GardenGrrl's WunderBlog

Frog Dog #24

By: GardenGrrl, 10:13 PM GMT on October 26, 2012

Besides visiting family, going to "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" was my main reason for going to Florida. Loved the books, loved the movies, this attraction did not disappoint.

We totally lucked out in that it wasn't very crowded due to threats of rain. Yes it did rain while we were there and that is why I brought my beater camera and water-proof Olympus pocket camera.

Here is Hogwarts Castle. It is huge.



Arriving on the Hogwarts Express. Okay, it doesn't move but it is great for photo ops.



Inside the Hogwarts Castle is a really wild ride called the Forbidden Journey. People either came off the ride saying "Woooohooo best ride ever!" or they looked a bit pale. I get motion sick so skipped this one. However, if you go to Harry Potter World, just get in line for this ride and bail at the end where you can exit before getting on. The line is a walk through the castle and it is really neat. Dark too so most of the photos are not great. Here is the area with all the talking pictures.



This is Hogsmeade Village. Yes, the buildings are a titch cattywumpus.





HoneyDukes the famous candy store.



Of course there are characters running about.



Over at the Flight of the Hippogriff ride you will find Hagrid's Hut.



It really is fun. There are lots of nooks and crannys to poke about in. Even if you don't like rides, go a ways into the lines to find more fun scenery from the movies.

About Butter Beer. Butter Beer rocks. It is kind of a creme soda on steroids. First they pour the soda part. Next, a thick frothy cream is put on top. Regardless of how careful you drink it gives you a white mustache. The surprise is that if you do find a straw (which they tell you not to do) and stick it into your Butter Beer it will have the "mentos effect" and overflow like a volcano. Magic!

Updated: 7:37 PM GMT on November 01, 2012

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Fly Boarding!

By: GardenGrrl, 3:06 PM GMT on October 24, 2012

Okay, so I haven't sorted through the rest of my vacation pics. How 'bout this?

Fly Boarding; the new extreme sport that looks really really fun. I'm thinking it is one of those items that if I added it to my bucket list it may very well be my "kick the bucket list". But hot dang it would be fun.

Intro video for those short of time.



This video is longer. The first minute is showing jet-skis, go head and forward up to the one minute mark for the fun stuff.



Here is the how to and technical stuff about flyboarding by the inventor himself. Unfortunately it is in French.
Quick translation; he likes playing with jet-skis and got to thinking; "Hey, jet-skis are just big high powered water pumps with a seat stuck on them".
If one were to attach a hose, much like a fire hose, would there be enough thrust for lift-off?

So, he did the math for how big the hose would be. He built that U-shaped fitting to bolt onto the water exhaust. It turns back under the boat to drag the boat along while adding some stability to the hose.

The boots and arm throttles give the lift and control. Voila!

The first part of the video shows a pro somebody learning how to use it.



Updated: 3:07 PM GMT on October 24, 2012

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RIP Big Tex

By: GardenGrrl, 4:15 AM GMT on October 20, 2012

A Texas State Fair icon went up in smoke today. Big Tex, the giant and some would say kind of creepy animatronic cowboy with the size 70 boots had been celebrating his 60th birthday when they say an electrical fire ended his career as State Fair Greeter.

Sure after a period of mourning there will be tastless jokes about another extreme fried food offering at the Texas fair. Already unkind rumors are being whispered that it was fried twinkies surrounded by sticks of fried butter topped with oversize birthday candles that did him in. The authoritys are sticking with their story of electrical fire and not deep fryer as cause of death.

Here are pictures of Big Tex before, during and after his untimely departure.

Workers bring Big Tex out of storage and prepare to raise him up to his pedastal.



Some last minute adjustments to his scarf.



Big Tex is always dressed like your average Texas Cowboy.



Big Tex up close.






The beginning of the end.












Big Tex covered with a giant tarp and being wheeled away. Hasta la vista baby.




(note; all photos taken from Google Images)

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Carnivorous Plant Experts? #10

By: GardenGrrl, 2:22 AM GMT on October 13, 2012

This was the unusual vacation where everything went right. We landed at Tampa on time, found the rental car. Heading to Orlando we stopped at a rest station and I said, "This trip will be complete if I can find some sand hill cranes and get pictures."
Leaving the rest stop had me hollering; "Pull over! Pull over!" There were some cranes. That set the tone :-D


We were planning on going to Disney World but found out that Epcot Center was having it's annual food and wine festival. Sorry Mickey.
I have come to the conclusion that going to theme parks costs more than a trip to Las Vegas. It's also more fun.

We ate our way around the world at little kiosks that had wonderful snack size samples of food from that area. Tiny filet mignon with mushrooms, cheese plates from Ireland (actually quite good.), lamb, sweet gooey desserts, curry, spanakopita and on.
Spouse did beers around the world in 6oz glasses.
Left at closing time very full and happy.



The famous space ball.

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More from world of tomorrow


These two were really fun. Wanted to bring them home with us.



For Proserpina a bit of Italy



I'm in Canada



Japanese Drummers



The terracota army from Qin Shi Huangdi tomb in China.



Night has come and the park is closing soon.



Thanks for coming by.

Updated: 10:09 AM GMT on October 14, 2012

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Rebel Parakeet Lives #29

By: GardenGrrl, 12:46 AM GMT on October 05, 2012

Hi All, thanks for visiting my blog while I was gone and keeping an eye on Syd and Roxie. Good catch BriarCraft. No telling what would have happened if you didn't find Syd abusing burglars :D



Had a really great time. Visited Mom. While in Orlando we found out there was a Star Trek exibition. This is the beta version, they plan to expand.

Found out two interesting bits of Star Trek trivia.
The first "red shirt" to die in a Star Trek episode was in the credits as "Jimmy Jones". He later went by the name of Reverend Jim Jones who founded a cult which became cryptically famous for drinking Kool-Aid.

Star Trek was progressive so of course during that time it was produced by Desi-Lou Productions. (They also did I Love Lucy, the first TV show to have a married couple share one bed instead of twin beds). Well, always pushing the envelope, they had the first inter-racial kiss which was between Capt. Kirk and Lt. Uhura. This prompted a flood of hate mail and death threats to Nichelle Nichols. She felt she had become a burden to the show and was going to quit. Dr. Martin Luther King personally asked her not to because she was a role model to black people. Whoopie Goldberg sums it up best when she recalled the first time seeing Lt Uhura on Star Trek. She jumped up hollering to everyone in the house, "Get over here, there's a black lady on TV and she's not a maid!"

So here are some pics from the exibit. It included a full size re-creation of the original bridge on Enterprise. Got to sit in the captains chair. How cool is that?



This is the view from the captains chair. The screen was constantly changing.





These are original costumes.

Updated: 3:20 PM GMT on October 12, 2012

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Gardengrrl likes being outside and watching "Sky-TV"

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