Jakki and Barb waited in line for over an hour to ride that beast in the picture. The boys and I wandered over to the riverboat. As I mentioned it was hot and uncomfortable heat wise. But going to Disney World with the kids was a completely different experience than going with my parents, or taking my sister. Both of those were fun as well, but getting to see the wonder on the youngster faces was beyond amazing. The 4th day at the park was eventful. Jakki wanted to do a character breakfast. So we wandered to the park early (the advantage of staying on property you get early access). And we headed to the restaurant for the character breakfast. Now in fairness I knew Nick didn’t like the characters much.
What happened next however was beyond controllable. Nick started screaming as if he was being killed when the characters came anywhere near him so I carried him outside the restaurant. He was uncomfortable seeing the characters 20 feet and even 10 feet away from himself. When they were two feet he was simply going to scream. Loudly. So we removed him and talked to him about the issue. It was one that would appear a few more times, traumatic for us and for him. The next time was in Chicago at the Field Museum and the last time was in The Dells in 2010, although that one he actually was able to deal with eventually and go into the restaurant. Nick does not like stuffed formerly living creatures to this day.
So this picture was not created or modified in anyway. This was taken using my old Kodak digital camera (yes Kodak tried to enter the digital camera market- it was a really good camera but lost out to smaller and less bulky cameras). Jakki wanted pictures of Cinderella’s castle at night. As I shot the pictures I didn’t think bout the light or exposure and the result was an fantastic light show that wasn’t a light show. This is the light paths created within the camera as the Len’s had to have a higher exposure to capture enough light to see Cinderella’s castle. I have five or six with the light trails. It looks really cool. I know, it’s really bad photography but Jakki and I loved them and still love them. Even if they are really bad photos.
There is magic at Disney parks. I’ve been lucky enough to visit the two US parks (World and Land) on opposite ends of the US. The first time I went as a late teenager and had a blast wandering the park. My favorite ride was the pirates of the Caribbean and that was before Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow! Going with the kids when they were little was more stressful but also a lot more magical. The joy, wonder and shear excitement they had every day as we entered the park and every night as we watched the fireworks made the entire trip worth it. There is magic in those parks. Magic you see in the eyes of children as they experience the wonder of imagination. Walt Disney knew what he was doing.
That strolled logged a lot of miles. Jakki and Barb did a bunch of the rides that kill my back (or did for a long time) so I had the boys. We wandered into the hall of presidents and many other places while they waited in line and road the rides. The boys were limited as to the rides they were allowed (and for that matter would) ride. But we enjoyed wandering the park and riding those rides. Here they are both watching the sites and raring to move to the next location. We had to stop for water quite a few times a day as it was extremely hot. I suspect by the end of the vacation our Disney Water Bottle bill was close to 300 bucks. The other magic Disney has is getting money out of your wallet.
I did manage to score the Disney Golf ball set (the only way you can get the Goofy Ball). We also got the park pins from every park we visited. I have them on my Disney hat still that is on display in the basement. Here we are on a meal break my guess would be lunch. The parks was packed on this our 3rd day. We were at Disney world for a couple of more days. This was the first vacation where Barb didn’t take any film pictures. I took all the pictures using a digital camera. The conversion wasn’t complete at this point just that she didn’t want to carry a camera. So I took the pictures. The conversion to digital only would happen over the next few years but for this one it was the first major digital only vacation.
Is there a better way to travel? Other than the fact that you can’t get out and can’t run around (which twin’s or at least these two like to do a lot). People used to say two things to us years ago. I always wanted twins, one and done two kids. They never mentioned the 6 months on bed rest and the increased risk of the actual pregnancy with twins just the cool concept of have one pregnancy get two babies and be done. The other issue and question was how do you manage twins. You can grab two of them if you are fast. They, back then, tended to move fast and often in the same direction. Now they go in different directions but I am not as inclined to grab them now as back then. Multiple families are a little different than other families. The issues, problems and frankly the incubation of new diseases makes the first few years an exercise in patience.
Of course having a big sister that gets in and helps makes all the difference. Jakki’s primary goal for Disneyworld was to get pictures with Mickey and Mine. In actual order it was pictures with Minnie, and oh yeah one with Mickey as well. This, on the 2nd day of the trip was her first spotting of Minnie. Nick was terrified of all the people dressed in costumes so we had to do a balancing act for Jakki. She took the picture, we kept Nick far enough away that he didn’t panic. It was often a switch off, with poor Barb (who didn’t have the camera) watching the boys and me taking the picture. Anyway, we did a character breakfast the next day that was filled with Nick crying and me taking him out of the restaurant as he couldn’t take the sheer fear of the costumes. He was very sensitive for a lot of reasons when he was young.
My parented in crime. My best friend. My pal. Oh yeah, exhausted. The boys took naps everyday when they were little. So did we. I think towards the end of the napping age we needed the naps more than they did. Day two wound down with a nice dinner and then a relaxing evening at the room just unwinding. We had a few more days of vacation but back then the phrase I need a vacation from my vacation. Vacations are a lot easier now. Then it was a struggle everywhere we went. A team effort between all of us trying just to get somewhere. I would call those the Halcyon days but they aren’t we are living in the Halcyon days now. At least, that is my memory at this point. I am sure someday I will remember the days of strollers and diapers and will think those were the days.
There was a time when traveling was an ordeal. Not because our kids were ever bad or loud. They were actually all exceptional travelers at very early ages (Becca and Jakki used to get horribly car sick but weren’t bad car riders, just not good with the whole motion thing). So we would pack our 200 pounds of gear and slepp our way into the world. You had to pack everything because with twins you never know. This is the twin’s stroller. We never really liked the side by side (too wide) and stuck with the front and back two kid strollers. We stayed that first part of the week at the Polynesian. It was fun to actually stay at Disney World (you get in early, relaxing, and it was a nice hotel). I stayed at Disney World the year before as part of a company event so I was familiar with the in ands outs of being on property.
First up was the animal park. We started our vacation by unpacking and then wandered over to that first park. On the way we continued the family tradition of getting hats for everyone. I still have my Disney Hat with all the park pins! Then the nature park, because Barb and I were exhausted so it was the easy park first. The vacation part of this vacation for Barb and I would happen on the ship where it was simply easy to relax. We even had Cinderella babysit the kids but that comes later in the trip. For now we wandered the Disney World nature park. Lots of walking, that got us used to the Florida heat. I wonder if Disney World is a rite of passage for parents? I don’t think it is, but boy was that first day tough. I wanted to take a nap. Jakki did not!
Winding down day 1, we had a long afternoon in the nature park. Wandering, taking the rides (the river ride is a lot of fun. You get to sit, listen to someone talk about animals, but you get to sit. Just sit there on the boat as it wanders the river and shows you the terrifying sites. And sit. quiet. Sit). Did I mention that I wanted to take a nap by this point in the day? Seriously. Jakki said no so it was off to the nature park. Actually I really enjoyed that first day. I had, as I said been on the park previously (stayed on the Boardwalk for a company event) so it was nice to be at the Polynesian. Plus seeing the kids light up as they saw the various Disney Characters was worth the sleep. That first day in the nature park you don’t see as many Disney Characters. That would come the next day.
We wandered the desert of Solar Providers in February 2015. We considered buying the system but in the end decided on a 5 year lease from Solar City. It was the cheapest short/long term option knowing that we would be selling this house in roughly 6 more years. Anyway the system was operational as of October 2015. So far in the 8 months of production we have saved more than 500 dollars and have reduced our families carbon footprint radically. If you are considering solar I highly recommend Solar City!
I won’t drone on about this picture. Ok, well maybe I will. Flying the Phantom 3 yesterday and earlier in the week. I flew around the back yard and then over the house. I posted the first video taken on Facebook yesterday of over the house. In the second video there are a couple of moments where you feel the drone swerving/moving in mid-air. That was because a hawk dive bombed the drone twice while we were flying. It was kind of cool, I am just glad the hawk didn’t get hurt by the propellers. The new phantom (Phantom 3 and later) have a really nice GPS function that allows you to see where you are while streaming live video back to your device. The drone itself is nice because of the improved controls. Now if you run into the problem we ran into yesterday with Hawks you will end up a little off course. The video is simply amazing. This is of the back of our house taken about 6 feet off the ground in the back yard.
Before we left Cincinnati Ohio we took a Disney vacation. Jakki said at the time “I’ve never ridden in a Limo” so we took a Limo to the airport. You can see from the surrounding darkness that it was very, very early in the morning. The trip was several days into he park and then we embarked on the Disney Cruise. But this was the initial part of the vacation, the Bean wanting to ride in a Limo so off tot he airport we went. I doubt we would have enjoyed shelping all the luggage and boy equipment from the parking lot to the airport terminal. With the Limo we got dropped off right at the entrance and were able to check everything quickly. This was pre 2001 so we didn’t have quite the airport security to traverse then.
We were lucky Barb and Jakki didn’t hit the scotch in the back of the limo on the way (that was an extra change). They kept it down for the most part. Neither of them stood up with the sunroof open and screamed at our sleeping neighbors (although I did have to tell both of them that wasn’t a good idea twice). The flight was uneventful overall, again it was pre-2001 so airport security was a lot easier then than it would be now. Now it would have meant another 45 minutes earlier for the limo as it would take time to get all the “boy” stuff through security. It had to be, then, a funny sight to see us pushing, rolling and dragging stuff, boys and strollers through the Cincinnati airport. But we were off to Disney World!
Another trip to Holiday world (4 years earlier than the trip posted two days ago). The wonder of digital cameras over traditional film cameras. You can on the fly apply optical effects. This image taken with a digital camera and an optical fish eye effect. I like knowing the capabilities of the cameras I own. I am after all my father’s son, I have a lot of cameras including, all of dad’s old film cameras and his last digital camera. I think I am going to have a case made to display them. Digital cameras though have that one step above traditional film. There is an artistry of a film camera that is lost with digital. You don’t have to know the filters and change them, most digital cameras have built in light meters to adjust the image for you. It is like the nearly self driving cars that are being produced. It reduces the risk of the driver, but I wonder sometimes if that doesn’t expose new risk.
Barb and Nick combined putt-putt, hockey and a just get it done attitude in creating their own game. A single stroke only counts when the person is done chasing the golf ball and trying to hit it. Using this method the two of them scored a large number of holes in one. Until they were both told to stop. This is the putt-putt course that is connected to the hotel. The hotel is literally right across the street from the park. I began worrying about my son’s gourmet understanding of the world at this hotel. There was a large feeding trough restaurant and of course the boys pronounced it amazing food. It was, let’s just say, not optimal. Ok actually it was pretty bad overall. But they loved it and kept wanting to go back. It wasn’t even a good breakfast and it is hard to ruin breakfast in an all you can eat format. Oh well.
When the Xbox game Forza first came out we used to play, the four of us. You don’t play racing games with Barb however because when it comes to racing, game or go-cart, she is hyper competitive and will run you off the road. But when we played Forza many years ago I grew concerned with our children. Luke, Jakki and Nick were all three driving on the lower sidewalk that runs next to the Seine River. Not saying excuse me but running people into the river and smiling manically. I worry now that they are beginning drivers and a driver on the loose that in fact the world isn’t ready for them.
We still take day trips to amusement parks. Or now, to historical sites (like Colonial Williamsburg or the C&O canal sites to name a few) but the days shown in these pictures from 2000 are now long gone. The boys are as tales I am. Taller than both Barb and Jakki. We no longer live in Southern Indiana (although we still live in the southern part of a state, just southern Maryland). Sometimes when I am mistful and remembering I recall those days and miss them. But reality checks in and that feeling is gone fast. Every age you spend with your child is a treasure. Each one unique and wonderful. Just don’t tell my kids I said that.
when the sound first
swirling around me
leaving nothing else
Within the ebb and flow
the quiet and the noise
cupped to the wind
we cannot hear because
the road rise and
falls ebbs and flows the noise lifting from the ground
I see the eyes
see the lost moment
in plain sight. Will I
be free of the noise
pushing and pulling
around and between
Will I be ever free?