Author Archives: grandeizer

Cotswold Wildlife Park

My mom is here visiting for the next three weeks so we have been looking for fun things to do around the area. Brittany and I have always heard people mention the Cotswold Wildlife Park, so we decided to finally give it a try. To be honest, I was expecting to go and be completely disappointed. I figured that we would drive the 1 1/2 hours and they would have some birds and common farm animals for our son to pet. However, I was surprised to find that the Cotswold Wildlife Park was actually a nice place to check out many different types of animals to include giraffes, rhinos, monkeys, and penguins to name just a few.

I can now say that I actually had a really great time and would highly recommend this wildlife park to others that were looking for a fun day out.  Not only did Cotswold Wildlife Park offer some great views, I thought their facilities were top notch and very well maintained. Sometimes you visit wildlife parks and get a sense that the animals are not being taken care of 100%. This is definitely not the case at Cotswold Wildlife Park.

As I mentioned earlier, I would highly recommend this park for anyone looking to have a fun and adventurous day out in the Cotswolds.

Fursty Ferret Ale

I just bought an iPhone and wanted to test how well the WordPress app worked. It’s nice being able to post an update no matter where I am. I thought it would be fitting to make my first mobile post a beer one.

Visiting Amsterdam, Netherlands

The three of us decided to take a little trip to visit the capital city of Netherlands in early March. This was my second time visiting Amsterdam and it is amazing how different it was. The first time I visited Amsterdam I was twenty and traveled with three of my good friends. Imagine the kind of trouble a bunch of twenty somethings can get themselves into in Amsterdam. This time however, I was visiting Amsterdam as a parent with my wife and 15 month old son. Although the experience was drastically different, Amsterdam was still enjoyable and offered plenty to see and do.

It has been a while since I last updated this blog primarily due to concentrating my efforts on completing the last couple of classes for my degree and pure laziness.

Lets get back to Amsterdam. The weather was a little chilly throughout the five days we spent in Amsterdam, but we made the most of it. Before traveling I did some research and found a lot of sites listing Amsterdam as a heavy pickpocket city. However, I think if you travel smartly then you should have no worries. We had a pushchair/stroller and a 15 month old and did not run into any issues.

Throughout our five days we visited many of the popular tourist destinations, like the Van Gogh museum, Anne Frank museum, flower market, took a stroll through de wallen (Red Light District), ate frites galore, and took a canal cruise. We bought a 72 hour travel card and basically ended up walking and riding trams all around the city, stopping to enjoy some shopping and fine dutch cuisine.

All in all we had a wonderful time during our five days in Amsterdam. We both agreed that Amsterdam offers plenty of vices for those willing to partake.

Visiting York

This weekend we decided to travel north to visit the city of York for the Jorvik viking festival. Once we arrived we grab something to eat at a local pub and sparked a conversation with the owner about the viking festival. Apparently, the Jorvik Viking website listed the days we planned for the trip as the start of the festival but they must have been changed because the pub owner made some calls and it was planned to start the day after we were going to leave. We walked around the city and did not see too much to do with vikings so we checked out the other popular sites.

The weather was pretty cold and rainy so I would say that we did not enjoy York as much as we originally planned. The highlight of the trip was seeing the amazingly beautiful York Minster.

Mr. Beer West Coast Pale Ale

It has been roughly three months since I started brewing my first beer with the Mr. Beer home brew kit. My last bottle of West Coast Pale Ale was finished last night and to be honest, it couldn’t have been any easier to make.

After finishing my first beer I must say that Mr. Beer offers a very easy way for new beer brewers to get an idea of how to properly brew beer. Overall I thought that the West Coast Pale Ale was a decent beer but lacked something I couldnt quite put my finger on. It didnt stop me from drinking all of it though…haha.

I went with two weeks in the fermenter, two weeks carbonating, and roughly three weeks conditioning before I had my last two or three bottles. I think the first beer I had was only after one week of conditioning and it definitely got better as time went by.

It wasn’t bad for a first batch. I am excited about the Whispering Wheat Weizenbier that I have had carbing for the last two weeks. Hopefully in two or three weeks I will have another review.

Matchstick Macro

I borrowed a Nikkor 105mm AF Micro f/2.8 lens from a coworker and decided to try some macro work for fun this weekend. I ended up going with a matchstick setup so I could capture smoke and a matchstick as it is ignited.

I used a black backdrop, SB-600 Nikon speed-light, and a Lumiquest softbox III for my off camera lighting setup. photo contest is holding a photography contest to celebrate the Year of the Air Force family and I have submitted a couple images.

Below is what the contest is all about according to the website:

The Air Force is a great place to live, work and play! Show the world through your photograph just what living the Air Force life means to you, your family and your friends.

Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial

This Memorial Day I was fortunate enough to aid in the annual Memorial Day ceremony held at the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial located in Cambridgeshire, England. This was my first time visiting the memorial and it was remarkably  beautiful and sad at the same time. However, I can not express how proud it makes me feel that I get a chance to serve my country like so many of these brave men and women.

The Cambridge American Cemetery is maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission and is the only American World War II cemetery located in Britain. It is home to three thousand eight hundred and nine headstones that extend in a fan shaped arrangement outwards from the flag pole. The cemetery is open to the public and can be visited every day of the year from 9am – 5pm except December 25th and January 1st. For some more really great information check out this website.

The Mega Connor Update

The time has really gone by fast and now Connor is almost six months old. I haven’t had as much time to update the website so many of you may have noticed some neglect. Well, this is my Super Mega Connor photo update for the past five months that I have missed.

I still have plenty of videos and pictures to upload so don’t think that this is all of them. There will be a Connor overload on the website coming very soon.