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Orlando, Florida…

Posted by on January 21, 2017

WE’VE ARRIVED IN ORLANDO. We’ll be in Orlando for the next few months, enjoying the sun and beach weather as we wait for the rest of the country to get warmer. We’ve learned that motorhome travel is severely limited during the winter months as it’s just too cold to do much or go many places. Having lived in Southern California all our lives, and being spoiled by the year-round temperate weather, it’s taken some time for us to accept this reality. On those occasions in the last few years when we’ve decided to brave the weather so we could continue our Adventure, we’ve been reined in by freezing temperatures, violent thunderstorms, tornado threats, black ice and close-calls! So, we’re no longer trying to “keep things going” at this time of year. As soon as it warms up enough to travel again, we’ll head north in search of destinations we’ve yet to explore.

IN AND AROUND ORLANDO. In the meantime, home base is at the KOA in Orlando. Located in central Florida, Orlando is “the theme park capital of the world,” hosting Walt Disney World with Epcot Center, Universal Studios Resort, Sea World, Gatorland, Wet ‘n Wild and Legoland. We’ll probably pass on visiting these parks as fighting the crowds in expensive attractions such as these no longer really interests us. And if you’ve followed my blog you already know that I’d never set foot inside a SeaWorld park again anyway. What does interest us is the Morse Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of Tiffany glass. And Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral are also within reach as are some famous beaches. Remember that in a sense, Florida is just one big beach! We’ll see Cocoa Beach, New Smyrna Beach,  Daytona, Clearwater and Canaveral National Seashore. My old college roommate Steve has suggested that we look for alligators and adventure at the Okefenokee Swamp!  It’s a shallow, 438,000-acre, peat-filled wetland straddling the Georgia–Florida line. Boat tours on original Indian waterways, wilderness walkways, Pioneer Island and native animals in their own habitat, all combine to weave a spell of pioneer American life. It’s a long drive from here, Steve. It better be good!

Lake Eola in the city of Orlando.

Historic downtown Mt. Dora, Florida.

Cocoa Beach is only about an hour’s drive from Orlando.

ORLANDO IN THE NEWS. As a point of reference, Orlando is where recently there was a major terrorist attack in our country. On June 12, 2016, more than 100 people were shot at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. At least 50 (including the gunman) were killed and 53 wounded. The gunman, whom the police SWAT team shot to death, was identified as 29-year-old Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, an American security guard of Afghan descent. The incident, widely denounced as an act of terrorism and a hate crime, was both the deadliest mass shooting in modern United States history and one of the deadliest mass shootings perpetrated by a single person in recorded world history.

Other than back home in San Diego, there aren’t too many places in the country where one can sit around the pool in mid-winter. We found one of them at the Orlando KOA. 

NEARBY CITIES. I guess it depends on how you define “nearby,” but the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg and St. Augustine are close enough for day trips and each has sights worth seeing for sure. And if we decide they’re a tad too distant for a day trip, we can always drive and spend a night or two there. And “closer to home” is the town of Mt. Dora, known for its small town charm. It has many antique shops in the downtown area, which overlooks Lake Dora. The town is home to one of three freshwater lighthouses in Florida. It hosts many monthly festivals and is known as the “Festival City.” We’ll take you to these spots during the next few months.

STAY TUNED. So stay tuned and come with us as we look around this area. In short order, I’m pretty sure we’ll find some things that will interest and entertain you.

I’ll continue my story next time.


2 Responses to Orlando, Florida…

  1. Steve Hanleigh

    Hi Greg,
    Got the warning about the drive to Okeefenokee….all I can say is its adventurous, different, and with your sense of adventure, a winner. Just be sure to take your bug spray!!! (And lots of water) 🙂

  2. Greg Alford

    Okay, Steve. I’ll take the spray and the water and give you a full report after our visit. Stay tuned.

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