A Girls’ Disney Weekend

February 25, 2015

A Girls’ Disney Weekend

Photo Feb 07, 18 16 31

My Daughter and I Meet Up with Mickey at Disneyland
February 7, 2015

I started it.
I innocently forwarded an email to my daughter, Martese, from D23, the official Disney fan club.  There would be a special showing, at the Walt Disney Studios-Burbank, California, of the animated 1961 classic “101 Dalmatians“, in conjunction with the re-release of this movie on DVD and Blu-ray. This Disney film has always been Martese’s favorite, since taking her, as a one-year old, to see it in the movie theatre in 1991. With this in mind, I often send Martese 101 Dalmatian sightings that I come across.

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 10.04.41 PM
It all began with this one email from D23.
View it here.

Just minutes after sending the email, Martese text (or is it texted?) me that she had purchased two tickets to attend. This, despite the fact, that she lives in Minnesota! After discussing the trip with her husband, it was decided that I would be asked to join in on the dalmatian hijinks/trip.  I happily accepted, despite the fact that I live in Maryland!

IMG_4350 - Version 2
Martese (with red dalmatian balloon in hand) at her
101 Dalmatian-themed, 4th birthday party.

November 1994


Martese and Mike’s wedding;
the table decor included a touch of 101 Dalmatians,
and the wedding photos included a touch of Mickey Mouse.  :o)
May 12, 2013
(Original photos taken by Caleb Jamin Studios)

The Fun (long) Weekend Began!


Warm weather greeted us when we arrived
at LAX/Los Angeles Airport.

Martese volunteered to navigate through the L.A. Traffic.

After Martese and I found each other at LAX and rented a car, our weekend adventure began. We faced the evening, bumper to bumper, LA traffic, found the Disneyland exit, and checked into our hotel, situated directly across from Disneyland. Wasting no time in immersing ourselves in Disney, Martese and I immediately walked the short distance to Downtown Disney for dinner. Downtown Disney requires no admission fee, yet surrounds visitors in a festive Disney atmosphere. Throughout the weekend, when not visiting Disneyland parks, we took our meals in Downtown Disney, or the nearby Disneyland Hotel.

Downtown Disney and The Disneyland Hotel
February 6-9, 2015

Downtown Disney– an array of family friendly shops, and restaurants that offer everything from fast food to higher end “table service” meals.


The Earl of Sandwich offers quick delicious soup and sandwich options at Downtown Disney.

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“101 Dalmatians” pillow pet was adopted by Martese from Downtown Disney’s World of Disney shop.

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Having fun, trying on the new Star Wars Mickey Ears.

When not choosing Disneyland, or Downtown Disney fare for our meals and shopping, the Disneyland Hotel offered fun browsing, food for our breakfasts and an additional shopping alternative with their gift shop.


Venturing into the Disneyland Hotel area (above),
we enjoyed yummy Mickey Waffles in the dining area, whimsical tea cup chairs in the lobby area, along with colorful Mary Blair artwork.(below)
(To read more about the talented Mary Blair, see below- It’s a Small World.) 





May 7, 2015
Disneyland Park and California Adventure

 Disneyland Park

The Entrance to Disneyland, early in the Morning

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A statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse, and a beautiful day, welcome Martese and me to Disneyland.
The castle in the background was covered in an illustrated tarp for renovations to prepare for this year’s,  60th anniversary year celebration for Disneyland, beginning this May. 

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 Martese and I are both fans of the It’s a Small World ride. (The facade of this attraction was under renovation and covered in illustrated tarp, too.)

Martese and I each bought a soft,
fleece  It’s a Small World throw, as our Disneyland souvenir.

Read about Mary Blair’s contribution to this ride and Disney, here.



Martese sips her non-alcoholic mint julep, as we both savor delicious Mickey-shaped beignets (sort of like a doughnut) near the Haunted Mansion.
Remember, calories don’t count at Disneyland! :o)

Photo Feb 07, 12 43 03
Martese and I share a much anticipated, and luscious, Disney (pineapple) Dole Whip, and proudly display our
“I’m Celebrating Dole Whips!” buttons.

I loved it that my Starbucks Iced Tea sported
“Annette” on it!


Martese snapped this photo of me and the Matterhorn in the background.

Disney’s California Adventure Park

Martese stands at the entrance of
Disney’s California Adventure park,
early in the morning before the crowds arrive.

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Martese and me with Mickey’s Fun (ferris) Wheel in the background.

Photo Feb 07, 13 29 44Photo Feb 07, 14 13 23
Disneyland cuisine must include one of their tasty, and famous corn dogs. 


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Martese and I tried the oft-talked about, and addicting,
dill pickle popcorn in the cute Car Land area.

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One of my favorite attractions of the day was the Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek ride.
This attraction is unique to Disneyland, and is not offered at Walt Disney World.

The photos of this ride, below, are courtesy of Martese on a previous trip that she took to Disneyland.



To view this ride, watch it on youtube here. At around 2:10 on this video,you can see all of the doors that decorate the ceiling above, just as they do in the Monster Inc. movie.

For a nice write up on Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek by mice chat.com, and more photos from this feature, click here.

Martese and I finished our Disney day with an elegant meal at the Carthay Circle Restaurant. This beautiful Disney restaurant is designed as a nod to the once grand, but now unfortunately demolished, Carthay Circle Theatre of Los Angeles. Walt Disney’s first feature film, Snow White and the Seven Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered in this theatre in 1937.


My delicious meal included this exquisite
Carthay Autumn Salad (see the recipe that
I, sort of,  have for this salad,
toward the bottom of this post)
and Carthay Signature 
Fried Biscuits
(filled with cheese and bacon) .


My grilled Angus New York
with Chimichurries (pesto)
was perfection! A Chocolate
Crème Brûlée Tart delightfully
rounded out the meal. 

Martese and I loved dinner at Disney’s
Carthay Circle 

A Look at Disneyland of the Past



For a glance of the Disneyland that once was, in 1962 to be exact, snag a dvd copy of  the cute movie, 40 Pounds of Trouble, (I bought mine here.). Tony Curtis plays a Reno casino manager (in this remake of the Shirley Temple film Little Miss Marker) who finds himself caring for the five-year old daughter of a customer, and in the process treats her to a day at Disneyland. To see the Disneyland clips from this film, click here  and then here. I also found a fun post on miceage.micechat.com which shows, via movie stills, many Disneyland scenes from the movie. Did you know that at one time, you could take a helicopter from LAX  straight to Disneyland! Check out this entertaining Disneyland blog, with many wonderful photos from this movie, here.

This photo from 40 Pounds of Trouble,
courtesy of miceage.micechat.com

 Sunday-Hollywood and Walt Disney Studios
February 8, 2015

With a wonderful day at Disneyland behind us, Martese and I looked forward to the new day in and near Hollywood.  Our Sunday schedule had been in place, for awhile, with all activities scheduled around the much anticipated  2:00 pm showing of 101 Dalmatians.  

We set out early for Hollywood to stroll the Hollywood Walk of Fame, visit Graumin’s (now known as TCL) Chinese Theatre, Tour the
El Capitan Theatre, and the Hollywood Costume Exhibition.

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Clad in 101 Dalmatian sneakers, Martese stands next to
Walt Disney’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame .

To read more about The Hollywood Walk of Fame,
click here.

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I’m Annette!
I pose by Annette Funicello’s star on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame .

Read about my mouseketeer connection. here


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Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is famous for stars’ footprints in concrete.(above photo)
Martese and I pose next to one of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre’s two imposing, and authentic, guardian lion 
statues.(below photo)

To read more about Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, click here.

Fun Fact for ya- When Grauman’s went under renovation a few years ago, the theatre could not locate their original blueprints.  Then someone thought of contacting Walt Disney World.  It was Grauman’s who had given a diagram of their theatre to WDW to recreate a Grauman Chinese Theatre style front for their Hollywood Studio’s The Great Movie Ride. Grauman contacted Disney and was able to borrow back the blueprint to renovate their theatre.

Photo Feb 08, 10 09 35
While viewing John Wayne’s famous cement footprints in the theatre courtyard,
I could not resist recreating an iconic I Love Lucy moment. (above)

Lucy and Ethel decide to take a souviner back to New York, in the form of John Wayne’s footprints from
Graumin’s Chinese Theatre. (below)
l Love Lucy: Season 5, Episode 2
Lucy and John Wayne (1955)

 The El Capitan Theatre is a beautifully restored old movie theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, and just down the street from Grumman’s.  Built in the 1920’s, the El Capitan Theatre, is now owned by Disney, and has been renovated to its original splendor.  Martese and I enjoyed a brief tour of the theatre, and were treated to freshly popped popcorn and drink.  While there, the El Capitan was preparing for the next day premiere for the movie, McFarland, USA. In addition to that, the theatre was also getting ready for the Academy Awards which would occur two weeks later. (After watching the red carpet arrivals at the Dolby Theatre across the street on Oscar evening, the crowd makes it way to the El Capitan to watch the Academy Award program broadcast on the theatre’s big screen.)

The ornate ceiling of The El Capitan Theatre, on the left.
On the right, Martese stands under the El Capitan marquee, on part of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which dons the sidewalks on both sides of Hollywood Boulevard

Across the street from the  El Capitan Theatre is this view of the historic Hollywood Sign.

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The Dolby Theatre, the setting of the Academy Awards Ceremony, is also across the street from the
El Capitan Theatre.

Thanks to the Turner Classic Movie Channel, I learned that the Hollywood Costume Exhibition was in Los Angeles, for a limited time, not far from Hollywood. This exhibit began at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  In fact, I had tried (on two different occasions), but failed to see it when I was there. Happily, this time we were able to secure tickets, ahead of time, to view this treasure trove of Hollywood costumes.  My favorite piece was a pair of ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, along with Dorothy’s gingham dress . 

To read more about this wonderful costume exhibit, click here.


Martese and I wait to see the amazing
Hollywood Costume Exhibition in LA.
This particular site will eventually become the
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Our next stop was the Walt Disney Studios!  We arrived early, chatting with other D23 members, as we anticipated the opening of the gates and the showing of 101 Dalmatians.

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The Walt Disney Studios six-legged water tower.
Roy Disney, Walt’s brother and business partner, thought that a six leg design looked better than
the standard four-leg design. For a “tour” of the
Disney Studios, read http://www.disunplugged.com, here.

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The Walt Disney Studios street sign.

Photo Feb 08, 14 53 29
Martese and I pose in front of the
Walt Disney Studios Animation Building.


The big screen welcomes us to 101 Dalmatians.

A happy Martese is glad to see her favorite Disney movie in the same theatre where Walt Disney sat.

We met Robert, sitting next to us. He has a Disney Instagram site findingwaltdisney.  To view his photos, click here.

Martese and I enjoyed second row seats.  :O)

Before the movie, guests were treated to an interview session with (from right to left) Lisa Davis (the voice of Anita), Mimi Gibson (the voice of Lucky),
and legendary Disney animator of the movie, Floyd Norman.

To read more about the day’s event, click here.

It had been a fun afternoon, and we were basking in the glow of all things Disney, as we walked toward the gates to leave. It was then that we spotted historic animator, Floyd Norman .  He was kind enough to speak to us for a moment, and allow us to take a photo.  He was delightful.

Mr. Norman takes time to pose for a photo with Martese.
Can you believe this man is 80-years young!?

To read Floyd Norman’s blog, click here.

You can also read another write-up about this event, here.

A Mickey Bar and Good-bye
February 9, 2015

Our Girl’s Weekend, filled with wonderful memories, seemed to come  to an end way too quickly. Martese and I breakfasted on our final Disney meal of the weekend. While munching on Mickey Waffles at the Disneyland Hotel’s Tangaroa Terrace , it suddenly occurred to us, that we had not eaten the one “must have” Disney delicacy that weekend, Mickey Bars.  So, for dessert that morning, after a breakfast of Mickey waffles,  we enjoyed our early morning Mickey Bars, and our awesome Girl’s Weekend was complete.  :o) IMG_4293.JPG




Sort of a Recipe

Below is a “recipe”, as best as I could get,  for the delicious salad that we had at the Carthay Circle Restaurant. 

Carthay Autumn Salad-
Mizuna (a type of lettuce), crisp Pears, and spiced(candied) Pecans with charred Orange Vinaigrette.


Free Printable 

Print out and enjoy one of these free printables that Martese and I designed.

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To read about my family vacation to Walt Disney World in June 2014, click here.

Thanks so much for reading and have a magical day! :o)


I attempt to post my blog bi-monthly, but things are busy around here, so look for my next post around March 20, if not before.

A giant thank you to all of my faithful blog followers!!!
If you are not currently getting my blogs via email, I’d love for you to do so!


It is my hope to boost my follower number to 100 in 2015, so….

Please, pretty please, become an “I’m Annette” blog follower. By doing so, you will receive “I’m Annette” via email, FREE, yes FREE, immediately upon posting, sign up on the right-hand side of this page today. :o)

Planning a Disney Vacation?


Our Daughter, Martese, is a Magic Maker® for Off to Neverland Travel, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner for any of the Disney Destinations, and other vacation locations.
Martese’s vacation planning services are totally FREE!!!
Website: marteseehm.offtoneverland.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Martese-Ehm-Off-to-Neverland/258249034343274

Photo Feb 09, 08 58 45
Saying Good-bye to the Disneyland Hotel Restaurant, Tangaroa Terrace
February 9, 2015

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18 Responses to A Girls’ Disney Weekend

  1. bwbuttons@q.com says:

    Thanks Annette, for sharing this fantastic trip with us.. made me feel like I was there with the both of you… Such fond memories you and Martese are making together! Lucky you…


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