TR: Jewel of the Seas 2014 Caribbean Cruise Pt. 2 – Ship Review (10/11-10/18/2014)

When I do trip reports of cruises, the ship itself is what I start with. It is where most of the action on a cruise takes place, whether sleeping, eating, or some combination where I snore with a sandwich in my mouth. I kid, I kid. It also simplifies things later rather than pour through and write out the sameĀ opinionĀ over and over.

Continue reading

TR: Jewel of the Seas 2014 Caribbean Cruise Pt. 1 – Preface

At one point in 2012, we had three cruises concurrently booked. I mention this specifically because after that third cruise of the group, we somehow managed to have zero booked for several months and not even any clear plan of when to next do one, where it would be, anything. 6 months out, emboldened by our new jobs and the revolutionary freedom to schedule things less than a year in advance, we finally settled on something that appealed to both of us. And then we canceled our reservation on the Carnival Valor for this April, departing San Juan.

Continue reading

TR: Zoo-a-Palooza 2014 – Potter Park, Lansing & Celebration Square, Saginaw (9/28/2014)

Late here in the 2014 “amusement” season, we’re beginning to make preparations for the upcoming winter. One of those key preparations is making sure we have something to do in the winter. Meredith and I have talked for a long time about getting a membership at our local zoo, and after some careful consideration and looking at what our schedule resembles for the rest of 2014 and early 2015, we decided we’d make the plunge. And while we’re at it, why not go to the last AZA accredited zoo in the state we haven’t seen?

Continue reading

TR: Random Michigan Stuff (all sorts of 2014 dates)

We travel around quite a bit: perhaps you’ve noticed? This sort of activity on our part leads us to revisit places we’ve been before which haven’t seen much change, and occasionally places we’ve never been before that don’t necessarily demand their own trip report. So why not just push it all in here, all at once? Continue reading

TR: Universal Orlando (9/12 – 9/14/2014)

In the two years since my wife and I last visited Universal, the one constant has been change. Opening two “e-ticket” level attractions in such a short period of time has further bolstered an already strong lineup of attractions, and we were compelled to come back and check it out again. Limited for time and trying to not completely break the bank, we had to settle for just a sprint weekend trip. Some expenses were still mandatory: staying at Hard Rock Hotel, for instance, guaranteed the shortest possible walk and Universal Express pass, hugely important with the potential of big weekend crowds. Our flights went smoothly, allowing us to get into Orlando with little discomfort or timing issues either way. We also remarked that both directions saw the least number of children we’ve ever seen on Orlando flights. Continue reading

TR: Cincinnati Fight Weekend feat. Broner/Taylor (9/6-9/7/2014)

I enjoy live fights. Always have, probably always will. For as exciting as it appears on TV, fighting in person, live – that’s a whole different animal. I also like cities, and while I’ve been to Cincinnati a couple of times before, I’ve never really stayed in downtown and committed myself to that specific urban area for a trip of any sort before. That is, until this past weekend. Learning that there would be boxing in Cincinnati excited me at first. Finding out it was headlined by Adrien Broner made it even more exciting. Finding out tickets were $28? I was sold right there. I even got my buddy Josh to hang out for the weekend, being a much more experienced Cincinnati visitor than I.

Continue reading

TR: Labor Day Coaster Weekend (8/29 – 9/1/14)

Summer is already over. How did that happen? It just started, man. I was getting into the groove and everything. Of course, Labor Day weekend doesn’t actually mark the end of real summer, just a sociologically determined conclusion where the majority of American kids return to public schooling at about this time. Personally, I think it’s a load that we do things this way, but I don’t think anyone is opening up a blog post titled “Labor Day Coaster Weekend” to hear about someone’s feelings on the educational system in our country. So I won’t do that. Instead, I’ll talk about something else – a common theme on this particular blog. Continue reading