Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Taking the Time to Listen

Yesterday I went up to Sundance with some of my family.

This mountain retreat was crowded, but beautiful.

The temperature cool and perfect, a nice reprieve from the Summer heat.

As we were walking over a bridge I paused to listen to the stream rushing past.  I leaned on the railing and looked over, taking in the cacophony of bubbling water.  The rushing sound was great, loud, yet soothing.  As I looked from one part of the stream to the other I noticed that I could pick out that particular sound before moving on to the next.  One bubbling rush singled out from all the others.  When I wasn't focusing all the sounds meshed together.  When I focused on individual parts, those individual parts were heard.

And then I realized this pertains to us.  So many voices, so many ideas, opinions, griefs, joys sounding out at the same time making a cacophony of human voices.  When we don't focus all we hear is a huge rush of sound.  It's so easy not to try.  It's so easy not to listen, but every voice is important and deserves to be heard.  We need to hear the voices that are getting drowned out, both in our personal life and with the World.  Understand and notice, while standing firm, but being aware and open.

It is wondrous how the loud sound of rushing water is so soothing.  It's the sound of chaos balancing together in a wonderful breath of harmony.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Exploring Disney's Hollywood Studios

June 11th, 2016

Disney's Hollywood Studios was a mixture of old and new experiences, and with those old experiences there were new twists.  The first ride we went on was Star Tours where we got a new variation from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Then we checked out Indiana Jones: Epic Stunt Spectacular, which was so much fun!  Part Indiana Jones; Part behind the scenes stunt show.

The Great Movie Ride is a trip down classic movies past with interaction from the ride host, Jungle Cruise style, though without the jokes, and a gangster who takes over halfway though the ride.  

Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage was interesting.  Wasn't a fan.

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was such a surprise when the ride car moved forward into dropping position.  I screamed so loudly I thought I was going to lose my voice!  We loved this ride so much we went twice in a row!!  Wonder how long the original version will remain; it's nice that it's still available.

Fantasmic was in a large amphitheater, which was nice, because there was seating.  It was fun seeing the differences between the two versions, though I ultimately prefer the Disneyland version.  (I have no idea when I'll get the chance to see Disneyland's updated Fantasmic, but I watched it on YouTube, and it looks really good.)  Gotta say, Steamboat Willie at the end of Florida's Fantasmic is underwhelming compared to the Mark Twain, which is a fitting conclusion.

Disney's Hollywood Studios was my least favorite of the 4 parks.

I didn't get to ride Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, which is apparently really fun.  The line was long.  This park feels really small compared to the other parks.  Apparently it was bigger before the renovations started, with a cool New York section, which someone was telling me about.  When Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land open hopefully Disney's Hollywood Studios will be worth a revisit.

And that immersive Star Wars hotel that's been announced sounds beyond epic, and expensive.  Austenland, Star Wars style.  Man, it would be a cool experience.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Exploring Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World

June 10th, 2016

What a surprise Animal Kingdom turned out to be.  I was expecting this park to be my least favorite. How wrong I was.  There's a good balance between shows and rides, and every experience is unique to this park, not to mention the nice jungle atmosphere.

 We saw many animals on Kilimanjaro Safaris, which we rode during the day and night.  Exposition Everest is a wild roller coaster, going forward and backwards. I loved it; My Mom did not.  DINOSAUR is like Indiana Jones, but with time travel . . . and Dinosaurs.  Finding Nemo the Musical was a lot of fun with great puppetry and songs.

We sought shelter from the rain, a huge lightning storm with a giant downpour, while eating yummy burgers.  Then we ran the long way, by accident, through the storm to see Festival of the Lion King.  We loved the show so much we saw it twice in a row.

I hope one day to return to see Pandora - The Land of Avatar.  The new expansion to the park was under construction when we were there last year.