A Gamer Geek's Cogitations, Conjectures and other Cortical Experiences

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A Wicked Fun Trip

I’m way overdue for a new post. There are reasons for the draught, which I will get into a little later. Recently we went out of town for a family baptism. Instead of staying for just the weekend, we saved several hundred dollars and stayed three nights. We left early Friday morning and returned late Monday night. The destination … Boston, Massachusetts. I have never been to Boston before so we made the best of the extended stay. It was, pardon the pun, a wicked fun trip!

America’s Birthplace

Old State House, the site of the Boston Massacre that started a revolution

If you are an American history buff, then I’m sure you are aware of the role Boston played in the Revolutionary War. I am, by no means, an expert on American history, but I remember most things from history class. Boston has a rich and amazing history and not just it’s role in our independence but also how it became a city. I’m not going to talk about everything I learned about it’s history because I encourage you to go experience it for yourself.

I highly recommend taking the Boston Duck Tour. You will learn all kinds of historical facts not only about Boston but about America too. I also recommend taking the Freedom Trail, which is a historical path through the city. We did not have a chance to do this but it’s on the list for next time.

Other Sites and Activities

Aside from taking the Duck Tour, we tried to do as many other “Boston things” as we could. Every day I tried clam chowder at a different place. My favorite is the bowl I had at the Warren Tavern in Charlestown. Fun fact, founded in 1780, the Warren Tavern is the oldest tavern in the country. George Washington once hung out at this place and it’s also believed to be haunted.

Had a beer at Cheers

We also saw a game at Fenway Park, against the the Yankees. While the Red Sox are essentially in last place, that night they did win 3-0. We rode on the swan boats, had lunch at Cheers, toured Havard University, visited the Children’s Museum (which is next door to the Boston Tea Party Museum). There is more to do than I expected so we will have to go back.

Boston is a very clean city. There is no trash on the streets or in the alleyways. I rarely saw any litter. I’d say the one thing I didn’t like about our trip to Boston is an unexpected souvenir.

Covid.

We almost made it three years without ever catching covid. We went to Disney, attended weddings, parties, a 5K and never caught it. One trip to Boston and BAM! This is the reason for a delay in my posts.

Despite catching the ‘rona, I’d still do it all again.

/cheers (heh heh, how fitting a sign off this time 🙂 )

2022 Intentions Mid-Year Review

I can’t believe how fast this year is going. We are already in June, the halfway point of the year. That means it’s time for my 2022 intentions mid-year review (already!). I’ve had to make a few adjustments to accommodate for a few changes and I will discuss those when we get there. This post is a nice break from the plethora of Star Wars posts I’ve been making. To be fair, May is Star Wars month and there is a new series I’m excited to discuss.

Biggs 2022 New Years Intentions

It’s that time again, time to make my 2022 New Years intentions. I made some progress in all of the areas in which I declared intentions in 2021. I will get into more details in each of their respective sections below. 2021 was not as challenging of a year as 2020 but it had its moments. This damn Covid virus continues to wreak havoc physically, mentally and emotionally. It has the country, and possibly the world, divided. Some are scared, some refuse to be afraid, and some just don’t know what to believe anymore. The media is at fault.


Merry Christmas!

Disney and Galaxy’s Edge [Cont.]

There is nothing else more to say about Magic Kingdom or Epcot, other than masks it was very similar to my last visit. The one difference between then and now is the absence of Fast Pass. Let’s be honest though, you don’t want me to talk about those other parks. As an avid Star Wars fan, you want me to talk about Galaxy’s Edge.

It’s taken me over a month to write this post and its primarily because I don’t know what to say about Galaxy’s Edge. There is so much about it that I loved I just don’t know where to start.

The Rides

There are two rides, Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. Rise of the Resistance is unlike any ride I’ve ever been on, when it’s operating. Apparently this ride breaks down a lot so I imagine there are often several disgruntled guests. It’s like they took Star Tours and made it more immersive. It’s probably one of the most popular rides at Hollywood Studios so getting on the ride is a challenge.

Falcon Cockpit (Pilot 2)
Falcon Cockpit – Pilot 2 – Lightspeed Controls

Smuggler’s Run also went beyond my expectations. It’s going to be better for anyone that knows The Clone Wars, otherwise the appearance of Hondo Ohnaka isn’t as exciting. This ride is like Star Tours but more engaging. There are 6 “places” for “riders” and you are IN THE FREAKING COCKPIT of the Millennium Falcon. There are spots for 2 pilots, 2 gunners and 2 engineers. My suggestion, be the pilot on the right; that person gets to make the jump to lightspeed!

It’s Really Immersive!

Disney Imagineers are amazing and they pulled out all the stops when designing Galaxy’s Edge. To put this place into context of the Star Wars universe, it’s a spaceport called Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu. Before the Empire and the invention of hyperspace travel, this spaceport was a popular place for travelers heading to Wild Space. Now it’s desolate and often forgotten. It’s kind of a Radiator Springs of the Galaxy’s Outer Rim Territories.

Door control in Galaxy’s Edge

To give the illusion that you are in a spaceport, Disney has speakers discretely positioned all around. These speakers are constantly playing ambient noises of a bustling spaceport. Everything from the manhole covers to the light fixtures and door switches are all styled to look like you’re on a planet from Star Wars. The cast members are trained to use esoteric vocabulary such as “credits” instead of “dollars”. Cast members that are in costume are also supposed to engage with guests to create a more immersive experience. Unfortunately, due to the covid restrictions, they could only stand and wave from afar.

This place felt so immersive that I could have sat at an outdoor cantina all day. I would feel perfectly happy just sitting there and watching the people, listening to the sound effects and drinking blue milk (which is delicious!). Of all the parks we visited, I took the most pictures at Galaxy’s Edge. I am working on a gallery where I will eventually post all the pictures.

Of course I built a lightsaber (with my daughter). It’s so fun and an amazing experience. It’s also a bit expensive which is why we did not create a droid during this visit.

I could go on but this post grows most verbose. If you haven’t been to a Galaxy’s Edge park yet, I highly recommend it. Especially if you are an avid Star Wars fan.

/MTFBWY

The Force. It calls to you. Just let it in.

 

Disney and Galaxy’s Edge

Disney and Galaxy's Edge

As crazy as it sounds, we went to Disney World last month. I know, COVID!! When we bought the tickets and made all the reservations things were improving. We thought the only thing we would have to worry about were hurricanes. It’s amazing how much can change in three months but cancelling would mean we were out quite a chunk of change. So we bought masks and stocked up on hand sanitizer and we made plans on how we can be safe. I’m sure some folks are curious about our trip to Disney and Galaxy’s Edge so that’s what I’m here to talk about.

But, but COVID!!

Yes, the cases of covid and delta variant are rising and Florida, apparently, is one of the bad states. All but one of us were vaccinated; Bee isn’t eligible yet so we made sure she wore a mask most frequently. We have masks that breath well in the heat and I’ll be honest, it really wasn’t that bad. It only really sucked for pictures but if my 7 year old can do it without complaining, then so can I. Strange that a child complains less than most adults about masks.

Disney does enforce that masks are worn while indoors, in line and on all attractions. We wore our masks the majority of the time in the parks, even outdoors in the open air. In fact the only time we ever took them off is if we weren’t around a lot of people, or eating. Magic Kingdom seems to have the largest crowd. It’s the most difficult park to find sufficient open space to take the mask off, even for just a minute.

We are now beyond two weeks since we visited the last park and nobody is sick. I guess our precautions paid off.

Which Parks Did We Visit?

We planned for 5 days at the parks. However, our budget and scheduling only allowed for us to visit 4 parks. Epcot was our first park and our primary objective there was the World Showcase. We thought it would be fun to try different foods from each of the countries represented. About a third of the way through it occurred to me, I should be drying beer at each world, provided beer was available. A choice I should have made much sooner (and one I think I will do again).

We spent two days at the Magic Kingdom. It’s the bigger park and the one our daughter would enjoy the most. We splurged and did the “Be Our Guest” lunch in Belle’s castle. The food is pretty damn good and the atmosphere is great (despite the covid restrictions).

This was also my first time visiting Animal Kingdom. I’ll admit, I’m not terribly impressed. The Pandora section of the park is about the only thing worth visiting. We went on both rides which were OK. I’m not sure why the line for “Flight of the Avatar” is so long. I feel like this ride would be better as an actual rollercoaster. As it is, it’s essentially Soarin 2.0.

We didn’t go to Universal Studios this time, but we did go to Hollywood Studios; home of Galaxy’s Edge! More on that in Part 2.

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