Monday, October 26, 2015

Fall Harvest

Being a Michigan girl most of my life, fall harvest meant apples and pumpkins. In Florida, it means tangerines and lemons! The citrus season is just beginning and in the months to come various types of tangerines, oranges, lemons, and limes will be ripening in the groves here in Central Florida. 

It is the end of our first quarter of teaching, and I desperately needed a break. (I had no idea how much teachers work at home, Starbucks, and in their dreams!). Two non-teaching days gave me free time, in which I slept a lot and a explored a little. I'm still checking things off of my "Do, See, Visit in Florida" list. 

Friday, I spent a few hours at Legoland. Though I did enjoy it, unlike some of the other amusement parks, this one really would be more enjoyable with and is definitely geared towards children. I can't see myself going again on my own, but if you (any of you!) visit, I will happily revisit the "Everything is Awesome" theme park. 

After a few hours of school work at home and in the classroom, I ventured off on my next discovery. It started with a web search of pick-your-own oranges in Central Florida and became a cultural experience. I will let the pictures take you on the journey. (Oh, once you exit Orlando city limits, Florida becomes a very different place.)

Just in case you needed to find the Showcase of Citrus on a map, these sings surely help.
 I don't know. 
 Lots of homemade honey.
 Lots of gator meat, salsa, jerky, chili.
Speaking of gator chili. 
A boar.   
A kangaroo. Some chickens. A large bird. I don't like birds. 
 My nearly full bag of tangerines and lemons. 

Dressed for the weather whilst picking fruit on October 26. Hm...

 If you wish, you can tour the groves in one of these. Who needs hay-rides?!
 At home with the goods. Now to figure out what to do with them all!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Orlando Friends

This post will be revised and reposted as I make new friends throughout Orlando and beyond!

Wild Style from the Lego Movie. 
Free parking and entry to Legoland is a perk of being a Florida teacher. Yay!

Some Lego character from the Chima series. The kid before me put his hand on the blue button, so I guessed that was what I was supposed to do. 

My kind of Lego Guys.

Pretty sure I could take him! Or at least dismantle him. 
The Hulk from the Lego Store at Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney).

In which I approach the friendly monsters. 

In which we all pose nicely for the photographer.

In which things begin to go awry and I look for an escape route.

Pluto is still important to me. Dwarf or not.

And the Dapper Dans on my birthday. 

My kind of Chip 'n Dales! 

 Disney Characters kinda make me feel like a giant.

Sea Life's shark Magna

Green soldier guy patrolling the streets.

Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, too!

Something was funny and yes, I may have been the only one laughing.

This Mickey visit was weird. But this was my first Mouse encounter. 

THIS visit was worth it! Plus I got a free photo print out. 

And then Minnie appeared on my next visit!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wekiva Springs

I loved this place before I knew it was in the guidebooks! I felt a bit validated in my opinion of it when I saw what the expert explorers had to say after I had already done my own evaluation.

It's gorgeous and spacious and natural. 

Thankfully my first two visits were somehow on the days when the tourists were at the theme parks. My third visit was a drive by as I saw TONS of cars waiting to pull in to the entrance. 

My first visit was a biking adventure. I rode around and had it not been for the GPS on my phone would probably still be lost in the jungle-like foliage. Some trails were on the cleared boardwalks over swamps and some trails were taking me deeper into Central Florida rainforest. 

Wekiva Springs offers kayak rental!  You better believe I took advantage of this - and swimming in the natural spring water. 

However, as with nearly every body of water in Florida signs like this are posted. Particularly the alligator part...
And this is one of many of the creature that I saw on my kayaking adventure. I paddled quickly by these fellows, but of course, if you don't take a photo these days it doesn't exist...

But then a month later, this happened in my lovely Wekiva...

Don't tell my mom, please.

(To the gator's credit, the lady went swimming off in an area where I'm pretty sure she shouldn't have been. Poor lady.)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sea Life Orlando

One benefit that I wasn't expecting from being a teacher is free entry into various Orlando attractions. 

This was today's adventure: