Saturday, January 31, 2015

Lovely Florida...

For MLK weekend we went for a drive to find some new walking trails. We found a pretty, little place about a half an hour away...



The next day we went to Forever Florida for their festival and did one of their eco-safari tours. Wild Florida cattle are really diverse in their coloring - and the Santa Cruz horses, some of the rarest in the world, are very tame since they have never been ridden or been exposed to predators. They came right up to to the coach and wouldn't move until the driver physically moved them away!


We saw tons of wildlife...


And they have just started doing biplane rides. We got to see this one land right in front of us!


Lovely Florida :)

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve is one of the busiest days of the year for Magic Kingdom so they show the New Year firework show at midnight the night before also. Maddy and I went to see them in the park this year to check it off the bucket list and got a really nice view:). There was so much entertainment on offer the whole night and the grand finale was just incredible - the best fireworks I have ever seen:)

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Mike went over to Fort Wilderness with Maddy for a repeat performance from across Bay Lake on the actual night - I closed out the New Year with a run to watch the fireworks in the neighborhood and managed to mess up my timing and miss the big countdown:). I hope that's not an indicator of how my year is going to be - I don't want to miss a thing in 2015!


On New Year's Day we all went back over to Fort Wilderness to hang out...


And Eileen and Dave came over to visit with Milo and Mabel! It was my first time meeting my baby niece and Milo was just a baby when I saw him last. It was love at first sight for me... 

 

Milo is so fun to play with - he just loves to run around and make everyone laugh :)

 

And Mabel is just absolutely precious...:)
 

We went for a walk to see the gorgeous Disney horses...


And Milo made a great model for me to practice my fancy new camera on!!

 
 
It was a lovely day and one of my many New Year's Resolutions is definitely more family time in 2015! Happy New Year to you all!!!

Friday, January 02, 2015

Boxing Day and more...

It was nice to have a few days off work after Christmas without too much to do for a change:). We went over to Celebration to see the houses that had won the best Holiday decorations town contest. They were incredible!

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And we played at being tourists for a morning and went to Ripley's Believe It Or Not! which was fun too - I started to wish that I had a collection of curiosities...I love curiosities...


Like this picture made out of old computer keys...


Or this chunk of the Berlin Wall...


We had heard that the old abandoned theme park, Splendid China, was being demolished, so we went over one afternoon to see what was going on...You may remember from our trip a couple of years ago that Splendid China was once an active $100M theme park which opened in 1993 on 76 acres just West of the main entrance to Disney World. It was filled with accurate scale models of China's landmarks, and also offered acrobatic, culinary and dance entertainment. The miniatures included replicas of The Great Wall of China (this version was half of a mile long and built brick by brick), and The Leshan Grand Buddha Statue (in 1/8th scale), and more than 50 others representing the diversity of cultures within the region.

The park ran into trouble when protestors claimed that Florida's Splendid China was a tool for propaganda rather than entertainment and they ultmately closed due to low attendance as a result of the controversy in 2003. For several years vandals and trespassers ran rampant, many of whom posted videos of their exploits online. Last year it was purchased by a condo developer and now that it's just a construction site we were able to walk right in!



There are tons of piles of rubble and the miniatures have all been removed...


It was fascinating and we couldn't get enough. Maddy and I got online the next day and found where the miniatures are now. Evidently they were purchased at auction by a garden ornament supply company up in Apopka - so that kept us busy the next day too! He has them displayed in his parking lot...


With a random 50s style space ship for no apparent reason...:)


We found the owner and he sold us our very own terracotta warrior replica - my first genuine artifact from an abandoned theme park!!! I love him!!


So the collection has officially begun - I'll let you know when we have the official opening of Early's Believe It Or Not! :)