Back when we first moved into our house (way back in 2006), it was looking pretty sharp with a recent coat of paint. Over the years of living here, we thought about repainting the exterior but found the quotes we got to be excessively high; so we kept putting it off. Then my family sold the last of the old family farm, which gave us a little chunk of change to play with. Unfortunately, this was post-derecho; so it took a little longer to get started than we hoped. But now that it’s all done; we couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out. If you happen to be needing new siding put on your house in the Cedar Rapids area; we’re happy to recommend R&P Construction to you.
So for the first time in many a year, Michelle & I took a proper vacation. We’ve been back from the vacation for nearly two weeks and I’ve been meaning to write up my thoughts but I keep getting distracted from doing so. I’ve been asked multiple times by different people how it went; so below is what I’ve been saying to those I’ve talked to about it. Also, you can find all my photos from the trip in my WDW Vacation 2022 album on Flickr.
While I’ve been to amusement parks before; this was my first time at a Disney park. My number one tip for going to Disney is to have the trip planned by somebody who loves you. All the reservations (flights, hotel, parks, & meals) involved in a such a trip makes planning it a nightmare; but fortunately for me, Michelle decided to tackle all of that work herself. My only contributions to that phase of the trip was getting the time off from work and making sure there were funds in the vacation account. This made things super easy (for me), for which I’m grateful for all the love my wife showered me with. Thanks love!
My second tip is stay at one of the Disney resorts. Their easy transport options to all of the parks made it simple to retreat back to our hotel when we needed a break. This is more important than I realized before going to Walt Disney World; as there are very few places for people to sit down in the parks. The few spots that are there were almost always full of other people. For somebody on the older side and who tends to be sedentary, walking around the Disney parks got exhausting. Being able to retreat to the hotel to relax was a blessing.
My third tip is to try to schedule time at each of the parks both during the day and at night. Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios was especially spectacular at night. Admittedly, it was harder to navigate the parks at night; as so many people were wearing dark colors and the streets weren’t brightly lit. Though if at all possible, don’t do both times on the same day. If you try to do it all in a single day, it would be easy to over do it and get burned out.
- Hollywood Studios: Star Wars – Rise of the Resistance was balls-to-the-walls amazing… when it was running. We rode it our first day/first ride and got in after about 90 minutes, even though the line was huge. At the end of that day, the line was half the size, so we decided to try it again. We got about halfway through the line when it broke down 2-3 times and we were kind of stuck in place. We clocked it as taking 3 hours to get through the line the second time. We were also stuck near some really annoying people; so that wasn’t as fun an experience.
- Magic Kingdom: While Haunted Mansion was a very close second; Jungle Cruise just managed to edge it out with the delightful patter that our guides used during the ride.
- Epcot: Soarin’ Around the World is this wicked ride where they strap you into a seat and then lift you up in the air in front of something like a curved IMAX screen. Shaking you around to match the aerial video footage of various spots around earth. We only got to ride it our last day at Epcot; but if I’d known it was as cool as it was, I would have insisted on riding it sooner
- Animal Kingdom: Flight of Passage was basically an Avatar themed version of Soarin’ Around the World. It’s all special effects rather than real video, but just as amazing… EXCEPT to maintain their immersion into the Avatar stick; when the ride started/stopped they flashed a bunch of strobe lights at us to signify the link to our avatars being opened/closed. The bright strobe lights were an instant headache for me. If I realized that was going to happen, I’d still happily have ridden the ride, but would have closed my eyes before the strobes started to avoid that pain.
- Hollywood Studios: Free-Range Chicken à la King at The Brown Derby
- Magic Kingdom: Pot Roast at Liberty Tree Tavern
- Epcot: Filet Mignon at Le Cellier Steakhouse
Best Drinks (DisneyDrinkathon)
- Hollywood Studios: Fuzzy Tautaun at Oga’s Cantina
- Magic Kingdom: Modern Fashioned at The Brown Derby
- Epcot: The Nebula at Space220
Before I left for vacation, as I was signing off from work; I sent my co-workers a message telling them to have a good weekend and that I’d see them in a couple weeks after I have a delicious mai tai… Or two or three and who cares I’ll be on my first real vacation in ages. Since I sent that message, I couldn’t resist keeping track of all the lovely adult beverages that I enjoyed while on vacation. Hence, the group of photos I’ve taken to calling my DisneyDrinkathon.