Saturday, August 12, 2017

Chavonne's Trip to Yellowstone

Chavonne Goes to Old Faithful



Yellowstone is one of the largest National Parks in the US.  At 3,472 square miles, it spreads into 3 states.  It has over 290 waterfalls, 10,000 hydrothermal features, 500 geysers, and over 67 species of mammals.  It is the 5th most visited park in the nation, getting about 4.2 million visitors a year.


Chavonne was so excited to visit Yellowstone.  There was so much to see, she wasn't sure where to start.  Early on the first day she was there, she woke up, put on some layers of clothes (in the morning it was in the 40's, but by noon it was in the upper 80's) and got ready for a day of exploring.  She decided that she would go to see Old Faithful and the basin that Old Faithful is in.


As we drive to Old Faithful, we spot an amazing little road that takes across a sandbar on Yellowstone Lake.  Yellowstone Lake is huge!!!  Covering 131 square miles, it has over 141 miles of shoreline.  And it is beautifully calm in the morning.


There are very small waves that lap the shore as Chavonne sits to take a photo.  The water is clear and cool, but not cold.  Such a pretty way to start the morning.

There are so many things to stop and see as we go to Old Faithful that we have to pick and choose.  We decide to stop at West Thumb Geyser Basin, since we see a huge thermal off to our right.  The trail allows us to walk past some small springs and geysers.  The steam coming off the springs is intense and has a not so pleasant smell.


As Chavonne is about to leave elk appear through the fog and steam.  A mother and her baby and a stag.  What a beautiful sight!

Finally after a long drive Old Faithful is in sight.  Old Faithful is part of the Upper Geyser Basin which has 150 geysers in it.


Old Faithful is the most famous, partly because it is pretty predicatable as far as it's eruptions.


It erupts every 90 minutes or so.  Water shoots up over 100 feet in the air for 1 to 5 minutes.  Chavonne arrived just after Old Faithful erupted, so she took photos without the geyser going off.


It is still amazing to see, and later, as she waited to see another geyser go off, she did get to see Old Faithful expell some 4,000 gallons of water!


Wondering around the basin is awesome.  There are so many neat little termal features.  Some of the springs bubble as the super heated water comes up from within the earth.


Some of them just seap water out over their edges.  And others continously steam.


Chavonne sits on the ledge near Blue Star Spring.  Although it is only 6 feet deep, the cool blue color in this spring is amazing.


But don't be fooled, this spring is hot!  At 192 degrees it is very dangerous.

Another feauture that Chavonne got to see was Beehive Geyser.  Behive is not as predictable as Old Faithful, but it is spectacular.  Chavonne had to wait almost an hour to see it erupt, which isn't bad considering the interval time between eruptions is 7 hours to a few days.


The cone of behive is four feet wide which forces the water out in a concentrated spray, kind of like a spary nozzel on a hose.


The water shoots up almost 200 feet and makes a roraing sound as it comes out.  The show lasts 4 minute or so and is then done.  Chavonne was so excited that she was able to see such a neat eruption on a fairly unpredictable geyser.


The rest of the day Chavonne drove through the park, stopping at random spots to take a look at things quickly.  Tomorrow she is going to go to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Dana Wearing Our Generations "The Reel Deal"

Is The Reel Deal a Catch or a Flop?


Yet another swimsuit?  Jeez OG, do we really need all of these swimsuits?  Well, this outfit was actually released over a year ago, but it finally hit store shelves in my area this past month.  So, it is another swimsuit, but it's not really from this year's release line.  Now that's out of the way.  "The Reel Deal" (clever title right) is a deluxe outfit, costing around $17.99, that comes with a two piece short sleeved swimsuit, a white fishing hat, sunglasses, clear jelly slippers, a bucket, and a fishing pole.


The swimsuit top has horizontal orange and white line across the body of it, with orange short sleeves, colored with white polka dots.


A white collar and cuffs complete the top.  Velcro up the entire back makes an easy on off, but not a usual closing mechanism for a swimsuit.


Made out of swimsuit material, the top stretches, but really doesn't need to since it is big on Dana.  The strange thing is that in the armpit area the armhole seems tight.  Even though the top is big, it does not look saggy.


The bottom compliments the top.  The underpants part is orange with white polka dots, like the sleeves of the suit.


A tiny skirt made of the striped material flairs out at the top of the swim bottoms.  The outfit is extremely cute with its little skirt!  The bottoms fit well, with just a little extra fabric in the back.

You don't want to get sunburned when you're fishing, so a hat is essential.  A seersucker bucket hat, this hat is made more special by the lace fabric sewn over the plain white cotton fabric that makes up the hat.


An orange ribbon of fabric runs around the band of the hat, matching the swimsuit.  The hat fits great on Dana but needed some time to get rid of the crease caused by the packaging.

As always, Our Generation puts a few neat accessories in the deluxe pack.  For this one, you get a gray plastic bucket, with a metal handle, plastic handhold, and blue and white ribbons adorning the handle.


Unlike the recent swimsuit that was reviewed, this bucket is empty.  It is nothing new or special, just a plain gray bucket.  It will hold some fish if you catch any!

The neat accessory and the reason I coveted this set is the fishing pole.  Made out of a magenta purple, the entire rod is one color, even the reel handle is the same color.  There are two pieces that are a different color; the reel cover (white) and the thumb button (blue).


The great thing about this fishing pole is that it is functional.  Although the thumb button pushes in, it does not release the line.  However, if you turn the reel handle away from you the fishing line will come out of the reel.  Conversely, turn the reel handle towards you and the line is reeled back in.  At the end of the line is a pink, silver and orange fishing lure.  Shaped like a fish it has green diamond cut eyes, an orange belly, but no tail or dorsal fins.


Apparently, you are fishing for muskies or northerns, because the lure is a bit too large to catch sunfish or smaller fish with.  Or maybe it is supposed to be a fish that you caught...but then where is its tail.  Either way, it's cute and fun.  The handle fits really well in Dana's hand.  The little fish weighs a good amount and can pull your doll on her face, so balance her well.

Sunglasses can be a great accessory or just an add on to make you feel like you are getting a good deal.  In this case I was excited to see a cute design for the sunglasses.  That excitement changed to frustration as I tried to get the sunglasses to stay on Dana's face.  Glasses can be hard to position correctly on doll's face since their ears really don't stick out the way that they need to for glasses to sit correctly.


Usually you can tuck them in their hair and they stay.  Not the case with these glasses!  They slid off of Dana's face all the time.  The only way to get them to stay on was to tilt her head so that she was looking at the sky.  It's hard to see fish, staring at the sky.  The reason these glasses don't stay on is because of their cute design.  The flower rims don't sit on Dan's nose well enough to make them stay.  I eventually just left the glasses off because they were so infuriating.

Although not new, or even fancy, I love the OG jelly sandals!  These ones are a simple clear plastic with sparkles throughout.


There is a little heel at the back, but not much.  I plastic bow adorns the toe strap of each sandal.  Although there is a buckle on the ankle strap, it is non-functioning, but the strap stretches easily to get around Dana's ankle.  As Dana walks through the sand she leaves little heart prints because the bottom of these sandals are open and have a heart design printed on it.



Rating
All ratings are out of 10

Value 8 – Priced at $17.99 this set is a good deal, but not a great deal.  Similar to the "Day at the Beach" outfit this set really compromises of a swimsuit and a few accessories.  I seems like it would be a $12.99 set, but I think swimsuit material is more expensive.  No mater they "why" for it's cost, the set is still wonderful.  The swimsuit is cute, the hat is adorable, the fishing pole is really neat.  The only downside to this set are the silly glasses that won't stay on.

Fitment 7 – The top of this suit is both loose and tight at the same time.  It is loose around the belly and tight around the arms.  The bottoms are just a little bit big, not really noticeable.  The hat fits perfectly as do the shoes...well the shoes are wide, but that is to be expected for OG shoes.

Versatility 5 – Shoes, hat, and fishing equipment can be used with other outfits (technically so can the sunglasses, but I wouldn't suggest it.)  The suit itself can maybe be mixed and matched with another two piece, but other than that...it's a swimsuit.

Cuteness 9 – The little skirt on this suit is adorable.  And it's enhanced by the fun color and patterns of the suit.  I love the hat!  Such a cute fabric.  I am sure it will be used for other outfits.  I'm fond of the jelly sandals too, even if they are really simple.  Your doll is going to be the cutest fisher woman around!

Overall 8 – I feel like this is a squeaky 8, just barely making it there.  Although it is the same rating as the other two swimsuits that have been reviewed lately, the only one that truly hits the 8 square is the boogie board set.  Why?  Because the accessory is so neat.  That being said, the fishing pole is an amazing accessory (especially compared to the re-purposed butterfly net in "Day at the Beach"), but I'm not sure that it makes the set worth $17.99.  The price combined with the super cute sunglasses that were super useless makes this set a low eight.  I still love it though.  It is super cute and I love that the fishing pole works!  My advice...wait for it to go on sale, then pick it up...it's a great catch!



AG Note

Usually Our Generation outfits fit better on American Girls than they do on Journey Girls.  For the most part that is true here.  The top of the swimsuit fits snugly on Annie, like a real swimsuit would fit.


Because her torso is different than the Journey Girls, she does show off some tummy.  The swim bottoms fit well, but show off the leg joint more on Annie than with Dana.   Although the sandals fit, they are difficult to get the back strap over Annie's heal.


You will have to work at it to get them on.  The hat fits great, the sunglasses do not.  Annie can hold the bucket the same way that Dana does, buy putting the wire handle trough her fingers.


However the fishing pole does not want to stay in her hand without some help from a binder or tape.


It kind of balances at times, but not for long.  This outfit is a middle of the road for the American Girls.  It's still super cute, but since the main accessory doesn't really stay in her hand, it isn't quite as nice as it is for the Journey Girls.  If you have both dolls it's worth it, but if you are buying the outfit just for your AG doll...I might skip it.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Ella and Veronika's Trucks

Everyone Needs a Treat

Ella pushes open the awning on her truck.  It is a beautiful, sunny day.


She has to be ready for all the people that are going to visit her food truck today.  Inside the truck, she readies some of the hot food, cooking hot dogs, kabobs, and pretzels.


Across the street, Veronika readies her ice cream truck.  She arranges all the toppings so people can easily get to them, sets out samples of the frozen treats, puts out the tubs of ice cream, and when she is all ready...she turns on the music.


With the sun high in the sky and the temperature getting higher, people start to wander towards the two trucks, the music guiding them to the treats being served.  Both Ella and Veronika are excited to see the people start to line up, but secretly hope that the other truck won't do as well as their own.  There is a little bit of competitiveness in both of them, as they both dream of being the most well-known food truck in the town.


People start to gather at each food truck, deciding which truck has the better menu for them.


Kelsey gets a double scoop of cotton candy ice cream in a sugar cone from Veronika's truck, while Samantha decides on a single scoop of chocolate ice cream from Ella's truck.


Megan rides her bike down the street, trying to decide between the two food trucks, finally picking Ella's but not sure of what she will buy.


Saraphina knows exactly what she wants from Veronika. "Can I get a large scoop of strawberry ice cream with strawberry syrup on top?"


"Of course!" Veronika happily replies, "Would you like it in a cone or a dish?"

"Hmm...I think I'll take it in a dish.  Thanks!"


Veronika scoops up Saraphina's ice cream and hands it to her.  Saraphina grabs a spoon and joins Kelsey for her treat.


Megan is still trying to decide what she is going to get at Ella's truck.


Chavonne has been roller skating.  She decides on a little healthier snack.  She orders a pretzel, and within a minute she has her soft, warm pretzel and is skating on her way again.


Jasmine was out walking her dogs when she heard the music from Veronika's truck and decided a cold treat sounded delicious.


As she puts her order in, the dogs look around for scraps of food.  When Veronika gives Jasmine her chocolate ice cream, the dogs look up at her with those big sad eyes.  "No chocolate ice cream for you two...it'll make you sick!" Jasmine says as the dogs resume their exploration for food.


Jasmine tops off her chocolate ice cream with some sprinkles, then continues on her walk.

Veronika makes some pretzels and donuts, while also getting her ice cream treats arranged again as the crowd dies down a little.


Megan finally decides on a hotdog and a drink from Ella.  The day continues with many people coming to both trucks.  In the end, both trucks sell plenty of food.  Maybe this town is able to have two great food trucks in it!