Bag Girl Memorial Day Special: Remembrance Day at the Rebecca Nurse Homestead

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The Rebecca Nurse Homestead in Danvers MA hosted a World War I themed event in honor of Memorial Day Weekend. I have a somewhat Edwardian looking dress and hat and decided to wear them. Dad and I arrived in Danvers a few minutes before ten o’clock a waited a few minutes in the car before going in.

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A local group that reenacts World War I had set up a camp on the grounds of the Rebecca Nurse Homestead and there were also reenactors portraying British sailors and French soldiers. Dad was disappointed to find that there would not be any drills or demonstrations that day. To see that, we would have to come back the next day. The first part of our visit involved poking around the event to see what was there and then looking around in the Rebecca Nurse house. While looking in the wing of the house with display cases filled with artifacts dug up on the site, we met a volunteer named Don, who gave us a tour of the second floor of the house, which I have never seen before. The meeting house was set up for crafts and coloring; I made a poppy out of tissue paper and pipe cleaners.

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Dad and I were hungry by this point, so we went to the concession stand for snacks: We both got cokes. I got a bag of popcorn and a bag of candy; Dad got a donut. Afterwards, I went to the gift shop and bought and a volume of poems by Anne Bradstreet, who we studied in my American Lit. class, and a couple of postcards. I donated my last dollar to a fund to build a World War I memorial in Washington D.C. My donation allowed me to take a packet of Flanders Poppy seeds, which I later planted in a pot on my deck. We will see how well they turn out.

The reenactors had brought a great deal of interesting things to look at. A table displaying weapons had a rifle bayonet which could be detached and used as a  knife.

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Another table, which had books and other paper goods from the period, had a romantic postcard of an American soldier kissing his girl before going off to war and a basic french book, as well as a book of “naughty poems.” I wonder what people in 1917 considered naughty.

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There was also a table set up with rations which a World War I era soldier would have eaten and a fire for cooking bacon. Another table which displayed period communications devices such as radios and cameras.

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The British encampment had cigarette cards of King George V, Queen Mary, and other members of the royal family. The French encampment had an actual Croix de Guerre medal. An adorable little boy tried on a helmet at the British encampment and appeared to be having a ball. I love seeing people bring kids to these type of events.

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We left around noon and I put my postcards and poppy in my scrapbook.

Bag Girl Goes to Morristown or In Search of Alexander and Eliza

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Today, we went for a drive to Morristown to see a couple of old house: the  Schuyler-Hamilton House and the Ford Mansion. Before we set out on our trip, we had lunch at Camillo’s, a restaurant in Sayreville. The drive was about  forty-five minutes long and we got to the Schuyler-Hamilton House around 3:00. I took a photo of a sign on the garden fence which explains what happened there: this is where Alexander Hamilton met and courted Eliza Schuyler. We were lead into the parlor, where a member of the D.A.R told us about the Battle of Trenton and how George Washington’s army ended up in Morristown and how the owner of the house at the time, Dr. Cochran, inoculated the men against smallpox. Dr. Cochran’s wife, Gertrude, was the sister of General Philip Schuyler, whose daughter Elizabeth (known as Eliza or Betsy) came to stay in 1780. Her parents hoped that she would marry one of the Continental Army’s eligible officers but she ended up falling in love with Alexander Hamilton, George Washington’s dashing aid-de-camp. Though Hamilton was a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks, her parents allowed the marriage because he was brilliant, ambitious, and destined for greatness. The gift shop sells peg dolls of the two love birds which were too cute for me to pass up.

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Then we were shown around the house. Upstairs is a bedroom known as Betsy’s room, which is filled with dolls, including a rather unsettling life-sized doll tucked into the bed. On the dresser were some items which a woman like Eliza Schuyler would have used, such as a curling iron, hair combs, and a corset busk. In closed in a special case is a ruffled widow’s cap, lace collar, and a lock of hair belonging to Eliza herself.

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Our next destination was Ford’s Mansion, which served as George Washington’s head quarters when the Continental Army was stationed in Morristown. We arrived too late for the final tour of the mansion, and only got to poke around in the visitor’s center. In the little museum exhibit, there were some beautiful articles of clothing and furniture as well as copy of a Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington. I was disappointed with this part of the trip, but hopefully we can come back again next time I’m in New Jersey.

Another disappointing part of the trip was when my grandfather proposed that we get ice cream on our way home, but when we got to the place where my grandparents like to go for ice cream, we found that the line in front was too long. It is what it is, as my mom would say.

Bag Girl Goes to The Met

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I have been going into New York City more or less once a year since I was eight but I have never been to the Met Museum. For the past few years, I have been trying to go but every time it has not worked out. Excuses have ranged from Jasmine was not interested to the weather was too hot. Aunt Pat has been talking about taking my mom and I into New York City since the fall, so I decided this was my chance.

Pop drove us to Aunt Pat’s house around 9:30 this morning and she took us to Tower Center, where we caught the 10:25 bus into New York. From Port Authority, we took a taxi to the Met. I enjoyed the taxi drive through Central Park. The taxi had a sunroof through which I looked up at the buildings. We were able to get into the Met cheaply: with her Johnson and Johnson card, Aunt Pat was able to get mom and herself in for free; I only had to pay twelve dollars with my student I.D. I saw a good part of the Medieval wing as we were looking for the American Wing Cafe, where we had lunch. The courtyard where the cafe is situated has some very beautiful Tiffany stained glass windows.

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After lunch, we looked in the European Painting wing, where we saw paintings by artists such from Titian to Picasso, including our old favorites Johannes Vermeer and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

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One of the highlights was Edgar Degas’s Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer.  I was completely overwhelmed by all of the superb art in this museum and it is impossible to take it all in. One would need a week at least to see everything in the Met.

Next we went to the American Wing, where I saw two iconic paintings: Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze and Madame X by John Singer Sargent.

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After the American Wing, we took a break and went to the cafeteria for a snack and a drink.  Aunt Pat sat out the rest of the visit. Mom and I went to look in the Egyptian Wing and I took pictures of  sarcophagi, jewelry, and statues of Hatshepsut, the first woman to rule Egypt as Pharaoh. The centerpiece of the Egyptian Wing the Temple of Dendur.

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By this point, Mom and I were beginning to fade, so we went to go rejoin Aunt Pat and look in the Met Store. I bought a guidebook to the museum, some postcards of artworks I liked, and a print of Venus and the Flute Player by Titian. We got another taxi from the Met and went to the Hamilton Store, across the street from the Richard Rogers Theater, where Hamilton is performed. I took a picture of the Richard Rogers Theater and sent it to my Aunt Terry, is also a big Hamilton Fan. In the store, I bought a Schuyler Sisters t-shirt.

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My friend Mary saw on Facebook that I had checked into the Hamilton Store and thought that I was going to see the actual show. She commented “enjoy” to which I replied, something along the lines of  “I only went to the store” and “In my dreams I could get Hamilton tickets. As much as I would love to see Hamilton, the cheapest tickets are somewhere around six-hundred dollars, money which could go towards studying abroad. The t-shirt I bought was $40, and all I could think was “what did I expect.”

The Hamilton Store is a seven minute walk from Port Authority, where we arrived a little before six and caught the 6:20 bus back to Tower Center. Aunt Pat took us to Wendy’s before bringing us back to my grandparent’s house.

 

Downtown Salem

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There is a book/gift store in Salem which I like called The Marble Faun, which is not open on Mondays, which is usually when I have the time to go downtown. With two more books to buy left on my list, I decided to pay them a visit on Thursday, a day when I only have one class which is over by noon. Jasmine and I had made tentative plans to see The True 1692, a documentary which they show at the Salem Cinema. I decided to take a 2:20 shuttle, giving me plenty of time to go to The Marble Faun, which closes at 4:00. Jasmine said that she wanted to spend some time at works study, so I told her that we would meet up at Museum Place Mall for dinner around five. To pass the time between 2:20 and 5:00, I would poke around the Peabody Essex Museum, something I’ve been wanting to do all year but was unable to because it is also closed on Mondays.

Jasmine finished up with work study earlier than expected and decided to go with me instead of meeting up later. I had made a mistake when I checked the shuttle schedule: the 2:20 shuttle was only going around the campus. The next shuttle going down town would not be until 4:30, so I called a taxi, which dropped us off near the Peabody Essex Museum. A few doors down is the Marble Faun. I was able to find the two books I was looking for: a volume of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short stories including Young Goodman Brown, The Birthmark, The Minister’s Black Veil, and Rappaccini’s Daughter, and a volume of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s writings.

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After purchasing these books, Jasmine and I tried to buy our tickets for The True 1692 but Salem Cinema was closed, so we went across the street to The Peabody Essex. We were able to get in for free with our student I.D.s. Our first stop was Yin Yu Tang, a 200 plus year old house which was brought over from China. It was my third time seeing it: number one was when it first opened ( I was seven), number two was when I was in high school (I think it was junior year). Jasmine and I poked around the various rooms and listened to our audio guides. When we were done, we looked around in some of the other exhibits. What Jasmine especially wanted to see was a visiting exhibit called W.O.W or The World of Wearable Art. My favorite pieces were called Lady Curiosity, which combined vintage tattoo art and victorian bustle era fashion, and Persephone’s Descent, which was made by the armourer who made the armour for the Lord of the Rings films.  The exhibit finished up with a short film showing performance pieces which include some of the wearable art on display in action.

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We finished up before five, when the museum closes, and went back to Salem Cinema to buy our tickets. Then we went and got dinner. There was still a fair amount of time until our movie began, so we looked around in some of our favorite shops including Wicked Good Books and Hex, where I bought a rose quartz positive energy charm. In a magic shop next to Wicked Good Books, where I got another rose quartz, we got talking to a woman who offered to give us a tour of Old Burying Point Cemetery. As we walked down to the cemetery and were showed various graves, I was a little uneasy. A stranger asking you to go with them to a cemetery does not sound like it’s going to end well. One of the graves we were shown was of John Hathorne, one of the judges in the Salem Witch Trials and the notorious ancestor of my homeboy Nathaniel Hawthorne.

At 6:15, we returned to Salem Cinema and bought our popcorn and waited to be let into the theater. The True 1692 was shown in their smallest theater and Jasmine and I were the only ones there, so it felt like a private showing. We watched an unidentified (much to Jasmine’s annoyance) puritan girl tell us about the events of the Salem Witch Trials and provide some historical context. It was a short film, only about a half hour, but very well made and interesting. 

This was to be one of our last trips to downtown Salem this school year, since it wraps up next week.

On Visiting Concord MA on Earth Day

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During this semester at school, I am taking a class on Early American lit in which we read the likes of Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, and Alcott as well as many other influential works of American writing. Part of the curriculum was a field trip to Concord MA, the home of many sites of historical and literary significance, such as Concord Bridge and Walden Pond.  My professor’s plans for a field trip did not work out, due to poor planning and her getting sick, but she said that anyone who made a visit to Concord would get extra credit. After much arm twisting, I convinced my dad to take Jasmine and I there. I think we drove him crazy with our singing a long during the drive down.

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The first place my professor recommended we visit was the Concord Museum, which provides a good overview of the area’s history and places to visit. Inside are reproductions of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s study and other historic rooms, works of art by local artists such as Daniel Chester French, who sculpted the Lincoln Memorial and the Minuteman statue at Old North Bridge, and artifacts belonging to some of the area’s most famous residents.

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 After exploring the museum, Jasmine and I had to take a look in the bookshop. I bought a copy of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden while Jasmine got a book called Ladies of Liberty, which is about influential women in the early days of America’s government such as first ladies like Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, and Dolley Madison. This book also caught my attention because Eliza Schuyler Hamilton was one of women depicted on the cover. I later used the index to search for references to her and was disappointed to find that the author went the rather unfair rout of portraying my beloved Eliza as plain and dull but devoted and married to a womanizer who was really married to her much more interesting sister.

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Our next stopped was Minuteman National Park. Since it was Earth Day, there was some sort of environmental celebration with a lot of old hippy and crunchy granola types with their small children and dogs. Dad told us about how he went to a demonstration there during the bicentennial to protest the Ford Administration’s military involvement in Cambodia. He says  that the protesters were standing on the side where the minutemen stood while the police and national guard were on the side where the British advanced. We walked over Old North Bridge, the “rude bridge that arched the flood.”

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We made our way through the park and up the visitor center. The day had begun fairly drizzly and by this point it was raining and it was nice to be inside again. I had my National Park Service passport with me and got it stamped in the visitor center gift shop. This was where I bought another book ( Common Sense by Thomas Paine) to add to my collection and Jasmine got another t-shirt to add to hers.  Because it was raining, we decided not to have our picnic at Walden Pond but rather to go straight home, after Dad made a stop at Toys R Us.

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 Jasmine faithfully goes to see the yearly Disneynature film every Earth Day and I promised her that we would go see this year’s Born in China. The movie impressed me, especially its cinematography. I was amazed by the footage of China’s stunning beauty and how they were able to capture very human emotions in the animals the movie focused on: Dawa, a snow leopard, Taotao, a golden snub nosed monkey, and Ya Ya, a giant panda. The charm of these movies is looking at cute animals doing adorable things and on that count it delivered in full. Since we saw it during the opening week, some of our money went to charity which supports creatures like Dawa, Taotao, and Yawa.

Essay One: On Family, or Are Bonnie and Clyde Dead Yet?

On February 18th, my family met at Camillo’s, a popular Italian restaurant in the town of Sayreville, New Jersey. February 18th is close to the birthdays of my mother, grandmother, and two aunts, and my grandparent’s anniversary. There were twenty-six of us in all there that night: my parents, me, my brother, Tom, his girlfriend, Gabby, my grandparents, my Aunt Suzie, my Uncle Steve, my cousins, Steven and Brian, Britney, Steven’s new wife, Kayla, Brian’s fiancee, my aunt Karen, my uncle Dan, my cousins Daniel and Michelle, my Uncle Tom, my Aunt Terry, my Cousin Seamus, and his girlfriend Jenna. Also there were my grandfather’s sister Pat and his brother Jack, my grandmother’s sister, known as Gidge, and her husband Red. All of us were crowded into two tables and ate off of a limited menu. When our food was brought to us, the waiters carried endless plates of chicken marsala, veal parmesan, shrimp in cream sauce, and penne vodka through the narrow passage between the two tables. I had just come back from the bathroom when the food arrived and had to stand aside for about ten minutes to not get in the way of the waiters.

I was woken up between seven and seven thirty that morning, when we left for New Jersey. During the car ride, I read one of the new books I received for Christmas, Go Down Together: The True Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde by Jeff Guinn. “Are they dead yet?” my mother asked me, I told her that I was not not even half way through the book and did not think they would be dead until the end.

We arrived at my grandparent’s house at little before one in the afternoon. Lunch was waiting for us there. I proudly told my grandparents about how I got a 100 on my last math quiz. Tom, Gabby, and their dog Tyson arrived a few hours later; Aunt Suzie, Uncle Steve, Brian and Kayla sometime after that. My afternoon was spent in the basement of the grandparents reminiscing with Tom, Brian, and Kayla. The basement, dank and filled with ancient furniture and bric-a-brac, was the scene of many of our fondest childhood memories. I also spent some time in the kitchen, while my father and Uncle Steve discussed politics, before relocating to the living room, where my mother, Gabby, Aunt Suzie, and Grandma shared family gossip and I petted Tyson.

Camillo’s Restaurant is a few minutes away from my grandparents house. My family has been going there for at least as long as I’ve been alive because my grandmother is good friends with Camillo the owner. My brother and cousins jokingly call him “Grandma’s Boyfriend.” The food is also superb, especially the bread, which I’ve often been accused of greedily consuming. In 2012, the original restaurant received severe flood damage but was rebuilt and triumphantly reopened.

Six o’clock was the time chosen for us all to meet at Camillo’s. I was seated at the second table, between Gabby and my cousin Daniel. Poor Gabby patiently put up with me talking her ear at great length but little point about the writing projects I’m working on. Daniel and Michelle mostly kept to themselves and their IPhones. I asked Michelle how she was with no response. Daniel had to get her to respond with a bad tempered, “fine.”  Occasionally I would get up to socialize with members of my family at the other table. Aunt Terry and I are both fanatical about the Broadway musical Hamilton and made plans to visits Alexander Hamilton related sites in the spring or Fall. Poor Aunt Gidge, whose mind is going, asked me to explain who was who at my table. Since I am very bad at explaining things, she was very confused. Later I had an amusing exchange with Uncle Jack, who I only remember meeting a couple of years ago. “Do you know who I am?” I asked him. He did not know who I was. I told him that I was his brother George’s granddaughter, his niece Arlene’s daughter. He forgot who I was immediately and asked me if I knew George. I again told him that I am his granddaughter. “He’s an old fart isn’t he”, Uncle Jack answered.

The entire family reconvened at my grandparent’s house after dinner. I had to pose for photographs, hiding my short, overweight, and unattractive body behind the strapping form of my cousin Seamus. Posing for photos is especially trying when you have to stand next to the Jennifer Lawrence esque looks of my cousin Michelle. The first picture was in front of the fireplace in my grandparent’s living room. In the second, we were all crammed into the tv room, Tom holding on to Tyson’s collar to keep him from running away. Finally, I was able to retreat to my room and continue watch a documentary on the French revolution. My peace was disturbed for a moment by Seamus coming in to say good night, blowing tobacco vapor in my face.

We stopped at a rest stop near the New York border the next morning to go to the bathroom. As we pulled away I said to my mother, “in case you’re wondering, Bonnie and Clyde aren’t dead yet.”

Bag Girl Goes: 1770s

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25 September 1775

Father took Mother and I, along with my friend Jasmine, who was visiting with us this week, to the faire in Sudbury yesterday. The weather was perfect, a quintessential, crisp fall day. It was cool in the shade but hot in the sun.  The sky was cloudy with some patches of blue. Sudbury Fair was held in a common near the village inn. After we set up our blanket, they played several contra dances, which Jasmine and I joined in on. It was something like a ball and I’m glad that I wore my finest gown.

After the dancing, we went to have a look in the vendor’s tents. I’m getting over a cold and have a nasty cough, so I bought horehound candy, a honey stick, and maple sugar cake to share with Jasmine. Next, we went to a tent set up by milliner and I bought a pinner cap. Then we paid a visit to Mr. Lawson, a friend of my parents, who was there selling some of the baskets he wove; my mother must have bought at least several of them. 

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 We poked around several of the tents and ran into my father. He was looking into buying a new waistcoat but did not have enough money at the moment. Father then went to speak with some gentlemen of his acquaintance about the muster of the militia which was to take place that afternoon. 

After I stopped at a haberdashery tent to buy a new pincushion, and admired some beautiful hats which unfortunately cost more money than I had, Jasmine and I looked at these exotic beasts from the Andes Mountains called Alpacas. They look something a goat but with a longer neck and covered with wool like a sheep which you weave into cloth like sheep’s wool. 

After looking around the fair, we returned to where our blanket was set up and enjoyed our candy and the kettle corn which Jasmine bought. We were joined by Mr. and Mrs. Belyea and Mr. and Mrs. Nichipor, some friends of my parents. The Nichipors brought their little dog, Fritz, who is rather spritely. Jasmine, who is not fond of dogs, was not pleased.  Mother brought a lunch of her famous sally lunn bread and cold meats and some rarebits. 

The muster began in the afternoon with militias from all over the Colony of Massachusetts marching into the commons with fife and drums playing. There were so many of them that the muster seemed to go one for hours. 

My parents and their friends talked amongst themselves, another lady of my mother’s acquaintance joined us and sermonized about the sinfulness of gambling, I worked on my embroidery, and Jasmine napped in the grass. The muster got exciting when His Majesty’s 10th Regiment of Foot arrived and began berating the crowd for attending this illegal assembly.  The Colonel of one of the militias was arrested by the lobsterbacks and things did not look good for him.  

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Today, Jasmine and I went into Sandy Bay to do some shopping. Mother Nature treated us to another beautiful autumn day. I showed Jasmine some of my favorite shops on Bearskin Neck. I bought some fine soap imported from France and Jasmine picked up a book to give as a gift to her sweetheart. When we were finished, we returned home and enjoyed some tea brewed from mint and lemon balm from our garden.  

Bag Girl Goes… Atlantic City 


My family has this tradition where we get together in Atlantic City for a pub crawl at a end of the summer. They are a lot of fun and I’ve been looking forward to it all summer, since after my Disney trip, this summer has been pretty anticlimactic.

Mom and I left Gloucester at 5:15 in the morning to drive to New Jersey, going straight through, only stopping once in New York to go to the bathroom. We arrived at my grandparents house around 10:30-45 and about 11:30, we started off on the roughly hour and a half drive to Atlantic City. By two, we had checked into our hotel room and I was swimming in the pool, chatting with this woman I met named Susan about my dog Tyson and the heart surgeries I’ve had.

I swam for about an hour until I had to go back to the room to shower and get ready to go out. After I was prettied up, we took a taxi into Atlantic City, down a marsh lined highway dotted with billboards and motels. Our destination was the Resorts Hotel and Casino.


Our first stop is usually the Trump Taj Mahal, but the itinerary was changed this year because there is a strike going on. Crossing a picket lines would be a dangerous and morally dubious thing to do, especially since many of my relatives are union members. Also, I would feel dirty supporting Donald Trump. The word on the street is that the Taj Mahal is going to close down at the end of the summer and will re open with non union labor. “Because this is the 1890s,” my dad would later say.


After getting dinner, we met everyone at six o’clock in bar in Resorts confusingly called “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere,” which made plenty of people on Facebook mixed up about when we were supposed to meet. I was hugged and kissed by distant relatives and posed for selfies and group photos.

At quarter to eight, we moved on to Margaritaville, which happened to be where Mom, Grandma, Pop, and I had dinner. My brother Tom and his girlfriend, Emily had joined us at It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere; Tom bought me a drink at Margaritaville. We listened to some great live music and more selfie taking insued.


Almost as soon as we arrived at Margaritaville, we moved on to Landshark, a place across the boardwalk which can be accessed from the beach. I took a picture with my cousin Josette and another one of my cousins at the entrance to Margaritaville in which we look like the Schuyler Sisters.


Around 9:30, we moved on from Landshark to a place simply called The Irish Pub, which is one of our favorite places in Atlantic City and the centerpiece of our pub crawls. Unfortunately, we didn’t stay there long because my grandparents wanted to leave around ten. But my mom and my cousin Brian did their traditional car bomb and I was able to order my traditional order of mozzarella  sticks to go.


After posing for a final group picture, Mom and I returned to Resorts, where we met my grandparents, who had stayed there, and got a taxi back to the hotel. For some reason our taxi driver felt the need to tells us how he was shot by muggers, which made my mom and grandparents uncomfortable. Luckily we arrived safely at our hotel.

Bag Girl Goes to Disney: Day Six 

The big moment finally arrived today. Mom got a Fastpass for the Haunted Mansion, so we went to the Magic Kingdom first thing in the morning. In Main Street USA , we were greeted by a trolley full of singers and dancers in stereotypical gay nineties costumes performing songs from musicals such as Hello Dolly and Meet Me in St. Louis. There were Disney characters as well: we met Pluto who gave us hugs and kisses.

Then we made our way to Liberty Square and the Haunted Mansion. The ride was creepy but in a fun and amusing way. The special effects in the ghost ballroom scene  were incredible. My final thoughts on the ride were that it was enjoyable but I probably would have been scared been scared by it when I was little.


After the Haunted Mansion, Mom decided that we should take a ride on the Liberty Bell steamboat. It went around Tom Sawyer’s Island and we saw Wild West forts and Indian villages. When I was seven, I threw a tantrum about having to go on the rafts to go to Tom Sawyer’s Island, and I felt embarrassed afterwards because the rafts were not scary at all. Being a post 9-11 child, I guess I was paranoid about a lot of things.

It was noon by the time we got on the bus back to the hotel, where we dropped off some of our stuff and got back on the bus to go to EPCOT.  Mom got us a Fastpass for Journey into the Imagination. Even as a seven year old, I hated Figment, the annoying purple dragon and wanted bodily harm to happen to him. Then we made our way to World Showcase and took a boat across the lake from Canada to Morocco. At the border of France and Morocco was Belle; I wanted to meet her and get a picture and autograph but the line was too long and we only had an hour and a half until our dinner reservation.

I did not get to do many of the things I had wanted to do in World Showcase because we did not have the time, so I focused on getting my World Showcase passport stamped. We poked around in shops looking for where each passport stop was. I was able to get Morocco, Japan, United States, Italy, and Germany before 4:30 pm which was when our dinner reservation was. We had to backtrack from Germany to Italy because our dinner reservation was there, at a place called Tutto Italia, where I had the ravioli in cream sauce and the meatballs, which were delicious. Tutto Italia was one of my favorite that we eat at.

After dinner, I got my passport stamped at China (where I got a panda necklace for my friend Jasmine), Norway, Mexico (where I got an embroidered camisa and went on the Grand Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros), and Canada (where we watched a film on a 360 screen called O Canada.)

It was between 7 and 8 in evening when we went back to the hotel and our last full day in Disney ended with us getting ice cream and taking a swim in the pool before going to bed.

Bag Girl Goes to Disney: Day Five

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Mom decided that it would be better to go straight to Animal Kingdom and get breakfast there. We found a Starbucks under the name of Creature Comforts where we got our breakfast before going to our first Fastpass, the Festival of the Lion King show.  This was one of my favorites from back in 2003 and it definitely holds up. The dancing, acrobatics, and special effects are spectacular and it features the amazing music from The Lion King.  The Circle of Life still always gives me chills. My favorite part of the show is still the high wire routine done by the female bird acrobat during Can You Feel The Love Tonight? 

After the show, we went to our next Fastpass, Finding Nemo the Musical. This next show  was very cute and I felt teary at a few moments because of  its touching story about parents and children. There is a song called “The Big Blue World” which I recognized from the Finding Nemo ride at EPCOT. Our third Fastpass was for It’s Tough to be A Bug which takes place in a theater under the Tree of Life.  In the lobby there were posters for plays and musicals redone with bug puns. I appreciated the one which said “Web Side Story”; West Side Story being one of my favorite musicals and movies. It’s Tough to be A Bug scared the crap out of me when I was little but now I found it funny and fun, though I think that some of the effects might be too intense for small children.

We then made our way to Dinoland where there is a ride called Dinosaur, which Aunt Terry recommended. It was a time travel themed ride that had lots of drops and jerking; Mom felt nauseous afterwards. I had also wanted to go on Kilimanjaro Safari, but that wait was over an hour.

This was between one and two in the afternoon and I was tired and overheated and hungry and just wanted to sit down in the shade and have something to eat. I wanted to get lunch in Animal Kingdom but Mom wanted to move on to Hollywood Studios so we could do some of the attractions there before our dinner reservation. To my relief, the first thing we did there was sit down at this outdoor restaurant called the “Dockside Diner” which sold footlong hot dogs; Mom and I split one of these for lunch. After lunch, we went on the Great Movie Ride, which is one of my favorite things I’ve done on this trip. It’s queue area went through what looked like Grauman’s Chinese Theater and had displays of movie costumes. At the end of the queue there was a screen playing trailers for films such as Casablanca and clips from Turner Classic Movies, the ride’s sponsor. The ride had different sections for various film genres such as musicals, gangster movies, westerns, sci-fi, horror, and adventure.  My favorite parts were gangster movie section and the airport scene from Casablanca. 

Nearby is the Star Wars Launch Pad.  Inside, I met Kylo Ren from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He asked me if I would join the First Order to which I agreed; in the story I made up in my head, I was really a double agent for the resistance. To prove this, I then met with Chewbacca aboard the Millennium Falcon.

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Mom enjoyed the Buzz Lightyear ride at the Magic Kingdom. There’s a similar ride at Hollywood Studios with a Toy Story theme which we decided to go on. This time, I won. Afterwards, we went to see the Indiana Jones Stunt Show which was something I enjoyed when I was seven. Even now I was impressed by the stunts and effects. When I was little I was too scared to go to the Muppet Vision 3-D show for some reason and I threw a tantrum and my grandfather had to sit outside with me while everyone else went to the show. Seeing Muppet Vision was one of the things I wanted to do during this trip and I thought the show was okay, I’m not that big of a Muppets fan. I probably should not have been afraid of it when I was little.

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After the Muppet show, there was about an hour and a half until our dinner reservation. Between the show and the restaurant was a place where you could meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Minnie wore this lovely sparkly pink dress and I told her that she looked fabulous. Mickey was wearing his Sorcerer’s Apprentice out and gave the best hugs. Our dinner reservation was for 8:3o at the Sci-fi Dine In. This was one of my favorite places from last time and I wanted to go there again. There was not much on the menu that I like, so I got a burger, which was good but if I could have eaten anything I would not have eaten a burger. I recognized some of the cartoons and trailers shown on the screen and asked my mom if people back in the 1950s and 60s were scared by these sci-fi/horror films or did they look as silly as they do now. She said that people were because the special effects did not look so ridiculous back then (Dad would later tell me that no one really found them scary but they were rather the films you took your girlfriend to so you could pretend to be scared and makeout.)

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It was very late by the time we took the bus back to the hotel. As we  were leaving the park, the fireworks show were bidding us goodbye. On the bus, there was this soothing jazz music playing. There was something drowsy and magical about this ride home.