Thursday, July 30, 2015

Longing for Disneyland

It's a slow day at work.  I'm sitting at my desk, and Lotso is staring at me.  My Toy Story collection is close at hand, as our my Disney villains.  I took my car for a wash today, and had to remove the Mickey antenna ears so I didn't lose them.  My Mickey sticker in the back window is nice and clean now.  Our trip to Disneyland for December is booked, and I have a countdown up and running on my phone.

I'm trying to decide what some of my favorite moments are at the park.  I get a bit cranky, edgy and excited finding my way to the parking lot.  I willingly hand over a king's ransom for parking, then want to sprint to the shuttle line.  Upon exit from the tram or bus, it's another full on sprint.  I am not patient if you lag behind, so if you are with me, let's do this thing!

I endure the baggage screening, making sure the entire party has made it through.  Now it's off to get into the park!

I love handing over my ticket, having it scanned through and getting in.  Don't forget to grab a map and a show schedule!  I'm in the park now!  Characters are generally roaming around, and families are trying to get that perfect photo op.  If I'm lucky, the Santa Fe will pass as I'm standing there!

What to do first?  You pass under the railroad, and there you are!  I always enter to the right, by the way.  Are there characters waiting here?  I love the looks on my kids faces when they get their photo ops!

Let's walk down main street now.  How often do you stop into these shops?  I can't wait!

A few of my favorite things you ask?  Oh, pretty much everything.  But here, in no particular order, are a few of mine.

- On a hot day, the moment when your frozen lemonade thaws enough that you can start shoveling it in.

- The first bite of a Mickey jalapeno cheese pretzel.

- The mess a churro can make as it spills cinnamon all over you.

- The feel of the GetAwayToday lanyard around my neck, and adding a fast pass or two into there.

- The look on my families faces as they exit a favorite ride.

- The rare time when you outwit the crowds and find a short line.

- Sitting down for a rest and watching a great show, like Aladdin or Mickey and the Magical Map.

- Soarin'.

- The feeling like I'm home.  Knowing every path, every shortcut.

- The sounds and smells.

- Knowing that, worst case, Bug's Land is never crowded.  Someday, Traven will outgrow that, but for now, it's a life saver.

- Using a FastPass and blowing by all the people standing in line.

- Picking out souvenirs.  Spending entirely too much on them.

Family and friends, what do I need to add to this list?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Phoenix Vacation

I'm not feeling too great, and sitting here is actually quite painful, but I still want to get down a few thoughts that have been shuffling around in my head.

First off, I would just like to thank my family for a great vacation.  We spent over 8 days together, and there was no fighting.  Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and get along.  Braden and Kaylee had an introduction to LONG drives, and they were troopers.  Spanish Fork to Phoenix is a long drive.  Braden drove his Grandma's car, with her and his Grandpa.  Kaylee drove my little Focus with Alyssa and Emily.  And Lori, Traven and I were in the Pilot.  Everyone did great!  The exact amount of time Emily slept is still open to debate, but I figure that's up to that car!

Our vacation rental was sweet!  Well, the master suite was enormous, so I lived like a king.  Traven ended up with his own room, as Braden preferred the air bed to having T sleep on his head.  Kaylee took the other air bed, while Emily and Alyssa shared a bedroom and the grandparents were in another.

We only ate out 3 times.  The rest of the time we cooked at the house.  It was such a relaxing vacation!  The one time we did eat out was at China Red.  Holy smokes, it was so good and the portions were gigantic.  We had leftover Chinese food into Tuesday!

We bought the POGO pass, which got us in to many events for a way discounted price.  Great idea if you are ever down in Phoenix for a week!

We did Makutu's Island, mainly for T, but it was actually Alyssa who got our money's worth out of it.  And she made Braden climb and slide along with her, so that was good.  Even Kaylee and Lori took a turn sliding.

We went to the Phoenix temple.  That helped with the relaxation part of the trip!  Of course, no POGO required for temple work.....

Some of us went to a Diamondbacks MLB game, and I loved it!  Ok, baseball games are too long, but for the part I was there, I loved it.

We did some laser tag, which was fun.  Traven really got into that.

The Phoenix zoo was a great time.  It was a lot bigger than I figured it would be.

Castles and Coasters was fun, although Lori and Kaylee ended up getting sick from a ride, so that sucked.  But some of us stuck it out, rode the rides and went miniature golfing.

On the way home, we went to the Grand Canyon.  What an incredible sight!

Sunday started the journey home.  Well except for me.  I'm in Las Vegas at a database conference.

Did I mention I love my family?  I think this was a great vacation.  Definitely more relaxing than many others I have been on.