The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts from the ‘Florida’ category

Our “Get out of the Cold” Vacation – Japan (Day 4)

We spent the fourth day (Thursday, January 14th) of our Florida vacation at Epcot. Epcot is divided into two parts: Future World and World Showcase. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I will be sharing with you our visit at World Showcase over the next several days. Earlier I shared with you our visit to Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Morocco. This blog post contains photographs from our visit to Japan.

Japanese pagoda

We enjoyed listening to traditional Japanese music performed by this drum-playing group.

torii gate

From Japan we walked to the American Adventure pavilion, the subject of my next blog post.

Our “Get out of the Cold” Vacation – Morocco (Day 4)

We spent the fourth day (Thursday, January 14th) of our Florida vacation at Epcot. Epcot is divided into two parts: Future World and World Showcase. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I will be sharing with you our visit at World Showcase over the next several days. Earlier I shared with you our visit to Canada, the United Kingdom and France. This blog post contains photographs from our visit to Morocco.

The Medina (Old City) is entered via the Bab Boujouloud gate (replica).

Intricate tile work

Koutoubia Minaret (replica)
a famous prayer tower in Marrakesh

Koutoubia Minaret (replica)
and
Bab Boujouloud gate (replica)

Gifts of Morocco are available at Souk Al Magreb.

From Morocco we walked over to Japan, the subject of my next blog post.

Our “Get out of the Cold” Vacation – France (Day 4)

We spent the fourth day (Thursday, January 14th) of our Florida vacation at Epcot. Epcot is divided into two parts: Future World and World Showcase. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I will be sharing with you our visit at World Showcase over the next several days. Earlier I shared with you our visit to Canada and the United Kingdom. This blog post contains photographs from our visit to France.

Bob, walking towards France
with a view of the Eiffel Tower in the distance.
Bob is closest to the camera, next to the trash can.

Duchess, from the Aristocats, signs a child’s autograph book
So cute!

We saw an ibis walking about France.

From France we walked to Morocco, which is the subject of my next blog post.

Our “Get out of the Cold” Vacation – United Kingdom (Day 4)

We spent the fourth day (Thursday, January 14th) of our Florida vacation at Epcot. Epcot is divided into two parts: Future World and World Showcase. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I will be sharing with you our visit at World Showcase over the next several days.  Earlier I shared with you our visit to Canada.  This blog post contains photographs from our visit to the United Kingdom.

Replica of Hampton Court Palace

This street contains one building for each century of British history.

Tea Caddy

The Tea Caddy is a replica of the Stratford-upon-Avon cottage of William Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway. I bought a tea cozy in this shop during our visit in April 2001.

Gardens

 

Stay tuned; my next blog post is about our visit to France.

Our “Get Out of the Cold” Vacation – Day 4 (Canada)

We visited Epcot on Day 4 (Thursday, January 14th) of our vacation. Epcot is divided into two parts: Future World and World Showcase. Yesterday I wrote about our visit at Future World. Over the next several days I will share with you our visit at World Showcase. The first country that we visited was Canada.

Hotel du Canada

The Hotel du Canada is modeled after Ottawa’s Victorian-style Chateau Laurier. Note the single Canadian Rocky Mountain to the right of the hotel in the top photograph.

We watched the movie “O Canada!”, a Circle-Vision 360° movie of Canada’s cities and scenery. The movie provides a you-are-there feeling that makes all of this spectacular scenery memorable.

Stay tuned; my next blog post is about our visit to the United Kingdom.

Our “Get out of the Cold” Vacation – Day 4 (Future World)

We visited Epcot on Day 4 (Thursday, January 14th) of our vacation.  Epcot is divided into two areas: Future World and World Showcase.  Today’s blog post is about our visit to Future World.

We arrived at Epcot, via shuttle, around 11:00 AM. The Clarion Hotel, as well as most (if not all) hotels located in the Orlando area, provides free shuttle bus service to Walt Disney World attractions. Parking at Walt Disney World parks would have cost us in excess of $10.00, so the free shuttle bus was a much appreciated service.

The first thing you notice, as you walk into Epcot, is Spaceship Earth. You can’t miss it!

Spaceship Earth

Because the line was short and we had not ridden the Spaceship Earth Ride on our previous visit to Walt Disney World we went on this 13-minute journey through time. The ride explores the continuing search by human beings for more efficient means of communication from the days of cavemen to the future. The attraction has remarkable special effects, and every scene is executed in exquisite detail. The sights kept our heads turning as we journeyed through time.

SpaceshipEarth
Journey Through Time
(Please click on image to enlarge)

After our journey through time, we marveled over the 180-foot-tall geosphere known as Spaceship Earth.

Bob and I

It was shortly after we were photographed in front of Spaceship Earth that we learned that our vacation would be cut short.  Bob was laid off work temporarily on January 4th. We knew that Bob could be called back to work at any time; however, we hoped that he would be off work until February 1st. We were walking towards World Showcase, when Bob received the call from HR. Employees who were on temporary lay off were to return to work on Monday, which meant that we had to start back home early Friday morning. There went our plans to visit my aunt in Vero Beach and to travel all the way to Key West and back up along Florida’s Gulf Coast, where we planned to visit friends. We had made plans, too, to stop in Georgia to visit one of my cousins on our way back home. The call to go back to work sounds like good news. You would think that work has picked up again. That isn’t the case, though. Work is still slow. Bob’s employer laid off several employees, who have less seniority than Bob, indefinitely. We are thankful that Bob has a job, but we couldn’t help feeling disappointed that our vacation plans went awry. After shaking off the feeling of being cheated of our vacation plans, we did enjoy rest of our day at Epcot.

You may be wondering why we saw only one attraction while at Future World. The focus of our visit to Epcot was World Showcase, not Future World. Let me tell you why we focused our visit on World Showcase. This was not our first visit to Walt Disney World. We spent 4 days at Walt Disney World in April 2001. During our visit to Walt Disney World in 2001 we saw the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and MGM Studios in addition to Epcot. Although we liked all of Walt Disney World’s parks, we thoroughly enjoyed World Showcase. It was the highlight of our visit to Walt Disney World in 2001. We wanted to experience World Showcase again, and this is why we opted to spend most of our time at World Showcase rather than splitting our time between Future World and World Showcase.

Before the call from HR interrupted us, we were on our way to World Showcase. The first country that we visited was Canada. But you will have to wait until my next blog post to read about details of our visit to Canada.

Our “Get out of the Cold” Vacation – Day 3

We enjoyed sunshine and blue skies throughout the day on Wednesday, January 13th . Although it was cool in the morning, it warmed up nicely. I wore a lightweight fleece pullover with a tee shirt underneath. When it warmed up in the afternoon, I pulled off the fleece pullover and tied it around my waist.

After eating breakfast at Shoney’s Restaurant, we went in search of the Tibet-Butler Preserve. I learned about the Tibet-Butler Preserve on the Internet. A review of the nature preserve said it was a terrific place with nice trails to walk on and exhibits of the area. The Tibet-Butler Preserve sounded like it might be similar to the Jamestown Audubon Center and Sanctuary that I enjoy visiting near my home. I had taken down the address of the preserve; nothing more. When we programmed the address into the GPS, it could not be found. Bob programmed the route number into the GPS. We drove up and down Route 535, the road on which the preserve was located. We didn’t find any signs directing us to Tibet-Butler Preserve. After a short while we gave up searching for the nature preserve and attempted to locate a car wash instead. We asked the GPS to look for car washes in the area. The GPS brought up several car washes in the area. We told the GPS to take us to a particular car wash. The GPS took us to the location of that car wash. All we found was an open field, no buildings of any kind. We found a car wash eventually and, as Bob described it, “we got the winter washed off the car”.

While looking for the Tibet-Butler Preserve we saw signs for Downtown Disney. We decided to visit Downtown Disney. What an enjoyable place! Downtown Disney is an outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment complex located at the Walt Disney World Resort. It is open to the public, requires no admission fee and offers entirely free parking. Neither Bob nor I had ever visited Downtown Disney, so it was a first experience that we shared together. We spent several hours just walking around Downtown Disney, enjoying the sights and sounds. There was a wide variety of entertainment, food and merchandise available for purchase. We, however, spent very little money at Downtown Disney. The only money that we spent was for ice cream and a souvenir candle that we purchased for my stepdaughter. We actually walked through Downtown Disney two times. During our first walkabout, I carried my point and shoot camera. I thought we would do a little shopping, eat lunch and then figure out someplace else to visit. Boy, was I surprised by the abundance of photo-taking opportunities! I asked Bob if he would mind walking around Downtown Disney one more time so that I could take pictures with my Digital SLR, which I had with us in the car. Bob was a sport; he walked with me as I captured a second round of photographs.

T-Rex Cafe

T-Rex Cafe

Adventure Club

Planet Hollywood

Lego

Bob and a Pirate

Tinker Toys

Princess Parade

Princess Parade

 

We enjoyed Downtown Disney so much that we planned to return on Friday evening (January 15th), but that didn’t happen.  Instead of relaxing at Downtown Disney on Friday evening, we found ourselves on our way back home because our vacation was cut short.

We ate dinner at Crabby Joe’s Seafood Restaurant, which is located on-site at the Clarion Hotel. We enjoyed the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet.

Stay tuned; Day 4 of our “Get out of the Cold” vacation will be covered in tomorrow’s blog post.

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