Irene Was Not A Fail

IMGP1987 As Irene passed and the winds and rain died down, I noticed something strange on Twitter.  Some people were saying that Irene was all hype and a Fail.  I couldn’t disagree more.

No, Irene wasn’t as destructive as she could have been.  If anything, though, that’s a win, not a fail.  If Irene fails to kill more people or destroy more property, we win, we don’t fail.  Besides, I’d rather the government err on the side of saving lives instead of doing nothing.  Had government officials said “Irene’s all hype, don’t evacuate” and people died thanks to flooding in low-lying areas, people would have been criticizing them for Katrina-like inaction.

Besides, it’s not like Irene was without consequence.  Thousands lost power.  Many areas flooded.  Some people were even killed.

On a much less serious note, Irene forced us to cancel our plans.  We were going to leave the kids with my parents and then go to Disney World to celebrate our 10th anniversary.  The vacation was all planned out.  We had restaurants we were going to try (that we normally wouldn’t go to with the boys).  We had also purchased Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World’s Best Kept Secrets and planned on going on some hidden Mickey scavenger hunts.

With Irene bearing down on our house and my parents’ house, and flooding and power loss (not to mention house damage) a real possibility, we decided to cancel the trip.  We didn’t want to be stuck at home, unable to go on the trip, and lose out on all the money we had paid.  We got refunds, but we’re still extremely disappointed that we didn’t get to go on our romantic Disney trip.  It’s not downed trees or extreme flooding, but Irene had an large affect on our lives.

Aloha Friday: Celebrations

Today is my hundredth Aloha Friday post.  This is a cause for a celebration.  An even better cause for celebration, though, is that on Sunday we’ll have NHL’s 8th birthday party.  Also, on Wednesday, NHL will actually turn 8.  Furthermore, later this month, B and I will do something we haven’t done in our 8 years of being parents: Have a vacation with just the two of us.

My 100th Aloha Friday question is: What types of celebrations have you had recently or will you be having soon?

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the linky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #100

Aloha Friday: Mish Mash of Feelings

Thanks to a bunch of last minute planning, we’ll soon be heading to Disney World.  This time, without the kids.  This will be our first time to Disney World sans kids since our honeymoon.  (Of course, we didn’t have children then, so it was easy to go by ourselves.)  In the short time that we’ve come up with the idea for this trip and planned it, I’ve had a weird mixture of emotions.

I feel happy at getting to spend a week with my wife without little guys interrupting.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love my boys.  It’s just that sometimes I want to spend time with my wife.  We get very few date nights and even fewer complete nights without kids.  Our only “vacation” without the kids was when we went to BlogHer last year.  That trip, while fun, was hardly a romantic getaway.  We’ve been married for 10 years and we deserve this time to ourselves.

While I’m feeling happy, though, I’m also feeling guilty.  After all, the kids love Disney.  Since we told them what we’re doing, they’ve alternated between begging to go and accepting it sadly.  If we announced tomorrow that it was all a cruel joke and they were coming with us, they’d be the happiest kids in the world.

Along with the guilt is fear.  Not just my fear of flying, but fear of the unknown.  We’ll be leaving the kids with my parents during the week.  My parents have never watched the kids for any length of time.  I’m sure they’ll do a good job, but my mind keeps conjuring up scenarios.  What if NHL has a panic attack?  What if JSL won’t eat anything?  What if the boys don’t behave?  Every less-than-perfect scenario is playing through my mind and it scares me.

Still, I know that we need this trip.  We need time away from the kids.  If we don’t get time off to work on us from time to time, the constant stress could negatively impact our marriage.  And a negatively impacted marriage is *NOT* going to raise our kids well.

My Aloha Friday question for today is: Have you gone on trips without your kids?  If so, have you ever felt this mixture of emotions?

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the linky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #97

The Great Epcot Twitter Experiment

On Friday, March 18th, while B was in the DisneySMMoms conferences, NHL, JSL and I went to Epcot.  We sought out the characters and topiaries (more on those later), but at one point we happened upon the phone booths in the UK.


Seeing it, I remembered reading that all of these booths were actual working pay phones.  They even had numbers that people outside of Disney World could call.  I wondered: If I tweeted the number from one of these booths, how long would it take before someone called me?  What kind of conversation would I have with a Random Twitter Follower?

My kids were not too keen on this experiment.  They just didn’t see the fun in it.  My seven year old actually said: “Dad, this trip is not about you.  It’s all about us!”  That clinched it!  The experiment was on!

I walked up to one of the booths, looked for the number and tweeted:


Then, we waited.  We didn’t have to wait long, however.  Soon the phone rang.  I picked it up and was asked if I was “TechyDad.”  After I answered “yes”, I had a nice (if short) conversation with @moth_editor and @cheimbuch!  (Short because the boys were getting restless and I wasn’t going to make them wait too long.)  We waited a couple of minutes after the phone call ended to see if anyone else called, but nobody did so we left.  I couldn’t help wondering how many times the phone rang that day leading Disney parks-goers wondering “Who is TechyDad and why is someone calling Epcot for him?”

Thanks to everyone who participated and those of you, like @BabiesGottaHavT, who tried calling and just got a busy signal.  By the way, if you want to try calling the Epcot UK phone booths to see what random people you get, here are the numbers:

Left Booth: 407.827.9862
Center Booth: 407.827.9863
Right Booth: 407.827.9861

That information comes from @adisneymom who had a similar idea (and coincidentally executed it the same day as my Twitter Experiment).

A few days later, when back in Epcot, I stopped to take some photos of my boys in the phone booths when the center phone rang.  I answered, but it turned out to be a wrong number.  At least I got some nice photos of my kids placing some calls (as NHL attempted to dial the phone without entering an area code… or putting in any money).

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