. I wore my best business casual and put together a crappy resume. I walked in and surely headed right for the food, because it had only been a year earlier – cheese sauce eggs and cocoa krispies. First period classes. Then I turned right instead of left, because.. job fair and all. The Breakfast of Champions can wait. I remember everything that everybody and everybody’s mother said about a firm handshake and eye contact, but don’t you know that when you hold someone’s eyes too intensely, you stop blinking and you just look crazed.

I talked to a lot of people that day. I can best remember a young company with peppy representatives. Software House International. (SHI) I’ll have whatever they’re having! Clearly, it’s cheese sauce eggs and cocoa krispies. I’ll grab a business card, thanks. Here’s my resume. It’s crappy. I’m not crappy. Sorry about the eye contact. Call me! Here’s an extra resume!

Do you think they called me? Of course they didn’t call me. They saw hundreds of job applicants that day, with less crappy resumes and less crazed eye contact. Maybe they favored people who ate healthier breakfasts. Who can say? I moved into the haunted apartment of my parent’s farm and I watched a lot of Degrassi while planning my next move. In life. For breakfast.

(Cake for breakfast?)

I started temping at a juice distribution warehouse, naturally. I had two bosses – one female and one male. I knew they both really liked me, but I cried at my desk once because my parents had moved from our childhood home to the farm with the haunted apartment, and our dog had died, and both of my father’s parents too, and I was a right mess. I was trying to grasp at anything. My aunt offered me a place to live to study to be a Disney World photographer, but that was just running away. And living in Florida in the summer. (no way in hell) And dealing with crowds. (no way in hell) I remember telling the Vice President of the company about my FL offer. (who does that?? 20-somethings do) He told me that sometimes in life, you have to jump without a parachute. Or maybe jump without a net. Either way it stuck with me. Jumping. Flying. Falling? Dizzy.

So while I sat crying at my desk to my boss, and telling the Vice President I had wordly and important dreams, they were taking a gamble on me. They wanted me to go from temp to permanent. As they were ordering me my desk, it hit me. It had been 30 days of rain. I lived in a haunted apartment. I cried every day. I told them to give their generous offerings of a desk, and a permanent position, to someone who might actually stay. I visited a temp agency in central NJ that very next day and she said, “Oh boy, do I have something for you.” And remember that happy, peppy company I had seen at the Rutgers job fair months earlier? SHI. They were hiring! I walked in and got the job the next day. I looked for an apartment near Rutgers and found a listing with an SHI email address. It all sort of worked. FAST. I work very fast when I’m desperate, or on the verge..

..of something. Of everything.

(on the verge of – from left to right – Cassidy, George Lucas, good friend Mike)

I’ll give you a hint. George Lucas’ companies were my clients, but not right away, and that’s a story for another day.

Star Wars. It’s responsible for all of this.. It could have been a million things, but this is what it is:

And some of this..

Definitely this..

Always suspicious pigs..

Suspicious sheep too.

Disgruntled chicks!

See, this is the prequel of the 20 part story. I always thought it began with SHI, but it actually began with how I got a job at SHI, and if we’re being honest, it began with my birth. That’s life for you. Twists and turns and cocoa krispies.

If you’re so inclined, it’s a 20 part love story I wrote while pregnant with Des. I dug up hundreds of old emails and texts to make it accurate and magical, because that’s what it was and is. It begins where this one leaves off. Story links, HERE.

A little late, but May the 4th be with you. And you. And you. And you, and you, and you. But not you. (what?)

Linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “A long, long time ago, and very far away, there lived..” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on the matter: HERE.