Celebrating LGBT rights at Pride in London 2014

The first Gay Pride event I ever attended was in San Francisco (where else?), over 10 years ago.  Alfie and I took The Pea to the Castro, watched the parade, and celebrated with the community.  Although my kids know we support marriage equality and LGBT rights (as do they!), we haven't been to a Gay Pride event since then.  The hassle of parking and wading through the crowds has held me back.  Also, as open-minded as I like to think I am, I must admit that I'm not quite ready to wander around booths filled with S&M gear and be handed free neon condoms in front of my kids' curious eyes.

But this weekend I had the opportunity to visit my sister in London and leave the kids with their grandparents for the weekend.  Since my visit coincided with the Pride in London parade, I knew I couldn't pass up the chance to watch and celebrate!

My favorite World Cup 2014 commercials

Nike World Cup 2014 ad
Football is not a sport that lends itself easily to commercial breaks.  The clock never stops, not for time outs, not even for injuries, and certainly not to switch from offensive to defensive to special teams.  Sponsors have to content themselves with signage on the field, on player jerseys, and on-screen placements beside the match score.  Fortunately, the payoff is enormous; the 2010 World Cup final was seen by over 1 billion people, so it's worth spending the time and money to create a memorable World Cup ad. With YouTube, Facebook, and social media, companies don't even have to buy ad time to get their message across. If an ad resonates, it will go viral.

Companies have been scrambling to take advantage of World Cup fever, with dozens of soccer-themed commercials airing since the beginning of June.  Even those who are not official sponsors of the World Cup have joined the bandwagon -- their ads don't mention the World Cup or show the official, FIFA World Cup logo, but their intent is clear.  As a soccer fan, I'm loving all of it!  Here's a list of my 5 favorite World Cup ads (so far), as well as a longer list of World Cup ads that are worth watching:

10 things you must do at a Disney Park

No matter how many times you visit a Disney Park, there always seems to be something you haven't done -- a ride you haven't been on, a treat you haven't sampled, a show you haven't watched. I've put together a list of 10 fun experiences that should be on everyone's Disney Park bucket list.  Some are easy to do, others aren't.  We've already done the first five, and we're working on the last five!  Check out the list below and see how many you have done.....

Then and Now

Some of my favorite internet memes are the ones where grown men and women recreate recreate their baby and childhood photos.  Everything about then-and-now photos are hilarious. The clothes!  The hair!  The expressions!  The poses!

Naturally, I had to get on the bandwagon.  My siblings and I are scattered around the world, so we won't be able to do one until we meet again in Manila next year, but hey, my own kids aren't doing anything right now. 3Po and Jammy are 10, so I figure it's a good milestone.  They've certainly changed almost beyond recognition in those 10 years!  Stay tuned for the next installment of this photo series in 2024!

Here's a roundup of then-and-now family photos for your viewing pleasure:

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Travel Tuesday: Boomerang Bay waterpark at Great America

Boomerang Bay Great America

When I first visited Great America in 1994, I loved it so much I wanted to go back every year.  That lasted about 3 years -- I could only ride Top Gun (later renamed Flight Deck) and the Drop Tower so many times.  Even when I returned with The Pea in 2002, I wasn't eager to make it an annual ritual.

The arrival of Boomerang Bay changed all that.  Great America added Boomerang Bay in 2004 (it was the first theme park in California to have a water park), and we first visited Boomerang Bay in 2012.  Thanks to Boomerang Bay, I love visiting Great America once again -- we even splurged on season passes this summer so we can visit again and again!   Much as I love roller coasters, I could go four or five years without riding the ones at Great America (the kids will probably disagree with me!), but  Boomerang Bay is like a community pool with the added benefit of a few thrill water rides.

USA vs. Azerbaijan, pre-World Cup friendly

USA vs Azerbaijan at Candlestick Park

It's FIFA World Cup season!  The opening match (Brazil vs. Croatia) is schedule for June 12, and I'm so excited.  For the next 6-7 weeks we'll be glued to the TV -- we've even scheduled our road trips and long vacations to make sure we'll have access to a TV (or a pub) to watch each and every match!