A Quarter of a Century (Wild Africa Trek)

Birthday 1

25 times around the sun

Last week I celebrated my birthday and I have to say that it was definitely the most memorable, happiest, greatest birthday that I’ve ever had. To be fair we had a lot of stuff going on, but this was the first year that I felt like time was honored. It was the first year I planned something in advance that I had been wanting to do for a long time, and the first year when I was thrown a little surprise party.

I have always found that I have loved adulthood far more than childhood. My ability to create my own life without any boundaries has created far more happiness than the past gift of zero responsibilities. I get a thrill out of paying my rent every month because I know that I get to live in a city I love, with friends I love, and get up to go to a job that I love.

My intentions this year were to make good on the past saying of: “We should do ____”. Which mostly consisted of my roommates and I talking about things we wanted to do but then never making solid plans or saving for. My birthday was the start of crossing one of those off the list which was The Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom. My Mom, friends, and I all stayed at the Cabins at Fort Wilderness which we had also never done. It was absolutely gorgeous and is now one of my favorite resorts.

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Valley of Mo'ara

Exploring the World of Pandora

Valley of Mo’Ara

I realized this morning that I’ve never posted anything about Pandora either here or on my youtube channel since the land opened at Animal Kingdom. Mostly because everytime I’ve been it’s either incredibly crowded or too rainy to bring my camera. But I’ve come to change all that because I do have a few pictures from this beautiful land that I would love to show you! First of all make sure you guys check out my flickr HERE to see all these beautiful photos in hi-res!

I’d like to give a shoutout to my beautiful friend and roommate Celine who helped open this incredible world to Animal Kingdom. She’s a complete boss and I’m so proud of her. Therefore a lot of these photos are of her in and her homeland.

Valley of Mo'ara 8

 Valley of Mo'ara 7

Valley of Mo'ara 6

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When the Universe Talks

Conspiring Design

finding faith…in something

I have never regretted anything in my life. Every wrong turn, every “no”, every disappointment has brought me to where I am. It’s sometimes hard for me to say that I earned anything because while I worked day in and day out, there is always something that turns out in my favor that I had no part in. And I’m not talking about privilege (even though there is some of that).

I’m not religious…at all. And there are times I wish I was. To find comfort in someone beyond myself would be incredible. Some of the most incredible and kind people that I know, take their religion and mold in into goodness. They scream love and I love them. And of course, I also know some religious people, who do the opposite. Who judge, and hate, and are quick to think that the world owes them something because they “follow a religion of love”. But they never seem to get it right.

But even if I sometimes wish I was, I am content that I am. If anything, I think being non-religious has given me the ability to see the world at face value. I think my values align almost more to religion than a lot of people. I don’t smoke, I have never had alcohol, I’m a vegetarian, and I’m fighting my way to make a difference in the environment and my personal life. I try so hard everyday to become a better person and I don’t have a religion to attribute that to.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not spiritual. I feel like I see life in every corner. The sound the wind makes through the trees, the warm sun as I sit by the pool, all the plants filling up our balcony. Long walks through the busy shopping center or the park, the light music of a piano. Even though I don’t believe in God, I still feel the universe standing behind me. An invisible force saying “You’re doing great, you’re kind, you will succeed”.

Everytime I sit quietly during yoga, I feel it telling me that I am on my way. Everytime a child’s face lights up as I make a little bit of magic, I can see life smiling at me. And I can’t help but think the Universe was there for me at all times, but I never noticed it.


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Universal June

When New Becomes Normal

When New Becomes Normal

When visiting the most magical place on earth every day becomes normal. And driving to my Orlando apartment becomes normal. And paying my bills every month becomes normal. When waking up without having to go to college becomes normal. When standing out in the sun for 8 hours in 100* heat index becomes normal. When smiling at every guest and waving to every princess and prince becomes normal. And only needing to make plans based around what I want to do becomes normal. When magical becomes normal.

It’s a weird experience to have been here in Orlando for almost 5 months because it feels so much longer than that. I never knew if living here for real would ever feel “normal” or if I’d always have that uneasiness about living 1200 miles from where I grew up. And when I say normal, I don’t mean to say that it becomes boring. It becomes familiar, and fun, and I feel like I’m apart of it.

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One month of Magic (DCP March)

It’s crazy how much faster time is flying on my second DCP compared to my first. Granted, I did arrive a month later with pretty much the same end date, so I’m losing a month of work and experience, but I have good news!

I’ve officially decided to stay in Florida for at least the next year and have already submitted my extension application for the College Program. Eventually I want to transfer out of the CP into a PT or FT position, but as of right now I’m waiting to hear back on my extension. I applied for an extension in Photopass, Character Attendant, and Attractions along with my same role/location as merchandise at Mousegears. I will more than likely be staying at Mousegears for my extension, but I am happy to do so as many of my coworkers will be there through August and even longer and I absolutely love my location. I am still waiting to hear back on my Professional Internship applications, but I know that it may not be until May. If I am offered a PI I will definitely be taking it instead of a CP extension. Here’s to hoping! I also have more good news that I can’t really share at the moment, but SOON!

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A Very Disney December

I’ve made a few posts since I got back from Orlando, but I’ve finished finished up most of the photos and kind of gotten everything straightened back out. I start back to school on Monday, so the posts may be later than normal (or not, I might be superwoman), so be prepared. 

I went to Disney from December 21st through December 28th. We visited Universal as well as all the Disney Parks. I only used my 50mm lens while I was there since I wanted some more detail shots. I didn’t take as many as I usually would, it was pretty dreary for most of the trip which was fine as I missed that Florida rain. I also purchased my first Annual Pass so I’m planning on returning in March for Flower and Garden and in October for Food and Wine and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. 

These are just a few shots, but you can view all my Disney photos here: cm_kayla on flickr: Disney 



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