Sunday, December 29, 2019

Charities of the Quarter - Q4 2019

Charity of the Month is a way Team Tizzel is helping to support some very worthy organizations. As part of this program, we will dedicate a post to a charity that we will sponsor through the month by donating Holly's training run money.

Dave’s been slacking big time at keeping up-to-date with posts so we’ll have three charities featured today.  It’s overall more efficient for you the reader.

The last charity we featured was Sandals Foundation - Hurricane Dorian Relief to aid hurricane relief in the Bahamas.    We also gave another donation while in Jamaica at a Sandal’s resort.

Q4 Charities

Toys For Tots

Adam’s Army:  We learned about this charity over the holiday’s on The Today Show.  Adam, the charity’s founder, was interviewed about being a former St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital patient and his work helping to raise funds for the hospital.  The next big challenge for Adam was to run his first marathon on December 7th.  He completed the marathon and got his organization to the $1 million donation milestone.  From their website:

The mission of Adam’s Army is to support the efforts of St. Jude by helping to be the “Voice for the Voiceless”.

The founder, Adam Cruthirds, diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at age 16 in 2014, created Adam’s Army to help carry on the legacies of friends who have died and help the little ones that can’t speak up. His grueling 2 and 1/2 year treatment plan that concluded in February 2017 was beyond tough, but it has made him realize that childhood cancer can and must end with us supporting St. Jude.

We seek to spread this message of faith and hope throughout the world and do our part to help realize Danny Thomas’ belief that “no child should die in the dawn of their life.” We are making every day count.
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust:  A friend of ours picked this organization as her Facebook Birthday Charity of choice.  We are fans of any group that helps to protect Africa’s wildlife.   The organization cares for and rehabilitates elephants, rhinos, giraffes, and other animals rescued from all around Africa.  From their website:

Toys for Tots:  We kept the tradition alive by braving Walmart on a Saturday to fill the cart with toys and drop them off at a local brewery.   Since it’s too late to donate toys the organization can use cash for wrapping supplies and other logistical expenses.  There is still time to help out this season.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Tizzel’s Christmas Countdown 2019 - Christmas Day

Merry Christmas!   We close out this year’s countdown with some military homecoming videos.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Tizzel’s Christmas Countdown 2019 - Day 10

Today Tizzel is featuring a “Choose Your Own Adventure”.  He’s offering up Christmas fails and a multi-denominational choir singing a Bob Marley song in several languages.   It’s not a Christmas video, but the message fits with the season. 

Monday, December 23, 2019

Tizzel’s Christmas Countdown 2019 - Day 9

Elves have been working hard this year to create advertisements with heart.   Here’s another example from Toyota.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Tizzel’s Christmas Countdown 2019 — Day 8

Tizzel has spent many hours watching old Christmas specials and has learned one thing.... Mask technology has come a long way.   The dancing Santas in this segment are scary!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Tizzel’s Christmas Countdown 2019 - Day 6

We are celebrating the opening of the new Star Wars movie with a Christmas song mash-up.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Tizzel’s Christmas Countdown 2019 - Day 5

Since we have been on a Macy’s kick... Here is a recent Saturday Night Live bit that Tizzel actually thought was a Macy’s ad until the laugh track kicked in.

Tizzel’s Christmas Countdown - Day 4

Today we go back to 1948 to see a special holiday message from our local movie theater staff.  They wish us a happy holiday season, even the manager!   What kind of jerk is the manager if they have to call him out?

The video will come up stating it is unavailable, but there is a link right below that to "Watch this video on Youtube" and you can jump right there.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Tizzel’s Christmas Countdown 2019 - Day 3

Tizzel knows you are not happy that all the videos have been heartwarming so here is a video with a slight twist on all your favorite holiday classics.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Tizzel’s Christmas Countdown 2019 - Day 2

Today Tizzel has 2 videos for you from Macy’s ads.  The first is this year’s ad featuring a girl who wants to be Santa and the second one features a parade balloon making an unexpected visit.

Tizzel’s Christmas Countdown 2019 - Day 1

Ten days left until Christmas! Tizzel is ready to entertain you with this year's collection of holiday related videos. Each day he'll be posting something fun he found on YouTube.

Today’s video is a well-done piece of computer animation.  

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Never Homevember: 2019 Walt Disney World

Our travel schedule for November got full quickly.   Our traditional Thanksgiving vacation to Jamaica was booked in the summer of 2018 when we found a crazy cheap promotion for one of our favorite hotels.  We booked a short Disney World trip centered around the Swan and Dolphin Hotels’ Food and Wine Classic event and our wedding anniversary.   This summer a friend suggested we should join him in Las Vegas for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon - which of course was the weekend between the other trips.   We were on the fence about Vegas but when we canceled our Labor Day trip to Florida, due to Hurricane Dorian, we used the airline credit and budget from that trip to book the Las Vegas trip and then drowned our sorrows in Milwaukee (an hour from our house) over Labor Day Weekend.  That meant we would not be home 4 weekends in a row.  Of course this came at extreme busy times at work so lots of time was spent on the laptops at night during the work weeks.

Disney Highlights

Stayed at the Polynesian using our Disney Vacation Club.  We booked a lake view room which offers a view of the Magic Kingdom from the 2nd and 3rd floors.   We of course ended up on the first floor with no view.  Oh well...  One benefit of our location was the quick walk to the Transportation and Ticket Center to grab the Monorail to access to Magic Kingdon, several resorts, and Epcot.  Another plus was access to Trader Sam's Tiki Bar for the chance to get the Hat Box Ghost mug.

Checking out the new land in Disney's Hollywood Studios:  Galaxy's Edge.   We were really looking forward to experiencing the land, especially after missing opening weekend.  Since the land’s opening crowds at Disney World were low....but not on Veteran's Day Weekend.   The place was packed with lines out-the-door to get into shops.

We experienced a lot in a short amount of time thanks to Holly's tenacious attack on Disney's online reservation system.   The morning started with cocktails and beer at 10am in Oga's Cantina. "Fortunately" they still had all the collectible tiki glasses including the Rancor tooth flight glasses and tray.  Next we went to build our custom remote control R2-D2 style droids. Around noon we finally got in the 105 minute long line for Smuggler's Run - the Millennium Falcon simulation.  Holly let people go ahead of us at role assignment time so we could be the pilots.    2pm:  Time for more cocktails since we had another Oga's reservation.   4pm: Build light sabers.

Overall the world was very well thought out, just wish we could have had the non-crowd experience of the prior months.   Dave felt it needed a little more nods to the old era like having the Jawas trade with guests and more random creatures walk around the area.

Food:  This whole trip was supposed to be centered around eating, but we had to cram all the Star Wars stuff in after cancelling the September trip.   We had a great night at the Swan and Dolphin's Food and Wine Classic.  The event gets better each year with more offerings and themed areas.  Epcot was still hosting their Food and Wine Festival.   Our original wish list of 75 items was created in August when we had two trips to spread the eating.    We culled that down a bit before the trip and maybe ended up skipping a 1/3 of what we wrote down.    We enjoyed the new night time show - Epcot Forever. Too bad it's temporary.

We grabbed a drink at the new Enchanted Rose Lounge in the Grand Floridian. The bar is a lightly themed to Beauty and the Beast and replaces Mizner's Lounge in a much larger space.   It will be nice to spend some time on their outdoor deck during a longer trip.

We decided to celebrate our anniversary dinner at The California Grill.   Food was good as always, but we had some issues with the check-in desk.  They had us wait a 1/2 hour past our reservation time in some dank corner of the Contemporary 2nd floor and weren’t sure they would have called us if Dave didn't check on the progress.   We had it noted all over the place it was our anniversary - so where do they sit us?  A booth in front of the chef's pass.    Not cool.   We told them we were not happy and were reseated a few minutes later.    Kinda put a damper on the mood and we left 5 minutes before the fireworks.    We did catch them at TTC - good spot for them.   

We scored a Mickey's Christmas Tree popcorn bucket.   It's our Christmas Tree this year.  Dave was really tempted to buy more for ebay after seeing the after-market price, but we believe in letting people have a chance to get one in-park.

Once again we were able to squeeze a lot into a short amount of time and had a great trip.   

The video below is our experience making custom light sabers in Galaxy’s Edge.  Dave gets to show some Star Wars nerdiness when a cast member asks him a question.