Daddy Says… A Long Time Ago…

Big news today – Lucasfilm is being acquired by the Disney Corporation for an incredible 4.05 Billion dollars! And to top it off, they are already announcing plans for 3 more Star Wars movies!  Episode 7 is expected to be released in 2015, with Episodes 8 & 9 to follow in the coming years.  This is pretty staggering news considering George Lucas always said he would not be doing any more Star Wars films.  And as he explained today, he won’t be doing them – though of course, he will be involved and has already begun the story treatments for 7, 8 & 9.

George Lucas is passing the baton to Kathleen Kennedy, co founder of Amblin Entertainment with Steven Spielberg and Gary Marshall and producer of several movies including E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, Jurassic Park and the Sixth Sense.

The more I think about today’s announcement, the more excited I am about the possibilities!   There are a lot of really great stories already written by some very talented individuals telling the further stories and adventures of the Skywalker family and the Jedi Order. Though, I’m sure the new President of Lucasfilm is likely to take things in her own direction – with George Lucas standing by “as her Yoda” as she quipped in an interview today.

Just this weekend the Professor, the Princess and I were all watching “A New Hope”.  It was the Mighty Princess’s first time seeing a full length Star Wars movie and she really loved it!  She had seen some of the Clone Wars episodes, and of course she is a Jedi Padawan herself – but this was the first time she was able to see Princess Leia in action.  After the movie ended, the two of them were off to play Star Wars up in their room and there was a lot of “You be Luke, I’ll be Leia” talk going on.  It’ll be a lot of fun to share the news with them both! The series was a big part of my childhood and I’ve been a fan ever since and I love that I get to share the experience with the kids as well!

Daddy Says… In a Pickle

The morning after the wedding, Mummy & I got up and decided to get ourselves a nice breakfast with some good coffee.  We tried the coffee provided in the hotel room, but that was terrible, so we headed downstairs to see what the hotel had for breakfast.  They had a buffet going, but it just didn’t seem like what we wanted.  Neither of us were really too hungry, and we were kind of hoping for something we could bring back up to the room.  Besides the thought of a big bin full of scrambled eggs, warmed up frozen potatoes & some limp bacon just didn’t seem too appealing.

My brother and his lovely bride had put together a little welcome basket with a few of their favorite things, as well as a list of local recommendations for those out of town guests who were going to be attending the wedding. On the list was a little Breakfast/Lunch place just down the street in Waltham called “In a Pickle“. I had heard someone mention it the night before at the reception, and they seemed to like it as well, so we decided to give it a shot.  At the very least the coffee had to be better than what was brewed upstairs!

We took the drive, found a spot to park and walked over to the place.  We could tell right away it must be good, because there were a few small groups of people outside waiting for a table! It’s just a small little place with about 8 tables and a short lunch counter.  We decided to see if we could just grab a couple of breakfast sandwiches and coffees to go.  We made our way inside, and had a look over the menu – it was pretty impressive!  There were some really good sounding meals, like the Coconut Banana French Toast, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pancakes, Loaded Belgian Waffles & all sorts of Omelets.

Since we were looking to just get a quick breakfast and head back to the hotel, we just ordered a couple of Bacon, Egg & Cheese sandwiches with a side of Homefries & a couple of Coffees.  While we waited out front for our order, my brother and his wife came walking along for breakfast as well!  We talked for a few minutes, thanked them for the recommendation, picked up our order and headed back to eat.

The breakfast was great!  The sandwiches were perfect – fresh eggs, cheese & thick crispy bacon on whole wheat bread with homefries made from real chunks of potatoes, seared on the grill with some nice seasoning. And the coffee was excellent – fresh, hot and delicious. It was exactly what we wanted. The perfect way to wrap up our overnight stay.

We’ve decided we’ll head back there another time with the kids and wait for a table.  They have all sorts of cool stuff we’d like to try, as well as things we know the kids will love. All in all “In a Pickle” is one of those hidden gems that only locals really ever seem to know about, where the people obviously enjoy making great food in a fun environment.

Daddy Says… Sleepover

Once a year Nana J takes the kids for a sleepover at her place.  They always really look forward to it, and this week was their time.  Mummy and I dropped them off in the morning with a small suitcase, a couple of stuffed animals and a lot of smiles.

They spent the day going to playgrounds and having fun, then after soccer practice they apparently stayed up late watching movies!

Today they went to Imagination Island, and spent the day playing on indoor climbers and Jumpy houses.  Lastly, they went to Friendly’s restaurant and had dinner, complete with make your own sundaes and face painting!

Nana J knows how to show those kids a good time!  But I know they were happy to be home too.  The professor rushed in to give the Milk Monkey a big hug, and the Princess just wanted to spend some time with Mummy.  As much fun as they have when they are away, it’s good to know that they really love being home too.

Daddy Says… Dance Machine

If there’s one thing the Milk Monkey loves to do – it’s dance.  He can be in the middle of just about anything, but when the music comes on, it captures his attention immediately.  In fact, “The Wiggles” is one of our go to shows when the little guy is grumpy because they have so much music and it always gets him going.

Mummy took the below video at the Imageworks interactive play area in Epcot.

He can be an adventurous little one sometimes, climbing over and escaping from his play area.  He also loves to play and have fun with his big brother and sister.  But more than anything – he loves to dance.

Daddy says… Busy Days

Just a quick update tonight to let everyone know what’s going on.  We’re still in Canada and will be here for a little bit longer.  Mummy has been keeping busy helping her Mom recover from an unexpected surgery.  She’s also been assisting her Grandmother with Doctor visits etc while her Mom is out of commission.

The kids are enjoying it, they get to spend lots of time with their Canadian relatives.  The Milk Monkey has been having a lot of fun in particular.  The way Nana L’s place is set up, we just have to put a gate to keep him off the stairs, and one to keep him out of the kitchen – otherwise, he has the run of the downstairs.  He spends his time running around, playing with everything he can get his hands on and being cute for his Grandparents.

Nana L is recovering well and getting stronger everyday, which is great!  We figure if all goes well, we’ll head back to the states over the weekend.

 

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