Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mexico's Around the Corner

Four weeks from tomorrow is Thanksgiving which also means my trip to Mexico will be about over. I'm very excited about the trip and seeing my friend barb. I have so much to do before then - work-wise, which means the trip will be here before I know it.

Where am I going? To a place called Jocotepec, near Guadalajara. What will I be doing? Hanging out with Barb and exploring. She's been working on an itinerary and I'd be happy doing whatever because it'll all be new to me.

Next on my docket is a trip to the Florida-Georgia border tomorrow with an alligator in the backseat. A live alligator. The handler will be with me, too. My grand plan is to stop at a rest area or two, put a leash on the gator and walk it in the pet rest area and record it. Can you image the look those people's faces who are walking their little fluffy dogs then see an alligator on a leash? Don't worry, it's not a big one, only about a foot long. We'll see if we're able to pull this off. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Five Down, One to Go

Debts, that is. I'm doing the happy dance. I've said buh-bye to five creditors this year and I have one more to go in order to be COMPLETELY debt free. I'm not going to say how much debt I've accumulated since college but it was a big chunk o' change and more than many people's salaries, including my own. I always thought I'd be carrying it with me but was slowly chipping away at it and knew eventually I'd be debt free, maybe when I'm 60.

I've said it before, but I'm indebted to my ex. (Yes, I have a little shrine to remind me every day that in the grand scheme of things, he cared about me and was looking out for me; and, I'd trade the funds to have him alive.)

This year I paid off a 12-year boat loan (note to others: NEVER finance a boat for 12 years and if there's no reason to put your name on a loan, DON'T do it!), my car (five-year loan), and three credit cards. I have one card to go and will continue to put available funds towards that with a goal of being debt free by the age of 40 (I have a year and a half).

I'm planning on building up my emergency fund "just in case." I plan to drive my car into the ground or until the set of wheels I want is dirt cheap. I'll continue to take advantage of coupons and freebies (BTW - be sure to check out a couple of my favorite blogs, Freebies4Mom and the MotherLoad; I'm not a mom but I've learned so much about frugal living and have gotten some great freebies by learning from these gals.) And, knowing I'll have to do my American duty come April 2009, I have a substantial amount saved for anticipated taxes. Ugh.

I had no idea how much debt weighed on me and what a difference it makes to be closer in being 100% debt free.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Video of Sean Hannity from Today's Gov. Sarah Palin Event Posted

Sean Hannity was at today's event, check out the video I took over on YouTube. And excuse my video ignorance, it starts automatically. I hate when videos start automatically!

Sarah! Campaiged in Tampa Bay, Again

Sorry for the quick post, but I'm working on creating a slide show of the Sarah Palin event in Tampa today. I know, I know. I vowed earlier this month I'd never attend another rally. But, like a politician, or a woman, I changed my mind because I knew I could make it. My day began at 5 a.m. but well worth it.

Enjoy a couple of these shots and I'll post a slide show when done. And yes, I was THAT close.
Edited at 11:20 p.m.: Okay, here's a link to a slide show, please check it out! No matter what your position, I'm proud of my citizen photojournalism skills :) And, every click counts, times are tough, you know...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Uh, Oh. I Better Go Vote

This video definitely gets a LOL! Make sure this doesn't happen on Nov. 5 - go vote now (if you can).

Oh, and I got to meet Gov. Bill Richardson earlier this week, he was in town (yes, in Port Charlotte, Fla.) campaigning for Obama. I'll share more observations about that but here's a recap of the event.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pretty Purple Pumpkin

Ain't this pumpkin pretty? My sister Liz is so creative. She painted this pumpkin and sent it to me. It'll probably me only Halloween decor this season. I'm a fan of the holiday but don't have the energy to decorate, considering I won't be around for the festivities (again).

So thanks, Liz. I love it!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Eating Through Cajun Country

"Don't eat butter for a month prior," is what I was advised when I told an acquaintance about my weekend getaway in Lafayette, La. After a day at home, I now know what he meant.

I rolled out of Lafayette Sunday night and immediately joined a gym yesterday morning. Not because I over indulged in the good eats of Cajun Country, it was just time to join a gym and enjoying the fried goodness of Acadiana flavors was more incentive to get back on track with my health. I have to admit, I haven't seen so many options for fried foods in any other place I've visited. Giving into temptations, I opted for fried over other healthier choices and boy, did my palate enjoy the medley of flavors.

My weekend in Cajun Country included fried alligator, fried catfish, gumbo, chowder, fried shrimp, fried crab cakes, fried oysters, fried hot okra pie, crawfish etouffee and a fried frog leg (note, the frog leg is singular, thank goodness. Images of Kermit the Frog remained in my mind as I ate the dainty frog leg. I will only eat frog again if it's the only thing left to eat on Earth). Did I mention rice?

Breakfast Sunday morning was at the French bakery called Poupart. A tasty and pretty eclair, creme puff and cannoli were my poison that morning and all were to die for! Sunday's lunch dessert was an incredible chocolate chip bread pudding served warm and smothered in a caramel sauce and topped with about a cup of whipped cream. Mmmm. Vermilion Ville was the scene of this delicious crime.

I also sampled pecan rice at the Conrad Rice Mill (it doesn't contain pecans but smells like pecans), tasted spicy sauces at the Tabasco Pepper Sauce Factory, and chewed on fresh peppermint, spearmint and lemon grass (which is an antidepressant) at the grounds of the Joseph Jefferson Mansion at the Rip Van Winkle Gardens.

I was good a little bit by enjoying a salad, fresh figs and satsuma (these were purchased at the Acadiana Farmers Market Saturday morning).

I brought some Cajun goodies home with me to enjoy and share. With you, I'm sharing images of Lafayette, La.

Laissez les bons temps rouler.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Coming to a Big Screen Near You: The Queen of Sky

I was really excited receiving an email from Ellen Simonetti earlier this month. Remember my interview with her and my book review of The Diary of a Dysfunctional Flight Attendant: The Queen of Sky Blog? As a refresher, Simonetti is the quirky flight attendant who was fired for blogging.

Here's the big news, Hiltz Squared Media Group optioned the rights to Simonetti's semi-autobiographical novel and the Queen of Sky is commissioned to write the screenplay, anticipated to be a 90-minute comedy. And, the public can follow and interact with her at QueenofScreen.com, a blog Simonetti's maintaining as she writes the screenplay. It'll contain polls, scene sneak peeks, and spoilers.

So what's Simonetti been doing lately? She's studying TV/Radio/Film at the University of Texas at Austin.

After reading the book, I can definitely see Drew Barrymore playing the lead while Simonetti prefers either Katherine Heigl or Alicia Silverstone. Who do you think should play the quirky flight attendant? Visit QueenofScreen.com to cast your vote and keep tabs on the progress of the flick.

Hide 'n Seek with Delta?

I'm a frequent flyer and admit to not always paying attention during the flight attendants' spiel. I know where the exits are and know not to tamper with the smoke detector in the bathroom. I know how to put the oxygen mask on. I know when to turn on my approved electrical devices.

But during last night's flight from Atlanta to Sarasota-Bradenton, the flight attendant said something I never heard before. When talking about the "what if" scenario if the plane lands in water, "Your life vest is located either in between the seats or under your seat."

Well, which is it? Do the flight attendants only reveal the location if the plane's going down? Honestly, in that "what if" scenario, I don't want to be guessing where it is, I want to KNOW where it is. I'm going to be too busy praying and planning my escape route to the nearest exit (which is located behind me).

Rather than being the annoying passenger and ask where mine was, I decided if a "what if" scenario arose, I'd just use my seat cushion, which doubles as a flotation device.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cajun Country 2008: Me, Myself and I

I debated whether to blog about the food I've been enjoying or the sites I've seen here in Cajun Country (the Lafayette, La. area) but decided to share my experience of traveling Acadiana solo.

It really isn't much different than other places I've visited alone. On my flight between Atlanta and Lafayette, the passenger next to me asked if I could sit where her friend was so they could sit together for the 60-minute flight. Didn't she take into consideration that I reserved a window seat for a specific reason and that I didn't want to sit in an aisle seat? Of course, I agreed to move.
As for dining, like other times I dine solo, I still get funny looks when the restaurant hostesses ask, "How many?" and my reply is, "Just one."

Last night's restaurant, Prejean's, placed me front and center of the restaurant so everyone walking into the place could see I was dining alone. And, I was placed right in front of the restaurant's live Web cam so the whole world could see I was eating alone. *sigh* I didn't die from embarrassment and had a tasty meal.

The four tours (Rip Van Winkle Gardens, Conrad Rice Mill, Tabasco Sauce Factor Tour, and Jungle Gardens) I took today were very interesting as a solo traveler. Three of the four were walking tours and on all three, I was the ONLY person on the tour. It really doesn't bother me but could tell it made the tour guides uncomfortable. It was also interesting to see how two out of the three didn't personalize their spiel for one person, meaning, they could have made it more personal rather than making it evident I was the 897th tour they've given and stuck to the monotone script.
But overall, everyone's been extremely nice here in Cajun Country. I've done a LOT of driving, thank goodness for the GPS! Which, by the way, I'll be able to write up a review once this trip is over. I learned a lot about its capabilities (and challenges).

If I had a choice, I wouldn't travel solo (nor live as a singleton, but it's the way it is now), however, if I sit around and wait for someone, anyone, my trips probably wouldn't happen so I just go.

Anyway...

What am I doing tonight? I'm lame. I haven't mastered the courage of going out to experience nightlife by myself so I'm finding respite in my hotel room at the Hilton Lafayette.

More posts to follow along with photos. The included photos are from the Rip Van Winkle Gardens. I head back home tomorrow and have a full itinerary planned before leaving Lafayette.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs @ ATL

Flying through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport today en route to Lafayette, La. While I'm looking forward to a tasty meal of Cajun cuisine tonight, I needed a little somethin' somethin' to tide me over. That somethin' was a tasty, grilled hot dog from an Oscar Mayer shop in Terminal C.So many hot dog types to choose from, ranging from Cajun to Texan and New York to Chicago. I went with the Chicago dog. Add a medium drink (Cherry Coke - a dining spot after my heart) and the tab was about $5.50. The toppings making it a Chicago dog were piled high, as pictured. It included spicy mustard, chopped tomato, cucumber slices, little hot peppers, relish, and chopped onions. Yum!

Unless I wanted a scent of eu du Chicago dog lingering over me for the rest of the day, there was no way I could have eaten this without a fork (and wish I grabbed a knife - plastic knives are allowed, right?). The bun was a little soggy and I'm thinking it was from all the juicy toppings.

Anyway, the dog was pretty good. I've had hot dogs from Nathan's over in Terminal T and those are pretty tasty but limited in toppings. The variety of choices atop a grilled hot dog definitely make Oscar Mayer in the Atlanta Airport a home run!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Chips, Tees and Turtles: Afternoon on the Golf Course

I spent yesterday afternoon on the golf course. Travel journalists were in town on a golf familiarization trip and played on one of the local courses. I'm not a golfer and my role in the event was that of photographer.

Sounds easy, right? Think again, it was stressful, very stressful. Alright, that's a slight exaggeration but this is what happened...

I was given a cart and course map but when I began my journey, I wasn't sure where I was suppose to go or who exactly I was photographing. I ended up just driving the cart around on the paved pathway but the paved pathways ended. Was I suppose to drive atop the exquisitely manicured course? Not sure of the etiquette (and aware there is some sort of golf etiquette) I turned the cart around.

I felt like an idiot trying to get from point A to point B by not driving on the grass. It was almost as if I was in a maze. As I drove around, I got suspicious looks from course members but I just smiled and waved. Not sure if the looks were because I was interrupting their game or driving the wrong way down the path. Perhaps a little of both.



Finally, I asked for help from a golfer who asked if I was having fun driving around the course. He enlightened me by informing me that it IS okay to drive on the pretty grass. *phew* What a relief. I no longer felt as if I was going crazy.

I parked my cart at one of the holes and waited. And waited. And met a soft shell turtle and waited some more. Eventually, I was able to snap shots of each of the participants.

The photo album contains a handful of shots from the day. Just a few (four to be exact).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Catch the Kashi Day of Change Tour

Over the weekend I drove up to Sarasota to see Mom who was in town for Grandma's homecoming. Aunt B from Buffalo came along, too. It was a great day hanging out with the family and the afternoon was spent at the Arts Festival at St. Armands Circle. There were so many wonderful vendors exhibiting including Gourd Art by Judy and Bob Wolfe (www.judyawolfe.com)

You've got to check out the art. They make beautiful vases, pitchers, creatures, and other creations from gourds. I would have never of guessed these creations were gourds because they are so elegant and well, the gourds are very well disguised.
Anyway, the highlight of the festival was the Kashi Day of Change Tour. Interactive stations were set up and visitors were encouraged to participate in yoga, tasting, a cooking demonstration, and a challenge.

I was afraid I'd fail the challenge, that'd it be based on what I learned during the Day of Change Tour of stations but it was a challenge for myself. I committed to going vegetarian for a day, which should be VERY easy come December when my membership in the local organic farm co-op kicks in. I can't wait!

Kashi prepared yummy(and healthy) food and shared the easy recipes. They also had several of their products on hand, including the Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie (have you gotten yours yet?). We also went home with a great reusable shopping bag filled with samples and coupons for Kashi products and Silk. (I love vanilla Silk on my cereal.) If we wanted, we could've stuck around for the yoga session and received a free yoga mat.

Importantly, we left better educated about how we treat our bodies and how to develop healthy bodies.

The Kashi Day of Change Tour is winding down but still visit the site to see if they'll be rolling into a city near you.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Florida Freshwater Turtles Served in China

I rarely duplicate posts between this blog and my Tallahassee blog but this one deserves to be posted on both blogs.

Last week I read in the "St. Petersburg Times" this article, "China Gobbling Up Florida Turtles" and it made me sick. Basically, people are illegally harvesting Florida's freshwater turtles then shipping them overseas to be eaten. China appears to be a big market, but looking at this bulletin: Florida Fish & Wildlife March 2008 Intelligence Bulletin on the Commercialization of Florida's Freshwater Turtles, Japan is a big consumer of Florida's freshwater turtles.
If you find this disturbing, contact Florida Governor Crist to put a stop to this and save Florida's turtles! You can drop him a line at:

Governor Charlie Crist
State of Florida
PL-05 The Capitol
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

Navigationally Challenged No More (At Least That's the Plan)

I did it. I broke down and purchased a GPS yesterday, a Garmin nüvi 205, Best of all, the fashionable navigation unit matches my laptop, it's pink! I'm not superficial, I didn't purchase it because it's pink, I purchased it because it seemed pretty straightforward to use and get me from point A to point B. I can use it when walking, too. Or, if I get really adventurous, I can mount it to my bike.Not sure if I'll be able to use it for geocaching, though. I looked at hand-held GPS units and I didn't have the patience to figure them out.

I'll take it out for a spin tomorrow and this week but will really break it in next weekend when I head to Lafayette, La. Not only will I be using it to navigate in and around Cajun country, I'll be using it to visit the International Rice Festival.

Want your own pink Garmin nüvi 205? Go check out Amazon.com.

Proudly supporting my country's economy by shopping and traveling.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Blog Updates: Google Search and Weekly Newsletter

You may have noticed a few changes to this blog, notably the search function at the top of the page. While yes, one of the reasons is to make a bit of money from my blog but the primary reason is a service, to help visitors search for something within this blog along with the Tallahassee blog.

Stay in the know with Quirky Kitsch Girl! The other added feature is a newsletter subscription via FeedBlitz, a free newsletter service (no, I'm not being paid to write that). I plan to distribute it every week and it'll include that week's posts so no need to keep checking back to see what's new. Of course, you're welcome to come back and read what's new in my world. You can register below or off to the right.


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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Fun Photos from My St. Augustine Trip

Was in St. Augustine this week for meetings. Had some free time to explore the U.S.'s oldest city but not as much as I would've liked. Yesterday afternoon was rainy but this morning was fabulous. Immediately below is a photo of a door. It doesn't have any particular significance other than it caught my attention with the rusted knocker and barred window.

Today's lunch was at the Columbia Restaurant (home of the delish 1905 salad, yum!). The (unscheduled) entertainment was a dynamic duo outside the restaurant. What a cool dog!

[Note about the photo: No, that's not a ghost in the photo but a reflection in the window of a drinking glass.]

My next home will be an Airstream. Okay, probably not, but I love Airstream travel trailers and if I had the guts to drive one, I'd own one. I've now stopped twice in three weeks to visit quirky Airstream Ranch at Bates RV, exit 14 off I-4, and both times, it's been closed. This is where the silver cylinders on wheels are buried in the earth, arranged like Stonehenge. I had to take the photo below while driving by. Pretend the two pick up trucks aren't there to enjoy the full image.Next week is my trip to Lafayette, La., and I can't wait! I need to get busy doing some more research about that city.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Very Sweet Gesture from a Florida Republican

My last post this week was about my (mis)-adventures of going to Governor Sarah Palin's rally in Fort Myers. Cartoonist, Florida Republican, and acquaintance Rob Smith, Jr., heard about my incident.

I'm attending meetings in St. Augustine this week in which Rob's talented wife, travel writer Sandra Friend, who also runs the Florida Hikes! Web site, is also attending. While walking to the meeting site this morning, I run into Rob (not literally) and he began to apologize about Monday's debacle.

Rob wasn't involved with organizing the rally but since that's his party, he felt compelled to apologize, which I thought was extremely nice of him to do.



Later that evening during dinner, Rob pulled out a couple of buttons he's created for the McCain-Palin Ticket and I got to keep the one above. Have to admit, I love it!

Thanks, Rob. And for the rest of you reading this, be sure to check out his blog and his fabulous sketches.

Monday, October 06, 2008

With Ticket in Hand, I'm Denied Access to the Gov. Sarah Palin Rally in Fort Myers

Up until today I was an undecided voter. Yes, I know. Hard to believe this registered Democrat was undecided. But thanks to Gov. Sarah Palin and the Florida Republican Party, I've made my choice and voting with my party.

Last week I blogged how I had coveted Palin tickets for her rally in Fort Myers today. Little did I know that anyone could just show up early to the Governor Sarah Palin Rally at Germain Arena in Fort Myers and be admitted. Forget those of us who were diligent and obtained tickets in advance. I'm thankful I wasn't one who stood in line for hours to get the free tickets because the tickets didn't guarantee admission.

Yes, we were told that although you needed a ticket to attend the rally and only 9,000 were issued, voters could just show up early and get in. Plus, one woman approached me and said, "Oh, I feel bad for you. At least you had a real ticket, mine was a photocopied one." WHAT????

If I photocopied a pair of tickets to the Super Bowl, would I be able to just waltz in? [Note: I give SD credit for that one.]

This is what happened:

11 a.m. Doors opened to the Arena.

1:30 p.m. I arrived on site, by the time I found a nice berm to park on in the nearby outlet mall, it was about 1:45 p.m.

2:00 p.m. The line was insanely long to get in. It snaked around a few times.

2:39 p.m. Was told Germain Arena was at capacity and THOUSANDS (at least 2,000) were turned away. I heard on news reports about 8,200 were admitted into the arena.

2:45 p.m. Crowd thins and a die-hard crowd stays, did they also take the afternoon off from work and drive an hour to attend? Crowd eventually thinned to about 50 and rumors start circulating that they'll let us in.

3 p.m. Palin scheduled to begin her speech but think she began after that.

3:20 p.m. "No more people. End of story." Paraphrasing what the fire marshal said. Sitting on a table was a stack of tickets! (Wish I snapped a photo of it.)

I saw one girl (20-something) breakdown in tears because she couldn't get in.

For the next hour, wandered around the arena figuring out where Palin would leave the building. I had taken off the afternoon, drove an hour and spent at least two hours waiting around, I wasn't going to leave until I saw Sarah Palin. When the Straight Talk Express Bus arrived, I figured which way Palin would exit the property.



While waiting for Palin, saw Gov. Charlie Crist, Crist's fiancee, and who I thought was former Gov. Jeb Bush but it turned out to be Senator Mel Martinez. Definitely a Republican lovefest.

Eventually, Sarah Palin popped out of the arena (around 4:30) and hopped on the bus. I wasn't sure where she was, couldn't get that close due to security. Looking at my photos, I snapped one of the back of her head. Take a look in the photo album.

And then it was over. Stood in line in the 90-degree sun for an hour (although the rain showers were refreshing) and stalked around the arena another hour or so all for what? I'll tell you what, to help me make an important choice, to stick with my party and vote Obama/Biden.

According to tonight's 11 p.m. broadcast of ABC News 7 in Fort Myers, 15,000 tickets were printed for the rally. Let me ask you this, do we really want a party who can't do math? I mean, if the arena capacity was just under 9,000 and 15,000 tickets were printed, something doesn't seem right. That means 6,000 people are going to be turned away. Granted, there's a no show rate factor built in but this isn't an airline. Sarah Palin has star quality and the Florida Republicans must have known most everyone who picked up tickets would show up.

What's disheartening is knowing tickets were given away at he door. Where's the integrity in turning away thousands of voters? Wasn't my ticket a promised entry into the event? It's almost as though a promise was broken. Plus, I'm a customer service snob and let me tell ya people, today's action was poor customer service.

If the Republicans can't figure out that 15,000 is greater than 9,000, what's going to happen when they're dealing with figures with more zeros?

Senator Joe Biden will be in town Wednesday, check out the schedule over at the News-Press. I hope his camp learns from today's awful lesson and does it right (of course they will): Don't over promise if you can't deliver and put some recycling bins out in the parking lot.

And sorry Senator Biden, I'd love to come out and see you but my wounds are too fresh from today's disaster. This was my first and most likely my last political rally I'll ever attend.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Weekend in Orlando: Mouseketeers and Geeks

As you know, last weekend was spent in Orlando visiting Disney and sandwiching in BlogOrlando3. I finally wrote my recap over at Associated Content simply called, "BlogOlrando 3 Unconference." Go check it out. I really thought BlogOrlando was a fab gathering and wish there was a group of creative types down here in Southwest Florida. I know Sarasota has a group of some sort, I just need to find them.

Now onto the Disney experience...Friday, Sept. 26 was the kickoff for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival - yum! Being the opening night, it was a bit crowded. Disney usually does a good job in moving people through lines but it was a bit congested. What eased things was purchasing one of the Disney gift cards. I wore it on my wrist and it was easily accessible to pay for my food. Since it doesn't expire, I used it the following Sunday at Animal Kingdom. (Pictured below.)

Before hitting the food marketplace, I took a ride on Spaceship Earth. Fun! I did notice the odd look the Cast Member gave me when she asked, "How many?" and I replied, "Just me."

Traveling solo and experiencing life solo just doesn't phase me as abnormal and it amazes me how some businesses react as though I have three eyeballs when my answer is, "Just one." When Disney announced their 2009 free birthday admission program, someone said to me, "Disney's smart, no ones going to go to Disney by themselves."
Well I would and I have! My birthday happens to fall on a Friday in 2009 and Disney is looking like an attractive way to celebrate (of course, if my single status changes, I'm not opposed to that). Coming soon is a blog post about a Web site geared toward singletons. But I digress about the Happiest Place on Earth...

I tasted Louisiana Cajun cuisine and will compare it to the real thing when I head to Lafayette the weekend of Oct. 16 (I really can't wait!). Louisiana also gave away Mardi Gras beads, little bottle of hot sauces and recipe cards. I also tasted New York State wines and my fave, sweet ice wine. I felt sorry for one of the Cast Members, she had trouble uncorking one of the bottles using a cheap, plastic corkscrew. She ended up breaking the cork and some how managed to get the rest out. I would think they'd have a monster opener, even I have a decent opener these days. But, the wait for my home-state was well worth the wait.

Refreshing seaweed salad with shrimp and mandarin oranges, a California roll and raspberry sake rounded out the evening. The sushi roll was okay but the seaweed salad rocked. The raspberry sake was tasty, too. Wonder how the Japanese feel about flavored sake?

I headed to my hotel, the La Quinta in Eatonville (it was okay), and the next day was BlogOrlando.

Sunday, John Frost with The Disney Blog (note: sorry about AC's link-o-matic in the summary article I posted, the whole phrase was supposed to be linked but link-o-matic takes precedent) showed off Animal Kingdom through his eyes. I've been two times before but it was very special this time seeing the subtle things I've missed before. BlogOrlando organizer Josh Hallett with Hyku, and unconference participants Rob Williams with Orange Jack, and Felicia and Nik Wilets with Havana Lion came along, too. Felicia and I screamed our lungs out on Expedition Everest and I didn't remember Dinosaur being such a scary ride.

Did you know the oval shaped rocks in the Asian section are believed to bring fertility to those who rub them? Or the temple in front of the Expedition Everest ride mimics the shape of the mountain? (See below.)

Disney's Animal Kingdom is an amazing place. Disney does everything with style, detail and care. It's an incredible zoo with attractions and rides around it. Of course, it's one of the Happiest Places on Earth, usually. I was mortified to hear a parent tell their child that he was so low, not even the devil could help me out. That's plain mean and it was the beginning of the day.

My next travels? St. Augustine for a meeting this week. The evening event is a visit to a wax museum where I'll be able to play in the paraffin. Can't wait!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Got Palin Tickets? I Do

I felt like I was entering enemy territory when walking into the Republican Party of Florida Charlotte County office today (2171 Tamiami Trail) to pick up the free tickets to see Gov. Sarah Palin in Ft. Myers on Monday. I'm a registered Democrat and was afraid I'd be denied tickets but then I realized, I'm the type of person the Republicans want to win over.


Everyone was so nice and best of all, there wasn't a line (see the "line" for tickets above, taken around 9:45 a.m.). Watching the news last night, it seemed these tickets were a hot commodity and was afraid I wouldn't be able to pick some up. I even heard rumors these free tickets were being sold!


So yes, I'm planning on seeing what Gov. Sarah Palin has to say but now I need to figure out how I'm going to take time off Monday afternoon. And if I can manage to do that, I know PhilZ would be really proud.