Summer in the Sun

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Looks like I’ve fallen a bit behind in my updates. The tl;dr of it is that June was all about travel, and July wasn’t. I traveled to London for a few work meetings from July 4-8, and then literally a few days later, Jen and I went to Florida from the 12th to the 18th. Then we went to her parents’ to celebrate Jim’s birthday. At that point, it felt like we’d be in some kind of vehicle until the end of time.

London, Ho!

I somehow managed to take no pictures of London while I was there. I’m not sure why. There were a couple times I almost did, but I wasn’t really there for sightseeing so I didn’t see any of the main attractions. Most of what I ran into was near King’s Cross station or within a 1-mile radius of our hotel. Maybe it was the layout or the buildings, but it was strongly reminiscent of Chicago, even including the ride in The Tube between Heathrow and King’s Cross.

The trip back was definitely the worst part. Arriving in Chicago meant going through international security, and it took at least 10x longer than Heathrow. If I didn’t have TSA Precheck, I would have also missed my connecting flight, despite the 3-hour layover I had upon arrival. Why? Because customs discharges into the O’Hare terminals, not the gates. That meant going through TSA as if I’d just arrived at the airport by car, which would have been another hour-long line without Precheck.



A Magical Place

Thankfully being back meant a few days of respite before gallivanting off to Orlando for our first vacation in years. (Thanks Covid!) We booked a trip to Orlando because it’s actually nice there, and our timeshare made it essentially free except for the air travel.

We spent the first full day at Disney World with Jannica, Andy, Lillian, and Evelyn. Jen and I had already been there, but it was fun hanging out with the kids and seeing them so excited. It ended up being pretty freaking hot though. It was only 96 in the sun but the heat index was something like 105. I mainly learned that Disney needs more water fountains, because I’m pretty sure I drank my weight in water that day. I should have brought some LMNT or something, because I was really dragging toward the end.

The second day was just taking it easy, because we were scheduled to meet up with Bill and Chris that evening for dinner at Delmonico’s. I think Bill picked the place out, but it ended up being pretty good. I broke from Keto for the night and tried out one of their gluten-free pastas with my filet. I was considering their Delmonico steak, but they only come in 24oz size, and there’s no way I’d be able to eat that.

Day three consisted of a trip to the Kennedy Space Center. It was still hot and we spent a lot of time wandering around the park. The tour bus dropped everyone off and we fended for ourselves by visiting all of the exhibits before the scheduled pickup time. Perhaps I should have stopped to read more displays, because we were done about an hour before the bus was supposed to arrive. There was also some kind of accident on the highway, so it took three hours to get back to our hotel because the bus was stuck in traffic for two hours. But hey, at least most of the day was fun. I have a lot of pictures of rockets and other space vehicles, after all.

Day four was all about SeaWorld. We may have actually ended up walking more here than at Magic Kingdom or the Space Center. The park is incredibly winding, unlike the relatively open plan of the other two. We ended up doubling back several times to try and hit the various timed events like the Dolphin or Sea Lion shows. We kinda pooped out toward the end of the day thanks to that, and didn’t manage to see the Orcas. But even I was tired and sore, despite my daily 45+ minute walks at home. We also spent about two hours in a line to see the penguins early in the day. They have to keep that cold, so it’s not general admission, and they only let people in as small groups.

The last full day we rented a cabana at our resort and promptly got rained out for the first half of the day. Since it was a thunderstorm, they also closed the pool area. But this being Florida, once the rain dissipated, it was a full sunny day again, so we hung out pruning ourselves in the hot tub and the pool until dinner.

The trip back the next day was almost comedic. The plane from Orlando sat on the runway for an extra hour with no explanation, so we missed our connecting flight in Charlotte. There are only two flights to Peoria per day, so we had to wait six hours for the next one. We ended up having dinner at Shake Shack, which for unexplained reasons, were unable to produce shakes. This was also true of the nearby Potbelly. Not really relevant, but I thought it was amusing given the circumstances. I didn’t enjoy driving home at nearly midnight, but we arrived safely nonetheless. The kitties were ecstatic.

Being Occupied

Part of the reason for not keeping up with my semi-weekly posts is due to the release of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. It’s very content-rich and has way too much to do. I admit I rushed it a bit, because I don’t have time for that kind of thing anymore. It has a fairly compelling story, though I’m still not a fan of the equipment shattering mechanic. They addressed it somewhat by adding weapon fusions though, so it’s still a vast improvement over Breath of the Wild. I also exploited item duplicating glitches because I’m not spending several hours grinding dozens of types of loot to upgrade stuff; ain’t nobody got time for that.

Given the Steam Summer Sale, I also bought a couple items I’d been eyeing for a while. I’ve spent the last weekend playing Everspace 2. Every once in a while, I get the weird urge to blow up space pirates, mine asteroids, and upgrade ships and weapons until I can comfortably swat virtual armadas. This is somewhat reminiscent of Rebel Galaxy, but is clearly more recent and doesn’t sport larger capital ship broadside-centric battles.

As always, my Steam library continues to grow, and I’ll never play everything. But hey, I’m supporting creators I believe in.

What did you do to my eye!?

My Macular Degeneration is back. I noticed another swirly spot in my vision Wednesday morning, located in my right eye. I couldn’t make an appointment with the retinal specialist because he was in surgery all afternoon, so I settled for Thursday. He confirmed I had another retinal bleed, so gave me a shot of Avastin in my eye.

Given that the problem came back about a year after my last injection, I’ll probably need to be on some kind of regular injection in perpetuity to avoid slowly going blind in my right eye. I can’t say I’m looking forward to that, but it beats the alternative.

And with that, I’m out.

Until Tomorrow