Debi and I came up with an idea a few years ago about two kids, Mari and Darwin, who interview people with different jobs to learn about different occupations.  The original idea was a book series, but given all of our other projects and interests, the idea got shelved.  Then I found and realized I could probably make it an animated series.  So, here are the first two episodes in the video series I’m calling “Jobbrz”:

In the first video they visit a lawyer, Tessa Carter:

[link removed]

In the second video they visit a mechatronic engineer, Tarik Cassar:

[link removed]

I’ve put these together at night, rather than work in front of the TV.

Feedback is welcome!

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4th of July at beach

Debi came down with pinkeye on the 3rd of July, so we opted to stay away from people as much as possible.  We opted for the beach on the 4th, which Toren always enjoys.  We went to Fort de Soto, which is always beautiful and rarely busy, but it filled up pretty quick on the 4th.  Here are some pics:

enjoying a snack
the sandcastle I built

Toren couldn’t help with the sandcastle very well as he had a hard time turning over the buckets.  But he did help me fill up the moat:

Toren carried the bucket; I carried Toren

And once we had documentary evidence, we let loose our little godzilla:

He reminds me of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes who would build stuff like this just to destroy it.

And what is a day at the beach without the obligatory shot of mother and son falling asleep almost instantly on the way home:

“That beach wiped me out, Mom.” “Me too, Toren.”

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Morgans et al in Florida

I finally found the time to post summaries of the Morgan Family’s trip to Florida in late May.  Here are the relevant links:

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Morgans et al in Florida – Day 8 – beach, pool and photos

This was the last day of the vacation.  The rest of the family had early evening flights out of Orlando.  That meant we had time in the morning to go the pool and beach for a short time then pack up, take some family photos, and hit the road.  The pool and beach were fun, but we had a lot of packing to do so we didn’t get to play very long.  Then we all got cleaned up and headed out to the beach for some family photos.  Here are the results:

photo on the beach

And one more in the gardens of the resort:

family photo in the garden

It was a fun trip.  And there was one big perk for us – we parlayed our Busch Gardens/Sea World pass into a season pass for relatively cheap, so we can now go to Busch Gardens whenever we want.  We’ve already been three more times, so it has paid for itself.  Toren seems to like it.

Anyway, that’s the short version of the trip (been too busy to write this up until now).

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Morgans et al in Florida – Day 7 – Busch Gardens

I can’t really speak for everyone else on the trip, but I think it’s probably safe to say that most of us had relatively low expectations of Busch Gardens in Tampa.  We had just visited four of the world’s most famous amusement parks – Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios, and Sea World – and really were not expecting very much from Busch Gardens.  Debi and I, despite having lived in Tampa now for 4 years, had never been to Busch Gardens, though our friends had and they seemed to think it was fine.  So, with low expectations, we bundled everyone into the cars and headed out.

Turns out, Busch Gardens is pretty cool and a very nice contrast to the Orlando theme parks.  While it was busy (and we now know it’s busier on the weekends), it wasn’t even close to as busy as were the Disney parks or Sea World.  Also, there is a kid’s area at Busch Gardens with a Sesame Street theme that has everything all together: splash pads, wading pools, kids rides, food, family bathrooms, etc.  I think most everyone thought Busch Gardens was the highlight of the trip as everyone really seemed to enjoy it.

Rosemary booked a lunch experience with Sesame Street characters.  The lunch, while simple, was actually perfect – it was a buffet with food items kids will eat: macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers, vegetables, rolls, etc. and it was good enough that all of the adults liked it as well.  While you’re eating, Sesame Street characters come into the pavilion and put on a little show then walk around for photos.  Toren, once again, freaked out when the characters got close, even though he actually knows who Elmo is (he has watched a number of Sesame Street episodes).  He wouldn’t shake their hands, touch them, or even look at them for the most part.  He just huddled next to me, waiting for them to leave:

Toren loves Cookie Monster, but not in real life! 🙁
a photo with Elmo and Big Bird; Toren just stared at Big Bird the whole time

The other kids seemed to enjoy themselves.

Debi had to leave for class after lunch, and Toren had had enough of the characters, so we skipped out early and headed for the splash pads.  Not realizing they had splash pads, we didn’t bring a swimsuit for Toren, but we always have swim diapers in his diaper bag, so I threw on a swim diaper and let him have at it:

He had a great time in the splash pad.  He even made some, well, let’s say really close friends.  Close enough that one boy pinched his butt and a little girl decided to check out his… um… package (funniest video ever):

After a good hour and a half of playing in the water, Toren was ready for something different.  So we got him dressed and went on the rides.  Here he is on the merry-go-round:

Then he went for a ride on the swings.  Two videos of that:

There were so few people at Busch Gardens that the kids basically got to ride the rides over and over.  Occasionally they would be the only ones on the rides.  It was great.

Debi met back up with us after her class and we stopped at Subway by our house on the way back to the beach then called it a night.

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Morgans et al in Florida – Day 6 – Treasure Island Beach

We drove to Treasure Island, which is a barrier island right next to St. Petersburg, and checked into some very nice condos right on the beach.  We then all went out to the beach and played, then transitioned to the resort’s swimming pools, before heading in for dinner and a relatively relaxing evening.  I ended up cooking dinner (the condos had full kitchens) and don’t like taking my nice camera to the beach, so no photos of this day.  It was a nice change of pace, though, from amusement parks.

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Morgans et al in Florida – Day 5 – Sea World

Day 5 took us to Sea World.  Debi and I went to Sea World in, I think, 2003, over the winter break, so we remembered some of the attractions.  But they have changed the shows substantially since then so there was plenty new to see. Also, we have a kid now, which changes the way you approach amusement parks.

We saw the killer whale show in Shamu Stadium and the dolphin show (some saw it twice while Brent and I went on an adult ride; Manta).  We also saw A’Lure, which is like low budget Cirque du Soleil show that was good.  But, mostly, the kids played in the kids play area.  With both Debi and I around, I was free to snap some photos with the good camera.  Here are some shots of Toren playing in the play area:

Toren playing a steel drum
Toren asking Sid the Science Kid’s question, “What’s up with the sky?”

A quick clip on the Merry-Go-Round:

And here are a few shots from the shows (helps having a nice camera):

big air!
synchronized whale jumping

While Toren liked the the shows, particularly the dolphin show that now incorporates birds, divers, and other students, for some reason he kept gravitating to a pearl diving attraction (divers will dive down and pick up oysters for you with pearls in them).  Not sure what he loved about this, but we must have spent about 1 1/2 hours here watching the divers:

the diver is just to Toren’s right; not sure what he’s doing with his legs here
he was spoiled with gummy snacks during this trip
Um, yeah… Not sure but it’s funny.

This was our last day in Orlando.  I think we ate pizza at the hotel this night.

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Morgans et al in Florida – Day 4 – Magic Kingdom and Universal Studios

Steve and I split off from the main group this day and went to Universal Studios.  If it were not for the new Harry Potter part of the park, I would not have been all that interested, but I’ve read all the books and heard a lot about the new attraction so I thought it might be worth going to see.  It was cool, though incredibly crowded and probably a disappointment given the hype.  But I did get to go on the rides and drink butterbeer in front of Hogwarts:

drinking a $4.00 cup of butterbeer in front of Hogwarts

With just the two of us, Steve and I managed to hit pretty much all of the adult rides in the Islands of Adventure park.

Meanwhile, the rest of the family went back to Magic Kingdom and spent the day there.

On a side note, when Steve and I walked out to our car to head to Universal Studios we noticed that one of the tires was flat.  We ended up putting on the spare, driving it to the shop, dropping it off to be repaired, then picking it back up on the way home.  The rest of the family ate at Magic Kingdom, so Steve and I picked up some grub on the way back to the hotel and called it a day.

The Harry Potter attraction is cool and probably worth seeing, but don’t get your hopes up too high.  It’s smaller than you’d think and the main ride isn’t particularly impressive (one of the others is pretty good though).

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Morgans et al in Florida – Day 3 – Magic Kingdom

Day 3 was at the Magic Kingdom.  We started the morning with breakfast with Chef Mickey and friends.  Toren likes looking at people in costumes and finds them entertaining, but only from afar.  When costumed individuals get close he freaks out.  So, he kind of had a rough time at breakfast (and he didn’t sleep well and wouldn’t nap).  Here’s the best we could pull off as far as pictures go:

His name is Goofy, but to Toren he’s “Creepy”
“Why am I standing next to a five and a half foot tall mouse, Dad? I don’t think this is normal.”

After breakfast we headed to the Magic Kingdom where we rode various rides.  Here’s a shot of Toren being creeped out by the dolls in “It’s a Small World” (like father like son, I guess):

Toren on the “It’s a Small (Creepy) World” ride

And some clips of Toren and Debi on the Dumbo ride:

Toren and Debi on the Dumbo ride getting ready to fly
waving from the Dumbo ride
waving at the end of the ride

Toren’s two favorite activities were playing at the Winnie the Pooh ride and driving the cars.  He liked driving the cars so much I had to keep filming him (thus the three clips below):

I also shot a quick clip of this rabbit just hanging out in the park:

As evening neared a massive storm cloud approached.  We dashed toward the Toy Story ride just as it hit and then found ourselves pushed out of the ride afterward into the torrential rain.  We made our way into another exhibit to wait it out, then decided to call it an evening as the fireworks were cancelled.  Unfortunately, the train caused some problems with the trams, making our trek home take about 2 1/2 hours.  Ugh!  Otherwise, it was a good day at Disney.

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Morgans et al in Florida – Day 2 – Animal Kingdom

Even though all of her family was in town, Debi still had summer courses that were just beginning that she couldn’t afford to miss.  So she headed back to Tampa this day while the rest of us made our way to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  We went on a few friends, saw some animals, then went on the Safari ride, which is always fun (despite the rather lame attempt to make it into a ride with a plot).  Having been on the Safari ride before I knew what was coming but was somewhat excited to see the cheetah, which we didn’t see the previous time:

cheetah on the safari ride

As I was managing Toren by myself, Steve, Debi’s brother, kindly took over photography duties and snapped the above picture (he got a bunch more of the animals that were very good as well).

We then let the kids play at length in one of the play areas that had slides and other stuff to climb on.  I think all the kids loved it and, were it not for the scorching sun, we would have stayed there even longer.  Here’s a clip of Toren running (such a cute run) in the play area:

And here’s a photo of Toren by one of the “fossils”:

Toren in the play area by one of the fossils that you can climb on

Brent, Steve, and I did sneak away to go an adult ride.  I left Toren with his Grandmary.  Apparently he cried the whole time (though, by the end of the trip he had warmed up to pretty much everyone).

We went to dinner that night at the T Rex Cafe.  As the family was visiting right around Toren’s birthday (and they gave him gifts as well), we thought we’d just tell our server every time we went out to eat that we were there celebrating Toren’s birthday.  We only managed to remember one night – at T Rex Cafe.  They brought him out a cookie and ice cream, which he didn’t really want.  Instead he wanted to hug Debi’s head as she made it back in time for dinner:

T Rex Cafe is like Rainforest Cafe in that is a themed restaurant, but it has animatronic dinosaurs.  It was fun to see, though a bit pricey for us.  That wrapped up the second day of the trip.  We were all tired from a long day at Disney.

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