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That’s Incredible

“Happy Friday everyone!

When I left you last I tossed out a challenge to see if anyone had been to Disney World recently. Let’s face it, EVERYONE knew those bracelets came from Disney World or Disneyland, right?

flip magic

Well I have not been there since, oh, the early 1970’s, when Rapunzel still had short hair. We wanted to finally take the girls there this summer and I was just amazed, if not intimidated, of what kind of place this is now. It’s huge! So many options! So many choices! Where to start? What to do?disney

Well as strange as this may seem, there is actually a blog out there that gives advice on how to tour Disney World!

I know, hard to believe, but its true.

The blog is huge and vast! But it was a big help! It includes a 6 Step Process to planning your Disney vacation. Check out WDW Prep School. If you want to plan a trip there Shannon has answers to almost every question and does everything but book it herself.

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Which takes me to these gems above. They are Magic Bracelets! Of course everything begins with the word Magic at the Magic Kingdom. Congratulations to Ms. AuAu, an amazing artist and story teller and computer whiz who guessed correctly on my challenge. She knew how to answer the quiz question all right, Google it!

If you book a room at the Disney resort you are entitled to these little bracelets. These MagicBands use radio frequency (RF) technology and can be read by short and long-range readers located at the Walt Disney World Resort. They are basically your ID card, tickets, Kingdom pass and more all rolled into one. As Ms. AuAu discovered, these Disney accessories will:

Unlock the door of your Disney Resort hotel room.
Enter theme and water parks ~ your tickets.
Check in at FastPass+ entrances..to get you to the front of the lines.
Connect Disney PhotoPass /Memory Maker images to your account.
Charge food and merchandise purchases to your Disney Resort hotel room during your hotel stay.

Maybe I have just been living in a cave and these things are have been around for a while but I thought they were pretty cool to have all that technology wrapped around our wrists. It’s the Photo Pass perk that I found to be the best thing.

You see there are various Disney photographers all over the Magic Kingdom; at  the theme parks, the restaurants, resorts, everywhere.

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When someone has a PhotoPass linked to their bracelet the Magic paparazzi can take your pic and than forward it to your own Disney Experience web page for you. Not only that but it can add cartoons to your pics, add some animation, and with the help of your Magic Brands, know you are approaching on s few of the rides and take your pictures or video of the experience. Take a look:

I thought that pretty Incredible. Thanks to the Memory Maker thing I don’t have to carry my camera everywhere and might actually get to be in some family pictures myself this time.

So with our Magic Bracelets first you make your reservation , then claim your Magic Bands and customize them, starting with picking your favorite color to make your band unique. Then you assign a Disney character as your image for your customized band.

What Disney character do you think I chose?

After reviewing a list of about 30 Disney icons and characters, Dylan and I decided I should be Mr. Incredible!

Kinda fitting, huh?

Kinda fitting, huh?

 I know what some of my loyal fans are thinking?

No, Flynn Rider was not an option to choose from for me.

flynn and rapunzelI know. I was shocked and disappointed too.

…and the only other male characters to choose from were the Grumpy old Man from Up, the boy from Up, and Yoda

I will give you two guesses who my girls identified with for their Disney characters….

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Mom wasn’t close by to choose her character so Dylan and I thought about her for a moment and decided she was pretty Incredible too! Mrs. Incredible!

How did you like that honey?

How did you like that honey?

All in all I am getting excited for this vacation as it looks like we may have a pretty incredible time!

How fitting….

an Incredible family

an Incredible time!

…we are all ready for one great adventure!

So after 2 months of weekends on the computer, researching and planning, reserving, and paying, and calling we are all going to Disney World for the first time. It should be a great time filled with plenty of magical memories to last a lifetime!

And everyone can thank me in the end….

That's right, they have me to thank, MISTER Incredible...Mister Incredible!

Have the best weekend knuckleheads!

I’ll try to do better next time…

” THAT’S INCREDIBLE” ADDENDUM:

After seeing this post, one of my first Likes was from Jenny at Magic Mouse Vacations, a.k.a. a Disney blog! (Thanks Jenny!) Unfamiliar with this blogger I clicked on a link to her site offered in my notification and found she has a LIST  of favorite Disney blogs of hers.

So there appears to be multiple blogs offering Disney World advice. If anyone reading this post would ever have any questions I am sure you can find any and all answers at one of these helpful and experienced blogs. My only unanswered question is ‘How can I get a job as a blogger for Disney’? Hmmmm?

Life’s a Beach; that’s for Shore…

Well the summer is over. School is in full swing. Football is kicking in on the weekends. 

Good Bye Ocean! Good bye coastal weekends! As the King of Somewhere Hot I thrive in the summer. As the temps start to cool I become more of a normal guy I am afraid. Life can be a beach some times. 

I went to bed with this dilemma on my mind and the summer solstice creating odd moods and weird dreams. 

Like last night, I had this dream where I woke up to a spectacular sunrise… sunrise

My family and I rode bikes down to our favorite breakfast joint, Brown’s Donuts, home of the fresh, homemade, warm donuts. It was wonderful! So many choices! So little time… 

'Brown's Donuts are good but don't finger them all Skylar

‘Brown’s Donuts are good but don’t finger them all Skylar

After breakfast we peddled our bikes down to a miniature golf course. Our daughters tried to figure out the difference between putt-putt and hockey while I got to strut my stuff and the King of Somewhere Putt! 

'how hard did you hit that Daddy?'

‘how hard did you hit that Daddy?’

Later on our ride down the boardwalk we ran across these lowly pirates, begging for more money for the likes of hot caramel popcorn, frozen custard, or yummy fudge. 

My favorite letter is 'Arrrrgh', matey...

My favorite letter is ‘Rrrrr’, matey…

We rode our bikes back to the perfect beach! ….just as I thought my summer was over. ssurf ii

The water was nice. The waves were perfect! There was a coastal breeze coming off the mainland making the waves stand up and casting picturesque spray off as they crashed towards the beach; ahhh…shore.

The only thing keeping me from slipping into Margarittaville was a horse fly caught me off guard early in the afternoon, keeping me from completely relaxing with my Jimmy Buffett Ipod. Other than that odd twerk in my dream the beach afternoon was truly classic; a beautiful day on the edge of the continent. surf

What do you think it means in my dream? 

My girls loved it too. The day was so clear we could see all the way to Atlantic City it seems. My girls only noticed this surfer dude, asking me what he was carrying and what’s it for. I told them to stay away girls! Stay, far, far away! atlantic cityIn order to take their mind off this peculiar dressed surfer boy I took them to the local amusement pier on the boardwalk. Here they could find rides galore! rides galore

They got to ride some of their favorite spinny, thrilling rides…. WP_20140920_004

Plus, some old favorites like engineering Thomas the Train

Cheer up, the ride will be over soon...

Cheer up, the ride will be over soon…

My girls really love trains! 

The setting sun cast a spectacular view of the ocean at dusk. surf at dusk

We took a moment in awe of the beauty that this world has to offer.

A well manicured beach...a gift

A well manicured beach…a gift

We thanked God for allowing me to have this special time with my family, in contrast to how I was feeling a year ago. And we decided time was short so we needed to celebrate with one of the greatest gifts known to man…

FROZEN custard's my favorite

FROZEN custard’s my favorite

Kohr’s Frozen Custard!

What a dream! If only… 

If only it were real. If only I could relive it tomorrow. If only these stupid dreams weren’t dictated by some odd lunar effects. full moon

If only this was not a dream and we could relive all this fun tomorrow!

 THAT would be a dream for shore!

Have you had any weird dreams lately?

First Grade for the First Week

Or is it, “First Week in the First Grade?”

I am in the process of finishing up the planning our summer family vacation coming in September. Yes, I know. I am late. We were busy…

Its more like ‘Cheap’ as the prices and crowds / lines go down after every other 6 year old is on school. Right? And since planning a Disney Cruise in the Caribbean during the height of hurricane season is kinda like planning Russian Roulette (you just can’t reason with hurricane season), I opted for Dad’s our girl’s tried and true vacation spot of summer vacations past, Ocean City, New Jersey.

Do you remember Skylar’s first adventure on a miniature golf course there…

So on the way to school today I was trying to see how stoked Dylan was about making this trip up to a kid’s magical Wonderland again.

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So I asked, “Dylan, have you thought much about our trip up to Ocean City, NJ yet?”

She replies, “No.  Not so much, I would rather go to school instead.”

Wait! (sound of brakes screeching!)

Who are you and what have you done with my daughter?

Yes, it is the first week of school around here this week. Dylan started her first day of First Grade on Tuesday. She was a trooper!

Dressed for her first day of First Grade

Dressed for her first day of First Grade; complete with her favorite Tangled Diary

Even though all of her friends, I mean every last one of  ’em, was in a different class this year, she still was eager to start. And you know how hard making new friends can be sometimes for kids on the first day of school.

Sure enough, she did not even make it until 1:00pm on that very first day before I received an email from her teacher. It read:

 

Hi Dylan’s Parents!  I wanted to email you and let you know that Dylan is having a great first day!  She is such a helper! There was a child outside that was very scared to start first grade and apparently she knew him.  She told me she knew him and asked if I would like her to talk to him.  So sweet!  I’m looking forward to teaching her this year!  I’ll speak with you soon!

Looks like she is starting the school year off on the right foot. (Mommy was a teacher’s pet too. Not Daddy…. but Mommy sure was). I do hope she decides to join us on our trip I am planning to Ocean City and not stay in stinky ol’ school instead. Her grandparents will be so disappointed if she doesn’t join us.

“But Daddy, how else am I going to get to the second grade?

And get that college scholarship you keep talking about me needing?

I love school thiiiis much

I love school thiiiis much

 So next stop is Ocean City, New Jersey. I will let you know what she decides to do and what surprises I may have in store for her and her sister along the way. 

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I have an important 1 year anniversary coming up too.

Stay tuned…

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Post Card from Ocean City, NJ or how I spent my summer vacation

We are recovering from a long trip back from New Jersey this week.  We drove almost 12 hours, half of which seemed to be in the rain on the way home.  Its been a jet lag and vacation withdrawal kinda week.

So in between unpacking and work I have been trying to put together some pics and videos from our trip for family and friends.

I think I told you earlier how Ocean City, New Jersey was a favorite vacation spot of mine when I was a wee kid. I loved it. It had so many fun, new things that I couldn’t do at home.

So naturally we looked forward to our kids having as good of a time for a vacation as we did. I think this is a great spot for kids and young families. Ocean City is a great family resort. It claims to be the “Greatest Family Resort

ocean cityIt does seem to cover all the bases when it comes to having fun for a kid. Here is a glimpse why:

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Kohr’s Bros frozen custard is reason enough for a visit

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Johnsons pop

(the BEST hot caramel popcorn in the world!)

I actually have to order more Johnson’s Popcorn for my wife as I gave our last tub we brought home to our pet sitter this week…she wasn’t very happy about that decision…

"Sandy Monster"

“Sandy Monster”

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a popular T Shirt on the boards

a popular T Shirt on the boards

Like I said, we had a great time with so many great things to see and do…and TASTE!  So I put together Top 10 Reasons this is one of our favorite family resorts. Or, otherwise a glimpse at how we spent our time on vacation week. These are the things we enjoy in Ocean City. Maybe, hopefully you’ll see it too.

OUR TOP TEN REASONS WE VISIT OCEAN CITY, NJ

1. The Boardwalk.

Most of the fun for a kid, Dad or even a Senior revolves around the 2.5 mile long boardwalk. Their literally is something for everyone here and probably lost of it. Its a mecca for fun in OC and every trip is planned around trips to, as well as what to do on the boardwalk. Here are a few images:

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What?????

Some elaborate Mini-golf courses

Some elaborate Mini-golf courses

2. Rides of the Boardwalk.

There are two amusement piers on the boardwalk. Most of the rides are geared towards the little adventurer than the teenaged one but there is something for everyone. I think we went through over $250 in TICKETS for these rides in one week. Ouch!  But it is all about the kids. Here is few examples of the fun:

3. People You might meet on the Boardwalk.

I am not talking celebrities here. More like mascots. There is even a mascot parade every week. But what fun for a kid and some photo taking ops; if they’re not too scared.

I think you saw Skylar with Mr. Fries at the beginning of the week. Some of the other party mascots include….

We met Andy the Android

We met Andy the Android

…Andy the Android from Verizon. Actually we had to take this one since my wife works for Verizon.

There was also the Kohr’s Bros. Custard monkey. I’m sure he has a name. Whether he did or not the kids sure loved him. Really, Kohr’s Bros. is the only name you need tot remember!

Kohr's Brothers mascot

Kohr’s Brothers mascot

We also saw the sailor from one of the miniature golf courses on the boards. But whoever it was the kids sure loved their chance to meet a kid celebrity.

4. Miniature Golf.

There is a miniature golf course for everybody on the boards with at least 10 courses up there. There are courses of all type from the standard pool table bounce-off-the-boarders type of putt-putt to elaborate mazes for holes in ones. With so much competition many go to great length expense to lure you in.

You might have seen Jaws on Skylar’s video on Monday. Here are a few more we visited…

Give credit to the family resort… how many places start the day with our national anthem in front of a putt-putt course? And talking parrots pitching Dairy Queen?

5. Food of the boardwalk.

 manco

Many agree, all the various food stands and restaurants are the prime reason for visiting OC’s boardwalk. This isn’t the best food of the boardwalk, or Ocean City. These places of some of the BEST vacation / snack / junk food anywhere. They are practically their own food groups here, in that you should try to get a helping of each one DAILY.  And many try!

browns donuts

So here are our Top 5 places to eat / things to try / must haves / Reasons to visit Ocean City and its boardwalk. We actually talk about each one of these places on the way up. Really! We are that nerdy!

Top 5 at 5


...that’s “Hot, Fresh, Made-To-Order” donuts at Brown’s They are so good!

Now, how many of your kids would love that food in the video? How many of YOU would enjoy it? Its your vacation, right? Calories don’t count!

But, if they did, or if you are worried about fitting in your suit the next day, Ocean City has a way to help you out….

6.  Vacation Ways for Exercise and / or Transportation on the Boardwalk

Every morning a ritual occurs on the boardwalk. We look forward to riding bikes on the boardwalk as a way to explore it quickly, wake up, stretch our legs and set the plan for the day. Runners (lots of) show what they got on the boards in the morning too. Others find their favorite ways to stretch and get some exercise with other modes of transportation.

Because what kind a of resort has you feeling guilty or wishing you could try those donuts? Get up and work it off. You have until noon….

I guess some lucky people don’t have to work that hard.

7. Live Entertainment on the Boardwalk.

First Ocean City has its own Music Pier the sticks out towards the ocean from the boardwalk that dates back to 1928. Each year there plays, big bands, and other forms of entertainment lined up for the  summer.

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The last time we were in town there was a skit on one of our childhood Saturday morning cartoons, Schoolhouse Rock. Have I told you how nerdy we are?

But anything could happen! One overcast night last week, while we were sampling the pizza, fudge and  frozen custard we kept on running into live bands plugged in. Again, it was really a kick for young and old kids!  A little something for everyone!

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8. Protected Beaches.

The audacity of Ocean City to want to charge you to use their beach, a gift of nature. Yes, each visitor pays about $10 a week for the privilege to use Ocean City ‘s beaches. What?

Yes, everyone on the beach needs to be displaying a beach tag saying they paid their beach toll that day.

You know what? It works.

Ocean City’s beaches and dunes are some of the best maintained I’ve seen anywhere. They look like right out of a book. They have a beach service their that includes at least 4 life guards per beach, including life guard stands, life boats, jet skies, and yes , whistles. ( i hate to get a whistled at….by life guards. parents of any age can feel safe knowing their is that much help and resources around.

And that $10 or $15 fee, well lets just say that just helps to keep America’s Family Resort for families

The ultimate validation, last fall’s Hurricane Sandy ripped death and destruction in every direction of Ocean City, NJ. Its eye hit a few mile north in Atlantic City. Yet, this town is running like a clock this summer. And I have to think in part due to a well established and maintained dune system. Sure most of the dunes ended up on main streets a block or two inland. But that boardwalk was preserved. Most of the houses were preserved. A way of life was preserved…

Waiting to catch a big one...

And the waves are for real…

9. Beach bunnies.

No, I am not talking about curvy beach bunnies…

What's not to like?

I wish I was but I’m not…

I am talking about those adorable little bunnies that now call some of the protected sand dunes home. They blend right in at first but then the more you look the more you see.

I think any other resort claiming to be America’s favorite would have to be very creative to top Easter Bunnies at their resort.

Happy Easter Bunny day!“, right Skylar?

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"Happy Easter Bunny Day!"

“Happy Easter Bunny Day!”

They only seem to come out at dusk, avoiding the hot summer sun. Let other beaches have their mostly nude beach bunnies. OCNJ has Easter bunnies! Well done!

10. Kids just have fun here!

Yes, kids, kids of all ages can have fun in Ocean City, New Jersey. If our Top 10 reads like a checklist, how much of this sounds like fun. its fun for kids, families and even seniors due the wholesome atmosphere that is there brand.

And there are lots more things to see and do in Ocean City too. These are just some of the things we like. There is downtown shopping. Water sports in the bay as well as Atlantic City only being a bridge away to the north.

If anyone reading this has been to OCNJ and would like to add their favorite activities to our list please feel free to add them in the Comment section.

In the end it really is a great family resort; for the whole family. Although when asked which she liked better, Ocean City or the Jamaican resort where they furnish a nanny for the day, she still preferred Jamaica.  And, yes, they did have bunnies the kids could feed there as well.

We may just alternate back and forth…and throw in a Disney adventure as well.

America's Greatest Family Resort!

America’s Greatest Family Resort!

**Keep your toes in the sand, the breeze in your hair, and the sun to your back. Life’s a Beach**

Promotional consideration was given too but not reimbursed by the following:

City Of Ocean City

Brown’s Donuts

Manco and Manco

Kohr’s Frozen Custard

Steel’s Fudge

Johnson’s Popcorn

Johnson’s Popcorn Online Ordering

The Great Aunt Sue

Well,if you have been following many of you have mentioned the nice pictures lately. They are due to the Great Aunt Sue!

My sister Sue loves to come down and spoil the girls (and be a kid) as often as she can. She checked into our B&B about 2 weeks ago and every one had a blast! We love it when she visits as its kinda a vacation for my wife and I…

Catching some zzz's at the beach

Catching some zzz’s at the beach

as she takes over entertaining the kids (and we don’t have to pay her!)

Rather than bore you with my commentary, poor jokes and bad typing I thought I would just tell the story with a few more of her pictures.

First, Aunt Sue is an amateur photographer, with a camera that puts mine to shame. Her’s takes pictures when you press the button! She loves to take pictures and we are the benefactors of them. I mean she took 100’s of pictures! And that was just at dinner the first night.

So without further adieu, let me introduce you to the Great Sue!

Welcome to our house Aunt Sue!

Welcome to our house Aunt Sue!

The girls got to practice their dancing…

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And they also went to the park a few times.

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Dylan literally climbes like a monkey…

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…dress or no dress!

The girls also got a chance to go to the local pool.

Being the beginning of summer Dylan had lost some of her nerve in swimming that she had from last fall in Jamaica…

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But it didn’t take long to get it back!

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It wasn’t long before that fearless, crazy girl showed up again!

Five years old an Fearless!

Five years old and Fearless!

You do remember that fearless girl from Jamaica last fall, right?

Skylar had never been the water lover Dylan is, although she loves it too!

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She just hasn’t had as many opportunities to practice her swimming, being 2 years younger.

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But with the help of our Great Aunt Sue new Nanny she found her inner fish too!

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The girls also got to play dress up!

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Then! Dress up like divas!

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Don’t know who to blame for this, Great Aunt Sue or the new nanny!

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There was even a Gladys Knight sighting….

Her Supreme's imitation: "Stop! In the name of love..."

Her Supreme’s imitation: “Stop! In the name of love…”

The girls were all smiles and hated to see her go!

"You're the BEST sister ever!"

“You’re the BEST sister ever!”

Everyone kid should have a Great Aunt Sue!

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That's all folks! Come back and see us....

That’s all folks! Come back and see us….

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