Back to Orlando today.

2009-01-08turretmoon

The place I stayed for my January visit to Orlando was the Doubletree Castle Hotel. I stayed here because it was supposedly close to the Convention Center where my Conference was. (“Close” is apparently a relative term. It was close enough for running shoes. Not close enough for street shoes. Thankfully they have a semi-reliable trolley system there.) The other reason for staying here is that as usual, Prince Charming was in charge of setting this up, and this is the best deal he could find. (It WAS a good deal!)

When I arrived, I thought it was a bit cheesy from the outside.  Coral paint and turrets.  But it turned out to be a nice place with the second-most-comfortable-hotel-bed-which-I-have-experienced. (I have never stayed in a Westin with a “heavenly bed.”)  Probably the best part was the warm chocolate chip cookie given to me upon checking in (which is apparently a Doubletree signature). Most pictures can be enlarged when clicked.

the pool

the pool

close-up of pool fountain

close-up of pool fountain

The grounds were pretty. (But what wasn’t? It was January in  FLORIDA!) The room service was inconvenient, but had WONDERFUL food. (Next to the bed, this is the most important thing to me.)

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This place was created for a book and me

It was definitely very “castle-like” inside. My Princesses would have loved it. (But I loved being there by myself!)

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My World is a weekly meme in which participants are virtual tour guides. Go check it out and see the worlds of others. Or better yet, take a look at the guidelines, and do your own My World Post!

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Some comments in last week’s My World  Tuesday post wondered why I was at Universal Studios when it was closed.

Well, I was going to post about that anyway, and it is a large part of my personal world,  so here it is.

My “job” is being a St*mpin’ Up! Demonstrator. In May, it will be thirteen years that this has been one of my jobs. And for the past 6-1/2 years, it is the only job I have that pays. (And I have plenty of other jobs!)  St*mpin’ Up! has events for their demonstrators all through the year, but the main ones are a Convention in the Summer and a Leadership Conference in January. At the Leadership Conference, they have something called “Manager’s Reception” which is for people at a certain level and above. The last several years they have made this reception some kind of party, and this year they rented out part of the Islands of Adventure at Universal Studios. I really don’t know how many people were there, but I would say not more than 200. Everything was free (4 rides, caricature drawings, arcades, food, drink), and it was so much fun. I went alone and was a little uncomfortable with that because I thought it might not be as fun on the rides by myself, but it WAS fun. I never actually WAS by myself; I was usually with people whose friends were too afraid to ride!

So here are some pictures that show just how fun it is to go to a St*mpin’ Up! party!

This was at the entrace. I knew I was in the right place!

This was at the entrance. I knew I was in the right place!

2009-01-08dinner

Dinner was great.

One of the desserts.

One of the desserts.

The desserts deserved two pictures. Get this... I didn't eat ANY dessert. I knew I would be riding rides, and I did not want to risk too much sugar making me sick before I even started. (Is something wrong with me that I picked rides over desserts?)

The desserts deserved two pictures. Get this... I didn't eat ANY dessert. I knew I would be riding rides, and I did not want to risk too much sugar making me sick before I even started. (Is something wrong with me that I picked rides over desserts?)

Banners like this decorated the poles along all the streets.

Banners like this decorated the poles along all the streets.

Light displays like this were also sprinkled around.

Light displays like this were also sprinkled around.

These guys were great. It was hard to get a good picture, but they were covered in lights, and excellent dancers, even if they were on stilts that were chest-high to me.

These guys were great. It was hard to get a good picture, but they were covered in lights, and excellent dancers, even if they were on stilts that were chest-high to me.

Pardon the bad photo; it was VERY dark there. This won't fit in with another post, but I had to include it because "Ironman" is my favorite!

Pardon the bad photo; it was VERY dark there. This won't fit in with another post, but I had to include it because "Ironman" is my favorite!

Three hours of fun later, I was just a little queasy from all the rides, but there was still a nice good-bye sign. (And they gave us gifts at the bus.)

Three hours of fun later, I was just a little queasy from all the rides, but there was still a nice good-bye sign. (And they gave us gifts at the bus.)

My World is a weekly meme in which participants are virtual tour guides. Go check it out and see the worlds of others. Or better yet, take a look at the guidelines, and do your own My World Post!

This is not really about “my” world, but about a world I recently visited. I took more pictures there than I do here (at least of things I can post since I do not post pictures of my kids and their friends playing very often), and there were some very interesting things, so “My World” will be about Orlando for two or three weeks.

When I was flying into Orlando, I saw lots of water on the ground, and it was overcast. No surprise. But what did surprise me was large wooded areas with no leaves on the trees. I had no idea trees lost their leaves there.

2009-01-12orlandobaretrees

Then later I saw a tree with orange leaves, fading from its peak of autumn glory… in JANUARY! Maybe I am the last person to know that Orlando has some form of autumn, but previously I never knew, so I thought it was interesting.

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Right next to the “autumn tree” was some tree unidentifiable to me that had yellow flowers on it. It was amusing to me that one tree was in bloom, and the tree next to it was orange and losing its leaves.  What a different world from mine!

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My World is a weekly meme in which participants are virtual tour guides. Go check it out and see the worlds of others. Or better yet, take a look at the guidelines, and do your own My World Post!