happy lunar new year: year of mouse

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The Lunar New Year celebration is based on the celestial calendar that is used by several Asian nations (namely China, Vietnam, Korea).  Each cycle of roughly 12 months is represented by one of 12 animals in the zodiac: rat, ox/water buffalo, tiger, rabbit (or cat in Vietnam), dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.

This year is my year, the year of the rat.  I share this distinction with noted creator William Shakespeare and fearless leader George Washington, you may have heard of them.   Folklore tales abound, but there’s thought that the rat was the first to show up to a council of animals that was called forth by the Jade Emperor (after sabotaging the cat and the ox, those cunning little rats), or that the rat won a competition set forth by this leader (also by screwing over the cat by not informing it of the time of the competition).  Whatever the case, the rat is the first animal of the zodiac and is thought to be very clever and observant (and clearly you should watch your back around them).

If you haven’t already bought your ticket to head to Asia for this celebration, which falls on January 25, this year, then you’re probably a little late.  So how better than to celebrate it stateside by going to Disneyland?  One of the most notable festivals dedicated to this holiday happens to be at the Disney Parks.

It’s a big party this year as Disney has taken the liberty to denote this the year of the mouse (that Mickey loves to appropriate things to his benefit, doesn’t he? But, also see the Mickey x Gucci collab because it’s fire).  They did a great job though, as the California Adventure park in Anaheim and the Epcot China Pavilion at Disney World have a ton of pageantry and specialty merch all set up to welcome the new year.

Chuc mung nam moi!

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traveling to a galaxy far, far away

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If you’re familiar with this blog, you may remember that I have not been to a Disney Park for 16 years.

Well I’m proud (?) to say that streak has been broken.

I was cajoled by my nephews (14 & 11) into going to D-land for the new Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge land that recently opened at the end of May.  This was a momentous occasion, and the really only thing that warranted a special visit.  I will say that not much else has changed at the happiest place on earth since I last stepped foot inside, and maybe that’s a part of its charm (especially for millennials).

may the force be with me…

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hometown hits: orange, california

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Orange County, California is more than housewives and McMansions. Granted, we do have our fair share of overly plasticized people, sprawling estates and vapid teenagers, but anyone who visits will encounter a far different vantage than what you might have seen in a show.

What they don’t show on TV is a 3 million + populated area filled with cultures from all corners of the world.  There’s Little Saigon, Korean District, and Little Arabia to name a few neighborhoods around.

But, what started it all, and what was most attractive to settlers to this part of Southern California was its miles and miles of orange groves, hence the name of the county.

Before Walt stuck his spike down to create Disneyland, this whole area was filled with ranches amongst the fruit trees.  And in some pockets of the area, you can still unearth some of the history of this county, especially in appropriately named Orange, California.

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