Sunday, August 17, 2014

Writing the STORY of my life…

I've been away from my blog for awhile.  Not because I want to, but because I've had another project brewing.  I'm writing the story of my life.  A story glued together with fact and fiction.  Inspired by a journal given to me by my mother.   I'm humble enough to realize than some may not enjoy it but as a self proclaimed raconteur, I love telling stories, writing them has been even more fun!

I don't have a degree in literature and I've never worked in publishing.  Quite frankly, I had no clue where to even start.  This book has been on everything from floppy disk to micro-SD's.  Yes, it's taken THAT long!  

During the writing process, I can't tell you how many people I've met that have expressed to desire to write their own story.  Each time I hear it, I encourage them 100%.  Grab a notebook and pen or start a file on your computer and simply start writing!!!

www.FunFloridaMom.com will not be my usual travel blog for awhile but instead be my daily communication for those of you who may want to start writing your own story.  I'll come back to it, I promise.  THANK YOU to each and every follower I have!  I can't express how awesome it is to see where all of you are and taking a peek at MY blog!  It's a pretty cool feeling and I truly appreciate your support!

Here's an idea….most of you are visiting my site looking for great things to do on your Florida vacation…you'll need a book to read while sitting by the pool or on the beach.  Please keep an eye out for Wisdom and Grace (September 2014).

Thanks again!




*********************************

20 years ago, my mother gave me her journal.  A journal of a young teenage girl struggling as a new wife and mother.

The words were personal.  They are my life.

Questions were answered.  Pieces of the puzzle put together.

After finishing the tattered pages and experiencing a few chance meetings, I knew that others could benefit from reading her words.  Whether it's another woman who gave birth and struggled like she did or a girl like me, the baby who was kept, having the opportunity to understand her mother more is priceless.  Even the grandmother, shocked by the suprise of becoming a grandparent much earlier than she would have imagined, she may find comfort in sympathizing with her daughter now.  Friends of that young girl who may have felt left behind or uncomfortable with their friends new life, hopefully, you'll have a new understanding of what she may have been going through.

It took me years to figure out how to tie two stories together. After going back and forth, starting and stopping, last January, I found the right direction.

***********************************

In a fictionalized version of my life, Julia, a young flight attendant, is living the life of her dreams.  Traveling the world, visiting far away places and destinations she never knew existed.  With not a care in the world, she takes as many trips as crew scheduling will give her.  

When she's home, it's always a quick hi and bye.  Time away from work isn't important to her.  In her mind, she's always on vacation.

After an unusually long and eventful trip, she decides to take a week and visit her grandparents cabin in the woods.  Her favorite place in the world.

Chapter 2 invites you to Salt Springs. Taking you on the back country roads, most will never wander far enough off the beaten path to enjoy true Florida.  Reconnecting with childhood friends, she's reminded of why she loves the forest.  Riverside bonfires, spontaneous gator hunts, daylong fishing trips catching bass and blue crab, and of course her favorite, the waters of Salt Springs.

To her suprise, her first love, the boy who's heart she broke before she set off to see the world, is still living there.  Will they rekindle an old romance?  You'll have to read it to find out.  This was one of the most fun parts of the write.  My husband keeps asking who "Jake" is…..

All I can say is it's a perfect example of allowing your mind to get lost in your story.





Monday, December 16, 2013

Beautiful Christmas Fun! Be sure to visit The Rosen Hotels Christmas Events!

The Rosen Hotels are always simply beautiful but I'm really looking forward to seeing them at Christmas!

These are a few of the upcoming events…if you're looking for something unique and Christmas themed, look no further!

I'll post a few photos after we've visited!

Merry Christmas!


Friday and Saturday Nights in the Snow
December 13th, December 14th, December 20th and 21st (6:30PM -9:30PM)
2nd Annual Winter Wonderland Festival
The hotel grounds will be transformed into a winter wonderland complete with gently falling snow, holiday carolers, the Shingle Creek Express train, a beautifully decorated 25-foot Christmas tree, storytelling with Mrs. Claus, holiday movies, karaoke and appearances from winter characters such as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Santa and the first ever “Live Remote Controlled Toys.”
Christmas Tree Rosen HotelsTake a picture with our Rosen Reindeer, sent straight from the North Pole. Reindeers do exist at Rosen Shingle Creek! Followed by a family dinner buffet at Café Osceola.
All activities require tickets, including food sales, cash bar, merchandise, etc.
Christmas Wagon
Take a ride on the horse-drawn Christmas Wagon, complete with costumed driver and watch as carolers sing holiday favorites while strolling through falling snow. This unique feature will be the newest addition to the winter wonderland at Shingle Creek.
Christmas Cookies Rosen HotelsSunday December 15th and 22nd (6:30PM -9:30PM)
1st Annual European Winter Fair
Take part in Shingle Creek’s newest family event, featuring a European gift mart and culinary crafting. Booths, displayed on the decorated outdoor patio, will offer exquisite gifts and crafts, cocktails and food, chocolate workshops, ornament-making elves, cookie decorating with holiday characters, custom Christmas stockings, card making and more.
*Shuttle available.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville at CityWalk! (Review)



Margaritaville has rolled out a new menu and I was lucky enough to be invited to try it out!



This was already one of my favorite places to eat.   I dined here with my husband for our first wedding anniversary 15 years ago, and with 15 friends and family members for my 40th birthday dinner just last January.  We’ve been season pass holders to Universal Orlando and the restaurant is always our choice to eat and drink at after a great day at the parks!  So going back to see what was new sounded wonderful!

I brought a friend and her daughter to join us.  This was their first experience eating there and they were nothing but impressed! 



The moment you’re greeted by the host, you know it’s going to be a good time!  Back in the day, I remember all of the employees wore lanyards that said, “I love my job!”  Although it’s not around their neck anymore, it’s clear that everyone there still “loves their job!”  The customer service was out of this world.  That’s hard to find these days and each and every employee, was awesome!

We tried a variety of appetizers…













For dinner, YES, you can have a Burger in Paradise and it will be the best you’ve ever had!  The girls had their own varieties, choosing from the Rancho Deluxe, the Black & Bleu, a Volcano Burger or the Cheddar BBQ.


My choice, the Shrimp Trio and Kathy loved the Key West Sandwich!  I'd recommend either.  You can't go wrong.  



And yes, we saved room for DESSERT!!!

I’d say they have the BEST key lime pie you’ll find and we got the “experience” the Chocolate Hurricane!  WOW!


Dan Murray, Margaritaville Orlando’s executive chef, came out to do the honors and prepared the “Hurricane” right before our eyes! 



A pint of ice cream. chocolate brownie, bananas, and a wonderful surprise of toppings, the dish is turned on a lazy Suzan while chocolate and caramel sauce are drizzled over top. Hence, the Hurricane!


Thank you to our server, Adam J. You’ve gained customers forever!  We’ll ask for your table again because WE WILL BE BACK!

If you’re visiting Orlando or you’re a local, be sure to check out Margaritaville at CityWalk!  You won’t be disappointed.  I apsolutely recommend making a reservation and stopping in for lunch or dinner.

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville
6000 Universal Blvd. #704
Orlando, Fl. 32819
(407) 224-2155


Enjoy!





Monday, November 25, 2013

Tristan & Eve Titanium Wedding Band ~ A Great Piece of Jewelry for Christmas!

As a blogger, a traveler and a busy mom, I sometimes end up in places where my wedding and engagement ring aren't the most practical thing I'm wearing.  I even ended up trading them out one time for a conch shell ring I bought for 5 bucks in the Bahamas.



When asked to review Tristan & Eve's Titanium Wdding Band, I thought, WOW!  Maybe that would be a great alternative to my expensive ring (the conch shell broke!)

I recieve my ring in the mail.  It fit perfectly to the size 7 I ordered.  Arriving in a black satin bag, it felt like Christmas opening it!  It's so pretty.  With 7 channel set, great quality, CZ stones, it sparkled as soon as it hit the light!   Brushed grooves and raised ridges make it beautiful enough for a woman's hand and masculine enough for a man's.



Not only is it beautiful but it's incredibly comfortable as well!  It's so light, you almost forget you're wearing it!

If you or your husband are looking for a new ring at a great price, I absolutely recommend this one!  You can't go wrong.  It's on sale right now on Amazon for $17.99, that's a $21.01 savings!   And they've got a 12 month guarantee.  

If you see me out and about, make sure you take a peek, or even try it on!  

Enjoy!




Monday, November 18, 2013

Reptile Discovery Center - DeLand, Florida! FANTASTIC!

Finally!  I was able to arrange a trip to The Reptile Discovery Center  in DeLand, Florida.  I've been talking about it for YEARS!  I wish I would have done this sooner.

For anyone visiting Orlando or traveling past the Daytona Beach area, it might be just off your path.

My family visited with our cub scout group but it's open to the public.  Venom extractions are done twice a day Thursday- Sunday.  Please make sure you call for any changes.

We started our tour with a short hike around the Discovery Trail.  Turtles, alligators, snakes, iguanas, it's filled with animals that permanately live at the center.  Mara, our tour guide did an awesome job answering all of our questions and was incredibly knowledgable on all of the animals.

She then led us into the Discovery Center where we got to see some of the worlds most venomous snakes!  Up close and personal.  Mambas, cobras, rattlers, corals and cottonmouths, all of the snakes we fear the most!

Next, we entered the the lab and took a seat infront of a huge glass window.  And that's when the venom extractions began! Mr. Carl came out and introduced himself, explained what he'd be doing then  ventured back into the room behind the glass.  He was so patient with the kids afterwards.

Look at the pictures!  They don't do it justice!  This is a MUST SEE when traveling through Florida.  At least once, maybe twice or even every time you pass by!  It's that cool.


My son holding an albino phython.

Feeding a coral snake after the venom was extracted.




















Milking a cottonmouth.






Thank you to all of the staff at The Reptile Discovery Center!  THIS was a great visit and I'm proud to have you on my blog!


~ Until we visit again!


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

HALLOWEEN FUN! Trot or Treat Festival at DreamCatcher Horse Ranch and Rescue Center in Clermont, Florida


It's that time of year, DreamCatcher Horse Ranch and Rescue Center, Inc., Annual Trot or Treat Festival!  Are you looking for down on the farm fun?  Look no further!  Pony rides, arts and crafts, games, BBQ....the best Fall Festival in Central Florida!






Friday, August 30, 2013

Another DELICIOUS reason to stop in Peterbrooke Chocolatier in Winter Park! BROISSANTS!

I love spending an evening or afternoon strolling along the beautiful Park Avenue in Winter Park.  The shops are unique, the restaurants are excellent and the desserts are even better.

From the sidewalk, you can smell the chocolate, heavenly!  Peterbrooke Chocolatier, at the corner of Park Avenue and New England Avenue, is a sure stop when we visit.  Tonight, I was fortunate enough to visit without the family, joining the staff of Peterbrooke, and tasting their new...BROISSANTS!

Making their debut tomorrow, they'll be available for you enjoy!

They're made to order in the store.  Walk right in, let them know what you want and they'll get it for you fresh.

The laminited dough, a perfect combination of rolling and folding.  FOUR hours of preparation goes into each batch, creating a buttery flour hybrid.  Fried and drizzled with your choice of homemade topping...

Bacon with Maple Glaze, Peanut Butter Glaze topped with Nutter Butter, Strawberry, Blueberries, Cinnamon Sugar, Chocolate Bourbon Glaze, Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt Caramel....they were all so delicious!

Broissants are available for $4 each or Broissant Pepites, a tiny version that comes with 3 are $3.50.

When you're visiting this quaint little town, be sure to find Peterbrooke Chocolatier!  The Broissants can only be found at this location, a specialty from the owners, Jami and Kevin.