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I doubt anyone noticed my absence, I'm not a super-notable poster, but here I am, back in the Canadian springtime after 10 days of Florida sun and heat. Can I just say, as someone who typically tends more toward cerebral vacation spots (hell, I have a UNESCO World Heritage Site map on my office wall that I put pins into whenever I hit a new one), I love Orlando and the surrounding area for what it is? Is there anywhere else in the world with such a high concentration of hotels/motels and tacky tourist attractions? And it's all because of a fictional mouse! Also, everyone was so friendly. Here, a collection of some of my favourite crazy-ass souvenir shops:


Ah, the googly-eyed wizard:

I actually remember Orange World from my first visit to the area and decided to go in this time. I was not disappointed.


My husband and I first came down here on our honeymoon 15 years ago. That time, we only went to Epcot Center. With two little girls in tow now, we also did Magic Kingdom. I'm not really an amusement park person, but Disney does it well and seeing things through the eyes of my kids makes it even better. We told them upfront that meeting Elsa and Anna wasn't in the cards, so they were cool with it. In fact, meeting anyone was more of an afterthought when we got there, in between rides. Just as well, too - they had only just started Fastpassing meeting the ladies of Frozen this week and the standby wait was at one point four hours (who even bothers at that point? Seriously?). My girls were perfectly happy that they met Alice & the White Rabbit, Merida, and then Ariel at the very end of the day. Plus, they saw Anna and Elsa (and Olaf) in the Main Street Parade. And we ate dinner at Epcot at the Garden Grill, which had Farmer Mickey, Chip and Dale and Pluto wandering around. More than enough characters for us.

Other notable points:

My youngest (5) hated Captain Eo.

I hit the outlet malls and bought Many of the Things, but not All.

You can no longer get Delsym cough syrup in Canada and it is awesome so I bought three bottles and brought them home. The Publix cashier looked at them rather oddly, then said, "uh-oh. Someone's sick!"


Cracklin' Oat Bran is very good, but does it need 14 grams of sugar per serving? That's more than the crappy cereal we let the kids have on US vacations and it's also more than the Pepperidge Farm cookies I indulged in as well.

I was disappointed in the shelling on Caladesi Island. I mostly just found broken pieces of nicer shells. I found a few conch shells and olive shells but was heartbroken to discover they were still occupied so I had to put them back in the water.

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