Welcome to Fort Campbell

Upon arriving at Fort Campbell, I expected to deploy immediately to Europe. As soon as I found out this was going to be delayed by two months, I communicated with the girls’ mother to have them visit the week before school started. Not only were they extremely happy to see their Dad again and setup their new rooms, but they were very excited to see the Fort Campbell area, where they would be living in a year’s time.

Gabriella did not want a giant cupcake… I will take her to the doctor to get checked out later…
Continue reading “Welcome to Fort Campbell”

Visiting the Girls in Texas

After closing out my duties, handing over the house, and outprocessing my unit, the cats and I said goodbye to Fort Huachuca and headed East towards Kentucky. It was a two-day drive for me, but since the Army allocated five days for me to travel, it made all the sense in the world to stop in Texas to spend a few days with the girls.

Playgrounds were definitely on the itinerary
Continue reading “Visiting the Girls in Texas”

Walt Disney World Vacation – Travel Back to Arizona

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.

Smiles. That is why I do this.
Continue reading “Walt Disney World Vacation – Travel Back to Arizona”

Walt Disney World Vacation – Hollywood Studios

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.

A Jedi can sometimes see into the future and I definitely picked the right shirt for the occasion… just saying.
Continue reading “Walt Disney World Vacation – Hollywood Studios”

Walt Disney World Vacation – Animal Kingdom

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.

And even before Encanto hit Disney Plus, they were already in love.
Continue reading “Walt Disney World Vacation – Animal Kingdom”

Walt Disney World Vacation – Magic Kingdom

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…

A dozen pictures at this location and this was the only one where Gabriella even remotely smiled
Continue reading “Walt Disney World Vacation – Magic Kingdom”

Walt Disney World Vacation – EPCOT

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.

Papa was very disappointed that the “EPCOT Ball” was not a golfing simulator
Continue reading “Walt Disney World Vacation – EPCOT”

Walt Disney World Vacation – Travel to Orlando

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.

Same Disney Bags, New Disney Adventure
Continue reading “Walt Disney World Vacation – Travel to Orlando”

The Calkins Family is Back Together!

So the trip to pick up the girls was a big success and we are all now back under the same roof.  And I then immediately went into a week of leave which allowed us plenty of time to reconnect; it was not really necessary though, because apparently, they really missed their Dad over the summer.

They missed the trampoline too
Continue reading “The Calkins Family is Back Together!”

New Year’s at Great Wolf Lodge

I have never been a big New Year’s Eve person, as drinking and dancing are not particularly my idea of a good time.  But magic, miniature golfing, and waterparks… yes, please.  Coming off a great Christmas with the grandparents, the girls and I headed up to Scottsdale to spend our New Year’s holiday at Great Wolf Lodge.

“Howl if you are ready for New Year’s!”
Continue reading “New Year’s at Great Wolf Lodge”