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May 2004

Orlando – We have fancy ducks

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The Peabody is a very nice hotel. Natalie and I stayed there when we went to Orlando 5 years ago. The Peabody is home to some very special ducks. Every morning they have a duck walk where 5 or 6 ducks come down an elevator and walk across a red carpet to hop into a fountain that sits in the middle of the front entrance to the building. A crowd gathers around the carpet like the paparazzi. My camera, at the time, was so incredible it took until the ducks were passing to get a shot and then it was a bad shot… I’ve replaced the camera since then.

Outside of the hotel the weather was fantastic all week. During the week we visited Sea World, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Kennedy Space Center, the beach, Daytona race track… and that’s about it. If you think I forgot to mention Disneyland or the Epcot Center, I did not. We specifically did not visit either of those places. Maybe in the future we’ll go back there, but for this trip we saw all the places we wanted to.

Sea World is an under-appreciated park. They have some really good rides there and the shows are amazing. I clearly didn’t take enough pictures on our trip but I know I really want to go back soon. The kids would love it.

Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are 2 parks on one property. Universal Studios hosts all the stuff that deals with the movies, like the Backdraft exibit, the tornado room, the flood room, etc. Islands of Adventure hosts all the really, really fun rides. The images show some glimpses of the tracks. One ride called Twin Dragons (or something like that) was two tracks that mirrored each other. 2 cars left at the same time and often passed right over the other in the ride. It’s thrilling and fun. We went on that 3 or 4 times. I’m not a fan of heights, so a ride like this packs a lot of punch for me.

We also visited Kennedy Space Center. I’ve always been a fan of space, but never really the vehicles that take you there. Kennedy is worth visiting at least once in your life. We boarded Air Force 1 – which was the first AF1 made. Apparently each new president gets a new plane that can host their entire staff. They also have a few rockets there so you can see how big they really are. Natalie and I also saw a crocodile in the water under one of the bridges. Living in a desert we don’t get to see those in the wild.

We wanted to be sure to visit the beach while we were there. We drove for a long time just to find the beach and when we did we had to continue driving to find a place to park so we could actually get there. The parking lot was full and we really felt out of place when we got there, which we were. We touched the sand, Natalie put her feet in the water and we have now been from one side to the other of America. In fact, we’ve been to the north east, south east, north west and south west. Now we need to start working our way in. I’d like to go to Kirtland, Ohio to see the temple there one day, but that’s in the distant future. While we were lost looking for the beach we managed to run across the Daytona race track. I don’t care for racing but since we were there we decided to get some pictures and have dinner at a place across the street. Apparently when it’s race time it’s just a sea of people hurding everywhere.

That’s all I have to say about Orlando. I like the town and I’d go back, but I’d rather go to California. The next big trip will include Muir Woods, San Fransciso and then on down to southern California for the beach and Disneyland.

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