Monday, February 18, 2019

Fly Me to the Moon

18,754 or 8.16 miles today walking around DisneyWorld. We got up at 6:00 and took the bus to Animal Kingdom at 7:00. Today that park opened an hour early for resort guests. We walked directly to the Pandora - World of Avatar section and the ride Flight of Passage. This is the hottest ride at Disney and we waited in line over an hour. I loved it and thought it was just terrific. You sit on vehicles that look like small motorcycles with no wheels. Then a screen is in front of you with a fabulous movie and the vehicle moves up and down and you feel like you are riding. It is a great adventure with beautiful scenery.

Next we went on the Navi River ride and it is like Small World and not worth the wait. We stopped to see a Macaw show with many colorful birds flying in and landing on perches. These small shows and bits of action around the Disney Parks are the best entertainment.

Also saw a giant Turkey Vulture.

Last visit in that park was It’s Tough to be a Bug. This interactive movie is under the beautiful Tree of Life. Just waiting in line is a treat seeing all the animals carved into the tree.

On the way out we passed a Giant Anteater pacing in his habitat.

Also some beautiful Roseate Spoonbills and rare White Spoonbills along with Black Swans and other wading birds and ducks.

We bused over to Epcot for the remainder of our day. We had lunch and relaxed for a while The we walked and took a boat over to the American Pavilion to see their patriotic show hosted by animatronic figures Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin. First we were treated to some top notch barbershop style singing. Afterwards we got seats in a large amphitheater where two Disney stars from Broadway's Lion King performed. For dinner I had a special donut shaped Sushi - part of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts.

Now we had some time for dinner before using our FastPass for our favorite ride Soarin. This movie has been redone to show locations around the world. Love Epcot and now time to go back to the hotel and catch the fireworks from our balcony.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

That's Amore

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie...

Sunday morning we said goodbye to Elaine and a Rick and drove north to Orlando. We are staying at DisneyWorld for two nights. Checked into the Holiday Inn at Disney Springs and found it to be a great location considering we booked it yesterday. Actually on the Disney grounds with continuous shuttle buses to take you to the parks. We were upgraded to a high floor so we can see the Epcot fireworks from our balcony. It is good to be a frequent flyer with benefits.

We arrived mid afternoon and unpacked. Then we walked over to Disney Springs, formerly known as Downtown Disney. Place is huge now with so many restaurants and shops. This was the first place we ever saw Cirque du Soleil and we still remember La Nouba fondly. Tonight we had dinner at an Italian restaurant and it was lovely. A huge dining room in a setting of an old airline terminal.

Afterwards we visited guest relations and made sure that our ancient Disney passes were still valid and they are. We had purchased these multi day park hopper passes many years ago with time share points. What a good deal as we still have four days left for each of us and we save a fortune not buying admission.

For dessert we went to Vivoli Gelato which was highly recommended. It tasted great and is the name of our favorite gelato place from Florence, Italy. We asked and it is the same owners! I had their wonderful rice pudding and chocolate hazelnut flavors while Jeff had vanilla and cookies & cream.

We took the courtesy bus back to the hotel, watched the fireworks from the balcony and now ready for bed. Tomorrow we intend to get the 7:00 am bus to Animal Kingdom which opens early at 8:00 for resort guests only. Later in the day we will go over to Epcot and do our favorite ride “Soarin.”

Good night!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Under the Boardwalk

Good times in sunny Florida. Friday was a lazy day. We hung around and then went to a little deli close by to the condo. Wonderful split pea soup with crunchy croutons. And, half a whitefish salad sandwich on rye. Who could ask for more? Afterwards we drove to West Palm Beach and visited the Norton Art Museum.

This is a gem and Fridays are free admission making it even better. Jeff and I took a stroll in the sculpture garden and then headed to an interesting photography exhibit.

Best for me was the first floor of the newly renovated building. There I found a beautiful Chihuly glass ceiling with an ocean motif. Also another photo gallery with extraordinary pictures. The permanent collection had several Impressionist paintings that I enjoyed seeing. Will definitively go back again.

Afterwards we drove towards Palm Beach passing Mar-A Lago. 45 was expected to fly in a little later and there was security everywhere including this Sheriff's tower.

A bit down the road I spotted a Patriot Missile Battery just in case somebody tried to send a missile to the area. We ended up at Bennys' on the Beach in Lake Worth for cocktails and appetizers. Great to see, hear and smell the ocean and enjoy good food and drink. We headed home and did not bother to have dinner.

Saturday we slept late and awoke to another beautiful day. Elaine and I headed out to Wakodahatchee

Wetlands to walk and see birds. We met my friend Phyllis there and walked the mile long boardwalk. Lots of nesting wood storks and many anhingas. No babies yet in the nests.

Also saw great blue herons, tri-colored herons, egrets, cattle egrets, coots and gallinules (moorhens) and purple gallinules.

Lots of iguanas and two marsh bunnies. 

On the way out I saw a fat, coiled snake in the grass below us. Ugh! I love this place and could go back often.

Now it was time for lunch and we chose another deli with more split pea soup and a tasty turkey salad sandwich. Now it was time for shopping and we hit the sale at the Eileen Fisher Company Store. Got a pair of shorts and a fancy tee shirt and headed home. More napping and then headed out to dinner, wanted to have shrimp near the beach, but traffic was terrible so we ended up at a sports bar near the house which was fine.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

It's the Woody Woodpecker Song

We are off to Florida for a few days. Sirius is at Camp Green Dog and we are driving my new Hyundai Santa Fe. The car is so cool with automatic everything. The bright lights and windshield wipers turn on by themselves when needed. When you use cruise control it slows you down when the car in front of you slows down. Also beeps when you drift into another lane and lots more safety features that make driving a pleasure.

Yesterday afternoon we left and drove to Cape Canaveral to stay overnight. This morning we continued to Boca Raton with a stop at St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park. There we found a volunteer who told us that the park is noted for Manatees and the Red - Cockaded Woodpecker as well as Bald Eagles. We drove off into the 22,034 acre park to see the manatees and then hiked in to see the woodpeckers. Jeff had enough after 10 minutes and decided to wait for me under a tree in the shade. I was determined to see this rare woodpecker and I trudged on down a sandy road. All in all I walked 2.5 miles and yes, I found the woodpeckers. Apparently they only live in long leaf pine trees that are 80 years old or more. I took some pictures and saw that the birds were banded. One more check mark in my bird list. I think all these photos are females as I see no red over the eyebrow.

We saw a few more birds sitting on the telephone pole wires. Brushed the sand out of our shoes and headed south again arriving in Boca around 3:00. A little resting and unpacking and chatting with Elaine and Rick before heading out to dinner. It is Valentine’s Day and we are meeting two couples who are dear friends from Yardley. Phyllis and Jordan and Judi and Fred were friends and neighbors who spend some cold winter months in Florida. We went to a deli/restaurant and I had truly delicious salmon baked with an apricot glaze. The potato pancake that came with it made it a memorable meal. Afterwards we went back to Phyllis and Jordan’s for dessert and now home to a comfy bed and sleep.