Beyond Black & White » Travel http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Chronicles, Musings and Debates about Interracial & Intercultural Relationships Thu, 30 Oct 2014 23:48:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 From Uganda to Serbia, Rose Bugarčić’s Incredible Journey http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/uganda-serbia-rose-bugarcics-incredible-journey/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/uganda-serbia-rose-bugarcics-incredible-journey/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:09:50 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=32172 From Uganda to Serbia, Rose Bugarčić’s Incredible Journey   Decision on employment presented by the Minister Ivica Dacic (Photo A. Vasiljevic)   Rose Bugarčić I am happy with the title of “SwirlQueen” bequeathed to me by BB&W founder Mrs. Christelyn Karazin.  It suits me well.  However these days I feel more like a “Swirl Huntress”.  […]

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From Uganda to Serbia, Rose Bugarčić’s Incredible Journey

 

Rose BugarčićDecision on employment presented by the Minister Ivica Dacic (Photo A. Vasiljevic)

 

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Rose Bugarčić

I am happy with the title of “SwirlQueen” bequeathed to me by BB&W founder Mrs. Christelyn Karazin.  It suits me well.  However these days I feel more like a “Swirl Huntress”.  I scour the Internet and all corners of the world to find black woman interracial marriage and relationships.   Last year I found Rose Bugarčić.  In 2011 Rosa Josiah Mirembe Abbott Bugarčić or simply Rose, became the first black woman to be appointed to the Serbian government, specifically the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Originally from Uganda, is married to Serbian Zivko Bugarčić and they live with their 3 children in Belgrade. Minister Ivica Dacic officially charged Rose with the challenge to resolve issues mainly because of her expertise in European integration. She felt the need to do her part and contribute to Serbia’s application to the European Union.  I don’t know Rose, but I am awfully proud of her.   She must have overcome tremendous odds to achieve such lofty status.  Hat’s off to you Minister Bugarčić!

 

FoNet-DAÈIÆ-BUGARÈIÆ

 

 

Originally from Uganda, Rose graduated with an Agriculture degree there in 1994. She went to the Netherlands to a seminar on new technologies in potato cultivation where she met her future husband Zivko. They traveled to Uganda to meet her family, and from there they went to Guca, Serbia where Zivko was born and met his family. The couple and their children have lived in Serbia for the last 15 years.

Zivko and Rose met in the Netherlands.

 Zivko and Rose met in the Netherlands.

 

When asked what she thought about living in Serbia, Rose thinks it is very nice. But there was the issue of the weather. Rose did not leave the house during the first two Winters when they lived in Guca. She could not get used to the cold. So they just kept fires going. It was also a challenge to Rose tying to master Serbian so Zivko served as her translator. But before too long, Rose learned to speak Serbian fluently. And she even learned the Cyrillic alphabet so well that she was able to read Politika, a newspaper. The children, who are Afro-Serbian speak Serbian and English but unfortunately don’t know too much of their mother’s native tongue. Rose relinquished her Ugandan citizenship preferring to become a naturalized citizen of Serbia.

 

Zivko and Rose and children

Rose Bugarčić with children – Nicholas, Mary and Alexander

 

 

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Black Girl Travel Sponsors Georgia Teen’s First International Trip http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/black-girl-travel-sponsors-georgia-teens-first-international-trip/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/black-girl-travel-sponsors-georgia-teens-first-international-trip/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 04:33:50 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=32385 Fleace Weaver, founder of BlackGirlTravel.com, recently sponsored a 17-year-old Georgia teenager’s trip to Rome, Italy for the first “Look Back, Give Back” competition. The goal is to facilitate travel and empower young girls to become world citizens. I got an opportunity to interview Na’Isah and Fleace while on her trip via Skype. Take a look. There’s a […]

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Fleace Weaver, founder of BlackGirlTravel.com, recently sponsored a 17-year-old Georgia teenager’s trip to Rome, Italy for the first “Look Back, Give Back” competition. The goal is to facilitate travel and empower young girls to become world citizens. I got an opportunity to interview Na’Isah and Fleace while on her trip via Skype. Take a look. There’s a few giggles to be had within.

Black Girl Travel Sponsors Teen Trip to Italy from Christelyn Karazin on Vimeo.

Read Na’Isah’s daily entries of her travels here.

After the interview, Fleace gave some more thought to one of the questions I’d asked…

I would like to re-answer your interview question about my most memorable moment with her. It happen today. As mentioned in the interview, Na’Iash decided she want to travel with an airline escort. Yesterday she seem very confident about the decision but during the taxi ride to the airport, I sensed a little doubt in her as she start asking more questions about the process. I did my best to assure that she would be okay. After her check-in, I walked her to security and watch as she advanced in line. Then came her defining moment (and mine) and point of no-return as walk thought the metal detector alone, I started to cry. My heart was full of joy and pride, as she walked confidently to passport control but not before looking back for me and giving a big wave good-bye. I may not be her mother, but a that moment I felt like I was part of her rebirth from a “girl” that have never taken bus, train or even flew on an airplane before into a young women, ready to take on the world, tears started rolling down my face. While on the train riding back to the city, she called me. I could her the stress in her voice. She was at the assigned gate and no one else was there and she felt lost. I asked her to take a deep breath and walk over to an information board and look to see if there had been a gate change. Because of her lesson the day before on reading departure information boards in the train station for our trip from Rome to Florence, she was able to read the airport board and tell me her new gate number. She walked to the new Gate and looked for her flight number at the gate and said “It is my number and it says New York”. I replied “Brava” you did it. I was so proud that once again tears started rolling down my face as I started to smile. International travel is not always about the big things, sometimes the greatest joy can be in watching a child walking alone though passport control, knowing she is walking into a brighter future and you feeling blessed to have play a small part in her journey. This were my most memorable moments with her, ones that I will cherish for a lifetime.” Thank YOU Na’Isah!

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Guest Writer: A Black Girl’s Guide to Studying Abroad in Valparaiso, Chile! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/guest-writer-black-girls-guide-studying-abroad-valparaiso-chile/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/guest-writer-black-girls-guide-studying-abroad-valparaiso-chile/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 05:03:37 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=32061 Meet Tiana (left) and Angel (right)–two brown girls who met while studying abroad in Chile! ☺   Valparaíso, Chile, with its art-splashed buildings, sloped hills, and turn of the century –styled funiculars, is often called the “San Francisco of South America.” I had the pleasure of studying abroad there from February 2012 to July 2012, […]

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Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.46.32 PM Meet Tiana (left) and Angel (right)–two brown girls who met while studying abroad in Chile! ☺   Valparaíso, Chile, with its art-splashed buildings, sloped hills, and turn of the century –styled funiculars, is often called the “San Francisco of South America.”

I had the pleasure of studying abroad there from February 2012 to July 2012, during my sophomore year of college.  Before then, I never knew what it was like to live in another country. In many ways, it is to speak, eat, sleep, and interact differently. Luckily, I received a vast array of experiences that expanded my perspective as an American, as a student, and also as a young Black woman. Yup, I found out most of the world uses 24-hour time.

As I painstakingly practiced Spanish, I discovered how it feels to butcher a language and look like a fool. And yeah, after daily compliments, flirty eyes, and sometimes (annoying) cat calls from Chilean men at beaches, clubs, and the supermarket, I realized that the folks who discredit Black female beauty at home WERE LYIN’. In short, for personal growth and discovery (of self, others, and new surroundings), Black girls should study abroad. With that said, here are a few reasons to study abroad in Valparaíso, Chile! Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.46.44 PM

1. The Music and Nightlife

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.47.00 PM   Valparaíso and Viña Del Mar (the neighboring city) have a lot of great reggae, salsa, and electronic dance venues. Many of the clubs in the area, like 7-floor “El Huevo”, “Café Journal” (where all the gringos go), and Máscara, are all accessible by train and collectivo (taxi).  Wherever you go, be sure to get a “pisco sour”, which is essentially STRONG lemonade flavored with Pico lime and Pisco, Chile’s national staple of distilled wine. Also, a great music event about two hours away from Valpo and Viña is Santiago Lollapalooza, which might be better than the classic Lollapalooza in Chicago! Young folks from all over Latin America–Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, and Colombia—fly or drive down for the 3-day event. When I attended in 2012, some of my favorite artists were there like Calvin Harris, MGMT, Skrillex, Above and Beyond, and Foster the People.

2. The Student Life

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.52.12 PM Tiana noticed that “People seem to be vested in the nation’s future and how it will impact their daily lives. Citizens not only take it upon themselves to initiate legislation, but they also partake in various protests regarding civil rights, education, and general livelihood.” Especially as students continue fighting for more affordable education, Chilean university life tends to be very politically active.

3. The Natural Beauty

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.47.33 PM     The beaches at Con Con are everything–including a scenic 30 minute bus ride from Valparaíso. I must warn you, that bus ride might be jam packed and you may not get a seat until midway through the trip. But once you finally see the crystal blue water and sloping hills dotted with white beach houses on the horizon, the view will be worth seat less wait.

Likewise, there are tons of geographic destinations that are worth your time throughout the country. Tiana, who got to do a lot of traveling during her time abroad says, “The terrain is extremely diverse! One day, I could be swimming in the Pacific Ocean near the coast of Viña del Mar and the next day I could be hiking in the Atacama Desert. Of all of the locations that I visited, Patagonia was my absolute favorite place to be. There is something remarkably breathtaking about exploring that cold, southern location in the Andes Mountains.”

4. The Food

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.47.45 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.47.55 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.48.04 PM   Oddly, the best sushi I’ve ever had was at a mall restaurant called “Sushi House” in Viña. When it comes to bomb seafood, the Pacific coast has been kind to Valpo and Viña. My incredible host family, the Carramiñanas, made the best ceviche, salmon, and scallops for special dinners and celebrations.

Due to the strong Italian and Spanish populations, both cities have a host of pasta and wine joints. Wine in Chile is a bit stronger than normal, so keep that in mind, ladies! Breakfast tends to be pretty simple. In the morning, it’s common to grab fresh bread from a panadería and pair it with sliced palta (avocado). Sooooo good.

5. The Culture

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.48.18 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.48.27 PM My second mama in Chile ☺ Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.48.52 PM   When I think of culture in Valparaíso and Viña, beautiful art, bright colors, dancing, music, food, warm people, and family immediately come to mind. My host family ate dinner together almost every night, and sometimes the grandfather (whose house was connected) would join us. How many families do that in the States?! Tiana observed that, “Social life is essential to maintain.

There were very little times where I found myself rushing from one place to another. It also seems like there is a genuine concern for well-being and happiness that Chilean individuals want to uphold. People truly wanted to get to know ME!” I totally agree. Sometimes, folks would remark on my American-ness and Blackness. For a light-hearted example, I’ll never forget when my host family said they would make a peluche (stuffed animal) out of my kinky twist braids after I removed them! It was actually hilarious.

Jokes aside, I found that folks were genuine in their efforts to get to know me. To enjoy being a woman, living freely and not worrying about the assumptions of others, is one of the most important journeys I began as a 19 year old in Chile. It’s a journey I now encourage other young Black women to join.

Angel is a writer, community organizer, and traveler from Ohio who is soon moving to NYC. She loves working out, reading, and spending way too much time shopping for food. For musings about internationalism and culture, check out her blog: angelictruth.wordpress.com, and follow her on twitter and Instagram @truthtravelista. If you have any questions or ideas, just tweet her!  

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JQ Abroad Open Thread: Share Your Overseas Experiences! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/jq-abroad-open-thread-share-overseas-experiences/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/jq-abroad-open-thread-share-overseas-experiences/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:46:04 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=31933 Hi ladies, it’s been a long time since I’ve written here and it got me thinking that it’s high time that we shared our overseas experiences. This is where the article involves your participation! I love reading positive articles of black women enjoying their space and time overseas. It creates further encouragement for other black […]

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Hi ladies, it’s been a long time since I’ve written here and it got me thinking that it’s high time that we shared our overseas experiences. This is where the article involves your participation! I love reading positive articles of black women enjoying their space and time overseas. It creates further encouragement for other black women to explore the world themselves. I am just one of many out there who had the opportunity to live overseas. After my year and half stint in South Korea I moved to Italy for a month and you can pretty much imagine my time there. However, my time in South Korea taught me that my education, talents, and gifts were more valued there than here in the United States. While living in South Korea as an English Teacher. I taught for a total of 5 months. During the 5th month I was referred by a worker in the office to take the position as a Human Resource Coordinator. This would mean I would have to move from Daejeon to Seoul. Now, because I was so used to hearing I needed experience and that I didn’t fit the qualifications, I immediately thought I wasn’t worthy of the position. I believed that there were teachers there for almost 2+ years that probably deserved it more than I did.  I must have declined the offer 2 times until the coordinator who was ready to leave spoke with me on the phone of all the opportunities that came with the job. After much thought, prayer, and speaking with friends I took the job. It was the best decision that I made. Everything I did in the office I am now doing currently on my job here in the United States. If it weren’t for that opportunity I honestly don’t know where I would be working and because of that opportunity I more so, now than ever would like to go back overseas and work again. 299756_2345408869204_1265429996_n This is just one of many things that happened to me while overseas and since so many of the readers here at Beyond Black & White have travel experiences I thought it would be great to dedicate a post on just that! Your experiences! Whether it is romantic, finding work abroad, or making new friends! Do share and let’s encourage one another to travel and see more of the world! Citrina Warren You can find Citrina at jamericanqueenabroad.blogspot.com and follow here on twitter @JQAbroad.

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Interracial Friendly States, City by City, County by County! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/interracial-friendly-states-city-city-county-county/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/interracial-friendly-states-city-city-county-county/#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 06:02:49 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=31480 I’m working on a master list NEVER BEEN DONE before (not sure why, tho) on an interracial dating blog. Back when I co-work Swirling, we created a list of interracial-friendly cities and states, and some of them were not really a surprise–Los Angeles and pretty much all of California, parts of Texas, some fly over […]

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I’m working on a master list NEVER BEEN DONE before (not sure why, tho) on an interracial dating blog. Back when I co-work Swirling, we created a list of interracial-friendly cities and states, and some of them were not really a surprise–Los Angeles and pretty much all of California, parts of Texas, some fly over states, and swaths of regions on the East Coast and South. But…we went really general. So today I thought to myself, “Self, why not pool from the incredible IR community you’re connected to and get really specific?! By the way, Self, you need to really wash your hair and you smell like soup.” 

So I’m off building the MASTER IR-FRIENDLY LIST of CITIES, COUNTIES, NEIGHBORHOODS and TOWNSHIPS that you can feel free to pursue employment, real estate, and vacation spots and know for certain that no one will throw stones, harass you, or otherwise make you feel miserable. It’s also an awesome list for the single girls and gents who are contemplating relocation.

HiRes

So here’s the working list. I’m working with the folks at InterracialDating.com to create some sort of info graphic or interactive map because we both just love you guys to pieces.

So do me a favor, folks. Look at the list and feel free to confirm, deny, vehemently debate, agree, disagree, or add your city, county, state or township along with a reason or two why it’s a good place for us to plant some roots.

Swirl-Friendly Cities

Oak Park, IL
Temecula, CA
Hampton Roads, VA
Austin, TX
Fairfax County, VA
Mount Airy, PA (predominately black—might not be a fit)
Louden County, VA
Tarrant County Arlington, TX
Maple Shade, NJ
Fredericksburg, Stafford County, Virginia
Denton, TX
Long Island, NY
Manhattan, NY
New Haven, CT
 Coventry, CT
Riverside, CA
Bay City, MI
Lefferts Garden, Brooklyn
Maplewood, NJ
Arlington, TX
Las Vegas, NV
San Francisco, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Oakland, CA
Pittsburgh, PA
Irvine, CA
Santa Monica, CA
Stockton, CA
Chapel Hill, Carrboro NC
Ann Arbor, MI
Royal Oak, MI
Ferndale,MI
Phoenix, AZ
Denver, CO
Fairfield County, CT
Porter Ranch, CA
Corona, CA
Dayton, OH
Seattle, WA
Pensacola, FL
Honolulu, HI
St. Louis, MO
San Diego, CA
San Joaquin County, CA
Tulsa, OK (?)
Monclair, NJ
Newark Ohio
Aurora, CO
Colorado Springs, Greeley, Boulder, and Longmont, CO
Washington Park, Stapleton, South Denver, and Thornton, CO
Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, NC
St. Petersburg, Florida
Plantation FL
Pembroke Pines, FL
Vancouver, WA
Portland, OR
Myrtle Beach, SC
Berkley County, West Virginia
Boston, MA (really?)
Plano, TX
Sacramento, CA
Columbus, OH
Nashville, TN (ask Whitney)
Moorhead, Minnesota
Rogers, AR
Jacksonville Florida
Elkhart IN
Newark, DE
New Orleans, LA
Orlando, FL
South Haven, MI
Muskegon, MI
Charlotte, NC
Kannapolis, NC
San Antonio, TX
Raleigh, NC
Jersey City, NJ
Minneapolis, MN
Cerritos, CA
Long Beach, CA
Tampa, FL
Louisville, KY
Kalamazoo County, Michigan
Baton Rouge, LA
 Biloxi, MS
Lynchburg, VA
Virginia Beach, VA
Norwalk, CA
San Tan Valley, AZ
Decatur Illinois
White Bear Lake, MN
Cleveland, OH
Polk County, FL
Greater West Palm Beach, FL
Anaheim, CA
Reading, PA
Daytona Beach, FL
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Moline, IL
Kent,OH
Morgantown, WV
Columbus, OH
Canton, OH
Miami, FL
Hanford, CA
Placervile, CA
Newburgh, NY
Wasilla, Alaska
Waterloo, Iowa
Homerville, GA
Moorhead, MN
Rogers, AR
Elmira, NY (called Zebratown)
Newington, CT
Decatur, AL
Miami Dade, FL
Spring Hill, FL
Baytown, TX
Lexington, KY
Houston, TX (I’m skeptical)
Antioch, CA
Sandusky, OH
Woodstock, GA
Savannah, GA
St. Louis, MO
Muskegon, MI
Lancaster, PA
Birmingham, AL (really?!)
Columbia, MO
South Haven, Michigan
Smithfield, VA
Tacoma, WA
Atlanta, GA
Racine, WI
Rochester, NY

 

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Why I Said “Goodbye” to Disneyland, Forever. They’ve Raised Their Prices Too High to Justify. http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/said-goodbye-disneyland-forever-theyve-raised-prices-high-justify/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/said-goodbye-disneyland-forever-theyve-raised-prices-high-justify/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 05:47:30 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=31080 Disneyland used to be the happiest place on earth for me. I have memories as early as 1979 when I was just five years old, my mom and dad packing me and my brother up in the big yellow banana of a car we had and driving us to Disneyland for every birthday. Back in […]

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Disneyland used to be the happiest place on earth for me. I have memories as early as 1979 when I was just five years old, my mom and dad packing me and my brother up in the big yellow banana of a car we had and driving us to Disneyland for every birthday. Back in those days, my family could enter the park for under $35. I remember my father always complaining that the food was expensive and didn’t taste that good, so we’d often leave the place for a late dinner or go and come back in time to see the Main Street Electric Parade, which I still to this day sometimes dream about, and hum the theme from Dumbo.

How can you listen to this music and see all those lights and not want to get up and dance? I still remember my dearly departed dad raising me up on his shoulders so that I could get a good view.

While looking for the Dumbo footage, I found this vintage Disney propaganda video that literally brought me to tears. This may seem so cheesy, but this was the Disneyland I loved as a child.

I show you all that to prove to you how much I truly love Disneyland, and wanted to so much to pass along that magic to my kids year after year like my parents did for us.

But our latest trip to the “Happiest Place on Earth” earlier this month will be our last, and here is why.

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A May 2014 story reports that Disneyland has decided to gouge it’s more loyal fans by hiking up ticket prices by 10%. My family of six would rake up a bill of nearly $600 before we even walked through the door. Not to mention the cost of food and souvenirs. So this last June, I took advantage of the niggardly discounts Disney offers about once a year and went all out by purchasing tickets for both Disneyland and California Adventure ($129 each), and booking a room at the Disneyland hotel as a discounted (!!) $378 per night. I told the kids to go on every ride, see every show, and get EXACTLY what they wanted from the shops, because I wanted them to remember the memory. I will never plan another Disney vacation for my family. No parks, neither California, Florida or Europe, no resorts, no cruises.

Oh, did I mention that they are doing away with season passes for Southern California residents because they had the nerve to take advantage of all the perks?! It looks like Disney Co. only cares about pleasing their stock holders.

And Disney’s stock has been magical for investors, too. Shares of Disney are up 94% over the past three years, blowing away the 40% gain by the Standard & Poor’s 500. Over the past three years, Disney has boosted its net income by an average annual rate of 16.6%, says S&P Capital IQ.

The big investments made in Disney’s parks are turning this namesake business into a bigger driver of the company’s profit. Currently, the Parks & Resorts unit accounts for 20% of the value of Disney’s stock, says stock research site Trefis.com. That’s narrowing the gap with ESPN Channels, which accounts for 35% of the Disney’s stock price. In 2010, Parks & Resorts accounted for 28.1% of Disney’s revenue and ESPN was 25%, Trefis says. This year, Parks & Resorts are estimated to bring in 31.4% of the revenue vs. ESPN Channels’ 25%.

 

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 Maxi Me and her bestie, who came along for the Farewell Disney escapade.

I truly believe that the company has veered so far from what the imaginative genius of Walt Disney wanted for his enterprise. He envisioned a place that working people could afford without going into debt. Disneyland was supposed to be for a bastion for the middle class, not the upper class. It should not cost the average family nearly $1,000 and more for a weekend, especially if that steep price won’t get you food, or save you from spending upwards of two hours waiting for a three-minute ride, or allow for you to walk freely without walking alongside huge throngs of people more populace than a New York City subway station at rush hour. Simply put, the high price of admission gets you little, and more than likely, you won’t be able to enjoy all the rides, shows and parades because there’s just too many damned people.

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Yes; that’s an autographed photo of Cinderella, and yes; I paid $65 for that dress.

And therein lies the irony. While it costs nearly $100 per person, people continue to pay that astronomical price. It seems we Disney fans will bend over far to get greased in the hindquarters by a smiling, giant, white-gloved mouse.

And for all the money you pay, the food still pretty much sucks.

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The Boy is all about the big guns.

God, I can’t believe people are actually purchasing regular access on a monthly payment. That has got to be about the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard–going into debt to go to a THEME park?! The sad thing is, I doubt Disney gives not one shit about my decision, because there’s just too many other people willing to stand in an excruciatingly long line to be fleeced like the sheep they are.

You know what? I’m going to skip Disneyland and splurge on taking the family to Cabo San Lucas next year. For the same amount, we get to spend an extended weekend at a luxury resort, delicious food and drinks included.

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Chloe blames Obama.

 

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