It's a small magic little world after all.
Ok, It was a busy month and a few of you maybe interested but I doubt it. It all started off with a bang or should I say a Bang Sugar Bang. As they played Mary's with the return of the Chicken Hawks. BSB is one of the better bands I have been contacted by out of the blue and you should check them out. High energy, always touring good old fashion fun ass Punk Rock. Of course the Chicken Hawks have been pounding away for years and still can throw punches with the best of them. The hawks played a little short handed but still were worth the wait. What like 5 years? Also in Hawks news everyone should check out the new Sioux City Pete and the Beggars albem. Especially if you dig early Gun Club Stuff.
6th brought the US Bombs back to Des Moines for the first time since 1998. Openning was the Hallowpoints from Seattle. Hallowpoints layed down a good set but what followed made them forgetable. The Bombs are a hard act to open for and the Bombs were in true form. I spent part of the night caughting up with Kerry and watching the Dwayne Peters show. In true form he got rather drunk and I guess puked in someone's face, I missed it but heard about it later. The party wound down and I ended up at an after party at Matt Mutts and Joey's and talking to one of the Hollowpoints guys till 4am. At 4 am I left due to the never ending arguements that seem to always play a big part of dude dominated after parties.
The Bombs ended up with a day off and spent the 7th taking in what Des Moines has to offer including getting tattooed at the Skin Kitchen and Yankee Doodle Dan's. Going for slices at Big Tomato and spending the night at my house. We spent most of the night watching Kerry's copy of 70s cult movie the Devils. Not one for the light hearted, it is a nice film about the middle ages witch trials and is suppost to be based on a true story
The 8th I teamed up with my long time friend Sophia John, who is now at the River in Omaha, to do the Bombs at Sokol Underground in Omaha. I road over with the Bombs, which was really nice of them to do. They were great hosts and friendly as always. Dwayne played me a little of the rough cuts of the new Die Huns stuff and I have to say, when it comes out buy it! The show in Omaha was packed. It always seemed strange to me that after the fall of the Ranch Bowl that Omaha seemed to turn HC/Emo/Indy and the show proved that there is still a stronge punk following there that doesn't seem to be getting tapped. As someone who started going to punk shows in Omaha and Lincoln in the mid 80s, I was glad to see there is people there straving to see punk. Opening was local favorite Flithy Few and they were great as always. It's hard to pin them down but I really like what they do. The Bombs set was pure murder from beginning to end. They played a lot longer and I spent most of it getting drinks for them and pulling people off stage. Oh and getting bumped into by this couple making out at the side of the stage. As far as the venue, I liked it but the polls in the middle of the stage thing is a bit lame. Over all though I'd like to
bring more stuff over in the future and also thanks to Sophia and the River for all the hard work they put in and the kids that silk screened the posters
I spent the night at Sophia's and woke up to Mimi, her bulldog, licking the back of my head. It was strange. Anyway caught a ride back to Des Moines, collected the lugage and my son and headed to my mom's. You see every June for about the last 4 years we have done this family vacation with my mom, my sister Debbie, her son Conner, my sister Kim and her Husband Terry. This year Mom took us to Disneyworld. So, we loaded up and headed to Ottawa, IL to Kim and Terry's house. Ottawa is a small town soutwest of Chicago and was host to the first Lincoln douglas debate. At any rate, got in and Terry had a Guinness waiting for me. After a few and caughting up a bit, I tried to go to sleep at 10pm. Those that known me well no this is no easy feat. So after a short fitful sleep I wake up and use the restroom. on the way back on a fluke, I check the time. Of course everyone over slept. So we runshed around and got in the van and headed for Midway.
The Flight was normal, In fact one of the better ones I've had in sometime. We land in Orlando and hit the bathrooms. With my family everywhere you go revolves around the bathroom. Then agian with 7 people at any moment one of them is bound to have to go. My mother had booked the trip through AAA and it was a good package but I have some advice if you are going to book through AAA go to your local office and don't do it over the phone. We had the Disney Magic Express and had been told that there would be signs as soon as we got off the plane. There wasn't until we got to the bagage claim area. More on AAA later.
One of the coolest parts of the Orlando airport is the Traim that takes you from the pods to the main building. It sure beats walking and the things are fast. So we check in with Magic Express and wait for the first of many bus trips. For those not in the know, Magic Express is this service that supplies transport from the airport to the Disneyworld Resort. It also takes your baggage to your room. So we get on the bus and the video of all the great things that are to come begins to play. In fact everywhere you go are these endless videos of Disney products and services.
So we get to the hotel. We stayed in one of the low end ones, All Star Music. The logic was that there was no point of paying extra for a room that we would be in so little. Now here's another little piece of information if you are thinking of going down there. One of the biggest selling points of staying at a Disneyworld resort is the transportation from the Resort to the parks. The All Star resorts and Pop Century are about like a Motel 6 or 8; Only they are huge. The buildings are 3 stories, each hotel has about 30 buildings plus a main building where the food court, front desk and the bus stops are. Now if you are one of those unlucky people that get put in a room on the other end of the hotel, then you begin each day and end each day with a long walk. Our rooms where on the far side of the hotel and a good 20 minute walk to the buses. So if you are going down you might want to spend an extra $50 a night for a hotel with a bus stop within a short elevator ride.
So we get checked in and find out that 2 of the 3 rooms won't be ready for a few hours and hit the pool until we could get into the rooms. Our bags showed up around 5pm but since it was a travel day, sitting around, swimming and relaxing was the best choice. Included in our package was the dinner plan and it was well worth it. Our first night there we took the bus and then monorail to the Comtempary Resort and ate at the California Grill.. Not only was the food great but they have a walk way on the top of the resort that over looks Magic Kingdom and the Lagoon. By far the best fireworks view I saw the whole time we were there.
Sunday we headed to Epcot for our first day in the parks. We fastpassed Mission Space, did some rides and were getting ready to head to the world when Topical Storm Alberto rained on us for a solid 30 minutes. I ended up at one of the stores hiding from the rain and buying ponchos. When it broke we took a fairy across to the world. Quinn got a paper mask that he got to color and then take to each country to get a stamp and this cut out to attach to the mask. I have to say it turned into a bit of a race. We did hit one or two of the rides and ate in Mexico which was OK. By the time we finished with Testtrack it was time for dinner. That night we ate at the Coral Reef which was really good and each table overlooks a wall of aquarium with fish, Stingrays, Sharks and Sea Turtles. After we got done Epcot was closed down so Terry, Quinn and I headed over to Magic Kingdom which was open till 1am. We hit Tomorrowland and rode the Stitch ride, Space Mountian, and the Buzz Lightyear ride. It turned out that the lines were really short. I think we waited maybe 5 minutes on average and later I was glad that we got it out of the way
On Monday we headed to Animal Kingdom. Quinn and I both were really looking forward to this. We both have a passion for Animals and have shared a number of days at the Blank Park Zoo and watching Animal Planet. Also Quinn was excited to try out his new Pal Mickey(a stuffed Mickey that will tell you show times, facts about the park, etc.. as you walk through the park). Now here's the deal with AK, it's a zoo with a few rides. If you are looking for more than you may want to skip it.
Out of all the days we were down there the most rain fell on Monday. Most of the morning it was light. We went to It's tough to be a Bug. By the way the only 3D I've ever seen that does in fact work for me and started heading to Asia and Expedition Everest. So we are waiting for the rest of the group to caught up and it just lets go. It was like really being in Asia. We hide out for a while in the fastpass line and after about 45 of non stop down pore it slowed down. Even though I had on my lovely Micky Poncho(which was already falling apart after less then a day of use) I was completely soaked. Quinn and I met back up with the family and headed to the BBQ place for lunch and then to Toonland for some photos. It kept raining through out and we decided to see Loin King and dry off a bit. I'm not a fan of Musicals but I have to say it was worth the wait in line. Oh and the best part was that after the show the rain stopped. So highlights were the Safari, Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, and the animal walks where a majority of the animals are. One thing I liked was there was a number of Students doing research on the animals and could answer questions about the animals. The worst thing was that my mother's EVC started acting up
On Tuesday we headed to the Magic Kingdom. After taking some photos in the enterance area we headed to the trian and to frounteerland. Shortly after we got off the train it started raining. Nothing is worst then sitting there looking around at all this stuff you could be doing and not being able cause it's pouring. We did go through the Swiss Family Tree House in the ran which was interesting and then hit the river criuse which was in fact more interesting in the rain. Quinn and I were both really disappointed in the fact that Pirates of the Caribbean was closed. I know it's hooky but i always got a bang out of it. Sometime after the river curse and lunch; it stopped raining for the rest of the day and we hit Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, ;The Haunted Mansion;Country Bear Jamboree and the hall of presidents show. The ;Mickey's PhilharMagic was another really cool 3D movie.
Now Toontown was a disappointment. Remember the Disney of your childhood where you could spit without hitting a character? Not anymore. They have these meet and greets. Where you get to wait in line to meet the character. At this point there was something wrong with my mom's EVC and I had to push/help it along to the Mickey Meet and Greet. Now understand this woman has always been a Mickey nut. form T-shirts to pins and socks. It's always been a big deal. Her and my father went to Disneyworld I think 5 or 6 times after all us kids grew up. Anyway she wanted to see Mickey and get a photo. So I'm pushing her EVC and we get to the enterance to the line with the handcap sign. We wait there for about 15 minutes and no one comes out; understand that the whole week, my mother was given special assistance into shows, rides, the buses; etc.... In fact, the whole experience was good and being with her at times gave us better sitting or got ;us seats on the bus. However it was first on and last off.. So, there is a advantage to traveling with someone that is handicaped. Anyway, as I watch this "cast member" flag on the first off 60 people I had flagged by get escorted back to meet Mickey, I got his attention. He finially came over and asked if he could help. I told him my mother wanted to meet Mickey. He pointed to the line. I informed him of the fact we had been waiting forever, she was 75 and I wasn't going to make her try to drive the EVC through the maze. He told me to get in line again. It wasn't until I informed him that I was leaving to go to guest services that he escorted us in. He then told me I should have a special needs pass which no one else had asked for the whole 4 days we were there. So if you are handicaped and are going to the park get a special needs card. Oh but the lighted midnight parade made up for it. then we ate at the Crystal Palace. It was ok but not the best buffet I've ever had.
Oh and one more thing on AAA. My mother requested a handicap room and it wasn't until after she fell in the bothroom that we found out that AAA didn't put in the request for a Handicaped room. The cast member at the front desk was very helpful, offered to get her a doctor, brought in a shower mat for the room and even helped her rent a EVC to replace her's that was acting strange. I have to say that the service throughout was great and a lot of hotels and resorts should take notice.
On Wednesday Quinn and I got up early and ran to Epcot to do Sourin', Honey I Shrunk the Audience and the Living Sea. Those Hopper passes paid off. You know you will never have enough time to see and do everything but we hopped twice and it paid off. Then we met up with the rest Of the family at MGM. After going to Universal in LA as a kid, I have to say it was a bit of a let down. We did have a good time at the Prime Time Dinner and the Tower of Terror was really fun but most of the park is uninteresting. The stunt shows were ok but make sure you get your fastpass early cause by 1pm the Exterm car one was full. Really you can see all you want to see in about half a day and spend the rest of the day somewhere else. I did find that with the extra hours, it was best to hit the show in the day and then do the bigger rides at night cause the lines are shorter and no fast passes.
One of the biggest worries was how we were going to get to Seaworld. At one point we had decided to rent a car but another guest at the hotel, gave us a card for Star Taxi and it ran about $50 both ways for 7 people. We had bought the VIP Express tour and I have to say that it was worth the $80. First we got head of line on the Crackin and Journey to Alantis. Then fed Sea Lions and had lunch next to the killer wales tanks. Then got to touch a penguin and feed dolphines. Had reserved sitting at Shamu and the dolphine shows and feed stingrays. After that we were left to are own. So I took Quinn and Conner and we hit the mattees, sharks, etc.... Quinn also did the preal dive. where you pay to have a diver pick up osters in a tank and then they open them and you keep the preal. It was a very enjoyable day though everyone was worn out. If I could back in time we would have done Sea World the first day cause it was a lot of walking.
The rest is boring, waiting for the plane, car ride back all that stuff.
To close out June, The Tossers played Mary's on the 29th to a full house. It was great to see them again and it seemed to be bring your kid to work day cause not only was Quinn there but Nick and Gage and a few others. It's cool to see parents sharing their music with their kids. Also Vandon Arms opened and they are starting to become my favorite local band.