Monday, March 28, 2011

Being a Tourist in Your Own State

Isn't it sad that sometimes we don't even know what treasures our own states hold until we have visitors?  We are always on the look-out for the "off-the-beaten path" places to visit when we have company.  Living in Florida, it can get pretty old to do the Disney, Universal, Sea-World,  "lather, rinse, repeat" cycle, so it's fun to find some "new to us" things to do.

What follows are some pics of one of the fun places we found to visit during our "special someone's" visit.  (There will be more to come sprinkled in with future stitching and what-not posts, as well.)  I wasn't born or raised here, but we learn more and more that we  live in an amazing state.  I *heart* Florida!!!  :)     (PS - the weather is pretty darn awesome most of the year, too!!)  :)

One of our first stops was  Wonderworks was a fantasic place in Orlando that was REALLY lots of fun!!  I highly recommend it as a place to go as a "break" from the "go, go, go" of Disney.  This is one of those places where adults can have just as much fun as the kids.

  The premise of this place is that it was picked up (I think by a "supposed" wild weather event and then placed "upside down".  In other words, the basement is the upper floor and the third floor is on the bottom floor.  (Yup, I had to ask directions "more" than once!  LOL   There were lots of exhibits here - you learned about cold water (hypothermia  killed most of the Titanic victims);  you place your hand in a bucket of water that is the same temperature of the water the Titanic sank in, and a clock counts down how long you keep your hand immersed.  I lost by ONE second!!!!!  (My snarky 15-yr old was determined not to let me beat him!)  You can also experience what it feels like to be in a hurricane, an earthquake, throw pitches to some of baseball's greatest, play with monster bubbles, lay on a bed of nails (you have a lot of control over this exhibit), "land" a space shuttle, go on a 4-d roller coaster, a really cool rope climbing adventure (I had to sit that one out due to my knee, but the guys said it was really fun!), do a virtual reality game, see yourself as an astonaut and with a "floating head" AND play laser tag on one of the world's largest laser tag courses!  (BTW - please note....out of the eight people in our group, I kicked MAJOR "sit-upon" at laser tag!!!!!  Got the highest score, I did!!!)  :)

        Ian's "floating" head

"Ace" looking like a bug-head playing one of the Virtual Reality Games

As a disclaimer, I don't work for nor do I know anyone who works for Wonderworks.  (If I would have, I would've know how to score discount tickets - LOL).   They do offer AAA and AARP discounts.

These pics bring back silly, happy moments.  Thanks for letting me share.

Cherish your memories,


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Same Airport, Different Emotions....

Don't worry, there are LOTS of Florida tourism pictures that are heading this way in the next few days, but first, let's get one of my musings out of the way, shall we?

Have you ever noticed how ONE airport can have TWO entirely different emotions?  When our "special someone" was winging his way across the country for a visit with us a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't get to the airport fast enough.  It only takes us about an hour to get to the airport from our home, but I swear, getting to the airport to "pick up" seemed to take MUCH longer.  When we got there, I checked the arrival board about every two seconds, waiting for that "at gate" sign to show itself.  The joy and anticipation of hugs was over-whelming.  Tears shed were the 'happy" kind.

Fast forward through two absolutely wonderful weeks (minus one or two tourism "turkey's".  Hey, every state has 'em!)  Same route to the airport...but this time, the trip seemed to take only minutes.  I was trying so hard to cling to every last second.  This time I was staring at the departure board and dreading every minute that ticked by.

Those last final hugs were gut-wrenching and this time the tears were definitely not the joyful kind.  If you happened to be at the Orlando airport on Saturday, I was the lady who was holding on probably a little too tightly and soaking in tears. I was, however, appropraitely attired in black; that wasn't intentional on my part at all.  In fact, it kind of gave me a giggle when I got home and realized how I was dressed for "mourning")  I'm sorry if I happened to be your first impression of Florida - generally speaking, we're mostly a happy bunch!

The tears have stopped and looking at the pictures and remembering the fun memories has begun.  Lots of pics will be posted here in the coming days and weeks.  As my dad  always used to say, here's one to whet your whistle....(what's Florida without a plastic pink flamingo?) 

Cherish every moment,