Winter Garden facts

From this site via WFTV:

1. Settlers began arriving in the Winter Garden area in the 1850s. Attracted by the fertile muck land that bordered Lake Apopka, settlers engaged in citrus and vegetable farming, living in small settlements situated along the lake’s south shore.

2. By the end of the 19th century, Winter Garden’s business district had grown up alongside the two railroad lines that ran through the city.

3. Winter Garden was established in 1903 and incorporated as a city in 1908.

4. By 1920, there were more than 1,000 residents, and the city had quickly become the center of commerce and agriculture in West Orange County.

5. The Edgewater Hotel opened in 1927 as Lake Apopka’s emergence as “the large-mouth bass capital” attracted tourists.

6. Early residents either owned or worked in the groves, and as the citrus industry grew, the commercial district continued to expand.

7. By the turn of the century, a small commercial district had emerged along Plant Street and residential neighborhoods began to appear.

8. The historic fabric of Winter Garden remains largely intact. The historic buildings in Winter Garden date between 1915 and 1940.


Cruz N Car Show September 2019

Time for another car show, downtown Winter Garden … new this time I’m using my brand new iPhone 11 Pro Max; it gave me some great photos, though the new “ultra-wide” (0.5x”) lens is going to take a bit of getting used to – it’s great sometimes to take a really wide view from close to the action, but sometimes the result looks strange even though the phone is doing impressive work to eliminate distortion. Take a look at the station wagon, for where the wide view doesn’t quite work:

Cancun vacation

After discovering that Cancun, Mexico, was a short two hour flight from Orlando, and inexpensive even with “all inclusive”, we just returned from a week at the El Caribe Deluxe¬†where we spent lots of time at the pool, a little in the ocean (big waves most of the week!), and ate too much (“all inclusive” as I said!)

Here’s some photos of the hotel, ocean, sunrises, food choices, …

We ate in a buffet restaurant most nights, with a different theme each time – best was (no surprise) the Mexican theme, with lots of flavors to try, and much better to try “risk free” in a buffet setting where you can leave anything you don’t like!

One disadvantage of the Cancun location was there’s really nothing but hotels along the beach, nothing much to walk too – and a busy divided highway anyway! But we did find and walk to a set of ruins one morning, El Rey, very inexpensive ($7 for both of us!) and quite interesting (including all the Iguanas!)

Mind, even though we walked there as soon as it opened (8am) it was still crazy hot walking back! Back to the hotel pool to cool off …

Cancun is a nice location for total relaxation, but not enough to do if more than poolside is wanted …


Magic Kingdom, quiet day …

Hurricane Dorian has driven many Disney visitors away, leaving the parks much quieter for us … after Animal Kingdom yesterday we headed to Magic Kingdom today. We had fast passes for Peter Pan (normally very hard to get) as well as Haunted Mansion and Buzz Lightyear – but lines were really short; 4 minutes on to Pirates of the Caribbean, about the same for Splash Mountain and not much more for Thunder Mountain, walk-on for It’s A Small World and Little Mermaid; we also did Mickeys Philharmagic, Winnie The Pooh, TTA, and Jungle Jim Cruise – and got normally impossible to book dinner at Be Our Guest (at any time we wanted, basically!)

Here’s photos from our fun, long, tiring day …


Animal Kingdom Safari, twice

We headed to Disney Animal Kingdom this afternoon, with a fast pass for the safari ride; but when we got there (before our fast pass time) the wait time for the regular line reported 15 minutes – and it turned out that we walked right the way on to the vehicle with no wait at all! Chatting with staff, they said “everyone is at Star Wars” (and no doubt the threat of a hurricane has quieted the parks, too!)

After our safari, we still had our fast pass – so we went a second time; it was amazing how different the animals were, just an hour later. A single Hippo the first time, five or more the second time. Giraffe all clustered under trees sheltering from the rain on the second trip, while Wildebeest were now all spread out. And the White Rhino apparently pleased with the rain, were in their mud hole on the second drive! Photos:

We also got a few Disney photos, including with Mickey & Minnie Mouse …