October 2013

This month started off with a wonderful dinner with good friends.  We enjoyed the meal very much and then took a little tour of the beach area.

We even got a few trips out on the boat for a sunny afternoon cruise.  We both really enjoy the boat so much and having it at the Marina makes it so easy.  They put it in the water and top it off with fuel – then when we are done they take it out and wash the hull.  Perfect!

One weekend we babysat for our three granddaughters.  We went to a soccer game, out for pizza, Blackbeard Cove and played games and mini golf, out for ice cream, and a trip to the county park.  It was a fun weekend and they enjoyed it as much as we did. 

This month Tim had cataract surgery on his other eye.  This did not go as well as he wished because of the film on his left eye.  Time will tell what will happen with that.  Always something as you grow old.

On the 12th we put our camper in storage and started south for 59 days of timeshare living.  This would prove to be very interesting.

The first night we stopped in Jacksonville at the Marriott Towne Place Suites.  What a great room we had.  We took a ride to St Johns Town Center which has 150 stores and 25 restaurants.  We walked all around looking in stores and reading menus.  We finally settled on Ted’s Montana Grill which is owned by Ted Turner.  The food was very good.

The next morning we headed towards Orlando and stopped in Sanford, Florida for a nice German lunch at Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café.  A very busy restaurant with great food.

We checked into Vacation Village at Parkway in Kissimmee which will be our home for the next two weeks.  We are in building 9 on the top floor and have 1 bedroom, living room, dining room, kitchen and bath.  Pretty nice with a beautiful pool right outside our building.

While in the area we enjoyed the Osceola County History Museum and Welcome Center.  This gave us an understanding of the county’s rich history.

Another place we really enjoyed was the Osceola County Pioneer Village.  We had a tour and the woman explained the different buildings and how they lived back in the 1880’s.  We saw the Ross Lanier House, which they call the Cracker House, built in 1889.  We toured a one room schoolhouse where first through eight grades were taught in the one room.  We saw how a citrus packing house worked, saw a general store and toured the beautiful grounds.  They had it set up for Halloween and it was just darling. 

Shingle Creek Regional Park was our place to walk a few days.  This park is spread out so we did different walks.  They have a pioneer homestead which was kind of cool.

A stop at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Sanford was a treat.  They have about 400 animals and a reptile house.  The grounds were pretty with the gardens mixed in with the zoo.

We even tried a Flea Market where we got so silly cuz so much junk.  Cannot believe the items that people will buy.  Of course to be fair Tim and I have never gone for flea markets or yard sales.

The Nature Conservancy/Disney Wilderness Preserve was one of the highlights of our trip.  We took a nice stroll to Lake Russell and walked some trails.  The heat was horrid and no shade so not as much walking as we would of liked.  This area is the beginning of the Everglades Trail.  It covers 12,000 acres and is home to hundreds species of wildlife.  This used to be a cattle ranch which is hard to believe cuz so swampy.

Another interesting place was Florida Bass Conservation Center.  It is the major freshwater fish production hatching in the state and supplys bass, crappie, catfish, bream and carp. 

One day on our riding around we saw the Tupperware Factory.  I would of loved to tour that place but no such luck.  I used to have so much Tupperware back in the day.

On the 27th we left Kissimmee and headed south to Weston.  On the way we passed sugarcane growing and the Domino plant were it will be made into sugar. 

We checked into Vacation Village at Bonaventue and had one bedroom, kitchen, living room, bathroom, dining room and porch.  We overlooked the golf course which made it very pretty.  One thing we did not like is everywhere on RCI it says no pets yet pets where everywhere.  I love pets but I do not like to put up with them on vacation.

One day we went to Flamingo Gardens in Davie.  The grounds cover 60 acres and is a wildlife sanctuary, aviary and botanical garden.  It was originally the property of Floyd and Jane Wray where they ran a citrus grove.  Now there is over 3000 species of plants on these beautiful grounds.  They also have otters, alligator, bobcats, panthers, turtles, tortoises, geese, swans, cranes, ducks, flamingo, eagles, owls, peacocks, bear etc.  It was a very interesting stop and we really enjoyed it.

Another stop that we loved was the Miami Zoo.  It is the only tropical zoo in the United States and has over 2000 animals on 740 acres.  It was one of the best zoos we have ever been too.  They have over 70 species of birds and 40 endangered animals.  If you ever get to Miami please make a stop at this outstanding zoo.

Shark Valley in the Florida Everglades was a super stop.  We had been here a few years ago and it was really cool again this time.  We walked the trail and enjoyed seeing the wildlife.

One day we went shopping at the Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise.  This is the largest outlet and value retail shopping in the United States.  It has 350 stores in one area.  We were looking for sheets and got some which made us happy.  It was nice to visit but to me it was just too big.

We also made a stop at IKEA and had a nice lunch of Swedish Meatballs.

Our week came to an end and we headed back north.  Stay tuned