Photodump: A Quite Busy October

It’s been a busy little month at the House of Meyer. We took our first ever cruise near the beginning of the month, which was awesome. But then we also had visitors come to us!

Scott’s mom and younger brother came to town for a few days, so we showed them a good time. That good time included visiting Disney parks:

I took this with a HDR camera app for my phone. The results aren’t as good as real HDR work, but it still comes out pretty cool. The colors seem more vivid, and everything is super-sharp.

I was also able to take the four of us on a surprise voyage — a fireworks-watching cruise out on the lake in front of the Magic Kingdom. I, a person who never wins anything, won it! It’s part of the “magic backstage” program, which provides nice little thank-yous for cast members. We set sail from the Contemporary Resort.

The weather was a bit drizzly, and there were a lot of pesky bugs down at the Contemporary marina, so the pool wasn’t being used by any people. Good thing, because a dozen or so ducks made it their home base.

We headed out on the water, and we were given drinks and snacks.

Neither Scott nor his Mickey-shaped “crispy cereal bar” are actually that creepy.

The fireworks show wasn’t the usual Wishes, but a special Halloween presentation. Awesome as always.

Our little boat had the soundtrack piped in. It was a load of fun!

At one point in our Disney-goings, we went to a cast-specific store. It used to be just merchandise, but now they have a section where you can shop from a limited selection of groceries. The prices were great! I just don’t need a restaurant-sized can of marinara sauce. But I did get some produce, because the Granny Smiths looked excellent.

And indeed they were. Fresh and tart, as opposed to a lot of the cold-storage stuff the groceries have at this time of year.

You know what else is delicious?

IKEA chocolate. I’ve never been much of a dark chocolate person (really, the bulk of my experience has been the miniature Hershey’s Special Dark bars that come in the Xmas assortment), but I’ve heard that it’s good for you, so I tried out IKEA’s Choklad Mörk. And it’s surprisingly tasty!

Also apparently delicious: grass.

I planted a little patch of grass for the cats to enjoy, since their main outdoorsy time is on our 2nd floor deck. So far Commie is still scared to come out on the deck, but shy Trouble loves it. And she loves to eat her greens. It’s surprising how fast this Bermuda grass grows.

My lemon trees are doing well as well. The Eureka still hasn’t bloomed, but the Meyer went through a lovely bloom (and those flowers smelled fantastic). I’ve been warned to not expect lemons right off the bat, but it sure looks like I have almost a dozen little guys growing. They’re tiny so far, but making nice progress.

They’re just adorable!

Now that I’ve sidetracked like crazy, back to the visiting Meyers. We also went to Sea World! It was my first time, but everyone else had already been a couple of years ago. Still, we three young’uns got to ride Manta for the first time together.

I really loved that coaster. You kind of dangle downward on your belly, so there’s none of that bashing and smashing of my head like I get from a lot of looping coasters. Compared to Manta, the old Kraken coaster was painful and kind of boring.

Had a surprisingly good gluten-free meal (roasted chicken) there, and I was also impressed at the upkeep of the park. Everything was neatly maintained, freshly painted, and very clean. I went in with Unversal-level expectations, so Sea World kind of blew me away.

Except the penguin exhibit was kind of eerie. They just stood around in groups, staring at each other. (This is another picture from the HDR app.)

All in all, it’s been a great fun month!

I’ll leave you with this warning sign that appeared one day at a busy intersection in our neigborhood. Simple, but a message that motorcyclists would love more drivers to keep in mind.

Bahamas Cruise!

We just took our first ever cruise.

And it was awesome!

I put 84 pictures up on the Flickr, which is a few too many to put in a blog post. But let it be said, I ate a lot of:

And we did a lot of:

And even partook of some:

And it was totally and completely:

I stayed gluten-free the entire time, and despite stuffing my face with all sorts of deliciousness (and ice cream after almost every meal), I gained less than half a pound. It was only a 4-day cruise, and here it is the next day and I still feel like the world is gently rolling. Hey, vertigo! Cut that crap out! At least while on the boat itself, I didn’t have any problems with motion sickness.

Here’s a link to the Flickr gallery — most pictures by me, but a few by Scott and some by my dad. (You’ll see him and my mom in a few shots, but my mom hates her picture, so I went easy on her.)

Even though our last day’s excursion to Norwegian’s private island was cancelled due to heavy wind and waves, we still had a great time. I read three books, and got some much-needed relaxation done. And now that we know we can handle cruising and we like it, we’ll be keeping our eye out for future voyages. We’re also thinking about JoCo Cruise Crazy in 2013.