Why Disneyland Is The Happiest Place On Earth

Captain America & I just returned from an incredible trip to Disneyland!

I had the most incredible time and I want to tell you why Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth (or at least one of them!)

This was my very first visit to Disneyland, at the grand age of 34! Let me tell you, it was well worth the wait and I now fully understand why people rave about this place and return year after year. I was a little skeptical, although I did count this as one of the things on my bucket list.

I expected a theme park with way too much schmaltzy child-friendly antics mixed with a HUGE ¬†helping of consumerism, aimed primarily at children who would then hold parents to ransom, tantrums, excessive heat, long lines and a huge let down to be honest! Don’t get me wrong I’m sure this is some people’s experience, but it was not mine.

 

What I actually found was a wonderful theme park, with rides suitable for all ages, lines that were short, slightly longer and manageable (especially if you take full advantage of the Fastpass system) and many rides with no line at all.

Yes there are definitely things to purchase, and the prices are high (although not as high as I expected or rumors lead you to believe), but it is all well masked behind beautifully themed shop fronts AND most of the stores stock the same items so when you have seen one of the larger stores you have seen most of what they have to offer.

The entrance fees are high, especially if like us you want a multiple-day park hopper ticket that allows you to come and go in both parks (2-day park hopper $218), however the cost is not too much higher than other similar theme parks.

Disneyland and California Adventure are both easy to navigate too, much simpler than many other theme parks I have visited both here and in the UK. There are maps and information points throughout both parks and lots of friendly staff to help you out.

I LOVED the themes in each ‘land’ and that most of the rides being so much more than ‘just a rollercoaster’. All of the rides in Disneyland do not even go upside down, which may be a let down for the daredevils out there but I liked that about them as they made the whole park much more suitable for all ages. Our group consisted of 8 people in total with the youngest being 11 and the oldest 75, we could go on most of the rides as a whole family and we all really enjoyed ourselves.

I also liked the attention to detail that Disneyland and California Adventure has created and maintained. Each ‘land’ has a well thought out and executed theme where EVERYTHING fits the theme, even the controversial addition of Starbucks to the parks is well masked so you have to look carefully for it.

The parks are exceptionally clean, the staff are in character, very helpful and everywhere. The food is excellent-ice-cream, turkey legs the size of your head, corn dogs, beignets (to die for!) and almost everything else you can think of – at all different prices!

The atmosphere is hard to beat and it ensures that people come happy and stay happy!

Overall, the parks are wonderful places to take the whole family. Yes, the costs are high especially when you add in all the other expenses (travel, lodging, food etc) but it really is the trip of a lifetime, a great place for families of all ages and so much fun it’s ridiculous!

If you haven’t been to Disneyland and California Adventure already then add it to your bucket list and start saving for the trip of a lifetime now – you won’t regret it!

Disneyland is the happiest place on earth!

We’re Going To Disneyland & I NEED Your Help!

Later this week I get to fulfil one of my bucket list items because We’re Going To Disneyland!

I am soooooo excited I can barely concentrate!

I have wanted to go for many years, but I have always missed the opportunity in the past but we are taking a trip with our family to celebrate the many birthday landmarks across the family this year!

My family could hardly believe it when they heard that I had never been to Disneyland before, and they are all very excited to be there when I get to experience it for the first time.

Most of you will know that I am a planner at heart, I love to know what I will be doing and when I will be doing it (and yes, this gets me into trouble all the time!). Disneyland however, stumps me! I don’t even know where to start! No don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to plan every moment we are at the park as I want to go with the flow and experience it as it happens when we are there – but I also don’t want to miss anything exceptional, and often if you go with the flow and don’t do just a little research
you can miss out on some of the best stuff!

 

I out two of my great friends to work recently and they compiled a list of the Top 10 Must See’s at Disneyland for me! They have been many, many times with their whole family and they love it!

I wanted to ask you too…….what are your recommendations?

What MUST I see and do before I leave the park?

What item must I take with me?

What top tip would you give me?

Where are the best places to eat?

What can wait until next time?

Here’s what I do know:

We have our flights and hotel booked! We are staying across the street from the parks.

We are there for 3 nights and 2 full days (a Thursday and Friday) in the parks.

We do intend to go to California Adventure too!

I like rollercoasters

I don’t like rides that spin round and round as they make me sick

I love water rides and don’t mind getting wet.

We love to eat great food

We love coffee.

We will need to rest a little as we are old ūüėČ

The weather is due to be in the mid to high 80’s during the day and mid 50’s at night.

I want to meet a Disney Princess and have my picture taken with at least one!

I want to watch the Parade and fireworks at night 

I don’t want to spend much money!

 

Photos courtesy of: Michael Sult and Patrick Nijhuis at Freeimages.com

Ironbridge, Shropshire

Ironbridge, Shropshire

Ironbridge in Shropshire is one of my favorite parts of the Shropshire countryside.

On Boxing Day (the national holiday the day after Christmas in the UK) we went for a wintery walk in Ironbridge and here are some of the highlights I captured on that day!

It is only a small town but it has some real gems. The highlight being the actual Iron Bridge standing proudly in the town centre. The town developed beside, and takes its name from, the famous Iron Bridge, a 30-metre (100 ft) cast iron bridge that was built across the river in 1779.

Ironbridge, Shropshire

The Iron Bridge crosses the River Severn in Shropshire, England. It was the first arch bridge in the world to be made of cast iron, a material which was previously too expensive to use for large structures. However, a new blast furnace nearby lowered the cost and encouraged local engineers and architects to solve a long-standing problem of a crossing over the river.

Continue reading

Mission Trip Update

Mission Team Update

One of the joys of ministry is flexibility!

I have been learning this in a greater degree in the process of planning and fundraising for our Mission Trip.

It started with a plan to go to East Africa, then we added a stop in the UK as we would probably be flying through there anyway, God then spoke to us about doing ministry while in the UK, so we made the stop there a little longer and after Africa.  Then God spoke again, and we switched the trip plans, UK first in December and the beginning of January, then East Africa for the rest of January.

All the time we were fundraising, promoting the online giving, having fundraising events….the money was coming in but it was very slow. ¬†

We kept pushing back our decision date (the date we had to decide whether we were going on the trip or not), flight prices were rising, but we knew we had to wait.  So wait we did.

Julie left for Missouri, a family visit and ministry trip. ¬†God opened the doors for her to speak and minister at many churches and ministries…..many more than she ever thought possible.

It’s now nearly Thanksgiving….initially we had planned to leave for Africa on December 2nd…..that’s not happening! We then rescheduled and were planning to leave for the UK on December 16th….but still not enough money to buy our flights.

I’m going to be totally honest here, at this point I was really stressed! It just didn’t seem to make sense, we felt so strongly from God that we were supposed to go to the UK, for me that meant two things: 1) I get to spend Christmas with my family, IN ENGLAND, which I haven’t done for 3 years (if you don’t live in a different country from where you grew up this probably won’t make any sense to you, if you do…..you get it! ¬†It’s a big deal!) and 2) I get to do ministry again in the UK, something I know God spoke to me very clearly about and I knew He was opening up opportunities for us.

It became really hard for me to separate the two things, I REALLY wanted to be home for Christmas (FYI – I only call it home at Christmas which should tell you something ;-))

And then there is Africa…..everything about our Africa trip is expensive! ¬†There is so much that goes into a trip there, and much of the expenses cannot be calculated until you are actually in the country so we know we need a substantial amount of money accessible to us while in Africa.

It became clear to us that the fundraising just was not going to raise enough money in time for when we thought we were supposed to be in Africa…so we have decided to postpone the trip but continue to fundraise, with zeal, and hopefully go in Summer 2014.

If you would like to give to support this Mission Trip please click the link below:

Africa Mission Blog Button LARGE

Now the Mission Trip plans took on a while new dimension, we felt like we are supposed to go to the UK to build a network and grow connections there.

When you take Africa out of the mix it allows us more flexibility with the dates of the trip.  

We checked flight prices against our fundraising total…..we were just $500 away from us all booking our flights.

We had a sense of peace. ¬†We booked two flights, one for me and one for Captain America, we prayed money would come for Julie’s ticket so she can join us in the New Year. ¬†More money came in. ¬†We are now $150 away from booking her ticket. ¬†We have two additional fundraising opportunities before we leave!

The trip is booked!

Captain America and I fly to the UK on December 16th, Julie joins us early in the New Year (she will hopefully be booking her flight tomorrow!) and we all fly back to the US on January 14th.  

We are making connections and developing ministry opportunities during our stay.  We are excited and hopeful for the connections that God has in store for us.

Thank you for your support and please continue to pray for us and for all that God has for us to do in the UK!

ENGLAND HERE WE COME!

To give towards ANY of our Mission Trips, click the link and give via our secure online giving platform: 

https://www.mogiv.com/nnciconcordca/mission/

 

Keep In Touch Via Email – never miss a post:

Coffee Date {31 Days #25}

photo 2_01

Good Morning!

Welcome to our Coffee Date with Captain America & His English Rose

We wanted an opportunity to talk to you each week on a more personal level – so grab a cup of coffee and join us for this week’s vlog!

To give to our East Africa Missions Fund – click the picture below:

Africa Mission Blog Button LARGE

You will be redirected to a secure giving site, Mogiv.  

Simply create an account and donate!

 

Alternatively, click on the picture below and buy one of our stylish custom designed t-shirts!!

BUY HERE

 

For the rest of the articles on our 31 Day Series РWalking Out A Leap Of Faith, click HERE

Leap Of Faith 100px button

I'm doing it!

 

 

Ministry Has A 1000 Faces {31 Days #24}

Ministry Has a 1000 Faces

Ministry Has A 1000 Faces….or maybe even more!

I’m not sure what you think of when you hear that people are in full-time ministry? ¬†Does it sound like hard work or an excuse for an easy life? Neither would do the full-time work of ministry justice. ¬†

It is so much more.

This week has been a perfect example of the diversity that you find yourself in as someone who works full-time in ministry.  Here is a snapshot of our week so far:

We planned our trip to Africa, we had extensive conversations with our team members, we spent hours on the phone sorting out vaccinations appointments, flights, travel arrangements, finding the best price….for everything, training our team, teaching Bible School classes, processing through what it means to be ‘called’ to the mission field with potential team members, graded homework from our classes, discussed prophetic ministry, deliverance and personal dynamics of our mission team, talked about the impact of grief and when is the right time to step back into ministry, developed relationships, met new friends, discipled people, did necessary administration, set up fundraising accounts, promoted our trip, set up our new online giving…….and the list goes on!

This all happened since Monday…..and doesn’t include anytime spent on the blog, or on our own needs such as eating, sleeping and cleaning!!

And in the middle of it all we took a day and went to San Francisco! “A day off?” I hear you cry?? No! A day building essential relationships with the relatives of one of our Founding Apostles’, Julie. You see her Mom, Margie, is in California for a month visiting. ¬†Her husband, Julie’s Dad, passed away earlier this year and this is her first visit on her own. ¬†Julie’s brother-in-law, Cameron was visiting too. ¬†This is his very first visit to California. ¬†Cameron is a minister too in Missouri where he lives with his family. ¬†Julie’s immediate family are all in ministry, although not all do it full-time. Julie comes from a long line of ministers with an incredible heritage.

This visit is more than just vacation – it’s a ministry opportunity! Continue reading

Africa: Here We Go! {31 Days #23}

Africa Here We Go

Hello! This is Captain America back on the blog.

Ruth requested that I tell you a little more about our work in East Africa, our congregations and the things we look forward to doing while we are there.

While personally I am the acting pastor of our local congregation in Concord, CA, also as one of the founding apostles, I oversee our congregations overseas.  

To give you a better understanding of New Nation Church International (NNCI) here are our Vision, Mission and Purpose statements and a little bit about the congregations we will be visiting on our upcoming mission trip:

OUR VISION:
We see God uniting His people from every nation, tribe and tongue to proclaim His praises in spirit and in truth in local congregations and to the uttermost parts of the world.
OUR PURPOSE:
Our Purpose is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, with all of our soul, with all of our mind and with all of our strength and to love other people as the Lord our God loves us.
OUR MISSION:
Our Mission is to make disciples of people of every nation, tribe and tongue;  baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and to teach them to observe all of the things that Jesus has commanded.
Africa 4

Let Go Let God {31 Days #22}

Let Go Let God

Yesterday was a crazy day!

It was non-stop, fast paced, running out of time, and overwhelming!

When I look at the rest of the week it is the same.

Don’t you just love days like that??¬†

I get stressed and overwhelmed and I feel like I want to stop the world and get off for a couple of days so I can recover.

The craziness is mainly because we have really stepped up our planning for our Africa mission trip and we had a day long meeting discussing all the details, plans and needs……my head hurts, yet my excitement is peaked!

On top of everything I had this blog post to write – one of the joys of committing to write on the same topic for 31 Days is that you cannot give yourself a day off ūüė¶

I didn’t know what to write about, I hadn’t even had a second to think about it and I had 30 minutes to do it in!! Then Captain America suggested I wrote about submitting everything to God, as that really has been the theme of the last couple of days for us.

Continue reading

Africa Mission Fundraiser {31 Days #21}

Teespring Africa Campaign

On Thursday we announced that we are partnering with Teespring to create a crowdfunding t-shirt campaign to raise funds for our mission trip to Africa in December.

Teespring Africa

We are delighted to announce that our campaign is now LIVE, LAUNCHED AND READY TO GO!

So I know we have been talking about this mission trip for a while now but have told you very little about it!

Our planned Mission Trip is to Uganda, South Sudan & Zambia this December!

Continue reading