Trip Report: Vegas & Denver – January 2016

Stardate, 69527.6. The Mad Man attends the symphony. Tonight’s special?


If ever there were a video montage designed to testify to what it is to be human, this would be the one. The show, produced by some immensely talented individuals and expertly performed by members of the Czech Republic National Symphony Orchestra, is an amazing look at 50 years of Star Trek. Beware, your emotions will be brought out for some playtime before being put back on the shelf with your Star Trek collectibles.

When we bought tickets, we ordered a VIP package which netted us a free poster signed by the maestro, an invitation to Sound Check, followed by a Q&A session with the maestro. We had an idea of what the show was about going in, but we were wrong. I (incorrectly) believed they would project scenes, often pivotal, engaging, popular, or of battles on a huge screen above the orchestra and playback the music from said scene. Instead, they have cut, pasted, recomposed, and done everything to create a movie, just about 2 hours long, telling the story of Star Trek, through 50 years, 710 episodes and now, 14 feature length films, while capturing every moment that captures us to this day. The film and accompanying orchestral production are amazing, to say the least.

Below, some video from the sound check.

Now, on to vacation!

Since I was deprived of a vacation last year, due to almost falling down a mountain to my doom while visiting the terrible country of St. Thomas, we are making up for it this year with another trip to Vegas. I love Vegas, the history, the glamour, the food – oh, the food. Though I don’t drink or gamble, I still have a great time. The only problem? Getting there. Ent’re Delta Airlines.

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Trip Report: Regal Princess Cruise, 3-15 to 3-22, 2015

Addendum: March 24, 2015: This is the fourth edit this post has undergone. In this iteration I intend to clarify a few things, and provide a new layout for my thoughts & opinions.

First and foremost, when I posted this on CruiseCritic, under the title “Regal Princess – And then I nearly Died”, my post was met with the following replies:

  • One thank you – which I appreciate!
  • Numerous posts describing how this blog post was full of nothing but negative comments.
  • Numerous posts accusing me of utilizing reductio ad absurdum, hyperbole, exaggeration, or simply lying. If you are a CruiseCritic member who found this post and remember my original post – you may have noticed it disappeared. This was at my request to the Moderators.
  • Second, the story told in this post is in no way exaggerated or hyperbole. It may be worded in a way which reads as over-dramatized. Often that’s the way I write. If you don’t like it, click here to return to sanity.

My opinion is my opinion. It is formulated based on my experiences with particular situations. If I seem biased at some parts, it may be because I am. It’s human to allow an experience to influence your opinion of something. I’m not a professional journalist, I have no creed which states I must offer unbiased opinions/statements in my writings. After all, this is my blog.

Originally most of the below text was written while in my stateroom, Lido 103 on the Regal Princess sailing March 15 to 22, 2015. As I have edited it several times, that is no longer true.

Because there are people who aren’t able to dedicate the time or effort needed to read the original post in it’s entirety, I have summarized the thoughts into sections.

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Trip Report: Orlando, FL & Universal Studios – 2014

Orlando, no doubt the tourist capital of the Sunshine State, home to Walt Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios. Also a favorite travel destination of mine, mostly due to the distance and travel time, around 2.5 hours. While I’m not a fan of Sea World (not for popular reasons, I merely prefer a proper aquarium), I love Universal Studios and enjoy Disney World, in small doses. Orlando’s Mall at Millenia and I also go way back, having been a frequent flyer in the Apple Store before Jacksonville’s location opened.hogwarts-hogsmeade

We usually make a pilgrimage to Orlando a few times a year, usually to visit the world class spa at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Orlando, but this time around I was keen on visiting the new Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We’ve been to Hogsmeade, and aside from the Butterbeer, it’s kinda meh. As you may know, they took an area of The Lost Continent, Merlinwood, and converted it into phase 1 of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, aka Hogsmeade. I say “meh” because it’s the same Islands of Adventure area with a Harry Potter facelift. Same rides: Dueling Dragons became Dragon Challenge; Flying Unicorn became Flight of the Hippogriff. Color me excited!

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Trip Report: Las Vegas April 2014


It’s not everyday I get to go on “vacation”, and certainly not everyday said vacation requires we get on an airplane, but a good opportunity presented itself and we jumped at the chance. As many of you likely know, I’m one of those people who scours the internet and calls customer service hotlines to get the best deals. Going to Vegas was no different. I wanted to do this entire trip for less than $1500.00 USD. To do this, crafty manipulation was required. Fortunately, my employer is very forgiving with time off, given enough notice.

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