Traveling: Yes! We Are Going to Disney Again

“Y’all are going to Disney, again?”

We get that question a lot…like there is a limit to the number of times one can go.

The first vacation we took as a couple was to Walt Disney World. I took over a new responsibility at work, that was making me feel really stressed.  (Funny, now it’s the one I worry about the least).  I just wanted to get away.  Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple’s best friend lived in Orlando and so we had a place to stay.  In fact, her sister was going to UCF so we had two places to stay.  This covers the biggest hurdle for repeated visits: having a place to lay your head.

However, we still have a blast.  Yes, we still enjoy riding rides even though we don’t just ride rides.  We enjoy the food if you go beyond just quick service (and even some of those are better than others). We enjoy shopping at the different shops, even though we don’t buy all that much.  We definitely love people watching.  We look for meltdowns by kids and parents. We look for the newlywed couples that are starting their new lives by returning to their childhoods for a week.  We enjoy watching the family reunions and seeing the oldest in the group act just like the youngest when seeing a character.

Other vacations are work for us. Going to Europe, driving across country, doing study abroad, these are not relaxing vacations.  Because we have been to Disney so many times, it is relaxing for us.  We don’t have the pressure of making sure we have to do everything. We don’t have the pressure of running to a fast pass across the park.  The closest we have to pressure is making sure we are at our reservations if we have time.

Sometimes, we do enjoy staying on grounds, and in particular camping at Disney.  In fact, if your child is old enough to recognize Mickey Mouse, but not ride rides, then Fort Wildness is a perfect way to have a Disney experience.  They have two major pools, tons of activities, and character experiences. There is a character themed restaurant, and Chip and Dale often have a campfire event. If you are tent camping, it can get really cheap.

For us, Disney World will always be special.  It’s where I had the courage to tell Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple I love her for the first time.  It’s where we took my sister after she graduated from college.  Her family has more than one reunion at the park.  We have run races there. Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple’s sisters have completed their first half-marathon there (you can read about one of those stories here).  It’s a place where memories do get made.

We will be going at least once over Spring Break since we will be there for Star Wars Celebration. We will bring our new camera and try to see the parks with fresh eyes again.

I know we are not the only Disney fanatics out there.  We have tons of friends who go, some even more often than us.  I think it’s because we have one thing in common.  We forget how old we are there and turn into kids ourselves.  Sure, we are falling into the marketing trap, but if we are having fun, who cares?


ComicCon-ing: Pensacon 2016 Full Recap

Pensacon celebrated its third year in Pensacola this year and we decided to make a weekend of it and attend all three days. The first year, I drove up on Saturday morning with two of my good friends and last year, Kurt and I drove up on Saturday morning. Both years we made the three hour trek back to New Orleans at the end of the day, but this year, we drove up Friday afternoon and came back Sunday evening. Thus, we were able to experience much more than in previous years and enjoy many more aspects of the con that we had missed.

One of my big collections is autographs. I love meeting celebrities that star in shows that I love to watch and having that thirty second connection with them. This year, there were almost twenty people I wanted to meet and besides one, whom I decided to put off until another con, I accomplished my goal and received many new autographs and treasured items in the process. Continue reading

ComicCon-ing: Pensacon – Overview and Review

Pensacon 2016 was simply one of the best cons I’ve ever attended. Usually, when I write a review of a con, I have two or three better ifs. I can’t really think of any for this year’s con. Now part of that reason is that we planned well. We knew what we wanted to do and what we would have to give up. However, Pensacon, and by extension Pensacola, deserves most of the credit. They made the most of their limited space and held a great con.

Pensacon Vendor Area

Pensacon Vendor Area

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ComicCon-ing: A Preview of Pensacon

This weekend Nola Nerd Couple will be attending Pensacon in Pensacola, Florida.  We believe this is one of the best Comic-Cons on the Gulf Coast and in the South.  Perfectly located near the beach and I-10, Pensacon allows for a perfect getaway weekend.

Pensacon is a growing con that always gets great guests.  A few of the guests that we are excited to meet this year are:

Of course, there are plenty of more guests to check out from such series as Star WarsDoctor Who (Strax!), Agents of Shield, and Game of Thrones.

Pensacon also has a great lineup of artists as well. Probably the biggest name in for the artists is Neal Adams whose credits include Batman and X-Men. Doug Sneyd’s cartoons have been featured in Playboy since 1964.  Artists may do commissions so check the Pensacon website, um now, to find out if you need to book in advance.  The artist alley is usually my favorite part of the con.  Not only do we find great things to decorate Nola Nerd Couple Headquarters with, but also the artists are always so nice.  I, personally, love that they found a way to become successful by working hard in a field in which they had some natural talent.  It is always great to hear their origin stories. In fact, the best conversations I have had at any con have always been with the artists.

Besides media and artists guests, Pensacon has a full schedule of events.  There will be tons of panels by the actors, artists, and experts on issues related to comics and comic cons. I personally recommend “Horrible Horrible Horrible Horrible Stereotypes in Comic Book History” on Saturday at 4:45 as my colleague and friend, Bill Plasse, will be one of the presenters (Looks like Bill can’t make it, but the panel will still go on!).  Of course, I always explain Comic-Cons as “jewelry shows for geeks” and, accordingly, there will be ton of vendors there. In addition, there will also be a cosplay contest a short film festivalsci-fi speed dating, and Southeastern Teen Shakespeare Company Performance.

We will be taking plenty of pictures and may interview a few artists and convention attendees for our blog next week.  Until then, have a happy con!


Concerting: Sadly Beautiful – Glen Campbell’s Farewell Tour

MTV used to play music. Shocking as that may sound it is true. When they were not playing music videos, they were often showing documentaries about music. One day, around the time R.E.M.’s Out of Time album came out, they played a documentary on the band from Athens. During the video, Peter Buck talked about how one night Michael Stipe did karaoke in some bar and chose some old Jimmy Webb songs. Then they cut to them singing Wichita Lineman and Galveston. Instantly, I knew these were great songs. My mom comes to my room and asks if R.E.M. is covering Glen Campbell. I respond that they are covering Jimmy Webb. She informs me those are Glen Campbell songs.

Of course, Jimmy Webb wrote the songs, but Campbell did indeed make those songs his.  I became a fan of both.

Campbell is an underrated interpreter of songs. Many pop artists today might sing (or auto tune) other people’s songs, but few interpret them. They just go for the sound. Campbell did so much more with other people songs. If you have not heard Galveston in a while, go take a listen. He took what could have been a political anti-war song and made it a song that just about a soldier that misses his girl. No matter what side you took when the song came out (the Vietnam era), Campbell’s soulful interpretation made the song just about love.

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Family-ing: Fulfilling a Dream, The Captain’s Lady Cafe

Captain's Lady Cafe

Captain's Lady Cafe

If you would’ve asked my mom two months ago if she was going to own her own restaurant, she would’ve laughed and called you crazy. Yet here she is, the Captain’s Lady Cafe a month old, serving New Orleans style food, as well as just simple down home cooking.

In February, my mom and step-dad noticed a little cafe style restaurant for sale. They laughingly tossed around the idea of buying it and opening up a permanent place, in addition to using their trailer on the weekends. A week goes by, and the price of the place drops even further, a price that made their far-fetched joke a reality.

Using the help of her husband’s family to paint and slightly remodel the place, along with the help of Kurt to design the menu, in less than 3 weeks they were ready to open their new business endeavor. On March 8th, 2012, Captain’s Lady Cafe was open for business.

My mom was optimistic about business, but not overly so. She knew it would take some time to gather a fan-base; therefore, she was amazed at the turnout the first week. She was slammed! Her cafe is surrounded by businesses, who all order gobs of sandwiches for lunch. She has a different daily special everyday, which often sells out before the day’s end. She has a to-go window, where people can call in orders ahead of time and pick it up without even leaving their cars, as well as order through the window. There are picnic tables and umbrellas outside, as well as four small tables inside.

It’s a cozy, friendly place with down home cooking, influenced by New Orleans. The daily specials range from red beans and rice, to chicken and sausage gumbo, to shrimp étouffée. The snoballs are New Orleans style, thinly shaved snow ice, using a block of ice and a three blade system that has it coming out as soft as snow. My grandma bakes some of her goodies and has them for sale on the counter. Robbie’s Bread Pudding is absolutely divine, literally some of the best bread pudding I’ve ever tasted. In addition, she makes homemade iced tea (sweet and unsweet) and homemade lemonade. There’s even art along the wall for sale by local artists (including my sister, Dina!).

In all, everything I have eaten here has been delicious. The prices are incredibly reasonable, the service is super friendly, and the atmosphere is cozy and comforting. If you love delicious home cooking, I highly suggest coming to Captain’s Lady Cafe. I couldn’t be more proud of my mom!

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Family-ing: The Menu for the Captain’s Lady Cafe

My mom decided that running a food truck was more fun than having a brick and mortar store, so this menu is not accurate anymore; however, she does continue to run the Captain’s Lady Streetcar Cafe food truck around Panama City! Check out their Facebook for upcoming events! – Cristina

A couple of posts back, I talked about how menus give way more information about what kind of food a restaurant serves.  I also talked about how my students were designing a menu for mother in law’s new breakfast and lunch cafe in Panama City, Florida.  The restaurant opened yesterday.  Here is the menu design she choose to go with (a combination of a couple of designs):

Front and Back Cover of Captain's Lady Cafe Menu

Inside of Captain's Lady Cafe Menu

Inside of Captain’s Lady Cafe Menu

Remember if you are in Panama City around breakfast or lunch, go to Captain’s Lady Cafe!