Archive for March, 2007

Hidden Treasure in Plain Site: Haunted Mansion

When was the last time you visited the Haunted Mansion? If your answer was “last Tuesday”, then this post is not geared towards you. However if you answered “Oh I dunno, 1987?” then I would recommend you swing by the Happiest Place on Earth and check it out once again.

Recently the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction has undergone a high profile (and much needed) enhancement and Tom Sawyer’s Island is in the midst of it’s own (in)famous pirate overlay. Of course the reopening of the Submarine Voyage is really going to be getting all the press this summer. All the while, the Haunted Mansion has quietly seen significant upgrading, enhancements and a liberal application of twenty-first century pixie dust.

Unlike the Pirates and the subs, this makeover has been happening gradually over the period of a couple years. There has been no press release, no publicity stunt and no campaign to make potential Park-guests aware of the new spooks, scares and special effects that are now on display within the classic attraction’s walls.

New story elements have been introduced throughout the ride and you can see improvements from beginning to the end. Nothing says family fun like an angry bride with an ax and countless headless husbands. New high-tech dazzling effects in the seance room and the attic nicely compliment the classic low-tech effects of ballroom and graveyard sequences. There are a lot of novel things to look at these days, from the ceiling right down to the floorboards — look for the wood inlaid spider web that graces the entrance flooring.

Again, this is not news to all you APs, but there are quite a few folks who don’t stop in because they don’t realize anything has changed. So, if you have the means, by all means, you should check it out! There are nine hundred and ninety nine happy haunts in the Haunted Mansion, but of course, as the Ghost Host says, “there is always room for one more”.

CityFacts: Anaheim

Anaheim was Orange County’s first city, incorporated back in 1857.

At one point, Anaheim abuts Los Alamitos, then stretches all the way to Riverside County.

Wikipedia reports that the in the 1920’s, the Klu Klux Klan attempted to “take over” Anaheim and got four of its members voted onto a five-member Board of Trustees. When their affiliation was discovered, they were recalled out of office.

Gwen Stefani (duh!) and Karl Karcher are probably the best known natives.

It is Orange County’s wealthiest city, with over 1 billion in city assets.

Anaheim is one of the leading manufacturing cities in Orange County.

Founded by German settlers, who coined the name by combining “anna” for the Santa Ana river, and “heim” which is German for home.

The White Camelia is the City Flower.

And finally, the motto of Anaheim is “America’s Hub of Happiness.”

Hmmm, it’s bad, but Aliso Viejo is still winning.

Cheap Eats: Waterfront Cafe

The waterfront Cafe in Garden Grove is not going to win any awards. It’s not hip, it’s not trendy and it’s not on the cutting edge. Being sandwiched between a hearing aid company and the social security office guarantees this will never be a hot spot. Their food is served on melamine, so you know; it’s retro in a totally uncool sort of way.

The mauve and teal interiors (by way of the Golden Girls) may lack in style but the place is clean and optimistic. The restaurant’s namesake is no joke either. It features an illustrious view of it’s very own “waterfront”: a reflecting pool with large splashy modernist fountains.

The cafe is not without it’s charms. A look at the clientele, comprised almost entirely of seniors, says a lot. It’s affordable, appetizing and comfortable. Without question, we were the youngest customers in the joint. I’m telling you, follow those AARP members; they know where to get the good deals!

The menu is standard coffee shop fair: pasta, sandwiches and burgers. The house “specialty” is roasted turkey with real mashed potatoes and green beans. According to my wife they’re telling the truth, as she found the dish to be exceptional in taste and quality.

I had a club sandwich and it was exactly what I wanted a club sandwich to be: lightly toasted, crisp and tasty. Just like the turkey dinner, the portions were rather immense. Both my wife and I took home half our dinners and they reheated quite nicely the next day. Vegans and vegetarians be aware, the pickings are somewhat slim.

Would I go back? You bet I would. In fact, I think I’ll bring my Mother; she’d fit right in. Dinner for two, with beverages, will cost you just under twenty dollars. The Waterfront Cafe is open seven days a week and is located at 12902 Brookhurst St., Garden Grove, CA 92840.

Do you know some yummy, cheap places to eat in Orange County? Tell me and I’ll check it out. Don’t be shy. Let’s spread the savings around a bit!

Water, Water Everywhere, but not a Drop to Drink

If you have been driving on the 57, the 55, and other Orange County Freeways you may have seen the message “Water Emergency, Conserve Water.” People driving on the freeways have been dumbfounded and slowing down to read the warnings, leading to some fun defensive driving on the 55.

Yup, due to a construction project and a shutdown of a treatment plant for maintenance, the County is dangerously low on water supply leading into this weekend. The OC finally gets to tell people we don’t serve water, we serve beer (a bit of a Drinking Liberally joke).

The plant undergoing routine maintenance is in Yorba Linda and provides 50% of the water supply to Orange County, but supplies 95% of South Orange County’s water. With the way the reserves are holding up, South OC maybe out of water by the end of the weekend. Yorba Linda has already used up most of it’s supplies with Brea and San Clemente running dangerously low.

CityFacts: Aliso Viejo

If you had asked me before I began looking up information on Orange County, I would have told you that the most recent city to be incorporated was Laguna Woods.


Aliso Viejo holds that distinction, and was incorporated in 2001, two years later than Laguna Woods.

Some other things you may or may not have known:

It is where the makers of Ketel One Vodka and Marie Callendar’s call home.

The criteria to be on the City’s Walk of Fame seem fairly loose. I’m pretty sure I could help an eldery woman across the street and qualify.

Wikipedia says that “Aliso Viejo city officials famously came close to banning styrofoam cups in 2004 after hearing that “dihydrogen monoxide” was used in their production, neglecting the fact that this substance is actually plain water. A paralegal working for the city found the website and subsequently proceeded to propose the ban.”

It seems that a large portion, if not all, of the population lives in an HOA community.

And, they may have one of the lamest City Mottos I’ve ever read.

“A solid history, a strong economy,
a satisfying way of life.
You are most welcome. ”

Tell me that last line can’t be read more than one way.

However, we are still in the early stages of CityFacts and who knows if they will retain their lead by the time I get around to Stanton?


I was wondering the other day, what makes the OC Metblog different than any other Metblog currently listed on Metroblogging?

The fact that most of the Metblogs are about only one particular city struck me as the most obvious. Orange County is comprised of 34 quite distinct incorporated cities.

So, I decided to spend my copious amounts of free time (read: heavy sarcasm) to researching fun/little known/interesting facts about each of the cities, in alphabetical order.

My research is not necessarily going to be devoted to fact-checking, so if I find a couple of sources that say the same thing, I’m going for it.

Feel free to email me a fact about your city (or one you know about), or drop a line through the “Story Suggestion” link to your right.

Monday begins with Aliso Viejo.

And, don’t get mad at me if your city sucks and there isn’t anything particularly interesting about it. But, I promise I’ll try my hardest.

It’s Freeeeeeee! Part IV

For all you south county residents, on Sunday the 25th, Metrolink is offering free rides on the Orange County and Inland-Empire/Orange County lines. The hitch is that you must leave from the San Clemente station, which is right smack in front of the pier.

Go here to get the exact details.

Not the Buffet I had in mind

A photographer on a recent photo shoot made a smelly discovery in the Southern California desert: Rotting Food.


The food was apparently dumped by the Second Harvest Food Bank as it was expired and/or past it’s used by date.

MSNBC and BoingBoing have are both covering this story. The source for these pictures can be found here.

Disney’s New Ride: “Great Moments with Tony Soprano”

It wasn’t long before the “Mouse House” started to flex its political muscle and the smoke coming out of City Hall wasn’t the smoke from Fantasmic!

Disney and the City of Anaheim have a long political relationship, that sometimes ends well and sometimes ends in disaster. When Disney owned the Anaheim Angels, the City bent over backwards to approve renovations to aging Anaheim Stadium. Disney responded by renaming the California Angels to the Anaheim Angels (and then it all went down hill later due to Arte Moreno’s geographically challenged naming scheme). When Michael Eisner had an idea to continue to profit off of Disney’s Mighty Ducks Movies, the Walt Disney Corporation was granted an expansion team by the NHL and Anaheim moved to annex additional land bordering the City of Orange to build the Anaheim Arena (later renamed to the Arrowhead Pond, and now the Honda Center under the Samueli’s). At one time three professional sports teams played within the city limits of Anaheim, but the Rams left for St. Louis and for the Rams the rest was history.

What are the haps, Orange County?

I hadn’t noticed how cloudy and drab it’d been out the last few days until I remarked at how bright and sunny everything was this morning. Hello Springtime!

We’re in the long stretch between the Winter and Summer holidays, and there doesn’t seem to be much going on in OC. Of course, I have a 9 month old and I don’t get out much. What’s going on? Any events? Any news? Festivals, gatherings, concerts? Your fellow readers are dying to know!

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.