Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Surf’s Up! Breakfast with Mickey & Friends



This was my second time eating at the Surf’s Up! character breakfast and for the most part I wasn’t disappointed. The breakfast takes place daily at the PCH Grill restaurant located within the Paradise Pier Hotel. The food is served buffet style and on the day we attended they had the following items to choose from: Mickey waffles, Mickey pancakes, banana-caramel French toast, flatbread pizzas, scrambled eggs, hash browns, beef chilaquiles, smoked salmon with bagels and cream cheese, an omelet station, crisp bacon, sausage, oatmeal, cold cereals, fresh fruit, and a variety of small pastries. In addition, they had a choice of two different fruit smoothies within the buffet and from your server you can get coffee, tea, hot chocolate, orange juice, apple juice, milk, and water.

surf up food 1surfs up food3

We tried a little bit of everything they had to offer and the food was all quite good. It’s always nice when you have a made-to-order omelet option that offers egg whites/substitute, as well as the traditional. At that station they’ll also make you scrambled eggs with any of the omelet add-ons you would like, as well as made to order fried eggs. The pre-made scrambled eggs were very soft and next time I think I would have them make me some that are firmer. They will also bring you toast if you request it. My two favorite items from the buffet were the Apple Cantaloupe Smoothie and the Caramel Banana French Toast. Yes, I have a sweet tooth.

surfs up food2


When you go out to eat, the food and service is important, but with a character breakfast the experience is what you are paying for. Last time I ate here the character interactions were a bit of a disappointment, but it was much better this time around. When you first arrive you will have your picture taken with Mickey Mouse dressed as a lifeguard. The photo will the be printed and presented in a keepsake portfolio that you may purchase during your meal. After your photo op, you will be seated at your table and your server will stop by to take your drink order. Due to my food allergies, the chef came out to speak with me regarding what was safe for me to eat and offered to make me a special fruit plate, as one of my allergies is pineapple. As soon as we got back from our first trip to the buffet, our drinks had arrived and the characters were making their rounds.


We were there for about an hour and in that time, not including the original photo with Mickey, there were four characters in the restaurant. From what I’ve seen it is always the same five characters that you will find here. First through the dining room was Minnie, followed closely by Stitch. There was then a bit of a break before Daisy came to our table, with Pluto rounding out the group. Unlike the Minnie & Friends Breakfast, here the characters only came to each table once, so don’t miss your opportunity to get your pics while they’re there, as you likely won’t get another chance. Also, Mickey doesn’t make the rounds in the restaurant, so if you want your photo with him the original picture time when you arrive is your only opportunity. This is also the only breakfast location that you will find Daisy and Stitch, so if they are favorites of yours this is the meal for you.

They play a nice variety of surf music during the meal, and occasionally the kids are called up to dance with the characters. I walked over to the “dance floor” the one time it occurred, and Stitch was there having a little dance party with a few of the kids brave enough to join him. If you’ve eaten at the Surf’s Up! breakfast recently, let us know your experience. Be sure to check the Disneyland website for current prices and to make your reservation.

Enjoy and Happy Eating!!



surfs up food6surfs up food4


**Please do not copy or use photos from this posting for any purpose without my permission. Thank you.






Read Full Post »

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Read Full Post »

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 35 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Read Full Post »

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,000 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Read Full Post »

My Top 3 (4) Most Loathed Christmas Songs


For my scrooge friends out there, here’s a little negativity for the holiday season.


  1. Santa Baby – Oh, how I hate this song!! Every version equally annoys me!!
  2. Blue Christmas – Yep, hate every version of this one too.
  3. All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth / I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – A tie for 3rd worst


So, which holiday songs do you hate? Let us have ‘em!



Read Full Post »


My Top 21 Favorite Christmas Songs


  1. Home for the Holidays – Any Version
  2. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Any Version
  3. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear – Any Version
  4. Snoopy’s Christmas – The Royal Guardsmen
  5. Christmas in Killarney – Bing Crosby
  6. All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
  7. Silver Bells – Any Version, esp. The Temptations’
  8. Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid
  9. Dominick the Donkey – Lou Monte
  10. Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives
  11. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
  12. Sleigh Ride – Any Version, esp. Air Supply’s
  13. The First Noel – Any Version
  14. The Christmas Song – Any Version, esp. Nat King Cole’s
  15. Last Christmas – WHAM!
  16. White Christmas – Bing Crosby
  17. Jingle Bell Rock – Any Version
  18. Go Tell It on the Mountain – Any Version
  19. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Any Version
  20. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Any Version
  21. Please Come Home for Christmas – Aaron Neville


These are my favorites, what are your faves?


Cnotes1 - Version 2



Read Full Post »

Gangster Squad Review

Gangster Squad


It’s post WWII Los Angeles, circa 1949, and the city of angels has been infiltrated by east coast mobster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn).  With the protection of his bought cops and a well-placed judge on the take, Cohen was able to take his place at the top of the west coast crime food chain. And he fully intends to stay at the top regardless of the cost.


In an effort to take his city back, before it’s too late, Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Parker (Nick Nolte) subversively hires LAPD Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) to take down Cohen. O’Mara proceeds to put together his “Gangster Squad” with the help of his pregnant wife Connie (Mireille Enos), who isn’t at all pleased with his new quest. Actually, it’s Connie that hand picks each of the members for the team. Don’t know how historically accurate that is, but it adds an interesting depth to Mrs. O’Mara that we don’t get with many of the characters in the film. Surprisingly, she was the only character that I really connected with throughout the movie, and for the most part she was played as much smarter than her supposedly intelligent police sergeant and special forces war veteran husband. I feel like there was a lot of character development that could have occurred, at least for the major players, but the film was mostly lacking in that area. 


But, heck, it’s a gangster movie right? So, maybe I’m not to expect a lot of development and smarts. Looking at it as strictly a standard gangster film, you get pretty much what you would expect – car chases, lots of shooting, and lots and lots of violence and bloodshed.  If that’s all you want you’re going to get it in spades. Some of the promos led me to believe that I may get a more intelligent noir film and that’s what I was hoping for, so for that I was a bit disappointed.


I’m not going to give you a scene by scene recap of the film, as I always feel like that does a huge disservice to the reader of a movie review.  What I will do, however, is say that the first scenes for each of the two main characters do a good job of showing us exactly who they are as people.  The extremely horrific opening scene of Cohen directing his goons to literally tear a man in half, as a message to send back to Chicago, via the man he forces to witness the brutality, says all we need to know about this character and the depths of his ruthlessness. In much the same way, in the first scenes we see of Sgt. O’Mara, we get a very clear picture of the kind of man he is. He, without hesitation, goes into the belly of the beast, a Cohen run prostitution ring, and saves an unwitting young woman from being raped at the hands of his mob henchmen.  These two men are clearly hero and villain in every sense, but the violence perpetrated by each, as the means to their desired ends, makes them a little too similar for my liking; and speaks too much to the fight violence with violence mentality.  That being said, sometimes you have to fight fire with fire, and as Chief Parker says when he brings in O’Mara, they’re fighting a guerilla war. 


None of the characters, other than Connie O’Mara, really stood out for me as particularly interesting or special, and that’s where some more character development would have helped. The acting for the most part was good, not stellar, but good enough to carry the film. I need to throw in what I’m sure will seem like an odd criticism, but I found Sean Penn’s makeup to be very overdone and distracting. Many times I found myself staring at his very thickly made-up face rather than paying attention to what his character was actually doing on screen.


On an all positive note, I loved the noir look of the film and 1940’s Los Angeles has never looked more beautiful; and in some ways even pristine. I like to think that the visually stunning city was a purposeful contrast to the ugly violence of the film, but it may just have been a happy coincidence and not intentional at all. In that same vein, the closing credits are gorgeous and I wouldn’t mind having some prints of the old Hollywood/LA scenes depicted. Overall, I found the film to be good entertainment, if somewhat lacking in its dialogue and development.  It’s standard Hollywood gangster fare, however, with nothing really unique or special about it outside of its award-winning cast.  The film is based on true-life events, but obviously Hollywood embellished. Again, I don’t know how historically accurate the events that take place in the movie are, but it does make me want to find out more about the real life members of the gangster squad.  All in all, I recommend this film with ♥ ♥ ♥.  


Rated R for strong violence and language.

Running Time: 113 minutesImage

Starring: Josh Brolin – John O’Mara; Ryan Gosling – Jerry Wooters; Sean Penn – Mickey Cohen; Emma Stone – Grace Faraday; Mireille Enos – Connie O’Mara; Nick Nolte – Chief Parker; Robert Patrick – Max Kennard; Giovanni Ribisi – Conwell Keeler; Anthony Mackie – Coleman Harris; Michael Peña – Navidad Ramirez; Holt McCallany – Karl Lennox; Sullivan Stapleton – Jack Whalen; Josh Pence – Daryl Gates; Jon Polito – Jack Dragna; John Aylward – Judge Carter; James Hébert – Mitch Racine

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »