Greetings from Sunny Orlando

Sunny and 80’s is the word of the day.

Orlando is sunny and hot! A typical Florida experience. I want to thank everyone who has been checking in regularly even though I haven’t been able to post anything. It’s great to see you dropped by.

No phone No Internet

I’ve been out of touch because my resort was without phone or internet. Cell phone service was spotty at best. When I checked in the lobby had a huge hole in the ceiling, no A/C and huge fans going. The poor desk clerks were seated at folding tables with lap tops to process the guests. Half of the resort was without any power but my unit had everything except phone, cable and wifi so no Facebook or Aroundustyroads updates and no TV at night. I guess I can handle that.

HangglidingAll Thanks to Hurricane Irma

I picked Joe up at his work so he had a chance to see the resort. By the time I got settled in it was getting dark out so I didn’t have a chance to really survey the damage. Joe said some of the rides and attractions at Disney were still closed. They had a lot of trees down. We had planned to enjoy the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort but due to the property damage from Irma it was canceled. Instead Joe managed to get Fastpasses for Soarin’ at Epcot. I loved the old ride but its changed now. Today you go Soarin‘ the world. Fantastic! I highly recommend this ride. I could go over and over if only they let me!

Loved the Show Skip the Food

Soarin’ was as great as I remembered. There were breaching whales and Polar bears! A calving glacier and shifting sand with camels and Pyramids. Look quick! It’s the Eiffel Tower all a-light! Around the world we go! After the ride it was definitely time to eat. It was almost 9 pm! There’s a food court right there where the ride is located. Since it was raining that seemed like the best option.  I was very disappointed in both the food choices and finally the food. I can’t recommend the food here but I can recommend the ride.

 

Yes I’m still Florida Bound

Heading to Florida In Spite of Irma

I’m Florida Bound after all. I really thought my trip would be cancelled not just postponed. I had this nightmare vision of lounging at the pool while  all around me work went on to repair the hurricane damage. I’m feeling guilty before I even get there! But several things came into play in my decision. The first thing is an all day tour to swim with Manatees.

The Manatees are still at Crystal Springs

manatee and snorkeler

I called the tour first. A very pleasant young woman assured me that the damage wasn’t that bad. They were still running the tours. She promised I would have a great time. She said around Central Florida it was just like a bad rainstorm. The winds weren’t that bad and the biggest gusts were only about 70 mph. She said getting the tourist dollar back into the state was really important too. She was very convincing. Besides I really want to see these gentle giants up close and personal.

Diamond Resort Logo

We Love To Say YES!

Next Call, the Marketing Department of my Resort

My trip was a promotional trip. I had tried to cancel it before but would have incurred huge fees to do so. I was pleasantly surprised when the marketing rep immediately agreed to reschedule. The only problem, he didn’t have anyone to do my “update” (aka sales pitch). Finally he suggested I call another department to see if I could use my points to get a resort. That call went very well. So many people were canceling that they had tons of rooms available. Once more I heard how getting the tourists back was a real necessity. He set me up with another 4 day block. I called back the marketing department and they canceled that trip and agreed to refund my $150.00!

Delta, can you help me?delta airlines

I held my breath as I called Delta Airlines but I shouldn’t have worried. I got a former “Tauntonite”. We compared notes on the changes in Southeastern MA and Logan vs T.F. Green before we tackled the reason for my call. I had a non-refundable ticket that I needed to change. To my pleasant surprise she immediately offered me a new itinerary that worked perfectly with my new dates. Even better she gave me the hurricane waiver so there were no charges or penalties for making the change.

All the little details

Now that the big things were done all of the little details began to fall into place from rental car to pet sitter.

Rocky my cat

 

To have all of this work out this easily must mean I am meant to take this trip. Can’t wait to see the Manatees!

And along Came Irma

Hurricane Irma takes Aim for FloridaMickey Mouse

As Hurricane Irma heads for Florida even Disney is not immune. The World famous home of Mickey and Minnie is closing for only the 5th time since it opened in 1971. Why am I talking about this? Because it looks like I may be heading for Orlando just as Irma leaves the state.

A Mini Vacation in Jeopardy

About a year ago I had a chance to grab  a quick visit to Orlando. By quick I mean only 4 days. Fly down, spend a couple of days and fly back. The cost, just $150.00 so I jumped at the chance. The only problem was that I had to use the trip before September 30. I usually avoid vacations before October because of my work load but the price was too good to say no. So now I find  myself watching the weather channel nightly and getting updates from my friends in Orlando.

Saturday Morning Update

storm track

 

According to the weather folks, Irma’s hurricane strength winds are going to begin to reach Orlando tonight. On Sunday Orlando should be in the thick of it but as the pitchmen say-But Wait! There’s More!-. They just announced that Irma’s winds are going to hang around through Monday before the storm moves on out of the area.

So what about the trip?

I continue to monitor conditions. My resort is expected to be open for business on Tuesday. It’s been closed as of yesterday. Disney World is planning to welcome visitors again on Tuesday. Everyone is planning to bounce back quick. One can only hope the optimism is well placed. I guess it will all depend on the planes. If they are flying into Orlando I guess I’ll be going. House sitter/pet sitter is on standby so everything is in place if I get to go. I guess I’ll have a new adventure. I usually run away from disaster zones not toward them. I know my limits. In the meantime, keep your eye to the sky.

UPDATE

Just announced Irma is shifting to the West. Bad for the coast good for Orlando.

Oh No! Where did the Summer Go?

Summer’s Last Gasp

Picnic table

It’s still summer. August is still summer and it’s only August 31. According to the weather folks tomorrow, September 1, is the first day of meteorological fall. Oh boo hoo! Fall in New England is nice but I miss summer already. Labor Day weekend is the last long weekend, our last chance for summer fun.

Fall leavesSigns of Fall are all around us

The seasons change and the signs are there. School has started. I got stuck behind a school bus on the way to work. The turkeys are getting restless. I saw two big turkeys by the side of the road on my way home tonight. A big maple tree on Route 140 has begun to turn colors! Already! The nights are cool and mornings have a crispness to the air. A sweater or jacket might be in order. I can open a window and turn off the air conditioner. Football is top of mind as the boys of summer fade away. Another fall sign that’s not so nice is the ragweed. Seems like we have a bumper crop this year. Excuse me while I sneeze.

Road trips are callingWaterfall

Along with the cooler nights will be the fall colors. Leaves will be changing. Our roads will be filled with leaf peepers but even I plan to be one of them. Maybe a trip down the Mohawk Trail or back to New Hampshire to visit a place called Diana’s Baths. They are a series of waterfalls and cascades. I have it on good authority that although they are lovely any time of year, fall is especially pretty.

 

Cranberry Harvest Festivals

In Massachusetts, home to Ocean Spray, fall means the cranberry harvest. From mid- September until late in the fall,  cranberries reach their peak of color and flavor. The landscape is dotted with the bright red cranberry bogs as they wait for the harvest. Cranberries can be harvested wet or dry. Interested in visiting a cranberry bog? We’ve got lots of farms for tours or products.

Down on the cape the cranberry harvest season begins around Labor Day and usually runs into the middle of November. The Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association has created a cranberry harvest trail guide.

Cranberry bog

I love cranberries. Maybe fall’s not so bad after all!

It’s Raining but Its not Raining Men

Its Raining Men – NOT!

Its raining and the prediction is rain for the next 10 days! I guess that even though we left April behind we didn’t escape the April Showers! The flowers, trees, grass, weeds and all the other spring things are definitely blooming. Now if the rain would just stop for a day or two…on the weekend.

What’s been happening?

Aside from the rain I’ve been working. I clocked 67 hours this past week.

I was so looking forward to doing something fun this weekend and then sharing it here but mother nature had other plans. Saturday it poured until about 2 pm. Then the sun did come out. You know that yellow thing in the sky? But where could I go with only a couple of hours? Its  Kentucky Derby Day and I love to catch that race.

I’ve been watching it for years and hate to miss it. Someday I plan to attend in person. Now that would be something to write about!

More Than Work!

Ok I did more than work. I enrolled in a class that runs 5 Thursdays in June. Its how to set up and design a blog. Maybe I’ll finally get the instruction I need to Tweak this baby! I can’t wait to start the class. And one other thing happened. I got my renewed passport back, not that I’m planning any overseas trips.

I’m still fixated on the good old USA. I also picked up a renewal of my motion sickness patch so I’m ready to get out on the ocean. Look out whales and sharks!

Captain John Boats

Speaking of chasing whales, I usually go out of Plymouth, MA with Captain John. http://www.captjohn.com/ I follow them on Facebook too. https://www.facebook.com/CaptainJohnBoats/ His feed has been filled with great whale sightings already this spring. Even the humpbacks have started to come back. Right whales, white-sided dolphins…I can’t wait to get back out there!

Rain, rain go away

All right mother nature. I’m all for rain. Its good for growing things but can you make it rain when I’m at work or asleep at night and give me some sunshine on the weekends? Please?