Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Going Where the Wind Blows

Thought for the day: I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails and always reach my destination.  [Jimmy Dean]

If you don't have a specific destination in mind, I don't reckon you're ever lost. I had a destination in mind, but I'm gonna have to adjust my sails a bit to get there a little more quickly than I'd planned. Smarticus and I have been out and about a good part of the day, so not much time left to get this post ready to publish at its usual 12:34 AM time slot. No problem. Remember Colonel Flagg from the oldie but goodie TV show M*A*S*H? One line he said quite frequently is, "I am the wind." Well, that's me this evening. Gonna blow through this post and be outta here before ya know it.

At least, that's the plan. No telling which way the wind's gonna blow for sure...

Smarticus took this shot at Lake Louisa Park.
You've probably heard of a Mexican Stand-Off before... well this picture is what I'd call a Floridian Stand-Off. Pretty cool to see a grasshopper and lizard sitting so close together, isn't it?

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Smarticus and our son took these three to Lake Louisa Park on Saturday, and let them lead the way for a hike. In plus ninety degree temperatures, and high humidity. Let's just say, they all got plenty of exercise. (Did I happen to mention it was over ninety degrees?)

Our daughter-in-law, granddaughters Jordan and Ella, and I, on the other hand, opted to get our exercise at an air-conditioned mall. Shopping isn't my thing, but we were on a special mission: finding Jordan a dress for her homecoming dance. That made it fun, even if Ella got a little wore out, and Atlas got a little fussy. (Grandma got a little wore out and fussy, too, but no one offered to carry me.)


Smarticus and I spent one day doing the TT thing. (Typical Tourist) Yep, we went to Universal. The price of admission is ridiculous. Heck, it cost sixteen bucks just to park... and then we had to walk more than a mile just to get from our car to the park itself. (Yeah, I heard there were shuttles available, but we didn't see any, so we hoofed it.)



This picture doesn't really do the huge Transformer justice. If I remember right, it's in the area of the park that looks like the streets of New York. Another area looks like the San Francisco pier. Illusion is the name of the game. The movie sets feel... real.

Attractions are based on various movies and TV shows. Some of the rides within those attractions are something else. Nothing like zooming downhill backwards on a roller coaster... in pitch darkness.



I think our favorite attraction was based on "Despicable Me 2." That roller coaster ride puts you right into the scene with the characters, thanks to 3-D glasses, which are provided for a lot of the rides. My favorite part of the day was hearing Smarticus laugh like a little kid on this ride. (We reeeeeally like the Minions.)



It was a grand day. One thing I'd recommend if you ever visit Universal, though. Spring for the express passes. After waiting in line for about an hour to get into Shrek, we bit the bullet and treated ourselves to them. Life's too darned short to spend all day waiting in line.

One thing we usually see in Florida that we don't see anywhere else... skywriting. The most frequent thing is "God loves you" and a smiley face. That's probably what this one was gonna be, too, but all it shows so far is... GO.

Which is what I've gotta do.



Yep, I've gotta hop right outta here. 'Cause that's just the way the wind is blowing...









Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

94 comments:

  1. I've never seen skywriting here. Interesting. I don't think Universal is my kind of place (I'm not wild about rides), yet I'd like to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you have to shop, then looking for a Homecoming dress is pretty cool. I'm sorry no one carried you at the mall. Maybe it's time for a wheelchair, Grandma.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Wow, really? Maybe it's mostly in the Orlando area, because we've seen skywriting there every single time we've visited. (And I still get excited by it.)

      (shhhh) I'll tell you a little secret. I'm not a huge fan of rides, either. In fact, I turn a lovely shade of green during some car rides, BUT this was different. Too many neat things to see to take time to puke. HA! Just kidding. A little.

      Not ready for a wheelchair. They can protest all they want, but as long as my legs can carry me, they're gonna keep on doing it.

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  2. I love where the winds took you - and us. Thank you. Places I have not seen, probably will not see, but a wonderful ride.
    When shopping (which I dislike) I listen to small people expressing their outrage at the top of their lungs with envy. And would dearly love to be cuddled and carried home...

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    1. Thanks. Glad ya liked it.

      In general, I don't like to shop, with the exception of antique shops and thrift stores. For some reason, I love digging through piles of dusty junk to uncover a treasure. But our trip to the mall was a fun-filled social event, especially since nobody made ME try on any clothes.

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  3. I love wind taking ... I really do. I let it have its way with me. easier to go with the wind than against it ....

    ... I wouldn't wait in line for a . a ... naw.. nothing. well? I guess I do at a supermarket but I don't like it. Even when I was young unless I was in a PDA relationship ... wherever you were ... was fun. loooooong time ago

    What fun you're having ... love those aqua colors on the car and drive-in .. along with the red ... very pretty ...

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    1. Yes, your adventurous wanderlust comes through loud and clear on some of your posts, and I really admire that.

      My hubby has more of a problem waiting in line than I do. After he got out of the Army, he swore he'd never wait in line again. Or sleep on the ground. 'Course, he broke that second one when our boys were in the Scouts, but he still goes out of his way to avoid lines.

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  4. I remember being at Universal Studios in 1974, but it was in Hollywood. People were working, actors driving in and out and waving to our centipede-like tram --tours and exhibitions of sets and stunts. It was fun and I'm glad to hear it expanded that far east, but such a surprise! I guess the California/Florida border dispute got settled. Glad you had fun!

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    1. I don't think the Universal Studios in Hollywood is the same as the one in Florida, although that's more of what I was expecting. The one in Orlando is more like an outrageously expensive amusement park. Don't worry. Florida's too busy demanding a larger share of water from Georgia rivers (Go figure!) to be concerned with its border dispute with California.

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  5. I keep hoping this eternal Texas wind will blow me to another state, but so far it's only wishful thinking. The photo of the showdown between lizard and grasshopper is so unique. I'm hoping that the lizard didn't eat the grasshopper after the pic was taken......
    I also like the pics of the drive-in with the nifty old cars.

    I've been to Universal in Hollywood, but not in Florida. I'm getting too damn old to go down a roller coaster backwards in the dark.......

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    1. Hoping won't make it so, cowboy. Not this time. You're gonna have to give the wind a little assist to get you outta that state, and the sooner, the better.

      I thought that picture was unique, too. The grasshopper was so big, I don't think that lizard could chow down on him. (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!)

      I'm too damned old to go down a roller coaster backwards in the dark, too... but I did it! (Not sure I'd sign on to do it again, though.)

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  6. It looks like you had an amazing time there, I think seeing the old sets would bring back great memories of some of the movies I have seen :)

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    1. It was definitely fun. One put you in the set of "Twister"... that was pretty cool. (Wet and windy, too!)

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  7. How come you've got 90 degrees of heat, and all we've got is drizzle and cold!

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    1. Just lucky, I guess. But a cold front is coming in later today. I foresee a fire in our fireplace this evening.

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  8. Fabulous photos of Universal, my eldest girl has been there, I have a key chain from there, but no photos as she didn't have a camera then.
    I like the Floridian standoff.

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    1. Oh, neat. Very cool that your daughter's been there. Too bad she didn't have a camera, but they don't allow any picture-taking inside of the attractions. (Boo, hiss!) That's where I REALLY wanted to take them.

      Me, too! I love that picture. (I'm so glad Smarticus thought to take it for me... he knew I'd like it.)

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  9. Hi Susan .. well that sounds like a good division of labour - grandkids in the sun, t'other half in the mall .. I'd have been a little grumpty too .. not keen on shopping either!

    The Universal photos are amazing ... I'd no idea about those in Florida - and the standoff is fun to see ...

    Wonderful stories .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Yeah, splitting the troops up worked out quite well. (Besides, we can't all fit into one vehicle!)

      I'm glad y'all seem to like that standoff picture as much as I do.

      Cheers!

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  10. Dear Susan,
    I like especially the photo with the grasshopper and the lizzard - great! I've never been in a film-park, only Disney in Paris - where you had to wait for attractions too. Fine old cars I see on some photos! So I hope your ride with the wind brought you to wherever you wanted to go - thinking of you as a person who gets what she wants I am convinced you reached your goal! :-) Britta

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    1. Isn't that a delightful picture?

      I'm rather philosophical about life. It isn't so much a matter of the wind taking me where I want to go as it is a case of being happy with wherever it may take me. (Does that make sense?)

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  11. Let's forget about the part where Col. Flagg says, "I am the wind" before leaping out the window with a crash, and Hawkeye follows up with, "The wind broke his leg ..."

    It sounds like you had a grand old time and escaped without any broken limbs!

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    1. Oh, yes, yes, YES! That was one of the best scenes ever! Thanks for reminding me.

      We did, and knock on wood... no broken bones or cases of the creeping crud. (A much more common occurrence when visiting with the kiddies.)

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  12. What a great trip. So glad you enjoyed yourselves.

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  13. What a neat post! Yes, I would have joined you for exercise in that air-conditioned mall - though I haven't been in our local mall for months and months!:-)

    The wind is definitely blowing here today! 'Tis said to be bringing in the chance of snowy precipitation!

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, the air-conditioned mall was a lot more alluring to me than the heat and high humidity outdoors.

      Not too much wind here, but the cold air is supposed to be on its way later today. Might even have flurries here! Scary! (THIS is supposed to be the sunny south, dadgum it!)

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  14. That is quite the standoff there
    Lizard winds I say at their lair
    but you never know
    One big arse transformer to that hey show

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    1. Grasshoppers hop,
      And lizards, they pounce,
      But that hopper was bigger
      Ounce for ounce.

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  15. I liked the 'MEL'S Drive-In' photos 'cause 'AMERICAN GRAFFITI' is one of my all-time favorite movies. (Couldn't begin to count how many times I've watched that one.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Yeah, that was definitely a good flick. I'm kinda surprised you didn't have anything to say about Colonel Flagg...

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    2. Ha! Believe it or not, I didn't watch M*A*S*H m*u*c*h. I was never a fan of the show. Give me 'Frasier', 'The Andy Griffith Show', and 'Rocky And Bullwinkle' any day!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    3. Oh, now THAT'S funny! Talk about irony.

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  16. Love this post.
    A little it of this and that...
    I have a friend who is crazy about minions and will show your post. I think they are cutie pattoties too !

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Thanks. Those minions are adorable, and it was a ton of fun to join them in a virtual way.

      Cheers!

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  17. You are hilarious, Susan. Just love your posts

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    1. Well, thank you, my dear. You know just how to make a gal feel good.

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  18. Looks like a wonderful time was had by all. Great photos!

    So after enduring all the ways the wind blew you, did you get time to rewind? 'Cause you need to rewind to be able to re-wind the next day, right?

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    1. Oh, absolutely. Life's an endless string of wind, re-wind, and breaking wind. (Just seeing if you were paying attention.)

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  19. Looks like a nice but really tiring couple of excursions.

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  20. Hey, I've been to that Universal Studios park, too. Terminator was my fave show there. I also remember photos of that retro drivein. I was lucky - our kids were older, didn't have to carry them!
    As for that lizard and grasshopper, either the lizard isn't hungry or he's waiting for his chance. It is survival of the fittest, you know.

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    1. Oh, how cool! Terminator was one of the few shows we didn't see, doggone it.

      Survival of the fittest! NOOOOO, say it isn't so. I'd prefer to think of them as good friends enjoying a chat. (I also prefer to think all the critters we see sprawled on the side of the road are merely taking naps.)

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  21. A lovely tour of your wind tossed travels but I think my favorite picture is still the Florida Stand off. The lizard needs a red cape. Ole!

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    1. Thanks. Cool idea. If I knew anything about photo-shopping, I'd add that red cape.

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  22. Fun post! Hope you're hopping along to some new adventure today!

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    1. Thanks! No hopping today. More like plopping.

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  23. Love the quote at the top. And who doesn't like minions?

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    1. Yeah, that's a pretty neat saying, especially for someone who's most famous for his breakfast sausages.

      Not me! We LOVE minions!

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  24. I think skywriting must be an Orlando thing. I live in Jacksonville and no skywriting.

    I haven't been to Universal in ages. Sounds like they have some amazing new rides. Love your pics!

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    1. Okay, so now we know. Only Orlando. Cool.

      As much fun as we had, I doubt if we'll ever return to Universal. Too darned expensive. (But I'm glad I got to see it once, anyway.)

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  25. That grass hopper was huge! Or was the lizard small? Have fun today!

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    1. He was a VERY large grasshopper. (AND a wee lizard.)

      Always! You too.

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  26. That grasshopper/lizard picture was great! I did all the parks, California versions, when I was much younger. They would make me soooo tired now. But it looks like you guys had a lot of fun.

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    1. Thanks! I'm really tickled so many others like that grasshopper/lizard stand-off picture.

      We had a blast, and you're right. All that walking in the heat can be sooooo tiring.

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  27. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. (Shopping isn't my thing either--but it sure beats 90+ heat and humidity.) Are you enjoying the cooler weather at home? They're saying we might get snow flurries tonight (I hope so).

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    1. We did! Yes, my thinking exactly about the shopping. Plus, it was kinda nice to be included in the search for Jordan's first Homecoming dance dress. I'm enjoying the cooler weather, but I think it might be getting a little TOO cool tonight. It's downright chilly in my office right now, and it sounds like my hubby is putting kindling into the fireplace. Hmmm, I believe it's time for me to move into the other room...

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  28. I haven't been to Universal in years. I don't even recognize the place. Glad you had a good time. (And that's a cute picture of the grasshopper and lizard!)

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    1. My hubby went once before, back when the Back to the Future show was still "new". Now it's... gone.

      (Glad ya like the little guys.)

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  29. Susan, best of luck with your new book. It looks terrific. Love to see a fellow Floridian/writer success story.

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    1. Thanks! I appreciate the good wishes, but I'm not a Floridian. That's just where one of our sons and his family live. (But ya can't take the good wishes back!)

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  30. "Grandma got a little wore out and fussy, too, but no one offered to carry me."
    Pffft... ungrateful grandkids :)

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    1. HA! It would've been like a bunch of Lilliputians carrying Gulliver.

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  31. Oh, wow! I want to go on that roller coaster - backward and in the dark, no less! Wow! I love those old cars, too. Maybe I can hot-wire one? The lizard photo is great! Another fun post!


    Diana at About Myself By Myself

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    1. For a roller coaster lover, that ride would be a dream. For me, it was more of a nightmare. Thankfully, the descent didn't last too long.

      Sure have at it with the hot-wiring. You probably know how. I used to. The first boy-girl party I went to, the host and I went outside, where he showed me how to hot wire a car. Yeah, once a nerd, always a nerd.

      Glad ya like the lizard. No matter how many of them we see when we're in Florida, I always get excited about it.

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  32. Wow, you guys sure know how to have fun!

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    1. Yeah, we do pretty good for a couple of old farts. HA!

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  33. love the way your wind blows - very fun!!! I crack up everytime at the name Smarticus. Anyway - the TX wind blows briskly cold - we truly need a border fence with darn Oklahoma - brrrr. 90 degrees? A distant memory.
    Sounds like a great time with family, your husband, and minions (love minions). Great post as always

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    1. Thanks. Believe me, the name Smarticus suits him perfectly.

      It's pretty doggone chilly here tonight, too, but there's a nice fire burning in the fireplace. Hard to believe how hot it was just a couple short weeks ago.

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  34. also - like the new fall header pic!!

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    1. Thanks! I had a heckuva time changing the picture this time, but hopefully, I solved the problem.

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  35. Hi Susan,

    And the wind doth blow, two and fro and what do you know, I end up here and that's so clear. Check out your fun times. I shall go to the funfair. I hope my fun is a fun as your fun.

    With that, I shall stop bugging you and hop on the next wind out of here.

    Gary :)

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    1. Ah-HA, so look who the wind blew in! Always good to hear from you, Gary. You're not one of those "fair weather" friends; you're more like a comforting port in a storm. I hope you breeze through a lovely day.

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  36. We went to Universal a number of years ago - loved the set of "Twister." We couldn't help ourselves, we kept saying, "Cows. We have cows." I have the same pictures of the retro drive-in. Heh.

    That cold air is coming down this way...yes!!! We get to turn off the AC tomorrow. But you can keep the snow.

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    1. HA! Great minds think alike. We were doing the same thing at "Twister." I kinda liked "Disaster", too, where you sit in a subway car, and there's an earthquake, followed by fire and flooding. (PLUS, the car didn't go downhill on a roller coaster in the dark!)

      No snow. (Thank goodness!) But there was a thin layer of frost on the cars this morning, and we DID have a fire in the fireplace last night. Might even have one tonight. I'm debating whether to go outside for a little while to rake leaves this afternoon. It's kinda cool, but I'd rather work in the cool than the hot sun. Then again, my office feels mighty cozy... and one of the cats IS napping on my lap. I wouldn't want to disturb her, after all.

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  37. "I am the wind." Well, that's me this evening. Gonna blow through this post and be outta here before ya know it.

    When I do those types of posts I create typos like the wind blows the leaves from the trees.

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    1. HA! I would, too, if I didn't proofread. I'm a fast typist, but sometimes my fingers are dyslexic.

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  38. Oh, TG and I went to Universal Studios years ago (without the kids--what horrible parents!) and had a blast. So much fun!

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    1. Hey, not horrible at ALL! Smarticus and I went by ourselves, too. We would've had to take out a second mortgage to take all the kids.

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  39. Theme parks are so expensive, their lines are long, their food is fattening, and their crowds are crushing, but if you have your kids and grandchildren with you and they are having the time of their lives, well, as they say in the ads, priceless.

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    1. You're absolutely right, but (shhhhhh!) we didn't take any of the kids or grandkids with us. It was just us two overgrown kids...

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  40. Looks like lots of fun! I remember going to Universal as a kid (to the Cali one) and the Godzilla ride freaked me out. But I loved ET. Funny the things that stick out in my memory! :)

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    1. It was fun! Some of the rides freaked me out, too... especially that Mummy one, (with the backwards in the dark roller coaster plunge) but it was all good. At least now we can say we've been there.

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  41. ET phone home! :P That's my favorite picture.

    Sounds like fun. :)

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    1. That's because ET is one of the cutest aliens ever.

      It WAS!

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  42. I still remember the ET ride when we went to Universal in California with our kids over fifteen years ago. I would love to visit the one in Florida too. Great photos with your adorable grandchildren! Glad you had such a fun trip!

    Julie

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    1. Now that we've been once, I doubt if we'll ever go again, but ya never can tell where the wind might blow us. Thanks! (But it's good to be home.)

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  43. "GO—!" I'm sure this is meaningful in some way. It sure made me smile. Not enough smoke-writing for that dangety-dang "D." Mysterious ways!

    After a bad breakup and a cross-country post-breakup move, my mom took me (the victim) to Universal Studios. We had SO MUCH FUN.

    Lovely post. You are always so upbeat! Even when you are all wore out. :)



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    1. Yeah, you could be right about that GO being meaningful. What I do know is sky-writing is awfully expensive. Even in the dark ages, when my hubby came home from Vietnam, I looked into hiring a skywriter to welcome him back, but it was way too much money. (And I'm too cheap, er... frugal.) Besides, I figured I'd be so busy looking at him I'd forget to tell him to look up! So bottom line, maybe the folks who hired that GA skywriter only had so much money... and it ran out before the message did. (Or it simply wasn't finished yet...)

      Thanks. It doesn't cost a thing to be upbeat. (Did I happen to mention I'm cheap... er, frugal?)

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  44. i like your florida stand-off photo. i'd be exhausted going to a mall - especially shopping for a homecoming dress!

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  45. Thanks! With the fantastic pictures you take, I'll take that as a great compliment. (Even though my hubby's the one who took the picture.)

    The shopping was a little exhausting, but it was totally cool to be there to share the milestone with our granddaughter.

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