2016 a year in review.

Well 2016 I am not sorry to see you go, it has been a year of ups but with more downs for me. Looking forward to 2017 and what is ahead.The year started off as good as any of the last few years with travel plans and family visits and was looking to be a pretty good year shaping up.

Starting off, a wonderful trip to Walt Disney World for 9 full days with 8 split between the 4 parks and a rest day. It was wonderful but tiring for us. Jodi was a trooper as usual, she walked as much as possible for a couple of hours then she had to use the wheelchair for the rest of the day.

Back from the trip Jodi was tired but pushing along pretty well. A clinic visit went well in mid-March but then she had an incident and died on the 31st of March. This completely shattered me, she had a spark of life that I cold not explain. It just radiated from her.

Then I was able to get to 2 local events a Concourse Car Show and the Taste of Huntington Beach, both in HB Central Park, these two afternoons were just an amazing time out of the house.

Next up on the agenda was to get up north to see my grandson’s 1st birthday at the end of April. It was a wonderful time but sad for all of us adults at the same time.

Then a cruise to Alaska that was planned in 2015 with family and extended family in June. WIth 9 of us it was an exciting time and a very lovely trip.

Then in October it was another trip up north to visit my grandson with an overnight stop in the Redwoods for the night.

My daughter and the 2 grand kids moved back into the house the first  week of November to fill up the 4 bedroom house. Now it is a lively house again with non-stop activity.

Finally the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas have been happy but hollow with something very important missing in our lives.

So looking forward to planning new adventures for 2017, enjoying travel again and seeing new places. My Bucket List is long and constantly growing so we will see if I can visit these places in the time left.

Planning and preparing for the 2018 Alaska adventure will take a lot of 2017 and really be exciting.

Possible Alaska Journey

I hope everyone has a wonderful 2017 and your adventures all come true.

May the calm be widespread, may the sea be as the smooth surface of the greenstone, and may the rays of sunshine forever dance along your path” Maori Prayer.


Day 8 EPCOT at Walt Disney Word, Florida 

Well we bookend our trip with park visits to EPCOT.

Arriving at a little after 9:00 AM we enter the park and head straight to Test Track to design our virtual concept vehicle and see how it performs on the TEST TRACK. Remember it will tested on the following criteria:

1.    Handling

2.    Maneuverability

3.    Efficiency

4.    Power

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Day 6 – Off / Rest day to Disney Springs at Walt Disney Word, Florida

Well not much happening today, we are tired and it is still on the cold side threatening to rain all day.

We have an 8:30 breakfast reservation at The Polynesian’s “Kona Café”, so we jump on the bus transportation to the Magic Kingdom and walk across the front of the park to gain access to the transportation for the resorts. It is too cold for the boat so we climb the ramp to the monorail for the trip around Seven Seas Lagoon. Although everyone raves about the Tonga Toast at the Kona Café it just looks too heavy and sweet for us so we both decide on the Big Kahuna breakfast platter. The platter consists of French Toast, Pancakes, Eggs, Home Fried Potatoes, Ham, Bacon, and Sausage. This is still a large filling breakfast and a lot of food but the large bread-roll smothered in a sweet topping would be a heavy gut buster for us. I asked to change my French Toast for additional pancakes and the ham for additional bacon, just perfect now. Filled up for the day we should only require a late lunch to keep our tummies happy for the rest of today.

We take the monorail back to catch our resort bus transportation and we hardly stop in the line to wait for the next bus when a private Disney van pulls up, the driver gets out opens the side door and say’s our ride is ready. What??? Our driver explains that due to the buses schedules of getting guests to the parks in the morning this van service is provided to return people to the Resorts if it is needed. Wow, a private van / limo ride back and a wonderful talk with our diver. Returning we start a load of laundry and do some packing as we are changing hotels tomorrow for our last two nights.

We start our walk to Disney Springs and proceed across the pedestrian bridge that provides access between Saratoga Springs Resort and the Disney Springs shopping area.

The bridge drops us off near the Transportation Stop and we visit The Art of Disney, Disney Days of Christmas, Spice and Tea Cooking shop, Once Upon a Toy Store, and The World of Disney Store.

A steady rain starts about 11:15 AM as we are in Once Upon a Time and by the time we leave the Disney Store it coming down  little harder and does not look like the rain will let up much at all today.

Wanting to go over to “Cookes of Dublin” for our only other meal today we decide to stay close to this side of Disney Springs as the rain is just coming down too much for us today and we head to “Earl of Sandwich” before we get drench in the rain. We to get our sandwiches to go and eat back at the Villa; the rain lets up into a drizzle as we start our walk back at 1:30 PM.

Back to get out of our wet clothes we walked 3.5 miles and 8,779 steps today. Sitting at our table to eat our sandwiches. I got the All American and Jodi got the Chipotle Chicken Avocado, as always-great sandwiches especially when we warm them in the oven.

Now it is time to finish our laundry and packing as the rain continues to fall outside. We then rest and complete our routine. We will have our luggage transferred to our new room at All-Star Music Resort in the morning as we go for our third and final day at the Magic Kingdom.

Day 5 – Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney Word, Florida

We head back for our second day at the Magic Kingdom. We arrive at 8:45 in 38-degree weather, rather cold today as it had been in the high 70’s and low 80’s for the first part of our visit.

Main Street Station

No problem with the security line today and we waltz right into the park. Heading down Main Street we finally come to a stop at the hub. Until the park officially opens at 9:00 we can not proceed any farther into the lands. We are heading to FrontierLand so we stay out in the main hub where there is nice warm sunshine instead of waiting with all the others in the cold shade.

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Day 3 Hollywood Studio’s at Walt Disney Word, Florida 

Well rested we actually get to the park about 8:30 this morning. The gates were open and you could enter the park to explore Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards.

We could not go on the exciting drive thru the streets of LA on Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster this trip but this is usually our must see first attraction in this park. Our grandson and granddaughter have just loved this roller coaster ever since they were tall enough to ride it, and this is an attraction that we come back to several times during the day when they are with us. This indoor coaster launches you at 57mph and 4.5g’s in 2.8 seconds as you twist, turn and invert with Aerosmith playing through the speakers. “ROCK ON!!”

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Day 1 EPCOT at Walt Disney Word, Florida

Day 1 EPCOT at Walt Disney Word, Florida

Spaceship Earth and Monorail

The symbol of EPCOT

DIsney World Bus Transportation

DIsney World Bus Transportation

We arrived right around 9am on the Disney Transportation bus from our 1-bedroom villa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort to a crowded security checkpoint we had to negotiate before entering the park (bag check and random body metal detector checks).

After passing security we scanned our Magic Bands and head straight for Test Track, a ride that lets you design your vehicle at a computer station and then input into your ride vehicles computer to put it through it’s paces as you hit speeds of up to 65 miles per hour on hills, hairpin turns and straightaways of the ride circuit.

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