Adventures with Legos and cookies today. My awesome staff gave me the Disneyland Main Street Station at the conclusion of our Wood Badge course in September and I finally opened up the packaging to begin this afternoon. I got the engine built for the train today and will build the rest over the next week. I also got the second batch of my favorite Norwegian Christmas cookies made today (the last kind of several types I make). I've been making them for 28 years now since my grandmother died, and have been excited to see Matthew learn how to make a couple of the different varieties this year. Traditions can be cool, especially when they get passed on to the next generation.
Saturday, December 21, 2019
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Coloring, scrapbooking, reading, and baking cookies. What a fun, relaxing kind of evening in the room, after a fun-filled day at the water park. As much as I love the theme parks, these trips where we don't go to them are so nice. Hanging out at the resort, lots of swimming, and enjoying some of the other wonders of Walt Disney World.
#makingmemories #familyvacations #itsthetimetogetherthatcounts
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Monday, April 15, 2013
Last Monday I said it, and I’m going to say it again. WOW. What a crazy week last week turned out to be. Regardless of all your plans and good intentions, sometimes you just have no control over how a week might turn out. And that’s exactly how last week was for me. I went into it with lots of great plans and ideas for following up on previous contacts and leads from the Bridal Show that I participated in last weekend, but a bit of a curveball was thrown my way.
Monday, April 8, 2013
WOW. Sometimes that’s about all you can say. There has just been so much going on this past week, and there’s a LOT coming up this week as well. I’m trying to breathe and stay focused, but it can be hard at times. But you know what being very busy is like, I’m sure.
Until next time,
Monday, March 11, 2013
|To my lovely bride...|
It hardly seems possible though that it has already been 19 years since we made our vows, and then later enjoyed a cool party with many family and friends, before embarking out on our own to enjoy that all-important honeymoon period prior to officially “starting life”. For many that honeymoon might be spent on a tropical island, or enjoying the art & culture of the “old world” in Europe. For us, it was in a tropical location, and we did enjoy some “old world” charm, granted re-created charm, but charm none-the-less. We honeymooned at Walt Disney World, and had a wonderful time. It was my third visit to the Central Florida resort, and my lovely bride’s first. And in those 19 years, a LOT has changed at my favorite Central Florida destination. The resort of choice … The Grand Floridian Beach Resort as it was known back then (today it’s Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa).
- we’ve lived in 3 states – California, Michigan and Indiana
- we’ve belonged to 2 churches – North Orange Christian Church and White River Christian Church
- we’ve grown our family by 3, having 2 sons and 1 daughter
- we’ve watched all 3 grow too quickly… the eldest will be graduating high school about 2 ½ months after our 20th anniversary
- we’ve owned 4 computers (the first was purchased a full year after we married), plus went through 4 different work-provided computers
- we’ve each replaced a vehicle twice
- we’ve each changed jobs twice
- we've started 2 of our own businesses
- we’ve lived in 4 different domiciles – 1 townhouse, 2 duplexes, and 1 house
- we've added to our portfolio an investment home plus several vacation home options thanks to the Disney Vacation Club
- we’ve had 3 different pets – 1 box turtle and 2 different cats (NOT my choice at all…I am allergic to and hate cats, but I love my wife and thus tolerate having a cat in the house for my wife’s sake)
- we’ve used 8 different cell phones (only in the last 11 years though as we never had one prior to coming to Indiana) – 5 for me, and 3 for her
- we’ve visited 24 states together (I’ve been to a lot more, but here I’m just referring to the two of us together)
- we’ve enjoyed 6,935 days as a married couple or nearly 166,440 hours as a married couple or nearly 9,986,400 minutes as a married couple (though the hours and minutes are approximations based on total days)
- we’ve had our ups and downs – but LOVE has been at the heart of our relationship in each of those years.
Monday, March 4, 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013
This past week has seen me spending a lot of time in the bathroom. No, I haven’t been sick, nor do I have weak kidneys. Rather I’ve been working on floor tile - putting in a new floor in our rental property. The last time I did floor tile was about 6 years ago, when I redid the floor in my own house’s master bathroom. It’s a time-consuming job, but very rewarding to know that you can do it yourself. My dad first showed me how to do flooring many years ago in the house that I grew up in, as we redid rooms numerous times through the years. I’ve done vinyl, ceramic, laminate and parquet floors multiple times through the years. I may not be able to repair my car, but I can redo floors, and I like that.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
Friday, August 10, 2012
A lot can, and often does, change during a year's time. Since then, I've posted more than 300 entries - some still lame, some not-so-lame, and others somewhat ok. Along the way I had major technical issues with the website host forcing me to change venues for the blog, I've had fun experimenting with formats and looks to the blog, and several features have been introduced, and /or retired based on changing thoughts and ideas about what I'd like to present or talk about. Some things I'd like to bring back, while others I would like to introduce in the coming weeks and months.
Certainly during that time changes happened both personally and professionally. Personally we said good-bye to a beloved family member, as my wife's father succumbed in October to his battle with cancer. Professional, just about a month after that first post was made, I was laid off from my full-time job of 11 years, and made the decision to pursue my then part-time passion in a more full-time manner. Thus what began as something to earn some extra on the side became a full-time gig, as we launched our business full-time. We also switched the host agency that I was working with for a Franchise that we acquired with a national name-brand provider of cruises and vacation packages.
During the year I went to the Caribbean on a cruise and to Hawaii to explore and check out Disney's new resort there - Aulani (for newer readers, check out the labels to the right on the home page, and search for Aulani to read various entries about the resort and check out photos I took while there. It is a GREAT resort, and definitely one you should consider visiting). Trips to California and Florida rounded out the past year, while more cruises and trips are in the works for the coming year.
I've had fun sharing the variety of Disney trivia, facts and photos with those of you who have chosen to follow along. I appreciate the readership, and the comments along the way. I look forward to spending another year sharing and posting - and working to interject more personal anecdotes and information into the blog. I hope you'll continue to follow along, and perhaps, even bring some friends along with you. Because really - Disney parks are meant to be shared by family and friends. In the next year I'm hoping to have some additional entries by guests, who will also share their own love of the parks with 9you - and perhaps their photos and memories of days gone by too.
So - thanks again for following along and sharing my adventures. Just as Peter Pan never wanted to grow up - neither do I. He's always been one of my favorite characters, and Peter Pan's Flight has always been a favorite theme park attraction... which is a big reason why I chose to use Neverland Adventures in the name for my travel business.
Until next time,
Monday, August 6, 2012
|A very proud family indeed!|
Friday, July 27, 2012
- Driving my own car at Walt Disney World was – in a word – trippy. I have driven rental cars all over the place multiple times there, but never before had I driven my own Jeep there. Growing up in Southern California, driving to Disneyland was no big deal… but driving to Florida?!? Something we had never, ever done before. You have to understand that long car rides… just not something we’ve done much of since the kids were very little. It’s true our kids have visited 26 states, but most of those trips were taken when they were a lot younger. Thinking about it, they’ve been on planes nearly as many times as I’ve been to Walt Disney World.
- My oldest son was part of the driving crew! Yikes. He drove about 6 hours on the way down to Florida, and about 6 hours on the way home. Again, in a word… trippy.
- We spent a lot of time in the pools… I mean a LOT of time. We were there just about every single day. This is so not like us. While we enjoy the occasional dip, we are just not pool people. And spending hours at the pool – at Walt Disney World – has just never been something we’ve done. Sure a dip here, maybe there, once or twice during a visit – but never every single day – until now. Very trippy.
- We enjoyed a pool-side movie. Fancy that. I’ve talked about them here in my blog previously, and told many people about them – but we’ve never experienced one for ourselves. We watched “Finding Nemo” while enjoying the pool at Kidani Village. Huh. Trippy.
- Not going into the theme parks, of course, meant no theme park meals. We planned to avoid the theme parks all along – but we also ended up not planning any table service meals at all. So NO ADR’s for this trip. That was different. Kinda trippy. We did end up going to BOMA, thanks to a mix-up on the resort’s part and the subsequent “we messed up” gift card, but we didn’t plan that in advance. I did arrange a reservation for us 2 days in advance – but again – trippy, since the typical long-term “ADVANCED” in ADR was absent. Most people don’t make ADR’s 2 days in advance.
- We did not buy souvenirs on this trip. No pins. Nothing. We’ve been so often, there really was no need to bring more of the same old crap home. While I was pleased to see some new resort-specific merchandise in the shops, there really was nothing that made me say “I’ve GOT to have that.” So the wallet stayed in the pocket, and came home no worse for the wear. Trippy. I almost always come home with something.
- We enjoyed many of the same “free” or “nearly free” things that I have been talking about in my semi-regular “Saturday Savers” posts.
|In the Cars section of Art of Animation|
|The new DVC resort under construction|
- We did NOT sit and watch Stacy!
- We did watch "I Love Lucy" - in fact numerous times, as it was requested by my daughter numerous times as we scrolled through the on-screen listings menu. Anytime she saw it, she would shout out for Lucy! (I love that girl... she loves Lucy almost as much as her daddy does.) Sitting and watching television while at Walt Disney World has never happened before... except to sit and watch Stacy.
- We enjoyed the Kitchen Sink at Beaches & Cream at Disney's Beach Club. Finished it, too (well, we did leave some melted ice cream mixed with about 7 or 8 cherries in the bottom that my son kept calling primordial soup… but otherwise, we finished that monstrosity!) If you’ve never experienced it for yourself, or if you’ve never even heard of the Kitchen Sink… let me elaborate just a bit for you. It’s 8 scoops of ice cream, topped with EVERY kind of topping they have, plus a whole can – yes, I said it – a WHOLE CAN of whipped cream. It’s ghastly – yet fun – in a trippy sort of way. The toppings alone amazed me. The menu made it seem like just the standard liquid topping variety – but OH NO – there were cake bits, brownie pieces, pieces of candy bars, bananas, pineapple, candied fruit, nuts, and probably an entire jar of cherries, since each of my three kids had at least 6 to 7 cherries apiece (plus those 7 or 8 left in the bottom of the dish). Crazy. Fun. DEFINITELY memorable. But not something that we need to do again.
- We enjoyed spending some time (albeit just an hour or so) with friends from another state, who checked in while were at the World! In the same resort that we had just checked out that morning no less! (Long story short but due to a relatively last-minute change of plans, we had to change resorts for the last couple of nights of our trip - but it was a blessing in disguise because the original plans would have had us leaving WDW 2 days prior to Mark & Julie's arrival... this way we got to visit with them after all!). Prior to checking out we were joking that they might even end up with "OUR" room at Kidani Village (sadly, no dice, they ended up on the OTHER end of the savannah). Encounters like that do seem to make the famous (and often famously maligned Sherman Brothers song from that iconic Fantasyland attraction ring true - it IS a small world after all!).
- We got to watch Wishes from the Top of the World Lounge at Bay Lake Tower! Not being BLT point owners, and not having stayed at that resort - we have not had the usually exclusive pleasure of experienced this perk previously. But since it was made available for a "limited time" to any DVC owner staying on points at any DVC resort, we decided to head on over and see if we could get in and watch from there. Knowing the Top of the World has limited space, we weren't sure if we would get in or not, but tried anyway. We were told guests could arrive as early as 6pm, but Wishes wasn't until 10pm. No way were we going to sit over there for that long. We arrived at 9pm, and figured if we couldn't get in, we'd simply ride the Monorail over to the Polynesian and watch from the beach (something else we've never done). But we got in with no problem. All told, when the fireworks began - the Lounge was probably little more than half full - so there was no need to stress about it at all. Other nights it might have been more crowded - but our night - not at all. A big bonus right there! As a show, Wishes, to me, is very stale and needs to be replaced (especially after watching two different far-superior fireworks presentations at Disneyland in the years since Wishes was first rolled out, and were created after Wishes by the same dude who created Wishes in the first place... it's time Steve Davison to put your fireworks focus back on Walt Disney World!) - but I digress, enough to say that it was fun to experience it from a new vantage point - especially to see how truly far behind the Magic Kingdom the shells are actually shot up from. The show does lose a LOT in the translation when not watching it from within the confines of the Magic Kingdom - BUT it was fresh and new watching it from the 16th floor of Bay Lake Tower. Despite being stale to me, it was a great final night bit of fun for all of us.
- We went in JULY. For any of you following along who have ever read any comments I have made on the DIS, or any other online spot I may have commented… we do NOT like the heat and humidity of Florida in the Summer time. I have avoided it like the plague – until this year. When we realized that this 10 day period of the summer was pretty much the ONLY time during the entire summer that all five of us would be “home” at the same time – and not off on some Scout, Church or other outing. So way back in February we decided that the only way to protect that time – and give us the much-desired family time that we needed – was to effectively get “out of dodge” and enjoy our timeshare. That way none of us would be tempted to respond to the various text messages, phone calls, Facebook posts or Tweets that would come around saying – “COME…. Do this, that or whatever else....” By being 900 miles away from all of that – we could have that coveted family time. It was a wise choice. We enjoyed spending time together, reconnecting, being silly, playing games and just hangin’ out together. Very, very trippy. I highly recommend taking your own family doing something similar – especially when the busy-ness of the teen years creep in and overtake your household! With one super active teen, one getting more and more active all-the-time teen, one slightly busy pre-teen and two busy parents – we must SCHEDULE this kind of time in order to capture it – at all. Otherwise this friend, that friend, this activity or that activity WILL overtake one or more family member each and every week.