Friday, February 24, 2006

Day 6

Day 6

Conference day 2. All good there. Nice lunch too.

After the conference, we met up and went to Epcot. We got special deal tickets where they were cheaper after 4pm. Trouble was, when we got there some of the rides were too full up. Like the one where you fly over trees and stuff. But we went to the interactive Finding Nemo thing, where all the kids got to talk to Crush, dude. It was funny. Then we done the ride through time in the big golf ball. See the pic. It is always good, and seems to be a nice way of educating the kids.

We also did a space ride, which was like one of those simulator things that throws you through a load of angles and g-forces. Nobody got sick, but the little girl was panicking as she could not reach her controls and was scared we were all going to crash. So I had to take over. Thrilling ride! But that was it as far as rides were concerned, the ridey parts were closing and there was a lot more to see in the world places.

From there we went and had some Mexican food, beer and margarita. And then the Dutch and German store, where we had more beer and wine and the kids hade grape juice, aka kid wine. We looked at some vikings, and went into the china area, looked at japan, and then went to find a spot to watch what I consider the most impressive fireworks show on earth. I guess they do it every night so they must be getting good at it. Pics below....

I also found out how to control exposure time on the digi camera. See below for results....

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I could get used to this heat in february

Day 5

Today was first day of the conference per say. It is cool here in that you can walk out yer room and get transported to your conference via golf cart. You have absolutely no way of burning off the calories form last night's burgers. But, as it was with me, I wanted to avoid sweating into the shirt I had on and would have on all day, so I took the cart. Beautiful morning, sun blue skies, and a great reflection over the lake. Naturally I had no camera with me.

On arrival at the conference area I had to return to the hotel room as I received a call that there was a problem in our office (1240 miles away) that needed sorting. Disney have charging for services all tied up. You can get net access at your room. $10/day. Or at the conference center. $more. You can't use your connection at both. So I went back to the room and sorted stuff out and back to the conference. Lots of nice warm air in between.

Afternoon. Avoided an irrelevant talk about outer space stuff although I sometimes feel I'm more on that line than most; anyway, I ran out early, quck change of clothing, got call from work, quick change back, sorted it, changed again, hired a little boat and went pedal boating with the gang. Fun fun fun. I love the water. even lake water, even manufactured lake!

From there, we all went back to the room. And then me and the boy went to the pool.where we swam and slided and swam. Nice pool. Here's today's whine. It's a repeated one. Smokers, please don't smoke especially where there are kids around. There was a bar, which is nice, but there were a lot of people standing around smoking. Maybe this is something Disney needs to sort out.

We got ourselves ready and headed back to downtown Disney, where we went and had dinner at the House Of Blues. We sat on the deck listening to a guy play guitar and sing. We bought his cd; I just cant remember what he is called. But anyway. Nice food, it just took an eternity to get to us; apparently the kitchen was backed up. And our server forgot to give me back my credit card. All in all it was ok. So that was day 5.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

still warm, at least out there.

Day 4.

I had to work. We had a meeting and there is nothing much to report that is not mundane and worklike. The meting was interesting in that there were people from all over the planet there, and possibly some extra-terrestrial representation. Nice dinner as well at the end of it.

The rest of the important bunch spent the day at the pool and playing in sand and in general enjoying the Florida sunshine. after all it is the sunshine state.

After my dinner we had dinner at the "bar"; well the rest of us did except me. nachos and the likes. I ate the kids leftovers cos it was quite tasty with nice guacamole. relatively quiet. Still tired all the same and back to the room; Not much to report really.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

In the sunshine. bliss. Its not snowing!

Day 3

Woke up a little tired. On Sunday night, I bought some tickets to the park. Not cheap. But that set our plans for Monday, my only real day work free on this "vacation". We hit the Magic Kingdom, hard and fast. The nice thing about Disney resorts is that you can catch a bus to anywhere. But not the other way.. more on that at the end of this chapter. So we got the bus to the Magic Kingdom, got there about 9, just after opening. And this is what we seen.

As y'all can see, it's a bit foggy. And as y'all can read, I'm gettin into this sutherin' talkin stuff. Do we went and seen Mickey gettin his picture taken with a load of people, way too may for us to line up for. But we got the picture of good ol' fascist Walt with the world's most famous mouse. At least in brass.

So, we went on. We went through Mickey's and Minnie's houses. I was surprised; I woulda thought they would have been cohabitating. Maybe that is not appropriate behavior in the Big Mouse world. We then took some rides, rotating cups of tea, indy speedway (kids drove) and a mini roller coaster. And then onto the bigger rollercoaster, thunder mountain. Which was funny. Momma (see, southern again) was a long way the most scared. I have the video footage. And then onto the Island. Another story.

A friend of mine, his daughters were visiting Orlando the same time of us, with their grandmother. I spoke to him last week, he asked me to say hello to his daughters in Orlando. I replied, yea, there will be just us and them next week in Orlando, sure I'll say hi. So.. guess what.. yep, on the island, we met one of the girls. Whom I photographed and sent the pic back to her dad for proof.

So on we went. We went through splash mountain. Then the pirates of the Caribbean. Then the swiss family robison tree house. We observed the magic carpet thing and we couldn't be bothered lining up for an eternity for that, but I took this photo.

Then we were returning to wherever and passed the haunted house, which was closed due to technical problems. Then there wasn't so we got to front of the line. To the big oak door. There we waited with a gazillion people behind us. We knocked on the door, no one answered. We waited, and waited. Eventually after a lifetime, a "spooky" lady opened the door and in a deep transylvanian accent told us "hello, ve've been vaiting for you". The boy looked at her and said, "yea right, WE'VE been waiting for YOU!!" Which was funny, by her grumy reaction.

We done the Mickey's and Donald's 3-d movie, and the small small world and the sleeping beauty ride, and finally Dumbo's flying elephant ride. Flying elephants? Without drugs. Brilliant!

And then we had enough. Here, now is my issue with disney transportation. Now any report of mine would not be a report without some whine. Here it is. We had decided to go do downtown disney for dinner decisively. dd(f)dd. So, ya'd think you could get a bus from any disney resort to downtown disney. No. The center told us to take one bus, the driver told us not to. then we had to take a boat. Yep, a great big boat. Across a lake. It was nice bit we needed food, beer wine and fruit juice. After the boat, a long walk, Then a 20 min wait for another bus.

Dinner was had at Planet Hollywood. My batteries in the digi cam ran out, but it was pretty cool seein teh original Herbie, the players kits for the mighty ducks and lots more. The burger and salad was great and the beer was amazin. It would be.

Again, thereafter, bus, hotel and sleep. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Monday, February 20, 2006

Still moving down the map...

Day 2

We woke up on a cool Sunday morning in Tennessee. After breakfast, we hit the road heading south. After only a few miles, we hit the Georgia state line. Georgia was on my mind. I think that must be the state slogan. It was written everywhere. There were also millions of peaches. Peaches for me. Millions of peaches. But they weren't free.

Again, there were a whole lot of nice mountains. Our stops in Georgia consisted of gas stops, bathroom breaks and a spot to get some food from the King Of Culinary Evilness, McDonalds.

It is bad, but it is easy to eat while on the road and it fills a kinda gap. OK that gap may well be an artery, but once in a while is no harm. We passed through Atlanta. Perhaps next time we will stop. Here's a pic we took. of the road. in Atlanta

Anyway, onwards and onwards. We eventually came to the Florida state line.The boy said "whay did that say welcome to Florida? Thats not right" and so on. And then seen the sign for the Florida Welcome Center. And wanted to know why it said we were in Florida when we weren't. So we pulled in and the kids were completely shocked and the boy then said "I knew it" Yea? So why are you so excited and surprised. We went into the welcome center (Which is a nice one), picked up the obligatory maps and sampled some Florida grape fruit juice.

Onwards. We stopped at another rest stop where there was this sign.

And this tree.

And we drove on. We got onto Florida's Toll Road, and hit the first traffic of the trip. Maybe that was why they were not charging tolls. We eventually got onto Interstate 4. And headed the wrong way. But with nifty co-pilot and driver co-ordination we soon were righted and back on track. 10 hours after setting out we hit our destination. Including diversions, 1240 miles.

The room at the resort was very nice, aztec looking. After settling in, guzzling a couple of beers, we headed to the on site restaurant. Which had a 2 hour wait. So we decided to head downtown Disney. Where we found similar waiting times except in some swanky looking place on a dock. So we went there. The place was not swanky. The food was overpriced and mediocre at best. But they had a captive audience, we were hungry and tired so we ate, paid and left.

BAck to the hotel, and sleep. Ahh.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

we're heading southbound...

I was sent to Florida, specifically Orlando, nanospecifically Disneyworld for a conference. As it was during the winter break, we decieded to go as a family. Except we didnt tell the little dudes about where we were going. So here is what we did. Starting today. Most blogs will be drafts till I get to properly read.

Day 1

We set out at 6:30 AM, 2 hours later than planned. The Michigan temperature was 7 degrees F. Pretty cold. Of course the kids thought we were going to a hotel in Tennessee where all that would he happening was me working and them in the pool for a few days

We made it through Michigan (which was cool, empty roads), and then into Ohio. Cruise control enabled. Ohio is way too flat. We seen Flag City USA and a few other bits and pieces. And a couple of cop cars. Nothing too interesting. Cincinnati looks like it could be fun, but the weather was nasty; light snow and all sorts of salt and stuff blowing up onto the car.

So, we entered Kentucky, and stopped at the welcome center, The weather was causing accidents on the freeway but none really affected us.Temperature 22 degrees.

The mountains in Kentucky looked very nice. Due to the nasty weather, we didnt take any photos as they probably would have looked bad anyway. So onwards we went and reached Tennessee. Welcome center again.
This is the mountains I speak of. I did not take this photo but ya get the picture

Again lots of pretty hills, now with swow on them Still dang cold and visibility was poor due to snowy conditions, I also ran out of washer fluid and had to stop off as I was totally unable to look out the window.

By now the kids knew we were near the hotel; the first one of the trip. All us parents had to do was find one. We had planned to keep going until we felt like stopping; that happened in Chattanooga. We drove downtown, seen a hotel, called it and the extortionate rate they wanted for a 1-bed room (which was all that was available) caused us to venture to the burbs where we found a really nice little basic hotel across the road from a restaurant. We booked in, had dinner which included the most delicious steak and beer I've had in a long time. By this stage my batteries were well and truly dead, so we went back to the hotel and slept.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Another Week Over... Superbowls, possums, SBC, and other stuff.

Oh well. Sunday night again.

Points from the last week:

  • Ireland played France yesterday in the Six Nations. It seemed to me that, 52 minutes into the game, it suddenly dawned on the Irish lads that it was actually the game. No further messing around. The game was on. So start playing. Unfortunately they lost.
  • And so did Italy.
  • The redwings beat the Av's again today which is always a good thing.
  • The winter Olympics started. More on that one later I hope. I had a couple of observations.
  • We had lunch at the Green Lantern today. About the best pizza around. I never thought double pepperoni could taste so nice.
  • There is a possum living in our garage. He looks nice; I dunno why people hate these fellas. He made me jump when I walked in there, but he was totally timid. A certain chick then decided that talking to him and feeding him cat food would entice him out. Nope. I dunno what to do.
  • Stupid phone line went out again. Sixth time in a year and a half. And we are paying like $70 a month!! SBC man one turns up on Friday; while he is here SBC phones Superchick on her cell to say someone will be out. She said he's already here. Then they left. Did they fix the issue? No! So SBC man two, who was a nice guy turned up yesterday and told us, after playin with wires, that it was a problem between here and the office and it would take them til sometime Monday to fix it. And goes away. Then my neighbor comes in and say, "hey I see the SBC people were here, cos my phone has gone out." Yay!! Not only could they not fix ours, the broke out neighbors in the process.... Today, they fixed his, but ours is still out. .... Change-of-serviceation about to ensue!!! Grrrr!
  • Superbowl 40 has left Detroit. The game was not very good; the better team won, but the refs were all over the shop. Now it's back to business for tha D, but at least maybe the world can now see that Detroit in not all murders, shooting, gangs and muggers. Although, there still are enough suburbanites who wont venture there for a game or whatever.
  • Friday morning commute was the nastiest I've encountered in a long time. Light snow and ice at rush hour. I left the madness of 696 after seeing many bashed up cars and taking 40 minutes to travel 4 miles. Then someone in a crown vic nearly took me out by doing a 180 on telegraph. But I made it.
  • Thats all for now.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Another thing that made me think a little. and some other thoughts.

It rarely happens, me thinking
I was listening to rugby on the net today, and someone made a refernce to an alarm.
"The alarm bells all went off"
I'm sure they didn't. I bet the alarms went ON.
Now, when the alarms go OFF, doesn't that mean the emergency is over?
When the alarms go on, is that not when you start running?
If the alarms were off, surely they would be no use.

Anyway, Ireland beat Italy in the Six Nations opener this morning. Which was good. Tough game. Italy look like they took Rugby 101 since last year. Fair pley to them. I'm hoping they beat England. They probably won't, but if they do, I'm going to drink a bottle of Chianti. More importantly, I'm looking forward to us beating them; I will be enjoying a crate of Guinness again from my English friend.
Unfortunately, Wales failed to beat England today.

On another plus, the Wings beat the Avs today. Manny registered a shutout and that made me happy too. I think we should get double points for beating the Avs. On second thought, beating them is fine by its self.