Land versus World -- Which is better?
If you've been to both Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, you have already formed your opinion on this subject. My thoughts are more for those who aren't sure which one to do if you are choosing between the two or deciding which to see first. Disneyland has two parks -- Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. Walt Disney World (WDW) has four parks plus water parks. Disneyland has Downtown Disney, a shopping and dining area. WDW has Disney Springs, which is a larger, themed area for dining, shopping and entertainment.
Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort is a Disney Vacation Club resort. This was our first visit to the resort, and it was a great experience. The staff was friendly (even by Disney standards), and the 1 bedroom villa we stayed in was comfortable and well appointed. Although there are no nice restaurants on property, there are numerous options within walking and biking distance.
Upon arrival, we checked in at the Live Oak Lodge. The check-in area is small, but there was no line in late April when we arrived. The Lodge has a nice den area with a pool table and checkers table. Outside is a grill and ping pong table. In front of the building is a dog house for the resort dog Shadow. We never saw Shadow, but there was water in her bowl.
The resort is not on the water, so you must either walk, drive, ride a bike or take the resort shuttle over to Disney's private beach house on the Atlantic Ocean. We drove and rode bikes. It is easy to get to the beach house, and it's a nice place to relax or grad a snack when you're not enjoying the beach. There's a nice pool and quick service restaurant at the beach house. Access is limited to Disney guests with room keys.
There are numerous activities to do at the resort, including a nice pool, shuffle board, ping pong, putting green, basketball court (half court), horse shoe pits, grills, hammocks, play ground for kids under 12 years old, fire pit, outdoor movies, arts and crafts, bike rentals and more. The view is better when the tide is high, but it is a very peaceful place with a nice slow pace -- unlike the theme parks!
While I enjoy rides and attractions, Chelle prefers a nice walk on the beach. If you're looking for a place to relax and unwind for a few days, Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort is just what you need!
One of the things I enjoyed most in New York was the "reimagined" NBC Studio Tour.
Growing up a big fan of Johnny Carson, Saturday Night Live, David Letterman and now an admirer of Jimmy Fallon's version of "The Tonight Show," it was interesting to see the studios in which all of them worked at one time. Of course, Johnny moved to Burbank, but Jimmy is doing his show in the studio where Johnny started his stint as the King of Late Night. We were fortunate to see all of these studios on our tour due to some scheduling luck. NBC cannot guarantee which studio you will be able to see, but all of them have history.
Some of the other highlights of the tour:
I am not a huge fan of today's broadcast television industry generally, but this tour is a must-see for anyone who loved Weekend Update with Chevy Chase, Milton Berle in the early days of television or a new generation of fans of Jimmy Fallon and Seth Myers.
It is the first day of 2016, and I am feeling uneasy about something that is usually taken care of way before now -- this year's family vacation.
I love to plan our vacation. To me, planning the vacation early and then counting down the days 'til the actual event is almost as fun as going. Anticipation and dreaming of family vacation is exciting for me.
That's why I'm a little anxious about this year.
We have no plan.
As with most families, budget is a big consideration. Cruising by far gives you the best vacation value, so that is an option that needs to be on the list. However, there are so many wonderful national parks we haven't visited that are also of interest.
Chelle prefers doing new things,and I like returning to places I know I'll enjoy (Disney, Universal Studios, Colonial Williamsburg, Presidential Libraries), so that can sometimes create issues. She loves the beach, and I generally believe it's a waste of time that could be spent on a roller coaster or at some other attraction. These differences also are why cruising makes sense -- something for everyone.
It feels like I'm talking myself into a cruise, but we are still considering other options like the traditional Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park vacation or perhaps a week at the beach to please my spouse.
Regardless, I will go crazy if I don't have something planned soon. It's just who I am.
Having traveled to approximately 20 countries in my life, it's always been a bit embarrassing to say I'd never been to New York City. I finally got the chance recently to enjoy the "Big Apple" with Chelle on a quick 4-day visit. I will post later on some of the specific sites and experiences, but the following were my first impressions/thoughts about visiting NYC:
The Knapp Family writing about travel and leisure.