Florida morning sky

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IMG_2462-Moon-rise-morning

One September day
Woke to see a morning moon
and some peachy clouds

Pond as smooth as glass
Captures all that’s in the sky
Smooth, perfectly still

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Ironic Anonymity at Casa Ybel Resort, Sanibel Island

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Ironic Anonymity

A no-smoking sign at Casa Ybel resort. This was on the path from the parking lot to the pool bar.

Relax, this is completely posed. We’re KIDDING. Really! No non-smokers were aggravated in the taking of this photo! 😉


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Captiva bird search

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IMG_0476-Captiva-Redfish-Pass-birds


I’ve counted 7 birds in this photo. Can you find them all?


Captiva Island / Redfish Pass, Southwest Florida
April 20th, 2009

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My “favorite” Disney red-head

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Without fanfare or hullabaloo,
I bring you yet another
Disney character in RED.
Well, he’s red-headed, at least.
May I please present …

IMG_4191


… Peter Pan.
He’s every guy I’ve ever dated.


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Fun, fun, fun at the Flower and Garden Festival

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IMG_5714-WDW-EPCOT-surfboards :) In just two weeks, I’ll be packing my bags in preparation for my next trip to Walt Disney World. I plan to spend a lot of time at EPCOT, taking in the Flower and Garden Festival. Here’s some signage from last year’s Festival. The theme was “Fun In The Sun”. That phrase reminds me of a couple of Beach Boys tunes, most notably “Fun, Fun, Fun” and “The Warmth Of The Sun”. In fact, up front at the gates, with Spaceship Earth as a background, there was a giant topiary of Goofy surfing on a topiary “wave”, with Beach Boys music playing in the background.

Here, I found the video I posted last year – check it out!

Happy Monday Meme Trifecta, everyone! For the uninitiated, that’s Blue Monday, Mellow Yellow Monday and Manic Monday (the prompt this week is “warm) all rolled into one post. :)

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Critters on the Castle: Hakuna Matata!

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IMG_1032-Happiest-Celebration-banners-castle
In 2005, all Disney theme parks across the globe participated in “The Happiest Celebration On Earth” in honor of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the original Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California. At the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, Cinderella’s Castle was covered with golden effigies of beloved Disney characters – many of them critters! For the next few weeks, I’ll feature some of these each Saturday as my contribution to the Camera Critters photo meme.

Hakuna Matata!

IMG_0847-Castle-Critters-Simba-Pumba-Timon
Critics and literary analyst-types have likened aspects of Disney’s 1994 film The Lion King to a number of works, most notably Shakespeare’s Hamlet and a few stories from the Old Testament. The former kind of intrigues me, for that would mean that Pumba and Timon are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern… 😀 I laugh just thinking about it!

Here we see Timon and Pumba leading the young Simba on a merry march around one of the castle turrets. Can’t you just hear them singing “Hakuna Matata” as they amble along? As I recall, the phrase is Swahili, and as the song instructs us, “it means no worries for the rest of your days”. This is Pumba and Timon’s “problem-free philosophy” for life, and they teach it to Simba so that he may forget about his unhappy past.

“Hakuna Matata” was one of three songs from The Lion King that was nominated for an Academy Award; the other two were “Circle of Life” and “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” (which ended up winning).

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The Mystery Sunset

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IMG_2513-Mystery-Sunset

Stood on the terrace
so high above the city.
Saw the sun retire.

You might be thinking,
“Oh, she lives in Florida.”
Well, you would be right!

BUT, beauty lives in
other places, too – can you
guess where THIS sun set?

If you think you know the location of the “mystery sunset”,
please leave a comment.

Bonus points if you can guess where exactly I was standing when I took the shot.
Um, there’s no prize, I’m just trying to start a conversation here so help a sista out, ‘k? 😉


 

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Playin’ hooky on Captiva Island: Great Blue Heron

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IMG_0480-Great-Blue-Heron-Captiva-Floria

While I was playin’ hooky on Monday, I saw a great blue heron
stalking prey in the surf on Captiva Island, Florida.


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My kingdom for a Mickey bar!

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IMG01050-Mickey-Bar-Wrapped :) When is my next trip to Walt Disney World? It seems forever since I’ve been there, and I NEED a Mickey bar!

Here’s one, in a lovely red, white and blue wrapper. I like the Mickey head sandwich too – it has cookies and cream type ice cream between two chocolate cookies, in the shape of Mickey’s head.

I am pining away for a Mickey-shaped ice cream treat. My next trip is getting closer and closer every day, and then I’ll be there.

And be able to blow the sensible diet with one of these °o° on a daily basis 😉

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The trouble with Tinker Bell

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IMG_5857-Tinker-Bell-topiary 😡 This is probably the last photograph I will be able to take of a Tinker Bell topiary at the International Flower and Garden Festival, which takes place each spring in Walt Disney World’s EPCOT theme park. The reason for this is that the Walt Disney Company, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to mess with the Tinker Bell character in order to cash in on her popularity, and I don’t think I’m going to be able to be brave enough to visit the Tinker Bell section of the festival ever again. Disney’s gone an made a movie filled with grave inaccuracies and a computer-generated effigy of the true Tinker Bell, and I could not be more upset! 😡 grrr!

Did you know they’ve actually got her TALKING in the film? Tinker Bell should NOT speak – ever. And nowadays, they’ve got her running around the parks – as a FACE character! You know, an actual PERSON. Hey, isn’t she supposed to be able to fit in the palm of your hand?

My childhood dreams are shattered. I’m traumatized, I tell ya! This is no way to treat Tinker Bell. Her entire mystique is being destroyed.

dramaqueen

I hear this year in EPCOT they’re having a Tinker Bell fairy garden (she is not a fairy, she’s a PIXIE – sheesh! :roll: ) The face characters will all be there doing autographs. Well, I guess I’m going to have to stay away from that part of the park. I cannot bear the prospect of coming face to face with these imposters, these… these… these POSERS! It’s going to be difficult, though, because the next time I go to EPCOT, I will probably be in the company of a certain 4-year old – Niece No. 5 – who really loves Tinker Bell, and probably loves the fairies too. She’s cute, this 4-year old. I may not be able to resist a request to go visit Tinker Bell…

Oh, and this has been yet another victory in the Monday Meme Trifecta. The prompt for Manic Monday today is “plant”, and I’ve got Tinker Bell’s yellow hair and blue wings to cover Mellow Yellow Monday and Blue Monday.

w00t
W00t!

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Rookery Bay Osprey – Naples, Florida

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IMG_5602-Rookery-Bay-Osprey-nest
Taking a break this week from the Critters on the Castle series; while selecting the Rookery Bay sunset photo for yesterday, I came upon this shot of two osprey posing rather prettily for me in their nest. I’ve published this one before, I believe, but I thought it bore repeating.

If you’re an amateur photographer like me, you will know the feeling when I tell you that it’s one of those shots that you get home and put it up on the computer screen, and you cannot believe that YOU took it! So happy to share this with all the Camera Critters fans out there :)



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Rookery Bay Sunset – Naples, Florida

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IMG_5620-Rookery-Bay-Naples-Florida-sunset


Pretty as it is,
it would be more beautiful
shared over a kiss.

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Lego Sculpture at Downtown Disney: The Dragon

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02-20-08_1224-WDW-Downtown-Disney-Lego-Dragon :) Seems like I’m in a Downtown Disney kind of mood so far this week. There’s a big Lego store at Downtown Disney, and they have decorated the outside with life-size-and-beyond Lego creations, including this dragon in Village Lake.

This is only part of him – he’s a rather long serpent, and to get all of him in the shot, from this angle anyway, would require standing so far away, you would not be able to see his tongue hanging out or his googly eyes. Despite his sharp-looking Lego fangs, I think he looks sort of doofy and humorous, don’t you? Not scary at all, at all!.

My favorite Lego creation down there was a life-size tourist with a bald head, sitting on the bench taking a nap. Every now and then, it would start snoring 😉 I’m not sure he is still there, but next time I’m in The World, I’ll check it out and report back!

OK, so I wasn’t “wordless” this week – so, sue me! 😀

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A belated farewell to Pleasure Island

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IMG01510-WDW-DTD-Pleasure-Island-SignBy the time I took this photo, Pleasure Island was closed. One of the few places on Disney property in Orlando Florida where Disney catered to adults instead of children, Pleasure Island was treasured by locals and traveling guests alike. Disney’s announcement of their intention to close this diverse and eclectic collection of nightspots was met with an outcry of shock and grief, especially on the internet. Groups sprang up on Facebook and elsewhere to “Stop Disney From Closing Pleasure Island” and “Save the Adventurer’s Club!”. Alas, it was all in vain; Pleasure Island’s nightly New Year’s Eve celebration occurred for the last time on September 27th, 2008. After that, Pleasure Island was no more.

The last time I walked under this sign to party on Pleasure Island, it was night time and the sign was lit up in neon red. Amongst my cronies that evening, to name just a few, were Dan who owns Lodgeboards.com (“Home Of The Moose” and one of my favorite collections of virtual friends who love Disney), and my good friend and travel agent, Debbie In Paradise. We partook of adult beverages, and laughed through shows at The Adventurer’s Club and Comedy Warehouse. It was October 2007, and we had no idea that the place was going to be shut down within the year. I’m not sure we would have done anything differently, had we known. We had an awesome time, and although the place is gone, the memories of good times remain.

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Sanibel Island’s Over Easy Cafe

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02-21-08_0855-Over-Easy-Cafe-Sanibel :) Last time I ate at the Over Easy Cafe on Sanibel Island, I took a picture of the menu. The Over Easy is decorated with a country motif featuring chickens and roosters; you can see that this one here has both blue and yellow going on, befitting the themes of Blue Monday and Mellow Yellow Monday. And since we’re in a restaurant, it’s easy to cover this week’s prompt for Manic Monday, which is taste.

The Over Easy is on Tarpon Bay Road, right at the foot of Periwinkle. If you read up at the various travel review sites about the Over Easy Cafe, I think you will find that the one thing they are most famous for is their giant homemade sticky orange rolls; I hear they taste great. However, the one thing on the Over Easy menu that stands out most in my mind is their Summer Salad. It’s a healthful mix of greens, fruits and nuts, with a pecan raspberry vinaigrette and crumbles of bleu cheese. Talk about taste – it’s truly awesome!

The decor at the Over Easy has lots more blue and yellow stuff – visit the Over Easy website to have a look at additional pictures and the menu.

Well, it looks like I’ve squeaked out yet another victory in the Monday Meme Trifecta – we’ve got blue, we’ve got yellow, we’ve got taste. Wondering how many more weeks I’ll be able to pull this off? Me too! Guess we’ll all just have to tune in again next week to find out :)

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Critters on the Castle: Kaa

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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IMG_1032-Happiest-Celebration-banners-castle
In 2005, all Disney theme parks across the globe participated in “The Happiest Celebration On Earth” in honor of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the original Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California. At the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, Cinderella’s Castle was covered with golden effigies of beloved Disney characters – many of them critters! For the next few weeks, I’ll feature some of these each Saturday as my contribution to the Camera Critters photo meme.


Kaa

IMG_0857-Disney-Castle-Critter-Jungle-Book-KaaaDisney’s 1967 film The Jungle Book is based upon a novel of the same name by Rudyard Kipling. The Jungle Book makes several contributions to Disney’s burgeoning collection of villains, not the least of which is the ssssoft-sssspoken python, Kaa. In Kipling’s novel, Kaa was actually Mowgli’s very close friend, and his gift of hypnotism worked on everyone except Mowgli. In the Disney film, Kaa has a bit of a competitive streak, making not one but two attempts to capture and eat Mowgli before the man-eating tiger Shere Kahn does.

Kaa was portrayed by the hypnotically soft-spoken Sterling Holloway, whose resume is peppered with Disney projects. I’ll have more about Holloway in a subsequent edition of Camera Critters.

Walt Disney died during production of The Jungle Book, so he never got to see it. However, the film still bears Disney’s imprint; the original script was a bit dark for Walt’s taste, and it underwent revisions by a different writer at his insistence.

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Not-so-hidden Mickey

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02-20-08_1526-roadside-hidden-Mickey

On the way home from
The Happiest Place On Earth,
a “hidden” Mickey

makes me sad to leave.
But! A voice inside my head
calls, “See ya real soon!”


 

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“The Rocks”, Sanibel Island

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01-21-08_0821-Sanibel-Island-The-Rocks
Sea sponges, shells and other fun stuff rolls ashore at “the rocks” on one of Sanibel Island’s West Gulf Drive beaches.

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Feeding the birds can be hazardous to your vacation

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Come feed the little birds,
Show them you care
And you’ll be glad if you do
Their young ones are hungry
Their nests are so bare
All it takes is tuppence from you
Feed the birds, tuppence a bag…

– From Disney’s Mary Poppins

Virtually all of us have done it. Sometimes we’ve done it deliberately, clutching the remains of a week-old plastic bag of Wonderbread as we head off to the local duck pond. Sometimes we’ve done it accidentally, when a request to “super-size it” has resulted in spillage that is immediately pounced upon by pigeons and sparrows in the parking lot of the local fast-food joint. Whether thoughtfully or thoughtlessly, we have all fed the birds.

IMG01520This seemingly innocuous pastime has consequences that add up to much more than “tuppence a bag”. People food is bad for a bird’s digestive system. Feed any wild animal and they learn to associate humans with food. This makes them lose their fear of humans in favor of a full stomach. It can also make them lose their hunting skills and give them a sense of entitlement, to the point where you almost have to beat them off with a stick in order to eat out-of-doors in peace.

I found this sign posted on the green wrought iron fence that surrounds the Village Lake at Downtown Disney. Times past, there used to be fish kibble machines peppering the perimeter of the lake. Pump in a quarter, get a fist-full of fish kibble. I don’t know if the machines are still there. You could fling your handful of kibble all at once and watch the fish (and sometimes turtles) jump for it, or else you could drop your pieces one by one, very close to where you were standing, so you could get a good look at them as they surfaced with their large mouths open, ready to devour whatever you were dropping.

Problem, Houston. One time as we were flinging our kibble into the lake, my NIeceling and I were set upon by a mob of hungry, swooping, squawking, flapping avian muggers. In broad daylight! We had to keep walking and pretend we weren’t furtively dropping a kibble here, a kibble there over the side for the fish.

Other times I’ve been seated outside at the Boardwalk or outside the Peppermarket at Coronado Springs or even in the Magic Kingdom at Caseys or in Frontierland, and all manner of feathered fowl and fiends have milled about my feet, hopped up on the table and even attempted to steal food right out of my hand. And every time I’ve seen bad behavior from the birds, it’s been right alongside bad behavior from the humans.

Moral of the story: since we all paid much more than “tuppence” for that burger, not to mention our theme park admission and accommodations – DON’T feed the birds!

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Cruising the Sassagoula River

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We’re taking a cruise down the Sassagoula! All aboard the river boat, and let’s see where it takes us.

IMG_0932-WDW-Sassagoula-River-Map

The Sassagoula is a man-made waterway that connects several Disney resorts with Village Lake, around which Downtown Disney and the Saratoga Springs resort are clustered. Guests can embark from Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter, Old Key West or Saratoga Springs to get to one of the other resorts or to Downtown Disney.

IMG_0857-WDW-Port-Orleans-French-Quarter-dock

Guests are transported to and fro in blue and yellow flat-bottomed river boats. There are actually three routes – one for the Port Orleans resorts, one that services Saratoga Springs and Old Key West, and one that taxis guests back and forth between two Downtown Disney docks (the West Side and the Marketplace). The boats play a soothing mix of instrumental-only Disney tunes, many of them having to do with boats and waterways. It’s not unusual to hear Just Around The Riverbend from Pocahontas followed by Candle on the Water from Pete’s Dragon.

IMG_0880-WDW-Port-Orleans-Riverside-Mill-restaurant

Aside from going back and forth between Downtown Disney and the resorts, you can also resort-hop. Over the years, I have read the same question over and over on many internet boards – “What can we do at Walt Disney World that’s FREE?“. Well, you can take a trip on the Sassagoula River! For instance, you can park at Downtown Disney and hop aboard the boat that goes up to Port Orleans Riverside. You can get off there, take a stroll around the scenic grounds, grab a bite to eat at the Riverside Mill food court or even go shopping at the market. There’s also a table service restaurant called Boatwright’s Dining Hall.

IMG_0924-WDW-Port-Orleanse-French-Quarter-Sassagoula-Floatworks

Suppose you prefer the ambiance of historic New Orleans – in that case, make your stop at Port Orleans French Quarter. This is a small, quaint resort styled after “the Big Easy”, featuring authentic Mardi Gras theming, beautifully landscaped “neighborhoods”, and humorous street signs. If you stop to have lunch at the Sassagoula Floatworks, be sure to have the chicken Caesar salad – my family really loves it, but if you are calorie conscious or just don’t like your salad drowned, be sure to ask for the dressing on the side.

IMG_0030-WDW-Sassagoula-Sunset-river-boat

I’ve stayed at the French Quarter a few times, and during one of those trips, one of my co-workers and his wife were also in Orlando, staying at the Old Key West resort. So one afternoon I set out on the river boats to go and visit them. As mentioned, there are several different routes; Old Key West and the French Quarter are not on the same route, so it’s necessary to change boats at Downtown Disney. The boat dock is right near the Rainforest Cafe, within sight of the Saratoga Springs resort across the lake. I didn’t have a long wait at all, and before I knew it, the Old Key West boat arrived to take me the rest of the way to my destination. It probably would have been faster to drive, but it would not have been nearly as pretty or relaxing!

IMG_0044-WDW-Port-Orleans-Riverside-Olivias-restaurant

The trip along the river is very pleasant and uneventful except for the occasional “water mouse” that speeds by. “Water mice” are little, two-person boats you can rent at Port Orleans Riverside, Downtown Disney and various other places throughout Walt Disney World. Once we docked at Old Key West, I walked a short way up to a bench outside the restaurant, called Olivia’s, to wait for my friends. As you can see, it was autumn when these photos were taken; Olivia’s is all decked out with cornstalks, hay stacks, and pumpkins. But the pastel pinks, greens, blues and yellows that cover the resort buildings are definitely designed to evoke the sub-tropical “old Florida” atmosphere of Key West.

I hope you enjoyed our trip up and down the Sassagoula River today. Remember, if you are ever in Orlando and looking to kill a few hours just relaxing, consider climbing aboard one of these charming boats and touring the resorts that are “just around the riverbend”.

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Mickey Welcomes You To Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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02-17-08_1021-Mickey-Flowers-MGM-DHS

Mickey Mouse greets guests from on high as they enter Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park (fka Disney-MGM Studios), while a nearby hanging basket of flowers adds a splash of color against the blue sky. Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. February 17th, 2008

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Critters on the Castle: The White Rabbit

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IMG_1032-Happiest-Celebration-banners-castle
In 2005, all Disney theme parks across the globe participated in “The Happiest Celebration On Earth” in honor of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the original Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California. At the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, Cinderella’s Castle was covered with golden effigies of beloved Disney characters – many of them critters! For the next few weeks, I’ll feature some of these each Saturday as my contribution to the Camera Critters photo meme.


The White Rabbit


IMG_0849-Magic-Kingdom-Castle-White-RabbitThe White Rabbit is a character from Disney’s 1951 animated feature Alice in Wonderland. Without the White Rabbit, Alice would never have ventured down the rabbit hole to have all those adventures in Wonderland.

The film was based upon Lewis Carroll’s novels, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.. Those who endeavor to analyze literature have always taken Alice’s tumble down the rabbit hole as a metaphoric representation of some sort of intellectual and/or emotional and/or spiritual awakening (they can’t seem to agree on this). That would make our White Rabbit the catalyst for such an awakening. He is, after all, a herald – note he’s got his trumpet, preparing to announce the arrival of the Queen of Hearts and her hapless King.

On the other hand, Jefferson Airplane saw the White Rabbit as a metaphor for a (possibly chemically induced) psychotic, mind-altering experience. Whereas Disney’s White Rabbit races by muttering, “I’m late, I’m late!”, Grace Slick’s version admonishes us to “Feed your head! Feed your head!”

Whichever the case – if you see the White Rabbit, remember that he is the proverbial rocker of worlds and hang on tight – your trip down the rabbit hole is likely to be a wild ride 😉

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Strolling into the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival

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http://MyMobileAdventures.com

IMG_0576-EPCOT-Flower-Garden-Festival-sign :) Here we are at the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival again. Can you tell that I’m starting to get excited for my upcoming trip to Orlando? 😉 Woops, I need to tell the story in haiku – here we go!

This sign speaks the truth –
Disney loves a festival
AND a celebration!

It’s so true – every year, they think up some reason or another to have a hullabaloo, so you’ll feel like you’re missing something if you don’t make the pilgrimage. Pretty clever marketing, huh?

IMG_0577-EPCOT-Classic-Characters-topiary
Look! the gang’s all here
Mickey, Minnie and the rest
greet us at the gate.


Spaceship Earth reflects
patterned slivers of blue skies;
geospheric orb

I love the way the facets of the geosphere capture little pieces of sky. It can be a harsh-looking structure when the sky is cloudy and gray, but blue really softens it as a backdrop for these classic Disney characters in topiary.

IMG_0588-EPCOT-Pluto-topiaryHere’s Pluto with the monorail track behind him and some more of that amazing blue Orlando sky. I want you to look REALLY closely at Pluto. What do you notice about him, hmmmm?

Isn’t Pluto cool? 8)
Guess what Pluto’s secret is?
(Look at his collar…)

So, did you see what I wanted you to see? Or maybe you didn’t… I will give you a hint as to what you are looking for. These photos are from the 2005 Flower and Garden Festival, which had a very specific theme. I’ll wait while you click that and look for the clue…. oh, good, you’re back. Are you tired of squinting? I’ll give you another hint – in fact, I will give you something to CLICK so you can see a close-up. Then, if you please, c’mon back here to the comments section, and tell me what you found!

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Looking At The Sky On Friday is hosted by Tisha
Haiku Friday is hosted by Christina
PhotoStory Friday is hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

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