Monday, August 31, 2015

Enjoy the Polynesian Resort at Disney for Free

Many people book the Disney Resorts and then spend all their time at the parks.  They rush out first thing in the morning and then come back to their room so tired they fall into bed to rejuvenate for the next day at the next park...spending upwards of $400 a night. 

However Disney invites everyone to come and visit the resort even if you are not staying and many of the people wandering around are visitors.

The resort hotels are designed to transport you to another place, so even though you are in Florida you are for all intents and purposes actually have traveled to the western Pacific!  

First of all parking is free.  You can park up to four hours for free in the hotel parking lot.
Inside the resort there is shopping at the gift shops, restaurants open to all and beautiful floral arrangements everywhere.   

The decor and art glass are divine!

There are two floors of lobby seating areas where you can enjoy the music and people watch!
Every day at 3:45 hula lessons are given to any who wish to participate in the lobby area.  During the week it is geared for children but on Saturday's the lessons are designed for all ages.  Visitors and hotel guests all participate.

 From the second floor lobby we caught the monorail and went for a ride past the Magic Kingdom and through the Contemporary Hotel and back to the Polynesian Resort. A birds eye view!  You want to enjoy the monorail early in the evening though, its very crowded later when the parks are closing.

We then meandered through the pathways and enjoyed the landscaping and gardens.

   We discovered when we arrived at the beach that a bonfire was going and cast members were on hand with sticks and unlimited marshmallows for everyone.  They are there every night at 7:30 to 8:30 at all the resorts.

We watched the sun set while roasting them and enjoyed the beach lounge chairs at the invitation of the cast members.   My daughter and grandson posed for me against the night sky as we waited for the next event!

You can see it from the beach but  I walked out the the dock to see the Disney Electrical Parade.  It glided across the lagoon at 9:00 for the 
enjoyment of all.  Each section lit up as it passed by.  There were quite a few sea creatures featured
and gasps of surprise and oohing and aahing were heard from all.  A special tribute to America ended the parade.  It was glorious.

Following the parade at 10:00 
we saw Tinkerbell slide down the castle tower and the fireworks "Wishes" show began.
Even from across the lagoon they were fantastic!  

The show is about fifteen minutes of spectacular fireworks in unusual shapes as well as the traditional fiery color bursts.  

Following the show we bought pineapple ice cream at the Pineapple Lanai.  I recommend it highly but next time I will share, the portion is very generous!  I also would choose the mixture of pineapple and vanilla ice cream.  They also serve it in tall glasses floating in pineapple juice! 

Later we took the little shuttle boat over to the Magic Kingdom and back to the resort. 
 It was beautiful to enjoy the lagoon by moonlight, and 
a perfect end to the evening.  

As we left for our condo near Disney World late that night, we saw the tired hotel guests coming back from the parks on the monorail and trudging  back to their rooms, having missed the relaxed evening at the Polynesian Resort we enjoyed.   All for free except our ice cream dessert!

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Cleaning the Patio

I have a big job on my hands this Blue Monday!

It's time to pay the piper and get the 
yard and patio 
straightened up.

I had a paint can sitting on the table that had rusted, it sat there so long after I 
painted my old shed.  So out it went..finally!  It's such a simple thing but it was a hike 
to the back of the yard and I haven't felt like doing much of anything this year.

I then gathered the two loungers that have been in the yard,  I bought new cushions for them last week and they are still in the trunk of the car,  I have one scrubbed down and looking perfect and will be working on the next one this afternoon.  

The reason for all this industry in the middle of the hottest month of the year?  

I have company possibly on the way.  

My daughter and her family were coming down 
from North Carolina but my son in law's service dog has been deathly ill and is just out 
of the veterinarian hospital.  He may not be well enough to travel.

But in case, I want to be ready!  So I'm braving the humidity and 
putting everything back in order and removing the layer of 
dust that has settled.  Once the weather is nicer I will want to spend more time out on the patio.

 It's always fun to get snail mail and a big thank you to my friend Diane at 
for the kind words.

Now, this week
I'm looking for a table top hibachi, I hope they still make them.  .   

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the gang:

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Storm Results

Last week we had a very heavy day of rain on Monday after a few weeks of lots of rain.

It was apparently too much for this tree at the end of my street.
It toppled over, silently apparently, as I didn't hear a thing even though it's only about 100 feet away.
I discovered it on Tuesday, the day after the big rain.

So what is that saying about a tree falling in the forest without anyone to hear?

 The city came out on Friday
I asked the foreman if the tree was just old and rotted but he said no, it was the weight of the water on the tree and the saturation of the sandy ground from the rain was unable to hold it up.
My favorite beach
My previous blog post "My Favorite Beach"  is on the other side of this group of trees
at the end of my street.  

This is what is left today.  

When I went out to photograph the stump there was a glorious scent of pine.
I wish I could bottle it!

Friday, August 7, 2015

My New Favorite Beach

It's new and it's local!  

The nice thing about this beach is that it isn't on the ocean...well it's not on the Gulf of Mexico, it's actually a lake!

Tons and tons of white sand was trucked in, soft, fine white sand.  

The lake is large enough to do some serious kayaking, (which they rent for $10 an hour.)

Do you see a figure in these clouds blessing us sunbathers?  

I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon under my pink and yellow umbrella
just one day before the Tampa area was deluged with rain and flooding.
Reading my book, people watching, I enjoyed the delights of the cool lake water.

The palms behind me are newly trimmed but will fill out soon and much of the landscaping is
still under construction but it's a great place to spend the afternoon!

The weather here is nice enough to enjoy this lake all year around.  
It opened this month after years of planning and more it to be added in addition to the activities that are already here: inflatable slides which you can see in the top photo, the volleyball courts and Kayaks,  
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