Archive for May, 2005

Apple Snail Boom

Never heard of the apple snail? Me neither. But according to a story on WFTV, there’s currently a boom of apple snails that “could severly reduce the region’s wetlands, threatening water quality and crowding out native species.”

That’s pretty extreme for a snail!

HunkerDown: The Board Game

Tomorrow, June 1st, marks the first day of the 2005 hurricane season. It’s also the day a new local company, POST FX, Inc., will launch their board game, “HunkerDown

Memorial Day

memorial_day.gifAs we enjoy our holiday today, let’s remember to be thankful for those who gave their lives in service to our country and for their families who live their lives without a loved one so that we might be with ours.

Thank you for your sacrifice.

Canaveral National Seashore

We love the beach. And living in Central Florida means you can go east or west and find lovely beaches. I personally prefer the Gulf Beaches, but it’s simpler to get to Atlantic ones.

So a few years ago I heard about Canaveral National Seashore and fell in love with it’s simplicity. If you are looking for a beach with burger stands and rental trucks peppering the coastline, this isn’t for you.

This is beaching without the frills. In fact, the only thing there NOW that wasn’t there 100 years ago are the parking lots, boardwalks over the dunes and primative restrooms (a la camping style).

But there is a lot to do there other than beaches. Visitors may enjoy walking the nature and historical trails during the cool winter months. Throughout the year opportunity for recreational activities include; lagoon and surf fishing, boating, canoeing, surfing, sunbathing, swimming, hiking, and backcountry camping.

Plan your visit carefully however because this area is closed three days prior to shuttle launches. This is how close you are to the launch pad….

tn_beach05.JPG

Club Swank

Want a taste of ’40s glamour? Try Club Swank, the new retro-themed bar on Mills Avenue. I first heard about this place in “The Orlando Sentinel” a few weeks ago, and being a sucker for all things retro, I had to check the place out. So, I ventured out this evening for some swankiness.

The decor is tastefully done in blacks and reds, with a small space for performers. An improv comedy troupe from the Fringe Festival was there tonight, and I believe singers and lounge acts will perform there in the future. Vintage music plays at a respectable volume in the background. The staff, dressed to match the theme, seemed friendly enough. The thing I was most impressed with, however, was the seating. There are many places to sit and chat here: at the bar, in chairs near the entrance, at one of several tables, on the comfy couches and chairs, or outside at the tiki bar.

Yes, there’s a tiki bar. It’s out back and it’s pretty neat. At the back of the courtyard is a little sectioned-off area with comfortable beach chairs and sand on the ground. It’s the perfect spot to chat with a friend, which is what I wound up doing all night. My only complaint is that the Top 40 music they played in the courtyard, while kept at a reasonable volume, kind of took away from that cool retro-tiki feel.

The small crowd was pretty eclectic. I saw regular Joes and Janes off the street, some indie kids, a couple of Goths from Indie Bar, and middle-aged folks. The atmosphere was laid-back. Most people seemed to be there with a significant other or a group.

Overall, it was a relaxing experience. I’d like to see Club Swank become more popular. It’s a good place to bring a group of friends and hang out over drinks for awhile. It would be great if the club hosted some fun, high-profile events or held themed/costume nights.

Club Swank is located at 1300 N. Mills Avenue in Orlando. Just a side note: Club Swank doesn’t have its liquor license yet, so the bars are just serving beer and wine at the moment.

Another Super Bowl for Florida — this one a bit closer to home

Tampa Bay pulled off a surprising — and Super — coup Wednesday, with the help of one of Orlando’s most-revered residents.

NFL owners voted the 2009 Super Bowl to Tampa during their annual spring meetings in Washington. Super Bowl XLIII will mark the fourth time the league has staged its marquee event in Tampa, and the third time over a five-year span the game will be played in the state of Florida.

Media speculation focused on Atlanta and Houston as the co-favorites to get the game, with Tampa and Miami considered long shots. The Tampa contingent, however, was “cautiously optimistic,” according to Buccaneers Executive Vice President Bryan Glazer, son of Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer.

With the Glazer family at the point, Tampa’s bid group worked frantically over the last few weeks to lobby owners for votes and even called on Bay Hill Club & Lodge owner Arnold Palmer to lend his influence to the 15-minute presentation allowed each city.

Earlier this week, Palmer filmed a 90-second video at his home in Latrobe, Pa., praising the Bay area and Central Florida for its weather and track record for hospitality from Super Bowls in 1984, ’91 and ’01. The appearance was a follow-up to gifts sent by Palmer to each owner — replica putters of the one he used early in his legendary career — and came with another enticing offer.

“We told them they could have access to almost any kind of customized golf experience that they wanted while they were down here, basically at no cost to them, their staffers or their families,” Palmer said from his Pennsylvania office Wednesday. “The putter I sent should come in very handy.”

Added Bryan Glazer: “You can kid about the putter, but they all recognized Arnold Palmer and it meant something to them. It wasn’t just some throwaway gift. It’ll go in their golf bag and they’ll cherish that.”

In turn, officials and merchants along the Interstate-4 corridor — stretching from the St. Petersburg beaches to Orlando — will cherish the benefits of another Super Bowl. Orlando will be counted on for spillover in hotel rooms and get a boon from fans at theme parks, too.

“We will feel it,” said Bill Peeper, president of the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It will be a positive impact.”

The NFL orders economic impact studies on Super Bowls every odd year. Though figures from the ’05 game in Jacksonville have yet to become available, San Diego County reaped an estimated $367 million windfall hosting the game in ’03, according to Marketing Information Masters, Inc.

“The whole thing is wonderful, for Tampa and all of Central Florida,” said Palmer, 75. “I just hope I’m around to see it.”

Hard to believe Central Florida is going to host again so soon, but I know our economy will be very happy afterwards.

Article slams Disney

Nobody is perfect. Nobody should expect perfection from anyone or anything. However, this article talks about the darker side of Disney. Here’s a small excerp:

It’s called “Wild Kingdom,” and it reveals the deliciously tawdry goings-on among the “long-suffering, hard-drinking, cross-dressing” folks who play Goofy and Pluto and Cinderella at Disney World in Orlando.

When some of these “cast members” finish a hard day of hugging your drippy-nosed rugrats, they just can’t wait to get stoned out of their minds and have kinky sex.

Ouch! Of course the article goes on to say who can believe a “former Pluto” or a “former Mickey”. It might be a prank to sell this new magazine, or there could be a kernel of truth. What do you think??

PS. This article references interviews from DisneyLAND (California) and all were ex-cast members. Who knows if they have sour grapes or an axe to grind. Just FYI.

Girls Softball at it’s best

I don’t understand why more communities don’t support and encourage girls softball. I think we are dominated by boy’s sports and they are wonderful. But girls sports is just as important.

As I sat there tonight with the other parents, we were lamenting how poor a turnout there is (notice the bleachers in the top left corner of the picture) and how few girls are involved.

Most sports are taking a break for the summer (too hot!). But this fall when you see signs around your community or child’s school, consider enrolling them in some community little league. You’ll be glad you did.

tn_DSCF0032.JPG

Memorial Day List

Ok Orlando, Memorial Day is just around the corner and if you haven’t already made plans… it’s probably too late!

Just kidding, but as my family solidify our plans it occurs to us that as Orlandoans, we are really good at HOSTING vacations, but what do WE do when we want to vacation???

So here’s my top 10 list of things to do in central Florida over a long weekend that DOES NOT include acting like a tourist (read: theme parks)

In no particular order:

evergladesnp.jpg1. Go to the beach
2. Canoe at Wekiva
3. Orlando Science Center
4. Tampa Aquarium
5. Camping in Ocala National Park
6. Deep sea fishing from St. Petersburg
7. Wet-N-Wild
8. Everglades National Park
9. Kennedy Space Center
10. Camping/fishing/beaching at Jetty park

I realize that a few are getting close to the touristy line, but not one requires that you set foot anywhere near an orca, mouse or … whatever.

So let’s hear your top 10 list.. or just your top 2 things you like to do with a long weekend or a day off together.

Patriotism – wall sized

tn_Orange and Gore.JPG

Location: Corner of Orange and Gore, beside a Chevron station.

This is a very LARGE piece of urban art and it’s on the side of a building that I think belongs to ORMC. Couldn’t fit the entire image in the picture. Also what’s tough to see in this shot is the dedication to 9/11.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.