Georgia's Excellent Vacation Adventure

The Wilsons arrived at the airport on Saturday afternoon. They were in the mood for Chinese, so I took them to a place near my office called the Golden Lotus. I think’s it’s tough to get good Chinese in Orlando, and I’m a bit picky that way, but although the Golden Lotus is a hole in the wall establishment the food will surprise you.

They were tired from their flight, but we needed to pick up the tickets to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on Thursday. Yes they saw the pictures on my Blog and decided they wanted to do that too. So it was off to Downtown Disney.

Scott, Guinn and Scott at Downtown Disney Scott, Guinn and Scott at Downtown Disney
As a clown that entertains at children's parties, Scott A. performs magic tricks. This was his first magic store he visited in person. As a clown that entertains at children’s parties, Scott A. performs magic tricks. This was his first magic store he visited in person.
The store attendant performs tricks to convince people to buy - but what's he performing here? The store attendant performs tricks to convince people to buy – but what’s he performing here?

On Sunday the plan was to go to Gatorland. I’d been experiencing some hip pain the night before and by the time the Wilsons were going to their first Cracker Barrel in the morning, I couldn’t even sit down to breakfast. While everyone else went to see the gators, I spent the day flat on my back on the floor. By evening I was straightened out enough to go to our dinner reservation, but I could tell it wasn’t going to get better on its own. Talk about timing.

I've been going to Whispering Canyons with my family since I was a kid. Not only is the barbecue terrific and all you can eat, but I thought the restaurant's sense of humor would appeal to a clown. I’ve been going to Whispering Canyons with my family since I was a kid. Not only is the barbecue terrific and all you can eat, but I thought the restaurant’s sense of humor would appeal to a clown.
Scott takes a shot of the rest of us at our Whispering Canyons table. Scott takes a shot of the rest of us at our Whispering Canyons table.
After dinner, we decided to check out Rising Stars at CityWalk After dinner, we decided to check out Rising Stars at CityWalk

If they hadn’t seen Universal’s CityWalk, then they hadn’t experienced Rising Star Karaoke. Unfortunately, Sunday night does not have a live band.

I never got my chance to sing that night. Too many other singers! I never got my chance to sing that night. Too many other singers!

I made a chiropractic appointment for Tuesday and suffered through the walking on Monday. We spent a full day at Epcot, which is now in the middle of the Food and Wine Festival. We didn’t participate in that in any way, so I hope to go back this week and make up for that.

The Wilson's wanted their picture taken with every character they saw. This was adorable. The Wilson’s wanted their picture taken with every character they saw. This was adorable.
A kid on the ride said this is the best ride in the universe. I don't know about that, but I do know Figment looks great on Scott's head. A kid on the ride said this is the best ride in the universe. I don’t know about that, but I do know Figment looks great on Scott’s head.
The German Biergarten is a better restaurant as a buffet than it was as a full-service. This was one of the better live shows I've seen, with bells AND horns featured. The German Biergarten is a better restaurant as a buffet than it was as a full-service. This was one of the better live shows I’ve seen, with bells AND horns featured.

Following Epcot, the plan was to go the Magic Kingdom on Tuesday. But my chiropractic appointment didn’t release me until the day was half over, and we had dinner reservations at Ohana’s that night in honor of Scott and Guinn’s wedding anniversary. So we went to Wekiwa instead, giving Guinn the chance to experience a real Florida swamp.

Wekiwa Springs offers swimming and kayaking, though not much swimming this time of year. Wekiwa Springs offers swimming and kayaking, though not much swimming this time of year.
Wild turkeys crossed our path in the Wekiwa parking lot. Wild turkeys crossed our path in the Wekiwa parking lot.
We stopped for oranges on 27 before going home, and Scott and Guinn were impressed with the orange groves. We stopped for oranges on 27 before going home, and Scott and Guinn were impressed with the orange groves.
We treated Scott and Guinn on their wedding anniversary at Ohana's, a better venue for the Halloween fireworks show than the parks themselves. We treated Scott and Guinn on their wedding anniversary at Ohana’s, a better venue for the Halloween fireworks show than the parks themselves.

Wednesday was always going to be a day at the beach. Clearwater was the natural choice, because after living their entire lives in Washington without a lot of traveling, Scott and Guinn had never seen a white sand beach before. We took a quick detour at the Biltmore, just for a walk-around.

The Biltmore is a window into Florida's historic place as the vacation destination for gangsters, wealthy families, and everyone else seeking sunshine in the early part of the 20th century. The Biltmore is a window into Florida’s historic place as the vacation destination for gangsters, wealthy families, and everyone else seeking sunshine in the early part of the 20th century.
The outdoor pool bar had mysteriously caught fire the day before. The outdoor pool bar had mysteriously caught fire the day before.
Clearwater beach was enjoying a beautiful day of full sun, but there was a strong breeze and no hope of getting into the frigid water. Clearwater beach was enjoying a beautiful day of full sun, but there was a strong breeze and no hope of getting into the frigid water.
Guinn couldn't wait for the sun, but you can see me here completely covered. I picked a spot next to the wall to block the wind. Guinn couldn’t wait for the sun, but you can see me here completely covered. I picked a spot next to the wall to block the wind.
I did warm up enough to get a little sunning done. Need it don't I? I did warm up enough to get a little sunning done. Need it don’t I?

The food was very tasty that night at the Conch Republic Grill, where I introduced my friends to fried conch.

Thursday was the Magic Kingdom. Scott and Guinn have not been able to tell me enough how blown away they were by this day. We didn’t get the chance to do everything, but we hit the highlights.

Scott, Guinn and I in front of the castle. Such a classic shot, first-timers couldn't resist. Scott, Guinn and I in front of the castle. Such a classic shot, first-timers couldn’t resist.
Just in case you think there isn't enough Jack Sparrow around, here you go. Just in case you think there isn’t enough Jack Sparrow around, here you go.
By three, people were showing up in costume. Time to book it to the car to change. By three, people were showing up in costume. Time to book it to the car to change.

Attending the Halloween party was a bit of a social experiment. How would Disney react if a professional freakish clown showed up? The crowd would assume he was part of the show of course.

Chuckles the Clown at the Disney Halloween parade. Chuckles the Clown at the Disney Halloween parade.
Chuckles the Clown worked the crowd before the parade started, prompting several people to ask us if he was part of the act. Chuckles the Clown worked the crowd before the parade started, prompting several people to ask us if he was part of the act.
The Splash Mountain cast members fawned over the silliest guy to ever go down the falls, with the exception of the girl with a clown phobia. She's peeking from the back room, waiting for him to leave. The Splash Mountain cast members fawned over the silliest guy to ever go down the falls, with the exception of the girl with a clown phobia. She’s peeking from the back room, waiting for him to leave.

That’s all I have time for tonight, but there’s still Halloween to go. See you then!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *