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“We’re All Here . . . “ January 20, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Music & Dance, Word Play.
19 comments

While driving up A1A through Fort Lauderdale Beach, a sign caught my eye:

M.E.N.T.A.L.

Hmm . . .

Curious, I looked closer and spied a funny tagline (like the one in this “borrowed” shot):

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After doing a quick google, I found bumper stickers, t-shirts, mugs, plaques, and even clocks sporting the same punny tagline.

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Even Steven Tyler is familiar with this funny punny.

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Which left me wondering ~> where have I been???

If not “all here” or “all there,” I guess I’ve been “out there” somewhere.

Aah . . . that’s better!

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Follow The Dancing Bear! December 13, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Music & Dance, Travel & Leisure.
16 comments

After lunch at Be Our Guest, we enjoyed the (Toucan Tango Better Than One Can) show in the Enchanted Tiki room and then climbed around the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse.

On our way to Big Thunder Mountain RR to ride the coaster, we got spit on by a camel!

They should include some sort of warning to unsuspecting passers-by.

Maybe something like this:

As we continued our trek to Big Thunder Mountain RR, we got stuck in a Jamboree Jam.

Just follow the dancing bear!

These dudes had moves!

They grooved to the tunes!

They did the hokey pokey.

And turned themselves about!

And that’s what it’s all about!

After the Jamboree Jam cleared, we headed straight for Big Thunder Mountain.

Where we rode the rails not once but twice.

Whee!!!

And we remembered to abide by the rules!

We then settled our stomach on a soothing boat ride through It’s A Small World before heading for Cinderella’s Castle to see Elsa put a Frozen spin on the holiday decorations.

Here’s the before:

And here’s the after:

Before leaving the park, we had supper at Pinocchio Village Haus, went on a relaxing Riverboat cruise narrated by none other than Mark Twain, and soared over Never Never Land with Peter Pan.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Epcot Food & Wine Festival ~ 2017 November 29, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Music & Dance, Travel & Leisure.
22 comments

We decided to head to Epcot for the last Friday of the International Food & Wine festival (which ran from August 31st through November 13th).

No . . . that’s not a figment of your imagination ~> it is Figment!

On arrival, we meandered from Future World to World Showcase, stopping at Kiosks to check out the menu offerings (and plan our snack attack).

When we reached France, we headed straight for Les Hailes Boulangerie-Patisserie.  Despite crowded kiosks outside, we sped through the line for Baguette & Pissaldiere ~ $8.  Our favorite treat at Epcot.

After stowing the rest of the baguette for later munching, we wandered through a French store, then headed to Morocco for Musique Aramenco ~ lively musicians accompanied by a belly dancer in full regalia.

This is a G-rated blog, so I didn’t snap a picture of her.  Instead, here’s the Moroccan marketplace where you can purchase your own belly dancing outfit.

When Musique Aramenco concluded their set, we retraced our steps to see Impressions of France ~ a lovely film with a beautiful and haunting soundtrack.  It’s a fun way to see the sights and sounds of France, from the castles of the Loire Valley to Versailles to the Eiffel Tower to the vineyards.  C’est bonne!

Time for dessert!  We decided on a Belgian Waffle with chocolate ganache and whipped cream from the Belgium kiosk ~ $4.  The soggy pastry base was underwhelming.  Most disappointing food of the day.

We headed to the United Kingdom via Morocco to catch Quickstep ~ a lively quartet playing acoustic music from Scotland, Ireland, and England.  Loved it.

After dancing with Quickstep, we needed to refuel.  We wandered next door to Canada for Cheese Soup with a Pretzel roll for dipping ~ $5.  YUM!

After supping on soup, we listened to Raffy ~ a high energy Canadian quartet.  We loved the sax!

On the way to China, via Morocco, we stopped again to listen to Morocco Musique and smiled as the belly dancer gave free dance lessons to a pre-schooler.

We had planned to watch the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats.  By the time we arrived, the area was Standing Room Only.  So we admired the gardens instead.

Time for another snack.  This time in India for Madras Red Curry (Cauliflower, Carrots, Chickpeas, and Basmati Rice) and Naan bread with 3 dippers (Coriander Pesto, Mango Salsa, and garlicky Pickled Garlic) ~ $9.50 for both.

Sorry . . . the dog ate my photo.

By this time, the air was getting chilly and the walkways were way too crowded, so we headed for The Seas with Nemo & Friends.

Crush escorted us inside . . .

While Bruce enjoyed swimming with the fishes outside . . .

After swimming the seven seas with Nemo and soaring through the air on Soarin’ (front & center for the first time!), we made one last stop at the Festival Center to see the Ghiardelli exhibit ~> The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to Bar.

On arrival, we each received a Ghiardelli Chocolate Square with Caramel.  Yes, please!  The exhibit included amazing chocolate sculptures featuring:

Beauty and the Beast . . .

Moana’s sidekicks . . .

Wreck It Ralph . . .

And the stars of Born in China . . .

Aah . . . that’s delicious!

Good Vibrations March 23, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Music & Dance.
20 comments

Another favorite aspect of our Disney trips has been stopping to enjoy street performances by musicians, acrobats, mimes, and jugglers.

We’ve enjoyed Matsuriza (Japanese Drummers), Sergio (Italian Mime), Alberta Bound Fiddlers in Canada, Matboukja Groove (Moroccan Musicians), Jeweled Dragon Acrobats in China, Viva Gaia Street Band & Carnivale on Discovery Island, A Frozen Sing-A-Long, The Festival of the Lion King, Beauty & The Beast ~ Live on Stage, African Acrobats at Harambe Market, PLUS . . .

Chakranadi (sitar and drums) in Asia:

Burudika (sax, drums, guitar, vocals, dancers) in Africa:

Quickstep Fiddlers (fiddle, mandolin, flute, drum) in the UK:

Harambe Parti (drums and other percussion instruments) at night:

And all of them were sending out Good Vibrations!

Music reminds me to flow with the rhythm of life and celebrate THIS moment with joyous abandon.

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Festival of Colors March 11, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Music & Dance.
14 comments

Need something to celebrate this week?

How about the start of daylight savings time . . . our clocks Spring forward an hour tonight.

Yay!

I love having more light at night.

And for those of you who are tired of winter’s gray

And want more color in your days

It’s time to celebrate Holi ~ the Hindu Festival of Colors.

Hip Hip Hooray!

Happy Holi!

Here’s a great song to jump start the 2017 Festival of Colors on March 13th & 14th:

If you need more music to get the Holi Party started: 7 Famous Music Videos Influenced by Holi.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Mystic India November 21, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Meditation, Music & Dance.
25 comments

In the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle, taking time to press the “pause button” is important.  Here’s one of my favorite calming soothing mantras from the Mystic India CD:

To  further calm and soothe yourself:

Take a deep breath, expanding your belly. Pause. Exhale slowly to the count of five. Repeat four times.

Congratulations. You’ve just calmed your nervous system.

Controlled breathing, like what you just practiced, has been shown to reduce stress, increase alertness and boost your immune system. For centuries yogis have used breath control, or pranayama, to promote concentration and improve vitality. Buddha advocated breath-meditation as a way to reach enlightenment.

Science is just beginning to provide evidence that the benefits of this ancient practice are real. Studies have found, for example, that breathing practices can help reduce symptoms associated with anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and attention deficit disorder.

To read more: Breathe.  Exhale.  Repeat. (NY Times)

Aah . . . that’s better!

Sock Hop & Classic Cars September 21, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Music & Dance, Travel & Leisure.
29 comments

Goodwill launched the 2016 Giving Challenge by hosting a Sock Hop at the Classic Car Museum.

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We went and had a fun time touring the touring cars.

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And planning our next Picnic Trip in this . . .

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We drank Chocolate Malts from Culvers, admired the themed napkins . . .

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And nibbled on nibbles . . .

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After the Pink Ladies danced to taped versions of “The Theme from Happy Days” and “You’re The One That I Want” (from Grease), the band took the stage.

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Even though BFF and I are not keen on music from the 50’s, we got ready to “Rock Around The Clock.”

Mickey-OKWe lucked out . . . the band didn’t know any songs from the 50’s!

Instead, they played classic rock, including: “I Love Rock & Roll,” “Baby, Hold On To Me,” “No Time,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” and some Dave Matthews.

Aah . . . that’s better!

If you play this video . . . that’s me 33 seconds in commenting on Paris Hilton’s absence:

Shakespeare In The Park May 15, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Music & Dance, Nature, Poetry, Travel & Leisure.
22 comments

On a day that threatened rain, we headed to Bay Preserve in Osprey for an Asolo Repertory Theatre performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night . . . with a modern twist.

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The setting for this “in the park” production balanced well with the play’s set design of a summer camp.

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The cast worked magic with Shakespeare’s timeless comedy of unrequited love, pride, pranks, and self-discovery.

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And the rain held off until after the play and reception ended.

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“If music be the food of love, play on.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

What’s your favorite Shakespeare play?

One Thing Leads To Another March 31, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Humor, Magick & Mystery, Music & Dance.
38 comments

Brian-with-coffee-and-newspaperA few weeks ago, after reading ’til the wee hours, I slept late.

Instead of rushing to get ready for water aerobics, I enjoyed a cup of coffee, checked the weather, and settled in to respond to blog comments.

As soon as my butt hit the office chair, my Inner Voice piped up and told me to get off my ass and go swim.

So I did.

During the class, I learned that Nancy Donaruma (a neighbor who played with the NY Philharmonic for over 30 years) planned to give a cello concert that afternoon . . . just down the street.

We jumped at the chance to hear her play and enjoyed every note!

Before leaving the concert, a neighbor invited us to a cello recital by Nancy Donaruma at her house tomorrow, April Fool’s Day.

Mickey-OKWhen we go with the flow, listen to intuition, and allow life to unfold, we often find that we are in the right place at the right time.

No fooling!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related:  The Paramedic Cellist (Allegro)

The “Eh” Team March 23, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Music & Dance.
41 comments

The Canadian contingency threw a Ceileidh (pronounced Kay-Lee) for our street this month.

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A Ceileidh is a “kitchen party” full of food, fun, frivolity, and music.

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After a slide show of the Maritime Provinces, Dino took the stage for a sing-a-long . . . complete with a fiddler fiddling-a-long.

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Then Harry Chapin and Todd Rundgren took the stage to sing a few bawdy tunes for us.

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The funniest part of the evening came at the end when the Canadian contingency (a/k/a The “EH” Team) gathered for a group shot.

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It took some time to get everyone on board ~> “Let’s see, who’s missing?” . . . “Are my glasses on straight?” . . . “Where’s Louise?”

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“Hey Cam, c’mon . . . the camera’s waiting for you!”

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“So, do we have everyone?”

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“Hey . . . no photo bombing us with a full moon shot!”

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“Seriously?!  Stop talking and start smiling!”

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“OK!  That’s a Ceileidh keeper!”

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Aah . . . that’s better, eh?