Sunday, June 27, 2010

Something On A Sunday

The State Theater 08.16.08
Elizabethtown, Kentucky

My wife and I enjoy taking day trips called, Two Lane Adventures. The purpose of these trips is explore our countryside. We will pick a place on a map and drive there using all roads other than interstates. It gives us a chance to see what we miss during the busy day-to-day rush of life.

Along the way, and once we arrive, we explore. If we find something that looks interesting, we stop. Once we arrive at our destination we stop, spend a few hours looking around and we try to eat wherever the locals eat; after all, that is where the best food is.

Sometimes we'll tie the trip to an overnight stay, as was the case with the Two Lane Adventure that rendered the photograph above. We took a trip to Louisville along the Dixie Highway and passed through Elizabethtown on the way. Loved the movie. The trip was our Elizabethtown pilgrimage and our destination that day was The Brown Hotel in Louisville; scene of portions of the film.

Staying at The Brown Hotel stems from our desire to stay at unique or grand hotels when given the chance. Just as taking a two-lane road opens your eyes to what is in your world, staying at a place other than a Hampton Inn, especially a grand hotel, can open your eyes to new experiences and, when it is at its best, give you a glimpse into life from a bygone era.

As with the photograph of The State Theater above, marquees give us a glimpse of how life used to be. My sense of romanticism calls to me to seek out these little pieces of the past. When life is fast, as it is more often than not, it helps to recall a time when life was simpler and the pace was slower. At least it is that way for me.

Maybe this is more than you wanted to know, but it explains some of the photographs featured in Something On A Sunday.

More to follow...

P.s. My wife has suggested we take a Two Lane Adventure from Nashville to Walt Disney World but realizes that may not work. I would be too excited to reach the destination to slow down, stop and explore. The thought of flying to Washington and then taking the Silver Meteor to Orlando is intriguing however. She'd go for that I think.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

...if I lived in central florida i'd

... be in the Magic Kingdom enjoying the Keys to the Kingdom tour. Oh wait, this time next week I'll be doing that very thing.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We Interrupt This Post...

... for this special announcement.

Well, actually it is more like an apology to The Few, The Proud, The Followers and others who stop by to read from time to time.

You've heard the phrase "Sometimes life comes at you fast." Well, the latter part of May and the month of June (so far) as been one of those times. I have been pulling long hours at work, including weekends, and simply have not had time to attend to The Disney Obsession; other than putting up the A Sign It's Saturday and Something On A Sunday photographs. Things should start to slow down in the next few days and I hope to return to more meaningful posts in the very near future.

I say "very near" because in my immediate future is a trip to Walt Disney World; July 1-5 actually. There I'll be taking more photographs and making more memories. I am sure you'll see and hear about it.

So, I have not forgotten about the blog and I haven't forgotten about you! Sometimes a person has to make hard choices and in this case, trying to have some semblance of a home life between my hours at the office seemed to be the right choice. But still, sorry for lack of content. With a little faith, trust and pixie dust, things will be get better soon.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled, um, whatever it was you were doing.

More to follow...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Sign Its Saturday

"Lions and tigers and bears" er, "Bats and Tigers and Dragons" are what you'll see inside the Maharajah Jungle Trek.

Friday, June 11, 2010

if i lived in central florida i'd...

...find a rocking chair overlooking the Town Square in Magic Kingdom and share a few quiet moments with my wife.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Disney World After Dark: Crossroads of the World

As many of you no doubt already know, that when you walk into Disney's Hollywood Studios, you are not only walking into a theme park, but also into a living history of iconic architecture. The Imagineers have given us many representations of the Golden Age of Hollywood in the facades along Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards. It is also a mint for those of us who have a great appreciation of the Art Deco style.

You may remember that Disney World After Dark looked at the Programmatic, or "California Crazy" architecture, on February 22nd of this year when we looked at The Darkroom. We also touched on it with photos of Gertie and the S.S. Down the Hatch. In the next few installments of Disney World After Dark, we'll stay in the Studios and look at other examples of iconic landmarks that the designers installed. Today, we'll stop at the Crossroads of the World.
The "Crossroads of the World" has been referred to by some as the first outdoor shopping mall built in the United States. It was built in 1936. The centerpiece building was designed to resemble an ocean liner and was surrounded by European-style bungalows. The 30 foot tower rose above the development and was topped with an eight foot revolving globe. Today the Crossroads of the World is home to business offices and two retail art galleries.

Of course, the version of the tower that greets us upon entering the park is topped with a revolving Mickey Mouse. This Mickey serves multiple tasks. Depending on which way he is facing, he is either welcoming you to the park or waving good-bye as you leave. He is also standing guard against lightning strikes, as the uppermost ear serves as a lightning rod.

It is said by many other people, not just me, that there is so much more to the parks than simply attractions and rides. True, they may what gets most of us through the turnstiles, but Disney has taken great care to give us so much more. Next time you're in the Studios and you're waiting for your Toy Story Midway Mania FastPass return time, take a walk around and explore the detail and history that has been built into just about everything you see.

More to follow...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Seven Questions: Blue Sky Journeys

Seven Questions is something new on The Disney Obsession. The idea takes its inspiration, in part, from the “Top Seven Must See” loop on Walt Disney World Resort TV. It also springs from my desire to, from time to time, invite a few special guests to answer seven questions so that you, “The Few, The Proud, The Followers”, and I, can get to know them better.

Now, that we’ve established that, let’s get started. Like many of you, I have a Facebook account. There I am privileged to be friends with a good many people who share my love of Disney. Two of those friends are Melanie and John Swoap. They both have a unique connection with Walt Disney World.

During a recent perusal of Facebook I ran across something that John posted referring to Blue Sky Journeys. Interesting name I thought. So I did a little digging and found that Blue Sky Journeys is a new venture begun by the Swoap household. It is, well, let Melanie tell you about it in this first installment of Seven Questions.

TDO: What is Blue Sky Journeys?

MS: Blue Sky Journeys is a company that helps plan your escape from your day to day (your vacation). We get to know each client’s specific needs and interests. We specialize in Disney vacations and are an authorized Disney vacation planner but we can take you anywhere you want to be. The “Sky is the limit” and no, that is not our slogan.

I consider myself a "vacation planner/concierge" as I don’t like the term travel agent. We do not stop after the room and tickets are booked. We go a little deeper than that. The fun part is planning the surprises!!

TDO: Why the name "Blue Sky"?

MS: Blue Sky came from two important things I wanted to covey in a company name. One is pertaining to Disney and the other for everyone else who just wants to escape.

Disney Imagineer's use the term "Blue Sky" to describe their idea meetings. No idea is too grand or too off the wall to be considered. Which is how I want our clients to feel. Ask and we will make it happen!

I used "Journeys" because I don’t want this to seem like just another vacation, especially when you are booking a trip to Disney ... it is a journey or "magical escape" if you will. And, isn’t everyone searching for Blue Skies when they go on vacation?

TDO: What prompted you to start BSJ?

MS: I absolutely LOVED my job being a Cast member for Disney. The experience was amazing. I worked as a club level concierge at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and also facilitated classes there at the Contemporary and at DU (Disney University). My husband was offered a job back in TN, which was too good to pass up so we moved to Franklin (which we LOVE). But still … I have been missing those smiles of the little and big faces that came up to the lobby desk each day. Some actually brought me to happy tears knowing that by just doing something small (adding a little pixie dust) would make their world … and it did.

So to make this brief, cause I could go on and on about special moments I had with guests … I wanted to start this adventure because I miss creating magic for people everyday. With Blue Sky Journeys I can stay connected to the magic from a distance.

TDO: What types of services do you offer?

MS: Well I don’t want to spoil surprises so I will tell you the basics.

We provide what seems to be an overwhelming amount of possibilities to a seamless, easy, exciting adventure for you and your family!

We really do it all actually … tickets, room, airfare, advanced dining reservations and more.

  • We start with a profile. We ask all the questions we need to find out how we can create magic for you.
  • We plan the trip and are open to anything you could dream us to do.
  • On our website we have the information you need to educate yourself before departing and a place to chat on “Figment’s Forum” to ask other fans what they love or could do without on their journey.
  • You are sent a package from us with all of your important information you will need such as flight times, reservation numbers and an itinerary with your advanced dining reservations, reservation numbers and tips for you journey. As a bonus, in case you lose this information, our website holds your information on your very own personal calendar that you can access via phone or internet to log onto the site and retrieve while you are away!

TDO: Of these services, what would you consider your specialty?

MS: The magic … really. There is a lot to be said about people that care. With just a little extra thought and preparation for our guest, we make each and every trip magical. Creating lasting memories will make Blue Sky Journeys what I dream it to be.

TDO: You graduated from the Disney College of Knowledge, so you're a certified expert on Disney, but can you assist clients with other types of vacation planning?

MS: Oh yes. I am a traveler myself (Tokyo, London, Hawaii just to name a few) and to tell you the truth, and I don’t want to take anything away from the College of Knowledge, but my training at DU (Disney University) on WDW property was much more extensive. Being a facilitator for other Cast Members, a conference with the Disney Institute for the events planning committee, and touring the Disney Floral & Gifts location extensively has opened my eyes to everything you can offer guests. So we can create magic on all levels no matter where our guests want to go.

TDO: What is your favorite Disney memory?

MS: Man … My mom taking me on my very first trip and riding It’s a Small World. Everyone gets sick of that song but I can’t because of the memories attached.

Every trip really! Here is a secret … when we start missing Disney we watch the planning DVD’s. lol!

Oh and my favorite characters are Alice and Minnie.

TDO: I don’t often do this, but let me simply say, that if you don’t have a regular travel provider, consider visiting Blue Sky Journeys. Even if you do, give Melanie a call and see what she can do for you. I recommend it.

So much so that I know when I begin planning my next trip I will be contacting her. Yes, I can book my own tickets, my accommodations and even my ADRs. But it is so much easier when someone else handles the details for you and who wouldn’t want that special touch that a seasoned concierge could provide? I am looking forward to that.

And one last thing, John knows a thing or two about Disney as well. Be sure to check out the “Did You Know?” section of the site.

More to follow…