The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Florida 2010 Vacation’

Our “Get out of the Cold” Vacation – Days 5, 6 and 7

Today’s blog post wraps up our “Get out of the Cold” vacation.

We departed our hotel in Kissimmee on Friday, January 15th. We were awakened by a dripping noise. The air conditioner in the room above us was dripping water on top of our air conditioner. That noise awakened us at 4:00 AM. We were on the road shortly after 5:00 AM. We arrived at our night’s destination (Sleep Inn in Summersville, West Virginia) at 6:40 PM. After checking in, we ate dinner at a nearby Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. After dinner, we spent rest of the night in our hotel room. We needed a lot of rest. Spending almost 14 hours in a car is a long time. It was approximately an 800-mile drive from Kissimmee to Summersville.

We passed by this unique-looking and colorful building somewhere in Virginia, I think. I wonder what it is?

On Saturday, January 16th, we drove from Summersville, West Virginia, to Tarentum, Pennsylvania, where we checked into the Marriott Springhill Suites Hotel located on the premises of the Pittsburgh Mills Mall. The drive was much shorter than our previous day’s drive. We departed Summersville at 9:00 AM, and we checked into our hotel at 1:15 PM. We could have made it all the way home from Summersville in approximately 6 hours. Why did we decide to spend the night at a hotel located on the premises of the Pittsburgh Mills Mall?  Bob has wanted to see Avatar in an IMAX theater ever since the movie was released. We do not have an IMAX theater near where we live. The nearest IMAX theaters are 3-4 hours away from our house, one of which is located at the Pittsburgh Mills Mall.

The first thing we did after checking into the hotel was drive to the movie theater and purchase tickets for Avatar. We returned to the theater at least 30 minutes before the 3:00 PM showing of the movie, and we sat in the middle back of the theater. The theater was 100% full for the 3:00 PM showing. The IMAX 3-D is the most intense way to see Avatar. We sat in front of a giant screen and experienced a larger-than-life, fully immersed viewing of the movie. Things popping out of the screen felt just a couple feet or, in some cases, several inches out of reach. I remember jumping one time when it felt like something was thrown at me! The best seats are in the back of the theater, as the picture will be more clear. The closer you sit to the screen the more blurry is the picture. The IMAX glasses were over sized, which was good for me because they needed to fit on top of my eyeglasses. Did we like the movie? No; we LOVED the movie! It was the most visually fantastic movie that we have ever seen!

On Sunday, January 17th, after eating breakfast at a nearby Eat ‘n Park, we headed home. The ride home was uneventful. As expected, it was approximately a 3-hour drive from Tarentum to our home.

Our “Get out of the Cold” Vacation – Mexico (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, Morocco, Japan, the American Adventure, Italy, Germany, an African Outpost, China and Norway.  This blog post contains photographs from our visit to Mexico.

Replica of Pre-Colombian Pyramid

It’s always twilight at the Plaza de Los Amigos.
(located inside the pyramid)
This photograph was taken with available light, hand held, 1/10 sec, f3.5, 14mm, ISO1600.

Gran Fiesta Tour boat ride

Gran Fiesta Tour boat ride

I tried on a sombrero.

Donald Duck
clad in the traditional Mexican sombrero and serape

All total, we spent approximately 5 hours at Epcot’s World Showcase. I’m sure that you have heard the saying “If it’s Tuesday, this must be Belgium”. Well, our walk through World Showcase was similar. You might recall that while walking towards World Showcase that we learned our vacation was cut short. Bob, who had been on temporary lay off from work since January 4, was to return to work on Monday. Our walk through World Showcase was at a faster pace than desired; however, we wanted to catch the 5:30 PM shuttle back to our hotel to pack for our return home, which would be an early departure the next day.

I hope that you have enjoyed walking with me through World Showcase. What I find so attractive about World Showcase is that the architecture, the food, the merchandise that is sold, the entertainment and the employees are authentic. I believe that a visitor to World Showcase can find the essence of a country, much as a traveler returning from a visit might remember what he or she saw. Visiting World Showcase is the next best thing to actually traveling to a particular country. Of course, I would much rather visit the actual country if the opportunity presented itself!

Our “Get out of the Cold” Vacation – Norway (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, Morocco, Japan, the American Adventure, Italy, Germany, an African Outpost and China.  This blog post contains photographs from our visit to Norway.

Stave church, replica of Gol Church of Hallingdal

Viking statue in front of Stave church
Inside the Stave church is an exhibit on Vikings.

Resembles Akershus Fortress in Oslo

Giant Troll and I

In addition to exploring the streets of Norway, we went on a ride aboard a dragon-headed boat. We traveled through a very dark forest populated by trolls. One of the trolls cast a spell on the boat, which caused us to travel backwards to the edge of a waterfall! The boat moves forward into an ocean storm and then into a fishing village where the boat docked. We got off the boat and walked into a theater, where a short movie took us on a tour of Norway and introduced us to its people.

From Norway we walked to Mexico, the subject of my next blog post.

Our “Get out of the Cold” Vacation – China (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, Morocco, Japan, the American Adventure, Italy, Germany, and an African Outpost.  This blog post contains photographs from our visit to China.

Paifang Gate in front of the Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven

We walked inside the Temple of Heaven, where we saw these tomb warriors.

According to a plaque, “These tomb warriors were intended to be the protectors of the emperor beyond the grave. Because nearly all of the faces are unique, some archeologists believe that the figures were modeled after real soldiers.” When I came home, I discovered on the Internet that this is a replica of a famous excavation in Xi’an, China.

Colorful Chinese shop
The paper umbrellas are very pretty!

We were amazed as we watched the performance of the Dragon Legend Acrobats. In the three photographs that follow the young performers are spinning carpet on their hands and feet.

Dragon Legend Acrobats

Dragon Legend Acrobats

Dragon Legend Acrobats

The young performers did various tricks with hoops and a jump rope too.

Dragon Legend Acrobats

Dragon Legend Acrobats

Dragon Legend Acrobats

From China we walked to Norway, the subject of my next blog post.

Our “Get out of the Cold” Vacation – African Outpost (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, Morocco, Japan, the American Adventure, Italy and Germany.   This blog post contains photographs from our visit to an African Outpost, which is located between Germany and China.

an African Outpost

An Old Truck with Lots of Coca-Cola Items

a Trio of Drums

This man was standing just outside an open-air shop.

Children can get their face painted at the African Outpost.

From the African Outpost we walked to China, the subject of my next blog post.

Our “Get out of the Cold” Vacation – Germany (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, Morocco, Japan, the American Adventure and Italy. This blog post contains photographs from our visit to Germany.

The outdoor miniature village and railway display was delightful.

Miniature Village and Railway

Miniature Village and Railway

Miniature Village and Railway

St. Georges Platz

St. Georges Platz has a statue of St. George and the Dragon and a clock tower. The Biergarten, at the rear of the courtyard (entrance on either side of the clock tower), sells traditional German food. We enjoyed a late lunch of Bratwurst sandwiches, Black Forest cake (for me) and a pint of German beer (for Bob) while in Germany.

St. George and the Dragon statue

From Germany we walked to an African Outpost, the subject of my next blog post.

Our “Get out of the Cold” Vacation – Italy (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, Morocco, Japan and the American Adventure. This blog post contains photographs from our visit to Italy.

Lady in Hat

Perhaps I should have been looking the other way and taking a picture of whatever the man was photographing. This woman’s hat caught my attention. I didn’t even notice her expression or the photographer in the background until I uploaded the picture to my computer.

Reproduction of the Doge’s Palace in Venice (on left)
and
the campanile (tower)

Note the two columns. On top of the right column is St. Mark the Evangelist. On top of the left column is the lion that is the saint’s companion and Venice’s guardian.

Venetian Gondola

Doge’s Palace

Sea God Neptune Statue and Fountain

I retrieved a photograph from my archives. When we visited Italy in April 2001, a masked lady took a special liking to Bob.

world2bshowcase2bitaly0111

Spaceship Earth looks really close, doesn’t it?

The next photograph shows a better representation of how far away Spaceship Earth was from Italy.

Venetian Gondolas Tied to Moorings

Looking across World Showcase Lagoon to China and Germany

Italian Dessert Cart

From Italy we walked to Germany, the subject of my next blog post.

Chateaux des Fleurs

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