Daddy Says… Seven Years

On October 1st 2005, in the presence of our friends and family, I married the most amazing woman in the world.  Now, seven years later we have 3 incredible children & some big dreams to be out on the road.

She’s just as beautiful and brilliant as she was the day I met her.  She’s a great Mom, an awesome friend, a patient teacher and a diligent worker. But to me, she’s the most important woman in the world – my wife. We’ve had a lot of fun and all sorts of adventures in our time together, and I look forward to many more years with the most wonderful woman in the world.

Daddy Says… Paragon of Efficiency

One of the most amazing things about Disney World is the incredibly efficient way it has all been set up.  The entire place runs like a well oiled machine.  There are multiple methods of transportation connecting the various parks to each of the differently themed resorts.

At the Wilderness campground where we stayed, there was a central area where you could catch a bus to any of the theme parks, the water parks and Downtown Disney – the extensive area filled with shopping, restaurants and entertainment – including their own Cirque Du Soleil show. In addition to the bus system, there were boats that you could take to Magic Kingdom or the Contemporary resort, both of which are of course connected to the Monorail System!

     

And once you get where you’re going, everything you need is right there waiting for you, and typically a friendly helpful cast member nearby to point you in the right direction or offer any other assistance you might need.

Disney is great at making money, of course they do provide great services, quality products and an incredible experience – but it is a business. We even noticed that they were pumping blasts of Air Conditioning from out of the open doors of the shops and into the hot streets along Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom. It was so refreshing to just stop for a moment in the cool air, and take a look for where it was coming from – and why not stop into the nice cool shop and have a look around?

The Government could learn a few things from the way Disney runs, from the vast, well maintained infrastructure, interconnected transportation systems and knowledgeable, dedicated staff to their ability to maximize their economic potential – Disney really is a well run organization!

Obama? Romney?  Forget them both – I say Mickey for President!!

Daddy Says… Jedi Princess

On one of our last days in Disney, the Mighty Princess informed me she would like to be a Jedi.  A couple of years ago, her older brother went through Jedi Padawan training, and now she was old enough to do the same.  So, we got up bright and early, rushed right on over to the sign up as soon as the park opened and managed to get her into the first session.

They asked her a few questions as we were signing up:

Will you listen to all of the instructions of your Jedi Master?  Yes!

Are you willing to learn the ways of the force, and use a lightsaber?   Yes, I can already beat my brother in lightsaber battles!

Are you afraid of the dark side of the force?  No!!

Such a brave little youngling!

Soon enough she and the other potential Jedi were on stage, meeting their Jedi Master.  They were each given a training lightsaber and the training began.

     

No sooner had she begun her training, than she was confronted by Darth Vader!!


She successfully defended herself from the dark lord of the Sith and completed her Jedi Training.  She was very proud when the voice of Yoda came over the speaker system and proclaimed that she and her fellow younglings were now all official Jedi Padawans.  We celebrated by going on the Star Tours attraction…

I know the Force will be with her… always.

Daddy Says… “Home” again

It was a long journey, but we are “home” again.  I have a hard time calling our house home now though, as the trailer has been our home for the past three weeks.  The trip to Disney – and the long journey there and back again – has really given us a taste of what it would like to be on the road full time.  And we like it!!  We were all disappointed to be pulling into our driveway instead of some campgrounds for our next adventure.

We broke the trip into three days again, this time doing 8 hours on day one, 6 hours on day two & what should have been 10 hours day three.  Unfortunately day 3 turned into about 15 hours.  We hit some serious traffic on I-95 in Virginia, and again in Connecticut.  We also decided to stop off for lunch at a diner along the way, so that added to the time as well.

If you ever find yourself in Kutztown Pennsylvania, stop into the Airport Diner for a bite.  It was a nice little place for some pretty good diner food.  We all had breakfast, except the Milk Monkey who had one of his favorites – Mac & Cheese.

The Airport Diner's Lunch Counter

The Professor approves of pancakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daddy Says… Magic Kingdom

We spent the day in the Magic Kingdom today.  We went bright and early, and made it onto all the rides we were looking to get on to.  It was great because there were very few people there and we were able to get right onto just about everything we wanted very quickly!

The Princess and I took on Big Thunder Mountain first – She really loves the roller coasters!  Then we made our way through several others like Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.

Even the Milk Monkey joined us on some rides, and he had a blast!  He loved all of the ones he was able to go on, but I think It’s A Small World was his favorite.  Though, Pirates was a close second.

We even took some time to meet a few of the kids’ favorite characters.

All in all, we had an amazing day.  A very tiring day, but definitely amazing.

Daddy Says… 8 States

We’ve completed leg 1 of our three day journey to Disney-World! We got up at 2am, locked up the house and drove off into the night.  The kids were pretty excited, but soon enough they went back to sleep.  Mummy & I were pretty excited too!

Partway through our drive, we decided to change our planned route.  It turns out that I-95 in New Jersey is a toll road, and as much as I don’t mind paying a toll to pay for the upkeep on a road, the $62 or so they were looking to charge was outrageous.  So, Mummy did a quick search on her iPhone for an alternate route, and she found one that was only 1/2 hour longer than our original route, so we took it!

I have to say, Mummy was pretty impressive today.  After working and organizing a lot of the last minute details and packing, she only managed to get about 2 hours of sleep before we left.  She then had to play navigator for our changed route, and also kept everyone happy with a steady stream of sandwiches, snacks & drinks!

Overall, the change of route was a great decision.  We went through a portion of Pennsylvania that was really nice.  A lot of farm country and small towns as we drove.  Over all, we hit 7 different states in just about 12 hours.  Massachusetts, Rhode island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland & Virginia.  It was a long drive, and by the end, we were all ready to make camp.

We pulled into the Americamps KOA, were escorted to our site and set up.  Once we we had the trailer all set, we all put on our swimsuits and went for a swim!  It was so nice to relax, cool off and have some fun in the pool after the long drive.  It was just what we needed!

Tomorrow we start leg 2 of the journey and will stop overnight in Georgia.  I can easily see us jumping in the pool once we set up there as well!

Daddy Says… Baby Dancer

The Milk Monkey really has his moments…

Some times, he’s a sweet little guy, with an easy attitude – others, he’s a screaming, chubby little ball of terror.

But one thing we’ve found, no matter what attitude you’re getting from him, just put on some music and you’ve got a cute little baby dancer on your hands.

He’ll dance to just about anything too.  The Wiggles, Thomas, a commercial with a catchy jingle.  He’s just so cute and he always makes us laugh when he starts dancing. It’s easy to forget that just seconds before he may have been screeching at the top of his lungs – but once the music starts – he’s a dance machine!

Daddy Says… The Party

As I mentioned previously,the Little Professor decided to have a sleepover birthday party in our camper with some of his friends.  Despite a rainy start to the day, his friends showed up in the afternoon and a good time was had by all.

They used the skewers (Not Weapons!) to roast some hotdogs & marshmallows over the fire, and there were several games of Tag of all sorts – Flashlight tag (in the day no less…), Freeze tag, and even Zombie tag.  The Zombie tag was an on the spot invented version where the person “it” was a zombie, shambling along to catch the other players.  Of course, each additional player caught was “infected” and became a zombie as well and joined in the hunt for the remaining players – until finally there was just a group of zombie kids stumbling around groaning.  Though unlike movie zombies, I think these ones just wanted to eat cake!

      

After an afternoon of running around playing, eating cake and having fun, we got the kids set up in the trailer with some popcorn and a movie before bed.  They really enjoyed the movie, and were laughing and goofing around the whole time.  It was great to see them all having so much fun.

Finally, it was bedtime – and after an hour or so of playing with their flashlights and talking quietly with each other – they all drifted off to sleep.

In the morning we had a pancake breakfast and before long, Parents started showing up to pick up the Professor’s friends.  Later, when we asked him if he had a good time, the Professor enthusiastically responded “Yeah – it was one of the best birthdays ever!”.

Something tells me we may be doing this again next year.

Daddy Says… Old Friends

I just finished reading Stephen King’s book “The Wind Through the Keyhole” and I have to say, it was a really great read.  It’s one of his Dark Tower books, a series that I have been reading since I was a young teenager.  The series was published book by book over a span of 22 years and during that time, I came to know and love the characters.

Eddie Dean – the former heroin addict who saves The Gunslinger’s life in the second book, and eventually becomes a Gunslinger himself.

Susannah Dean – a woman merged of a split personality.

Jake Chambers – the boy The Gunslinger encounters in the first book, caught between life and death.

and of course – Roland Deschain – The last Gunslinger.

There are, of course many other important characters along the way, but the above four – along with a small furry animal named Oy – are the main characters of the series.  And in the 22 years it took me to read the books, they really became like friends.  So much so, that I dreaded reading the last of the books, knowing that their story would finally come to an end.

So, needless to say I was pretty excited to find out that “The Wind Through the Keyhole” was another Dark Tower book!  Another opportunity to spend some time with and share the adventures of my old friends in Mid-World.  And the book definitely did not disappoint.  I won’t go into details and spoil the story for any of you out there, but it takes place in between books four and five and it really is a great read.  Most of all, it was great to be able to pick up the book and rejoin my old friends on their road to the tower.

To Sai King, I say thankee – the ka-tet and I were truly well met on the road.