Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure – Day 2

Day two at Disneyland. Because we hit the park hard yesterday we felt it in our legs today. That didn’t hamper our spirits though and we strolled over to the park after a couple of continental breakfast pastries. I was thinking about an early morning dip in the hotel pool but it doesn’t open until 9am pretty much guaranteeing any serious ride goer like myself won’t be taking advantage of their facilities.

Hollywoodland
Hollywoodland

Today was a chance to catch-up on rides and attractions that we missed on day one. We were not disappointed! Rides we went on today included:

  • Hollywood Tower
  • Goofy’s Flight School Rollercoaster
  • Soarin’ Over California
  • Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • The Matterhorn Bob Sleds
  • Aladdin
  • Dinner at Carthay Circle
  • The Muppets in 3D

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Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure

On our third day in California, we rose bright and early to hit the road pretty much exactly when the rest of Calfornia was on their way to work. While I knew that it was going to be a driving adventure, navigating that many lanes (at times as many as 8 going our direction) was something I hadn’t totally expected. Luckily we arrived without incident.

A sign shows the lanes that will take us to Los Angeles.
Plenty of traffic.

Once in the park, the secret to getting the biggest return on investment is knowing which rides are worth waiting in line and which are better to get a Fastpass. The newish Radiator Springs Racers Cars is a very popular attraction, so first things first, we found the Fastpass station and got hooked up! The thing about Fastpasses is that you’re only supposed to be able to get one at a time, however, we raced over to the line for Fastpasses to the World of Color because I had read that it isn’t on the same system as the other Fastpasses and, just like that, we were already working the park like pros!

Grizzly River Run
Grizzly River Run
Ascending Grizzly Peak
Ascending Grizzly Peak

Having secured our afternoon and evening at Disney’s California Adventure, it was time for our first ride and since we were standing next to the 110-foot Grizzly Peak, it was an obvious choice. Our first ride would be Grizzly River Run, the white-water rafting adventure at the mountain’s base.

Being early in the day, and a bit cool still, meant that we wouldn’t be waiting in line for very long. After a mere 10 minutes we found our selves strapped into the giant rubber rafting tube, slowing ascending the rickety conveyor belt, wondering who would get soaked first.

I came away from the ride only a little wet, Andrea got it worse than me, but one of the other guys on our raft was almost completely soaked. It was a lot of fun.

The rest of the day was great too. Next we popped over to Disneyland and discovered we could hold Fastpasses for one of the attractions in this park at the same time as we held them for DCA. We made some great memories as we hit up:

  • The Jungle Cruise
  • The Pirates of the Caribbean
  • The Haunted Mansion and
  • Splash Mountain

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Then it was back to DCA for our chance to race one of the cars from Cars.

Radiator Springs Cars
Cars from Radiator Springs Racers zoom by in the background.

Probably my favorite ride of the day was California Screamin. Here’s the video.

disneyland-jeff-and-andrea

The last ride of the night was Space Mountain and then it was a well deserved rest back at the hotel so we can do it all over again tomorrow.

Pinch’o’Crow Rendezvous 2011

Kayaking
Photo by Janson Smith

I went to Castle River Rodeo Campground again this year with my good friend Andy for the long weekend kayaking festival. This was my 6th year participating in the event and once again it was a really good time.

Kayaking
Photo by Janson Smith

Organizer, Chuck Lee, and his crew of volunteers put on a great event each year with all sorts of river runs and clinics available for paddlers of all levels. Andy and I hit up the “Upper-Upper Old Man” and also the section known as “The Gap”. We also ran the Castle River Falls and the Castle Canyon run. Here’s a video from near the headwaters of the Old Man River shot on the GoPro HD Hero 960 that I was given for Christmas. (Which I love by the way).

Near Castle River Head Water

Each year they have a boat stacking competition — we were eliminated in the semi-finals — which is too bad because the winning team each got a brand new helmet. Here we are in a round where we did NOT get eliminated.

kayaking stacking competition
Photo by Janson Smith

This year I helped start a new tradition that they’re now calling H2O Limbo. Just Liquid Sports provided the prizes in three contests — one for men, women, and kids and I came in second in the mens which earned me a new pair of neoprene gloves! (Thanks Rob) The guy who beat me must have been about 65 years old and could limbo better than just about any guy I’ve ever seen.

kayaking
Photo by Janson Smith

Some dude ran Lundbreck Falls again this year — I did not. Luckily there were no injuries at the falls. Here’s the photo I snapped:

Lundbreck Falls Run
Photo by Jeff Milner

And the video from my iPhone (thanks Andy):

Lundbreck Falls 2011

There is a photo of me running the same falls in 2008.

Year in Review 2010

Another year has come and gone. This year has been a good one. Some highlights for me include:

  • Some great parties.
  • Caught the Olympic spirit as the torch came to Lethbridge.
  • Falling into a couple of different (somewhat dramatic) relationships; sometimes in less than ideal circumstances.
  • Created some cool electronics
  • Finishing off another Major at University, providing me with the credentials to apply to the U of L’s Faculty of Education.
  • Travelling to Trois-Rivières, Quebec to learn French for the summer — there was a terrorist bombing my first week there!
  • Getting accepted into the Education Faculty and completing a teaching practicum in Hays, AB!
  • My brother and his wife had a baby — my first niece, Natalie Jane.

It was a good year but I’m hoping that in 2011 I’ll have more opportunities to travel the world. I don’t think I even left Canada this year! At least I went back to Quebec and that’s almost like visiting another country.

Happy New Year!
2011 (all rights reserved)

Thank-you Stranger

To the man or woman that found and returned my iPod touch today, I hope someone else returns the favor because You are a wonderful person.

I think it happened when I decided to jump up the stairs six at a time. I was feeling in a particularly good mood this morning and (if you can believe it) was even on time for my last class on “Evaluation”. The instructor continued making the day great by telling the class how much she enjoyed teaching us this semester and that she would miss being our teacher. I assumed I must have left my iPod in the car because I was certain I brought it with me this morning. I refused to think about the chance that it may have fallen out of my pocket because I was afraid of what that might mean.

I called security and found out that a modern day hero turned it in. THANK-YOU!

When I got home this afternoon I flipped my room upside down looking for some paperwork that I forgot to deal with before. It’s a form for my student loan that needs to be taken to the post office before they will “release” the loan to the school. Pretty dicey that I’ve taken this long since the semester is almost over. Oh well, I’m pretty sure things will work out just fine.

I’m glad I live in a place where University is just a student loan away and that people turn things in when they find them. Life is good.

From Extinct to Just Feeling Like I’m Dying

I’m slowly finishing off each of the classes for my PS1 semester. We had a terrific class this morning in my Communications and Technology class. Our sessional instructor hooked us up with a video conference “experience” with the Tyrrell Museum.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, in fact, I was pretty sure I was going to study for my psychology test during it, hence I sat in the back, but it didn’t take long to realize this was something I would really enjoy.

Some students in the hallway outside were making a huge racket. I felt a bit odd going out to tell them to be quiet, because, while it seems like you’re just watching a talking head when the man on the screen is giving his lesson, it’s pretty jarring when he asks what’s going on with you walking out of the room.

As the video conference continued we learned about some of the different types of activities and lessons that take place during a typical video-conference with the museum and an individual classroom. We had a short virtual tour of the museum and learned about different dinosaur facts. I loved that I was able to answer a lot of the questions — I guess I remembered a lot of what I learned about dinosaurs from when I was a kid. Here’s one for you:

Q. What the name of the dinosaur in this picture I took a few years ago?

albertosaurus
(Hint: It’s Alberta’s most famous dinosaur)

A. The Albertosaurus.

The Tyrell Museum is not the only place that offers video conferencing presentations, in fact, there is a huge list at the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration. I’m going to remember this for when I’ve got a class of my own.

Because we went in early for the video conference, we also got to leave an hour or so earlier than normal. I took the opportunity to go for a swim at the pool and did the usual 1km workout. I have to say that skipping out on it so much lately makes it hard to get back in the water. As I floated at the edge, I decided to put in 2 more lengths and really go all out — to see if I’ve still got it.

28 seconds for a 50 meter free, I guess you can say I’ve still got it, but I think I left “it” in the water because when I got out, I felt sick! Oh my, I had pushed myself too hard. I left myself with no choice but to sit it out for the next 15 or so minutes and even had the lifeguard a bit worried about me because my face was completely white and I must have looked like I was just about dead. I certainly felt that way.

If school doesn’t kill me, maybe the pool will.