Winter Vacation Time Coming Soon!

A nice four day holiday weekend is just around the corner and I am looking forward to just hanging out and relaxing. Arjan’s sister is driving down from Colorado with her boyfriend to visit us for the thanksgiving weekend so we will have a full house. 

What I am really looking forward to is a proper vacation which is long overdue. In December we are first off to Orlando, Florida where we will meet some of Arjan’s family for some fun at Disney World. I know this will be a blast for Narayan who has never been to an amusement park like this. That reminds me, I need to do a little research and plan which parts of Disney World to go to. The place is so huge that you have to plan your strategy for what you want to do! If any of you are Disney World Regulars let me know your favorites.

At the end of the week I’ll meet up with my parents who are flying down from New York. We’ll spend a day or so with my Grand Parents who want to meet Charanjeet Kaur. Then we are off to a week of the Winter Solstice Camp in Lake Wales.

The Winter Solstice Camp has special significance for me and Arjan, because this is where we first met…and "fell in love". It’s been SOOO many years since we have been to Winter Solstice so this year we decided to make it happen. Our meeting in the winter of 1996 was a pivotal point in my life because I was struggling with my identity as a Sikh and Arjan provided the missing piece in my life. It’s like the line that Tom Cruise said in the movie Jerry Maguire….. "You complete me". Me and Arjan love to joke about corny lines like this.

Thinking about that time way back then reminds me of one of the letters that I got from Siri Singh Sahib Ji,  just as I was starting up the website which was to become SikhNet.


November 18, 1995
"My dear son in divine Sat Nam. I am very grateful to you for keeping up and going through the hell of life. Life is a situation of test, trial and triumph. You will be tested in your life and you must be strong. There is no easy way, and no easy answer. You must face all of your doubts and excel in spite of them; this is the test of life. A test would not be a test if it did not take all of your grit to overcome it. Every man who has achieved greatness in his life has gone through the most difficult time, full of doubt and pain. However, one thing that you must remember is that these situations build your character and make you strong. There is nothing for you to do but to overcome yourself. I cannot dispel your doubts, only you can do this through your spiritual practice. Those you run away from doubt and fear without challenging it can never live in peace or have happiness. This is your test, my son. See it for what it is and get on with your life.

My deepest prayers and blessings are with you. May Guru Ram Das bless
you and guide you.

In the name of the cosumes which prevail through everyBODY and the Holy Nam which holds the world.

Humbly Yours, Yogi Bhajan"


4 Responses to “Winter Vacation Time Coming Soon!”

  1. Guruka Singh says:

    Well, Animal Kingdom is my fave of the four parks. Be sure to visit the Asia area and see “Flights of Fancy” (left after you cross the bridge) and take the “Kali River Rafting Ride” (you can also stand on the bridge over the ‘river’ and shoot water at people on the rafts – hee hee.) The “Tree of Life” and the cool African Restaurant are fun too. Narayan will love it.


  2. Rosie says:

    I don’t know as much about Disney World, but I work at Disneyland Resort so maybe that insight will be helpful.

    December is a very busy time to visit a Disney park, so no matter what parks you visit you are likely to encounter lots of people.

    How many days are you staying? In my opinion it is barely feasible to really enjoy one park in a single day, let alone multiple parks (especially more than 2). Focusing on one place at a time if you are staying over several days works best.

    I would highly recommend the Magic Kingdom, of course. It is likely to be extremely busy, but it has all the things you associate with Disney. When I was a kid I always wanted to go to EPCOT, so I would recommend that by default! I also really like the things I’ve read about the Animal Kingdom, and have heard that it is not as busy as other areas of Disney World (although that might be less true during the holiday season). MGM seems like it would be good for shows, but it’s most well known rides are more teen oriented from what I’ve heard.

    Turtle Talk with Crush is a must-visit and is hilarious and fun and wonderful, I’ve had fun there with people of nearly every age and it is completely interactive. I don’t know if the Fantasmic! show in Florida is as much fun as the one in California, but if it is even close I would recommend it. It is a GREAT show to watch, and as near as I can tell it’s at Disney-MGM Studios.

    Rides that would probably be fun for the whole family are (and I am Fantasyland-biased, I work in Fantasyland Attractions at Disneyland):
    – Buzz Lightyear (Tomorrowland)
    – Jungle Cruise (Adventureland)
    – Innoventions (Epcot)
    – It’s Tough to Be a Bug! (Animal Kingdom)
    – Mad Tea Party (Fantasyland)
    – Pirates of the Caribbean (Adventureland)
    – Snow White’s Scary Adventures (Fantasyland)
    – Haunted Mansion (Liberty Square)
    – Turtle Talk with Crush (The Seas with Nemo and Friends pavilion?)
    – Country Bear Jamboree (Frontierland)
    – Dumbo (Fantasyland)
    – Peter Pan’s Flight (Fantasyland) (at Disneyland this is a very popular ride and always has a long line, so maybe one should visit that one early)
    – Winnie the Pooh (Fantasyland)
    – Railroad (all over the Magic Kingdom)
    – it’s a small world (Fantasyland)

    Dark rides (like Snow White or Peter Pan), round rides (like Dumbo or Mad Tea Party) and flume rides (boats in water like Pirates or it’s a small world) would probably be your best bet in general for whole-family rides. That’s most rides, though, so maybe I would be just as well off recommending everything! I would ALWAYS recommend coasters, too, and also Soarin’, but you would probably have to do a rider switch unless someone doesn’t want to go on (very little ones wouldn’t be able to ride for safety reasons on coasters and I think also on Soarin’).

    There are lots of books available that have strategies for visiting Disney World, also. You might try visiting a large chain bookstore if you have a chance and flip through some of those.

    One last thing.. the wait times for flume rides are usually shorter than they look to the untrained eye. Boat capacities are usually fairly high compared to vehicles in other types of rides, and often the lines move continuously. Don’t be afraid of longer-looking lines on those rides, and trust what Cast Members (i.e. employees) tell you the wait time is. We do generally give our best estimate. :)

    Talk to Cast Members about where to find vegetarian foods – at Disneyland Resort we have reference guides that tell us all restaurants with vegetarian options and the sorts of foods that they serve, and I would assume that WDW Cast Members have similar materials at hand. There are healthy vegetarian options, but they sometimes take effort to find if you don’t plan or ask in advance. (I did make a large assumption in this paragraph obviously, so apply as necessary.)

    Please be patient with guests and cast members alike. Cast members are often very stressed late into the day but in my experience are quite nice as long as you are understanding and follow directions (please wait behind yellow lines and walk, not run). Guests can also become very frustrated with large crowds, stroller issues, long waits and other concerns, and will sometimes behave in ways that one would never expect. They are the exception and not the norm, so please try not to let their frustrations negatively affect your Disney experience.

    I’ve been working on this for the last hour-plus since I got off my shift at Disneyland, so I’ll leave it at all this. I hope you enjoy your visit to Disney World!!!

  3. …”our meeting in the winter of 2006″ …

    you see, i am paying attention…

    have a nice holiday!!!

  4. Thank you Rosie for taking all that time to share your advice! We are going to be there for a week around Dec 10th which is before the christmas rush…and I have heard that that week is not very crowded. Who knows though. Maybe this weekend I’ll do some research and make a plan :)

    I’m not attached to anything…so will just try to have fun and be relaxed. We’ll just pick a few places that seem interested and focus on them.

    Manpreet…thanks for the catch of my typo!