October 2015

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This year, the boys are going through a Ninja phase. You have to look real close, though, because, you know, they’re Ninjas…

Ninjas Ninjas

Mom took the boys trick-or-treating, while I stayed behind to give out candy and enjoy some of Cindy’s yummy guacamole…

Guacamole

Meanwhile, a couple of states away, Grandsons Mario and Luigi (a.k.a. Oliver and Carter), prepare to battle their arch enemy, Bowser, while Granddaughter Kameran is the most adorable Cheshire Cat…

Mario and Luigi Cheshire Cat

Needless to say, the boys cleaned-up on candy, and if they had their way, they’d eat it all tonight (and Adam was doing his best to negotiate that possibility)

Oh, and before I forget, here’s a picture of Cindy’s jack-o-lanterns. I cleaned-out the guts, and mom and the boys added the faces. Although I;m a little biased, I think they did a very nice job!

Jack-o-Lanterns

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On the way home from Neil’s wedding, we stopped for a few minutes to enjoy a cotton field…not that we had much choice, as the boys were going on about it since the ride up to Alabama!

Cotton Field

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For the second time this year, my son got married. This time it was Neil, and like his older brother, Nick, he married his high school sweetheart. Welcome to the family, Rachel…

Groom bride

It was a very nice wedding. Neil and Rachel made a beautiful couple.

Wedding Kiss

Nick stood by his brother as best man, and made a very charming toastmaster.

Nick and Neil Nicks Toast

Congratulations, Neil and Rachel…

First Dance

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As has become a tradition with Mom and the boys, October begs for a visit to the pumpkin patch. This year’s visit was a local establishment and Alex encountered one of his friends from school–Mackenzie. Where’s Dad? He’s not much of a fan of pumpkin patches…although his favorite Peanuts cartoon has always been The Great Pumpkin. Weird.

Hay Bail

Pumpkin Patch Stand-ups

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At long last the boys get to ride their bikes to school, a right of passage they achieved through personal responsibility and following safety rules. Still, Mom rides closely behind, because although they may indeed act responsibly, 6-year-olds can also be impetuous.

Bike Riders

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Cindy is certainly a woman for all seasons. No matter what time of year it is, our house is decorated with something! This month, our house is lit-up in orange and pumpkins…there are even some grey clouds in the background to enhance the sense of foreboding!

Halloween Lights

and there’s also this…

Witch

‘Nuff said! 😉

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It’s a great night for baseball and Adam’s Red Sox are playing the Rangers. Adam steps up to the plate and stares down the pitcher (which is actually his coach manning the sling that pitches the ball).

Adam Swings

The ball is released and CRACK! Adam hits the ball right down the third base line, lands on second base for a double, and stretches it to a triple on an overthrown ball!

Adam Hits

Then Adam brings it home on a hit off the next batter!

Adam Scores

And that just made his night!

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It’s the last day of our Disney Weekend, and what better place to be than Hollywood Studios?

Disney Hollywood Studios

Naturally, we have a Fast-Pass to Star Tours, which is the number one ride for a couple of Star Wars geeks like Alex and Adam…

Star Tours

After the boys build a light saber in the Star Wars store, we still have about an hour before our Fast-Pass to the Rock-n-Roller Coaster, so we jump in line for one of my favorite rides: The Great Movie Ride…

The Great Movie Ride

This ride is sponsored by Turner Classic Movies, which happens to be my favorite cable channel. And movie host, Robert Osborne, introduces the crowd to a ride through some of Hollywood’s classic movies, like Casablanca…

Casablanca

There was enough action to keep the boys attention (although Adam commented that it moved too slowly), and plenty of nostalgia for me! And with that, we’re ready for Aerosmith and the Rock-n-Roller Coaster! Upon entering, we’re greeted by Steve, Joe and the rest of the band…

Aerosmith

This is a great roller caoster…and F-A-S-T! It goes from 0 to 60 in about 2-1/2-seconds as it thrusts you through a series of “loop-the-loops” (as Adam likes to call them) and corkscrews…and all the while you’re listening to Aerosmith: “Love in an Elevator,” “Walk this Way,” and “Lick and a Promise”. After we finished, we saw that it was raining outside, so decided to get back in line and ride AGAIN! AWESOME!

RocknRoller Coaster

Next, we grab a bite to eat, and head over to the “Lights, Motor, Action! Extreme Stunt Show”. Lots of tires screeching, fire, and car jumps to keep you riveted to the set. It’s a great glimpse into how movie studios film all those fancy car chase scenes! And who doesn’t liked the smell of burnt rubber?

We decided to wrap-up the day with the Indiana Jones Stunt Show, but was distracted by the face painting…

Alex wanted to be a Tribal Warrior…

Alex Face Paint Alex Face Paint

Adam, chose a Lion Prince…

Adam Face Paint Adam Face Paint

By the time we finished with the face painting, the Indiana Jones show was about half over, so we decided to call it a day. We made our way to the park entrance and picked-up the packages we had transferred there earlier, climbed aboard the tram and made our way back to the car. It’s been a whirlwind few days, and I’m looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow, so I can relax a bit! 😉

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{{ YAWN }} We’re up early and heading to Epcot…

Epcot Entrance

Our first stop? A Fast-Pass to “Mission Space”…

Mission Space

Where we board a simulator for an exciting mission to Mars. Adam, of course, loves the adventure, and naturally, assumes the Pilot’s role; Alex, on the other hand, is a bit cautious and after a bit of prodding, take his seat in the Captain’s chair…

Mission Space Mission Space

In the end, though, Alex came through and with his leadership, our mission was successful. He’s thrilled (it’s over) 😉

Alex and Dad

The park was not very crowded today, which made it much easier to get through the lines at Spaceship Earth, Ellen’s Energy Adventure, and The Circle of Life. The only ride we missed was Fast Track, which stayed at 60-90 minutes for Stand-by throughout the day (we’ll Fast-Pass this one next time).

The highlight of our Epcot adventure was Soarin’…a simulated hang-gliding ride over California landmarks. It’s really pretty cool, and feels so real that Alex was picking his feat up as we flew over the tops of trees. Basically, you buckle yourself in and your seat is lifted to the center of this OMNIMAX screen, an inverted dome-shaped screen that provides a sense of depth to the ride…

Soarin' Soarin'

Finally, we closed-out our day at Epcot with a visit to Mickey and his friends…

Mickey Goofy Minnie

Anyway, the day was still young, so we climbed aboard the Monorail and headed-over to The Magic Kingdom to ride Big Thunder Mountain, which closed just before we got on yesterday…

Alex and Mom and Big Thunder Mountain

and Alex insisted he take Adam to Tom Sawyer’s Island…

The boys on Tom Sawyer's Island

and with that, it was back to the Monorail for a return ride to Epcot where we picked-up our car and took-off for a nice dinner in town.

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First stop: The Magic Kingdom. We’re up early today to get a head-start on the crowd.

WDW Entrance

I’ve reserved a Fast Pass for Space Mountain at 9:00 a.m. and Adam is in a hurry to get started on his roller coaster weekend! Naturally, mom is in picture-taking mode as we board the tram for the park…

WDW Tram

Alex opted not to go on Space Mountain, so mom took him on what seems to be his favorite ride at Disney: The PeopleMover, which actually goes into Space Mountain.

Space Mountain

If Alex’s favorite ride is the PeopleMover, then his second favorite ride is The Grand Prix Raceway! Of course, Adam really likes it, too…

Adam Drives Alex Drives
Alex and Mom Drive Alex and Mom exit

After the race, we made our way toward Adventureland. We stopped by The Haunted Mansion, which mom and Adam went on alone, while I and a spooked Alex hung-out at the exit waiting for them to finish. Thankfully, Alex was able to summon his courage for The Pirates of the Caribbean!

Pirates of the Caribbean

The boys always get a kick out of locating Captain Jack Sparrow in various locations throughout the course of the ride…

Captain Jack Sparrow

Then the Magic Carpet…

Magic Carpet

And the Tea Cups…

Tea Cups

Later, we make our way to Frontierland to Fast-Pass Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, one of the two roller coasters at WDW that Alex likes to ride. However, just before we were to get on the ride, they closed it due to some malfunction. They gave us a pass good until the end of October that could be used on any number of rides, but we’ll likely try to swing back by the park tomorrow after Epcot.

Fortunately, the line at Splash Mountain wasn’t that long, so Mom took Adam, while Alex, who abdicated his seat on the log-ride, and I caught the raft to Tom Sawyer’s Island. This is actually one of my favorite places at Disney because there’s so much to see and it’s typically pretty quiet. Alex ran wild among the tree houses, pontoon bridges, Harper’s Mill, Injun Joes Caves, and Fort Langhorn (formerly Fort Sam Clemens) where he discovered the air rifles in the towers…

Alex on the Raft Alex Shoots

Whew! What a busy day! Now, it’s time to head back to the hotel for dinner and a good night’s sleep. After all, tomorrow will be another busy day!

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