Category Archives: Monday Meme Trifecta

My Mobile Adventures *~*~* – Top 20 Posts of 2009

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

Now that 2010 is almost upon us, it’s time to do a 2009 “Best Of” post. I get a kick out of “fun facts”, so this year I’m taking a statistical point of view. Let’s see what 2009 held!

My Mobile Adventures *~*~* Top 20 Posts of 2009

Posts are ranked according to how many visits they received during the 12-month period ranging from 12/29/2008 – 12/29/2009. Data gathered and presented by the WordPress Stats plugin.

  1. Lego Sculpture at Downtown Disney: The Dragon
  2. Colorful birds from Orlando, Florida
  3. Disney’s Ladies in RED
  4. My Top 5 FUNky Facts About Pelicans
  5. “The Rocks”, Sanibel Island
  6. More Disney Characters in RED
  7. 7 Things To Do In Walt Disney World On Halloween (except THAT!)
  8. “There once was a man from Nantucket…”
  9. Yet More Disney Characters Who Wear RED
  10. My “favorite” Disney red-head
  11. A Disney Dance of the Hours
  12. Of Mice and Mutts
  13. Lighthouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  14. The Empress Lilly, Downtown Disney
  15. Critters on the Castle: Kaa
  16. Sanibel Island beach birds
  17. Frog metamorphosis at Disney
  18. About
  19. Dancing mushrooms from Disney’s Fantasia
  20. Mickey Mouse Chillaxin’ In Paradise

IN WITH THE OLD

001-Meme-Related-Blog-Stats

Among my Top 20 Posts of 2009 are four posts which were originally published during 2008.

  • 100% of these posts contain Disney-related content
  • 50% of these posts were created for the Ruby Tuesday meme, and deal with the topic of Disney characters who wear the color red.
  • Dark horse: my “About” page somehow squeaked into the Top 20. Who knew, huh? 😉

SPEAKING OF MEMES…

002-Meme-Related-Blog-Stats-Pie-Chart

  • The Ruby Tuesday meme, created and managed by Mary The Teach, is responsible for prompting 35% of my Top 20 posts.  The runners up are:
    • Camera Critters (Saturdays, 23%)
    • The Wednesday Trifecta (22%)
    • – of the three memes in which I’ve participated in on Wednesdays, Site Meter indicates that it is Outdoor Wednesday, created and managed by Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer, that brings the most visitors.

    • The Monday Trifecta at 9%
    • – Well, it’s actually a bi-fecta now, one of the memes having fallen prey to blogger burnout. None of them stands out as bringing in more traffic than the others.

    THE MORAL OF THE STORY: since I’ve been cutting back on meme participation – it was starting to feel like a “gotta” instead of a “wanna” – I should probably concentrate on my Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday memes, if I want to maintain decent levels of traffic.

    SPEAKING OF SITE METER…

    Lots of interesting information about your audience and how they get to your blog each day can be had from Site Meter.

    • Even though I do get a lot of traffic from the photo meme sites themselves, the vast majority of my traffic comes from Google searches. The memes just seem to provide an excellent prompt for what people are searching for.
    • I seem to have hit the nail on the head with several of my post titles in the Top 20. There are many, MANY searches for phrases like “facts about pelicans” and “Disney red characters”.
    • I get a chuckle every time I see that someone has searched on “there once was a man from Nantucket…” 😉
    • Site Meter tells me that I get a lot more visits on the days I mobile blog than I do when I create meme-related posts that are not mobile blogged. This is especially true when I mobile blog from Disney. Visits on mobile blogging days tend to be from fewer unique visitors, yet those unique visitors show up multiple times throughout the day to check for updates. Each post has fewer visitors but collectively they add up for the day to be many more visits than on a regular blogging day.

    THE MORAL OF THE STORY: Services such as Site Meter can provide valuable insight into who your audience is, where they come from, why they’re visiting and why they return. Add to this a little intelligent SEO in post titles and repeat traffic ensues.

    EFFORT COUNTS… sort of!

    It was a difficult year in my day job. I was thrust into something completely new and different and it was a tough row to hoe, for a while there. As the year wore on, my job became more and more carnivorous, devouring my life.

    003-Top-20-Posts-By-Quarter-2009

    Here we can see that as the year wore on, less and less posts were making it into the Top 20 for the year. 40% of the Top 20 were posted in the first quarter of the year; 30% in the 2nd quarter and 10% in the 3rd quarter. The 4th quarter is not represented at all.There are a couple of reasons for this:

    • That’s the way it goes when you’re in corporate finance; the last quarter of the fiscal year is challenging and doesn’t leave much time or frankly energy for other endeavors.
    • But to be fair, the posts from the previous quarters and even the previous year have been hanging around longer and had a longer time to rack up search engine traffic.
    • Had I been able to put more effort into blogging as the year wore on – posting every day, visiting other blogs – I might have been able to do better, but realistically, this sort of measurement over a finite period of time renders more recent posts chronologically challenged.

    Now here’s something weird. Despite the traffic appearing to slow down, the number of subscribers I have has been steadily increasing all year. Take a look at these numbers from Feedburner

    004-Monthly-Subscriber-Volume-With-MoM-Variance

    Despite not having the personal bandwidth necessary to visit other bloggers as much as I’d like to, I was still able to do a few things to gain exposure:

    • TweetMeme – I put the retweet button on my posts, and occasionally, someone actually pushes it!
    • TwitterFeed – I signed up for this and now every post I make is automatically tweeted
    • PicATheme – “elite” group of photobloggers/meme participants who posted to a group blog (group has since folded). While I was contributing there, I noticed some visitors who followed my link from there
    • WaltDisneyBoards.com – my feed automatically posts there to my very own forum. I get exposure, the owner gets Disney-related content. The fact that it is a forum means I can have conversations with the folks there; a busy thread will draw more and more people in, to see what the buzz is about, and many of them end up clicking through to the blog. If you are a Disney fan, I strongly suggest you check the place out. You will find a nice bunch of folks there to chat with about your favorite obsession. 🙂
    • Facebook – My Mobile Adventures *~*~* launched a fan page at the beginning of August. At this time, I’m not auto-posting there but I want to do that in the future. So far, I have about 70 fans; I have to assume there is some cross-over from my subscriber base, but a lot of them are real life friends and relatives who were not really aware that I blogged until I created the fan page and sent them an invite. So I gained a few subscribers there as well.

    MORAL OF THE STORY: Distribute your feed and mention your URL via multiple means. It all adds up to more exposure, more requests for the feed – more subscribers!

    CONCLUSION

    These are very modest numbers I’ve been describing. Had I not a day job, I would have the time and the energy to devote to creating more valuable content and publicizing the blog more widely, including those all-important fellow blogger connections. However, modest or not, I think the numbers show that taking action makes a positive impact.

    • There are many venues in which to take such actions – Twitter, Facebook, forums are all good places to promote what you’ve got to offer.
    • Use metrics tools like Site Meter and a stats plugin to observe and measure – what’s working, what’s not working, what’s standing still. The numbers tell a story!
    • Use SEO techniques to attract search engine traffic – name your photos and construct your post titles with SEO in mind.

    Even a blog that is “just for fun” can enjoy some success and steady improvement when a few simple actions are taken. I’m looking forward to more of the same in 2010, and I’m also looking forward to hearing about YOUR blogging insights.

    Happy New Year!

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Kiddie cool-off fountain on the promenade, EPCOT

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

IMG_1707-WDW-EPCOT-promenade-fountainThis little fountain is located on the promenade between FutureWorld and the World Showcase in Walt Disney World’s EPCOT theme park. The colorful, swirly pattern painted on the concrete includes both blue and yellow. During a day of touring under the hot Florida sun, the refreshing fun that such cool-off spots provide is very much welcome. As the kids run through, the fountains start and stop; you never know when you’re going to get sprayed. In the background, you can see a couple of misters have been set up for the adults. As you stand there, a fine mist dampens your skin and your clothing, and the breeze comes along to cool you off. I have occasionally seen adults running through the fountains and kiddies getting misted. Nobody minds, they just want to cool off!

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A little bit of Provence in Walt Disney World

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

IMG_1733-WDW-EPCOT-France-Provencal-dry-goods🙂 There are two parts to to the EPCOT theme park in Walt Disney World. The front of the park is known as “Future World”; there’s lots of stuff there related to the sciences and new technological advances. The other part of EPCOT is known as the “World Showcase”. Pavilions are arranged around a lagoon. Visiting these pavilions is known as “doing the country walk. If you go left coming from Future World to walk around the lagoon, you will start with Mexico. But if you go right, you start with Canada, cruise through the United Kingdom, cross the International Gateway and then you are in France.

This is pretty much my favorite pavilion to visit on the country walk. Great food and wine can be had here, not to mention the almighty Grand Marnier slushie! Look, we’ve arrived at the little shop that sells wine by the glass or by the bottle, and also French cook books, kitchen utensils and dry goods. Let’s go inside!

IMG_1959-WDW-EPCOT-France-Provencal-dry-goodsPerhaps this is yet another reason why I like the French pavilion in EPCOT. Blue and yellow are my favorite color combination. Unfortunately, this stuff doesn’t really go with anything in my house. My yellows are more Tuscan, and my blues are more cobalt I do still love looking at these Provençal patterns. There is something about them that speaks of the aroma of fresh bread and the sound of the rooster crowing. Oh, and the entire shop smells like lavender! Can you imagine going to Provence and driving past those fields brimming with orderly rows of bushy, blooming lavendar – with the windows down? Heaven!

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Rockin’ at EPCOT’s Outpost

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

🙂 I took some photos at EPCOT recently that I thought would be great for Blue Monday and Mellow Yellow Monday. I thought I’d just tuck them away in the vault somewhere, hoping that an appropriate prompt for Manic Monday would someday be declared, and then I could use them for my Monday Meme Trifecta.

Well, I must have ESPN 😉 or clairvoyance or something. Either that, or I’m very, very lucky, for Mo declared that today’s prompt is “ROCK” – w00t!

About two weeks ago, I stood in the Outpost, a little African section of the World Showcase at EPCOT, browsing the hats and jewelry and carved objects, when my eyes fell on this bin of rocks and semi-precious stones.

06132009722-WDW-EPCOT-Outpost-rocks

So what, you say? Well, check out what was in upper-middle bin!

06132009721-WDW-EPCOT-Outpost-heart-shaped-stones

Three of ’em, cause it’s a TRIfecta, after all. 😉 Hearts mean love, so this is ME, sending lots of LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to all of YOU who read here. Now, run along with you all, have a FABULOUS Monday and don’t forget to pay the LOVE forward <3 <3 <3 Visit these wonderful Monday memes:

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Disney’s POP Century Resort

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

For the Monday Meme Trifecta this week, we start with the word “pop” as a prompt, and add a little yellow and a little blue. That’s how we play all three memes at the same time!

IMG_3165-WDW-Pop-Century-signHere’s the entrance to Disney’s POP Century resort in Orlando, Florida. This is one of Walt Disney World’s “value” resorts – the least expensive of the Disney resorts. The Pop Century resort is themed in sections that represent the decades of the 20th century. The entire resort is decorated in colorful representations of the popular culture of the times, represented in music, art, film and even the dominant news items of the times. I’ve stayed there twice – once in the 1950s section, and once in the 1970s section. These photos are from the 1970s visit.

IMG_3178-WDW-Pop-Century-room

Here’s a shot of one of the standard rooms at the Pop Century resort. As you can see, the decor is dominated by color, with blue and yellow both well represented in both the quilts on the beds as well as in the border up near the ceiling.

IMG_3170-WDW-Pop-Century-border

And look – there’s even a “Hidden Mickey” in the decorative border! 😉

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Sanibel sad lane sideview

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

05092009192-Sanibel-Sad-Lane-Sideview

🙂 BLUE sky? check
YELLOW line down the center of the road? check
SunSHINE on the water? check!

We have trifecta 🙂

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A colorful and spicy display at EPCOT

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

IMG_1171-WDW-EPCOT-flowers-butterfly-tent

🙂 A delicately blue sky and SPICY-scented yellow marigolds help to frame a scenic view of the butterfly tent at the 2009 Flower and Garden Festival. And there we have it – this week’s entry in the Monday Meme Trifecta!

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Walt Disney World Dolphin resort decor

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

NOTE AFTER POSTING:
After checking Manic Monday’s page, I have discovered that the prompt is NOT “UP”! I could have sworn I saw a tweet on Friday that said it was “UP”. It does actually say that –

“~ the theme word for 5/31 is up ~ http://bit.ly/Zr5XM Have a wonderful weekend!

Well, I never followed the link – I just read that “the word for 5/31 is up” and I assumed that the words was up! But I think Mo might have meant that it was posted and I should have followed the link to see that the word is actually “memorial”.

Anyhow, I guess I don’t have the trifecta this week after all, because I have the wrong word. And I was SO excited to use my yellow and blue elevator-that-goes-UP stuff. Well you know what, I’m just going to let it ride. And next time, I’ll follow the link!

ORIGINAL POST:

I’m back! After a few week’s worth of hiatus, I have returned to participate in the “Monday Meme Trifecta. Manic Monday tells us the prompt is “UP”. As always, the prompts for Blue Monday and Mellow Yellow Monday are blue and yellow, respectively. Have I got blue and yellow to show you!

This is the lobby of the Walt Disney World Dolphin resort, where I stayed the week before last. I have stayed here zillions of time and did not really notice the decor in the elevator banks until this trip. The tile, the art work and walls are all sprinkled with a healthy dose of blue and yellow.

IMG_1246-WDW-Dolphin-art-elevator

The lobby at the Walt Disney World Dolphin resort in Orlando, Florida is actually a rotunda, lined on the outside with shops, exits, the front desk and concierge, the escalators down to the restaurants and pool, and three elevator banks – East, West and Central. I found this blue and yellow painting hanging at the entrance to the East elevators.

IMG_1248-WDW-Dolphin-elevator-tile

Here’s a close-up sample of the floor tiles and the walls. Love that “mojave” colored tile – makes the blue ones “pop” (don’t I sound like I watch HGTV? 😉 ). Also love the trim detail on the walls that separates the blue from the yellow.

IMG_1251-WDW-Dolphin-art-inside-elevator

See, even the elevator is decorated inside with blue and yellow! And of course, and elevator goes UP, so we’ve got the Trifecta once again (deafening roar of approval from the crowd 😉 )

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Florida rainbows and pines

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

IMG_2356-Backyard-double-rainbow 😯 Whew! I nearly didn’t post for the Monday Meme Trifecta because I was having trouble fitting it all together. We need yellow, we need blue, and according to the Manic Meme, we need “pines”. It’s tough to find yellow and blue things amongst the pines, you know? But finally – and once again – my very own backyard came riding to the rescue. Some yellow houses. Some blue sky. Not to mention, there’s yellow and blue in the rainbow. And if you look closely, you will see that there’s actually a DOUBLE rainbow. Now where the heck are those pines? Well, you see those dark shapes behind he houses? Yup, pines! Yay! The Monday Meme Trifecta has been saved 😉

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Fun, fun, fun at the Flower and Garden Festival

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

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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The trouble with Tinker Bell

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

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! 🙄 ) 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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Sanibel Island’s Over Easy Cafe

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

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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Cruising the Sassagoula River

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

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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Colorful birds from Orlando, Florida

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com

Probably what makes my Monday Meme Trifecta so much fun is that I never know until the Friday before what sort of prompt Mo is going to serve up for Manic Monday. It’s fun and easy to come up with something for Blue Monday and for Mellow Yellow Monday, but to make it fit with the “Mo factor”, well that takes some strategic maneuvering! 😉

Mo has prompted us with “birds” this week, so without further ado, I bring you two specimens – you guessed it, one blue and one yellow – from Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

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I found this little guy in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In the spring of 2004, I was walking the paths in the Pangani Forest and some splashing to the left startled me. There he was, splish-spalsh, takin’ a bath 🙂 I think I’ve blogged this photo before, or one close to it, but no matter – he’s a cute little guy, and I’m happy to have him on the front page again.

IMG_0417-Little-Blue-Heron

Fast forward to October of 2004. The sun was going down, and it was a bit overcast, too. I was walking that promenade between the fountain and the World Showcase Plaza at EPCOT, and stopped to check out the turtle action in the lagoon. After watching them a while, I looked up and saw an egret hanging out with some moorhens, and then a little further off, this beautiful little blue heron. He stood still just long enough for me to get this one shot, and then he took off into the gathering dusk.

There’s more where that came from – check out My Bird Stuff Store *~*~* for some Disney-related bird stuff!

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Florida’s Aquatic Preserves

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IMG_0258-SW-Florida-aquatic preservesAnother week, another edition of my Monday Meme Trifecta, where I compose a post that’s appropriate for Manic Monday, Blue Monday and Mellow Yellow Monday. Today we’re going to talk about aquatic preserves, specifically the ones that are located off the Florida Gulf coast in Charlotte and Lee counties. I found this sign posted at the boat ramp on the east end of Sanibel Island – when you come across the causeway and finally make land on Sanibel itself, you’ll see the parking lot for the boat ramp immediately to the left. I snapped the photo to remind myself to do some research about the aquatic preserves pictured, and find out exactly what an “aquatic preserve” is.

Aquatic preserves can be composed of a variety of community or habitat types. The yellow parts on the map are dry land, the edges of which border mangrove forests, seagrass flats and salt marshes, all of which are wet. The green parts are where the seagrass communities are located. These areas make a fine hatchery and nursery for a wide variety of aquatic life. The aqua-colored parts of the map define the extent and boundaries of each preserve.

One of the more interesting things I discovered about the aquatic preserves is that they often encompass sites of historical interest, specifically encampments and settlements of both Native Americans and European explorers and settlers. Quite a few of these are represented by shell mounds, the purposes of which are not clearly understood; perhaps they really are just kitchen middens/refuse piles, or perhaps there was some ritual reason for building them. Due to rising sea levels, many of these sites are now completely submerged under water – talk about wet!

Click here for MORE about Florida’s aquatic preserves

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Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade – Blue and Yellow Edition

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IMG01413-Mickeys-Jammin-bannerHey there, hi there, ho there! Ready to start another week? ME NEITHER! But Monday always comes whether we want it to or not, and with it comes my own personal challenge in the form of the Monday Meme Trifecta. I use the prompt for the Manic Monday meme (this week, it’s “party”) and the missions of Blue Monday and Mellow Yellow Monday and try to make ONE post that fits all three. This week, we’re going to do that by watching Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade go by, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This parade is full of energetic music and fun Disney characters – a true PARTY in the streets. Ready? Here we go!

IMG01399-DAK-parade-crocodile
A blue crocodile cruises by…

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A guy rides along on a blue and yellow woven camel, providing some back-beat for the festivities

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Here’s another drum dude, this time riding on a blue and yellow elephant – all of this percussion guarantees that this PARTY‘s jumpin’!

Blue and yellow aren’t the only colors in this parade. Tomorrow, the parade continues; guess what color will be featured? 😉

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Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter

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IMG_0935-Port-Orleans-French-Quarter-RoomThat’s right folks – I’m going for it again! It’s the “Monday Meme Trifecta” – Manic Monday, Mellow Yellow Monday and Blue Monday.

Isn’t this a nice room? This is a typical room at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter resort in Orlando, Florida, and there’s an awful lot of blue and yellow going on. The walls of the main room are a pale blue with a blue border around the top, while the walls of the dressing area are pale yellow. The artwork on the wall has shades of blue and yellow, too.

IMG_0937-Port-Orleans-French-Quarter-RoomIn the previous photo, you’ll notice that the curtain for the dressing area is a golden yellow. In this photo, we can see that the drapes at the front window of the room are a brilliant blue. There are two queen-sized beds in the room (you Manic people thought I was going to say FULL-sized, didn’t you? 😉 Fooled ya!). They are covered with quilts that have scenes from Mardi Gras on them. Each quilt has a pale yellow field upon which the scenes are set, and there’s a lot of blue going on as well. But wait, what’s this I see?

IMG_0050-Port-Orleans-French-Quarter-bedspreadThe quilts are actually FULL of Hidden Mickeys! This is just one instance, where you can see that one of the Mardi Gras beads is shaped like a Mickey head (in case you could not find it for yourself, I’ve inserted a handy arrow pointing to it). As I recall, there were depictions of balloons and I think even lamp posts in the shape of Mickey heads, too.

Well, it looks like I’ve done it again – got the blue, got the yellow, got something FULL. I wonder how long before I run out of blue and yellow pics that match the Manic prompt? Stay tuned to find out on the next chapter of the Monday Meme Trifecta! 😀

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Mickey Mouse Chillaxin’ In Paradise

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Mickey Mouse Chillaxin'Third week in a row, and once again I’m going for the “Monday Meme Trifecta” – Manic Monday, Mellow Yellow Monday and Blue Monday.

Here we have Mickey Mouse, that most beloved of all Disney characters, lounging around in a hammock, diggin’ the sunshine. He’s wearing blue swim shorts, and surrounded by soft yellows that were used to depict the sand. This is actually a beach towel that I found in a shop in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World last October.

The scene reminds me of an idea I’ve been waffling about for a few weeks. Before I lived in Florida, I used to take my “ahhhh!” vacation each year on Sanibel Island. I would do nothing all day but eat, sleep, read, and go looking for shells on the beach. The world of work and other worries was left behind.

But ever since I’ve moved here, although I spend lots of time on Sanibel, I don’t get to have my week of unplugging any more. So, I’ve been thinking of booking myself a vacation… on Sanibel Island! Yes, 30 minutes from my house. Is that weird? Is it silly? It would not be the same if I took a week off and drove out to the beach each day. There’s something about being on the island for a week – it’s an insular experience, similar to going when you enter the gates of the 42 square miles in Orlando that makes up Walt Disney World, and don’t leave until a week later. Also, there’s something very appealing about being able to roll out of bed, walk out the door and set foot on the beach, all in less than a minute.

So, what’s YOUR opinion – should I do it? Should I book myself into a condo or hotel on Sanibel Island for a week? Please leave a comment with your thoughts!

click picture to see larger version in Flickr

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Fire, yellow, blue, MAGIC! on Disney’s Yacht Club beach

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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For the second week in a row, I take it as a personal challenge to use photos from Disney that meet the requirements for all three of these Monday photo memes – Manic Monday, Mellow Yellow Monday and Blue Monday.

IMG_6726_crop-Disney-Yacht-Club-beach-yellow-moonLast October, I attended a geek conference at the Walt Disney World Dolphin hotel. I stayed next door at Disney’s Yacht Club resort. Conference weeks are totally exhausting. You arrive full of vim and vigor on Saturday and go to the parks. Sunday you ease into the conference thing by attending your first session at 11:00 am – the “soft opening” of the conference, if you will. When you’re done, you go to EPCOT to get some dinner at the Food and Wine Festival and stay late, eating and drinking – and blogging! You wander back to the hotel after the park closes and in the morning, the fun begins in earnest.

Monday morning comes and *BAM* – 7:00 am breakfast tent/industry networking opportunity, then the keynote address, followed by an insane mixture of sessions, seminars, logging into work to check email, picking up voice mail, returning calls, averting crises, rinse and repeat. At the end of the day, you might go down to the Expo floor and see what goodies the vendors are giving away (the conference hosts themselves had uncommonly decent ballpoint pens last year!). And then you head off to EPCOT again, because you are in Disney World, and it’s just a short walk away, and your Florida resident annual pass is burning a hole in your pocket, and food and wine as yet unknown are calling AND the park is open until 9:00 PM.

IMG_6727_crop-Disney-Yacht-Club-beach-fireworks-blue-moonAlong about Wednesday, I was starting to get tired, and actually left the park before Illuminations even began. As I ambled up to the Yacht Club, I realized it was movie night! There was a screen set up with parents and kids snuggled down on loungers watching Cars. I dallied to watch a scene or two and suddenly there were popping sounds and people running out to the beach to see. I turned around and there was the moon, high over the Beach Club resort, with the colorful fireworks from Illuminations visible above the rooftops.

So, there we have it – fire, yellow, blue, MAGIC! 🙂

click pictures to see larger versions in Flickr

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EPCOT at Walt Disney World – blue, yellow, CANDY!

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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click picture to see larger version in Flickr

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05-24-08_1639-EPCOT-Pocky-candy“Candygram… Landshark!” OK, who besides me is old enough to remember where that line came from? 😀 No googling now, that’s cheating!

My oldest niece LOVES Pocky. Last May I picked some up in the Japan pavilion at EPCOT and mailed it to her. I guess you could say I sent her a candygram. Unfortunately, it melted in the heat, but she says it was still edible! Don’t tell her but I think it might have been melted BEFORE I mailed it and not enroute. I did make a stop at Downtown Disney on the way home, with the candy in my luggage, and it was pretty hot that day…. Since then, she has discovered a local place where she can buy Pocky unmelted. I bet she’s relieved!

IMG_7147-EPCOT-Universe-of-Energy-geosphereUniverse of Energy Ellen Degeneres stars in this attraction, along with Bill Nye The Science Guy. It’s an informative show, and I like the message about different ways to produce energy besides fossil fuels.

It’s my big ambition in life to get this same shot, only with the monorail going by. And everything is in focus. Well a girl with no schooling or skill in photography can dream, can’t she? I love the cobalt blue of the Universe of Energy icon contrasting with the yellow of the flowers. Blue and yellow together have to be one of the world’s best color combinations.

IMG01482-EPCOT-festival-center-trash-can-artBut ma, I swear, it SPOKE to me! This festive-looking trash receptacle is primarily a teal blue and a golden yellow. It was found in the 2008 Food and Wine Festival center, which was located in the former Wonders of Life building.  It’s fun, but at the same time a shock, to walk into an attraction that used to be all about little kids, and find it filled with racks and racks of international wines!

Some of the trash cans at Walt Disney World talk – this isn’t one of them, but there IS one in EPCOT. Can you name the places in Walt Disney World where you can find a talking trash can?

IMG_7130-EPCOT-Wonderland-geosphere-fountain-show2008 Food and Wine Festival Disney went for an Alice In Wonderland tea party theme for last year’s Food and Wine Festival. It was lame. I’m not saying Alice In Wonderland is lame; the execution of the theme for the festival was lame. It was so painfully obvious that Disney did it on the cheap. Totally not up to their standards, IMO.

I waited for this shot and I’m happy with it. The fountain show was going on and I caught the spray in front of the geosphere/Spaceship Earth, with the scene from Alice In Wonderland in the foreground.

THIS HAS BEEN:

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