Mary Poppins and Bert popped by our booth. What are your thoughts on Mary being a Time-Lord? Her bag is suspiciously bigger on the inside…
“What you’ve done is launch us into hyperspace with no exit coordinates.” The Prince sat up from his glass coffin and shook his head. “Now who the hell are you and what are you doing on my ship?”
Sophia just stared at him. He was just as handsome as the stories had described. His black hair contrasted with his pale skin and he had a lopsided grin that made her feel weak. His words made sense to her, but he spoke much faster than the computer had when she’d been learning his language.
“I Sophia. You Prince. Me fix ship.”
“You speak galactic standard? But I landed on Sol-oh-three. There’s never been contact with that disturbing branch of humanity.” He looked scared and angry, and he awkwardly hopped out of the coffin almost falling on his face. “Who the hell are you and where are you taking me?”
There was an arm lengths distance between them but somehow Hagrid managed to stuff his girth between them. He squawked at the Prince, his head bobbing in every possible direction, like a helium balloon in a storm.
Jumping back, the Prince said a string of words that she didn’t understand but were obviously curses. “What is that thing?” His hands raised up in an awkward defensive posture.
“Hagrid. Down boy,” she told her Emu sternly. To her great surprise, he listened to her. Possibly for the first time. “This Hagrid, he’s an Emu.”
Apparently happy that she was safe, Hagrid, the picture of poise, bobbed towards the exit and slipped, falling to his side, and then jumping back up with a low, “Wark!”
“Is he your protector? I’ve never encountered an Emu but he looks a lot like a Manu.” When she didn’t say anything, he added, “Large flightless bird body guards. Hyper intelligent and ridiculously graceful.”
Laughing she replied, “Hyper? Yes. Intelligent; graceful? No.”
“Yeah.” He joined in with the laughter before adding, “Sorry for coming off so harshly. Before I went into cryosleep I was being chased by someone bent on killing me.”
Blushing despite herself, she said, “It’s okay. How long you sleep?”
Shrugging he walked over to a computer terminal and looked at the screen. She was about to interrupt him when he turned and said, “Twenty of your years.” He paused and asked, “Where are you taking me?”
“I accidentally pressed buttons. You tell me.” She was doing her best to match his wording and structure. The language was simple but had a few quirks that confused her. She was proud at the progress she was already making.
“How would I know? I just press where I want to go. This is only giving me coordinates and that means nothing to me.”
She shook her head; he sounded just like her father. He couldn’t figure out where he was without the GPS on his phone. “Coordinates are based off galaxy centre and the galaxy as seen from above. Using four digits representing; Quadrant, Depth, Horizontal axis, and Vertical axis.” She said it exactly the way the computer had pronounced it. Going to the navigation computer she added, “Combine with the map, we go to planet called Centuras Prime.”
“Oh thank goodness. We’re going home. Centuras Prime is the seat of the Galactic Queen. My sister.”
Nodding was the only thing Sophia could think of doing. The two looked at each other in an awkward silence that was thankfully interrupted by the ship’s alarm.
“Warning! Explosives detected on outer hull,” the voice of the computer said with the calm of someone who stopped caring a long time ago.
The Prince’s face went paler then normal and he slumped in the chair he was sitting in.
“Prince. Stay here. I go fix.” She knew this ship back and forth. She knew that in case of something getting stuck to the hull, the ship had small drones that could clear it off.
Part way to the engineering room, Sophia noticed that the Prince was following her. When she turned to him he shrugged and said, “I’d rather not be alone right now.”
“You the Prince,” She replied without turning.
“Please stop calling me that. My name is Phillip. Call me Phil.”
The ship was right and there was a bomb placed on the outside of the hull. It was just over the nacelles of the ship. If the bomb went off, it would create a reaction in the nacelles and then the engine that would not only blow up the ship, but cause an explosion that half the quadrant would see.
“Do you know anything about bombs?” Sophia asked.
“They explode?” Phil replied. This was the suave heartthrob from the stories she’d read so much about? He wasn’t living up to her expectations.
Picking up a drone that looked like it had a large shovel on the front of it she put it on a work table and started making changes. After twenty minutes of work, Phil asked, “What are you doing?”
“Is it really a great time to be tinkering?”
Picking up the drone, she brought it to the airlock and prepared to open the outer doors. When she was comfortably sitting at the control panel she explained, “Drone is going to take bomb off ship.”
She cut him off with a hand gesture. “Ship is inside Hyperspace bubble. Inside bubble ship moving slow. Outside bubble moving fast. If we can take bomb off ship and out of bubble, it blow up too far to hurt us.”
“What if it blow up right after you touch it with that thing?”
“We use drone like spatula. It have thrusters that push away from ship and scoop bomb. At worst it might redirect blast.”
“Isn’t that dangerous?” He asked his eyes wide in either fear or admiration. Sophia wasn’t sure. She gave him a look that she hoped was universal in saying, “Duh!” and continued to maneuver the drone.
Both of them held their breath as her hands flew over the controls. A small screen on the panel showed a video from the drone. Her plan worked perfectly and she lost contact with the drone.
They both waited, and after a few seconds sighed as the ship said, “Detonation at eight light years aft of the ship.”
“That was brilliant,” Phil said, his hands shaking.
She was debating giving him a victory hug when a loud boom echoed through the room. Running to the porthole, they looked out to see Hagrid flapping his useless wings inside the floppy arms of a humanoid shaped space suit.
“How did he get out there?” Sophia asked.
“How did he get into a spacesuit?” asked Phil.
If you’re enjoying this years serial story why not check out those from past years?
The main reason we travelled to Florida was to visit the parks at Disney World and Universal Studios. Unfortunately, illness prevented me from going to Universal Studios.
I am going to discuss each of the four parks at Disney from the perspective of a new mom with a stroller, as well as point out my favourite parts of each.
Something that we were extremely pleasantly surprised by was that every single concessions stand had an ingredient list.
The proximity and amount of stroller parking in Epcot was very reasonable. As this was the first park we visited, I was anxious about leaving the stroller unattended. However, we never had a problem, and neither did anyone else, as far as I could see.
Walking around the “world” was actually pretty easy with the stroller. There was space in the stores we went in for maneuvering, and the only time we felt at all worried about people kicking the stroller was in Norway, because Frozen, and dinnertime. It was a little squishy in the restaurant in China, but that was the case in pretty much every restaurant.
We used the rain protector today, and it worked perfectly. Pro tip: When leaving the stroller in the parking, cover it with the rain protector even if it isn’t raining. Your baby will thank you when their seat is nice and dry when it rains unexpectedly while you were inside.
The Baby Care Centre was off to the left, just before Mexico. It was big and clean. There was a huge nursing room with only 4 wooden rocking chairs (could definitely have fit more in there). The changing area had large sturdy change tables, with space for the diaper bag. The changing paper was the same throughout the parks – very large, thick white paper that, once used, go in the garbage with the used diaper. I wish there had been a recycling bin for the paper.
There was a tiny room for those accompanying the mother to sit, and they were playing Finding Nemo.
Introducing Keladry to Baymax.
Seeing Keladry’s reaction to the hologram images of Dory, Nemo, and Marlin.
Seeing the Frozen ride.
We had a very similar experience as in Epcot, although the stroller parking outside the Finding Nemo Musical was not very clearly marked, so that was a little confusing. We used the solar screen today, and it worked really well. It does keep the heat inside the stroller, too, though, so if it’s a warm day, I recommend letting the baby breathe every ten minutes or so, depending on how hot it is. (Or maybe our dragon is a little furnace, and this isn’t a problem for other babies?)
The Centre in this park is in the centre island, over near Africa. It was tucked away and was supremely tiny. There were two individual nursing rooms and very tiny change tables. The chair in the nursing room was a wooden rocking chair with very soft cushions. There was a change mat and more space to change the baby inside the nursing room than there was in the change room itself.
Changing Keladry in the theatre for Finding Nemo before the show started, across our laps.
The Finding Nemo show – phenomenal!
The Lion King show – we were in the lion section. Rawr. Keladry fell asleep during it.
Lots of curbs in this park, which was mildly annoying with a stroller. Stroller parking wasn’t very clearly marked for the Toy Story ride, although it was everywhere else. They did an excellent job of parking the strollers for Fantasmic.
Right at the entrance to the park, on the left hand side as you enter, was the smallest Centre of the parks. There were 2 curtained individual nursing rooms, again with a wooden rocking chair, and the changing room had two tables only. There was barely any space to breathe in the space. Definitely my least favourite.
Eric being allowed to wear Keladry during the Toy Story ride, getting the highest score of the 4 of us, and Keladry falling asleep partway through the ride.
Introducing Keladry to Moana – Keladry was asleep by the time we got to see her.
Watching Keladry watch the fireworks from Fantasmic. Oooh lights, *startle*! Oooh lights, *startle*!
The proximity of the stroller parking to the rides was not very good, and it was confusing to find it sometimes. Once, Eric parked the stroller somewhere, and a park attendant had moved it by the time we exited the show. That was mildly terrifying.
Definitely the least stroller-friendly park, because of how much is in it.
Located just to the left of The Crystal Palace (when facing it), this was by far my favourite Centre. There was a calm room for nursing with 5 squashy rocking chairs, and while it was a bit squishy in the room, there was space for everyone. The change room had 6 changing tables, and the room for accompanying people had lots of chairs and a TV screen; the only other one to have a TV was Epcot.
Nursing Keladry during Mickey’s Philharmagic – I had forgotten about the champagne bottles and I jumped at the forced air, startling Keladry.
Keladry falling asleep on the Haunted Mansion BOTH times we went on it!
Watching Keladry get excited about the Pirates of the Caribbean ride – her little head swiveled from side to side, trying to see everything. And she raised her arms in the air when we went down the water fall!
Introducing Keladry to Tinkerbell, while dressed as Tinkerbell!
The stores were maneuverable with the stroller, and easily accessible. I was pleased by how easy it was to get around with it, and that I didn’t have to go too far out of the way because I had it.
There wasn’t one. Bad Disney! It’s on your map!
The Information Centre let me use one of their offices when I asked about the location of the Baby Care Centre, which was nice of them, but not practical for multiple people.
YeSake food – this was delicious, large portions, and had customizable rice, noodle, or wraps. Yummy!
Cookes of Dublin – Super yummy fried fish, and they were very good about my mother’s allergies!
Mickey’s Pantry (and Spice & Tea Exchange) – a store with the best fancy salts and sugars, and other kitchen supplies
Marketplace Co-op – a series of shops that are high-end and great quality
World of Disney Store – everything for everyone, except they were out of the cute short set in the size we wanted for Keladry…but they did check to see if they had any in any other location (they didn’t, but I appreciate that they tried to find it for us!)
Hello My Imaginary Friends,
A few weeks ago I promised secrets; it took a little while for everything to finalize but now the ink has dried and I can tell you.
First announcement is that I have joined AJ Travel as a travel agent. I’ll be selling travel with my wife and best friend which is something that makes me very happy.
If you haven’t been reading our bi-weekly Fandom Travel Blog, you really should. Jen has been doing an amazing job.
I’ll mostly be specializing in the same things as Jen but with the addition of Culinary Tourism (Food, Drink, Coffee, Tea, Wine, Etc.)
My second announcement is that I got a tattoo. I’ve wanted to get one for a long time and couldn’t decide on what to get. With the arrival of our baby Dragon, I decided to ask the wonderful S.M. Carrière to design one for me and hold my hand through the process.
I went to Living Colour Tattoo in downtown Ottawa and they were wonderful. The original design was beautiful but not perfect for a tattoo so the artist Patrick Drouin recommended some changes and the final product looks great.
I’m extremely happy with it and really thankful for all of S.M.’s help, encouragement, and guidance.
That’s the big excitement for me.
Hello Coffee Lovers,
Last week I sent out emails and made a few facebook posts for our new Coffee Tester’s Club. It’s been way more successful than I expected and that’s great.
We need your help in deciding what our new flavour will be. Our team of professional testers has narrowed it down to 4 options. We need you to help us narrow it down further.
For the low price of $5 you’ll get four 25g bags of coffee. You’ll drink them and then fill out a survey. The flavour that is everyone’s favourite will then be added to our regular rotation.
It’s not too late to help us decide on our next flavour. Sign up for the Coffee Testers Club!
The deadline for signup will be February 19th at noon.
My publisher Renaissance Press (and Eric’s, incidentally) is having a sale on all their love-oriented books and games for the entire month of February! If you haven’t picked up a copy of Blush yet, this would be a good time to do that!
You can also see a complete list of all their published works here.
Hello My Imaginary Friends,
Today is the day of love, lovers, or overpriced chocolate.
I’ve never been a big fan of this so-called holiday. It’s a day that glorifies showing love by monetary excess or grand gestures and that’s not what love is about.
Love is about the little moments, the smiles and laughter shared between people. It’s not about spending exorbitant amounts of money on stuff or food.
Today I’ll be celebrating by hugging my wife and we’ll be going to see The Lego Batman movie.
If Valentine’s Day has you down, why not call a parent, grandparent, child, or friend and tell them you love them (Only if you do, I don’t want you lying to people).
No matter how you spend this day, remember that it’s not the size of the gesture but the love behind it.
*Important Reminder: Tomorrow (February 15th) is half-price chocolate day.*