Archive for the 'Visitors' Category

School’s Out…It’s Officially Summer

So it’s been an eventful couple of weeks since Amy’s birthday.  Actually almost a month.

First, there was the birthday weekend at Ft. Wilderness.  I must admit, that was fun.  It was the second time we did one, the first was the 10th birthday.  I took the day off on Friday May 23rd and did the grocery shopping for the weekend…supplies for the weekend in a cabin with 6 girls, plus Tony and myself.  I kept it simple, but even so there were a lot of groceries.  I went over to Ft. Wilderness, checked into the cabin, picked up the golf cart (and that was one of the very few times I actually got to drive it) and then went home to pick up the girls and Tony.  I had a pretty full day, just doing that.

The girls arrived at the cabin, and tooled around the Fort for a while on their own, then they got ready for a night on the town at Downtown Disney.  They took the bus over and saw a movie and met a bunch of other friends over there.  Of course, they were late getting back…but blamed it on the bus.  Too funny.

Amy had asked me to make up a treasure hunt game for them to play on Saturday.  So I asked around work and one of my friends gave me a game that had three parts:  a trivia game, a treasure hunt, and a scavenger hunt.  I made some changes to it to customize it for what we wanted to do.  The first half of the game was played at Ft. Wilderness and the second half they split up and one group went to the Polynesian and the other went to the Grand Floridian.  They had to answer trivia questions, and write those answers down.  They had to find things to bring back for treasure.  Things like brochures or kid’s menus.  Then they had to find places and take their picture in that place and for bonus points bring back some information like the names of the three youngest kids in the playground…things like that where they had to interact with people.  The first part of the day was nice weather, the second part was rainy…but they got through it and came back to the cabin with their treasure and their pictures.  We went over the answers to the game and they showed us their pictures which was absolutely hilarious, and loads of fun.  The winning team got movie tickets and coupons for popcorn and a drink and the runners up got movie tickets.  Fabulous prizes!  Of course, bragging rights, too.

Continue reading ‘School’s Out…It’s Officially Summer’

Happy Spring!

March is almost over…the year is flying by.  Our wedding anniversary (number 26) was on the 20th, which I always thought was the first day of spring.  Now I come to find out, that on the East coast, it’s not the first FULL day of spring, since spring doesn’t officially begin until sometime after midnight on the 20th.  Anyway, close enough.  It was uneventful this year, not like last year when we celebrated by going to the British Virgin Islands.  This year, no big spring break trip…which is a good thing really…I’m still working on the scrapbook from last year’s trips.  Too funny.  OH– and you should see it, I was working on one of the headlines, and ran out of the stupid little stick-on letters… so the headline reads:  “A Day Sail and Snork”  It should say Snorkel, of course, but when I tried to find an “e” to finish the word, there were none left, so I’m now stuck.  I have a plan though, first of all, don’t use those stupid stick-on letters anymore, and instead I’ll print my headlines on photo paper using the computer. 

We had a nice visit with some friends from Michigan who were here enjoying a kind of Spring break of their own…without kids…and went to some Detroit Tiger Spring Training games.  I met this couple online, in a way, he is a news producer for the Flint, Michigan ABC-owned television station, and our emails sometimes cross, because his name is Patrick Wilson.  In the Disney email system, his name and my name pretty much pop up at the same time and some people pick the wrong Pat Wilson.  So over the years we have gotten to know each other and have had a chance to meet when Pat (1) comes to Florida with his family.  Pat’s wife’s name is Tricia — too funny.  Get it?  Pat & Tricia, makes… PaTricia — they had to get married…it was fate.  They are a fun couple, and we had a really nice time going out with them, hope to do it again soon.  Pat, if you’re reading this, you owe me a picture for this spot!

Easter came just a bit earlier this year, and last weekend we went to my parents home in Vero Beach, just a short drive from our home in Kissimmee.  The weather was so-so for Florida, but still much better than up north.  We relaxed during the day on Saturday.  Amy and her friend Nicole went to the beach, Mom and I got ready for company coming for dinner, and managed to go to some of the shops in Vero just for fun.  It’s really interesting to see what people think they can charge for clothing in that area.  I guess there are enough people there who will pay the price either because they don’t count their pennies like we do, or because they’re visiting from Europe where they are getting a real bargain by coming here for vacation.  We attended Easter services at my parents’ church which was very nice.

Next week is Spring Break for Amy, and I’ve been hearing a few things about plans for next week, I’ll bet they will try to go to the beach again as they had quite a bit of fun doing that a couple of weeks ago.  They’re on the prowl for cute boys, of course.  Hopefully not too many activities to drive me crazy.

Next big things coming up:

  • I’m buying a new car (Amy will get my Taurus when she gets her license in June).  Right now I’m thinking about a Mini Cooper Convertible, so stay tuned about that.  I don’t have to do it until June. 
  • Going to Patrick & Marcella’s wedding in April (Mentioned that in my previous article).  I’ll get to see my sister and hopefully Dan will come out as well.  My aunt told me she’s going to wear the same dress she wore to my wedding, which is a stunning royal blue silk Sari that my dad brought back from India and she made into a dress.  I can’t wait to see that again, and to be honest I’m so impressed because I can’t fit into anything that I wore 26 years ago, and I think it’s great that she can!
  • Vacation in Bethany Beach in July…Amy and I have to drive up by ourselves because Tony has to stay home and work.  His boss messed up on his vacation schedules so Tony gets jipped out of most of the first week at BB.  He will fly up to join us on July 3 so that he gets to be there for the big parade and fireworks show…the highlight of the summer!

Happy spring, everyone, it will be summer before we know it and we will be wondering where the time went.  Too funny.

Catching Up With Cousins

This past week we had a great visit with Charlotte (Shorty) and Keri Olson who are my cousins from Bismarck, North Dakota.  Keri is a member of her high school (Bismarck High School) dance team, the Demonettes.  They were here competing in the UDA National Dance Championships at Disney’s Hollywood Studios February 2 – 3.  If you click the link, it will take you to a picture of their team doing the High Kick in the finals, they took 6th place.  Keri is the blonde girl towards the middle.  They took 6th place.   Notice that the top two places were won by local Florida schools.  Who knew?

To see a video of their performances, go to http://www.varsity.com/vwired/08udandtc.asp#set and type Bismarck in the search bar above the video player, and their three videos will display on the right side.  Click on one of them to start playing it.

We missed seeing the Saturday performance because they went on so early that we were not able to get through the park entrance gate in time.  We waited around with Shorty until the finalists were announced, and they made it to the High Kick finals.  So the team went back to their hotel to sunbathe by the pool (a good activity for a group of girls from North Dakota) and Amy and I took Shorty to Epcot to ride Spaceship Earth and have a bite of lunch at The Land Pavilion.

We didn’t get to see the Sunday performance because of church comittments and then later in the day picked up Shorty and Keri for a trip to the mall.  Their team didn’t make it to finals in the Jazz Dance, so they had the rest of their day free.

On Monday my mom came up from Vero Beach for lunch and also we were joined by another cousin, Charlotte Wheatcraft.  So the two Charlottes, Keri, my mom and myself had lunch at Olivia’s (Old Key West).  It was great to meet Charlotte W. who was one of my babysitters when we lived in Des Moines, Iowa.  I guess the last time Charlotte W. saw me I was wearing diapers.  So it must be kind of surreal for her to see the adult after all these years.  She told a cute story about my sister running around naked…so that was amusing.  Too funny.  Then they did a bit more shopping (of course) and Keri had to get back to her team for the trip home.

Here is our picture from lunch:

Keri Olson, Charlotte Olson (Shorty), Charlotte Wheatcraft, Pat Wilson (me), Jan Greene (mom)

lunchgroup_sm.jpg

Shorty spent the night with us Monday night and we had a nice visit and gave her a ride to the airport on Tuesday.  We are trying to find a way to get the girls together at a time that’s not so busy and they can enjoy each other’s company more.  I’m hoping we can make some plans for summer.

That’s it for now… next week I’m working a press event so I should have some interesting news about that.  In the meantime, enjoy!

The British Invasion

I wrote the last time about catching up, but I actually skipped over something so very important!!  We had a great 2-week visit with the Wilsons and Masons from England. 

Claire, Dean, Abigail, Les, Barbara, and Maureen rented a villa in west Osceola County, not far from Champion’s Gate.  They had a good time relaxing and playing, visiting theme parks, and shopping.  Unfortunately they had some health issues, but everyone kept their spirits high.  What would a vacation be without a couple of trips to the emergency room for massive doses of antibiotics?  I can’t even say…not half as much fun.  <GRIN>

Continue reading ‘The British Invasion’

Counting Down

At this time on Saturday, we will be kicking back on a little island in the Caribbean just takin’ it easy.  In the meantime….

…very busy at work, trying to wrap up some requirements and specifications for the latest project that involves lots of little changes to code we just released late last year.   It leaves me scratching my head wondering why we don’t try to plan for these small changes when we are making major changes.  Last year we totally replaced our central reservation system (CRS).  Our CIO likened it to a heart transplant.  Airlines have been afraid (AFRAID) of replacing their CRS’s because of the damage it can do to their business.  Yet we took on this project and retired a decades old system that ran on an antique operating system that IBM refused to support any longer without huge monthly payments, and did it on time, and within budget (well, within reason) and without major disruptions to the business.  So why did our business not require a system where we could price our products in a more flexible way.  I think the answer for that lies in the fact that our when business asks to have a system replaced, they do not think beyond the system that is being replaced, and their strategic IT partner (that’s us) have not helped them to think strategically.

So now, we are taking all the code we put in when we replaced our CRS and making loads of small changes for product pricing that should have been done with the CRS replacement.

…very busy at church, helping with a communications project.  It’s a little like when we started thinking about building a garage for the church van.  When we finished, we had a 2-car/van garage, a multi-purpose building, and a brand new 2-story school building.  This communications project started out by a couple of people asking for an online calendar, and me saying you don’t need an online calendar.  Basically, the symptoms of the disease are lack of communication, not calendaring.  So we went out to talk to groups of church members and school parents and found out what people were really thinking.  What is really true is that most people don’t want the same thing, but most people do want good communications.  At the heart of that is the need to know the basics of journalism: who, what, where, when, how, and why as well as mulitple communication channels.  So now, instead of just an online calendar, I have a team of people thinking about all the ways we communicate and what the best approach will be to make some immediate improvements.  So, I gave up council and gained a committee.  HA!

…very busy at school, Amy is in two (yes, TWO) drama classes (as if a teenage girl really NEEDS any more drama) and this week is their production of ‘The Glass Menagerie.’  At first, they were going to do both ‘The Glass Menagerie’ and ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ but they had tempermental actors for ‘Cat’ so they were only able to do ‘Glass.’  At any rate, Amy is on the crew, and is expected to be there every night this week…last night until 10 p.m. and that’s in addition to having to do homework assignments.  So…needless to say she will be more than ready for spring break.

…very busy getting ready for some visitors…we will spend only a short time with them, but we pick up Natalie and a friend at the airport on Friday evening (Amy will be at school doing the play) and they will stay with us overnight.  Carolyn will get here sometime Saturday (while we are flying down to the BVI) and will pick up our car and go over to Disney for a few days…then to Vero Beach.  So now I know what you’re thinking…but we did invite them to come along but for various reasons they were not able to join us on our trip.

…very busy getting ready for our trip.  I have the laundry done, the planning done, and all shopping imaginable done.  Tomorrow I’ll go pick up new specs…that’s the subject of a whole ‘nother blog because that was quite the journey.  We leave Saturday morning quite early…we will have to leave the house by 5 a.m. to get to the airport for the 2-hour departure window.  It seems ridiculous to have to sit around for 2 hours, but things are what they are.  So…one good thing is that I was able to borrow a computer from work and will be able to keep up with my blog over our vacation.  Well….we’ll see…. it might or might not happen… but stay tuned!

That’s it for now…


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