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Disney World

Photos from Disney World

We spent last week in Walt Disney World. A WDW vacation in early-mid September has been our family tradition for about 8 years now, (although we’ve missed going a couple years). But this may have been our last such trip. Next year Calfgrit13 goes into high school on a traditional school year calendar, so he won’t be out of school, (tracked out of a year-round schedule), in September.

Below are some simple photos I snapped off-hand during our trip. These aren’t the “savers” we took for any photo album, or anything. These are just quick shots I took with my phone, not intending to keep or share them beyond days the were actually in WDW.

Let me show you an example of how great September is for visiting WDW — very low crowd level, and few neighbors in the resorts. This is a pic from the door of our rooms, looking out into the parking lot, (empty! — that’s our silver van on the left, first parking spot beside our rooms):

Another example of crowd levels — our boys with their nana at the bus stop:

Me sitting outside at the Caribbean Beach resort early one morning:

Calfgrit13 is very competitive, (like his father), when it comes to games, so we, of course, had to compete against each other on the shooting/scoring rides.

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin — my score on the left, CG13’s on the right:

Toy Story Midway Mania — my score on the left, CG13’s on the right:

We really concentrate on our games:

This is an amazing Lego display at the Downtown Disney Lego store — it’s made of thousands of Lego pieces:


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Planning a Vacation

Wifegrit and I have decided to take an adults-only vacation this year instead of the usual family Walt Disney World trip. It’s been a very busy and pretty stressful year so far and we need to get away from everything, (and everyone under 13), for a few days.

We considered whether we wanted to go back to Walt Disney World again, and chose not to. We’ve kind of hit a “been there, done that” feeling with WDW. None of the rides or attractions really excite us as much anymore, and although there are favorite spots that give us warm fuzzies, getting to those spots requires too much effort for what we want and need in a vacation right now. We want this vacation to be a do-nothing-but-relax event. We’re not interested in getting out and walking through parks all day, (or riding on shuttles or waiting in lines). So, we started brainstorming on where to go.

I brought up the Bahamas, but Wifegrit wasn’t interested in something that far away. So I looked into some NC and SC beach resorts. We both love the beach, walking along the waterline, laying out under the sun, smelling the salt air, hearing the roar and crash of the ocean.

In my youth, living just an hour from the coast, I spent a good many weekends at the beach with my family. Then when I went to college at UNCW, I lived less than 15 minutes from the beach, and that allowed me to go so much more often, (sometimes daily). The beach is where I feel most relaxed, easy, and free.

For our vacation this year, we decided to go back to the Wilmington area — Wrightsville Beach. It’s a great area, and Wifegrit and I know it very well. We met and first started dating in Wilmington, (20 years ago). So not only will this vacation let us relax on the beach scene, it will let us revisit some of our old stomping grounds. The last time we went cruising down our memory lanes, our boys were with us, and they weren’t the least bit interested in letting us enjoy any reminiscing in peace. (They wanted to play on the beach.)

So, we’re now counting down the days till our week off from all our responsibilities and stresses and worries.


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Head Wound at Disney World

In the middle of our week in Walt Disney World, we had to do some laundry. The resort, (Caribbean Beach), has a few pay laundry rooms scattered about for guests, and we brought detergent and a roll of quarters for this. It’s been a very long time since we used a laundromat. The prices are $2 per load nowadays, for both washer and dryer — that’s $4 per load total! Wifegrit and I put two loads in the washers, and then later Calfgrit7 and I went to move the clothes from the washers to the dryers.

I cleaned the lint filter for the upper dryer, then filled it up with the first load. Then I bent down to clean the filter of the lower dryer, and WHAM! I smacked my forehead on the coin slot thing sticking out of the front of the dryer.

This damn thing:
Coin Slot

“Son of a . . . mother . . . god . . .” I stammered and barely held back some serious cursing because Calfgrit7 was with me, and there was a woman in the room doing her own laundry. It hurt so damn bad. So incredibly bad. Really, I mean that smack to my forehead friggin’ hurt! After a few moments I gathered myself and calmed down. The woman in the room showed some concern — I don’t think she saw what happened, she just heard me start shouting unfinished swears. When she was looking at me, I pointed out the coin slot and said, “I just smashed my head on that.”

“Oh dear,” she said, “that must have hurt.”

A few more moments to recover from the shock, and I went back to the washer to move the clothes. When I finished, and was putting the coins into the dryer slots, Calfgrit7 said, “Dad, you’re bleeding.”

“Yeah,” I said, “I can feel it.” I looked at my reflection in the window of the snack machine beside the dryers, and sure enough, I saw some blood trickling down. I had smashed my head pretty solidly. Once I started the dryers, I said, “OK, let’s get back to the room and fix me up.” My little boy took my hand and we headed out of the laundromat for our room.

While walking back, I texted Wifegrit, “Get out the first aid kit.” She always brings a good kit for emergencies on our vacations. She’s a good nurse. When I walked into the room, she said, “Oh my!” She cleaned me up, and this was the revealed wound:
Head Wound

Two cuts. I applied ice to prevent bruising and swelling, and she applied antibiotic ointment to prevent infection. The pain was gone, and I was feeling no after effects of the injury, but I was very concerned about having a scar or two in the center of my forehead. I was afraid the cuts were deep and traumatic enough that they’d leave permanent marks. But only time would tell about that. For then, I just had to keep them clean and protected, so I’d have to wear band-aids on my forehead. At Walt Disney World. For three more days. Sigh.

I bought a ball cap and put on my sunglasses to try to conceal the band-aids. I think I did a fairly good job of it:
Wound Concealed

Now it’s a few days later, and I’m about to go to work today. I won’t be wearing band-aids, or a hat and glasses to conceal the wounds. But they have started healing, and so aren’t bright red anymore. Wifegrit says they are fading and aren’t as noticeable, but I see them easily and obviously right there in the center of my forehead. And having to continue keeping them moist with antibiotic, (or Vaseline), to keep them from scabbing over just makes me feel like they are even more “right out there.”

I feel very self-conscious about these marks in the center of my head. And I’m still concerned that there will be permanent scars left after the healing. Dammit. I went to Walt Disney World and I got a head wound.


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Off to Walt Disney World

Those of you who have been following this blog over the years know that we take a family vacation to Walt Disney World every September. (Except for one time we traded September for December.) This year’s WDW vacation starts this Saturday when we leave home, and lasts till next Saturday when we come back.

We’ll be driving this year — it’s a 10-12 hour trip. We drove for our first family time at WDW, 5 years ago, but then after that we flew each year. The combination of expensive tickets and ridiculous airport security has made us decide to try driving again. We have a DVD player, various Disney movies, Nintendo DSs, and some travel games to entertain the boys. We’ll have packed snacks and lunches, but we’ll still stop several times to at least get out and stretch. I’d like to stop for meals, but I’d rather get to the resort sooner rather than later, so we’ll eat on the road. We plan to leave first thing after waking up, (probably 6 a.m.), so we should be in WDW by 6 p.m.


I’m partially looking forward to the drive, the experience of the long family road trip. I remember taking long road trips as a kid with my family, and our boys are now old enough that they’ll remember this excursion. But I’m also dreading the drive, the looooooong monotonous sitting in one place for hours. We drove to the Great Wolf Lodge back in March, but that was only 3 hours. This coming drive will be 3-4 times longer. I’m feeling some trepidation.

This year, both boys are tall enough for all the rides, and they’ve both said they want to ride all the rides. In past years, Calfgrit7 was too small to ride some, and even the ones that either boy was tall enough for, they weren’t adventurous enough to try. Was kind of disappointing. But this year may be more fun in that regard. Also this year, we’re going to the water parks. They enjoyed the Great Wolf Lodge slides, so I think the Disney water parks will be a hit. I know I’m really looking forward to the water fun.

Well, this will be the last post for me until after we get back. So now . . .

To the Minivan

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