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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Friends (2)


The Perfect Storm

Sometimes a perfect storm of friends happens. Lots of times it happens at weddings, whether it’s your own wedding or someone else’s.

This past weekend, I had the perfect storm of friends. A friend from college and a friend from my late twenties/early thirties – and all of us friends in Chicago. There was a time when we were thick as thieves; every weekend spent going to parties, throwing parties, making a party just about everywhere we went.


Jamie got married first. I remember when Dave moved in with her, I thought she was stupid. At the time, I thought living with someone before you got married was a mistake.

I was wrong.

Next was Scott. For the nine years I’d known him prior to him meeting his wife, I’d only met ONE girl he dated. And I knew she wouldn’t last. She didn’t.

When he introduced me to his now-wife Val and they kissed in front of me, I realized I’d NEVER seen Scott affectionate with anyone before. It was so was cute. I also knew that his girl was a keeper. Their wedding? I brought The Candyman along after only three months of dating. How could  I not? The wedding was held in Wilmington, the hometown of the bride as well as The Candyman. Those two are like peas and carrots when they get together.


And they all came to our wedding. Well, Val missed it, but she was 800 months pregnant.

They all have the kiddies now. And they are growing up so fast. Up until this past weekend, they’d never met – all the kids. As soon as they they converged in one spot, it was instant playtime.

Insta-pals. Kinda like their parents.


We stayed with Scott and Val that night and were woken up by their kids, screaming into the guest room, asking for playtime. They loved The Candyman something awful.

After our good-byes, The Candyman and I met up with my old boss,  his daughter and her boyfriend for brunch in downtown Raleigh. More old friends, new friends and time together.

The time. It’s important. So very important. Though short, I was so happy to have spent the happy hours with my people; the people who knew me at my worst, my best and all the me’s in-between.

The night we spent in Raleigh there was a horrible storm in Charlotte. Storms of the tornado variety. 

For me? The storm was in Raleigh – a perfect storm of old friends, good food, drinks and long talks that went well past bedtimes and hours we meant to be “on the road.”  Because when a perfect storm happens, you take cover with provisions. You gather your loved ones near. 


Club 33


Ever heard of it? Me either.

That is, until I was invited to be a part of The Really Cool Thing.

If you Google "Club 33" you'll get a lot of information as to what it is, where it is and how it got the name Club 33.

Located within Disneyland, discreetly above the Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square is perhaps one of Orange County's finest five star restaurants. With a limited membership of only 487, Club 33 is not open to the public. Members may however arrange for their friends and associates to experience the club.Source


Officially maintained as a secret feature of the theme park, the entrance of the club is located next to the Blue Bayou Restaurant at "33 Royal Street" with the entrance recognizable by an ornate address plate with the number 33 engraved on it. When riding Pirates of the Caribbean, just as the ride departs, the Blue Bayou restaurant is visible, but the balconies above it are actually a part of Club 33.

Club 33 members and their guests have exclusive access to the club's restaurant, and the premises are not open to the public at large. It is the only location within Disneyland to offer alcoholic beverages, though Disneyland has a park-wide liquor license and has set up bars throughout the park for private events. Club 33's wine list includes vintages priced at $1000. In addition to beer and wine, Club 33 has a full bar, though patrons may not order directly from the bar and must place orders through their server.

Members get free access to both Disney parks whenever they are open, plus early park admission several days each week. In addition, members are provided with valet parking to the overall Disney resort and access to Lilly Belle, the presidential caboose car on the Disneyland Railroad. Recently, Club 33 members were also provided the new benefit of getting up to 6 immediate Fastpasses per day, bypassing the stand-by queue for any Fastpass attraction in the parks. Source


That's right, bitches (Sorry, honey. The Candyman hates when I say "bitches."), I got to go to the super-secret Disneyland club! And play in Disneyland. And California Adventure. Booya. Top that.

And it was so incredibly cool and fun.... and the food? Holy crap. It was a bit surreal though. You're all in your semi-comfy Disneyland outfit, yet you're sitting in a 5-star restaurant getting served as if you were in a gown or tuxedo. Our menu choices were so incredible, it was difficult to choose! I went with the Organic Free Range Chicken Breast, Truffled Macaroni & Cheese, Grilled Asparagus with Cipollini Jus. Others in my party had the same, or the Chateaubriand or the Colorado Lamp Chops, Creamy Corn Polenta with Gorgonzola Reduction. I personally started (and finished) with several Kir Royales. One of the amazing things about the club is the "salad bar" that everyone gets to enjoy before their meal. Yeah, I used the quotes because I've never experienced a salad bar that had chilled lobster tails, amazingly beautiful pre-shelled crab claws, shrimp and smoked salmon with capers, dill and cream cheese. Yes, there was salad, but why bother when you've got a big pile of incredibly fresh seafood staring you in the face? I think everyone in our party topped out at 3 visits back and forth to the "salad bar." Not that I was counting. Or cared. I was planted face-first into my plate scarffing up crab claws like it was my job.

After we enjoyed our meals (which were just perfectly cooked), we headed back to the "dessert bar" that was packed with coconut macaroons, mini tiramisus, cakes, mousses...things I'd never even heard of. I ate so much it hurt. And it was totally worth every ache and pain.

Afterwards, we hit up The Haunted Mansion, Thunder Mountain, The Matterhorn (natch) and a few other Disneyland hot spots. By the time we crossed over to California Adventure, we were losing serious steam. We managed a few more rides, a healthy serving of cotton candy, churros and pretzels, some one-on-one time with the Mice and of course, a little souvenir shopping.

Here's a little photographic retrospective of the day.

The non-descript, super-secret entrance to Club 33.



Chocolate and a little writing pad. You know, just in case you need to take notes during dinner.

The balcony at Club 33.

Always the lady.

It was SO HARD not to jump up and down and shout "I LOVE YOU, MICKEY!" So. Hard.

Walt got it so right.

So there you have it. Part one of The Really Cool Thing adventure.

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