Vacation Coffee

After a week’s vacation, I’m back in the office. I might have left with an empty inbox and newsreader, but I returned to nearly 300 emails and over 500 news items. Actually, 300 emails for a week is actually really good – most of them are in my “low priority” folder which means they are internal mailing list emails rather than things I actually have to deal with.

Major thanks to Dale for keeping the lights on around here while I was gone. With my renewed commitment to blogging this year, I’d rather not see DevHawk “go dark” for a week while I get some R&R. If you liked what Dale had to say, go subscribe to his blog. I hope he keeps up with his daily posts, now that he’s no longer on the hook around here.

Anyway, since I have little idea what’s going on in the technical blogosphere, this is a vacation wrapup instead. Normal Morning Coffee returns tomorrow.

  • We spent a week in Southern California. Two days with my brother-in-law in Santa Barbara, two days at Disneyland and two days with my uncles in Palm Springs (with travel days between). We had a blast, but that’s a lot of driving. Next vacation, we’re going somewhere we don’t know anybody and staying put the entire time.

  • My brother-in-law has three kids, including a son a few months older than Patrick and a daughter a few months younger than Riley. I’ve long said I would never move back to Cali, but seeing them all play together made me think it might be worth it. I don’t have any cousins (my father was an only child and neither of my mother’s two siblings had kids) so I didn’t realize what a big deal it is. I think Patrick misses his cousin Jack more than he misses Disneyland.

  • When I lived in LA, I used to have a season pass to Disneyland. But seeing it thru my kids’ eyes made it brand new again. Our two days in “The Happiest Place on Earth” were a blast, though in retrospect we should have taken a day to rest and hang out at the pool between the two days.

  • Riley’s favorite ride was Pirates of the Caribbean (which she calls “Yo ho ho”). My friend Brooke told Jules that little kids “natural reaction” is to hold on tight during the drops, but Riley put her little hands up and shouted “Wee!” They recently added some elements from the movies (Capt. Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones) to the ride. My wife and I were worried they were going to ruin it, but the changes were fairly small and subtle and we liked them.

  • Patrick’s favorite ride was Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters but the Jedi Training Academy was a close second. His Jedi training was my favorite moment at Disneyland. He got to train with a lightsaber and fight Darth Maul. Here’s a video clip of my young Padawan:

    The big problem with Jedi Training Academy is that they only pick a limited number of “younglings” every show. Patrick didn’t get picked the first time we went, and frankly I pushed him out there the second time without him officially getting picked. You could conceivably waste an entire day at Disneyland attending all six Training Academy shows and never get picked. That sucks.

  • Biggest disappointment of Disneyland: Patrick being 1″ too short for Star Tours. I was bummed.

  • Disney’s California Adventure is a nice adjunct to Disneyland, but as a stand alone park it pretty much blows, though Jules and I did enjoy the Tower of Terror.

  • Disneyland seems to becoming Disney-Pixar Land. Pixar movies are the basis for several of the newer rides, including the new Finding Nemo ride opening this summer. There was an article in the Disneyland Pixar Evolution in the airplane magazine so I’m not the only one who’s noticed.

  • After two days in Disneyland, I expected Palm Springs to be a let down. But instead it was a nice casual cool down after two hectic days in the Magic Kingdom. Plus it was great to see my Uncles, who we hadn’t seen since last summer when my brother got married.

  • We flew home Saturday so we could have a casual Sunday before heading back to work and school today. We watched Phantom Menace last night, though the kids are still a bit young for it. We decided on Episode I instead of the original Star Wars because it has a little boy (i.e. like Patrick) and a fight with Darth Maul (i.e. like Patrick). But it doesn’t hold a candle to the original trilogy.