Mid-Winter update

posted Dec 30, 2013, 4:52 PM by Scoob Edoo   [ updated Dec 30, 2013, 6:57 PM ]
Still haven't gotten up to DC to pick up the new-to-me kart, but family called.  We took a trip down to Orlando over the holiday to hit the Universal Studios parks for the first time.  Impressions: not nearly as well-run or organized as Disney.  From the parking situation to the way the lines run to the rides, Disney has them beat in every facet I could think of.  Even so, the 4D "robo-coasters" like the Harry Potter Forbidden Journey, Amazing Spiderman, and Minion Mayhem are exceptional.  The indoor coaster for the Revenge of the Mummy was also very good and reminiscent of Space Mountain, but newer and smoother.  I also rode the Incredible Hulk, the Rockin Rocket, and the Dragon Challenge coasters which are incredibly complex rides, with 6, 5, and 2 loops, respectively, and never a dull moment.  Unfortunately, the kids are too short for those now, so I was alone.  All in all, I think I prefer the 4D robo-coasters to the real deal now.  And there's no doubt Universal is much less expensive than Disney.  We'll probably hit it again in a few years to see how the new Harry Potter World in Studios works out.  But my expectations will be more realistic the next time.

We had 3 days at the parks and managed to also visit the Orlando IKEA for Kerry, then headed back north on Christmas Eve.  We drove half-way to my parents' house, then the rest of the way on Christmas.  We were there for 22 hours before heading home to reclaim Rhys and open the rest of our presents and cards.  A good trip marred only by the incredible traffic/roads problems in Florida.  They honestly can't run their highway system and something needs to change.  We lost about 5 hours total in Florida sitting in traffic, being routed incorrectly, etc.  What should have been about 21 hours on the road ended up at 26 hours, over a 4 day span.  A poor record by any account.

Planning for 2014 continues.  It looks like the events I mapped out should all work, and an additional 4-5 ETR events should be on tap, too.  Additionally we'll be planning a trip to Cali to see Kerry's dad and brothers, maybe as part of the Memorial Day trip to NE.  And I'm planning on hitting Disney again, in October, over the schools' fall break.

Kieran's kart needs a new floor pan and my plan was to fab one from some diamond plate or sheet.  On a whim I went to Lowe's to see if they had any sheet I could use and spoke to one of the employees about it.  He suggested a metal fabrication business right next to Eastman's Employee Center.  I forgot to bring the old pan with me today, but I stopped in today to ask.  No problem if I bring in the template.  Woo hoo!  I will get that over to them this week and have a few fabbed, out of steel and aluminum if the weight difference will be big enough (more than two lbs).  The extra weight of the steel could come in handy when he goes up to JA and needs another 20 lbs later this year.
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