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Feb 20th, 2017 - 09:20 pm - Disney World, Florida 2017
random image 6 - Purin
Good evening Lj readers,

how are things? Hopefully well. I : am back! from a recent trip to Disney World / Orlando, Florida. My college friend Eric nicely came with me too :)

* Monday (part 1 of 2)

We flew in via Southwest. At the airport, Eric stopped for a snack @ McDonald's and I, later @ a Starbucks from some You Are Here mugs I am collecting (cups you can only get, at their actual locations - for example, Florida's is only in Florida). We airport-shuttled to the hotel, but alas just missed the hotel shuttle into Disney by something like 20 minutes. After trying to use Uber on my tablet, I switched to Lyft and we got a ride into the park.
We monorail'ed to the Grand Floridian, where I picked up some inexpensive bath bombs @ the Basin White store there, then onwards to the Contemporary, where we rode the elevator to the key-only 14th floor (out of 15) for some nice views of the Magic Kingdom castle and, indeed, parking lots, heh. Nicely a young girl -with- a key was going to the 14th floor, too.

* Monday (part 2 of 2)

After that we bused to Disney Springs, the large shopping center. Nicely in the year since I had last visited, they had finished most of the construction on the west side (I had basically missed the west 1/3 of the area the last time). We looked in the large souviner store, then swung into an Italian dessert place where I sampled a biscotti gelato and actually bought a kiwi-fruit-flavored one.
A large square Coke building held soda-themed merchandise and a neat 3rd (or so) story open-bar rooftop, to which we ascended for some nice views. They even had a soda-themed bar up there! I tried a sample of an interesting drink called sparletta sparberry.
Disney's transportation crew holds trading cards you can collect, of the various boats, buses and monorails throughout the park. Asking for one from a parked bus driver, I discovered he not only used to live in Columbus, but was gay too! How about that.

* Tuesday

In the first half of the day we caught the hotel shuttle to the parks, then monorailed to Contemporary, then boated to a place none of us had ever been before - Fort Wilderness. FW is Disney's wilderness-lodge-themed hotel. The lobby was large and held fireplaces and rocking chairs, the latter in which I sat. A stream bubbled up from the "floor", flowed outside, down a waterfall and into... the hotel's pool! Then, apparently, onwards to the lake we boated across the in the first place. Quite interesting.
The second half of the day we visited Animal Kingdom Lodge and toured the two restaurants in the main, larger Jambo House - Boma and Jiko. At Boma we nicely sampled butternut squash soup and the tasty zebra domes. In Jiko we tried 3 types of bread and 3 dipping sauces ( + goat butter). Outside, giraffes and yak-esque animals roamed the fenced-in center part - we watched them get fed for the evening.

* Wednesday

Today was a "park day". Of the 4 parks, we picked Animal Kingdom as the one. The flow and overall look of the area was well done - everything seemed logical and coherent. We saw the amusing 3-d movie It's a Bug's life, swung by the Starbucks for the only-available-there "You Are Here" mug, walked through well-done fake "ruins" to see real gazelle and exotic birds (plus a tiger, too!), had lunch at the plant-filled Rainforest Cafe' (I nicely had a free birthday credit from the parent company of the eatery), then finished in Dinoland, where we rode a "dark" ride (Dinosaur - which jiggled us around large scary dinosaurs) and then an outdoor ride, which was a standard roller coaster with an occasionally-rotating passenger car.
We decided to head to Boardwalk for the evening. As we rode over in the bus, it rained, but nicely finished just as we arrived. Of course, it was not very crowded! We walked around and even sat in a swinging bench on the little beach area they had at the place.

* Thursday / overall

Today was a "half day", as we were all set to catch the airport shuttle in the mid afternoon back to the airport. On the advice of the front desk person Brian, we walked to a very affordable (and, not surprisingly, somewhat crowded) Chinese buffet for lunch, then sampled some new orange varietals at the large, half-orange-shaped novelty gift shop right next to our Travelodge. We tried pineapple orange and temple orange slices.
The weather was quite lovely overall and, given the unseasonably-warm winter we have had thus far in Ohio, actually pretty similar in temperature! Of course it's always nice to see palm trees and people in shorts ;)

For a gallery of 10 pictures, one may click here ~

Okay. Have a good night!

Take care,
* Geoff
random image 8 - Snoopy
Good evening Lj readers,

how are things? Here they have been Ikea-related.

Here is the $10 store credit of the day :

* From the desk of Geoff

Things have been well here. Up until recently, we have had a mild winter, which in many ways has been nice. It's snowing outside this evening, which is peaceful and also more so certainly 'in line' with typical weather for this particular time of year.
In a previous entry I had mentioned toying with the notion of subscribing to Skoshbox, an Asian-snack-themed subscription-based service. A similar company, Lootcrate, actually did recently have a (return! of a) sale on some previous boxes for a discounted rate. They choose the box and mail it to you. For goof, I ordered one. It came! I got September 2016's box, themed "Speed". Among other things, it contained a mini car from the (remake of) Gone in 60 Seconds, a batwing ( - the plane Batman flies) keychain and... an Iron Man-themed t-shirt! (as "Iron Man", i.e. "Tony Stark", is a race car driver). Pretty neat!

* Birthday 2017

A few days ago (February 2nd) was... my 43rd birthday! I celebrated as I often do, by heading to Spaghetti Warehouse with some friends. This particular year, my actual day was in the middle of the week, so we all celebrated earlier that week, on Saturday.
SW was crowded! It turned out that a few other large events were in town, including a Disney on Ice show. We did wait a bit for a table, however it wasn't too bad (maybe half an hour).
My friends Tony, Phil, John, Matt, Chris, Ryan and I all enjoyed some Italian. The servers even sang! Despite my best efforts, lol. Although in seriousness, my birthday really was 5 days after the dinner. I nicely got some cards, and even some Starbucks gift cards! Thanks everybody :)

* You Are Here mug : The Hamptons

Company Starbucks has a large series of location-based mugs, which I just started collecting, of places to which I myself have nicely been. Although I did order this one, I have nicely been to the Hamptons ~

* Semi-annual house organizing (update)

Earlier today, before work I worked some more on the ground level. I have a 5th box of items to be donated started (I donated the other 4 to a friend), and also had a fire to burn some non-glossy papers. As well I cleaned the fireplace ash out and vacuumed the living room. Interestingly I cleaned out the fireplace first, then had a fire, but it's all good. I also moved a mirror around, to politely 'block' some wires from things I had plugged in to the wall.

* Misc. other

Some other small things, for which I am thankful : intelligent conversations. survey site eRewards, of which I am a member, switching to easier-to-redeem rewards. fresh brussel sprouts. changing the order of which I do things as a way to try something new. re-watching Wonder Boys.

Okay. Have a good night!

Take care,
* Geoff
Jan 26th, 2017 - 12:00 pm - My tweets
random image 9 - Twilight
Jan 13th, 2017 - 11:30 pm - New foaming hand soaps
Paul Robinett candle
Good evening LJ readers,

how are things? Here they have been commando.

Here is today's escrow :

* From the desk of Geoff

Things have been well here. Happy 2017! One of the fun new experiences I had hoped to do this year was order Lootcrate, a monthly "mystery box" subscription service with random, pop-culture-themed items and (usually) a t-shirt or something to wear. There are 13 (yes, thirteen!) different series, from pets to Hello Kitty to Harry Potter. The store had a wonderful sale - a random box of their choosing from a previous month (normally $40 ish), down to $20. However alas, they sold out before I had a chance to order one. Oh well!
Instead, I may try a 3-month, medium-box subscription to Skoshbox, a Japanese-based company which sends unique foodstuffs and misc. small things (such as towels, 'learn Japanese' cards, etc). More to come!

* Candle Lab

Well, it's happened, heh. After a two-year or so absence, local company Candle Lab finally brought back their annual box sale, woo! This year it was announced on Facebook and their website with relatively little lead-up to it. For the first time as well, one could order online 'in advance'.
My friend Scott and I always like to support local businesses, so we each ordered 2 boxes ($28 each). I got bergamot, blackberry, rain, pineapple, sunflower, muscadine, olive blossom and black & tan-scented candles. Plus a $5 store credit! ( x 2, as we each had two boxes). My friend Scott got a few scents including... a bacon-scented one! How about that.

* New Years

For this particular past NYE (as I believe I did last, as well) I headed over to my friend John's place. John's friend Philip and his roomie Nick were also there. We watched Anderson Cooper & Kathy Griffin, during hour 3 of their at-least-4-hour (4 hours!) live broadcast, as Kathy said amusing things and Anderson chats and goes along with it, heh.
I brought some new foods and drinks to try, as I often do. I tried some tumeric water, tomato-flavored popcorn and coconut-curry-flavored hummus (with crackers).
Around 11:50 or so we switched over to ABC, where Ryan Seacrest was counting everything down. Right before that, they had a performance by Mariah Carey, who (as the venue dictates) was lip-syncing one of her songs, but completely forgot some of her lyrics, which made for an amusing / unusual moment. The ball dropped, and it was 2017 ~

* Semi-annual house organizing

A short while I began my tradition of going through everything, and organizing / recycling / replacing / donating. I usually so do in January, when it is chilly outside. This particular year I started in the basement. I went through my old roomie's clothes and divided them into donate / keep / mail to him / toss-out-because-they-have-a-hole-in-them piles. I consolidated my empty boxes, lined the laundry-items shelves with peel-and-stick floor tiles and swept the floor. My donation pile is coming along.

* Misc. other

Some other small things, for which I am thankful : a blessed life. a good deal on Triscuits crackers. amusing moments in IFC series Portlandia. randomly getting some "your birthday is coming up" e-mail offers earlier than usual. Dollar Tree stores.

Okay. Have a good evening!

Take care,
* Geoff
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