Category Archives: Ruby Tuesday

[VIDEO] Look, up in that tree – it’s “Woody”!

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Pileated Woodpecker at Six Mile Cypress SloughWeek before last, I took a stroll deep into the swamp – the Six Mile Cypress Slough here in Fort Myers – and I heard a familiar sound. After looking around for a bit, I found him. He’s a pileated “Woody” woodpecker, with a ruby red crest on his head. Isn’t he beautiful? What a treat! Actually, I did even better than this – I got about a 10 second video of him before he moved around to the other side of the tree and out of sight. Sorry it isn’t longer, but that’s wildlife for ya – always doing just as they please, leaving us photographers fumbling to get something decent. I hope I see him again sometime when I go back. Enjoy!

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Random Scenes from EPCOT’s Mexico

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Just a random collection of photographs today, taken in EPCOT’s Mexico pavilion. Mexico has long been a favorite of mine, ever since I discovered the frozen mango margaritas there! But there are other things that make Mexico special, too. Here are just a few:

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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.

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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!

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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 πŸ˜‰

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More Valentine Fun

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More Disney Valentine cards have been discovered at the local supermarket. First up – Phineas & Ferb!

Valentine Fun With 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…

Something Special from Mickey


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! πŸ˜€



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Mickey Mouse Loves You

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Mickey Loves You


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!).

Sent from my Nokia N97

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVDs from Amazon:


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SNOW! In Southwest Florida???

This was stuck in the "OUT" box of my phone. It’s a decal stuck to the window of my local Starbucks. I thought it looked cool with the low-slung clouds as a backdrop.

Sent from my Nokia N97

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The Ho-Ho-Holidays Are Coming!

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Mickey Monitor πŸ™‚ The winter edition of the Mickey Monitor has arrived and I just can’t believe it’s the end of November already! The holidays are fast upon us now. Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and before you know it, Christmas will be here.

I have ONE more fling at Walt Disney World planned before my Annual Pass expires. I’ll be meeting some special folks from out of town in early December and we’re looking forward to just hanging out, taking in the sights, sharing a cup or three of mulled wine and getting a case of the Ho-Ho-Hos in the Happiest Place On Earth. Stay tuned, because you know I’ll be mobile blogging the trip (and, I might add, I have an annual pass to the Universal parks now, too – double the fun!)

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Quirky Queen Sure Is Mean

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030720102668-WDW-EPCOT-Red-QueenJohnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter have worked together on some strange films – Sweeney Todd, The Corpse Bride and recently, Disney’s update to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Alice in Wonderland. It’s not surprising that they’ve frequently worked together. Just as Johnny Depp has been making his career out of playing idiosyncratic characters, Helena Bonham Carter seems to be making a career out of playing mean girls. Her ongoing turn as Bellatrix LeStrange in the Harry Potter series seems destined to cement her image in our minds as a wild-eyed (not to mention the hair!) hellion bent on evil and destruction.

030720102670-WDW-EPCOT-Alice-toteI’m looking forward to seeing her reprise the role when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 hits the theaters next week. Here she is pictured as the Red Queen on a few pieces of merchandise found at MouseGear in Walt Disney World’s EPCOT theme park. I like the trick of the red heart superimposed over her lips. The heart makes it appear as though she is pursing, but if you look closely at the line of her lips, they are in repose and not pursed at all. Neat trick!


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Scenes From Islands Of Adventure

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IMG_3947-Universal-IOA-Lucky-MonkeyπŸ™‚ As mentioned last week, I’ll be heading off to Orlando (very SOON!). After a two year hiatus, I am very much looking forward to visiting the Universal parks once more, particularly Islands of Adventure, where the new Harry Potter-themed land has been open for several months now.

This photo of the sign for the “Lucky Monkey” shop was taken close to the entrance of the Universal Islands of Adventure theme park. I always thought the monkey on this shop sign was very cute, and I wished he was for sale. I think I want him! Maybe I could reconstruct him out of Tinker Toys or something like that – what do you think? I think he’d make a fine addition to my toy basket πŸ˜‰

Here are a few more scenes from Universal Islands of Adventure that I think you’ll enjoy –

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I believe the other side of this sign says “East Of The Sun” but I don’t seem to have photographed it so I’m just working from memory here. I do know that the part in the middle spins around and on the other side I suspect there’s a moon.


IMG_3995-Universal-IOA-Enchanted-Oak


I remember taking this picture and having what I now realize was a premonition. I had the sense that I was preserving it in case it was ever destroyed. This was the ceiling of The Enchanted Oak, a counter service restaurant that has been torn down to make way for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The Enchanted Oak had THE BEST BBQ RIBS EVAH. It was in the shape of a hollowed-out oak tree, and the center trunk was open to the “sky”. So the stained glass window in the ceiling was “the sky” and it was beautiful to look at, especially when the sun hit it just so. I’m glad I got a shot of it before it was removed!

OK, well that’s it – the next time you see a picture of the Universal parks here on this blog should be sometime late next week – I will be mobile photo blogging LIVE from Walt Disney World and Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure starting Saturday October 23rd. So, stay tuned! πŸ™‚

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You are now entering Universal Islands of Adventure

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IMG_3913-Universal-Studios-globeA trek to Orlando is in my near future, and for the first time since 2007, the plan is to visit the Universal parks for a few days while I’m there. A passel of old pals from The Loverly Isle of Long (New York) will be coming down to take in the sights at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and I can’t wait to see them and experience the new adventure with them! So, to honor the upcoming reunion at Universal and my excited anticipation of finally visiting Harry Potter, here are a few shots from 2007, just in time for Ruby Tuesday

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Guest Services at Universal IOA, disguised as a Mediterranean-style hotel


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“Mama” welcomes us to The Open Arms Hotel with – you guessed it! – open arms πŸ˜‰


IMG_3952-Universal-IOA-Croissant-Moon


OK, I’m ready for a little breakfast – let’s go to The Croissant Moon! More next week….


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Vacation Shopping For Inspiration

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There are many benefits to shopping, especially while on vacation. In addition to flooding the brain with pleasurable endorphins (like chocolate), shopping can deliver some important inspirational messages. Next time you are in Walt Disney World, why not shop for inspiration? There are a variety of uplifting messages to be had in the T-shirt section of MouseGear alone!

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Inspirational Message: BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!

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Inspirational Message: HELP OTHERS!

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Inspirational Message: IT ALL STARTED WITH A MOUSE!

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Vacation Shopping Teaches Important Lessons

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030720102666-WDW-EPCOT-why-grow-up-tshirt


Walt Disney was a smart dude. He questioned the conventional. There is proof of this at MouseGear, a shop in Walt Disney World’s EPCOT. Just go through a rack of t-shirts there and you will probably find this one. Here, on this shirt, Walt asks perhaps the most important question he ever came up with – “WHY do we have to grow up?” Why, indeed? I’ve often wrestled with that one myself!


Well, the truth is, my friends – and I suspect Walt knew this – we do NOT, in fact, have to grow up. Evah! Wanna know how I know? I found evidence! Yes, irrefutable evidence, right in the same store. Check it out –

030720102672-WDW-EPCOT-Mickey-Mouse-ears


Now, I ask you – if growing up was an absolute requirement, would they make Mouse ears in adult sizes? I think not! See?

I therefore refuse to grow up.


Who’s with me?



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Waiting For The Kilimanjaro Safari

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IMG_3021 Disney prides itself on attention to detail and authenticity. Each attraction in a Disney park is themed to evoke a place, an era, a culture that is unique and instantly recognizable.

Here are some shots taken in the queue for the Kilimanjaro Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando. The real Kilimanjaro is a mountain in a national park in Tanzania, just over the border from Kenya. The Serengeti is close by.

Yep, I’d say Disney did a good job with the authenticity – it’s definitely Africa hot in Orlando much of the year, especially in the summer! Make sure you’ve got something cool to drink while waiting in the queue.

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(s)Wanderin’ around the Oasis

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IMG_3004-WDW-DAK-black-necked-swan

The black-necked swan hails from South America and is considered the prettiest of all the varieties of swans in the world.


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A diverting destination at Innoventions West

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030720102600-WDW-EPCOT-Character-SptoπŸ™‚ I love this sign because it is so colorful and because it has a “hidden” Mickey. The EPCOT Character spot is located just across the breezeway from Innoventions West in Walt Disney World’s EPCOT theme park. You’ll be able to find all the most beloved classic Disney characters there – Mickey and Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and Chip ‘n’ Dale are all waiting to meet you! So, when you get to EPCOT, hang a right when you get to the fountain that dances to fabulous music and you’re there. Everybody neat and pretty? Don’t forget your autograph book!

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Just drawn that way

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121220091736-WDW-Boardwalk-Jessica-Rabbit

“I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way”

Jessica Rabbit – the “forgotten” Disney character in red!

Window display at The Screen Door, Disney’s Boardwalk


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The Sea Star Cafe at the Sanibel Inn

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IMG_4005-Sanibel-Sea-Star-CafeπŸ™‚ I went to dinner with some friends on Saturday night – they gave me the choice of venue, so I selected the newly-opened Sea Star Cafe on Sanibel Island. It’s located where Ellington’s used to be, at the Sanibel Inn. When we first arrived, it was after 6:00 PM and there weren’t any other cars in the parking lot. We thought perhaps it was an indicator that the restaurant was not being kindly received, but later on, our waitress reminded us that it’s off season and what few tourists do make it to the island in the summer want to be on the beach as long as there’s daylight. Sunset doesn’t really occur until after 8:00 PM – and the sunsets are amazing down here in the summer time, so I don’t blame those tourists one bit for delaying the dinner hour! There’s a sample menu posted here, but it doesn’t show the wine list or mixed drinks. If memory serves, I ordered a Sanibel Iced Tea, pictured at left, but I don’t remember what was in it – clearly, something that makes it look like a sunset! It was cold and fruity and delicious.

IMG_4006-Sanibel-Sea-Star-Cafe

ATMOSPHERE
I like the ambiance of the restaurant – exposed beams in a rotunda, lots of clean wood surfaces and just an airy feel to the place. The booths are very roomy too, but ours looked out over the garbage dumpster in the parking lot. Get one toward the back of the restaurant along the road if you want a better view.

IMG_4007-Sanibel-Sea-Star-Cafe

APPETIZER
I started my meal with the house salad and citrus vinaigrette on the side. The salad was fresh, the dressing was a little on the peppery side but overall good, and the bowl was a fail. You cannot tell from the photo, but the square salad bowl is sort of a wedge shape, with the bottom of the bowl being MUCH narrower than the opening at the top. Consequently, when you stab into your salad with your fork, lettuce and stuff erupts onto the table. Maybe if they filled the bowl a little less…??? Honestly, if I were the manager of the restaurant, I’d just ditch these bowls and get something a bit less adventurous.

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ENTREES aka THE GREAT LOBSTER TAIL FAIL
Gary and I both ordered the grilled lobster tail. You will notice it was sliced in half lengthwise. This probably worked well in getting a lot of contact with the grill, but it was a fail logistically in terms of trying to pry the meat out of the shell. At some point, you have to pick the meat out with your fingers or just miss out on half your lobster tail. And honestly, if I’d wanted to pick at something with my fingers, I would have ordered an entire lobster or a crab or something. The whole point of ordering just the tail is that you can eat it with your fork and keep your hands clean. We didn’t have extra napkins or wet naps on the table, so things got messy fast. I also have to mention that the lobster tasted like steak. Oh I liked it, but it suggests that fish and meat are cooked on the same grill here. If you are allergic to seafood, then you should probably specifically mention that to the staff here so they will cook your steak separately.

IMG_4011-Sanibel-Sea-Star-Cafe

Tootie ordered the shrimp basket and was overall pleased, I believe. I haven’t been over to her blog yet to see! I sampled one of her shrimp – it was a huge portion and they were pretty big shrimp, too. I love how the tail comes RIGHT off when you pull – A+ for that! Tootie said her fries were really good, too.

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DESSERT and SERVICE
No, there’s nothing floating in my coffee – it’s the reflection from the overhead light fixture. But it does look like I’ve got “clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee”, doesn’t it? πŸ˜‰ We did receive a fair amount of attention from the staff – probably there were two reasons for this. One, there weren’t a lot of people there so their attention was not divided much. Two, when patrons whip out cameras and start taking pictures of the food, chances are pretty good a review is on the horizon πŸ˜‰ Well, maybe they didn’t notice the photo-taking, not sure. We did let the manager know about the lobster tail fail and made him pinky-swear that he would never let the chef do that again! For our trouble, we received these humongous double portions of dessert! I had to ask for a box to take half of it home (which I demolished last night after dinner – the cheesecake is totally wicked good!).

OVERALL IMPRESSION
I really did like the atmosphere and the friendliness of the staff at the Sea Star Cafe. I would like to come back at some point in the future and see how they are maturing. Also noted – there’s a bar, and the place is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, which means this is a potential new stop on the Sunday Sanibel Bar Crawl. Well, we’ll see if we can get Gary to go back… πŸ˜‰

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5 Ways Disney has defiled Tinkerbell

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05112010534πŸ‘Ώ I am pretty much a Tinkerbell purist. With the exception of my “Mornings aren’t magical” coffee mug, I am generally a devotee of the original shot-glass sized Tink from the original 1953 classic film Peter Pan. Whenever I’ve purchased Tinkabilia, which has been frequent as you can imagine, I’ve stuck with classic Tink, whose magical mystique is unbesmirched by corporate greed and the march of time.

Well, I guess Disney has decided that they haven’t heaped enough indignities upon my beloved favorite Disney character.Β  Thus far, their list of crimes against her is as follows:

5 Ways Disney has defiled Tinkerbell
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  1. They re-drew her. CGI – ’nuff said.
  2. They’ve converted her into a maintenance woman. Disney has insisted that the “Tinker” in Tinkerbell means “one who fixes things”.Β  Please.Β  Everyone knows that “tinker” REALLY means, “the sound a bell makes”.Β  Duh.
  3. They’ve fabricated a contradictory back-story for her. Disney needs to fire whomever came up with this absurd “Pixie Hollow” back-story, populated with little fairy friends.Β  Oh but wait – it’s making money :roll:. This back-story would never happen.Β  In fact, it never DID happen. Tinkerbell hangs with the Lost Boys.Β  Always has, always will.
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  5. They’ve made her speak. English, even.Β  See “the sound a bell makes”, above.Β  That’s as close to describing her voice as we mere mortals have ever been able to come. It’s like trying to describe the sound of a dog whistle – everyone knows you are lying because humans cannot hear the sound of a dog whistle.
  6. And the latest, most heinous of all crimes against faith, trust and pixie dust – Disney hath made Tinkerbell a person-sized face character in the parks.Β  Now I ask you, how are all the children, both young and old, supposed to believe that this face character is the real Tinkbell, when everyone knows that the REAL Tinkerbell is so small, she fits in the palm of Peter’s hand?Β  Are we therefore to believe that Peter must be a giant? Preposterous!

And yet, it’s this very most heinous of all crimes which Disney intends to perpetuate with the making of this “live action romantic comedy” film.Β  Just read this article, and then read all the comments that follow.Β  This is what Disney hath wrought upon poor Tink.Β  Oh, the indignity of it all.Β  O, the humanity!

Elizabeth Banks to Play Tinkerbell in Disney’s Live Action Romantic Comedy β€˜Tink’.

I think they are now painting themselves into a corner. I’ve read that the reason we have no Princess Giselleface character in the parks is because they’d have to find X many clones of Amy Adams. For animated characters, you can easily explain differences in the way they appear in person versus on film – “Oh, everyone looks different when they are drawn.” But you cannot explain why the face character in the park is obviously not the same person as the live action character on screen. Can you imagine the dismay, the anguish, the tears, when little children who’ve seen the “live action romantic comedy” are presented with an obviously FAKE face character Tinkerbell in the parks? Kids are not stupid, you know. They have the ability to suspend disbelief, but eventually they will see that Tink in the parks is bogus. And once they see that, they will start looking at the other characters with the same critical eye.

I predict the downfall of the character meet! πŸ˜€

*~*~* *~*~* *~*~* *~*~* *~*~*

This has been another scintillating episode of TINK’S *~*~* LINKS – hope you’ve enjoyed πŸ™‚


*~*~* *~*~* *~*~* *~*~* *~*~*

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Gulf oil spill – learning how to help

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07092010025-Captiva-Andy-Rosse-LaneπŸ™‚ Last Friday, I drove out past Sanibel Island and crossed Blind Pass over to Captiva Island. At the end of Captiva, there’s a resort called South Seas, which has conference facilities. I was there to get some safety training for beach cleanup volunteers – want to be prepared in case the Gulf oil spill makes its way to the Lee Island Coast of Florida. The drive looks short-ish on the map, but is made longer by the 35 mile per hour speed limit (maximum) that’s enforced on both islands. Pretty scenery is the saving grace – I wasn’t suffering at all!

07092010031-Captiva-South-Seas-OstegoThe course was four hours long and it was taught by a trainer from the Ostego Bay Oil Spill Co-Op and a trainer from OSHA – Occupational Safety & Health Administration. There were several different segments that explained the sensitivity of the Gulf coast, especially in the estuaries, the types of hazards that can be encountered in the environment that’s being cleaned, protective gear worn by cleanup workers, and the procedures they follow to maximize safety and minimize damage to people, wildlife, the environment and property.

07092010029-Captiva-South-Seas-candyAs conference facilities go – and I’ve been in a lot of them – South Seas has a lot going for it. First, location – a sub-tropical island really cannot be beat. The grounds are nicely landscaped with tropical flowering shrubs and swaying palms. The conference facilities are not all worn out and tired-looking. They are clearly well-maintained. The air conditioning in the conference center was neither too strong nor too weak – just right for people wearing shorts and tank tops. And the final thing to recommend South Seas – REAL iced tea was served, and there were candy jars on every table filled with “Made In The USA” mints.

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An island tavern in a cavern

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πŸ™‚
McT’s Shrimp House and Tavern is a stop on the Sunday Sanibel Bar Crawl, especially when it’s very hot outside. The SSBC started in the mild weather as a pool bar crawl, but as the weather turned that year, it was obvious that we needed to seek asylum in places that were both shady and air conditioned. McT’s has traditionally been a final stop, but now that they are open for lunch, we’ve actually started there a few times.

06132010988-Sanibel-McTs-crabI enjoy the ambiance at McT’s. It starts with the outside decor – they’ve got a beached dingy with tall sea grasses growing out of holes it its bottom, a dolphin sculpture and a tropically-decorated Adirondack chair at the front door. Inside, it’s kind of like walking into an undersea cavern – cool and shady, the whimsical mood is set by fantasy-tinged paintings on the walls and the twinkling “stars” strung over the bar. There’s a big blue crab over the bar, too. I like the way the artist just painted the crab’s feet right on top of the air conditioning duct.

06132010987There are other things painted on the walls and ceiling, including a couple of mermaids. One of the mermaids is framed on the wall beside the door to the Tavern. I’m a sucker for blue and yellow together, so this is my favorite scene in the whole bar. In this photo, you can see a bit of glare on the lower left of the frame – that’s coming from the glass in the door. As I was taking this photo, one of the wait staff passed by and remarked that she believed the owner’s wife is the artist who creates these paintings, and that she’d just been in recently to freshen them up a bit.

06132010985-Sanibel-McTs-shrimpSo, how’s the food? you ask. McT’s serves home-made potato chips that would be pretty hard to beat. They are pretty much inhaled as soon as the basket hits the table. Here’s my McT’s lunch of choice – fresh Gulf shrimp, just grilled plain, on a bed of romaine with Caesar dressing on the side. There are all kinds of ways to prepare shrimp, but I like it just grilled because you can really taste how fresh it is that way. To wet the whistle – after all, this is supposed to be a bar crawl – we have a Yellowbird, the official fru-fru drink of the Sunday Sanibel Bar Crawlers and Militant Shellers Association (TM). This is a wonderful libation made from amaretto, rum and pineapple juice, usually garnished with a cherry and an orange slice. The orange slice is typically the first thing ingested.

Overall, I’d say we all enjoy our stops at McT’s, and I’m looking forward to more in the future. Now, if only they had a pool… πŸ˜‰

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Lightning McQueen at the Studios

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This week, it’s been 2 years since I joined Ruby Tuesday, a photo meme hosted by Mary at Work of the Poet. To commemorate the occasion, here’s my first-ever Ruby Tuesday post – from June 24th, 2008! OH – and I have since seen this film, and I believe the cute little red car’s name is Lightning McQueen πŸ™‚

Lightning McQueen at Disney's Hollywood StudiosHey, guess what? I lied to you guys yesterday, but I didn’t mean to. I forgot that it was going to be Tuesday today, and I did not intend to continue Flower & Garden Festival stuff because it is my very first RUBY Tuesday! I found out about it from The Teach – in fact, I think she might be the inventor and sole proprietor of Ruby Tuesday.

So here’s my first contribution. I believe this car was one of the stars of Pixar’s film called – wait for it! – Cars. But I am not 100% sure about that, because I have never seen the film.

There’s lots of other nifty red stuff in the background, too. This photo was taken at Disney-MGM Disney’s Hollywood Studios on the morning of May 26th 2008.

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Sand bandits on Sanibel

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IMG_3862-Sanibel-Lighthouse-Beach-Restroom

Not sure what’s less reasonable – the expectation that there will be no sand in the sink AT THE BEACH, or the apparently unwillingness to comply on the part of persons unknown. Captured in the restroom at the Lighthouse Beach, Sanibel Island.

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My Walt Disney World hurricane story

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IMG_0874How will a possible hurricane affect your Disney visit? | TheDailyDisney.com from OrlandoSentinel.com.

Recent article in the Orlando Sentinal’s Daily Disney blog reminded me of an autumn trip to see the Mouse a few years back that culminated in riding out a hurricane at the Port Orleans Riverside resort. I’d gone for a conference and at the end of the trip, did a couple of meets with folks from a couple of Disney message boards with whom I’d been carousing online for a few years.

Sometime during the week, I became aware that Hurricane Wilma was expected to blow through Florida. Now, this was the year before I moved here from New York. I’d been through one hurricane up on Long Island – that would have been Gloria in 1985. I knew that a hurricane could blow down trees and take out a home’s roof or crush a car – all manner of destruction. So I was aware that being outside or trying to travel would not be a good idea and that I’d better just hunker down in the event that Wilma DID strike.

IMG_1096-WDW-EPCOT-monorail-cloudsWe’d heard that the year before, when Hurricane Charley had come through, Disney had been wonderful to the guests, so I thought it was not going to be a problem. Well, I was wrong. I had one of the most negative experiences ever with Disney when Wilma struck on the morning we were supposed to check out. I still maintain that if a company won’t send their employees out in a storm, they should not toss their guests out on their butts during that same storm. Yet they fully expected me to check out on time, despite not wanting to send bell services out in the storm to get my bags.

There were other service failure type issues with Disney during Wilma. The moral of the story is, don’t depend upon Disney or any company for that matter, to do the right thing in the event of a catastrophe. We’d like to think most people and businesses would react with compassion and common sense, but that was not he case in this instance.

If you’re interested in reading about the rest of that trip, here’s a link to my old trip report site from before the blog –

http://www.tinkrbell.com/Vacations/Disney%20Vacations/OrlandoOctober2005/OrlandoOct2005Home.htm

I think the Wilma stuff starts on “Day 8” and extends into “Day 9”

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Fun facts about Monorail Red

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IMG_3217-WDW-EPCOT-monorail-imagination
The original Walt Disney World Monorail Red went into service in 1971 and was decommissioned after more than 20 years of service. The nose end of it was auctioned off as part of the “100 Years of Magic” celebration in honor of Walt Disney’s 100th birthday. This successor was captured passing the Imagination Institute in EPCOT in early March 2010.

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Design your own thrill ride!

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05162010829-WDW-EPCOT-Innoventions-Sum-Of-Thrills

Nieceling and I designed our own thrill ride at EPCOT. The attraction, which is located in Innoventions, is called "Sum Of All Thrills". Presented by Raytheon, it’s designed to get kids interested in the physics and math behind the building of a thrill ride.

05162010828-WDW-EPCOT-Innoventions-Electric Star

Our thrill ride is a roller coaster with features like corkscrews and half-pipes. We call it “The Electric Star”

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You have four minutes to design your ride, and our little buddy Crash the test dummy helps you by trying out your stunts to see if they are viable. Crash is pictured here on a plastic electronic swipe card that stores your thrill ride after you have finished designing it. You then take the card to another section where you are strapped into a capsule on a crane and your program runs, turning you upside down, sideways and all around. Fun stuff!

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A Downtown Disney mystery

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IMG_3390-WDW-DTD-sign-Marketplace-Team-Mickey😯 I don’t know how to tell you this, so I’m just going to spit it out – the Stepford-stewardess-zombie dolls are GONE!

Intrepid readers may recall that I discovered these oddities during my March weekend in Walt Disney World while browsing the Tren-D boutique in Downtown Disney. If you missed it or don’t remember, you can click here to read about it – go ahead, we’ll wait…. oh good you’re back. Surely you can see that the “Stepford Stewardesses” are a little strange. Each doll is clad in identical dresses with identical accessories and identical stares… I suspected then that there was something a little creepy about them, and apparently I was right!

IMG_3391-WDW-DTD-TrenD-Mickey-splatter-paintingLook – they’re GONE! It’s like they just marched away. No trace of them whatsoever. Where did they go? What is their mission? Who is controlling them and their vacant little staring eyes? And where did all these over-sized chess pieces come from?

I began to roam the store in search of them. Surely they could not have wandered far! Disney does not allow their theming to just get up and walk off. Unless… unless the Stepford-stewardess-zombie dolls had actually taken control of the store and all the Cast Members in it!

No sooner did I have this terrifying thought, then the teeny tiny hairs on the back of my neck began to stand on end. I felt uncomfortable, like I was being watched… Slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch, whereupon I came face to face with a site so horrifying, I nearly fled screaming in abject terror. For there, on a shelf in the corner stood…

IMG_3392-WDW-DTD-TrenD-polka-dot-dolls

Stepford Polka Dot dolls


(queue scary music )

Have they read my mind? Do they know I suspect them of this diabolical plot to take over Downtown Disney by means of Stepford-zombie mind control? Are they hiding under my bed this very minute? Must I be COMPLETELY mad to be posting this?

NEXT WEEK: The Polka Dot dolls reveal all!

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Sea shells at the Boardwalk Inn

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I was taking photographs in and around Disney’s Boardwalk Inn when my camera ran out of juice. Fortunately, I had a set of fresh batteries with me, and scouted a place to sit down and swap them out. I found this chair and side table in the lobby of the Boardwalk.

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I knew right away that after the batteries were changed, the first picture I would snap would be of the table. It was decorated with images of my OTHER, non-Disney passion – sea shells! Not so surprising – the whole Boardwalk at Walt Disney World has a seaside resort and amusement theme. Sea shells fit right in.

IMG_2984-WDW-Boardwalk-lobby-shell-table-detail

The reason I moved to the Lee Island Coast in particular was to be close to Sanibel Island, where many such shells can be found. The two smaller ones pictured on the table appear to be keyhole limpets. The larger one is a true tulip. It’s always a treat to find a true tulip – they are so bright and colorful, and they come in an array of patterns.

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I found a literal bonanza of true tulips on Sanibel Island the first year I lived here in Southwest Florida. Sometime in June of that year, Tropical Storm Alberto blew through. A tropical storm is not as severe as a hurricane, but it’s just enough to push a bunch of treasure up onto the shores of Sanibel. At the top of this photo, you can see the tops of two pear whelks. Below that, three banded tulips. And in the last row – an assortment of true tulips in various patterns and sizes. The largest one measures 5.25 inches from end to end – about as long as a pen.

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Shopportunity of the strange at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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You might think this is odd, but when it comes to leaving a Disney park, I plan my exit route around how many shops I can hit as I make my way toward the gate. (Long-time readers are feigning shock. Tink *~*~* – a shopper? No! Really? ;p ) There are a couple of reasons you should consider doing this, too. One, you are addicted to Disney merchandise, and even if you’re not buying, you’re still looking. Two, if it is a really hot day, the shops are your air conditioned refuge. Some of them are quite long, actually a series of shops strung together; you can get from one to the next without having to exit to the sidewalk. For instance, at the Magic Kingdom you can enter Casey’s at the rear where the bleachers and cartoons are, and walk clear down to the Emporium without ever having to leave the comfort of climate control.

030620102530-WDW-Shopping-Tinkerbell-pinAt Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are major shops spaced out all around Discovery Island, so no matter which land you are coming from, you’re passing merchandise and cool air. The shopportunities are just too good to pass up, so you enter to see what you can see. Much of the merchandise will be similar to what you just saw in the last shop you were in, but once in a while you come across something unique, different…. ok, odd. Take this Pirate Tinkerbell pin as an example. Adorable, right? Well, yes – but only until you get close enough to realize that her eyes are these strange, glowing, neon blue blobs and it makes her look like a pod person ready to shed her humanoid form and take over the planet. I would have bought her, except that she gave me the willies!

030620102529-WDW-shopping-Ariel-skirt-sceneHere’s another head-scratcher. We already knew that Ariel didn’t have legs until her dear Auntie Ursula gave her some in exchange for her lovely singing voice. What we didn’t know is that Ursula apparently reneged on the deal, for here we see that instead of legs, Ariel’s got a miniature theater under her skirt, complete with her own “mini-me” shown here in the boat with Prince Eric. The statue is very pretty but when you think about it, she’s actually floating legless above a rowboat and that’s just a tad bizarre. I passed on this one, too.

030620102527-WDW-Shopping-run-away-MickeyThis t-shirt is a bit of a change of pace for Mickey. Normally, he’s friendly, charming, outgoing and always smiling. On this t-shirt, not so much. Mickey is depicted here running, with his hands flailing in the air, looking over his shoulder in abject terror. Clearly, someone – or someTHING – is chasing him. However, we cannot see that because the t-shirt ends just where a would-be pursuer would begin. We may never know what’s made poor Mickey take off like this, but judging from his face, it can’t be good! Still, this one is more edgy than strange, so there’s the possibility I’d buy it, just to be droll. πŸ˜‰

So what about you?
Do you cut through the shops in the Disney parks to cool off?
And what’s the strangest Disney merchandise you’ve ever seen?

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Dinosaur Week: giant Lego monsters!

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IMG_0012-WDW-DTD-Legos-dinosaursπŸ™‚ Welcome to Dinosaur Week at My Mobile Adventures *~*~* As mentioned elsewhere, the only real reason it is Dinosaur Week is because I have pictures of dinosars to share πŸ˜‰ Today’s offering comes from Downtown Disney. As many are aware, there is a Lego store there, and they’ve been displaying complex, life-sized Lego sculptures for many years. They are swapped out periodically, so sometimes you get a surprise on your next visit.



These dinosaurs stood very close to the shore. One of the current displays is an entire tourist family. I have to say that my all-time faves were the dragon and the guy who was snoring on the bench outside the store (I think he looked like Frasier from the TV show). I was on a boat from the Port Orleans French Quarter resort when I snapped this photo, so that’s why it’s a behind-and-to-the-side view.

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A sacred gateway and the goddess of “flow”

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IMG_1605-WDW-EPCOT-Japan-Torii-gateπŸ™‚ Torii gates are associated with the Shinto and (later on) the Buddhist traditions in Japan. The purpose of a torri gate is to serve as a gateway to a sacred space. This one stands by the lagoon EPCOT. I’m not sure which side of the torri is supposed to be the sacred side – it’s either the Japan pavilion itself, or else it’s the lagoon. I think it’s the water – here’s why.

The Shinto-Buddhist goddess known in Japan as Benzaiten is closely associated with the torri, and is often depicted wearing one on her head. Based upon the Hindu goddess Sarasvati, she is the goddess of “flow”; according to Wikipedia, that would include “water, words (and knowledge, by extension), speech, eloquence, and music”. I’d like to think it also includes the psychological definition of “flow” – to be so caught up in the task at hand, euphoria results. She is also associated with bestowing fortune.

Next time I’m in EPCOT, I need to look in the gift shop at the Japan pavilion and see if there is anything associated to Benzaiten in there. I want to read up on her – she sounds really interesting!

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Shopportunity knocks: from whimsical to bizarre

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030620102564-WDW-DTD-Tren-DπŸ™‚ My new favorite place for a Disney shopportunity is Tren-D, a new-ish high-end boutique attached to Team Mickey in Downtown Disney. This is where you will find some of the more… um, “interesting” Disney merchandise on property. I’d call the place a mix between “whimisical” and “edgy”. Perhaps that’s why Mickey has that look on his face – he’s a bit stunned, don’t you think? Certainly all the new “Alice” merchandise will fit here nicely.

030620102559-WDW-DTD-splattered-Mickey-MouseHere is one of those “whimsical” things I was talking about. This is a human-sized statue of Mickey Mouse that’s been splatter-painted in bright primary colors. He stands sentinel between Tren-D and Team Mickey, gesturing for us to enter the boutique. Of course he wants us to go in – chances are very good that you will walk out of there sporting a lighter wallet and a high-end purse you didn’t know you needed and never imagined you’d fall in love with

030620102558-WDW-DTD-Tren-D-Cast-Member-DollsThey look like Stepford airline stewardesses but I believe they are actually supposed to represent Disneyland cast members from the early, early days. A single one of these effigies would have been sort of an art-deco tribute to Disneyana, a 20th century object d’art – but a collection of them all standing in a row, all looking exactly alike – well, it’s just creepy. I do like the quasi-psychedelic Mickey portrait, though πŸ™‚ He makes a nice backdrop.

I hope you enjoyed our Ruby Tuesday shopping trip!

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Things are looking up at the bat exhibit

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IMG_3165-WDW-DAK-batsπŸ™‚ Sometime while you are touring any Disney theme park, try looking UP for a different perspective. Chances are really excellent that you will start to notice bits of theming that range from clever to beautiful and add to the overall ambiance and mood that Disney is striving for in that particular space.

I did this recently at the fruit bat enclosure at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. One of the things I found hung from the ceiling in the corridor just outside the bat enclosure were several carved effigies of bats in flight. This one looks particularly ferocious. Even though the bats in the enclosure are fruit bats and therefore not interested in bothering humans, I’m not sure I want to encounter one with his mouth open like that! 😯

IMG_3163-WDW-DAK-bats-carving-doorThe bat enclosure is screened in, and it is accessed by two doors (in theory, one is “in” and the other is “out”). When I looked up, I saw this remarkable carving above one of the doors. I’m not sure what sort of legend it is supposed to portray. The larger yellow creatures don’t look much like bats, but they are the only ones with wings. The smaller green and red creatures seem to be shaped more like bats, but they have no wings. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t much like the looks of the little green guy in the center. What’s he doing to the neck of the big yellow dude? They’re supposed to be fruit bats, not vampire bats! Hmmmm…..

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Here comes the monorail!

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IMG_1174-WDW-EPCOT-monorail-flowersπŸ™‚ I’m a total geek when it comes to trying to take photos of the monorail at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT theme park. The tracks dip enticingly into the park before taking passengers on their merry way, and there are various places to stand around and wait for it to go by so you can get the perfect shot. And I do! Stand around, I mean. I’ve get to get the perfect shot πŸ˜‰ Here’s one from last year’s Flower and Garden Festival. That’s the Test Track building behind the monorail, and the butterfly tent to the left. Can you see the “hidden” Mickey? I’ll give you a hint – this is Ruby Tuesday, when we post things that are RED. See it now? Good! Can’t wait to get there – 3 more sleeps!

Is there a particular Disney thing that turns YOU into a geek? I’d love to hear about it – consider the “comments” section your confessional πŸ˜‰

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Chinese Zodiac: the final chapter!

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We’re in the home stretch with the photos I took of the Chinese zodiac animals at Epcot a couple of years ago. Every time I look at these, all I can think of is how ingenious the person was who thought of it, and how much time and painstaking effort went into the details.

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Here’s the dog – he’s so cute, and I love his feet because they look like they might be made of coffee beans.

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The rabbit was hiding his face in some leafy foliage when I visited. Rabbits are typically timid, so I’m not really surprised πŸ˜‰

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And now, the star of the show – 2010 is the year of the tiger! I especially like this one because I think it was such a good choice to use dried corn kernels for his fur – just the right shade of golden orange!

This concludes our series about the Chinese zodiac. Kung Hei Fat Choi! And I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day weekend, too <3 Click the photos to see if a larger version is available in Flickr
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Chinese Zodiac Critters, Chapter 3

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I’m watching the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games from Vancouver, Canada. There was a part earlier where the totems of the indigenous peoples of Canada were represented – whale, salmon wolf, GIANT bear. They lit up the arena like constellations. And I noted there was not a lot of crossover between the mythological creatures of North America and those of China. And yet, without much in common, they’re still about to play together for a couple of weeks. Rock on, Olympics!

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Famous people born in the Year of the Monkey: Ashley Judd, Jack “Chicken Soup For The Soul” Canfield, Lisa Marie Presley.


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Famous people born in the Year of the Sheep: Jane Austen, Michelangelo, Mark Twain


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Famous people born in the Year of the Rooster: Eric Clapton, Somerset Maugham, Van Morrison


Happy Critturday!

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Tales from the Mickey Mouse shopping bag

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020620102287-Mickey-Mouse-shopping-bagπŸ™‚ I’ve been trying very hard to remember to bring my own shopping bags with me whenever I go out for groceries and such. It hasn’t been easy – I’m sure there are a few of you out there who are in the same boat. You earnestly went out and bought those cloth-like bags, vowing you would never use plastic ever again. And then you forget all about them until you are at the check out. Oops, they’re on the kitchen counter / hanging on a hook installed on the door from the laundry room to the garage / on the front seat of the car. See? I’ve been there, I know! πŸ˜€

Well on Saturday, I actually remembered the bag. It’s a red bag with Mickey Mouse on it – got it at the Disney store a few years back. It just so happened that a few of the things I bought on Saturday were red too, so I decided that this week’s Ruby Tuesday should be all about “Tales form the Mickey Mouse shopping bag”. Here’s some of the stuff that went into it.

020620102289-John-Freida-Shampoo-ConditionerThe biggest surprise of the day was finding my favorite John Frieda shampoo in Walgreens. For months, all I’ve seen on the shelves in any store was the brunette formula and the blonde formula – never the redhead formula! It just mysteriously vanished from the shelves in Target, CVS, Walgreens and any number of other stores. I recently had sort of an emergency with my dwindling supply of this stuff – I had shampoo but was out of conditioner. I actually looked for it on Amazon, and lo and behold, there it was – John Frieda Radiant Red Conditioner. I was so happy to have found it, but equally happy that I found some locally again. Yeah, sometimes it’s just the little things πŸ™‚

020620102286-Wildly-Cherry-MandMsMoving on – also in Walgreens I found these small packets of Wildly Cherry M&Ms near the checkout. I’d tried them before and I loved them, but I am a bit frustrated that they don’t come in a larger bag. Maybe that’s a good thing… I haven’t stopped to calculate how long I have to spend on the treadmill to burn off a pack of these babies, but I am most assuredly better off with the small pack than the big bag! Into the Mickey bag went three little packages of them. I shall hoard them carefully so not as to upset the delicate balance of calories in vs. calories burnt.

020620102282-Saturn-peachesHere we are in my local Publix supermarket, where I encountered the weirdest find of the day. These blushing beauties are called Saturn peaches. I have no idea what possessed someone to breed peaches that are reminiscent of the pushed-in face of a King Charles spaniel, and even less of a clue as to why they are dubbed “Saturn”. They do not look even remotely like Saturn. I find them to be singularly unattractive, and that somehow equates to “not very tasty” in my mind, so I actually passed on purchasing any. However, their ruddy little cheeks provided an irresistable photo opportunity, so I snapped away at them for the blog.

020620102281-Valentine-candy-dragonLast but not least – Valentine’s day is just around the corner, and the stores have been amply stocked since practically the day after Christmas will all sorts of Valentine goodness. Russel Stover has some cute little heart shaped candy boxes this year, with fun images on them. The dragon image attracted me because of my recent foray into the Chinese zodiac (Chinese New Year falls on Valentine’s Day this year). I think I saw these on the shelf in Walgreen’s too, but I was a good girl and didn’t buy any. I’m not really in the mood to tack on any miles to my daily treadmill sentence and in enough trouble already, what with the M&Ms πŸ˜‰

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Can you name the film in which Disney’s OTHER red-headed mermaid appeared?

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Red stuff at McT's TavernπŸ™‚ I was at McT’s Tavern on Sanibel Island yesterday, and decided to check at Foursquare. However, Foursquare was not already listing McT’s in their list of venues, so I had to create it. For that, I needed something that had McT’s street address printed on it. My friend Gary went and fetched a take-out menu from somewhere, and that was when I noticed the red-haired mermaid. I’ve seen the mermaid painted on the walls inside McT’s but I guess it just didn’t register that she had red hair until I saw the take-out menu. Of course, this brought to mind another, rather more famous red-headed mermaid.

IMG_4371-WDW-STUDIOS-Little-MermaidAnyone who was even remotely alive in the 80s is aware of Disney’s big blockbuster animated film, The Little Mermaid. She had red hair, too. In fact, up until 2007, when actress Amy Adams created the role of Princess Giselle in Disney’s hybrid live-animated film Enchanted, Ariel had been the only red-headed Disney princess. BUT – she wasn’t Disney’s only red-headed mermaid, nor was she even first!

Can you name the film in which Disney’s OTHER red-headed mermaid appeared?

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Castle Dream Lights in the Magic Kingdom

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IMG_2618-WDW-MK-castle-clock Hong Kong. Tokyo. Paris. Orlando. Anaheim. Everywhere there’s a collection of Disney theme parks, there’s also a castle. The one in Orlando is Cinderella’s Castle; her tale is told in the form of mosaic tile murals covering the walls of the castle archway. Cinderella’s Castle houses a restaurant, a beauty salon and even overnight accommodations for some lucky guests who are periodically chosen at random for a castle sleep-over in the newly built luxury suite. The castle also provides entertainment. Characters romp and sing on the outdoor stage just beyond the park’s hub, and at night fireworks dance high in the skies above the castles turrets and towers.

IMG_2765Also at night, the castle is lit in brilliant colors that morph and change with such elegance, one can remain seated for hours just staring at the transformation. As if the castle were not pretty enough on a normal night, imagine how it looks during the holiday season with over 200,000 LED lights simulating a sparkling coating of ice. A brief stage show provides a magical lead-in for the transformation. Several Disney characters have gathered and are attempting to decide how the castle should be decorated for the holidays, and ultimately agree that since it is her home, Cinderella should be the one to decide.

IMG_2778When consulted, Cinderella proclaims her wish to see the castle dressed for the holidays with all the shine and twinkle of her own glass slipper. Her Fairy Godmother comes along to see that it happens, recruiting the audience to help Cinderella’s wish come true. For the remainder of the night, the castle appears to be encased in ice (or perhaps a sugar-frosting, as I’ve observed before).

For those who want to know more about Cinderella’s Castle at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, just visit Wikipedia or AllEars.Net to get more details.

 

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Red for luck and love at Disney

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IMG_4281 In Chinese culture, the color red is symbolic of luck, happiness and high energy (fire, in Chinese metaphysics). I don’t know if Mary “The Teach” at Work Of The Poet knew it when she launched her Ruby Tuesday meme, but she has given us a weekly opportunity to immerse ourselves in the positive energy of red. Thanks, Mary πŸ™‚

IMG_4314 The Chinese New Year is coming up. Can you believe it? This year, Chinese New Year falls on the same day as a Western holiday that is also associated with the color red – February 14th, Valentine’s Day! I have the feeling Valentine’s Day will be amazing this year. Imagine the influence that the luck, happiness and fire of the Chinese New Year could have on the love of Valentine’s Day. It truly boggles the mind!

In 2007 at Walt Disney World, I came upon these effigies of the 12 animals represented in the Chinese zodiac. They are a kind of a 3-D decoupage, with decorative patterns constructed of small seeds, nuts and beans glued to them. The animals are arranged beautifully on red pedestals scattered around the pond at the Chinese pavilion in EPCOT. 2007 was the Year of the Pig, which is the final year in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac.

IMG_4285 The first year in the Chinese zodiac cycle is the Year of the Rat. I was born in a Rat year, which I have known since about 7th grade, when Benji Gong who lived around the corner from us informed me of such. For all of these years, I never knew what a terrible thing it is to be born in the Year of the Rat. There’s a fable about how the Zodiac came about. The animals could not decide who should go first in the cycle. So God said there was to be a race to the other side of the river, and whatever place you got in the race, that’s the place you would get in the cycle.

IMG_1134So the animals all ran down to the river and raced to see who could get across first, but unbeknownst to anyone, the rat hitched a ride across by climbing on the back of the ox. Just as the ox was going to beat everyone to the other side of the river first, the rat suddenly leaped off his back and landed there first. That was sort of crafty and sneaky and rat-like of him, don’t you think? I don’t think I like being born in the Year of the Rat!


 

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“Chinese Princess Minnie” – ???

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121220091843-Disney-Minnie-Chinese-redπŸ™‚ Night was falling on the Magic Kingdom, and I was browsing in the Art of Disney store on Main Street USA, amusing myself until it was time to take up a position for the fireworks. I came upon this odd statue of Minnie Mouse. I’m not sure who she’s supposed to be dressed like, but it seemed to me she’s supposed to be some sort of Chinese princess.

If anyone knows what this “Chinese Princess Minnie” is all about, please enlighten me!

The style felt very familiar to me, and it wasn’t until I’d been home several weeks and was staring at this photo that I realized why she felt familiar. Here’s a little collections of photos I’ve taken of what the style of this statue reminds me of – the Chinese Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

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

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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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. β€œThe Rocks”, Sanibel Island
  6. More Disney Characters in RED
  7. 7 Things To Do In Walt Disney World On Halloween (except THAT!)
  8. β€œThere once was a man from Nantucket…”
  9. Yet More Disney Characters Who Wear RED
  10. My β€œfavorite” 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? πŸ˜‰

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.Β  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…” πŸ˜‰
    • 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. πŸ™‚
    • 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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Model trains at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

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There’s a big gingerbread house set up in the lobby of Disney’s Boardwalk Inn during the holiday season, and this train circles ’round the base of it. Each of the cars represents a place on the Boardwalk, like the Atlantic Dance Hall or a restaurant, etc. In the background, you can hear one of those old-timey guys singing “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas”, like Bing Crosby or maybe Dean Martin (actually, I think it IS Dean Martin – does anyone else think so?). The poinsettia are red, likewise some of the signage on the train cars (such as The Flying Fish) – and of course, the caboose is red, too!

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Just red things from this past week

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It’s an excellent time of year to participate in Mary’s Ruby Tuesday meme – there’s a predominance of red things in the stores and catalogs due to the rapidly approaching Christmas holiday. Still, there’s always red stuff abounding, if you just keep an eye out for it.

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Making an effort to be on a fresh fruit kick lately. It’s not really an effort when the strawberries are as delicious as these were!

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I found these in a catalog called Acorn. One of my nieces collects rubber duckies, but I have the feeling they’ve overtaken her life, so I’m going to pass on buying these… however if she really OOOs and Ahhs over them, I will of course turn sucka immediately πŸ™‚

112820091568-nutcracker-with-a-nutcracker

This was weird – I was in Tarzhay (my fancy way of pronouncing "Target") when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a pirate nutcracker with his very own… nutcracker!

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I’m going to Disney World to see the Christmas lights!

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IMG_3667-WDW-EPCOT-Lights-of-WinterπŸ™‚ First one friend posted that he would be in Disney World mid-December and then another friend said she would be there, too. And then, yet another friend texted me last night to let me know there was a behind-the-scenes special on HGTV, all about decorating Disney World for Christmas. The sight of the sparkly, shimmery castle was too much for me. I hopped online, saw that I had enough points for two free nights at the Swan, and booked it before I could think twice.

Looking forward to seeing my friends. Looking forward to Holidays Around The World at EPCOT. Looking forward to seeing the sparkly, shimmery castle at the Magic Kingdom!

Speaking of booking free nights at the Swan, someone wrote and asked me what that was all about. I do it through the Starwood American Express card. You can redeem the points for hotel stays. If anyone out there is interested in this card, please shoot me an email – BellTinkR at gmail dot com – so I can refer you!

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R.I.P., EPCOT “Lights of Winter”

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IMG_3674-WDW-EPCOT-Lights-of-WinterThis year, Walt Disney World has decided to discontinue their famous “Lights of Winter” display at EPCOT, no doubt disappointing many thousands of fans who were counting on a visit to this display as being one of the highlights of their holiday trip.

The official reason that Disney has given for discontinuing this tradition is that the technology used is obsolete, and also that the display isn’t very “green”. Both of those are valid reasons, but I don’t for a minute believe that either was THE reason the decision was made. Of course, it must be all about the Benjamins. They must be saving a staggering amount in kilowatt hours and therefore money, by shutting down the display. As with every big corporation, decisions like this and the closure of Pleasure Island are ultimately about what is no longer profitable.

I feel pretty lucky that I went to MouseFest near Christmas time in 2006 with some of my Disney internet freak friends (waves *Hi!* to the Disney internet freaks, hopes they wave back πŸ™‚ ). I was able to get a few photographs of the “Lights of Winter”, which didn’t turn out bad, considering I didn’t know any more then than I do now about what all those buttons are for on my camera. Enjoy!

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Fort Myers Beach Sand Sculpting Festival no longer free

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IMG_7208-FMB-2008-Sand-Sculpting-CompetitionThis is the 23rd year of the Sand Sculpting Festival on Fort Myers Beach here in Lee County, Florida. It is also the year that unemployment in Lee County has climbed to within spitting distance of 14% and may rise well beyond that by year end. So, naturally it makes perfect sense that this is the year that Fort Myers Beach decided to levy a per-head charge of $3-$5 on spectators.

IMG_7212-FMB-2008-Sand-Sculpting-Competition Because, you see, they aren’t going to pay enough for the outrageously over priced hot dogs, burgers and ice cream cones to feed their kids. And they’re certainly not going to make any purchases at the vast open air market, nor are any of them going to belly up to any number of pool bars and fork over ten bucks for something fruity with a little pink umbrella thrown in. And hey, the people who come and cheer and support this festival can certainly make that unemployment check stretch just a wee bit further, so that they can get beyond the barriers that FMB allows the hotels to put in place at the tide line – even though NO ONE OWNS THE BEACHES, DAMMIT.

The whole thing just kind of made me ill, so I skipped it this year. Here are some pics from last year that I never quite got around to publishing. You will note there is a red water sprayer in the first picture, qualifying this post for Ruby Tuesday, where I’m sure Mary will chuckle in appreciation of my righteous indignation. The artists do an amazing job; standing there to watch them, even in the hot sun, is a real treat. Last year, each sculptor had their immediate work area roped off but otherwise, spectators could walk around freely between sites and get as close as perhaps 6-10 feet to any given sculpture.

It’s a damned shame that the people had to PAY to get this close to the sculptures this year. I bet I’m not the only one who stayed away. Fort Myers Beach, in this of all years, you should have figured out another way.

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Scenes from Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside resort

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IMG_0874πŸ™‚ My friend Snowbird went to Walt Disney World today. She’s staying at Port Orleans Riverside, a resort that’s very close to Downtown Disney and very easy on the eyes. It’s also a resort that has a good deal of red in the architecture, so what better subject for Ruby Tuesday? This is the roof of the car port that you drive under to drop off your luggage and maybe have the valet take your car away and park it for you. I love the fancy script of the logo; it harkens back to a different time, which is what the entire resort aspires to do.

IMG_0875The Sassagoula is a river that flows from Port Orleans Riverside all the way down to Downtown Disney. Along the way there is a stop at Port Orleans French Quarter (which is my favorite Disney resort). Another line of the Sassagoula Steamboat Company makes stops at Disney’s Old Key West and Saratoga Springs resorts before depositing guests at Downtown Disney. I’ve written previously about Cruising the Sassagoula River, so click that link if you want to check it out.

IMG_0879The first thing I thought of when I heard that my friend would be staying at Port Orleans Riverside was that she would get to eat at Boatwrights’s Dining Hall. I am partial to the spiced shrimp and the warm sweet potato salad, but there is much more than all that on the menu, which you can review by clicking here. In days past, Boatwright’s was also open for breakfast, and the sweet potato pancakes were to die for – tasted exactly like pumpkin! Sadly, breakfast is no longer an option there, but I like to reminisce πŸ˜‰

IMG_0882The resort’s gift shop is called the Riverside Mill and Market. The offerings there are pretty standard – Disney logo resort clothing, pin trading stuff, autograph books, a selection of stuffed animals and Disney characters, sundries, a little “grocery” section full of snacks and a refrigerated section where you can get milk, yogurt, beer and all that to take back to your room. The Port Orleans resorts are moderates, which means the room has a small fridge to keep such items in. I find it invaluable because for me, nothing but real milk will do in my morning coffee. I do like the way the exterior of this shop was themed to resemble the local country store.

I hope Snowbird and Mr. Snowbird are having a fabulous time at Disney and come back with lots of pictures and great memories! Me, I’ve got 10 more sleeps before my next trip. πŸ™‚

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Go, Ellen! EPCOT’s Universe of Energy

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IMG_1008-WDW-EPCOT-Universe-of-EnergyπŸ™‚ The Universe of Energy attraction at EPCOT reminds me of a pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair, which took place in Flushing Meadow Park in Queens, NY. I was four years old, going on five when the Fair first opened, and since my family lived in Queens, we attended a number of times. Disney had helped to produce several of the pavilions there, and one of them was for the Ford Motor Company. You sat in these “people mover” type vehicles that resembled classic Ford automobiles, and cruised through various tableaux while seated in them. One of these tableaux was filled with animatronic dinosaurs, representing Disney’s early attempts at the robotics that would later dominate many Walt Disney World attractions, including the Carousel of Progress (also present at the World’s Fair), the Hall of Presidents, the American Adventure and yes, the Universe of Energy.

The current show at the Universe of Energy has been running since 1996. It stars Ellen Degneneres, and also features Billy Nye The Science Guy, Jamie Lee Curtis and Alex Trebek of Jeopardy fame. The plot has Ellen adventuring through time with Bill, where she learns all sorts of things about the production of energy. She then uses her new-found knowledge to beat her old high school nemesis Judy (played by Curtis) in a rousing round of energy-related Jeopardy questions. Go, Ellen! Here we see the reflecting pool outside the Universe of Energy attraction, bordered by bright red flowers that make this photo jump up and shout, “Ruby Tuesday!”.:)

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Into the belly of the beast at the Naples Zoo, Southwest Florida

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IMG_2095-Naples-Florida-zoo-gator-feeding-timeπŸ™‚ I recently had the privilege of touring the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens here in Southwest Florida. OK, “privilege” is stretching it a bit – it was REALLY hot and the animals were mostly sleeping, so not so much in the excitement department. But the botanical gardens were beautiful, and we know that if we go back in, say, December, we’ll have better luck with the animals being more alert. As it happens, it was the animals that are accustomed to the heat who provided the most entertainment and education for the day – plus, my spot of red for Ruby Tuesday! In this photo, we see one of the animal handlers at the zoo ringing a dinner bell – hmmm, who’s getting fed?

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Hey, who said you could come up out of the water yet? Back, back you beast!

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Now, you just get right back into that water this instant, young man. You heard me – git!

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Aw, you’re so cute when you’re all contrite and sorry like that! Good boy!

IMG_2106-Naples-Florida-zoo-gator-feeding-time
OK, here ya go – nice, juicy, RED steak. Supper time!

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The “unknown flower” at EPCOT

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IMG_1684-WDW-EPCOT-flowers

These bright, orangey-RED flowers were found growing in a pot inside the Festival Center at the 2009 International Flower and Garden Festival at EPCOT this past May.


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Normally when I photograph flowers at EPCOT, I look for a sign posted nearby that tells me what I’m looking at. However, for whatever reason, I don’t appear to have done that this time – and therefore, I’ve got NO CLUE what this flower is called! I tried googling, and the closest I could come up with was gerbera, but didn’t see any in this particular shade of red.

Anyone have any idea what this flower is called? Please leave a comment to let me know!

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Sticky Mickey Β°oΒ°

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08022009989-Mickey-Mouse-stickers

This is a classic story about what happens while you are “respecting your space”. A few weeks ago, I decided it was high time I cleaned my desk. I mean, cleaned it to the point where I could actually SEE desk! So I sorted and straightened and filed and shreded – and my reward was finding all these Mickey Mouse stickers! Cast Members in the resort hotels and in the merchandise areas at Walt Disney World often have rolls of these stickers lying around to give away on a whim. I must look like I need Mickey stickers, because I’ve amassed a fair quantity of them. They’re currently stuck to my whiteboard with a magnet, and I’m contemplating what to do with them…

Have you had the same experience – did a good deed and found something that was missing? Was it as good as Mickey stickers? Β°oΒ° Let’s hear about it!

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All aboard the Friendships at Walt Disney World

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Click the photos to see if a larger version is available in Flickr

IMG00521-WDW-EPCOT-Friendships-CanopyπŸ™‚ One of the best reasons to stay at an EPCOT resort hotel at Walt Disney World is the easy journey between your hotel and the park. The resorts, which include the Boardwalk, The Yacht Club, the Beach Club, The Swan and The Dolphin, are arranged around Crescent Lake. There are walking paths all around the lake, for those who would like a leisurely stroll to and from the park. And then there are the Friendships.

IMG00750-WDW-EPCOT-Friendship-boatOf course, I do love to take the stroll πŸ™‚ I’ve done it many times, and I never tire of it. Partly, this has to do with my continued love affair with the skies over Florida; fields of amazing blues populated by puffy perfection, sometimes floating, sometimes streaking, sometimes towering, always awesome. Sometimes I like to take the boat too. This is especially true late at night, when I am tired. I sort of amble out of the park, taking my sweet time, and by time I get to the International Gateway – which I like to think of as the English Channel because it’s between the UK and France πŸ˜‰ – there’s hardly any line at all and the Friendships are a walk-on. On a lovely autumn night, it’s wonderful to grab a seat outside and let the hum of the motor and the whoosh! of the water as the boat cuts through it drown out the chatter of the other guests – a beautiful ending to a beautiful night at EPCOT.

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Grab a stagecoach in the Magic Kingdom

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IMG_1214-WDW-MK-DVC-getaway-stagecoach

Each Disney theme park has a sales spot for the Disney Vacation Club which is cleverly disguised to blend in with the themeing of the park. Here we see that you can visit at DVC representative in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom – just look for the RED “Getaway” sign.

Do you see the “hidden” Mickey?

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“There once was a man from Nantucket…”

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05-04-08_1511-Sanibel-Island-Man-From-Nantucket

πŸ˜‰ Found this guy on the beach on Sanibel Island and just HAD to photograph his t-shirt, which proclaims him to be “The Man From Nantucket”. There was a very popular and very dirty limerick regarding such a man that made the rounds when I was in grade school… might be you must have grown up in the American public school system to “get” this one. πŸ˜‰

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Floridian fire

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IMG_0180-sunset-out-my-back-door

πŸ™‚ Another one of those “doo, doo, doo, lookin’ out my back door” shots, taken one January evening. I remember the first month in my new house, being so grateful that I had so many windows across the back of the house, windows that face exactly west. The fiery RED of a Floridian sunset is really hard to beat.

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Planet Hollywood, Downtown Disney

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IMG_1982This is the Planet Hollywood in Downtown Disney, Orlando, Florida. While selecting a photo for this post, I realized that in all the years I’ve been going to Walt Disney World, I have never dined at Planet Hollywood!

I remember when this chain first opened. Stars like Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger co-owned it. At the time, it, was sort of new and innovative to have big name stars publicly backing and promoting a major tourist attraction restaurant while they were still big name stars. Star power lent the illusion of glamor to the chain.

In addition to the restaurants, the Planet Hollywood brand has been applied to a hotel and casino resort in Las Vegas. I’ve read that the Starwood Hotel Chain is going to take over management of this resort. That might just get me to Vegas. I’ve shied away from going there because I’m not interested in gambling, the show tickets are REALLY expensive, and I have the impression that the entire city is an assault on the senses. But staying at a hotel free on Starwood points might just change my mind!

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Africa 2025 at EPCOT

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06132009724-WDW-EPCOT-Africa-2025-shirtI saw this shirt while browsing the Outpost in the World Showcase at EPCOT a couple of weeks ago. I almost bought it, but then decided that I have enough Disney t-shirts hanging in my closet just now and perhaps I should practice a little consumer restraint πŸ˜‰ Quit feeling my forehead, I’m fine! LOL!

Anyhow, I snapped a pic to remind myself to google and see if I could figure out what’s up with peace, Africa, and 2025. Turns out it refers to a study that’s recently been published, which sets forth three possible scenarios for where Africa will be by 2025, pending decisions made and actions taken TODAY. I found the report fascinating. If you want to download and read it yourself, or just become familiar with the project, click this link – UNAIDS – Africa 2025

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Decor at Disney’s Pop Century, continued!

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IMG_3172-WDW-Pop-Century-art
As a follow on to yesterday’s post about the Pop Century Resort, here’s some framed art from inside one of the rooms – lots of red going on here!

It’s supposed to represent Disney stuff from the 70s. In the upper left corner, I do believe that’s Pete’s Dragon, but I don’t know who the little red robot dude is that seems to be climbing him.

I love the red Mickey ears beanie! Wish I could get my hands on some of those today. Seems to be more of a hat (see the brim?) than a beanie, actually.

Robin Hood was portrayed as a fox; he’s a Disney character in red that I’ve missed in the past, as is King Richard, seen here wrapped in a royal red cape (by the way, voiced by Peter Ustinov!).

I’m not really sure what any of the other stuff is. During most of the 70s, I was in a period of Disney latency, as back then it was not cool to be a Disney fan throughout your teens. I didn’t remember until a friend decided she was going to Disney World on vacation with her boyfriend and asked what she should bring back for me. I said, “Tinker Bell!” of course!

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“Experiment 626” aka “Stitch” at EPCOT

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IMG_0999-WDW-EPCOT-Stitch-Mission-Space

πŸ™‚ “Experiement 626” aka Stitch sits in a bed of red flowers, with a red DANGER sign overhead, and the red planet Mars in the background (that’s the Mission: Space! attraction) at the 2009 EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival.

In actuality, Stitch is blue – I should know, he lives in my home office! Yes, I have a Stitch – he talks! If I say, “Can you play?”, he will say, “I cannot – I have nothing to wear”. πŸ˜€ I think he says something like 21 different things. Anyway, now you know my worst secret – I have toys! And no, I don’t have children. I just have toys πŸ˜‰ Perhaps I will do a post on my toys one of these days…

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Dancing mushrooms from Disney’s Fantasia

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IMG_1183-WDW-EPCOT-Fantasia-mushroom-red

At the Flower and Garden Festival in EPCOT this year, there was a whole section at the front of the park devoted to Disney’s 1941 animated classic Fantasia, which made my heart glad. Disney does not put the old classics on the shelf, but finds ways to introduce them to subsequent generations of Disney fans.

Here’s one of the dancing mushrooms from Fantasia, rendered in topiary. Note the red hat! The sequence with the mushrooms is set to a section of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite ballet. While googling around for tidbits about the dancing mushrooms, I came across some conversations that debated whether or not the sequence is racist. I’m not sure where people are getting “racist” out of this sequence. The piece of music is called the Chinese Dance, which is probably why the Disney artists chose to go with Chinese dancing mushrooms.

Here, have a look – it’s one minute, seven seconds long – and then tell me what your thoughts are:

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Quick look at each Disney park in Orlando

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One of the advantages of living in Florida is that I can go to Walt Disney World a lot more frequently now, seeing as how I don’t need to purchase airfare. And one of the advantages of going more frequently is ending up with a large stockpile of digital photographs so I can share Walt Disney World with anyone who happens upon my blog. Let’s go to the parks!

IMG_4128-WDW-AK-Dino-Rama

Sign at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park announces that you’ve arrived at Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama! I never did figure out if this is Chester or Hester!


IMG_4376-WDW-DHS-MGM-Rosies

Rosie’s All American Cafe is a great place to catch a quick bite to eat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There are lots of tables with umbrellas for shade, and it’s right near Tower of Terror and Rockin’ Roller Coaster, so you can just hang out here if you’re waiting on a Fast Pass.


IMG_4274-WDW-EPCOT-Gran-Fiesta-Tour

Images of The Three Caballeros grace the entrance to what used to be known as the El Rio Del Tiempo boat ride in EPCOT, but is now known as the Gran Fiesta Tour. I lost a pair of sunglasses in the “river of time” one year. I wonder what else is down there on the “river” bottom?


IMG_4153-WDW-MK-Peter-Pan-Flower-Bed

A bright red flower bed at Disney’s Magic Kingdom features garden ornaments fashioned after the leading characters from Peter Pan. Peter’s sword seems to be making straight for Wendy’s head, the hussy; I bet Tinker Bell’s magic wand had something to do with this. That’ll teach this Wendy person to come between Peter and his best girl! πŸ˜€


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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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My kingdom for a Mickey bar!

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IMG01050-Mickey-Bar-Wrapped πŸ™‚ 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 Β°oΒ° on a daily basis πŸ˜‰

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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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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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Yet More Disney Characters Who Wear RED

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IMG_0210-EPCOT-Donald-Duck-topiary πŸ˜€ Is there no end to the number of Disney characters who wear RED? Apparently not! I’ve already documented the phenomenon of Disney characters wearing red quite extensively. Then this evening, while drooling over some old photos from the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival from ‘way back in 2004, I found a couple more Disney characters wearing red, and then fast forwarded to October of that same year to find one more, just because I think three is a nice number of photos to include in any given post πŸ˜‰ This is, of course, in honor of Ruby Tuesday, where once a week, our host Mary encourages us to post a little something to do with the color RED.

Here we see Donald Duck in topiary, his jaunty blue sailor hat and perky RED bow tie standing out from the ivy he’s made of. At his feet, some RED apples; behind him, the RED brick wall that separates The American Adventure pavilion from… um… what’s on the other side of that wall? Oh yeah, Japan! See, it’s been all the way since October since I was last there, and I’m forgetting it all – I need a fix! πŸ˜‰ The trip report I wrote about this day indicates that I spent some time just hanging out at the American Adventure listening to music – the twin brother duo Nelson was there, playing their one pop hit plus all the classics made famous by their more-famous father, Ricky Nelson.

IMG_0240-MK-Parade-PinocchioNow we will fast-forward a few months to November 1st 2004. I was in the Magic Kingdom with Chez Bro and Da Fam (SIL and Nieceling) when the Share A Dream Come True parade came through. Many of the characters are presented inside these snow globes; I found myself hoping that these vehicles came equipped with air conditioning! I hear that it’s really quite hot and stuffy enough inside those costumes without the sun creating a hothouse effect inside the plastic bubble! Inside this particular bubble/snow globe is Pinocchio, who is wearing RED knee britches. If you look real close, you will see Jiminy Cricket hanging from the roof of the globe.

IMG_0070-DAK-Lilo-StitchLast shot – back in time we go to April 2004 again. Here are Lilo and Stitch, waiting to greet what was no doubt a LONG line of autograph-seekers. Stitch is not looking as good as I’ve seen him; that costume just doesn’t seem right to me, maybe a little too baggy, and the head is too small. Or something. There doesn’t look to be anything particularly RED about Stitch. However, the lovely Lilo is modeling a RED Hawaiian print, and has a RED hibiscus bloom adorning her hair. And for my great buddy Christene, both are wearing leis made of plumeria blossoms. While I concede that they are probably not contraband plumeria (and therefore, probably not especially thrilling to Christene, whose tastes run toward contraband), they plumeria none the less πŸ˜‰

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The Empress Lilly, Downtown Disney

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IMG01511-Fultons-Crab-House-Empress-LillyFor today’s Ruby Tuesday, I’ve got a little history lesson for you all, about a popular seafood restaurant in Orlando, Florida.

Located in Downtown Disney, Fulton’s Crab House opened in the mid-1970s and was originally called The Empress Lilly. Named after and christened by Walt Disney’s wife Lillian, this paddle-boat styled structure housed three different restaurants and a lounge. After many years, Disney began to outsource the management of their restaurants, and The Empress Lilly underwent a transformation into the Fulton’s Crab House restaurant you see there today. It’s been a few years since I’ve eaten there, but I seem to remember that I liked the crab cakes a lot!

Have you eaten at Fulton’s Crab House recently?
Was it good? Bad? Downright UGLY?
Please leave a comment and share your experience – I’d love to hear about it!


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Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade – Red Edition!

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IMG01400-DAK-parade-Brer-Bear‘k, I’m back and so is Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade, coming to you directly from Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Yesterday, I presented to you the Blue and Yellow Edition of the parade. Today, I am pleased to present the RED Edition, in honor of Ruby Tuesday.

I’m not really sure what the two fluffy creatures in the foreground of this photo are, but they do add to the fun and festivities. The one on the left has some RED on it – well, it’s suspect, appears to actually be fuchsia – and is also sporting a set of horns on his (her?) head! Dunno what that’s all about. A red deer, perhaps?

The thing that I want you to notice in this photo is the dude in the background. One of Disney’s more rarely glimpsed characters outside the confines of Splash Mountain, that is none other than Brer Bear from an old film called Song of the South. See his hat? RED!

IMG01397-DAK-parade-Monkey
Look, here comes a giant monkey! He’s got some bright yet suspect red-that-might-be-fuchsia on his face… perhaps he is embarrassed? Many of these parade characters were invented by the same woman who designed the “costumes” for the Broadway production of Disney’s The Lion King – Julie Taymor. Β  This monkey, or perhaps the camel or crocodile from The Blue and Yellow Edition, are actually “costumes” that are worn and manipulated by the actors, who give them voices. A few of them are on wheels and many of them are walked around by the actors by means of stilts that are attached to the “costume”. They really are rather ingenius!

IMG01403-DAK-Parade-Goofy
Goofy sorta looks like he’s wearing a cowboy outfit, but if he’s a cowboy, what’s he doing hauling around a surfboard (with a red stripe)? He’s also hauling a red, old-fashioned radio, and he’s got a red hat on his head.

IMG01407
Sorry, Donald Duck is wearing red, but he is also a little blurry. Hey, have you ever aimed a Blackberry at a moving parade float and hoped for the best? πŸ˜‰ Well, that’s what you’re witnessing here. Every time I see this parade, I try to figure out what Donald needs that red plunger for. Any guesses? Leave them in the comments!

OK, last but definitely not least, here comes the star of the show, the life of the party! His parade vehicle is red and so is the flag upon it. Ladeeees and gentlemen – jammin’ in the jungle, it’s the mouse, the myth, the legend – MICKEY!

IMG01411-DAK-parade-Mickey-Mouse

Have you ever before seen so many Disney characters wearing red in one place? Probably here, actually! I have a few previous posts dedicated to Disney characters wearing red which are rather popular.

I hope you all enjoyed the parade. Now you can click your heels together three times – or else, just click your mouse on the red shoes in the badge below – and be transported to the internet home of Mary da Teach, where you will find links that will take you to visit other Ruby Tuesday participants.


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RED Hidden Mickeys at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter

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

Yesterday we took a look at one of the standard rooms at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter resort, and I showed you a “Hidden Mickey” in the bedspread. Today, in honor of Ruby Tuesday, we’ll take a look at the red upholstered chair. I bet you think that you can see the “Hidden Mickey’s on this chair, huh?

IMG_0053-Red-chair-hidden-mickeys

Surprise, surprise, surprise – there are even more than you thought there were!

IMG_0051-Port-Orleans-French-Quarter-upholstery

I vaguely remember a Cast Member telling me that there are hundreds of “Hidden Mickeys” in each room at Port Orleans French Quarter. I think it was the captain of one of the boats that takes people between the Port Orleans resorts and Downtown Disney. I’m trying to verify this by asking around at some of the Disney forums out there on the interwebz – I’m sure someone else must have heard the same story that I have.

Or… maybe YOU know! Did you hear that story too – that there are hundreds of Hidden Mickeys in each room at Port Orleans French Quarter? Who told you? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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Strolling EPCOT’s World Showcase at Walt Disney World

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

IMG_6684-Friendship-boat-rampCan you believe it’s March already? At the end of the month, the first quarter of the new year will be over, and we won’t be able to call it “new” any more! We’re also that much closer to my next trip to Walt Disney World, which is coming up in May. Today being Ruby Tuesday, I thought we should take a look around the World Showcase at EPCOT and see what sort of red stuff we can find. It’s never too difficult to find red stuff at Walt Disney World.

IMG_6669-EPCOT-Canada-Imagination-Friendship-boat
Why, here’s some red stuff now – check out the border around the signage for the Friendship boat dock. And here comes the boat – it’s got some red stuff on it, too. You know, I think I’ve only taken the Friendship boats across the lagoon maybe ONCE, but I’ve taken them lots of times to get back to the Swan or Dolphin hotels – “Swolphin”, for the initiated πŸ˜‰ – late at night when I’m tired.

IMG_6662_crop-China-EPCOT-red-arch

Here’s one of those pieces of architectural eye-candy. This red arch can be found at the China pavilion. Owing to the fact that you can position a photo so the Spaceship Earth geosphere, aka the big golf ball is visible through the arch, this is a very popular photo spot. However, I’ve not figured out how to take a photo here at night. After dark, the “golf ball” is lit up but there’s not enough light on the arch to make a complete picture. You either get the ball or the arch in focus and visible, but not both. I’m willing to take direction, so if anyone’s got any ideas, please comment!”

IMG00802-EPCOT-Japan-Sushi-SakeWell, the sun’s going down now, and I’m a little hungry. What say we stop in Japan for a little sushi and some sake? I normally don’t do sushi, but this is crab, so if I close my eyes I can pretend it is steamed and not raw πŸ˜‰ As I recall, the sake was a little on the watery side, but I do like the way the red wrapper for the chopsticks is reflecting on the glass in the waning light of late afternoon. Kampai! (yeah, I googled – that’s like “Salut!”, only in Japanese).

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One RED Thing From Each Walt Disney World Park

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

It’s Ruby Tuesday again! For your crimson viewing pleasure today, I’ve selected a cross-section from all four of the Walt Disney World theme parks in Orlando.

IMG_1277-Small-World-Magic-KingdomIt’s a Small World, MAGIC KINGDOM
I want you all to know that it is in the interest of primacy and latency that I lovingly dish up the entrance to “It’s A Small World”. It’s a proven theory of learning that the first thing on the list and the last thing on the list are the things you will remember the best. So now, your brain will be humming “It’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after all….” ALL DAY! What a gift, huh? How cool am I – don’t you just wanna be best friends for evah? Bwahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa 😈

Disney-Epcot-WS-EmblemWorld Showcase, EPCOT
I know, that was cruel. And I’m sorry, truly I am. To make it up to you, I will now tell you a bunch of interesting things to try and make you forget that song that your obsessive-compulsive brain is repeating over and over, ad nauseum, ad infinitum…. OK here’s a door. It’s actually a gate. It’s located in the World Showcase at EPCOT. Look, you can see the gap between the two parts of the gate. What’s back there? I’ll tell you… I’m not sure! I have been back there precisely once, in the year 2000. I was in Walt Disney World for a conference. I think my SIL (Chez Bro’s wife) was with me – I imported her one year to keep me company, and I’m pretty sure this was the year. The Millenium Village was back there. From what I can remember (hey it was 9 years ago), there was a big tent with lots of tables and demonstration areas and booths representing a plethora of countries that are not present in the World Showcase. I believe actually that Israel was the primary occupant of the tent, but there were other countries back there too.

The only other time I’ve seen this gate open was a couple of years ago. I was passing by at twilight, and there was a private party going on back there. It was all shiny and bright and lit up back there, and heavenly aromas of delicious food emanated from within. I was like a little orphan child with her nose pressed to the glass. Man, when I grow up, I wanna be invited to a party behind the big gate with the “WS” (for “World Showcase”) on it.

IMG_0994-Disney-Chinese-theater-detailChinese Theater, DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
This statue is a piece of the awesome detail work from the exterior of Disney’s replica of the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California. Times were, you could enter Disney-MGM Studios oops I mean Disney’s Hollywood Studios and see this iconic work of art/architecture waiting for you at the end of the boulevard. Nowadays, what you get is The Big-Ass Hat. It’s a shame really, because the theater is quite beautiful. I’ve read that the Disney version has some details on it that no longer exist on the Hollywood version, so it looks like Disney made an effort to duplicate the original from it’s very earliest days. This structure houses Disney’s Great Movie Ride, an attraction that delivers the Guests to tableaux from famous Hollywood productions like Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, Indiana Jones, and many other classics. I have to say that I like the queue for The Great Movie Ride nearly as much as the ride itself. Sometimes I’m so wrapped up in watching the continuous loop of clips from famous movie classics, I don’t want to go on the ride when it’s finally my turn – I just want to stand there and watch some more!

IMG01464-Disney-snack-hutA snack shack, DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM
Ah, finally – we’ve made it to the Animal Kingdom. This park is my second favorite behind EPCOT. The art and architecture can be whimsical, colorful and folk-ish in certain areas of the park. This snack shack is one such example. If you click the picture, you’ll see a larger version in Flickr. You might be able to see that there are hints as to what sort of snacks are sold there built right into the artwork that adorns the building. Yep, those are pretzels and bottles of Coca Cola. Pretty cool, huh?

Well, that’s our Ruby Tuesday tour of the Disney parks – now, if you want to see more Ruby Tuesday photos, just click your heels together three times… I mean, click the ruby slippers below, and you will be instantly transported to a list of participants.

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“Special” RED Stuff from around Disney’s EPCOT

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

IMG_0713-Happiest-Celebration-EPCOT

Have you ever noticed how Disney is always having some sort of “special” celebration or festival or anniversary event? Every year, it’s always something. 100 Years of Magic! The Year – no make that TWO Years – Of A Million Dreams! Millennium Celebration! The year I snapped this one, they were having The Happiest Celebration On Earth, but for the life of me, I cannot remember what da heck they were celebrating. Oh yeah, maybe it was the 50th anniversary of Disneyland in Anaheim, California. All the Disney parks from around the world sort of “swapped” attractions. EPCOT in Orlando got a brand new attraction that year called Soarin’. It’s a duplicate of the Soarin’ Over California attraction at Disney’s California Adventure theme park in Anaheim. My favorite part is when you soar over the river and you can smell the pines…. and it SEEMS like you can kick all the rafters and other boaters in the head!

IMG00726-Disney-EPCOT-sign-food-and-wineOne of the “special” annual events that I actually like and therefore won’t make (too much) fun of is the Food and Wine Festival. Some of you have watched me mobile blog my way around the countries in the World Showcase in EPCOT, eating and drinking a path through the festival. Some of you have even been “drunk-dialed” while I was doing this πŸ˜‰ Fortunately, I never had to drive home. It is only a short walk out the International Gateway and back to the hotel. Well at that hour of the night, it’s more like a meander. But I do eventually get back to the hotel!

IMG00721-Disney-China-EPCOT-food-and-wineHere’s one of the temporary oops, I meant to say “special” Food and Wine Festival kiosks that are sprinkled between and around the normal country pavilions of the World Showcase. I believe I had the Sha Cha Chicken. Yes, I looked it up just now – I DID have the sha cha chicken, which I found to be “eh” but with it, I had a “mango gingerita” that was devine. Damn it was FINE. I wish I was back there right now! Actually, I wish I’d gotten the recipe for the mango gingerita! Here’s the link to see what Sha Cha Chicken and a Mango Gingerita look like

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RED Signs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com
RED Signs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
(a Ruby Tuesday post)
Click each photo; there’s usually a larger version in Flickr, which will open in a new window

IMG01460-Disneys-Animal-Kingdom-sign-welcomeBy now, repeat visitors here at My Mobile Adventures really get it – there is no shortage of RED stuff in Walt Disney World. That’s a good thing for me, because I’ve taken lots and lots of photos in the Disney theme parks and resorts. This leaves me with a great deal of material for Mary’s wonderful Ruby Tuesday photo meme.

Here we have a sign that proclaims us “welcome”; I found it in the Asia section of the park. I think we could assume that the lettering above is “welcome” in maybe Hindi. There was a visitor last time I posted a sign from this section of the Animal Kingdom who translated for us (I think it might have been the Coca Cola post). I sure hope that visitor comes back and tells us it is “welcome” and not “eat at Joe’s” or something equally ridiculous! πŸ˜€

IMG01457-Disney-sign-KaliKali River Rapids is the Animal Kingdom’s “E” ticket water ride. You ride along in a giant inner tube raft which spins and twists and plummets its way along a “river”. There are parts where a waterfall will get you if you aren’t careful, and there’s another part where you go under a bridge – on the bridge are other guests who have stopped there for the express purpose of shooting at the occupants of your raft with Disney-provided water guns. They take great pleasure in doing so, too. You are guaranteed to exit this ride fairly well drenched. I don’t like walking around the park for the rest of the day with wet underwear clinging to my butt, so I tend to wear quick-dry shorts and carry an extra pair of undies and a plastic bag for the wet ones.

Disney-AK-Caravan-Stage-FlagsHere’s one of my favorite signs in all of Walt Disney World. There’s a bird show called Flights of Wonder at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It takes place on the Caravan Stage. I love the tapestry look of this sign, a banner really, and all the multi-colored prayer flags waving in the breeze close by. A few months ago, I posted a video of the “gacking owl” which was taken by Niece No. 2 about this time last year. Well, that owl is a part of the pre-show for Flights of Wonder on the Caravan Stage. If you are hot and cranky and just want to sit, cool off and be entertained for a while, this is the place to head for.

Hope you enjoyed these RED signs from Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I’m pretty sure there will be more RED Disney signs in our future! πŸ˜€

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RED Stuff at the EPCOT Festivals in Walt Disney World

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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RED Stuff at the EPCOT Festivals in Walt Disney World
(a Ruby Tuesday post)

click a photo to see a larger version in Flickr

The color RED makes a strong showing in the Disney theme parks in Orlando, Florida. Perhaps that’s the reason that so many of my Ruby Tuesday posts are laden with photos taken at Walt Disney World.

IMG_1142-EPCOT-China-topiary-dragonThis dragon topiary was photographed at the Flower and Garden Festival, which takes place in EPCOT each spring. Red is the predominant color at the China pavilion, which is no surprise because red is the most significant color in Chinese culture. From the Chinese flag to the emblem of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, red represents China like no other color.

IMG_1083-EPCOT-flowers-Mickey-HeadIn 2005, the theme of the Flower and Garden Festival revolved around “hidden” Mickeys. There were 50 of them hidden in the park in connection with the festival. Some were more obvious than others. They could be anything from an arrangement of stones on the bottom of a pool to this giant, red, not-so-hidden Mickey on the banks of one of the lagoons. It’s made up of hundreds of flowering plants in bloom.Β  You might think that this one was sort of a “gimmee” because it is so big, but I think that sometimes, the best “hiding” place is right out in the open.

IMG_0705-EPCOT-flowers-butterflyHere’s another water-side display, this time in the shape of a colossal red
butterfly. If you click through to the larger version of the photo, you will see that there are butterfly topiaries behind it. This display was near the butterfly house, a mesh tent that contains a butterfly garden and LOTS of butterflies. There are cocoons in there too, but I’ve never been lucky enough to be present while one was hatching. In the background on the right, you can see the tall spire from a defunct attraction called The Wonders of Life.Β  Sometimes the Wonders of Life pavilion is used as a Festival Center.Β  Last year when I was there in October, this pavilion was filled with food-related merchandise and racks and racks of bottles of wine during the Food and Wine Festival.

IMG_6367--EPCOT-Louisiana-spices-vegetables-wineAnd speaking of Food and Wine, it’s time to switch festivals. Here’s a display that I found in the temporary “Louisiana” section of the 2008 Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT. This display represents the classic ingredients in Louisiana cooking. I didn’t recognize even half of these brand names, so I guess they are either local to Louisiana, or maybe they are memorabilia-type representations of classic ingredients from the past. Anyone out there from Louisiana that could enlighten us?

To give you an idea of scale, people were hoisting their little kids on top of the can that says “Delta….” to take a picture of them – until a Cast Member came over and asked them to stop. Spoil sport! πŸ˜€Β  Included in the display are a giant bottle of red wine, and a smallerΒ  red bottle that looks like it might be the equivalent of Tabasco.

IMG_6382-EPCOT-Louisiana-potager-garden-vegetablesThis little vegetable garden was just across the path from the ingredients display. A little sign in the garden stated that these are the typical vegetables that go into Louisiana cooking. I see onions, parsley, several varieties of peppers that include some red ones and … not sure what all else was growing in there. It kind of made me all misty-eyed for the days when I had my own little organic potager growing in the yard… and then I remembered all the back-breaking work it is to grow vegetables, and I got over it!

Hope you enjoyed our little stroll through the RED stuff at EPCOT!

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“The Real Thing” in RED at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com
“The Real Thing” in RED at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
(a Ruby Tuesday post)

IMG01456-Coca-Cola-Sign-Disneys-Animal-KingdomIf you are a fan of Pepsi products and you happen to find yourself in Walt Disney World, you are fresh out of luck. Disney has had an exclusive relationship with Coca-Cola for a very long time. With very few exceptions, wither Disney goeth, Coca-Cola followeth. Throughout the Disney theme parks, resorts and restaurants, the only cola you will find is Coke.

There’s a story that goes around the internet every now and again that smells like an “urban legend” but I wasn’t able to find it on everyone’s favorite urban legend reference site, Snopes.com. Here’s how the story was told in a recent email I received:

IMG01458-Coca-Cola-Sign-Disneys-Animal-Kingdom“During the first two weeks of Walt Disney World’s operation, the Pepsi-Cola Co. was a sponsor. On the second weekend of WDW being open, they ran out of soda. So Disney contacted the Pepsi-Cola offices and tried to place an order for more soft drinks to be delivered as soon as possible. Well the person in charge at Pepsi said that because it was the weekend, they wouldn’t be able to ship anything until the following Monday.

“Disney then contacted The Coca-Cola Co. The person in charge at Coke gave the same information that due to the weekend, all the truck divers were at home. However, this person decide to go above and beyond what the Pepsi-Cola guy was willing to do. The Coke guy actually called all the drivers at home, and got them to ship all the soda the next day. So after that, Disney signed a multi-million dollar contract with Coke. Needless to say, the guy in charge at Pepsi got fired”.

IMG01459-Coca-Cola-bottles-Disneys-Animal-KingdomI really rather doubt the veracity of this story because I cannot imagine Disney “running out” of anything, much less something as fundamental as soda! Why, that would be downright un-American πŸ˜‰ Even though I could not find it covered at Snopes, I did find that outlandish stories about Coca-Cola are not in short supply. In fact, there’s even more craziness in store when you look up the Disney section of Snopes.

IMG01461-Coca-Cola-Sign-Disneys-Animal-KingdomThere’s another story that makes the rounds periodically which indicates that despite the fact that Disney charges their guests for soft drinks, Coca-Cola provides Disney with it’s products solely for promotional consideration. Don’t know whether or not that’s true, but Coke is surely getting a lot of exposure in the parks. The photos featured in this article were taken in just one small section of one Disney theme park. I’m not even a soda drinker, but when I pass this section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I’m almost tempted!

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Tiny RED Flowers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com
title goes here
(a Ruby Tuesday post)

One of the things I love about Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the beautiful environment that has been created to showcase the animals. I’ve heard it said that there are over 4,000 varieties of plants and trees at DAK. One day in October 2008, I stopped to experiment with the macro button on my camera. Since Mary has suggested macro shots for today’s Ruby Tuesday, I went searching for a few of these experimental shots.

IMG_7037-Macro-tiny-flowers-Disney-Animal-Kingdom
Messing around with macro shots in Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom. These tiny red and fuschia blooms were perfect subject for the experiment.

IMG_7040-Tiny-red-buds-macro-disney-Animal-Kingdom
This is what those tiny red blossoms look like before they unfurl; tight, red, almost like little beans.

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Fort Myers Beach Window Dressing

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com
title goes here
(a Ruby Tuesday post)

IMG00328-Lobster-sun-catcher

Lobster sun catcher hangs in the window of the Beach Seafood Market in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. September 14th, 2008

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EPCOTS’s China – perspective in RED

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com
EPCOT’s China – perspective in RED
(a Ruby Tuesday post)

IMG00716-EPCOT-China-Arches

These are the magnificent entry arches to the China pavilion at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT. The China pavilion uses the color RED a lot, so readers should be prepared to see more of EPCOT’s China in the future!

Oh, and I predict that Elaine, my bloggy friend across the seas, will LOVE the composition of this photo.

Can anyone guess why?

πŸ˜‰

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Happy Holidays From New York

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~* http://MyMobileAdventures.com
Happy Holidays from New York (a Ruby Tuesday post)

I need to pack – headed to NY for Christmas tomorrow. Y’all be good and have a great holiday! Scroll down to see if I’m mobile blogging at all.

xxxooo
Tink *~*~*

IMG_5154-Radio-City-fountain-Christmas-2007

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RED Stuff at Christmas Time in Disney’s EPCOT

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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RED Stuff at Christmas Time in Disney’s EPCOT
(a Ruby Tuesday post)

click photos to see them a bit larger in Flickr

I’m sort of grumpy because I was supposed to spend a 4-day weekend in Orlando and should be about driving home by now, but an injured foot precluded the idea of tramping around the parks. And so, I console myself this Ruby Tuesday by looking at photos of Christmas past in EPCOT.

IMG_3611 You may recall that I’ve recently published photos of the Lights of Winter at EPCOT. Today I’ve got just a few scenes from around the World Showcase.

Here we have Father Christmas. I found him telling stories to children of all ages in “France”. I find him kind of attractive, in a Richard Gere sort of way πŸ˜‰ In fact, the day this photo was taken, I found either Santa or a Santa equivalent telling stories in nearly every country – even Morocco!

IMG_3641

Here we are in “Germany”. There’s something about this beam-and-batten, Tudorish architecture that is eminently suitable for Christmas decorations.

But wait – there’s more! This isn’t even the best part of Christmas in “Germany”…

IMG_3640

The best thing about “Germany” is the model trains, and at Christmas time, this little Bavarian Alps village is all done up for Christmas. There are tiny, decorated pine trees and wreaths everywhere. Here is the village square; the church and other buildings are all festooned with garland, and even the light post is decorated. But wait – there’s even MORE!

IMG_3638It’s the be-ribboned train station, looking just as festive as the town square. OH! What’s that on the roof? Could it be…. SANTA? I think it just might be! But what’s he doing landing on the roof of the train station? Perhaps someone lives there, in the apartment upstairs from the waiting room. Yes, that must be it!

IMG_3667-EPCOT-Holidays-Around-World
In World Showcase Plaza, right at the end of the promenade, there’s a giant Christmas tree with lights blazing, and giant presents set underneath it. Here’s a giant tag on one of the giant presents. I love the use of the candle’s halo for the “o” in EPCOT.

I feel a little better now that I’ve reviewed the pictures of what I missed this weekend. There’s always next year to spend a little of the holiday time in Walt Disney World. Until then, I can plan and dream!

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RED Stuff from out and about today

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RED Stuff From Out And About Today

(a Ruby Tuesday post)

12082008488-Price-of-Gas-Ft-Myers-FL-12-08-2008I had to go to the doctor today to get something that will kill this evil sinus infection from hell. On the way back, I stopped to look at the price of gas – would you look at this? If it keeps falling like this, could we possibly hit double digits any time soon? The sign just happened to be printed red.

12072008475-Tampa-Bay-Bucs-logo-PublixI headed to my local Publix supermarket, to get my prescription from the doctor filled. In the vestibule where all the shopping carts are stored hangs this poster depicting the logo for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team. Football is definitely bigger in Florida than it was on Long Island; in fact, it may actually qualify as the state religion of Florida.

12072008484-Publix-Pharmacy-Decorated-for-ChristmasAh, there’s my target – the Publix Pharmacy. I’ve got to fill this here prescription for a Z-pak full of anti-biotic goodness. Doesn’t Publix look pretty? They go rather berserk with it all – there are wrapped “gifts” and cute penguins in Santa hats strewn on the shelves and garlands of paper candy canes arching over the ends of the aisles. Very festive!

12082008494-Box-and-card-from-AlaskaWhen I got home, I went to collect the mail from the mailbox and spied a package sitting at the front door. I could not imagine who it was from, but braved the perils of the wasps (yes, they are at it AGAIN, but that’s another story for another day) to go collect it. Much to my surprise, it was from Alaska! I’d forgotten that Gayle had asked me for my snail mail address – I provided it, and then promptly put it out of my mind. Oooo, gifty-treats! I wonder what it is?

12082008496-Card-From-AlaskaInside the card with the deranged chihuahua on the front is some of the prettiest handwriting I’ve ever seen. Here’s part of the note from Gayle – whatever is inside the box is directed at the “Sanibel Crawlers” – that’s me, Gary, Tootie and the Snowbirds. I reach in and start pulling out small objects wrapped in newspapers…

12082008501-Booty-From-Alaska-Bar-Crawling-AidsOh, too cool – we each get our very own shot glass – booty from Alaska, with mooses on them (yes I know that the plural of “moose” is “moose” but I like saying “mooses” – it’s kinda like “operculii”, ok?).

So, Crawlers – here’s what I’m envisioning. We all take our Alaskan shot glasses on the next crawl with us, and have the bartender make a pitcher of… something. Kamikazes? And we’ll drink to our blogger friend Gayle in Alaska. Sound like a plan?

Oh and I’m looking forward to reading the newspaper from Alaska, too! πŸ˜‰

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RED Stuff from the Tween Waters Inn, Captiva Island, Florida

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RED STUFF from the Tween Waters Inn, Captiva Island, Florida
(a Ruby Tuesday post)

I guess we are officially in the season where RED STUFF abounds.Β  Yes, it’s Christmas time, and the decorations are going up rapidly all over the place.Β  Here are some shots taken on Thanksgiving Day last week at the Tween Waters Inn on Captiva Island in Southwest Florida.

SNOWMEN er, PEOPLE
There were a couple of festive snowmen on the path from the parking lot to the restaurant.Β  Amazingly, they seem impervious to the Florida sunshine, and they do not melt! πŸ˜‰

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TOYLAND
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11272008449-Christmas-Polar-Bears-Doormen-Tween-Waters-Inn

THE RESTAURANT
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THE TREE
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THE REASON FOR THE SEASON
There isn’t really any red in this, but I just had to include it.
11272008446-Nativity-Tween-Waters-Inn

I’m saving a series of Santas found at Tweenies for Skywatch Friday… stay tuned!

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Maharajah Jungle Trek RED Stuff, Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com
Maharajah Jungle Trek RED Stuff, Disney’s Animal Kingdom
(a Ruby Tuesday post)

There is a section along the Maharajah Jungle Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom that features a good amount of the color RED. Perfect for Ruby Tuesday!

IMG01438-Maharaja-Jungle-Trek-That-Way

This sign invites guests to continue on through the “Red Pavilion”

IMG01440-Maharajah-Jungle-Trek-Red-Pavilion

The pavilion is indeed constructed of pale red stones. There’s also a curious little red vehicle sitting before it.

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I want to say it’s a rickshaw, except every picture of a rickshaw that I found on Google has the driver PULLING it, not pushing! So I don’t know what it is, but it’s red. πŸ™‚ Anandapur is the name of the little town we’re in, here in the Asia section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.Β  It’s very close to the Himalayas.

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Quite a few signs on the trek, many of them in red. This one promises Birds of the Royal Forest are lurking somewhere.

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Now, the bird painted on this sign was red in person, not the pink that this photo would have you think it is. But what’s pink anyway, besides red with a little white thrown in? I say it’s red – let’s have a closer look.

IMG01443-Maharajah-Jungle-Trek-red-Bird-Closer
Eh, closer is not really an improvement in the redness department. Well, you’ll just have to take my word for it that it was red in real life!

Also, the shape of the bird is somewhat reminiscent of the logo for the Partridge Family.Β  So what do you think – could be an exotic pink cousin, right? πŸ˜‰

IMG01447-Maharajah-Jungle-Trek-Please-No-Entrance

Well, now this is strange! All of the signs thus far have been friendly. This one is polite, but clearly not welcoming. I wonder what’s in that forest, and why someone doesn’t want us to enter and explore? Hmmm, the plot thickens…Β  πŸ˜€

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The Red Caboose

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com
The Red Caboose
(a Ruby Tuesday post)

Strawberry-Festival-Caboose

This caboose was at the Strawberry Festival in Plant City, Florida this past spring (2008). The caboose actually served as the “lost and found” for the festival. I went with my friend Christene, and we had an excellent time.

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Just off Main Street USA, Magic Kingdom

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com
Just off Main Street USA, Magic Kingdom
(a Ruby Tuesday post)

IMG_6734-Disney-Magic-Kingdom-Art-Festival-10-17-2008As you make your way down Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, there is a little side street off to the right where you can escape the crowds and the noise for a bit and chill out, enjoying the ambiance. The last time I was there, just last month, I made such a pitstop there to enjoy my lunch. And as I sat there munching, I began to realize that I was sitting in Ruby Tuesday heaven!

In this first photo, you can see that there are red chairs and a table, and that there is more vaguely red stuff reflected ghost-like in the windows. Before getting my lunch, I sat for a while and listened to the most fascinating thing – a singing lesson! Yes, the windows above the stores advertise all sorts of services available in these buildings, like singing lessons and ballet lessons. The fascinating thing about the singing lesson is that when the singer first starts the scale, you are absolutely sure that it’s a guy, but four octaves (!!!) later, and you could swear it’s a soprano! Back down the scale she descends, and inexplicably, you’re back to believing that you are listening to a very fine baritone limbering up the old vocal chords. It’s kind of like an aural hallucination or something… isn’t Magic Kingdom supposed to be a “dry” park? πŸ™‚

IMG_6731-Disney-Side-Street-Magic-Kingdom-10-17-2008

If you can pry your attention away from the singing lessons long enough to allow for visual stimuli to register in your brain, you will soon realize that the table and chairs are not the only things that are red in this place. Why, the very sidewalk is a lovely shade of blush that compliments the bricks of the Crystal Arts store quite nicely.

IMG_6730-Disney-Magic-Kingdom-Red-Table-Chairs

Look, here’s a free table in the shade. And it’s clean, too! Mostly, that’s the way you find stuff in the Magic Kingdom – clean, inviting, and just waiting for you to come along and think it’s all just swell. The Disney Cast Members work hard to ensure a happy guest experience, but guess what? The guests are at least partially responsible for everything looking “neat and pretty”. They bus their own tables, and they dispose of their trash in a proper and orderly manner. So we have a lot of people to thank for this wonderful table. But it’s empty! What shall we eat at this lovely table on a shady side street in the Magic Kingdom?

IMG_6733-Disney-Magic-Kingdom-Mickey-Mouse-Serving-Strawberries

Mmmmm, chocolate-dipped strawberries – served up by Da Mouse Himself! Now that’s what I call a snack!

What? Oh yeah… yeah, you’re right. I WAS kind of concerned about gaining weight on this trip. I fought so hard to lose some of the I-don’t-smoke-anymore-weight.Β  No, no, you’re right. I should have that nice turkey-on-whole-grain sammish and a bottle of water. It’s just unfortunate that we’re sitting here, right outside the place where they make all the sweets, and I can SMELL the chocolate-dipped strawberries… hey, they’re fruit! I mean, there’s fruit in them there strawberries. So they should be ok. Five a day, you know – five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. That’s what all those healthy people say you should eat. They don’t mention anything about chocolate but you know, I hear they make it from a plant, which would be a vegetable… see, that would probably count as TWO servings of healthy stuff!

Will Tink *~*~* break down and eat the incredibly delicious and succulent yet poundage-inducing chocolate-dipped strawberries? Or will she settle for the dry, boring turkey-on-whole-grain sammish? And what about…. HAROLD???? (dun-dun-dun!). For the answers to these and other questions, tune in to next week’s episode of “My Mobile Adventures *~*~* presents… RUBY TUESDAY!

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The Piano Tuner

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.com
The Piano Tuner (a Ruby Tuesday post)

The Piano Tuner, originally uploaded by Tink*~*~*.

The piano tuner’s truck was parked in someone’s driveway as I was out walking one day. I snapped this pic so I would have the number, as my piano has a few sticky keys. And then I realized it was a good Ruby Tuesday shot! However, I haven’t gotten around to calling yet. Now you will all have something you can use to pester me!

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More Disney Characters in RED

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
http://MyMobileAdventures.blogspot.com
More Disney Characters In RED

A few weeks ago, my Ruby Tuesday entry consisted of some Disney’s Ladies in RED. Well, the post was really popular, and folks seemed to like it so much, I decided to dig around in my photos and see if I could find any other Disney characters that were sportin’ a little RED.

First up is a little guy we all know and love – it’s Pooh! Can’t you just hear him saying, “Oh, bother!” as he floats up, up and away? Can you find the “hidden” Mickey in this photo?

Next up – why, it’s Hook and Smee! Hook is everyone favorite Disney pirate. Okay, he’s not quite as good-looking as Johnny Depp, so maybe he takes a back seat to Captain Jack Sparrow these days. But he’s still quite dashing in his all-CRIMSON ensemble, while the faithful Smee stands by with his fashionable RED headgear. In this photo, I’ve kindly pointed out the “hidden” Mickey.

Our final image was captured at Downtown Disney, in the big World of Disney store, in the room where they sell the pin collections and the watches and such. This is the hand of possibly the earliest of Disney’s “Villains” characters to appear on the silver screen. Snow White premiered in 1938, and it is she for whom the poisoned apple is intended.

“Go on. Go on, have a bite.”

In a few more weeks, I’ll be headed to Walt Disney World in Orlando once again. I’ll be going there with different eyes this time, now that I’ve been playing with photo memes. I’ll be looking for lots of red for Ruby Tuesday and lots of sky for Skywatch Friday. Not to mention, lots and lots of critters, both real and imaginary, for Camera Critters.

Oh, and I’ll be mobile photo blogging a good deal of the time as well! Stay tuned, it’s coming SOON!

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Disney’s Ladies in RED

Β© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*

http://MyMobileAdventures.blogspot.com

Disney’s Ladies in RED
Walt Disney World

Rifling through my picture directories from the past 4 years or so, looking for suitable fodder for Ruby Tuesday (hosted at Work of the Poet by Mary/The Teach), I began to notice a pattern – Disney’s Ladies In RED!

First up is Disney’s most famous REDhead since carrot-topped Peter Pan – it’s Ariel, aka The Little Mermaid. Please notice that Ariel’s best friend, Sebastian the lobster, is also sportin’ da ruby hue.  πŸ˜€   Photo taken at Disney-MGM Studios, oops I mean Disney’s Hollywood Studios – May 2005
  Here’s one of my favorites – it’s my girl Mulan, a true Disney hero, with her faithful guardian, Mushu. She’s BETTER than a Disney Princess; she saved all of China from the Huns! Someday, I will treat you all to my feminist rant in praise of Mulan’s shedding of the trappings of femininity. But not today. This was taken in EPCOT outside the China pavilion, which is pretty much entirely RED on the outside, February 2008.

  

It’s Minnie Mouse, all decked out for the Flower and Garden Festival, with Mickey by her side in equal RED splendor.  Now, you have to admit that they are both stylin’ to the max as topiaries! EPCOT, April 2004.

  

Here she is, the other strong female non-Princess Disney character. She’s Mary Poppins, and she’s practically perfect in every way, right down to her use of THE power color, RED! Taken during a parade at the Magic Kingdom, May 2005

 

“Shift yer cargo dearie, show them yer starboard side….”   It’s the very famous “We Wants The REDhead” from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in the Magic Kingdom.  Photo taken October 2005.

Well, there they are – my Disney Ladies in RED.   And there’s only one princess among them.  Hah!  I hope you enjoyed this Ruby Tuesday offering.  See ya real soon!


Wordless Ruby Tuesday, July 7th 2008

Yo, I think deeze are da stairs!
Disney’s Pop Century Hotel
Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
April 21st, 2004

Wordless, Ruby Tuesday Edition! July 1st 2008

Can’t believe it is JULY already – woo hoo! Here’s a hibiscus I snapped somewhere in Florida in April of 2004 – that’s two whole years before I actually LIVED in Florida.

Hope everyone has an AWESOME day!