Friday, April 11, 2008

Lunch, Legos, and Singing Koi

As a follow up to the credit card fiasco that sent shock waves through our sometimes fragile on-the-road financial superstructure, I should report that calm and order have been restored now, thanks in no small part to some of our "partners." Bank of America, though we wish they would not have taken us by such surprise, did manage to get new cards out to us in an overnight fashion. Actually, they got the cards out to our mail forwarder, St. Brendan's Isle, who then went above and beyond the call of duty to get the new cards to us early the next morning, again via an overnight shipment. Any of you who may have need for the services of a mail forwarder, might wish to use the link above and check them out. They are, by some standards, a small and family owned and operated company. But they have services and capabilities far beyond the norm in the industry, even offering envelope scanning (I always know what mail they are holding for us because I can SEE it on line. And if the occasion mandates, they can securely open and scan the contents so that the normal delay that makes RV-ers crazy is virtually eliminated. They do all this, and much more, for a more-than-fair fee and when it comes to personalized customer service, I can't even imagine that anyone could do better! Thanks to Doug and Scott and all the gang at SBI!!!

With the financial house once again in order, we headed off to World of Orchids in Kissimmee. They do sell an awful lot of orchids and it is always fun to stroll through the orchid offerings, but the under glass gardens that are the large draw of the establishment were a bit run down and disappointing. As Marilyn put it, "They NEED us!" I try to steer clear of pointing out the less than stellar places we visit, but if you are ever interested in going here to see this venue, better to consider it a visit to the koi, catfish and pacu that swim freely (and look just like they are singing opera) in the garden streams. Feeding them was the highlight of our visit.

A worker in the "lab" transplants and packages "baby" orchids. You can buy a slug of them for about 10 bucks.
We stopped by Downtown Disney, a shopping, theater, and dining venue amidst the other theme parks in the family. This is a no charge stop on the Disney tour and it has a lot to offer. There is a building made of Lincoln Logs that sells retro toys of all kinds- would you believe Mr. Potato Head is making a huge comeback? But of major interest to us was the Lego pavilion. Below, this dragon, made entirely of Lego blocks, graces the lagoon. It was huge, and very cool!
There are lots of stations for "young engineers of tomorrow" to try out their creativity and hand/eye coordination. Talk about intensity!!!
This tourist family (and their pets) are all made of Legos. Can you find the real kid in the shot? The toys were so real looking, we had to take a close second look.
We'd hoped to have lunch at the famous Rain Forest Cafe, but long lines in combination with the rather high priced menu sent us nearby to The Wolfgang Puck Express cafe. It was a fun cafe featuring dining in full view of the kitchen, the wood fired oven, and the line chefs. And while it was OK, it was not great, and we still haven't come across anyone who can hold a candle to the meal Emeril offered up at Emeril Lagasse's NOLA in New Orleans

If you're reading this in a "time sensitive manner" you already know about inflation brought about at least in part by the skyrocketing prices of energy. But check out the sign below.....Is this what has become of the Dollar General???

And this one? Well, it can speak for itself....

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