Saturday, 10 January 2015

Disney Memories

A bright and sunny day today but with very cold temperatures as predicted - well below freezing all day.

We have been busy with unpacking, washing, planning some January diet meals, doing some food shopping - including food for the birds - and David has brought in some more firewood.

Now that it is dark we are sitting by the fire and I am testing out the draught proof qualities of my 'onesie' - see pattern above - and thinking about our trip to the Disney Park on Thursday.

The first visit we made after walking through the 'Streets of America' - where we saw some familiar looking dogs..

..was a ride through the History of Hollywood Movies, with many famous faces and films represented..

Later we visited the Star Wars 3D simulator for a hair-raising journey which was impossible to film..

Followed by a lesson in the art of being a Jedi  for young visitors..

We decided against the ride with the 13 storey high vertical drop inside the Hollywood Tower Hotel..  you could hear the screams from some distance away!

At the Toy Story ride the waiting time was too long to go in..

We enjoyed the Muppet 3D film and 'Frozen' singalong show, however..

On our way back to the hotel  we met a family who had just completed their fifth consecutive day at the various Disney Parks. 

There were many other Disney enthusiasts of all ages at the hotel and at the airport, wearing or carrying their souvenirs.

So maybe I should have worn the onesie..

(Or not!)..

Friday, 9 January 2015

Back to Cooler Climes

Having got used to looking out of our room onto the lush greenery within the hotel atrium, it was a bit of a shock to arrive back in Reston to sub-zero temperatures and compacted snow and ice!

Our plane was delayed by around three hours and so we got home about midnight and it is now very late. 

 Just a few photos from today..

I happened to be by the pond in the atrium with the koi carp when the guy came to feed them this morning..

They were pretty enthusiastic!

Later we watched the feeding of the large fish in the salt water pool - the largest of which was a Tarpin, weighing 100lbs.  They were also keen but harder to photograph against the light.

Finally we watched the baby alligators being fed with pieces of chicken.  The children who were watching had the opportunity to hold this one who was around 12 months old.  Very beautiful when you see them as close as this, especially the eye and the pattern of the skin.  They have a full set of teeth at this age and so a little band was slipped over the jaw to prevent mishaps!  Once being held the alligator was very still - as they are cold blooded the warmth of a pair of hand warms and calms them.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Well, you can't spend time in Florida and not visit at least one theme park and so today, as David had a little free time, we headed to one of the four Disney theme parks in the Orlando area - Disney's Hollywood Studios.

It was sunny but cool and quite windy!

We saw some amazing painted backdrops and sets..

We tried to enter into the spirit of it..

More pics tomorrow!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015


The small town of Celebration, a planned community of just 7,500 people and the lake on which it stands were created in the 1990's by the Walt Disney Company.

The town is just a few miles from our hotel and we went there for dinner this evening at an Italian restaurant - on the right in the above picture, borrowed from the web.

The town has been criticised for being too perfect - everything is very smart and neat.   On the other hand, the area between Celebration and the Magic Kingdom is known as Old Town and is a mass of amusement parks, huge neon signs, every fast food outlet you can imagine and other businesses such as 'American Machine Guns' which had blacked out windows but was fairly self explanatory!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

The Sunshine State

Florida, or this part of the state at least, was certainly living up to its name today.

It was sunny and bright and although I was feeling still full of cold, I ventured out to sit in the garden.  It still seems incongruous to experience these warm temperatures during the first week in January.  We were able to have lunch outside but had to find a shady table.

Back in Reston it apparently snowed quite heavily overnight and is extremely cold today and windy.   The cold weather is coming this way in the next day or so and a drop of around 35F is anticipated between today and Thursday!

Monday, 5 January 2015

Exploring 'Gaylord Palms'

Yesterday's picture of the resort and conference centre where we are staying was from their brochure.  

Today I had a wander around the outside areas of the resort and took a few pictures of my own.

The flowers seem all wrong for the time of year and the bees are busy!

I have been too full of cold to move beyond the resort today or even to
contemplate the pool, which otherwise looked quite inviting..

Maybe tomorrow ...

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Kissimmee, Florida

After a morning spent packing and taking down the Christmas tree, at lunch time we were back at the airport and waiting for a (delayed) flight to Orlando.  We didn't arrive until after dark but it was still very warm.

David is attending a conference this week at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee - just a short distance from the Epcot Centre and Disney's Magic Kingdom.

The hotel rooms are built around a central atrium with palm trees and tonight was the last night of the Christmas celebrations.

The resort has a sports bar with a 37 foot television screen which enables customers upstairs and down to watch a match.