The Dapperest of Days

Adventures, disney

“Oh darling, you look absolutely splendid this evening!” was the phrase that ran through my head throughout yesterday as I attended my first ever Dapper Day event!j

For those of you who don’t know what dapper day is, here’s the rundown. Originating as a guest planned function, it invited those heading to Disney to dress to the nines in their favorite dapper clothing. People choose iconic fashion eras such as the 20s, 50s, and 60s, to put together an outfit worth of twirling down Main Street USA on one of the fanciest days of the year. This event occurs in both the spring and the fall in various Disney parks across the world and have recently been picked up by the companies to monetize.

With so much creative freedom the outfit possibilities are endless. Most choose to Disney Bound (dress as a certain character) for their outfit, while others just wear their Sunday best. Regardless, everyone looks fabulous and has an amazing time.

I was unable to make it to the event in the fall, so this was my first experience with the infamous Disney day. Dressed in gold and accessorized to the max, I decided to Disney Bound as Belle and I still can’t get over how awesome it turned out. (No need to brag, but can we just take a second to appreciate my hair? I learned how to do it in the moment as I was getting ready and i’m still thankful that it decided to cooperate all day!)

As soon as we parked, we knew we were in for a treat as we were immediately surrounded by others dressed to the nines. It was insane to see such a huge community come together for this event and show off their Disney side simultaneously.

We braved the ninety-six degree heat as we entered the park and immediately began snapping pictures before our hair and makeup would fall. Honestly, all we really did was take pictures and I’m 100% okay with that because everyone looked so. good. It was crazy! All that was running through my mind the whole time was ideas for next year.

Vintage vibes, rosey cheeks, and trolley cars had me feeling some type of way and I couldn’t put my camera down. I can’t wait for future Dapper Day events. If you ever get the chance to go, do it. You won’t regret it!

xoxo,

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Blogs and Jobs and Vlogs, Oh My!

Adventures

It’s 2017 and I have made it my goal to take over the internet. As a huge supporter of all forms of social media as an outlook to express yourself, I have decided to look into more and more forms to spread my content across to my fans.

Blogging has been an amazing way to recap on some of my favorite moments in life, but what better way to hear about them than experience them with me? I recently started a YouTube channel where you can catch me making amateur videos of my adventures through life. Right now I’m sticking to Disney because it is my home, but I might be branching out in the future.

If you think you’d be interested in watching me make fool out of myself in real life versus behind my sarcastic banter that I type up, you can check me out with my uber creative screen name, The Princess and the Vlog. I don’t have much content yet but this could be the start of something new, so patience is virtue my friend.

I hope you enjoy all I have to offer as I explore new platforms to express myself. If you don’t, that’s fine, but you can take your lame opinions elsewhere.

Until next time,

xoxo,

Christmastime at Disney

Adventures, disney

The decorations are hung across the castle with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon will be there. It’s the most wonderful time of the year in the happiest place on Earth. What a magical combination for visitors of all ages. After years of dreaming to see my favorite place during the holiday season, my wish finally came true this past month.

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My first visit with the decorations was to Magic Kingdom the weekend after Halloween. The transformation happened almost over night and I have never seen anything more magnificent. I had seen pictured of past years decorations, but standing next to the 50ft tree on Main Street was a whole new experience. Let’s start with Main Street USA. When you first walk into the park, you are greeted by the Christmas Tree aforementioned, along with wreaths adorning every building down the line. Then you are greeted by the castle. Covered from head to toe in thousands of tiny twinkle lights, called the “Dream Lights” that are made possible by Elsa’s frozen magic. Holiday music plays over the speakers and the 80 degree weather helps to pretend your cuddled up by a fireplace. The whole experience is magical as heck, and the characters are even dressed for the occasion.

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Likewise, the other parks and resorts follow suit in their decorating. Hollywood Studios takes the vintage view on Hollywood and covers their streets with tinsel to match the glitz and glam feel. Their tree is full of movie references and joy as it lights up the exterior part of the park with it’s Christmas glow. At night, Jingle Bell,  Jingle BAM! takes the stage as projections are shown on the Chinese Theater and fireworks dance along to the Christmas music blaring over the speakers. The story line of this nighttime spectacular follows the elves from Disney’s Crash and Landing as they seek to find a missing Santa on Christmas Eve. The night is finished with a thorough coating of “snoap” (a snow substitute made of soap bubbles) on Sunset Blvd as guests exit the park. One of the most magical feelings is experiencing the snow in the warmth of Florida in December.

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Epcot and Animal Kingdom both participate in the holidays as well with subtle decorations throughout the parks. In Animal Kingdom, you could meet Santa Goofy and Pluto as well as Baloo and King Louie all dressed up in their winter attire. In Epcot, you can experience the holidays around the world in World Showcase to learn about different traditions each culture participates in. End the night watching the Candlelight Vigil hosted by various celebrities in the Disney community, such as Neal Patrick Harris or Whoopi Goldberg, and melodious voices from the Disney choir.

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I was blown away by how the parks celebrated the holidays, but the fun doesn’t end there. My friends and I then decided to take a day trip to Disney Springs and resort hop around property to get the full experience. At Disney Springs, you are immediately greeted but wreathes and garland strung across the pathways between stores as Christmas music plays in the background. They created a Christmas Tree trail that displayed trees featuring decorations from all the Disney classics, such as Mulan and The Little Mermaid. The decorations outdid themselves. There was also wandering entertainment throughout the shopping district. Between a roaming Santa, toy soldiers on stilts, and a DJ spinning a constant loop of holiday tracks, it was hard to avoid the Christmas spirit. The coolest part, in my opinion, was the nighttime drone show that they recently created. Like each of the parks that had a nighttime show, Disney wanted the guests at Disney Springs to also enjoy something special that separated this from just another Florida strip mall. It is the first of it’s king and consisted of over a hundred small drones that lit up and flew above the lake, synchronized to music of course. I had never seen anything like it before,  but hope to see more in the future! Unfortunately I was too mesmerized to take a video, but you can see what it looks like here.

The resorts were also completely decked out for the holidays. A handful of them setup large gingerbread displays that bakers at the resort create by hand each year. The Contemporary resort had a tribute to Frozen.

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The Beach Club resort had a carousel made completely of gingerbread and chocolate that actually moved. Legend has it that there were 17 golden hidden mickeys painted on it, yet we spent over 45 minutes looking and only found 16.

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The Grand Floridian had the most grand display of all. IN the lobby was a life size gingerbread house that doubled as a gift shop that cast members actually stood in and worked out of. The details were incredible.

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It’s no secret that Disney goes all out for the holidays and I’m so lucky that I was able to experience some of the magic without paying an extra $100 for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Although, the crowds are definitely so much worse, it was still incredible to take in. It was magical to say the least.

Until next timexoxo,

My Love for David is Still Cookin’ Eight Years Later

Adventures

If you’ve been following my journey for a while, then you know I spend alot of time listening to live music. It’s no surprise that concerts are one of my favorite things ever, and every experience is super unique. I love every minute of them and reliving them when I share them with you guys. So without further ado, here’s another lame concert post complete with videos for your viewing pleasure.

Backstory time: When I was ten years old, I watched my first season of American Idol and fell in love with the contestant who later went on to win, David Cook. It was an unhealthy obsession, but it lead me to discover the great wonders of rock music, so i’ll let it slide. Long story short, I loved him, but I was a baby and concerts werent in my vocabulary at that age.

Flash forward to present day Lena. Avid supporter of lame music and amature concert junkie. I spend my free time looking through Bandsintown because I am trash and have nothing better to do than find concerts that I can’t afford in towns that I don’t live in.

Low and behold, one of those days of scrolling lead me to my childhood idol. (I’m laughing at my pun, I hope you are too). After a quick tap and a swipe, I discovered that the one and only David Cook would be perfoming in Orlando while I am here. And it was free. A dream come true honestly. So guess where I was Sunday night?

Cook plays an annual show at Epcot’s Food & Wine festival each year. This year he was here on October 1st & 2nd, playing three sets each day. So you bet your bottom dollar that I was ready and roaring to go.

After watching the first set from the middle section of the amphitheater and realizing that wow he is a real person in front of me, we decided to stick it out for more performances. Only we wanted to be closer because once you go barricade you never go back. So for his second set, we watched from outside the theater, while in line for the third set. (Multitasking at it’s finest).

After throwing hands at all the hardcore David Cook fans, we made it to the front with a perfect view. Each set he played different songs so it was a great experience to hear some of his older stuff along with the classics. And it wouldn’t be complete without and A+ cover song, in which he nailed all three times.

Aside from being really freaking amazing, he also was such a nice guy as he interacted with the audience. Because we were at Disney and everything is magical, every moment was filled with a new surprise. Some girls made a sign and he noticed and went over and autographed it. A group was taking a selfie and he went over and started posing for them. A little girl came up on stage and gave him a gift from their family and everyone’s heart melted. The list goes on and on.

It was an amazing concert that was worth the 8 year wait. I even got a guitar pick so I am on cloud nine. I’m so lucky to get these opportunities, and I can’t wait until he comes back next year because you can bet money that I’ll be waiting.

xoxo,

All videos are from the third set.

Thirteenth Annual Player’s Ball

Adventures, Lil Life Updates

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to volunteer at my first event in the hospitality industry. A perk of being part of the Rosen School of Hospitality Management is all the opportunities made available for it’s students, and I was fortunate to experience one as a freshman. It opened my eyes to the industry, and I was able to meet many people both from Rosen and the Bridges of Light Foundation that sponsored the event. Lots of positive networking occurred and it was a great addition to my extremely weak resume.

Saturday Evening was the Bridges of Light 13th Annual Players Ball, a gala made for Orlando’s top sports stars to celebrate the night through various fundraisers in place for the namesake’s foundation. Bridges of Light is an Orlando based charity that raises money for children in the city who don’t have the means necessary to get the education they need. The annual ball is the largest fundraiser for the organization thanks to it’s generous sponsors and plethora of auctions made for the guests.


This event took place in the Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort. It is one of the leading convention hotels in the area, and definitely one of the nicest hotels that I have ever been in. It was a great experience to attend an event in such a luxurious resort, such as the ones I would like to work in in the future.


After taking in the amazing sights, we were introduced to the volunteer team and the ballroom/foyer area in which the event would be taking place. Most of the volunteers were returning members who started helping out in college and kept coming back year after year due to how much fun it was. They were all raving about the event and were excited that we were getting involved so young as freshmen. I was excited to hear about all the positivity towards the event and reassured to hear that I was doing good things by putting my foot in the door so soon in my career.

As guests started arriving, I began comparing the event to an “adult prom”. Everyone was dressed to the nines in their best ball gowns and I couldn’t get over how nice everyone looked. It was an understatement to say they looked like a million bucks, because due to the demographic there, they probably all spent a million bucks on their look. After learning that each guest paid near $500 per ticket, I understood how important this event was and how important the hospitality industry is.

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Throughout the night, I assisted the head of events in things that she needed done, and worked closely with the other volunteers with the silent and live auctions. The amount of generosity in these donations outstanded me, but after hearing from some of the kids that the event sponsored, I could understand why. If only I had $115,000 to donate just for the heck of it like one guy did.

The setting was gorgeous, the guests were beautiful, and the events were exciting. Between the auctions, the cocktail party, and the gambling, I got a good taste of a high class event in the industry. Of course I have only seen one type of demographic, but I am already assured that I am in the right major.

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Next month, I plan on doing my second volunteer event, which is a Harvest Ball at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort (aka one of the most gorgeous places I’ve seen owned by the real MVP and sponsor of our school.) I can’t wait to continue volunteering at these events because even though we are not paid for our work with money, we are paid with experience, which can be more valuable in the long run.

Until next timexoxo,

The New Americana

Adventures

Are you insane like me?/Been in pain like me? Woke up at 4 am just to stand in line like me? Just to pour your heart and soul into a show like me? Would you spend your past three paychecks on Halsey like me? *

If you answered no to any of those, you’re most likely living you life wrong. But it’s okay. I’m here to brag about how amazing my life was on Tuesday so you can be eternally jealous and hopefully adjust your behaviors to model everything you do after me :)))

It all started in January when I sold my soul to Halsey/ And she told me I was worthy/She’s got me down on money/but it’s the VIP that’s tryna/Hold me down, hold me down/Sneaking out my savings/Makes no sound/Knock me out, knock me out/saying that I want more/Concert’s what I live for!*


One of the most inspirational and lovable performers was coming to our town and we weren’t going to let anything get in our way of seeing her. After months of planning outfits, purchasing VIP upgrades, and obsessing over the fact that we were gonna be a few rows away from our idol, the day had finally arrived.

Sick of all these people waiting/sick of all these lines/Tired of all these tents pitched early/sick of being off time./Now the VIP is open, begging for some fans around it/Already dying of excitement, so there’s no use cryin’ about it, cryin’ about it./I’m headed straight for Halsey.*


After many freak outs due to the fact that people started lining up as early as 2 pm the day prior, I was finally able to calm myself down. Our plan was to show up at 7 am to get in line and meet up with friends we met at prior concerts. Our VIP gave us early access to the venue so no matter how early general admission lined up, we still had the advantage, so that helped *some of my stress* disappear. Once we got there, there were about forty people in line in front of us. Not ideal but we could work with it. But after about an hour, all the VIPs decided to split and form a new line on the other side of the building where we were about tenth *and* reunited with old concert friends which definitely helped pass the time quicker.

I was as bored as an oak tree/But now I think I’m obsessed/You put some friends next to me/And I’ve been hyped since we left/We’ve got a few hours and they’re going so slow/And we’ve got our own buildup in our minds that roam/I’m hoping we could get upgraded but the chances are low/ We’ve got a fire inside but our hearts are cold.*


As we entered the hottest and most grueling hours of the day, our lack of sleep hit us and we all got really anxious. Luckily everyone in the VIP line around us was so sweet and we were able to make lots of friends to keep us company. We all had a common love for music and spending was too much money on experiences so bonding cam naturally. As every hour approached we got closer and closer to entering the venue and beginning the best night of our lives.


We’ll be looking for tee shirts/or the lanyards/till out wide eyes burn bright./We’ll be carrying the new stuff/that we earned through/our VIP rewards./For now lets celebrate/On a Roman Holiday.*

This was my first concert experience as VIP, so when we were getting in line to receive our exclusive merch and early entry, I was about to pee myself. All I really needed was the lanyard because I’m telling ya, nothing gets better than that. (I have also been rocking my “Love from Pittsburgh Badlands” shirt for the past three days and no, I don’t have a problem, thank you very much.)

My hands wrapped around my ticket/ swerving through the long line/ I can never keep my eyes/ off this./My legs, the feeling of excitement/ illuminated in the bar/bouncing off the walls & floors/ I missed.*


After entering the venue, we sat in the inside portion of the stage for what felt like forever. As the meet & greets were going on upstairs, we got to enjoy the AC while continuously be destroyed by the constant sight of the stage being so close but so far. Yet it gave us more bonding and Jon Bellion so how could I argue, at least we weren’t in the GA line anymore.

I’m bigger than my body/I’m faster than lilac/I’m meaner than my demons/I’m bigger than these bones./And all the guards cried out/”Please stop, no running here!”/I can’t help this awful energy/Goddamn right, I just got barricade/ Who is in Control?*
After months of waiting, our dream finally came true, and we were FRONT. ROW. for the QUEEN!!! We were never prepared to get this close and I think we were in shock the entire night. We were prepared to be pancakes because there is no one else we’d rather be squashed against a gate for three hours for than Ashley Frangipane.

You say that you’re no good for us/ Our questions tuggin’ at your brain/and I swear I hate it when you joke/I like it anyway.*


Within minutes of entering the venue, Halsey was on stage in front of us, ready to answer our well thought out questions. Or so we thought. “I’m not gonna lie Pittsburgh, but all your questions sucked and I really struggled to pick five to answer.”It’s okay, we forgive you, how could we not? We spent $300 towards you already today. As she went through each of the questions I hung onto every word of her answer, occasionally screaming things when she paused. (i.e. me: “YOU LOOK SO GOOD” her: “Aww thank you! So do all of you guys!” me=dead). She was an amazing speaker and even tho my question wasn’t chosen, I was able to talk to her after a confusion in names (there was more than one Lena there and I made the dumb choice to say “aww nuts” after being confirmed the wrong one. It happens. I’ll be embarrassed for the rest of my life. It’s fine.)

Q&A wrapped up and the GA joined us in the pit and we died a little but its totally okay. We danced a little. It rained a little. We talked to Brian our favorite security guard a little. It was a party. And then the goddess emerged once again.


I’m sorry but I fell in love tonight./I didn’t mean to fall in love tonight./You’re looking like you fell in love tonight./Could we pretend that we’re in love?

Not even going to change the lyrics on that one because they fit so perfectly. I knew I was going to love this concert, but never in a million years did I think it was going to hit me this hard.

I’m a wanderess/I’m a one night stand/Don’t belong to no city/Don’t belong to no man/I’m the violence in the pouring rain/I’m a hurricane


Also couldn’t bring myself to changing these lyrics either. No I’m not just lazy (okay maybe a little bit). But these lyrics are so perfectly crafted I’d feel like I was vandalizing a work of art if I were to change them. Basically at this point in my day I had already died at least 17 times and Halsey had changed my life. Her stage presence, her lyrics, her speeches she gave. Everything was more than I could have imagined.

I found God/I found her in a singer/When her hair changes everyday/And her tattoos so cool they shake./Now we’re lost somewhere in an outdoor stage/In in GA pit where demons play/They run around beneath our feet/Lyrics roll around just like a treat.*


I am one hundred percent dead. I never knew an artist’s message could hep me so much. Halsey not only performed the heck out of herself, she touched my heart which is something nearly impossible to do since I don’t have emotions. I’m not only proud to be a fan, but I’m lucky to have such an inspirational woman sharing what she loves for kids all over to listen to.

We are the New Americana/High on legal marijuana/raised on Biggie and Nirvana/We are the new Americana.


The first time I heard this song was last summer when I saw Halsey open for Imagine Dragons. It proves that our generation is ready to take the world by storm, just as Halsey has been doing the past couple years of her career. She has not been off my mind for the past 72 hours and I’m perfectly okay with that. The Post-Concert Depression is real and It will definitely never go away. I’m perfectly okay with it.

And I’ve been sitting at the bottom of a swimming pool/For a while now, drowning my thoughts out.

The Halsey concert was one that made me think. Each of her songs has so much meaning and emotion behind it, and being able to see her pour her heart out on stage was life changing. After hearing these songs live, I was able to pick up on things I hadn’t previously noticed, and I’m able to connect with them due to similar experiences. As if the PCD wasn’t bad enough, now I have ~connections~ to the songs. Great. But I’m just so so so amazed by this whole experience and how much Halsey and her fans have taught me. Yeah it was just another concert I went to, but I came out of it a different person.

You were red and you liked me because I was blue/You touched me and suddenly I was a lilac sky/And you decided purple just wasn’t for you


I have no words. Thank you Halsey. Thank you.

-me

*Lyrics that I have changed from the original to lay out how my day went. The italics signify the actual lyric while the non-formatted word signifies the change I made.

 

 

You Don’t Even Know…

Adventures

…how lucky I am.

I had to wait a full seven days to post this because even a week later, and I still haven’t properly processed this indescribable night.


I woke up last Thursday morning expecting to go to a chill lowkey concert with my best friend and I fell asleep Thursday night with my heart rushing after having the best experience of my life.

I am a strong believer in putting money towards experiences rather than objects, so anytime a band that I enjoy listening to comes to Pittsburgh, I am more than happy to splurge on concert tickets.

Let me start out by explaining how underrated Fitz & the Tantrums are. They are one of the most unique, uplifting, and positive bands of our generation and everyone needs to take a second and listen to more than what is just on the radio. I’ve been listening to them for about three or four years and after missing out on their concert when they came two years ago, I knew I needed to go to this one.


My initial thought was that this would be a good concert to just chill in the lawn and not worry about the stress of the GA pit. Yet the more I thought about it, the more I realized how easy it would be to get good spots for this concert.

Like I said before, they don’t have a huge following and we were able to use that to our advantage for an unforgettable night. So we decided to take our chances and get in line at noon the day of the concert. We weren’t sure what to expect, but when we got there and claimed our spots as second in line, a huge wave of relief washed over us. The only two people in front of us had been waiting since ten in the morning and were some of the sweetest kids we met. We instantly became friends and bonded over good music and it made the six hour wait so much more bareable.


Later on two more of their friends joined us and it was another instant connection. After sharing stories, food, and social media platforms, the excitement of sharing the front row with them grew.


A particular story I told happened to be the backstory of my personal good luck charm and that day it struck again.

After five hours of listening to F&tT soundcheck, a tour manager came out to the evergrowing line and asked who was first in line. We jumped up with enthusiam befor realizing that we were actually second (#awkward) but socializing clearly has its benefits because our new friends said the six of us were together (!!!). The tour manager then proceded to hand out meet and greet wristbands to all of us and I don’t know if you’ve ever seen six seventeen year olds happier in their entire lives.

Not only did we get to meet some of the most chill band members ever, but we also got to wait in the A/C for a half and hour on a 90° day so im not quite sure what we were happier about to be quite honest.


Meeting them was so much fun. I’ve personally never met anyone famous so this was definitely a huge deal for me but it was strange to think that they are just people like you and me. Michael and Noelle, the two lead singers were so funny and we were just able to goof around with them before heading back out to wait in the dreaded heat.

Luckily after the meet & greet we were able to float on our personal cloud 9’s back to our spots at the front of the line. Gates opened and we were the first ones in. We totally didn’t run to our spots in the front row because running in Stage AE is illegal but we walked with haste and the six of us scattered amongst the barricade securing front and center spots perfect for dancing the night away.


The venue filled up. Baby Fitz ran on to the stage. We made friends with the security guard. Drank some hose flavored water. Witnessed Zella Day (the opening act) flail around on stage. Got caught in the rain.

Lol. The rain. No big deal at all. Except for the fact that it freaking poured for twenty minutes straight in between acts and it was probably the greatest thing ever. We were mixed with both the fear of the show getting cancelled and the fear that our cell phones were destroyed. Yet once that fear washed over us, we let loose and began dancing and didn’t stop until the sun came up the next morning.

After a half an hour delay (thanks rain), F&tT finally came on and BLEW OUR TIRED LITTLE MINDS. Let me tell you, this band knows how to get the crowd to party. Not a soul in the venue remained still. Everyone was dancing and clapping and singing and having the time of their lives.


The lights were hypontizing, the music was booming, and the energy was out of this world. Both Micheal and Noelle are amazing performers and as an audience member I could truley feel their passion for being on stage and entertaining. I can’t say it enough but it was seriously the most fun I’ve ever had at a concert and I’m still in shock that last Thursday even happened.


Like I said earlier, Fitz doesn’t have a huge following, which sucks because they deserve it. But in that moment, everyone became a fan and let loose.


It was one of the greatest concert experiences of my short little 18 year long life, and I’m not sure how anything will top that. I’ve been to a ton of concerts and I’ll go to a ton more. Each one has been special in their own way and I will never forget how amazing it was to just forget everything and dance.

Fitz, I love you, and I can’t wait to see you again in November. (That’s right! Going to school in Orlando has it’s perks and by perks I mean seeing a great band at a new great venue with some new great friends!!)


Thanks for rolling up into my heart Fitz. You don’t even know how much you jut changed my life. You shine like diamonds in my eyes and you are more than just a dream to me <3.

-me