Over the last few years the Downtown Disney shopping area has been massively rebuilt; for most of that time we refused to go there because it was so chaotic – early Disney activities removed many parking areas and created nothing except traffic jams! But finally now there is some finishing – there are now two multi-level parking garages, although still today the entrance we used to the new “lime” garage was poorly designed, leading us to only three of five possible levels with those three being almost full while the last two remain empty!
Still, from the top level of the garage, it’s possible now to get a good overview, including the nice landscaping near the new bus transfer station area:
From the same top level, a view of all the new shopping – back view, at least! There’s loads of newly opened stores there, none of them are Disney related and none of them hold any interest for us (I can’t imagine many Disney tourists have any interest either!):
Further into Disney Springs there are MANY new restaurants and other food choices – many are very expensive ($30-$40 entrees) but still there’s some interesting possibilities. We were very attracted to the new Amorette’s Patisserie:
We also went up to the top floor “bar” of the new Coca Cola store, via it’s very strange multi floor ramp walk that goes around the outside of the building – another great view there, though the transparent walls make it scary!
We’ll surely be back, but I think we’ll still need to be careful to avoid busy times since the new area still needs more improvement to traffic flow …
Also, our Independence community had it’s Independence fireworks last night; perhaps less spectacular than those of nearby Disney, but better in many ways because we were so close to the display (which therefore included occasional showers of warm embers) – and there was no queueing to leave … Here’s a short video sample:
Today, twenty years ago, Margaret and I flew from London Gatwick airport on one way tickets, emigrating to USA! After landing we were driven to our home for the next few months, a house that is part of the company property in Essex, MA. Here are a few photos from that time – not the exact day, but good enough (back then, taking photos was not as simple!)
This is Chris Golden, Christian Peyla and myself, when the development JLG eBoom vehicle was delivered; the flat slab behind us is where eventually the companies new office was built.
When PG Trionic Inc took over the property, it had this house with a side building. Initially, Margaret and I moved into the house, and the office was the side building. PGT also used some of the house. As the company prospered, we first extended the side building, and eventually built todays big office building in the back of the property – but this picture is before all that! And a younger Margaret:
The back of the house, and the blue Astro van that was the companies trash haulage vehicle for a while (it was also transport for Margaret and I when we first arrived in USA!). Younger Ian, too:
After a few weeks, we bought our first USA car, a Ford Contour. You can see here too that the rear of the property was just dirt, at this time (we eventually had it landscaped). You can also see a JLG scissor vehicle near the house (our test machine for the original product we developed, that enabled the creation of the company, and our emigration!)