8002, sold

It’s nearly ten years since we bought 8002, originally our Florida vacation home – and eventually a very useful “staging home” when we moved from Massachusetts. Once we’d moved to our current home, we rented 8002 for a while but that ended badly with no payments and lots to repair, so a year ago we decided to sell – and it’s taken this long! We lost a lot (buying just before the big housing crash!), but 8002 was a great vacation home and made moving to Florida a lot easier.

So, last pictures of 8002, now sold …

The President’s Hall Of Fame

Right next door to The Citrus Tower in Clermont is the President’s Hall Of Fame – another less popular perhaps struggling attraction, this one rather expensive to visit too. But we were having an enjoyable non-Disney day, so here’s lots more pictures!

Outside, there’s a “model” of Mount Rushmore, or at least something reminiscent; and a copy of Abraham Lincoln from his memorial too:

 

Indoors, past the eccentric gift store, are various amazingly detailed scale models of the White House – including one that represents the original construction:

Also a very large and detailed model of “today’s” White House, complete with many fully furnished rooms – photos make it look like we were spying!

The Citrus Tower

There’s a few local tourist attractions that are not Disney, Universal, etc – though it must be said they are rather less frequented by tourists! Today we visited The Citrus Tower in nearby Clermont, offering views of a lot of flat lake-filled Florida landscape, and very distant glimpses of skyscrapers in Orlando city, and the Contemporary at Disney Magic Kingdom …

Pandora

Disney’s Animal Kingdom has a new area opening soon – Pandora, inspired by the film Avatar; and we got preview access there today …

As befits the fact that it’s an alien world, everything is very well themed with unusual plants and creatures – including sounds, all around. There are two rides in the area too, a nice gentle Na’Vi River Journey, and a much less gentle one (Flight Of Passage) – for us rather like an extreme Star Tours combined with extreme Tower Of Terror and Soarin’! I don’t think either of us will be doing that second ride again.

Here’s some photos from the visit, showing the theming and plant life:

 

And here’s some less-than-perfect pictures from the River Journey:

 

40 years at the beach

Well, not really … but Apple Photo Memories recently offered up a selection of close-to-beach photos, and I then took the idea to it’s extreme.

The photos here go back as far as a family holiday to Brixham, Devon in England in the 1970s, past our honeymoon in the Canary Islands, and to more recent locations including Gloucester and Rockport where we used to live …

Better bread?

One thing we’ve never quite got used to in America is the lack of good bread; it’s hard to find in supermarkets, there’s no good bakeries nearby …

Watching episodes of The Great British Bake Off, I’ve been tempted to try making my own bread and after recently finding a seeming easier recipe online, I decided today to give it a try. We bought a baking stone along with yeast, and followed the instructions.

The results are reasonably good – very crispy due to a a pan of water in the bottom of the oven. Maybe not cooked right through at the bottom but acceptable for a first try (not sure if I’ll try again – the kitchen is a bit of a mess now!)