Travel, Walt Disney World, WDW 2012 Live

Day Two II – Who needs kids as an excuse to get a picture with Aurora – or, how to make a rodent angry

When we last spoke, we had returned to the hotel and Leah was sleeping. She had to be awakened shortly thereafter to head for a dinner engagement, and this is what she looked like shortly before rising:

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Travel, Walt Disney World, WDW 2012 Live

Day One II – Hoopin, Deein, & Dooin

We headed over to Fort Wilderness and hopped on a bus to head back to Pioneer Hall for the Hoop Dee Doo Revue dinner show starting at 4pm. We only waited a few minutes for the doors to open and we were seated at a table in the second row from the stage, which was a great location for Lele. We had no idea how she’d react to the raucous song & dance show, but we figured with corn and fried chicken on the menu, she’d probably be fine. Aly was hoping to get picked for the finale and join the cast, but I warned her that she wasn’t likely to get picked, even with only 20 or so tables filled of the hundred-plus in the room.

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Travel, Walt Disney World, WDW 2012 Live

Day One – Now with room keys

The power of the breakfast burrito

Like the idiots that we are, we scheduled a character breakfast at 8:05 am this morning at Hollywood & Vine inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios (which we still refer to as MGM). Since the girls went to bed somewhat early last night, it actually wasn’t too bad getting everyone up and out on time for the quick drive over to DHS in our red Dodge Grand Caravan rental car. At the Grand Rapids airport yesterday shortly after parking our car in the parking deck, Aly asked me “Is someone going to be renting our car while we are renting a car in Florida?” – priceless.

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Travel, Walt Disney World, WDW 2012 Live

Day Zero – Getting Here & Value-Added Chicken

If you read my trip reports from last December’s Disney trip, you might recall this nugget:

This has really been a tale of two trips – the parts where Aly has “been a shit”, as my mom used to say about me with some regularity – sorry mom, but it’s true, you did say that about me a lot, and I’m sure deservedly; and the parts where we’ve been able to have fun as a family, where Aly has had lots of fun.

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Family, Life in Holland Michigan

A walk in the woods

A few Saturdays ago, the little girls and I headed out to Sanctuary Woods nature preserve for a short hike. It’s a beautiful spot just off the edge of Lakes Macatawa and Michigan, with a few parking spots, but I’ve never seen the lot full. After parking, there’s a short loop around the lower area, with a few bridges crossing a tiny creek.

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Travel

Stonington Sunsets

We were presented with a spectacular sky tonight as the daylight faded. I’m not sure I need to say much else.

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Travel

Adventures with Aly

First, though

a bit of wrap-up from yesterday. When Rachel and I returned from hiking yesterday, we encountered Aly boating with Grandpa Bill in the peapod and Leah playing on the rocks with Grandma Jan, having a great time with their grandparents in Maine.

Now, onto the aforementioned adventures

Aly fancies herself an adventurer, and at low tide, we can trudge out to two islands, so we did that this morning. The first island has the oft-photographed storage shack and two lobster cars, which are floating pens that are used to stage lobster, though these two particular lobster cars always seem to be on this island instead of in operation. The island also contains a lot of various junk, including tires, transmission components, cables, ropes, etc. It also has some brightly colored tide pools which make fine photographic subjects.

One final note. Leah says that vacation is tiring.

 

And here’s Aly in the same “camping bed” at a slightly older age.

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Travel

Settlement Quarry

Worth a second look

On Sunday morning, we took Leah to Settlement Quarry, which is just a short drive from downtown Stonington. We’ve been by the quarry before on our way to various nautical experiences with Bill Baker at Old Quarry Ocean Adventures, but had not hiked through it previously. Part of the Island Heritage Trust, there are scant few parking places at the trailhead. It takes about ten minutes of uphill walking along a two-track trail to reach the top of the quarry, but the scenery while hiking along the trail is gorgeous forest. We also encountered an abandoned furnace near the summit.

 

The payoff

Upon reaching the summit, we were immediately rewarded with spectacular views across the entire range of vision. The blasted remains of granite sheets stretched downhill all the way to the water, though the slope is not too treacherous for easy footing. We enjoyed this so much that we came back on Monday with Aly for another fun hike.

 

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Family

The blue eyes of summer

A morning with Lele

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Family

Leah or Aly II – 18-month edition

How many can you get right?

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