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11/11/2019 Phase 2

When Connie and Zack went to China last year, my big project here at home was setting up my library and office downstairs. Which came down to assembling a lot of shelves then unpacking all my books, games, movies, etc. Well, Connie and Zack are in China again and my big project this time is...doing more stuff in my library and office. Specifically, I'm finally putting in some wall shelves to display my figurines. Which means unpacking and organizing said figurines (a pretty big job). My parents also sent me a few boxes of stuff that had been sitting at their place for a while. But now that they're moving to Hawaii full time, and I have a house again, we figured it was time I finally got it back. So I need to sort and unpack all that too. Anyway, that's what I've been working on lately and I'm making good progress, but I probably need another two or three days to finish. Unfortunately, the next few days are going to be dedicated to grading. But hopefully, by early next week, I'll finally be fully unpacked for the first time since I left Hawaii. Maybe I'll post some pictures when I'm done.

Later!

Josiah



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11/8/2019 Busch Gardens

Ok, travelogue time.

November 3 (Sunday): Busch Gardens and Howl-O-Scream
When I went to Busch Gardens Williamsburg back in the Spring, I was mostly focused on Zack so I didn't get to go on many of the rides. But, with Connie and Zack in China, I decided to go back get a better feel for the park. This ended up being their last full day of the season, and the last day of Howl-O-Scream, their Halloween event. While Howl-O-Scream doesn't really kick into gear until the evening, there were still decorations up all over the park. Anyway, as previously mentioned, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is sorta European themed. You start out in England and there's also, Ireland, France, Germany, Oktoberfest (which is essentially still Germany), Italy (which is also broken up into two areas), and...Northern Canada? Not to mention the two kids areas (Land of Dragons and Sesame Street).
Anyway, I made my way slowly through the park, checking out all the rides, shops, etc. as I went. In addition to that VR motion simulator I rode last time, there's a number of roller coasters. I'd say The Griffon is probably the best one in the park. Though all the big ones are fun, if sometimes a bit on the short side. One that really surprised me was Verbolten, which looked like a pretty simple and low intensity coaster at the start, but ended up having a lengthy dark section with a surprising twist. The newest ride is Finnigan's Flyer, which is a giant swing, not a coaster (there's a new coaster coming next year). A lot of fun, at least as long as you're ok with heights.
There's also animals. Not as many as, say, Disney's Animal Kingdom or Busch Gardens Tampa, but they've got wolves, bald eagles, and a lot of other birds. I even ended up hearing the eagles chirping(?) at something when I passed by in the evening. Didn't sound like I expected. There's also that pet show that I saw with Zack last time.
So I walked around and tried different things out. Unfortunately, my neck was a bit off (it's a chiropractic thing) so I had to take a break between coasters to avoid getting really motion sick, but it was still fun. Due to the time of year, a few attractions were closed (water rides, for example). Maybe next time. I will note that the European theme isn't especially deep. Not like, say, Epcot, which can be fairly educational in addition to fun. But it works. As a note, the best place to eat is in Italy (which has a lot more than just Italian food).
While I'm not big on Halloween, I figured I might as well stay for a bit of Howl-O-Scream. And besides, the sun sets really early these days. Before the main event there was a family friendly Halloween...disco? There was still a bit of time to kill before it got dark, so I decided to save some time and line up by one of the haunted houses. I ended up going through three of them (out of six), just because I was there. They seemed pretty much in line with the other theme park haunted houses I've been in (not counting Disney's Haunted Mansion, which is much higher quality but also much more family friendly). You follow a twisting path through loosely themed corridors filled with creepy decorations, dismembered limbs, and people in costumes trying to scare you. All fine, I guess, but they just don't do it for me. For one thing, stuff like that doesn't scare me in the least. Plus I'm extremely hard to startle (you basically have to catch me entirely off guard and even then it's iffy). In the end, the only time I was even a little surprised when when the girl behind me freaked out and hit me in the back. And since I'm not in love with the bloody horrific style Halloween aesthetic (pumpkins and ghosts can be kind of fun through), there just isn't much attraction. At least when I'm by myself. They can be kind of fun to visit with a friend, especially if he or she scares a lot more easily than I do. Outside of the haunted houses, there were also sections of the park where costumed actors roam around and try to scare you as you pass by. Once again, I don't care that much either way, but watching some other people scream and run was amusing. What I would have been more interested to try were the special Halloween escape rooms, but they cost extra and weren't open that weekend anyway.
So, to summarize, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a pretty good theme park. In this general area, I'd still give Hershey the nod for its larger selection of rides and coasters, though Busch may have more for younger kids and a bit more variety when it comes to food. As for Howl-O-Scream. If you're looking for a big fancy teen - adult Halloween event, it seems like a pretty good one, even if I personally don't care too much either way.

Later!

Josiah

11/6/2019 To-do listing

I haven't had a chance to sort my photos from Busch Gardens so no travelogue entry today. Probably on Friday.

Without any grading this week, I've been trying to work hard on my to-do list for the last couple of days. And I'm making decent progress. Unfortunately, at the same time, I've been coming up with new things that need to be done and taking care of those things has slowed my progress on the original list. With a bit of luck, I'll have most of it done by the end of the week...but who knows.

Another thing I've been doing a lot of lately is exercising. I picked up a copy of Ring Fit (Nintendo's latest exercise game) and have been putting in around 45 minutes on it nearly every day. I'd always intended to get my exercise routine going again while Connie and Zack are gone (lack of free time is the usual reason when I skip it) and Ring Fit is giving me a new way to go about it. It's actually pretty fun and a serious workout. As both a game and an exercise method, Ring Fit is far superior to the old Wii Fit series. I'll probably right a more detailed review of it in a week or two once I've made a bit more progress.

And, I guess that's it for now. Got a full day of work (my job) and then back to the to-do list.

Later!

Josiah


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