Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Florida Dispatches - 02

Turn around. Don't drown.

West Lake Buena Vista has received three inches of rain. Daytona received six inches. Parts north of Daytona are nearing a foot. Flagler and Orange County experiencing severe flooding. Seminole County received a tornado. More rain in forecast heading into the weekend. Locals say this amount of rain is only seen during hurricanes (all that's missing is the wind). We leave for West Palm Beach on Thursday. Less rain expected there. Looking forward to over-cast yet dry skies for a change. Gray is OK.

To pass the time, we shop. Downtown Disney. Outlet malls. Grocery stores. So do the rest of vacationers determined to make the most of their stay. We found Natalie her Leo doll to complete the Little Einstein's team. Jake gets his first Mickey Mouse. Carmen gets clothes. Running shoes for me to replace aging Brooks (New Balance this time - made in USA!). And Felix gets a dozen El Presidente beers on sale. Glad to see Walt Disney putting out great looking apparel. Some of it "green" - made with conscious inks and organic cotton. "Pirates of the Caribbean" merchandise galore. Star Wars is represented well also. One can make their own Light Saber (or twin Saber a la Darth Maul) for $20. Been born thirty years too early, me thinks. There are also Star Wars Mickey Mouse, and Muppet cross-over toys. Here Kermit is Luke. Piggy is Leah. Beaker is C3PO. Fozzie is Chewbacca. Last - and best of all - is a toothbrush, which plays the Star Wars sounds when used. Later a British mother/daughter walk past the model replica of Cinderella's Castle. Daughter says, "Oh look mummy, a castle." Mummy says, "We've got plenty of those at home."

Outlet malls in Florida resemble a steroid-sexy version of Michigan's. Where Michigan offers Fossil, Coldwater Creek, and Black & Decker, Florida ups the ante with Diesel, Ecko Unlimited, Puma and Hurley. Crocs may be had here for as low as $5 (we elect to pass). Michigan outlets do outshine Florida's with their all-weather-condition covered walkways. Whereas Florida's have sunny-day-only walkways. Should it rain (and it is) best to have poncho or umbrella handy.

We try a Sonic drive-in for fruit slushes, limeaides, and sundaes. We try Chevys for Mexican and witnessed their "El Machino" fresh tortilla making machine. The fish tacos here are tasty. Simple. But tasty. For $9 they can also make guacamole at your table. There are balloon animals for the kids. A yellow pony for Natalie. A red dog for Jake.

We passed on the Chick-Fil-A. We will pass on Cici's Pizza Buffet despite the abundance of locations. There's something here called a Brazilian Steakhouse. One is called Texas De Brazil. Another is called Crazy Grill. Have to find out more on these later. On SR 535 Macaroni Grill is across the street from Olive Garden. Black Angus steakhouse is next to Lone Star steakhouse, which are blocks away from a Sizzler steakhouse. But then again, for every McDonald's is a neighboring Burger King and for every Walgreen's is CVS. What is surprising, Giordano's Chicago Pizzeria within walking distance from our resort. And if we so choose a Pizzeria Uno is a mile away. There's a Havana restaurant for Cuban food up a block from here too (and also in every other city in Florida). None of these are related but they do share the Cuban sandwich, coffee, and flan desserts on their respective menus.

Sunny attitudes have become saturated. Ponchos are used more than swim suits. More fun in store with or without precipitation.

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