Time to Plan a Tropical Getaway

We moved from a warm, sunny place (Phoenix, AZ) to a less warm, sunny place (Wisconsin). This is our first winter here and I severely miss the warm sun on my face. I hereby declare an annual trip to a sunny location each year for my wife and I! We will be here in February, 2014!!

Adventure, Family

Disney does it right…

Vacations are always nice. They are a time to get away from the normal daily routine and step into an environment, city and frankly…another reality. This holds true none more so than Disneyland. We entered the world of Disney on Friday night after Thanksgiving. After a 6 hour drive, we checked into the Hilton and looked out over Disneyland park. I was immediately intrigued.

Now, Disney does it right.

Transportation – There are continuous shuttles going to and from hotels and stops around Anaheim all dropping people off in one centralized spot. Each post is numbered with your route and you never need to wait for more than 15 minutes. I found this a brilliant way to bring people to the park and ensure a consistent method of traffic.

Photography – Disneyland at Christmas time was a tremendous sight to see. Everything was decorated and created great shots for the family. At each well known landmark and staged setting stands a Disney employee

ready to take your picture. At your first photo, they provide a DisneyPhotoPass that is scanned and then each additional shot is added along the way. Viewing all the great photos when you get home from the trip provides another great reminder to how much fun was had by all.

Rides – The lines for “good” rides will always be long so Disney developed a FastPass to coordinate when the line will be shorter and you can walk right on. We didn’t partake in a FastPass and instead stuck with the rides in Fantasyland and ToonTown. We hopped on the train that went around the park as Colton LOVES trains. This was a nice relaxing trip and a great way to see the different stops throughout the park.

Food – Expensive, but not gross. Enough said.

Christmas Parade – The parade route fills up fast as there isn’t much space to sit and watch. We found a good spot at the end of the route at It’s A Small World. Colton and Amelia absolutely loved the parade and seeing all of their favorite characters. Well done.

Fireworks – Leaving a late dinner at Downtown Disney we caught the fireworks as we were leaving the park. The next two nights we enjoyed them from our hotel room overlooking the park. This moment was my favorite part of the trip as the kids peacefully watched the fireworks and expressed how much fun they had all day. Well done, Disney.

Friends – Dave and Kristen invited us to share in their Disney memories and we couldn’t be more thankful for their invite, knowledge of Disney and great company throughout the entire trip. They planned a Character breakfast, knew good places to shop and eat and helped watch the kids when an extra set of eyes were needed. THANK YOU!

So, Disney does it right. They have so much coordinated for you without you even realizing it was done. There were tens of thousands of people at the park, but throughout the trip, I often had the feeling that the park was all ours. Great memories that will last my and Becky’s lifetime…and hopefully the kids too.

Thank you Disney…you did it right.



Kids and Animals

I have always wondered if there was a special connection between kids and animals. Not necessarily dogs and cats, but animals like pigs, goats, cows, horses and sheep. I saw the across picture of my son visiting a local petting farm and it got me thinking…”what are they sharing?”. My son’s pose seems to be so content and seems to be studying the goat.

My wife would like a cat to go along with our dog Logan, but I’ve always turned her down because it would be just one more thing to keep track of. I might be changing my position as my kids seem to develop a special connection with animals which could develop into a life long passion. Stay tuned on the kitten thing…

As Becky and the kids traveled to a petting farm, I had a team builder for work. My department set out on horseback in the McDowell mountains. I haven’t been on a horse in quite a few years but I got a good horse and my technique came back quickly. The scenery was beautiful and tranquil. It’s easy to only notice the pavement and dirt when in the desert, but get out of the city a little and the views change completely. Next time, however, Becky is coming with me. I think she would enjoy the views as well.