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Week 4: Ending 12/8/2002
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2002 12:56 am    Post subject: Week 4: Ending 12/8/2002 Reply with quote

Week 4: Ending 12/8/2002:
The temperatures are finally warming up, even though the Florida weathermen & women are issuing freeze warnings. Temps are in the 60s and the sun feels good. People are actually walking around in short sleeves and shorts!

We decide to check out Celebration, FL, a planned community started by Disney, in-between Orlando and Kissimmee. We first encounter modern office buildings. The road seems otherwise desolate. We spy small signs, difficult to read in the dusk, leading us to Market Street. Driving further along Celebration Avenue, we find beautiful single family homes with welcoming front porches, draped in holiday lights. We pass by small independent business and offices, including a couple of realtors, so we decide to pull into a public parking lot. We round the corner of a small Gooding’s Market and walked into a gentle snowfall!

There are nightly snowfalls on Market Street on the hour from 6pm to 9pm for the holiday season. Young and old alike were reveling in the make-believe snow. It looked so much like real snow that Joan scooped up a handful to make a snowball only to find a ball of soap bubbles! (Ron was relieved, since the snowball was meant for him!) Market Street is like a smaller version of Faneuil Hall. At the opposite end from Gooding’s is a train stop for a people-sized toy train. No, we did not hop on, but it was kind of neat to watch. Kind of Norman Rockwellian, along with a dancing water fountain and horse-drawn carriages.

The realty offices were closed by the time we reached them, but there were some listings posted. Prices are Bostonian, averaging mid-300s with quite a few listed in a local paper at double and triple and more! So much for Norman Rockwell. We may still try to check out an open house.

Given some trying experiences with Joan’s navigational skills, we decide to start exploring GPS options. There is a large Camping World just down I192 a bit. Of course, they are in the middle of a store renovation/reorganization. We finally find a ticket outlet with reasonable prices ($10/ticket) and sign up for a time-share presentation of Wednesday @ 12 noon. A delicious lunch buffet is promised.

The delicious lunch buffet was a joke, and the 3 hour sales tag-team was high pressure, but we got our tickets to EPCOT for $10 each.

EPCOT. Well worth the $10 price of admission (plus $7 parking) but we sure are glad we didn’t pay more than $110 for tickets and parking. How can families afford to bring their 2 adults and 2.2 kids and plane fare and accommodations???

We visited Future World first, to check out the Test Track but the ride was closed for an hour for repairs. We picked up a Fast Pass and proceeded to the GM automotive exhibit. There were a couple of new, lighter weight, vehicles on display which we checked out. Ron could actually sit in them without twisting himself like a pretzel! Unfortunately, the newest Saturn model, Ion, is not towable on all fours like their other sedans. Nor is the Pontiac Vibe towable. What is a tall RVer to do? (Buy a Jeep Liberty!) Onwards to more neat exhibits.

Ellen Degeneres and Bill Nye, “The Science Guy”, taught us about energy, starting at the beginning of the universe. We took another amazing ride through the human body, which was rather jolting, especially to Ron, who sat at the end of the last row. Test Track re-opened and we were there. It was a wild ride. It is supposedly like the test run that GM puts its new cars through. It was more like a roller coaster to Joan, who let out some ear-piercing single screams throughout the ride. One of the few freebies of the park we enjoyed was a 10-second email postcard from Epcot. Hopefully, y’all should receive a copy of it. As a change-of-pace, we decided to walk to the International Pavilions, starting with Mexico. Mother Nature had other ideas however, and let out a deluge of heavy rain. Everyone went running for cover, ending up in a small Disney merchandise store. The sun finally showed up again. We toured Mexico, Norway, Germany, China, Spain, Italy, Japan and the US. The architecture was neat and the costumes beautiful. We were hoping for more educational displays within each country. What we encountered was retail, retail and more retail. We sidelined Morocco to board a relaxing boat ride around the pavilion lake. Our final ride was the scenic Monorail. We got to ride up front with the “conductor” Frank, who gave us each co-pilot cards. What fun! Click here for a few photos

Florida sunshine is not perpetual. Rain began again last night and continues throughout the day. At least Jake gets to see us all day. Good excuse to go shopping for a GPS system! We finally decide on the GPS Street Pilot system. It talks to us! (or least it is supposed to! Ron stays up til 3:30 am working on the software, which does not agree with our PC. Back to Circuit City!)


Rest and Relaxation and Circuit City.

We finally move on! Off to the Daytona Beach area – specifically Flagler Beach. Here there is a beautiful RV “Resort”, complete with creek and, and –WILD GATORS!!!
When we arrived, Ron went in to register, and there was a sign at the desk that read: “Please do not feed or harass the alligators as per Florida law”. He thought it was a joke, but no… they are entirely serious. They recommend that we not walk Jake by the water, but they say that the ‘gators are afraid of humans. Well, the feeling is mutual, and the HappieCamper is parked right next to the creek. Ron told Joan that the ‘gators can climb stairs, so Joan has barricaded herself in the HappieCamper’s bedroom.

This campground is so pretty (and virtually empty, and quiet!), we feel as if we may stay here a week. Time will tell. If we’re too unnerved by the gators, we may only stay a night![/url]
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