Florida Governor Comments On Mask Mandates, Fines, Lockdown, Knott’s Merry Farm, and More…

“Mandates don’t work.” I agree, up to a point. Lockdowns (and curfews) are harmful overall. There’s a way to stay safe, take precautions, accept certain limitations, but still work and live freely. (I do think masks are a good thing, although I dislike wearing them).

To find out what, exactly he said, check out the Florida governor’s latest words on Closures, Masks, and Mandates, Found in today’s email from the Disney Food Blog. Contrast that to the ridiculous curfew the California governor set to go into effect the day we arrived for the Knott’s Taste of Berry Farm event. Nevada has also tightened up – back to 50 people at church and 25% occupancy at restaurants. Some are closing temporarily during this time.

Gotta love Florida’s governor. I know I do. Btw, we are not politically aligned with either party – we are registered as Independents. And no, we did not vote for the lunatic.

We had a good time at Knott’s, but the food wasn’t quite as good to us as Fall O Ween, and the crowds were busier. The Christmas music, decorations, and atmosphere were the best part.

Somebody even came up to us and asked that we take a photo of them with her phone. I think that’s a bit rude under these circumstances, but Rich is too nice to say no. I hated waking up in the middle of the night knowing there was a curfew. That doesn’t work anyway. People (aka Huntington Beach and other cities) staged a protest at the pier at 10:01 p.m. and they can just gather in people’s homes, where the real problems are happening anyway.

For example, I don’t believe Cheezypop and the picture he paints that he’s been living under his bed for the past 8 months. Except for a couple of trips to Knott’s and Disneyland. Those are safe environments, which he proclaimed loudly. So how did he get Covid? He claims “it’s that contagious.” Oh, did it lift up and get under his super duper mask? I think not. I suspect by socializing with people not living in his apartment. Girlfriend. Maybe other friends? I don’t intend to be mean or disrespectful. But let’s be honest, okay? Something’s wrong with that picture.

“Adam the Woo” and Dillon of “Theme Park Obsession” have landed in Florida, “escaping California,” to put it in their words. Adam has even mentioned moving out of California and perhaps back to his Florida roots. A closed society is not a creative environment for his YouTube business. “Best Life and Beyond” are also joining then at WDW sometime this month. Good for them. We’re still planning a spring trip, depending on if/when/where the cruise industry opens. Is another move in our future? lol!

Photo Opp at front of Knott’s

Christmas tree at Knott’s (something Disneyland does not have in the recently opened Buena Vista Street at DCA)

Turkey Dinner Tater Tots

Cherry Lime Margaritas

Boysenberry Beer


Disneyland Resort Slowly Reopening for the Holidays

We’ve got our Knott’s Merry Farm tickets with plans to join the forces standing in line to enter DCA, hoping to grab a Martini and snack at the Carthay Circle Lounge (al fresco dining only). We were tempted to do Thanksgiving at Catal (opening day), but we’d have to cancel the Knott’s trip so we’ll have to pass. Then we got word that the Grand Californian is opening, getting our hopes up yet again. Our best case scenario would be the GC and Napa Rose for Thanksgiving. But, not so fast. The hotel is opening in early December and opening for DVC members only. Sigh.

That got me to thinking about this roller coaster ride we’ve all been on this year so I’m sharing today’s post from my writing/music blog:

Watching videos of people enjoying the Christmas festivities at Disney World, well, I can’t help but feel a little jealous. With California’s strict reopening guidelines and Disneyland’s reluctance to open up any of the parks (i.e., Knott’s Berry Farm) until now, and the cruising industry’s slow road to recovery, Nevada getting close to lockdown again, well, I’m going a little crazy. I mean, who isn’t, right?

I’ve spent these 8 months at home working on music, switching back and forth between Ableton Live and Logic Pro, the latter due to the 10.5 updates. And now with news of Ableton Live 11 coming out soon, well, there’s even more for me to dive into. But there’s also a lot of stress with all of that learning and it wears me out. So I’ve taken time to read and even work on a couple of manuscripts I’ve started writing. But nothing, really, after all these months, is really working toward peace of mind. Prayers and positivity help, of course, but when there’s an underlying or maybe not so underlying crisis happening, it’s really hard to escape.

I think many of us felt a bit of relief when Biden won, even if we weren’t big Biden supporters, if only because, in my case, I did not want to sit back and watch the lunatic, aka the Narcissist for another 4 years. His behavior since the election validates everything I know about Narcissists. And once you’ve had an experience up close with one, you don’t need a psychology degree to get it. Maybe you get it even more than somebody who has just studied it. Experience is a great teacher.

So with heavy handed governors issuing mandates (sometimes necessary, but, perhaps, not done in the best way) and a lunatic for a president, it’s like reliving a dysfunctional childhood all over again. The artist’s spiritual life and food and drink and rearranging the furniture a zillion times helps for a while, but I’m running out of coping mechanisms.

Today’s joy, though, was picking up my latest copy of Electronic Musician. Just reading the masthead made me smile, reminding me of my early days in San Francisco working in production on Mac User magazine. So cool to see my name listed as Production Manager. That took me to McGraw-Hill Publishing in Berkeley, but the most fascinating part of that was sharing the building with a music studio and seeing a glimpse of artists like MC Hammer getting out of the limo. The MC Hammer dancers lived in an apartment complex down the street from mine.

And so, when all is said and done and things are back to normal and I can cruise the high seas and relive my childhood at Disneyland, well, in the end, it’s all about the art, the music, and the spiritual journey I am on.

Knott’s Berry Farm Beats Disneyland With a “Taste of Merry Farm”

Knott’s Berry Farm is being so smart with how they’ve been handling this time of theme park closures. Offering people a real experience. We just returned from a “Taste of Fall-o-Ween,” which was fabulous. And now Knott’s has announced the “Taste of Merry Farm,” their Christmas version of the previous tastes.

We weren’t sure they would announce it before the Fall event ended (November 1), but we applaud them for putting tickets on sale before Disneyland gives solid details about what they’re up to. At this point, if it’s just more shopping, we’ll pass, although we’d love to have a Martini at Carthay Circle.

We’ve got our tickets, and will be waiting to hear the details of the Buena Vista Street opening of DCA to see if we can combine both things or, perhaps, wait for a better opportunity early next year.

Btw, the video of our “Taste of Fall-O-Ween” event has been posted on YouTube. And it was so fun to include a song I’d created/produced for this year’s “50/90” event. Check it out here.

“A Taste of Fall O’Ween” Knott’s Berry Farm Trip

Knott’s Berry Farm plays a huge role in my childhood:

  1. The first time I knew (from the back seat of the car) what the parents were spelling and it happened to be Knott’s Berry Farm
  2. The celebration place for winning the 6th grade spelling bee
  3. The meeting place for family get-togethers

With my second cousins, me in the middle wearing a dress (picked up from school)

Me in 2020, sitting (without thinking) in the same place as I did back in 1961-62

Two months after our wedding, we’d just bought a new Mustang and headed down to Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland to test drive the car. It’s been 24 years since then and our last trip to Knott’s Berry Farm (other than breakfast at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant.

Knott’s is doing a fabulous job with contactless temp and bag checks. We didn’t even know it was happening. Arriving at opening, the crowds were low and we felt safe throughout our visit. The food was awesome, especially the Pastrami Tater Tots and Apple Cheesecake Trifle. We even did the Trick or Treat trail (and why didn’t Disneyland do this? Too busy playing the “all or nothing” game, as we see it.).

We brought back some Boysenberry Turnovers (2 for the room and 2 to take home), and a box of Chicken to go. We also finally got the Kitty Clock we’d had our eyes on since that first trip – boysenberry to honor our Knott’s Berry Farm trip (plus a couple of T-shirts and some Boysenberry Taffy).

We’re still hoping Disneyland offers something like this during the holidays. If not, we may be back for Knott’s. I’m pretty sure they’ll transition into the holidays once Fall O’Ween ends on November 1st.

Here are a few photos and more in today’s YouTube video:

Welcome to Ghost Town, 24 years later

Rich’s turn with the Ladies

Rich begins the Trick or Treat Trail – how long has it been since he’s gone trick or treating? lol!

Pastrami Tots (re-creating this recipe for tonight’s dinner)

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Trifle

Sausage Roll and Mexican Corn (Boysenberry Cobbler Beer and Boysenberry Wine

Headless Meatball and Shrimp Curry

Boysenberry Turnover

Boysenberry Kitty Clock

Disneyland Reopens Buena Vista Street in DCA: Why We Won’t Be Going

Before I get into our Knott’s Berry Farm “Fall O’Ween” trip report, I wanted to acknowledge the news that Disneyland is scooching into DCA by opening Buena Vista Street for shopping and snacking – mostly shopping. I think we were all excited to hear this news – we’ve all been dreaming of a “Taste of Main Street” at Disneyland Park or a “Festival of the Holidays” type thing at DCA. But on closer inspection, some, like us, have realized that these tiny baby steps are not what we had in mind. My question is, is there time to then pull out a Holiday Festival after testing the Buena Vista Street opening? Or is this all there is? If so, we’re not interested.

Other questions, how will they do crowd control? They don’t seem to be going the Knott’s route by issuing tickets for a special event. So until they come up with a plan that interests us, we won’t be going. Disneyland only seems interested in selling more merch, not giving the fans what they can.

The other thing we won’t be doing is going to WDW until they open up Epcot before noon. We did see that holiday hours show Epcot opening at 10 but then early next year going back to the noon opening. We like to hit the parks early, take an afternoon break, and then return in the evening. With the noon to 8 pm hours, well, let’s just say, that doesn’t work for us. Buying a full park ticket for such limited hours… not interested.

Things are changing every day so we’ll all be tuning in for the next piece of this drama.

On Disneyland Not Reopening… Why My Heart Hurts

As most are aware now, the Disneyland reopening guidelines are so ridiculously impossible, that it looks like Disneyland cannot reopen until Covid-19 is a thing of the past. And this makes us (Disneylanders) all so sad. And afraid. Can Disneyland survive? What will it look like if/when it does reopen. What are the lasting effects of this? Will Disney sue? Who else will sue? (There’s a court case against Newsom on the docket today about his overstepping in general). What about not just Orange County residents, but all of Southern California? What about their livelihoods? Their communities? Families?

I become quite incoherent if I even try to say the name “Newsom” to explain him or even read the headlines anymore. And in spite of what some think, Disneyland is not just a theme park. Some of the comments I saw on Twitter ridiculing those of us who have found so much more from Disneyland. “Look at those white people…” Please stick to your own lane – I do believe you have enough problems. And Disneylanders are not it.

I struggled to get to sleep last night – my usual state whenever I’m overly-stimulated in the evening – much like coffee, I can’t really handle too much drama after lunch – lol! I woke up this morning and wrote in my Disney Studios diary with my Napa Rose pen while sipping my coffee. Can Napa Rose survive? Will the chefs/staff have moved on to other ventures and not return? What will Napa Rose become then?  This is one of our favorite places in all of the Disneyland Resort.

Disneyland is one reason I could never stay in Florida for too long (and why we live in nearby Las Vegas). The Magic Kingdom at WDW can never replace Disneyland. True, I admit to having an emotional attachment to Disneyland and Orange County, California. It’s the one special piece left of my childhood, of family. When you’re in Florida, you can text or call or write to your family. Not when Disneyland *is* your family. I loved growing up in Orange County. Disneyland. Newport Beach. Knott’s Berry Farm. The Catholic Missions. Bower’s Museum. The Dodgers and later the Angels. Balboa Island (captured in Letters on Balboa Island). It was all magical!

But maybe the main reason is that it was, as I look back and view my life, knowing what I know now and didn’t know consciously then. Growing up near Disneyland was my compensation for not growing up with my father, living with his own family in L.A. County, kept apart by the adults in my life. All for selfish reasons. All those “What if” questions. What would it have been like growing up with my father? What would our first trip to Disneyland be like? The beach? The music we could have shared together. The father/daughter dance. Thankfully, I did meet and spend some time with him before he died – you can read that story here.

I didn’t have that irreplaceable time with my father during my childhood. But I did have Disneyland. And now it’s gone. At least for now.

I hate this year and what it’s doing to people. I try to remain positive, hoping for the best, but also fearing the worst. Yes, we could plan a trip to WDW, but it just isn’t the same.


Newsom Says the Question is “When in *2021* will Disneyland Open?”

(Note: I started this post before the Disneyland Reopening Guidelines were released, but let me say this: Airline travel is one of the safest things you can do, as verified by the CDC. The guidelines are what we heard about weeks ago before Disneyland asked to wait for their input. Apparently, even the trip to Florida didn’t change California’s minds.)

I’m so fit to be tied, I can’t even put together a coherent post. But I will say something that’s similar to what I say when people are flummoxed about Trumps’ behavior. But once you realize he’s a Narcissist, everything he does makes sense.

The only thing I can say about Newsom is if you understand the Bay Area culture, you understand Newsom a little bit more. Having grown up in Southern California and then living in the San Francisco Bay Area for 23 years, I can tell you this: they hate any mention of Southern California, Disneyland, and Las Vegas. If I mentioned any of these in a positive way, you should have seen the eyes roll (to say the least).

What I can say is that Newsom can’t have all the power in California. That would make him a dictator. There must be power, at least financial, or legal forces that can take action. I’m curious what Disneyland will do now.

Btw, Newsom may have asked forgiveness, but I will never forgive him. Why? Because I don’t believe he is sincere is the asking. And the people who support him in this acting all holy when, in fact, this isn’t just about how in some people’s minds theme parks are not essential. There’s an injustice going on here.

Anyway, here are some videos to watch that explains the latest in this California vs Disneyland battle and I’m sure the list is growing by the minute:

Disneyland Reopening Date Battle Deeper Than We Know? (The Kingdom Report)

Disneyland Reopening Guidelines Expected Tomorrow (FreshBaked)

Hot Off the Press: Disneyland Reopening Guidelines Released (The Kingdom Report)

Check out this article:

California Attractions and Parks Association Calls Reopening Guidelines a “Keep Theme Parks Closed Indefinitely” Plan

New State Guidelines Mean Disneyland Will Likely Be Closed Well Into 2021, State Officials Have “No Idea” When Reopening Criteria Will be Met

And this response from Disneyland’s president (click on graphic for larger view):


Why Isn’t Disneyland Doing More?

This is the question on the mind of many a Disneylander. If Knott’s can do it, why can’t Disneyland? Are they holding out until they can open the complete parks. Or should I say “have” they been holding out, because it doesn’t look like this is going to happen this year at all. They’ve missed holding a Halloween event like Knott’s Berry Farm’s “Fall o’Ween,” complete with treat trail. Will Disneyland do something special for Christmas? A Holiday Food & Wine Event in DCA, perhaps?

That also doesn’t seem likely when you look at how they’re doing Downtown Disney – Halloween merch and treats but no decorations As a Disneyland fan, I feel really let down by Disney. There’s so much more they could be doing. Isn’t there? Isn’t this a time they should be reaching out to their fans, providing that extra Disney magic where possible? (We could all use some Disney magic about now.)

Or are we not privvy to what might be preventing them from doing what Knotts is doing? Or are they only interested in selling us more merch without offering any atmosphere to go with it? More money, less effort. Take, for example, the newly-opened Stage 17, a dark warehouse full of Disneyland merch, located just inside DCA, but you’d never know it.

We don’t need more Disney stores, more merch, more treats designed for Instagram with vloggers trolling the place – lol. Where’s the atmosphere that Disney is famous for – that’s why we go – much more than for the rides. I’ve had my own roller coaster ride with the closing of Disneyland for 7 months and counting, but before it opens again, we need some serious changes like real capacity limits inside and outside the parks.

Disneyland Fights Back

Okay, after yesterday’s news that Newsom stated that there’s no hurry to open Disneyland any time soon (contradicting his smarmy tease earlier) confirming what we’d already suspected (why else “leak” guidelines that make it impossible), I thought this blog would go dark as my protest.

But today Disney Parks released this “true, scientific, and data-filled” statement, which I appaud (click on pic to enlarge):

It’s such an injustice and if ever there was a cause besides religious freedom that I would be willing to join forces in protest, it would be this one (at least in my head – lol!)

This is getting as crazy as this year’s presidential race! Enough already!

Disneyland Opening Stage 17 in DCA

I have mixed feelings about the opening of Stage 17 on the edge of DCA as a gift shop. Yes, something actually inside DCA is opening but you can only enter it from the esplanade so you’re not actually entering or seeing inside DCA.

Yes, perhaps, it’s the first step in a big domino effect – or is it? That we do not know. What I do know is that the longer Disneyland is closed, the more upset I am. I didn’t move all the way back from Florida to be locked out of Disneyland, the place I’ve been going to since I was a small child, the place that feels like home and family to me. And the place I miss the most when we’re in Florida. Disneyland is not just a theme park.

To learn more and watch the discussion, check out FreshBaked’s video on YouTube (if I can find the link button on the new WordPress interface, which I still hate). Just discovered how to revert to the Classic Editor – yay!!!

But I’d be so very happy if they’d open the Grand Californian, Napa Rose, and other restaurants inside the GC. Now that would be making progress!

One year ago, we were having dinner at Napa Rose, enjoying some of the Halloween treats on display in the Grand Californian lobby.

Trump Trumps Disneyland Reopening?

The latest Disneyland drama is that Disneyland asked the state of California to delay publishing those super restrictive guidelines until after they’ve had a chance to present their case. Now why wasn’t that happening anyway? The governor made comments like they were working together, when, in fact, it seems not, since he was willing to publish those guidelines that pretty much prohibited Disneyland to re-open until this whole “Bob” thing was over. And since they weren’t published last Friday, as expected, we’re assuming talks are under way.

And, then, of course, you’ve probably heard about Bob Igor leaving the Governor’s “Economic Recovery Task Force,” which must be practically nonexistence since California is being so strict.

But will the news that Trump has “the Bob” affect Disneyland’s reopening? How will people react? Hide under their beds? I know I feel like being even more cautious, although I think things should open up safely to allow people to make their own decisions about whether to participate in something.

Trump has been really stupid, no doubt about it, but that’s the classic Narcissist for you. The rules don’t apply to them. They’re above it all. And when you question them, you get Lies, lies, lies, and more lies. You can’t call them on it so you use the word “confusion” a lot, which is the word the coverage regarding his health is using quite a bit.

Having had a close, lifelong relationship with a Narcissistic family member, I know how this goes. Only I didn’t know what was going on for so long because I didn’t understand Narcissism. Everything was confusion. Until I knew. And then it all made sense. But making sense of it or not, it still makes me sick. I’ve had enough of lies.

I pray for President Trump’s recovery, and for the world’s recovery, physically, economically, and spiritually.

PS – This is the first I was forced to use the new block editor in WordPress and I hate it. Will I get used to it, move this blog or will this be the end of blogging for me? Not sure yet.