I came home from my vacation with a head cold, a crashed laptop (working in safe mode), and massive paperwork that I am woefully behind in completing. But the time there was freaking awesome, despite the unusual cold weather. I decided to combine a big 5-0 'thing' with my vacation, and do some things that I've wanted to do, considered, or were very afraid to do.
We stayed in a great resort hotel, thanks to priceline.com. Try them, I'm serious -- 50 bucks/night for this.
First, the rugrat treated me to Medieval Times for christmas dinner; it's a dinner theatre, and we had terrific food and some nicely performed knight competitions.
The next day, we took a helicopter tour of International Drive. I have some great aerial shots of the parks, and our hotel. This, for example, is Aquatica Park near Sea World and our hotel.
The next day, we went an hour south of Orlando to the Boggy Creek area, which apparently feeds into the everglades further south. We had a one-hour private tour of the area on a small airboat. While we didn't see any alligators (too cold) we saw bald eagles, blue herons, and several endangered waterfowl. It was terrific.
The next day we went a little further south of Orlando (1.5 miles) to a eco-safari location. It boasts something along the lines of 30,000 acres of well preserved land. We spent the morning on a one-hour private horseback tour, and the afternoon ziplining -- yes, ziplining! -- through the trees. The course included 7 ziplines (highest 55 ft., the longest 700 ft) and two aerial zip bridges. I was terrified with the first two, but learned to love it, and even learned to 'steer.' I'm looking for a ziplining place closer to home for the future. What a rush!
Of course, we had to do one of the parks, and with my motion sickness problems, the sedate Universal Studios it was. We stood in line, did a ride; stood in line, did a ride; stood in line, did a ride. Ate lunch. Stood in line, did a ride; stood in line, did a ride. Had a snack. Stood in line, did a ride. Shopped. Had dinner. Went back to the hotel exhausted.
And what trip would be complete without some shopping? We aren't into expensive designer outlets; our favorite store is Ross Dress for Less, but there aren't any in the NYC area. So of course we had to hit Ross. Then we also made a quick trip to Supercuts for trims, ate, etc.
Aside from the laptop crash that has me behind schedule, and the head cold, I'm a very happy camper right now.
More photos are coming as soon as the laptop issue is resolved.