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Old 09-22-2010, 12:31 AM   #16
SurfinTX
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After WDW Summer Events

Now that summer is officialy over and school has started things have calmed down enough that I can now focus on my upcoming trip to Disneyland. (which you all were waiting so eagerly for my next installment. Right?) <crickets chirping>

Before I go any farther I would first like to announce that this in fact will be a Solo trip. Over the last few months we have had a series of events that have forced me and Dianna into this decision. The TV going out was the coup de grace.

Now that we have made the commitment to a Solo trip I can now firm up many of the plans I had been working on for the last week so hopefully I can post an update about the trip soon.

Now without any further ado here are a few pictures of me and my family over this summer after we had returned from Disney World.

This year the Dallas Zoo has opened a new exhibit called the Giants of the Savannah, a major expansion that allows the animals to roam about instead of being penned in much smaller enclosures as it was in previous years.



The kids were very excited to see all of the new african theming.



Soon we are greeted by a wonderful view.



To say that this was a huge improvement to the Zoo would be a gross understatement!





Nearby we found a giraffe feeding station. The kids went wild over this!







A bit further on there was a Lion and Cheetah viewing area that had zoo keepers on hand to answer questions about the big cats.









There are only a few feet separating us from these predators. Is she looking at me as the next possible snack?





The zoo had set up a cute display where you can sit in the cab of a Land Rover and the big cats could jump on the back for photo ops if they were in a mind to do. Unfortunately, no kitties took us up on our offer that day.



The kids loved the whole experience and I promised them we would return another day.

In August we took off for a camping trip to a small place called Lake Meridian State Park. It's about 70 miles southwest of Fort Worth and even though it is so close it is relatively unknown to everyone in Dallas. It's right on the northern edge of the Hill Country with plenty of rolling terrain, streams and small lakes scattered about the area. When we arrived there was no one at any of the other sites.

Here we are strolling out to our own private lake.





There are plenty of facilities inside the park including showers, fishing and boat ramps. This facility was built by the CCC back in the 30's.



The fishing was amazing! I think we will come back next time prepared to cook them. As it was we just caught and released but the kids were never bored.



The small town of Meridian is about two miles away.



At one time it was a bustling boomtown after several sizeable oil fields were discovered nearby in the 50's but is now on the decline. Still, for the curious there is plenty to see if you just spend some time looking.



If your looking to get away from it all and really decompress I would have to recommend taking a short drive and spending a few nights at Meridian State Park.

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Old 09-23-2010, 09:22 AM   #17
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Yea! I was wondering just the other day if your trip was still on! Sorry Dianna cannot go but maybe it will give you a chance to "scope it all out" and then you will know the ins and outs for another trip!

The Dallas zoo pics are so cool! Question: would an adult running over children to get to the giraffe feeding area look bad?? I love giraffes and as soon as I saw that picture I thought "I want to do that!!"

We just bought a camper and have been looking for places to go within 5-6 hour drives from home. This may be slightly further but I think I may have to look into that state park! The fishing will be a definite plus for Keith and Chris!
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:53 PM   #18
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The Dallas zoo pics are so cool! Question: would an adult running over children to get to the giraffe feeding area look bad?? I love giraffes and as soon as I saw that picture I thought "I want to do that!!"

We just bought a camper and have been looking for places to go within 5-6 hour drives from home. This may be slightly further but I think I may have to look into that state park! The fishing will be a definite plus for Keith and Chris!
Lol! I wonder what your reaction would be if I told you Snow White was handing out the lettuce?

About Lake Meridian, there are plenty of pads and spots with water/elec. I always have wanted a camper but never had the right vehicle to tow one. The screened shelters are very nice since 8 of them are right on the lake with an amazing view in the morning as you rise. We are lucky to have several state parks within 1-3 hours to choose from.
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:34 PM   #19
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Lol! I wonder what your reaction would be if I told you Snow White was handing out the lettuce?

About Lake Meridian, there are plenty of pads and spots with water/elec. I always have wanted a camper but never had the right vehicle to tow one. The screened shelters are very nice since 8 of them are right on the lake with an amazing view in the morning as you rise. We are lucky to have several state parks within 1-3 hours to choose from.
I think you know what I would do if it were Snow White!! Too funny!!

We have a pop-up that we just got but we are hoping to use it often! I am definitely going to check into this park!

You only have about 2 weeks left!!
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:25 PM   #20
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Well we are down to 7 days!

Just because I haven't been posting many updates here doesn't mean I'm not working on the details for the trip.

As of now all tickets have been purchased.
I have a rough plan on touring the parks.
I have my only dining reservation set plus a special meal booked as well.

Why no details? Well I have a few plans for this trip report but I would like to hold back any details until after I get back. Needless to say it will be in a completely different style from the Disneyworld report I did this last summer.

Well, I guess I can give away one bit of information for all of you.


I managed to convince Han Solo to accompany me on my trip!



As you can see he is really excited to be hanging out with a man of adventure like me!

So stay tuned and find out what crazy situations we will find ourselves getting into next week!
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:04 PM   #22
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Hey Glennbo! I knew you would get a kick out of that!

I think this next week will be one of the most hectic in my life with work plans and Disney right after...all in a city I have never been to before.

Gotta keep researching.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:53 PM   #23
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I'm baaaack!

First of all I want to say I am exhausted. There were thrills and spills and enough excitement to keep me going most of the trip. As I said before, this will be an unusual trip report since Han Solo tagged along and he can be such a pain in the neck when he wants to be. A few things I would like to point out.

1. Since I am a WDW vet I'll be comparing rides from both parks and try to convey the differences.

2. There will be food porn!

3. I'll try to be clear what parts of the trip are fictional.

Now with that out of the way lets dive on in with part 1.
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:45 PM   #24
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Part 1: Have Gun. Will Travel.

It's Tuesday the 12th of October and the day starts very early. Me and Dianna wake up before sunrise and get the kids ready and off to school. Dianna drives me off to work and we say our goodbyes. After sitting in a few meetings at work and gathering all of our documents we made our way via DART to the airport. Han casually joined us at the station keeping a low profile.



Connecting with the TRE rail we make our way to the south entrance of DFW airport.





From that station we have to make two bus hops to arrive at our terminal. I mention this to highlight how ineffecient Dallas' mass transit is at this time. Hopefully this will be corrected when they complete a line directly to the airport in two years.

Check-in and security was a breeze. At least until Han stepped up and realized he had left his blaster strapped to his hip. This did not go over well with TSA and that was the last I saw poor Han for a while.

I hopped aboard the Skylink and checked out the sites around the airport.







Those Koreans and their video games.



About this time Han comes sliding to a stop in my car and then tries to look casually around. A few beads of sweat are dripping from his face as he turns to me and says, "No problem!"

Figuring it was better to not ask any questions the cars round a bend and I see...



Turning to Han I ask why we are not taking the Falcon. Shrugging sheepishly he mumbled something about import licenses and being impounded.

Leaving the Skylink I am getting a bit hungry and head over to a Chili's Too for lunch. I order the Tripple Dipper with Southwest Eggrolls, Spinich Artichoke Dip and Chicken Tenders.



The service was quick and the food was pretty good. Nothing outstanding but it beats the heck out of having to purchase food on the plane itself. Soon we are boarding the plane on time and get situated.

Our fearless hero.


We are off on a three hour flight to sunny California where our adventure really begins!



Part 2: A Lot Happened During a Work Trip and Must Be Skipped for the Sake of the Readers!

Last edited by SurfinTX; 10-20-2010 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:20 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfinTX View Post
Part 1: Have Gun. Will Travel.
Good title = good start!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfinTX View Post

Han casually joined us at the station keeping a low profile.


Love it! (The higher the profile Han keeps the better, TR-wise, as far as I'm concerned. This is great!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfinTX View Post

Figuring it was better to not ask any questions the cars round a bend and I see...



Turning to Han I ask why we are not taking the Falcon. Shrugging sheepishly he mumbled something about import licenses and being impounded.
Awesome!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfinTX View Post

Our fearless hero.

This turned out pretty good. I'm sure if I tried it, I'd get too much of an up-nostril shot.

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Part 2: A Lot Happened During a Work Trip and Must Be Skipped for the Sake of the Readers!
You are sooo kind!
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:49 PM   #26
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I'm here and so glad Glenbo sent me your way! Much fun!


(And because I'm from N. Tx, too: Go Rangers!)
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Old 10-20-2010, 03:05 PM   #27
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Glenn said we should come over here, so here I am! And very much enjoyed your first TR installment! You have interesting travel companions I must say!

Sorry that your transit system is not really working as it should... But I can assure you that even European cities sometimes struggle. Berlin, here in Germany, closed the only airport with an underground station, now has two which can only reached by bus and now is building a brand new one, which will have a high speed train link, but won't be connected to the underground system which ends only 3 miles from the new airport. Oh, and in Munich they only have slow local trains (well, at least there is a train every 15 minutes) which take 50 minutes to get into the city (car isn't faster, the airport is that far away) and then they nearly burnt a lot of money when they thought that a highspeed magnetic train would be the solution... Ok, now you rather wish that I would not have followed Glenn's recommendation, but you appeared to have an interest in transit systems....

I promise better Disney related comments next time!
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Old 10-20-2010, 04:40 PM   #28
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I was there the same time as you, 10/16-10/17!!!
Excited to read more!
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:52 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
Good title = good start!
I figured a good Paladin reference would get things moving in the right direction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
Love it! (The higher the profile Han keeps the better, TR-wise, as far as I'm concerned. This is great!)

Awesome!!!
Han will come and go as he pleases. You never know when he will turn up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
This turned out pretty good. I'm sure if I tried it, I'd get too much of an up-nostril shot.
I was doing a lot of reviewing of these self-pics checking how I posed. Sometimes I would get a half smile that looked very bad.

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Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
You are sooo kind!
I have so few readers as it is...wait. What? Where are all these people coming from? Aaaaaaaggghhhh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrp4352 View Post
I'm here and so glad Glenbo sent me your way! Much fun!


(And because I'm from N. Tx, too: Go Rangers!)
Glad you joined in! The Rangers are back in town tonight. Hopefully we can finish off the hated Yankees in Game 6.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
Glenn said we should come over here, so here I am! And very much enjoyed your first TR installment! You have interesting travel companions I must say!

Sorry that your transit system is not really working as it should... But I can assure you that even European cities sometimes struggle. Berlin, here in Germany, closed the only airport with an underground station, now has two which can only reached by bus and now is building a brand new one, which will have a high speed train link, but won't be connected to the underground system which ends only 3 miles from the new airport. Oh, and in Munich they only have slow local trains (well, at least there is a train every 15 minutes) which take 50 minutes to get into the city (car isn't faster, the airport is that far away) and then they nearly burnt a lot of money when they thought that a highspeed magnetic train would be the solution... Ok, now you rather wish that I would not have followed Glenn's recommendation, but you appeared to have an interest in transit systems....

I promise better Disney related comments next time!
No worries! I actually am a big proponent of high speed rail. Airlines have become a big hassle for family travel and with all of the fees they are cost prohibitive compared to driving. Rail links from one metropolitan area to the next is really the only other option and the U.S. is woefully behind. Intracity the regular trains should be fine...but right now Dallas has two light rail and one medium lines that connect only a few corridors. I'm sure my work would not have used it if they didn't already have an agreement for free transit for it's employees.

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I was there the same time as you, 10/16-10/17!!!
Excited to read more!
I'm glad you joined in as well! Do you have a trip report going?
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:20 AM   #30
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Okay, since Glenn asked so nicely, I decided to head on over and see what is going on! Have been to DL a couple of times, but it has been a few years since my last trip. Can't wait to see how your trip went and what you thought about the park.
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