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January 26, 2018

Orlando

by Rosemary West

We went to Orlando to see Disney World, and that's what we did. It really is an entire world, with four major theme parks, two water parks, a large sports complex, several golf courses, a huge shopping-dining mall, resort hotels, and its own freeway. Even things that aren't Disney are Disneyesque: Street lamps are painted purple, gift shops are decorated with giant wizards and mermaids, and there is a street called Seven Dwarfs Lane.

Nevertheless, we were able to step out of the world of fantasy for a little while, to see some of the area's natural wonders.


Bear Creek Nature Trail

We took an airboat ride on Lake Tohopekaliga. Airboats have flat bottoms and can travel through water that is only a few inches deep. They are powered by aircraft-style propellers. Their design makes them very useful, not just for tourism, but for rescue operations.


This is what it looked like as we skimmed over the water.

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This alligator, hiding in the brush, was about 12 feet long.


Another alligator eyes us warily.

There are a number of cattle ranches in the area, and sometimes the cows choose to wade in the swamp. The adults have little to fear from alligators, who generally won't attack anything they can't swallow whole. Calves are well advised to stay on dry land.



Great Blue Heron


Egret


Another bird in the swamp.

This next creature was lurking in the water at Disney Springs, a shopping and dining venue that includes the Cirque du Soleil theater, where we saw "La Nouba".


The giant Lego sea serpent.

Of course, Disney Springs has the world's largest Disney store, 12 rooms of things you didn't know you needed until you walked in the door.


My new look.

As for the theme parks -- yes! We went there. Our adventures will be described in the next post.


Note: We were here in mid-December.

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