My youngest daughter and I were recently browsing giraffe photos (yes, because of that Facebook riddle), when we spied these amazing photos of Giraffe Manor.
Incredible, right? The Giraffe Manor website, which has since been redesigned, sucked us in. We couldn’t get enough! At that time, they offered a Virtual Tour (access has been removed from their site, but I’m sharing the direct link). Each room in the manor is beautifully decorated; suites named Betty, Marlon, Jock and Karen epitomize luxury & opulence.
In Betty’s bathroom, we spied something most peculiar, most desirable. Can you see it?
Up until that moment, we had no idea black toilet paper even existed. Thus began our quest for the black toilet paper!
RENOVA are the makers of the World’s Sexiest Toilet Paper… no lie! Created in Portugal, this luxury item is used by celebs Simon Cowell and Kris Kardashian. The colors aren’t the only stand-out feature of this paper. It is also triple-ply!
I found it. Now, how to get it? Shipping fees from Portugal are high (outrageously so). At $4.00 per roll before shipping, I couldn’t afford an industrial supply.
Bravo’s Shah’s of Sunset were having a contest on Facebook, “Overstated Is Underrated”. They asked viewers to pose with something plain that could use an overstated upgrade. Most posed with rings, shoes, and purses. Not me. I posed with a roll of white toilet paper pressed against my cheek. My face cheek! Good Lord!
My entry was accepted, but I didn’t win. On with my quest to obtain the black, sexy, toilet paper. How sexy would my bathroom look? How much would the triple-ply protect my hand? I had to know!
Thank you ebay: 2 weeks and $14.75 later, the sexy t.p. arrived. I was out at the time. Tom texted me a photo of our eldest daughter holding the t.p. I warned them not to use it, but they replied, “Too late”.
Too late?! Really?!
Thankfully, they were kidding. I was able to hold my delivery, take photos of our new arrival, scan the QR code, slice open the package, inhale the floral scent, feel the….. okay, it feels like a napkin. Not soft, not quilted. Don’t get me wrong. We still are using it (still on our first roll), and yes it is some damn fine (sexy?) paper, but I wouldn’t order it again. My quest was fulfilled, and it was fun.
• Would you buy, use, or give the gift of colorful toilet paper?
In Part 1 we reserved an inexpensive, off-site room, had breakfast at Denny’s, printed our Disneyland tickets, took the train to Toon Town, rode Gadget’s Go Coaster, and collected character autographs. We have saved so much time & money, that it is time to splurge.
Tip 6 – Eat Lunch at the Big Thunder Mountain Ranch
All you care to eat bbq ribs & chicken served with sides of coleslaw, baked beans and corn bread for $15-$29 per person. They open at 11:30am; go early and reservations are not needed. If you’re planning a later lunch, make reservations online. A $10/fee is charged for cancellations or no-shows.
The food is delicious! The meat falls off the bones of the ribs & chicken. The sauce is tangy and sweet. Our kids upgrade to root beer floats with whipped cream and sprinkles. We dine under the canopies while serenaded by live performers. BONUS: The “owner” of the ranch will sign your autograph book.
Tip 7 – Press Coins
For $1.25 you can create a Disneyland keepsake, a pressed quarter! The toy store in front of It’s A Small World has a quarter machine. Your choice of 3 Disney characters will be pressed onto your coin. BONUS: Download a free pdf of Disney coin press machines at Park Pennies (dot) com.
Tip 8 – View The Parade
Best place to view, the Main Street Train Station! Go early, plant yourself, and relax while you wait for the parade to travel right before you. We have fought the crowds along Main Street, had horrible non-existent views and sore shoulders from hoisting the kids. It’s best to position yourself above the crowds, and be eye-level with many of the performers. BONUS: Here’s a little video I put together with footage Tom shot.
Tip 9 – Visit Disney District
Friends of ours from the Anaheim area invited us to dinner at Disney’s Blue Bayou inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Yes, it was a fabulous, unforgettable experience. But the one thing they advised was to park at the Disney District. The first 3 hours of parking are FREE; 5 hours are free with validation from participating locations. There are many restaurants and shops within walking distance to the main Disney entrances (Disneyland and California Adventure). We stopped for lemonades at Catal Uva Bar. People-watching al fresco was devine!
Tip 10 – Create A Memory Magazine
If you can create pdfs, you can make a magazine of your Disney memories for around $5.00! Visit Magcloud to upload and order. Templates are available. Minimum 20 pages. I use photoshop to create my pages, save them as pdf files, and combine my pages in Adobe Acrobat. Twenty pages plus perfect bind is $5.00/publication. Additional pages are 20 cents (must increase by 4 page sets). BONUS: This is so much cheaper than snapfish or any other album-making site, you can afford copies for the whole family (grandparents, aunts and uncles included).
• Where is your favorite place to dine in Disney?
• What is your favorite Disney souvenir/collectible?
Once a month, Tom visits Anaheim on business. During breaks from school, we make quick Family Trips out of his business travels. Here are 5 tips to make the most out of your visit to Disneyland. Part 2 has been posted.
Tip 1 – Stay Off-Site
We have found a jewel of a hotel near Disneyland. They charge from $110 to $130/night (based on 2-Queen beds, 4 room occupants). It is the Best Western Plus Pavilion on Katella Blvd. BONUS: This hotel gives you coupons so kids eat free at Denny’s next door. Stop in for breakfast before heading to the park. Potential savings compared to staying at a Disneyland Resort: minimum $1,500.00
Tip 2 – Purchase eTickets
Bypass the ticket booth, which is an avoidable long line, and go straight to the admission gates by purchasing your tickets online. Purchase, download, and print your tickets prior to your arrival. BONUS: 1-Day/1-Park tickets are less than $100/per person, young or old! Potential savings of time: 30 Minutes to 1 Hour
Tip 3 – Ride The Train
Catch the train at Main Street and head to your favorite location. Ours is Toon Town, the 2nd stop. Your feet will thank you for not abusing them early in the day. BONUS: Be sure to ask the Conductor and Engineer for autographs! Our Engineer shared an easy way to tell them apart. The Engineer wears pajamas, and the Conductor looks like a penguin. Potential savings of time: 30 Minutes and Happy Tootsies
Tip 4 – Ride a Coaster in Toon Town
Time to get this party started with a mild coaster the whole family will love, Gadget’s Go Coaster! BONUS: While in Toon Town, visit Minnie and Mickey Mouse in their respective homes. The lines move quickly, and there are lots of photo ops throughout the houses.
Tip 5 – Collect Autographs in Toon Town
Autographs are easy to come by in this section of Disneyland. We’ve met Pluto, Goofy, and even the elusive Daisy! You can purchase your autograph books online or in the park. The best pen for autographs is the retractable Sharpie in any color except green (which stains character outfits). BONUS: One pen per family. The character handlers will inform you, open your books and have your pen ready. Handlers will also take photos for you (free of charge with your camera or smart phone).
• Who is your favorite Disney Character?
• What is your favorite Disneyland ride?