In the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:11, it states that “when I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” This could easily be adopted to represent the transition between “childish” games and “adult” games, where the level of objectives and strategy go from simple to overly complex. While we are not yet at Star Wars: Armada, Twilight Imperium, or War of the Ring levels of gaming, if we keep this up, I bet we get there a little sooner than your average family.
During my initial counseling with my Commander in June, he tasked me with learning something new over the course of the next year. While my initial plans to learn to play the piano fell through (as time was starting to come up short and I was not going to be able to learn to play on my own), I eventually settled on archery. Since there was a range on post and it was much cheaper than some of my colleagues’ selections (like collecting trading cards or restoring an old grandfather clock), it seemed like a good choice. And of course, I was going to teach the girls to shoot as well, because that is just how we do things in our family.
If you have driven on Interstate 10 in Arizona or New Mexico, chances are you have seen at least one of the thousand billboards advertising The Thing, a roadside attraction / tourist trap in Southeastern Arizona. I can remember seeing these signs as early as 2002 when I was first stationed at Fort Huachuca, but probably saw them much earlier than that while passing through the Southwest with my Dad. Since we were about ready to leave Arizona, the girls decided that we needed to stop in and see what all the fuss was about.
With our days at the parks over, it was unfortunately time to leave Walt Disney World and head back West. The plan for our final day was to relax, get some last-minute shopping and activities in, and maybe sample a few more sweets before we left. With the day’s events already planned out and our transportation to the airport secured, it was time to have a carefree day before we said goodbye to our Disney vacation.
After the slight letdown that was our Day Three at Animal Kingdom, it was time to ramp the intensity back up at the final park of our trip: Hollywood Studios. Last time we were here, most of our day was spent on character experiences, which really was not an option this time around due to COVID protocols. This year, the girls were all about the thrill rides, so it was going to be less of a stroll through the park and more of using our time efficiently. But with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land ahead of us, we were all anticipating having a good time. Remember when I said that Magic Kingdom was going to be our best day? For once, I was happy to be wrong.
After coming off of our best day so far on our vacation, we were headed into our third day at the parks and would be visiting Animal Kingdom. It was bound to be a little bit of a drop in excitement compared to the Magic Kingdom, but none of us were prepared at how far that drop would be. But we kept our heads held high and tried to make the best out of it.
After taking a warm-up lap in EPCOT, it was time to set the pace for the entire vacation by heading to the Magic Kingdom (I swear, this whole post is not going to be full of running metaphors, as writing this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint). This was the main event during our last trip to Walt Disney World (WDW) and we were anticipating it was going to be the same this time around. The girls, the grandparents, and I were all pretty pumped and nothing was going to stop us from getting our vacation back on track and enjoying the heck out of the park. Magic Kingdom and the best day of our entire vacation? Yeah, this is going to be a long post…
After our terrible travel day and a half day enjoying the resort, we tried to right the ship during the first park visit of our vacation. After a full night’s sleep and a morning of going over the day’s initial plan, we were ready to go to EPCOT to get our Walt Disney World (WDW) Christmas vacation back on track.
For our vacation this year, we decided on going to Walt Disney World (WDW) for Christmas. The girls have been very excited about the prospect of going back for a while now, but last year was just a little too hectic for everyone to try to squeeze it in. Since we were not going to visit any of my family for Christmas and my Mom is a Disney fanatic, Grandma and Papa decided to join us on our vacation. At the time we planned and booked the trip, the Delta variant was subsiding and the WDW parks were still limited to around 70% capacity, so it seemed like the perfect time to try to get in a family Christmas Vacation in with Mickey and Minnie Mouse in Florida.
It is that time of year again and we are in full holiday mode. The Elf on the Shelf has been active, the ornaments and stockings have been hung, and the sugar cookies and gingerbread houses have been decorated. Aside from putting up Christmas lights, we went all out again this year in bringing out the holiday spirit as we celebrate our last Christmas on Fort Huachuca (during this tour, at least).
As per the usual, it has been a busy year in the Calkins Family and we are very much anticipating some rest and relaxation at Walt Disney World during our vacation starting tomorrow. Afterwards, the girls will be staying at their Great-Grandmother’s house for Christmas (she guilt-tripped me until I said yes) while I get caught up with the post-leave mountain of work. While we may be off the net for a while, I will be back to posting about our continuing adventure soon.
Thanks for checking in on us and we hope that you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!