Sunday, September 28, 2008

Day 14-17: En Route to Los Angeles, An Extra Day at Disneyland, and The Flight Home

After the evening deck party, things started to set in that we were on our way home. Well, not our home. But they were going to make us get off the boat. I think we were ready. I mean, it's great to be served dinner, to have your silverware replaced at each course, your napkin placed in your lap, to have your bed made in the morning, turned down in the evening with a piece of chocolate on your pillow, to get to lay around on deck 4 listening to the waves crash against the hull, walking around on deck 10 with the wind howling through your hair... Where was I... oh yes. But after 15 days, you long for your own bed, or maybe just high-speed Internet.

We attended a presentation on the debarkation process. Basically, you pack your bags the night before, and leave them in the hallway, keeping with you anything you'd need for the final morning. That morning, we reported to the dining room we were at the following evening, which happened to be Lumiere's. Each dining room had approximately 20-30 min to disembark. According to the rotation, our dining room was last for the first seating group. We asked for an early debarkation time because we were being transported to Disneyland for the day, but we were denied. Only those with flights before 1:00pm were granted early debarkation times.

We finally made it off the boat. The line for US citizens moved much faster than for non-US citizens going through customs in the port of San Pedro/Los Angeles/Long Beach. We then went down the escalators, around the corner, and retrieved our luggage bags. With the three of us (my parents and I), we got a porter who moved our bags for us. It was an easy process getting to the bus which would carry us to the Disney Grand Californian Hotel. I saw my grandparents one last time as they came out of customs (they got in a different line), and I hugged them goodbye.

The bus ride from San Pedro to the Grand Californian was only about 45 minutes, and everyone was excited. On the bus with us was a lady who also was from Olathe! Several people spent a day at Disney World before the cruise, and a day after at Disneyland, thus completing a "Castle-to-Castle" or "Kingdom-to-Kingdom" cruise. The "Cabo crud" started to catch up with me. I felt sick, and very tired.

We got checked into the beautiful Grand Californian Hotel. It's expensive, but such a beautiful hotel. It looks like a rustic cabin in the woods, covered in pine trees, dark wood, and deep green colors. It looks so beautiful. It has it's own special entrance into Disney's California Adventure theme park, which is located right next to Disneyland. Not all that long ago, California Adventure was actually the Disneyland parking lot. Today, the entrances of Grand California and Disneyland are opposite each other, and by walking just a few feet through Downtown Disney (an outdoor mall of sorts), you reach the Disneyland Hotel. At this point in the trip, I was too tired and not feeling well to take pictures. I'll try to add some pictures up here later this week. Take my word for it, it is beautiful.

My parents also splurged on buying tickets for Fantasmic. Fantasmic is a show featuring part live-action, part rear projection animation on water, part water, part water parade, part music, and part fireworks. It's free, and takes place along the water in Orleans Square/Frontierland, and the area. The stage itself is on the Rivers of America and Davey Crockett Island. Isn't that what it's called, I can't remember. So anyways, it's free, however, you kinda have to fight for a seat. You can pay for a reserved seat. Not only that, they serve you this wonderful chocolate, cheese and cracker tray, plus your choice of beverage. I was so stuffed from dinner. That could have been my dinner. If you get the chance to splurge, do this. It's very good!

I barely made it back to the room after Fantasmic. I just felt sick, tired. It was the end of a very long (and very fun) vacation. I just didn't have any gas left.

It was fun to walk around Disneyland and see others from the cruise. I saw several others who I recognized. I purposefully wore my Panama Canal shirt to see if anyone would notice. I think 4-5 cast members asked about it, but no other park-goers.

I flew home the next afternoon, it was an easy drive over to LAX, and then flying Midwest to Kansas City. I was met by my good friends, and we proceeded to our favorite restruant for dinner. It was good, even though I was very tired.

I finally made it back home to my bed. I had clothes set out for the first day back to work. Back to work. It was actually good to be productive again and have something to do.

Well thanks for reading! I don't have any other big huge long trips planned for a long while. I'll add comments from time to time on here, hopefully often. If you're reading on facebook, check me out on Bye for now!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


It's been a month! My bad, my bad.

I feel old today. I helped my good friends pack a 28 ft truck with all of their goods, and it completely wore me out. I'm running on fumes tonight, trying to get my living room (well my entire apartment, really) in a decent condition for hosting some friends over tomorrow night. We're going to watch The Office season premier that all of us missed because we were singing on Thursday night. I might pickup a Costco cheesecake! But I am beat.

I feel old today. I missed my high school 10-year class reunion tonight. I didn't make it back to the bay area, I don't really have the vacation days. I could have gone for a long weekend, but it's quite a bit of money, hassle, and I'm going to be gone next weekend as well. Plus my parents were going out of town this weekend, so I'd miss them too. So eh.. just not worth it.

I feel old today. Tomorrow I hit 28 years young. 28. 2-8. It's made me reflect back briefly on my life, what it has been, what it hasn't been, where I am now, and where I go from here. Not just in one aspect of my life, but in everything; my relationship with God, my career, my dreams, my finances, my hobbies, and my goals. Just plenty for my mind to chew on.

What have I been up to lately. I got a PS3 a while back, and I've been playing with on-demand playing of video and music over it. It is pretty slick, but it's time-consuming. a 30-minute program takes about 130 minutes to encode. I'm writing a script to automatically do this.

I got my satellite dish remounted with the help of my good friend Alan. It's in a more... shall we say inconspicuous place. I didn't think I was getting all the channels I should, but not it appears it is working correctly. Whew! The Sharks open on Oct 9th. :o)

Enough for tonight. I'll try to keep a more regular schedule. .