Friday, 21 August 2015

Back from the States...

Good Day Folks
Cannot believe that I have not posted on the blog for almost three weeks, since its inception this has been the longest time I have been offline. It has also probably been the longest time that I haven’t rolled a die, lifted a paint brush or even thought about the hobby. It has also been a well-deserved break from work and other real life issues.

For the last three weeks we have been travelling in the States – a long weekend in New York followed by a hot sabbatical in Florida. It was great fun, and we saw so much.

This blog post will just try to encapsulate some of the highlights of the trip.

Perhaps the most memorable and certainly the most emotional was the trip to the 9/11 memorial in New York. That day a few years back will always be etched in my memory. The trip to the memorial brought all these thoughts and emotions flooding back. The museum was a great testament to the heroes of the day the NYPD and the Fire Department and serves the victims of the terror attack in both a sensitive and thought provoking fashion. Both my children were very small at the time but the museum and memorial brought both teenagers to a near tearful state as they were brought back to that horror that unfolded on that awful morning.

Central New York is a fabulous city, its bright, loud, and delivers a sustained assault on all the senses. From the vistas at the top of the Empire State building through to the waterside views of the Statue of Liberty this is one place that will always stay alive in my memories. O
ther highlights included our visit to one of the wharfside piers where we caught up with the second world  war carrier the USS Intrepid – the ship is vast ! 
Situated on one end of the deck under a permanent display we confronted our first space shuttle of the trip – the Enterprise. I hadn’t realised that NASA only commissioned six of these  and of these only five ever made it into space. The New York version is the test one they used for test landings and training.

From New York we headed south to Florida – we had promised the kids that one day we would take them to the parks. The first four days were dedicated to Seaworld and Universal. These were all good fun and despite the inclement seasonal stormy weather a good time was had by all.

From Orlando we picked up a hire car and headed west for some sun and sand in the resort of Clearwater. The only highlight I can report on this part of the trip was discovering that there was a Michael’s in one of the many shopping malls nearby.

For some years I have read all about Michael’s on various US based blogs – this a chain of craft stores. The particular one I visited was vast – think Tesco just filled with stuff for craftmaking. God only knows how they can make any money but if you wanted picture frames, dry flowers or beads you would not be disappointed. From a hobby perspective there were loads of bits that could be useful. Sadly I was lacking inspiration at the time and left empty handed. However I did pop into the pet store next door and found the ‘find’ of the holiday – a massive resin aquatic greek temple – this was so big I had to bring it back as hand luggage and at $40 (£25) was a bargain worth having.

The temple is about 12 inches wide - 18 inches long and 15inches tall - the grey figure shown in a couple of the shots is 28mm


The temple itself needs some work (namely a repaint and a new base) but it will form a fantastic backdrop to a Jason and the Argonauts game I am planning with Legatus for 2016. More on this in a future post.

A Gator at Lake Kissimme - this is small at around 5ft - they can be as big as fifteen

Six days later we left Clearwater and headed back to Orlando for the final five days of our vacation. Yet more parks and rollercoasters this time in the Disney venues but in addition we went out on a swamp boat tour on lake Kissimee (great fun) and visited Cape Kennedy. This is a must for any space nut.

The highlights being the Atlantis shuttle, the Rocket Garden and the enormous Saturn Rocket used for the moon landings...


The Atlantis looks much more beaten up than the Enterprise

The Rocket Garden

one end of the Moon Rocket

   All in all a fantastic (albeit very expensive trip) - thank you America for welcoming us...

Back to the real world now...

Part 3 of the Scales of Anubis kicks off Monday !!



  1. I don't know how Michael’s makes money either especially as you can get at least one item for 50% off a week with a coupon you can print on your computer. Lots of people buy lots of crap there for their wedding an holiday decorations... I think that gets them through.

    1. You go in and buy your thing for half off, and then you buy a ton of other stuff while you're there.

  2. I'm glad you had a great time over here. The temple looks good. Another great source of items is the terrarium and aquarium sections in pet stores.

  3. Glad you enjoyed the trip and the break, you went to two of my favourite spots that I've discovered in my year here!

  4. You're very welcome. We're glad you stopped by.

  5. Glad you are back though. Temple is perfect. Looks like I need to paint my harpies!

  6. Nice score on that "Greek Temple" piece! Looking forward to seeing that in future posts! Glad the trip went so well for you and your family. Cheers.