Brisbane, QLD

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Besides meeting Bill's cousin, we also made arrangements to meet some of my cousins. It so happens that I have many relatives in USA but I only know a few of them. Three of my mother's brothers migrated from England to the States around 1930's. I believe there were uncles who migrated before that. They have all had big families so therefore I must have lots of American relations. My parents migrated to Australia in 1949 with my brother and me. My brother and family returned to England and our daughter Sonya and family have moved to USA so I have no relatives here other than our daughter Carol-Ann and SIL David. So I was looking forward to meeting some of my cousins. I had met some of them 41 years ago when we last visited USA.

 My cousin Chuck, arranged with his son, Jim, for us to make a tour of the Disney Archives and the studio lot. Jim does work for Disney Studios as a animatronic designer and operator. He makes the animals come alive. Sonya and Bernie came too and so too lots of other family members and their children. It seemed unreal to think that I am related to all these people.

We all got a turn at holding a real Oscar award. It looked really good in Bernie's hand.
After checking out the interesting archives and listening to a talk by a staff member we went outside to walk around the studio lot.

 One of the studios with the seven dwarf sculptures. On all the posts in the quadrangle there........

 handprints of famous Disney stars.

 Then we went into the animation building. This was nostalgic for Lois, my cousin's wife because she was an artist here many years ago.

 Lois explains to us how animation used to be done before the advent of computer technology. We said goodbye to Sonya and Bernie (he was off to an audition). Then we had lunch with the big family in the studio cafeteria before driving to Paula and Jim's home in Simi Valley. Jim's mum and dad, Chuck and Lois had driven from San Louis Obispo to take us for a tour of Yosemite National Park for the next 3 days. Paula was amazing as she whipped up a dinner for all of her guests. Jim's brother David and wife Parien were there with their children as well. We stayed overnight there before...........

 heading off towards Yosemite. We said goodbye to Jim and Paula and thanked them for the tour of Disney studios and for the overnight stay. They were so friendly and kind.


  1. Fun day. I have never been there but I now want to go over and visit it. BTW- how's Bernie coming along with his work there? I keep looking for his name. :)

  2. it seems such a fascinating place to visit. it looks like an absolute must-see.

    thanks so much for sharing your beautiful photos.

    betty xx

  3. It looks as if you had a great day at the Disney Studios, meeting family members and getting a tour. You definitely met a lot of nice people.

  4. I have just realised that I don't know anything about whether I have an extended family.

  5. You clearly had a wonderful day with Jim, Paula and the rest of the extended family. How interesting to have Lois there to explain the way animation used to be done. Maybe Bernie will get to hold his very own Oscar one day! How did his audition go? Sonya has changed her hair colour since the wedding. It looks very nice and both she and Bernie are looking well. LA must be good for them.

  6. I can only imagine that your memories from this latest trip are 'whirling' in your brain. Ours are too--and our trip wasn't nearly as long as yours.

    It's neat to meet up with long lost cousins... Glad you had a great time at the Disney Studios... That is awesome.

  7. What a lovely day you had at the studio and to spend it with "long-lost" family must have been very special. I would have loved to hear Lois' explanation of how animation was done before the computer age. I look forward to "sharing" more of your wonderful trip. Jo

  8. Hi Dianne! It’s not what it seems: I’ve just been too busy... No holidays... ;)

    Lucky you to have cousins all around... We've some in Switzerland... ;)

    Blogtrotter Two is posting on Corsica this summer... Enjoy and have a wonderful week!!

  9. Yes, that Oscar does look good in Bernie's hands! Perhaps one day he will have one of his own.

    Your American cousins made sure you received a good welcome to the States. The Disney tour sounds very interesting.

    I'm looking forward to your Yosemite photos!

  10. How nice to "dig out" relatives. I must still have some there too, but they date from 1830 when my mother's great great grandfather's brother immigrated to America, lol

  11. Diane, the Disney Studios looks like a great place to visit. Lucky you. It is wonderful you were able to meet up with your relatives. Wonderful photos. Can't wait for Yosemite it is a great park.

  12. This looks like a very fun time!

    Thanks for visiting my blog! Homemade muesli sounds wonderful!

  13. Your cousins sound like really nice people and it was wonderful that you had a private tour of the Disney studio.

    I hope that Oscar brings Bernie luck!

  14. Love the photos and it looks like you really had a great time

  15. Just wandering... Yosemite is a natural dream. Hope you enjoy it without tire chains. Such an area of contrasts. Hope you get to see the remarkable wildlife. Wish you more glorious travels... before dementia... hmmm... don't see any yet.

    Best on your travels.

  16. I just had the best fun reading all your posts about your trip to the States. I must admit my favorite, though, was on Bill's blog....Foxy walking! That was wonderful to hear.

    Welcome home. Sorry our paths didn't cross...maybe another year?