Thursday, May 31, 2012


Disney world has always been one of those sacred destinations for me. As a big fan of animation, it has always been sort of an animation 'Mecca' for me to go to, but I have always been a little reluctant because I, one, do not like crowds that much, and, two, didn't want to have expectations that were not met. Probably not good logic for an adult, . . . but there you have it.
But we had an opportunity to go this year that we could not pass up, and a daughter who was the perfect age for her first visit.
After a not-so-long two days of driving, we arrived last Sat. in Orlando, early evening.
That evening daughter and I played in the pool for a while before dinner.
First full day, Sunday, we did Disney Main St., which is a big Disney shopping plaza. But after two days of driving, we needed a slow paced day to get ourselves in vacation mood.
We did see Buzz at the the biggest Lego store I had ever seen.
In the afternoon we went to the villa's water park for a lazy wet afternoon.

Monday found us making our first foray to Disney world. After finding parking, then having your bags checked, you ride a monorail to the main entrance.
(If you've been, skip this part if you like)
Then you wait for the gates to open.
Just before they open up, the train pulls up to the station and Mickey and the gang get off and greet the waiting crowd. Lots of smiles and singing, and lots of energy. After the song and dance routine the doors open and the crowds rush in.
First thing you see is Main St. USA, with Cinderella's castle way in the back ground.
Right here is the first place that I will mention that the attention to detail is incredible! Every little thing in just about everything is period to the effect that is trying to be achieved. And it is so clean!

As you walk through the front gates the crowd starts heading towards their target areas.
We headed straight towards the castle which was near the first rides we wanted to attack before the crowds got there.
The castle really is beautiful. (One lucky family gets to stay in it each night, in rooms originally planned for when Walt and family would be in town. I believe they are selected by lottery.)

But straight through the doors we went. . .
. . .out the back, (again, the attention to detail!). . .
. . . to our first ride.
The magic Tea Cups from Alice in wonderland.

Daughter likes anything that makes adults dizzy.
Luckily mommy and our friends don't mind, while daddy took pictures.
Next we headed for the flying Dumbo ride.

Daughter got to control how much it went up and down.
We followed this up with Goofy's roll-a-coaster Barnstormer.

Daddy rode once, but set out the second ride.
(And it was just a baby roll-a-coaster.)

Daughter, mommy and friends busting through the billboard on the ride.

Then back to Dumbo.

We did as many rides as we could before lunch, all with different themes; Snow White, Peter Pan, Small World. All were well done, and you had to admire the art work involved.

Daughter got to meet her first (almost, and soon will be) princess of the trip.
Merida, from the upcoming Brave movie.
Daughter even did a Celtic dance for Merida.

Have I mentioned the attention to detail?
The afternoon we spent hitting, once again, as many rides as possible.
We then took the train to Frontier Land.
Met Pooh (but since we were on our way to the bathrooms, we didn't have our autograph book.)
We explored the fort, hiked the trails and watched the steamboat go by.
Our last stop, after more rides and such, was a surprise visit to the fairies of The Tinkerbell tales.

First, Rosetta.

Then Tinkerbell herself!

We finished the evening with the Haunted Mansion (daughter and I sat this one out) and fire works.

I think we spent almost 14 hours in Magic Kingdom.

And although I don't enjoy the rides that much, I loved looking at all the details and work in Magic Kingdom.

Tuesday, beach day. Coco Beach. Swimming and kayak surfing, with dinner on the board walk.

Wednesday, Disney's HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS!

Greetings with Handy Mandy while mom got tickets.
After the Buzz Lightyear show, we met Jake.
Our friends, who made the trip much more fun, and easier.
They really knew the whole Disney theme park routine and helped us breeze through most lines.
Longest we ever had to wait was about 26 mins.
Did I mention the attention to details.
Hollywood Tower of Terror, which even daughter rode.
She said she liked it.
We caught the Beauty and the Beast show,
and the Nemo show,
and the Lion King show,
and the Sesame Street show,
and . . . . the stunt show.
and. . .
Dads favorite was anything to do with the animation.
Great display on the new Brave movie.
While dad and friends did the stunt show, daughter got "Honey, I shrunk the kids."
Did I mention the details.
Any street USA

TYPHOON LAGOON! the next day.

All day playing in the water.
Big surf, great slides.
Lots of fun.

Next day, back to Magic Kingdom for autographs.

Even daddy got weepy when daughter got to meet her favorite Princess.
And of course the chairman of the board, Mickey!
Sweetness and the sweet shop.


Here in front of the tree of life.

This is where the Lion King show was.
Sometimes it got a little Goofy.
When walking through the Asia area, some of the building made me feel like I was back in Nepal.

Mom and daughter shooting out of the mountain. In the closer picture, they are fifth from the back.

The tree of life.

You know it was a good day when you go home like this.

It was a very pleasant surprise how fun it was.
All the 'cast members' seemed great. Food, although pricey was good. Rides were fun. Details fantastic.
Shows, excellent for young and old.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Will ketchup soon, . . .

We've been at the House of Mouse all last week, so I will post some of our adventures soon. . .

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dads garden . . . .

This song, by David Mallet, always reminds me of my dad. 

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground
Inch by inch, row by row
Someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below
'Til the rain comes tumbling down

Pulling weeds and pickin' stones
Man is made from dreams and bones
Feel the need to grow my own
'Cause the time is close at hand
Grain for grain, sun and rain
Find my way in nature's chain
To my body and my brain
To the music from the land

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground
Inch by inch, row by row
Someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below
'Til the rain comes tumbling down

Plant your rows straight and long
Thicker than with pray'r and song
Mother Earth will make you strong
If you give her love and care
Old crow watchin' hungrily
From his perch in yonder tree
In my garden I'm as free
As that feathered thief up there

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground
Inch by inch, row by row
Someone bless the seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below
'Til the rain comes tumbling down

'Til the rain comes tumbling down

He loved his garden. What started as a small tilled plot, of really hard, bad clay soil, turned into raised beds and beautiful rich black soil.
Mom was always right there beside him, even when she thought he was over doing it by trying something new or adding more beds.

 He didn't just grow vegetables. . . .
 . .  but equally loved his flowers and roses.

 We made him a nice shed. . ..
 . . . got the water real close so he didn't have to drag hoses all across the yard.

Well since his passing, my brothers family and mine have tried to help mom keep it going.
 Now I don't mind doing the hard work; the tilling or digging, but I don't really have the mind set for the little details, . . . like the planting.

Luckily, mom and wife do, and hopefully daughter, with wife's guidance, will have it also.

Last night was a perfect spring evening for working in the garden.
 Wife and daughter hard at it.
 Daughter helping to plant some of the plants she started (see two earlier posts) from seed.
Looking good so far.

Early spinach already going into salads.

Don't ya just love it when kids learn to grow something, then can eat it right out of the garden.

And I'll end with a Guy Clark song. . .Homegrown Tomatoes

Ain't nothin' in the world that I like better
Than bacon & lettuce & homegrown tomatoes
Up in the mornin' out in the garden

Get you a ripe one don't get a hard one
Plant `em in the spring eat `em in the summer
All winter with out `em's a culinary bummer
I forget all about the sweatin' & diggin'
Everytime I go out & pick me a big one

Homegrown tomatoes homegrown tomatoes
What'd life be without homegrown tomatoes
Only two things that money can't buy
That's true love & homegrown tomatoes

You can go out to eat & that's for sure
But it's nothin' a homegrown tomato won't cure
Put `em in a salad, put `em in a stew
You can make your very own tomato juice
Eat `em with egss, eat `em with gravy
Eat `em with beans, pinto or navy
Put `em on the site put `em in the middle
Put a homegrown tomato on a hotcake griddle

If I's to change this life I lead
I'd be Johnny Tomato Seed
`Cause I know what this country needs
Homegrown tomatoes in every yard you see
When I die don't bury me
In a box in a cemetary
Out in the garden would be much better
I could be pushin' up homegrown tomatoes