Happy Friday, friends! I have so much catching up to do, as usual. Tis the season to be super busy, I guess!
Here’s what I’ve been loving lately:
1. I found a French copy of the first Harry Potter book at a thrift store, and I’ve been having SO MUCH FUN trying to read it! I’m far from fluent so I have to look a lot up, but it’s really neat to see what changes and what stays the same.
One of the weirdest things to me was that they changed the house names. Hufflepuff is now Poufsouffle! 😂
2. I had the opportunity last weekend to attend a celebration of Rumi that included whirling dervishes. SO FREAKING COOL. Before the actual event, I got to take a turning class. I have always been TERRIBLE at doing any kind of turns without getting dizzy and this was no exception. But it was still cool to learn! At the end of the class, we each took turns (no pun intended) turning in the center of a circle created by the other participants. Somehow, I was able to turn without getting dizzy for that brief moment in time. Super cool.
The woman in yellow taught the turning class – I was totally captivated by how she managed to look totally blissful no matter how long she was whirling. (I’m off to the side with the yellow scarf and a black skirt loaned to me by the dancer in blue, who I randomly met earlier that day. It’s that kind of group.) If you ever get the opportunity to watch semazens (whirling dervishes) – GO. It’s fascinating and mesmerizing.
During one of the last dances, we all had the opportunity to join in twirling in the center. Despite not being great at it, I had to give it a go – How often do you get the chance to spin in the center of a chanting group to live music in a stunning setting?
I didn’t take any photos that night (the two above are courtesy of friends on Facebook) but I found this photo of the church on Instagram to give you an idea of the space we were in:
(Side note – I’m not Sufi, but they’re a super welcoming bunch. It’s so cool to experience the ceremonies and rituals of a totally different group.)
3. I finally gave in and did the free 7-day trial of Disney+. Today is my 3rd day and so far, I’ve watched…
*The first 6 episodes of the Mandalorian (Obviously.)
*Moana (SO MUCH CRYING.)
*Free Solo (OMG insane.)
*I just started watching the Imagineering Story series. Started with the second episode – SO much good Haunted Mansion stuff and vintage Epcot! Everything I love in one place! And again, so much crying. I miss home and the company SO MUCH. Even though I hated working at Magic Kingdom, I cried seeing the Tunnels again. (Ok, I didn’t *hate* working at MK, but compared to working at the resorts, having to travel so far from the parking lot to your work location is a huge hassle. We actually got paid for “walk time” there.)
4. I needed a hotel for my KC trip, and discovered the total magic of booking a last minute Priceline deal. As a former concierge and absolute hotel nerd, you have NO IDEA how hard it was for me to book a room not knowing which hotel I was going to end up with. THE HORROR. But when I saw that I could get a 4-star hotel RIGHT in downtown KC for $100, I had to do it. I wound up at the Westin (I will probably do a whole post about it soon) in a corner room with amazing panoramic views of downtown. I looked it up and that room is usually about $190/nt, so I did in fact get a great deal!
I totally recommend going the Priceline mystery hotel route if you’re booking a same day stay. It tells you how many stars the place is, and most of the ones I looked at show you three hotels it might be. (I think mine showed me brands – I was getting a Hilton, Westin, or the 21C.)
5. And finally, a reminder as this year draws to a close:
A question for you guys: Are there any rituals or habits you do to finish up a year? I’ve picked up the practice of trying to clear up my email inbox and phone photo folder to go into the new year with a little less clutter. I wish I had the time and energy to do the same with my house and car – leave all of the last year’s mess in the past – but I’ll settle for emails and photos!
One year I tried ringing in the new year with green juice instead of vodka, but I ended up in the ER the next day so I decided that trying to be healthy was just not worth it.
I’d love to hear your end of year stuff!