Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm Going To Need A Minute Here - Part Two

The avid reader of this blog will recall a similar title on February 25th. Well, here we are again, a month and a few days, and I am on my way back to Walt Disney World. Oh, but this trip is different. This trip is the Shelby and Papa Trip! I am trying to begin a tradition by which I take each of my grandchildren to the World sometime while they are 9-years-old. In October 2009 it was my oldest grandson Devon's time. This is Shelby's time. And what a time it will be!

This afternoon she will be paying a visit to the Bippity Boppity Boutique in the castle. She'll go in as Shelby and come out as Ariel. Then on Friday morning we will having breakfast with Cinderella and a few of her friends at her Royal Table. And along the way I will get another education from my grandchildren on how to slow down and enjoy the experience of standing in line for character photographs. I will also have the experience of leaky eyes again as I see a beautiful child make memories that I hope will last a lifetime.
I will, from time to time, share our adventure via Twitter and Facebook. And a big thank you to friends on the Disney Obsession Facebook group for suggestions on character interactions and shows. It has helped me to remember things I have done ages ago but have passed by in recent years with the absence of young children by my side. I am really looking forward to seeing the Beauty and the Beast stage show again.

Is my granddaughter spoiled? You bet she is!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wishful Wednesday

I suppose I could have called today's entry, Photo Phriday, and that probably is more fitting. Yet, I felt compelled to place it in the Wishful Wednesday category because it represents something that I have wished for; a fairly nice silky water quality. It has been hard for me to capture this type of effect since the slower shutter speed normally overexposes the shot. But this time, I got a pretty good result, thus fulfilling a wish.
It is just enough to convince me to keep after the photography thing. Maybe some day I'll be consistently good. Now I just think myself accidentally good on occasion.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Disney World After Dark: A Wall

The Aztec Temple of Quetzalcoatl that is the primary structure of the Mexico Pavilion offers a variety of angles to photograph. Still, one of my favorite items to photograph are the bas relief carvings that greet you at each entrance. I wish I knew the story of these walls, so that I could share it with you. Sadly, I don't. But I can share this.
I'll show my age here and this has nothing to do with this photograph, other than this carving is the one found to the right of the pavilion if you are facing the temple. This is the side with all the lush vegetation. Some years ago, at one of the early International Flower and Garden Festivals, there was a small vignette of what could only be thought of as a botanist camp site. There was a small pup tent, a few cooking utensils arranged around were a fire would have been, and other miscellaneous items you'd find in a sparse campsite. I found this very intriguing. When I am feeling particularly adventurous I think of this and wonder what would it be like to spend a few weeks in a tropical location, experiencing a somewhat rustic life for a few weeks.

Does anyone else remember this little camp vignette? If you do, I'd love to find a few photographs of it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Sign Its Saturday

I could call this the "A Sign Its Saturday - The Better Late Than Never" edition. I really meant to get upstairs and work on a few photographs this past Saturday, but spent most of my day in the kitchen preparing for a few Disney friends to visit that evening. I also used that time to work on a new Dining With Doc installment. What was on the menu? Chocolate Mousse Cake. How did it go? Well, I'll post about it later. But let me just say, it will not go down as one of my culinary successes. If you could get past the appearance it tasted great. But somehow I feel that it was supposed to look differently.

But I digress. Keeping with the Adventureland theme of the month, I give you the sign of an attraction that I have yet to ride.
Am I alone here or are there others of you who haven't flown on the Carpets? Dumbo I can do; just not the carpets.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Photo Phriday

I have been known to take a few photographs while visiting the parks. But this past trip I tried to slow down a bit and not carry my regular compliment of cameras to the parks everyday. In fact, the first two days of our recent trip I only carried my Canon Vixia, figuring I could capture both video and stills as needed with a single camera. This was great. It meant my wife and I could walk through the parks, slowly, not having to worry about what my photographic agenda was. Frankly, I didn't have one. It was more important to simply enjoy being with "my heartbeat", my wife, and enjoy time in some of my favorite places on earth.

But while this was wonderful, it did mean I came home with fewer photographs than I thought I'd take. Photographs say, of, the Disney Dream. I was too busy having a great time to do what I would ordinarily do; take a lot of photographs. But this too was wonderful. I spent a great time with my wife and with good friends.

Still, there was one photograph I have been wanting to take for some time and kept missing it. The shot would pass me by and I'd be left standing there with my camera still nicely tucked away. But having the mindset of slowing down, and with two days in the parks following the cruise, I was determined to get the picture. I stopped and waited for the opportunity.

What is it you ask? Well, here it is.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Where In The World

"In the Morocco pavilion in Epcot." That was the answer given by SKwiat to the 02.16.11 Where In The World photograph. And, SKwiat is correct. I suppose the tile work gave it away.

How about another one? Where In The World would you find this?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Something On A Sunday

Today is the beginning of Daylight Savings Time and while I don't care for losing an hour of sleep, I do enjoy having more sunlight at the end of the work day. Though we still have a few days until the "official" first day of Spring, the spring forward in time marks an "unofficial" beginning for many people. With Spring also comes the desire to be outdoors more and for my wife and I, it means the time to take a few back roads road trips.

We don't seem to make as many of these as we would like. Perhaps the 2011 focus of downsizing and simplifying may help with that. I suppose we'll have to see the results of this as the year goes on.

The purpose of these trips, in the event you are somewhat new to the blog, is to get out on the road and see where the day takes you. Throw the cameras and a few snacks in the truck. Plug in the iPod and point in a direction, and take off. The only rule is you can't get on an interstate. We use U.S. highways, State routes, whatever. But the road can't be marked with an "I".

Now Beechgrove, Tennessee is approximately 54 miles from my house if we were to drive I-24 east towards Chattanooga. But, if we were to take I-24, I would not have found this.
Today it is called the Beechgrove General Store. But, in 1924, it was called Ms. Brown's Country and Kitchen. And yes, it still has a kitchen serving up a counter service fare that has stood the test of time. We sampled but didn't have much, as we had a date at the Bell Buckle Cafe later that afternoon. The floors are wooden, the displays are circa 1950s, and there is still a picture on the wall of Jack and Bobby Kennedy.

We live in a society that wants everything yesterday, and I am trying hard to not do that. I am not being very successful just yet, but I am trying. Slowing down, getting off the fast lane, taking a route where the speed limit changes every few miles; that is my goal. A few road trips are on the horizon as are a few weekends finding a few trails to hike here in Middle Tennessee. But, hey, that's just me.

More to follow...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Sign Its Saturday

Now that we're back from Walt Disney World for nearly a full week, and now that we are eagerly counting down the days until our next visit, it is time to regain a semblance of normalcy here. Since it is Saturday, it means we are considering a sign that it is Saturday. For today, and through the month of March, we'll look at signs from Adventureland. First up...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Disney World After Dark: A Surprise

I feel fairly certain that I was not the only one surprised by Tangled. Quite honestly, I thought this would be a film that I could possibly wait until the DVD release before seeing it. But a postponed trip to Walt Disney World following Christmas gave my wife and I time to visit the theater on more than one occasion. On one of these, we saw the film, and I was surprised at how much I liked it. I thought the animation was exceptional and it was a good story. And let's be honest here, I teared up a little now and then. Especially during the song, I See the Light, and all the floating lights were released.

As I was making my way around the World Showcase this past week, I was also surprised with the addition of a new tower along the promenade. In the Germany pavilion, adjacent to the trains, stands Rapunzel's tower. Stop and listen long enough and you'll hear a familiar tune.