Thursday, July 5, 2012

4th of July -- Disney style

As I’m sure it’s obvious, I’m a huge Disney fan and try to go to the parks as often as I can.  I recently celebrated my 10 year anniversary of the first time I went to Walt Disney World (WDW) back in 2002.  Since then, I have visited the Resort around 22 times. 

Throughout the course of my visits, I somehow managed to be on property during every major U.S. holiday, except for July 4.  The only reason why I haven’t gone before is due to the crowd level during that week.  (The July 4th holiday is one of the most celebrated ones in the U.S., and it also marks the 2nd busiest day at WDW, so that always gave me an excuse not to go).

Well since I’m back at Southwest Airlines, I still have my Disney Cast Member discounts until the end of the year, and I had the 4th of July off, I decided that it was the perfect time to go!

So after work on Tuesday, I flew to Orlando to start celebrating the 4th of July!

Here's a pic of lighting from the airplane! Soo cool!

Shortly after my flight landed, we went to Downtown Orlando and had too much fun!

I was actually very surprised that I was able to stay up as late as we did.  I'm usually whining if I'm not in bed my 10 p.m., but I think my excitement about being at Disney for July 4th really had me anxious!

Because the parks are freakishly busy during July 4, I thought it was best to spend the day at EPCOT because it holds the most people and you wouldn't feel how crowded the park really was.  The only crummy part of the day was the weather when we first arrived.  As you can see, it was raining pretty bad but it truly helped keep the temperature down (which was okay in my book!!)

Conner's first encounter with a Disney character! He's never been to WDW before!

We got to meet up with Ariel too! She was so nice!

After we road a few rides in Future World, we headed to the World Showcase to walk around the countries. Once we passed up Mexico and Norway, we decided to take a picture in every country from there on, so here they are!



United Kingdom
I loved taking a picture in every country because it really made visiting each pavilion even more fun!

And now... the part we've all been waiting for.... THE FIREWORKS SHOW!!!!

This one is my favorite!!!!!!!!!! It was a spectacular ending!

Here's a video that I shot from my phone.

 I knew that Disney did it big on July 4, but I had no idea it was that amazing!!! I will definitely be back again!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Katy Perry -- An Inspiration to Us All

Went to go see Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D movie last night and it KICKED BUTT!!!

I have to admit.....I just love Katy Perry!!!

Here are the reasons why:
1. She’s the most down to earth, kind hearted, and for lack of a better term, realest singer out there
2. She has the best acoustic live performances
3. Her unique vocals & KILLER VOICE
4. Her life/career story is so inspirational, proving that hard work makes dreams come true
5. The fact that she refused to stick to the status quo to make it in Hollywood
6. All of her music is so freaking catchy

I remember back in 2008 when her song “I Kissed a Girl” came out and it wasn’t the lyrics that won me over – it was her voice! I’ve always been a huge fan of pop entertainers, but whenever I heard her song for the first time, I knew she was gonna make it big, and how right I was!

Fast forward to last summer when Austin and my friend Raymond took me to her concert for my birthday, and I just fell in love with her again. I have been to a lot of concerts, but I have never been so captivated by a performance.  She had the best live performance out of anyone I had ever heard.  Not to mention she was so freaking funny.

FUN FACT: Did you know that the first radio station to play any of Katy Perry’s songs was here in Dallas, TX??

Anyway, I wanted to share a few pics from last night's adventure at the movies!

Friday, June 29, 2012

My Make-A-Wish story

Last semester when I interned with Southwest Airlines, I worked in the Community Relations and Giving department.  The majority of the work I did was with non-profit organizations like the Ronald McDonald House,  It was during that internship that I found my passion for helping kids. I've always had a strong connection with kids, especially since I'm a big kid at heart, but I wanted to make more of an impact in their lives and help them leave their pain and fear behind them and allow them to have fun for a while.  Sure, my job required me to do things for the Ronald McDonald House, but I started volunteering at the Dallas chapter after work and even on weekends. Words cannot describe the feeling I would get when I went home after volunteering.

Well, this time around I work in the Technology Department on the Communications Team with Southwest Airlines.  Now, we really don't get to do the partnering with non-profit organizations like my previous internship, but when the chance came up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, I jumped right on it!

HP is one of our biggest partners in Technology and they asked us if we could host a Make-A-Wish art party at our Headquarters.  Southwest LUVs to help make wishes come true, so we were more than happy to host!  We had a little less that a dozen WishKids and their families spend the day with us.  We spent the day creating art (bracelets and dining table napkin holders) to be donated to the next Wish Night Auction to help raise money for the cause.  The money that they raise helps fund the kid's wishes.

We took a break after lunch and took a tour around our Headquarters. The kids LUVed that part the most!

Although it wasn't actually granting a kid's wish, it was still so warming to see the smiles on their faces when they were with us.  Knowing that I helped keep their illnesses off of their minds for five hours was one of the best feelings I have ever had on a Thursday at work!

As you will see in the pictures below, I grew very fond of a little 3 year old named Rebekah, and I'm sure the feeling was mutual! Everyone kept smiling and laughing at how she would follow me around like I was the momma duck.  Every where I went, she was one step behind me.  That is one sweet child that I absolutely will never forget!

I hope you enjoy the photos! 

 This is little Rebekah! This is where we first met.

The Wish Kids were making their bracelets for the Wish Night Auction.

This is one of the napkin holders they were making.


Oh, little miss sunshine stealing my heart!  She was asking me to help her make her bracelet.  We made about 7. She picked every thing out and I just pushed it through the wire.

Here's another shot of me helping out Rebekah.

I told her to pose and show off her new bracelet we made that matched her dress! 

Here's all of the Wish Kids in front of our BIG T-SHIRT at SWA! They were so fascinated!!

I could just eat her up!!! She's a true princess!

Bonding time at lunch!

Here's a pic of the group while touring the Flight Attending Training area at Headquarters.



Now this part was so freaking cool!The Flight Attendants have to go through an extensive training process, and they do their drills of emergency evacuations on the "Poolie." It is a simulator that uses hydraulics to mimic take offs, landing, turbulence, etc.

 The Wish Kids LUVed the Poolie!! It was so funny to watch their faces during the landing!

Here are some of the napkin holders they made.

They are very talented in the bracelet making category! 

Here's a shot of of the kids!

Last but not least, a group photo with yours truly!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

SWA Planes -- Behind the Scenes

Yesterday, I had the chance to go on a Maintenance Hangar tour. What's that, you ask? Well, it's were they do all of the maintenance work on our planes. This helps keep our aircraft in tip-top shape!

 The Hangar is HUGE!!!!

Here's a side view of one of our 737s.

 Shot of the entire plane.

I love SWA's colors! The red bellies always make me laugh!

This was so freaky to me! I'm used to people sitting in these seats!

Awww!! Here's me in the engine!

Apparently that is how they pump air into the plane when the maintenance guys are working.

The nose of the plane.  We learned that radar detectors are attached to the nose of the airplane for weather.

Here is the inside of the plane, completely gutted! SWA is in the process of refurbishing all of our planes with the new "Evolve" interior.  It will even add an extra row of seats!

They were doing work on the belly of the plane.

The famous tail! GO SWA!

 I got to sit in the cock pit. It felt great to be an honorary pilot of the day!

I never really was into airplanes before I started working at SWA last year, but now I get so excited to learn more about them. Airplanes are just so fascinating and it's crazy to me how they actually work.