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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Road Trip

We finally hit the road at 9 and we took some back roads out of Columbus down to the West Virginia border. I can't believe how pretty it is right now...soooo much color. We traveled right through Wayne National Forest
and Athens Ohio, home to Ohio University. Gordon show me where he and Patrick had hunted deer with Bob and Fred so long ago. Once we were in West Virginia, we were on I-77 and and that took us all the way to Columbia,SC.
There we picked up I-64 and made it all the way to just outside Charleston, SC where we called it a night. It was such an easy, relaxing drive and "BLUE" made it just fine averaging 18 MPG even through the mountains!!

I am missing the kids, and am trying to catch a cold...happens every time I fly I seem to catch something. Glad I have my Zicam with me and plenty of kleenex as we head into Charleston today. First stop is at the Tax office to pay taxes and then the Title Office and Licence Bureau. South Carolina is pretty cool because they have all the offices in one building. Next we cross town and go to vote!! Wishing I was voting on a new President but thats another story!!! That didn't take long and the day isn't even half over!!

Jeff Davis, the dock master at our home marina, Mairtime Center just became a daddy! A son, Ryland Stiles Davis, he and mommy Mallory are doing great and we were lucky enough to get to see him at 2 days old. What a handsome baby boy but would expect no less from his parents.

Now, that we have visited friends, taken care of business, and picked up our mail, we will start the trek west to Kennesaw!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ohio Visit

October must be the month for vacations!! No sooner have we finished up our Disney adventure, washed clothes, and we are off to Ohio. Vicky was kind enough to drop us at the Daytona airport this morning to catch a non-stop to Columbus where we were met by Andie and Havyn. It is sooo good to see everyone. Havyn is talking up a storm and we can even understand most of what she says!!! Emeryn has grown and is no longer a baby but a walking talking ball of energy Our trip here is two fold, we of course came to see the family but we are also buying a car!!! Debbie Kingham is selling me her car(after her hubby John backed into it)...she bought a new one!! It is also important for me to see her as she had bypass surgery a few weeks ago and is recovering but I have to see for myself.

Thursday we speent the day at Andies playing with the kids, doing a bit of shopping and trying to stay warm...45 after 75 is cold!!!

Friday morning Andie drove us to Tipp City...we got there about 10 and she returned home leaving the girls with us...surprise!! Debbie and I left Gordon andd John with the girls while we went to the bank, and DMV to change the title and get temporary tags. I am now the owner of a 2000 Nissan Pathfinder. SO much for riding bikes and buses!!hahah When we got back, the guys had fed the girls cookies and milk so they were happy, but Debbie was exhausted. We took off fro Troy, I had to visit Mom & Dad at the cemetary and drop some jewerly off at Wm Boss. This also gave the girls some time to nap in the car. We checked in at the Holiday Inn and then took the girls to Fulton Farm's pumpkin patch. The weather has cooperated and was about 65 so it was a great time to spend at the farm...plus I got my anglefood cake and the girls got a hudge pumpkin!!!

We met John and Debbie for dinner at our hangout in Fairborn, Giovanni's. It was soo much fun spending time with John and Debbie, Emily and Deb's sister, Theresa and the pizza was great like always!!
It was back to the hotel room, the girls took a long hot bath put on jammies and were asleep in no time. Not once did either ask for mommy or daddy!!! They slept until 9 when we finally got them dressed and fed...you can't believe how much they ate for beeakfast!! This was another day of visiting friends, Dan & Louise Plow, Louise had a stroke2 months ago and she is slowly recovering and it had been a while since we had seen them. And we also stopped in to see Coach P. last Christmas we had seen him and I was sure it was the last. He ahd broken his hip falling out of a deer stand and wasn't recovering very well. He has now recovered completely and back to his ornery self. Next was was lunch with diving buddies Guy, Marilyn, Phil, Cherri, Teri and Rotten Ron!!! Wow that was some kinda long lunch!!! The girls were troopers and behaved as did Schooner. Our last stop was at John and Debbie's for a final good by this trip and then head back to Columbus!! Don't think Andie or Jeremy missed the girls, they weren't home when we arrived and I had both girls bathed and ready for bed when they came in...hope they enjoyed the peace and quiet!!

It's Sunday and we went to watch Andis play soccer. It has been 12 years since she played competatively but to watch her play you wouldn't guess!!She still has the moves...lol Steaks for dinner and quiet time made the day.

We were up early today...babysitting while Andie and Jeremy are at work, I don't think I could do this every day but it sure has been fun spending time getting to know the grandkids!! Spent the afternoon shopping and preparing for the road trip while Gordon checked out the car...oil fluids etc. Jeremy and Gordon went to lunch as did Andie and I ...separate places though and then we went to watch Andie play indoor soccer. Indoor is so fast and rough especially coed. Her team won the league title and she had 5 goals in two games...I am so happy she has returned to the game....Tomorrow ...ROAD TRIP!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Animal Kingdom Day Five

Yeaterday was a very long day!! We are all moving very slow this morning, this being our fifth and final day with Disney we headed over to the Animal Kingdom after checking out of our motel. By the way, it was a great place to sleep, but other than that I really don't know anything about the place!!

Animal Kingdom is the smallest of the Disney Parks and I would say it was my least favorite, but it could have been that I was tired and it was hot today. You do alot of walking there and the grounds are covered in flowers, palms, and toperaries; all centerlng around a huge man made tree they call the "Tree of Life". This is a spectactular tree covered in 325 carvings of animals, and you can't believe how big this tree is!!

I really enjoyed the Kilimanjaro Safaris. You climb aboard your open-sided safari vehicle for an expedition through Africa. Animals freely roam through acres of savannah, rivers and rocky hills. We were able to see giraffes, hippos, elephants, rhinos, lions and poachers too! It is one of the best natural animal habitats around and you must have your camera ready as your vehicle will pass by (in some cases right next to) wildebeests, impalas, Thomson gazelles, zebra, giraffes, rhinos, hippos and lions. The "ride" could move a bit slower so you could take it all in better. Really cool though and I would love to bring the grand kids to see this!!

Next we ventured over to Expedition Everest, a massive mountain with a thrill coaster built inside with a nearly 200' fall. Expedition Everest takes you through the treacherous terrain of a high-speed train adventure! It hurls you forward toward the peak and then, just when you think it couldn't get worse, you go backwards!!! From the mountain we went down to the river and rode the Kali River Rapids. Fortunately, we grabbed the rain poncho and were able to stay somewhat dry..yes I said somewhat.....this is a very wet ride.

We had Chineese for lunch and then watched the parade. The parade was my favorite...it reminded me of Bahamian Junkanoo!!
And like all the other days, it wouldn't be complete without doing a little shopping.

I'm sure I have left things we did out, but I have to save some things for you to discover yourself. The hour drive back to Daytona was pretty quiet as we were all too tired to talk. Tha boat was still afloat and all was well on the dock...its good to be home!!!

Magic Kingdom Day Four

Oh wow, we have arrived... today was a very long day!! We were walking through the gates at 9am and made our way to the train and off to Frontierland. The first official ride for the day was Splash Mountain and little did we know that Schooner would become our "fast pass" here too! We jumped to the front of the line, Dan and Debbie rode while we waited and vise versa. Needless to say it was a wet start to the day. We managed to ride all the big rides in Frontierland and moved to Adventureland and Pirates of the Caribbean, Swiss family tree house, the Tiki Room and Jungle Cruise all before noon...yikes!!

Then it was over to Country Bear Jamboree where we could sit for a show and rest before heading to Liberty Square to see the Presidents and visit the Haunted Mansion. Schooner wasn't impressed at all riding through the Haunted Mansion and was ready to get out sooner than later. We grabbed some munchies and continued to Fantasyland where we rode Peter Pan's flight. our favorite there, "It's a Small World" was closed and the whirl around rides like the Teacups and Dumbo we passed on...always another day!!!

We found ourselves in Tomorrowland and more easy, sitdown rides and shows except for Space Mountain!! We were pacing ourselves by now and made it back to the Main entrance via the train and finally sat down for a meal at Tony's Town Square. Schooner dined on her bones and we dined on fine Italian fare!!! After dinner we walked up Main Street hitting the shops as we went, before finding a good place to sit for the parade and fireworks. I don't think I will ever get that tune out of my head, Boo to you and you and you and you!! There were alot of families that stayed late tonight for the Halloween party and many were in costume. Schooner donned her Minnie Mouse ears enjoyed all but the fireworks!!

Let trick or treating begin... part of attendind the "Not so Spooky Halloween Party" was to trick or treat!!! We managed to walk the complete park again and bring home 2 full bags of candy, like what will do with all that candy???

It was such a fun day, now pour me into bed...what??? another park tomorrow...........

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Disney Studio's Day Three

Well we were not so early this morning...breakfast at 7:30!! My legs are a bit sore the cold soak and Flexall 454 helped a bunch last night. I am prepared to start another day!!! The plan is that we can see all there is to see here at the studio's and then make it over to the Magic Kingdom for the Electric Light Parade this evening so let's get started.

We arrived in time to see the gates open and the rush of people head to the Tower of Terror...haha we took our time and still rode it without waiting, thanks Fast Pass Schooner! Dan and I tricked Debbie into going...haha it wasn't soooo bad just the first jolt!! We then made our way to the Rockin Rollercoaster. Gordon opted out on this ride so Dan rode with Debbie then with me...it was good , but then again I have been to Cedar Point, roller coaster capital of the world!!! Again no waiting...so we cruised the streets and shops for a while, I forgot to mention I was on a penny hunt this whole time so it was necessary to find some pennies here,too!!!

We met up with some shady characters, Pooh, Tiger, Pluto, And Goofy...It feels funny waiting in line to have a picture taken with characters without kids in tow but Schooner was a CHAMP!!!

We took the back lot tour where we saw how explosives are set in water for films and some of the props used in Disney films and the Disney Parades. The original Micky Mouse airplane is also on display. We took a stroll through an indoor movie memorabilia exhibit where we viewed costumes, props and sets from some of the greatest movies and television shows of our time. Just walking around the park you would jump from Paris to San Francisco to some street in Georgia or New York. It's movie magic!!!

We finally had some lunch...Italian food, good and filling, then headed over to The Extreme Stunt Show which reveals the film making secrets behind complex vehicle stunts and electrifying pyrotechnics...this was a bit loud for Schooner but she was a trooper and stuck it out. Besides she had plenty rest after she ate her lunch and we finished ours. So much for excitement, we saw the Journey Into Narnia: Prince Caspian where we walked through Narnia and saw how the fantasy storey was created. That was pretty cool!! But not to be outdone by taking the Great Movie Ride that takes you through realistic recreations of memorable film moments, from 1930s gangster flicks to contemporary sci-fi classics.

Now, it was time to head over to WDW and see the Electric Light Parade...this is my most memorable thing we did when the kids were little and still so exciting to see!!!
It was fun to see Debbie's face when we entered the World...her excitement was contagious!! Again, after walking down Main Street, we found a spot where we could see the parade and fireworks that followed...it was a magical night!!

Disney Epcot

Up at 6:30 and met for breakfast at 7 oooowww we started early, but wanted to be over at Epcot gates when they opened. Epcot is one of the biggest of the parks and we wanted to see it all!!! Ofcourse, we were about 30 minutes early and had to wait around so we took some pictures, shopped and visited the RR before the gates opened!

We first went over to the Test track where lines were suppose to be long but, we quickly learned Schooner was our fast pass to all rides, so waiting in lines wouldn't be an issue!! You don't get to actually drive a car at the test track but you go on this ride that simulates being on a race track and testing all the parts of a car in production. FAST FAST FAST!! We decided to slow down after that one and visited The Land Pavillion. Here we went soaring...this was my favorite, and Living with the Land where the Disney gardens are located. After a quick bite to eat, it was on to the Seas with Nemo and freinds....cute and nice aquariums and show. Then over to Imagination! Pavilion where we watched Michael Jackson as Captain EO,in a 3-D movie. And saw Figment. It was here where we got to see Mickey as ths Sorcerer!!

By this time, it felt like we were running short on time so we started cruising through the Country Pavillions. This is where you could spend hours in each country....shopping, eating and watching entertainment. My highlights were Italy and the pastries, Mexico and the Three Caballeros, Canada and the 360 movie with Martin Short and United Kingdom where we met Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland,and Pooh & Tiger. YEA more Characters!!

We made it almost all the way through the Countries, when everyone was lining the lakefront to watch IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth it is a spectacular night show filled with pyrotechnics, lasers, fire and fountains on World Showcase Lagoon. We found the handicap area where Schooner wouldn't be stepped on in the dark and we were set with a great viewing area...thanks Schooner!!

Long day...14 hours and still more tomorrow...oops today!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Disney Day One

Monday morning, the excitement is too much!! We were all up and milling about the boat early but finally got loaded in the car and on the road by 9am. Our first stop was going to be at Downtown Disney…we needed to pick up our tickets for “Mickey’s not so Scary Halloween Party” which would be later on in the week. And we thought this would be a good day to get into the mood of being 6 instead of 56!!

Downtown Disney, is a shopping/ restaurant division of Disney. We first picked up our Mickey backpacks, free from VISA having gotten a Mickey credit card!!! Thanks Gordon for making this happen!!! And all reservations of having Schooner in tow were disappearing…she is such a great dog!!!

Debbie and I managed to get in some of our shopping
and were able to make plans for tomorrow morning while eating at the Rainforest Café. We enjoyed a great meal surrounder by elephants, gorillas, birds and baboons. and with the occasional thunderstorm including lighting thrown in it was a great experience and my lobster mac n cheese was great!!

After more shopping,I picked up some Christmas gifts for the G-kids, and as the sun was due to set we tried to catch a ride on the tethered balloon
but, unfortunately, the wind was blowing to hard to be able to be able to go up in the tethered balloon, so a picture would have to do. I ahd hoped we might sneek a peek at all of Disney’s World!!!

After about 8 hours of walking, shopping and eating, we were ready to find and check into the hotel…but first a stop at a store for some snacks!!! This is going to be some kind of week...even Schooner is tired and tomorrow will be a long day!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

See ya Later Son

We were up early to get Patrick to the airport for his early flight…he should be home be home by noon. As I reflect on his visit, we really did nothing special, but did spend quality time catching up on the last 10 months. I wish we had a kitchen , not a galley, so he could have made us some of the great dishes he has learned to prepare but I can wait… Now, he is starting baking class, and I look forward to the pies, bread, and other goodies he will learn to fix!! We did fix him a steak dinner, a recipe that we got from friends Chip and Kay…a Santa Barbara favorite. He will probably will take it and make his own tilt to it, but it is one of our favorites here on the boat!! I wish we had taken pictures, as Patrick has grown up so much and its hard to call him my little boy anymore…I can’t call him my little man at 6’1””!! haha He is special as are my girls!!

We no sooner had Patrick on his way north and we were packing for our week at Disney World !! Dan and Debbie would be arriving to spend the night before we headed over to Orlando. The excitement is building and I feel like a little kid. This will be a fun week!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Patrick's Visit 1

We picked Patrick up at the airport close to noon and got back to the boat and had dad's Italian sausage sandwiches. Patrick looks so good but very tired!! We spent most of the afternoon catahing up with him before he crashed. So today we waited for him to wake up...he was sleeping in the forward berth with the shades pulled closed so it was 1:30 before was saw his face. We caught the bus over to the baech to check out the waves from Tropical Storm Nicole. We stopped by Sloppy Joe's for breakfastlunchdinner due to the time of day afterward. It was such a nice day with the sun shining but not too hot!! After eating, we walked the beach for a while and Patrick picked up a bit of sun on his pale face. Working and school have kept him indoors all summer. It was back on the bus for the ride across the bridge to the boat where he got to meet I Dock. We fed Dewey's catfish in the dark so he missed seeing how big they are, so we will have to see them tomorrow night!!

Our life is pretty boring for a 26 year old so maybe with an earlier start we can do something more tomorrow.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to my best friend.....your older, wiser and getting better every day!!!Gordon had all his birthday wishes spread out through the day and is feeling pretty good for being and old man!!! I can say that cause he probally won't be reading what I write. haha

Enjoyed the evening out last night with friends Jim and Vicky. We had dinner at BJ'S and had the most awesome desert...a fresh baked peanutbutter cookie still hot with a vanilla icecream scoop on top...sssooooo good!!! G is feeling much better now so we will start doing some walking to get in shape for Patrick's visit in a few days.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hospital trip!!

We were up at 4:00am that morning …way too early for Schooner and I!! We were at the at the hospital by the appointed hour of 5:30am only to sit and wait, and wait till 7:30am when they finally took G down to surgery. How exciting it is to sit in a hospital waiting room!! Schooner refused to sit on the floor, I don’t blame her it was freezing in there, so she was cuddled up in my lap so we could both stay warm!!

What was to be a 1 hour surgery turned into 2 hours and 45 minutes and still know word from anyone…about to go find some food, a very young doctor finally called me into the hallway. He looked about 16 with a very bad 5:00 shadow. He did let me know all had gone well, he had lost count of the numerous stones he had blasted away and I could see G in about 30 minutes. I really don’t think they know how to tell time at the VA and since there are no clocks to be seen they don’t guess very well either! Another hour or so passed and a nurse came and got me so I could dress Gordon…haha that was a sight.
Schooner was excited to see him and immediately jumped on the bed, licked his face all over and layed on his chest. After getting my instructions, I dressed G and helped him down and out to the car, no wheelchair assistance there!!! I managed to get us on the road at 3:10 and start the 140 mile trip back to Daytona. I made one stop to finally get something for me to eat, SUBWAY, and some peanut butter cookies for G to go along with his 2 bottles of water!! Sorry, I have no pictures to post of the patient, he threatened me that if I did take any he would kill me!! Let's just say it (he) wasn't attractive!!!

It’s now been close to a week, seems longer (the boat is smaller), but Gordon is doing well. He slept and drank water the first couple days as if he had just spent a year in the desert! The catheter is out and he is moving more freely about the boat. We have checked in with the VA and got him a prescription for Thrush…the yogurt helped some but his mouth is all white with fungus…yuck …I know what it’s like but this was a first for him. The old pudgy Gordo is a slimmer man after all of this, about 40lbs lighter. (Don’t you all hate him!!)

I did leave him for a couple hours on Saturday, I went to watch a soccer game!! It was the best…3 and 4 year olds playing soccer for the first time!! Our friends grandson Carter is playing and just too cute. I will have to get a picture of him in uniform, tiny cleats and shin guards too boot!!! It was a great time and a well needed escape from the boat!! Thank you Vicky for taking me.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The VA is Obamacare....

I am convinced we are in big trouble!!! Gordon signed on to the Veterans Administration health care last February and let me tell you how much fun it has been. It started out with them testing him for his diabeties, which it has been determined he has a strain associated with Agent Orange which he had exposure to in Viet Nam. Ok 20% disability... he also had his eyes checked and new glassses to fit his face!! they checked his hearing, but determined it wasn't too bad!!! That I don't agree with and you would too if you heard him talk on the phone....he is the guy in the quiet room that everyone can hear!!! Any way some progress has been made in only 7 months...glad he wasn't sick!!!
So now they have determined he has kidney stones AGAIN !! We went through this 3 years ago in Alabama and he had lithotripsy at that time. Now, he was to have laser lithotripsy on Thursday and we jumped through all the correct hoops to have it done including going to Orlando to have the pre-op tests done. Well somebody dropped the ball and didn't follow up on his urine test which was positive for bacteria so upon arrival in Tampa we were told everything was posponed!!! Why couldn't they have called before we left Daytona??? So now he is on antibotics and we are to report on Tuesday te 14th to admittance for surgery on the 15th....wouldn't you think they would test him again before schedualing surgery again??? The only good thing about driving to Tampa on Thursday, was we were close to Clearwater and SKYLINE CHILLI...oh yea 5-way and Skyliners!!! And we bought enough for a meal this weekend!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'm baaaaackkkkkk

Well I took some time off from blogging because I didn't think you wanted to read about our daily exploits here in Daytona!! As you know, we arrived here on January 16th and have been sitting in the same spot ever since. We have done things like ride bikes everywhere including going 5 miles out to the Daytona Speedway during race week, intermingle with all the Harleys during Bike week and just over the bridge to put our feet in the ocean. We have mastered the bus system and can get from the marina to Walmart/Sam's without any problems!!! Public trans is a hoot!!
Many of you have stopped either going south this past spring or on your return trip to your summer destination and we enjoyed seeing all of you. We attended many fairs/craft shows/festivals while here...the Art in the Park in Ormand Beach stands out as the best we attended. We had the pleasure of sharing it with Guy, Marilyn, Phil, & Cherri, friends from Ohio. Still none have been any where close to those festivals in Ohio!!! The Ormand seafood Fest was close. The latest festival was a BBQ festival here in the downtown...really loud bands, not much BBQ anything but lots of beer!!!

We have made a few road trips, I met up with a few high school classmates in March over in Venice, FL and we attended a sand sculpture show in May in Cocoa Beach. Also in May, we celebrated my birthday with friends in Bocca Grande. A visit to Silver Springs was a thrill when a giraffe, interested in seeing Schooner came over to visit her and take a handful of grass from me!! A trip up to St Augustine with friends Bill & Gail resulted in finding the best gelatto I have ever had and a day away from the boat.

My sister, Sonia came and stayed with us the end of June, we had such a great time! We left Gordon at the boat and managed to spend a few days on the beach catching up...it is great to have her back in my life, I'm just sorry it took both of our parents dying to figure that out, but I know my mother is smiling down on us!!!

While sitting here....we have managed to completely de-oxidise the deck and put a good coat of wax all over, re-wire the radar unit after sending it out for service, repair the fresh water intake, install a new, bigger and better air conditioning pump,install a fuel polishing system and fix up the dingy for more Bahama beaching...it has been more than enough to keep G busy!!! LOL Of course that doesn't include the bi-monthly scrubbing of the boat to remove the aircraft fuel residue.(We are located right in the flight path for Daytona International Airport!) The boat was put on the sales market back in early April, but with the economy as it is, we have only had a few lookers. We would still like to trade over to a Trawler and make the Great Loop before giving up the gypsy life.
To keep us entertained, since there is a minor league baseball park a block away, we purchased game passes for the season. Yep, we really got into watching baseball (people watching wasn't bad either) unfortunately the Daytona Cubs didn't make the playoffs, so now I am looking forward to catching some college soccer matches...Embry-Riddle is suppose to have a pretty good men's team as they are mostly Europeans on the team. I also hope to catch some games of 3-4 year olds play!! Our boat neighbor's grandson is on the team of first time players!!!

Gordon has been going to the VA outpatient center here for his diabeties,(agent orange induced) and is now classified as a disabled veteran! They have determined he has kidney stones ...again!! You will all remember his escapades 3 years ago with having them blasted...well this time the doctors are using a new procedure to remove them with a laser...that is this Friday so I will keep you posted!!! Schooner is fine, she has plenty of friends to play with, there are 15 dogs on our dock if every one is here, but special playmates are Sadie and Sassy, Austrailian Sheppards! And well, I am hanging in there...no accidents to report only good!!!
I have included a slide show here to show you what Daytona and Jump life is all about, look for more regular postings in the future....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

On Sand Piles and Piles of Sand

We are alive and well and still in Daytona beach, FL. The weather has been spotty at best, with unpredictable wind and waves. Consequently, we just don't see any value in busting over to the Bahamas at this late date, right into the mouth of hurricane season.

One of the things we've done recently, is we spent the day on Friday visiting the "Art of Sand" displays in Cocoa Beach, Fl. We've spent some time reviewing the 130+ pictures we took there and think they're good enough to show on the blog.

About the "Art of Sand,", it's an annual sand sculpting competition (a far cry from me and my bucket on the beach as a child) offering the largest prize package of any sand sculpting festival in the world. The International Sand Sculpting Exhibit was open April 2, 2010 and ran through May 1, 2010. Exhibitors representing Italy, Russia, Japan, Netherlands, Canada, and the US created and displayed their works of art, which border on the miraculous, both in scope and in detail.

We’ve broken the pictures down into two groups, each representing half of the displays. There were two general, untitled and unauthored displays lining the entrance. These are shown first. Thereafter, we photographed the Sculptor’s signboard, which signals the beginning of a new sculpture. All photos following a signboard are different perspectives of that same sculpture.

Want to see a bigger image??? Just click on the slide show and it will open in a new window. From there, you can go on to full screen mode if you'd like.

We hope you all find this montage enjoyable.