ABOVE: It only LOOKS like a pineapple – these guys are making tequila! This is part of a mural that covers the wall in La Cava Del Tequila, the relatively new tequila bar inside the Mexico pavilion.
ABOVE: This lizard carving is a sample of folk art from Oaxaca (wah-HAH-ka), Mexico. I thought he was cute, but if he was real and on my lanai – not so much!
ABOVE: The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that occurs right after Halloween. This festival dates back to Aztec times (only back then, it was a month long!). People remember and honor their ancestors on this day, sometimes dressing up as a skeleton in clothing. They even visit the graves and make a picnic of the deceased’s favorite foods!
After I’m gone, please bring chocolate 😉
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This was the first find I made on the slope I named "Whelk City" between Access 4 and Access 5 on Sanibel. Now, don’t everyone go running there – first of all, I got ’em all 😉 Second, it’s a different beach every day. Who knows where today’s best finds will be?
Some of the shells I found during the full moon are "stinkers". They were found in what we called "the death pool", which stank to high heaven.
Stinkers are often beautiful, perfect specimens (well, so would you be, if you died very young and very recently), but they are high maintenance. Probably, what makes them stink is that there is a little piece of the dead occupant still caught up there in the inner chambers of the shell.
Mine will stay in a bucket of 50/50 solution of bleach and water until I feel like trying again to get ’em all empty and clean.
There are some wonderful flowering trees that bloom in the spring, just in time for Disney’s annual International Flower & Garden Festival at EPCOT. They bloom at varying times during the spring season. Here’s a sample from the front entrance of the park.
In May, you can see the jacaranda trees in bloom. Planted in clusters near the geosphere, their misty lilac color melts into the steely gray of Spaceship Earth. They smell heavenly The bees like them even more than I do, so there’s an opportunity to observe them in the act of collecting pollen.
Here’s a closer view of the jacaranda blooms with the geosphere and the sky as a backdrop.
Just one month later in June, the jacaranda have already stopped blooming – but the crepe myrtles are now in full force. These vines have been expertly woven over time into beautifully shaped trees. These bright pink ones stand in stately rows alongside the Leave A Legacy monuments near the geosphere. I’ve seen white ones scattered throughout the park too, most notably by the French pavilion.
A closer view of the crepe myrtle blooms against Spaceship Earth.
Subtitled – What To Do When Your Morning Is A Bust!
I decided that I would do my daily walk/run in Centennial Park this morning. The river would serve as a refreshing change of scenery for me. Since the City of Fort Myers Utilities office is on the way, I thought I’d make a pitstop there and pay my (unbelieveably outlandish for one person) water bill.
Well, it’s Martin Luther King Day and the Utilities office is closed. Ok, on to the park.
Well, it’s Martin Luther King day, and there’s a parade blocking the route.
Ok – weaving in and out the streets of unfamiliar territory, I spotted this place – a butterfly conservatory, gift shop and cafe live here. Thought I’d get some coffee and wait out the parade so I could continue on to the park.
I now have coffee and it’s starting to rain. Guess I’ll just tour the conservatory/greenhouse, go back home and fire up the treadmill. I will send some pics if I see anything fun or interesting, but honestly, butterflies are notorious for not staying still for very long…
As for the water bill and the park – there’s always tomorrow!
More Disney Valentine cards have been discovered at the local supermarket. First up – Phineas & Ferb!
I have to admit that I know next to nothing about Phineas and Ferb. My friend Mo, who has three small-ish children, loves them – so I guess that’s a testament to their loving-ness. However, this card makes it appear as though nothing says “love” like wielding a few power tools. I do hope there aren’t any nefarious intentions involved here, but judging by how they are eyeballing one another…
Ah we’re back to Mickey. As you were made aware last week, Mickey Mouse loves you! Now we’ve discovered that he’s got something special planned for us. Isn’t he swell? I truly cannot imagine what this special surprise is, mostly because I neglected to open the card and find out – d’oh! 😀
This one always cracks me up. Not only that, but I see something like this and immediately question WHY I can only go one way. I don’t see anything dangerous. What’s over there that they don’t want me to see?
(I am at the Six Mile Cypress Slough this morning)
Disney characters are always shape-shifting and morphing into and out of the human form. Take Prince Naveen, for instance. He’s a frog trying to get back into his prince’s body by kissing a girl, but ends up turning her into a frog, too. They have a terrible time trying to get back to their old selves. Then there’s Prince Adam, aka “The Beast” – he angered a beggar woman who was really a witch and she turned him into the beast he behaved like. Only true love would transform him back. And we cannot forget Pinocchio – poor kid, all he wanted was to be a “real boy”, and for a time it seemed like he’d have to settle for merely having no strings.
One of the best transformation-to-human-form stories in the Disney repertoire is that of Ariel, The Little Mermaid. There she is, minding her own business, and along comes a handsome prince to tempt her into wanting to be someone other than who and what she is. She wants FEET, she wants LEGS – and she trades her beautiful, precious voice to get them, just so that she can get to HIM. It’s kind of disappointing, in this day and age, to be faced with a beautiful, animated story filled with great tunes – and a princess who is SO willing to physically alter herself in order to get her man.
And so it was with a bit of trepidation that I purchased tickets for myself and my passel of nieces to see Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” on Broadway during the Christmas season in 2007. They adored the Disney film, especially the oldest, who’d had an Ariel fish tank when she was a toddler. It seemed like something that would please them all, so I took the plunge and ordered the tickets. Soon the day was approaching and I flew to NY for Christmas.
We had a nice day; we took the train from Long Island to Penn Station, walked up 7th Avenue, had lunch at Ruby Tuesday and then proceeded to the theater for our matinee performance. I was delighted with the additional songs, and the voices – especially that of Ariel’s wicked aunt Ursula, played by Sherie Rene Scott. But despite the added material, the story progressed much the same as it does in the film, with Ariel committing the Faustian equivalent of selling her soul for love by trading away her one true gift to the sea witch in exchange for a more human form.
During the last five minutes of the show, something remarkable happens. Disney diverges significantly from their original “Little Mermaid” film, delivering a happy ending that even a middle-aged feminist can get behind. In the film, Prince Eric destroys the enemy by running Ursula through with the prow of his ship. But in the Broadway show, Ariel saves herself. She finally gets angry enough at being manipulated, tricked and used by her aunt and decides to stand up for herself and her hapless father. This is no ordinary princess, waiting for the prince or Daddy or whomever to come to her aid. Back against the wall, she uses her brains, seizes control and destroys the enemy, saving EVERYONE, including her prince, her father, the kingdom – and herself.
Broadway Ariel rocks. I was glad I took the girls to see her
All around the Tree Of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are paths you can wander from which you can view animals in their habitats as well as trees, flowers and the local wildlife that has been attracted to this lovely park. A key ingredient to that attraction is the abundance of water. It flows, it pools and it falls, over, through and between all manner of things built into the landscape. The whoosh of water is an ever-present lullaby in the background of this lush, jungle-like world. Let’s take a walk through it right now!
We’re inside a cave, with the water falling outside
The waterfall creates a constant, fine mist, which keeps things moist and encourages moss to grow.
Ooops, I think we’ve walked in on this giraffe taking a shower! 😉
It’s that time of year again; the greeting card section at the supermarket is awash in red and pink hearts. Here’s our favorite boyfriend, Mickey Mouse, marching off to deliver a very important message. There are others – the Princesses, Tinkerbell, the Toy Story gang and one card that plays the “new” Mickey Mouse Club theme (what was wrong with the old one? That’s what *I* wanna know!).
Someone’s digging in their garden and found this shell a couple of feet down. Who knows how it got there? Most of the other shells found here have been tiny. This one is a honkin’ five inches! Maybe it’s part of some "fill" that might have been dumped here. Or maybe it’s left from a time when Florida wasn’t Florida yet but just another shallow part of the place where the Atlantic, the Carribbean and the Gulf meet…