is there really more to orlando?

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Disney. Yes, we hit up disney today. Of course I’ve been to Disney at least once a year, if not more, since infancy. Of course I’ve been on all the rides and know where every ride camera is. But the six year old loves it and my boyfran (okay, I’m so tired of calling him that, Ankush) had never been.

I woke up pretty early, had my cereal and hung around the house waiting for everyone else to wake up. By 12:45 everyone was ready to go. We entered Epcot and the heat overwhelmed me. We went on all the rides, experienced Nemo and then finally went to the one thing I was looking forward to: Soarin’. For those who have never been – you’re missing out. I don’t know if I could ever actually go hang gliding without having a serious panic attack midair but this ride is fantastic. You feel like you’re flying and you can smell all the things you’re flying over. My personal favourites are flying over the beach and the orange groves.

The day ended with fireworks at Disney, then we came home and I took a cold shower and had a bowl of cereal.

Every time someone comes to visit me here I feel obligated to take them to Disney and Universal and the beach because well…what else IS there to do that is amusing and special? I haven’t figured it out yet and my brain hurts from being in the sun so I’m going to stop trying to be insightful and go to bed.

two canoes.

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So one of the great things about Central Florida is that there are a few State Parks quite close. Today we attempted to conquer Wekiwa State Park. The morning started out beautifully. I woke, ate pancakes, packed a cooler full of a delicious lunch and half a watermelon. Of course, there were cans of La Croix in there as well (shameless advertising – I for reals can’t live without this water). Anyway, thirty minute ride down the highway and 8 miles into the woods, we drove into the state park. We inhaled the swampy, damp air and were on our way.

We decided to begin the morning with a canoe ride. I hadn’t been in a canoe in over ten years and no one else had been canoeing. Note: the people involved were my mom, the six year old, and “the boyfran”. We excitedly approached the woman at the canoe rental. She promptly told us that it was three people to a canoe so we’d have to get two. After some argument, and convincing my mom that it was safe and she wasn’t going to drown or get eaten by an alligator or algae we rented two canoes.

The unhelpful attendant at the place where we picked up the canoes sent us on our way and we were in the water. My mom and I were in one boat, the boyfran and the six year old were in the other. At first it was easy. I was sitting in the back and in charge of steering and we only ran into….five…or maybe ten trees. We spotted an alligator and my mom freaked out. Awesome.

So we spent about an hour on the river and after that we were tired, sweaty and starving. (okay, I was starving.) We decided to go for a refreshing dip in the spring. Yeah….refreshing. 70 degrees in the sun is refreshing.

As an older man and his son exited from the ramp that we were blocking he said, “just go for it.” So I did. I came to the surface, heart racing, blurred vision and scared for my life. After that it got better. My mom refused to come in because it was so cold but after a while we got used to it. Then it was lunch time. NOMNOMNOMNOMNOM

We had a lovely picnic and stuffed to satisfaction we retreated to the sunny hill overlooking the spring. I thought I was going to die, I ate so much. My mom napped in the shade, the six year old ran around and harassed the boyfran and I laid on my bright pink towel.

I went for another refreshing swim in the spring. But this time the six year old was shivering and her teeth were chattering, so we decided to call it a day.

My arms hurt, so much, and yes: I would like some cheese with that whine.

stay, just a little bit longer?

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I went to the library today and after acquiring what I was searching for (See: shopgirl.) I was well on my way out of the library. My mom had barely put 30 minutes in the meter and the metermaids downtown are pretty…anal. All of a sudden something caught my eye. The shiny covers of the soundtrack rack of the CD section. I immediately came face to face with something I had to have.

The Dirty Dancing Soundtrack.

HALLELUJAH. Needless to say, this is the only thing I’ve been listening to and plan on listening to until it is due back to the library next Wednesday. I love this movie and the soundtrack is one of my favourites. Who can say no to “Time of My Life” and “Hungry Eyes”? I certainly cannot.

shopgirl.

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About a year ago I read the novella titled “Shopgirl” by Steve Martin. I was skeptical. Steve Martin, a writer, much less a good writer? I gave it a try anyway, the story intrigued me. I read it. Then I read it again. I wrote several characters off as having major flaws and I wasn’t sure if I should have – hence the reread. It was good but it wasn’t great. It was engaging but not necessarily gripping. I thought the story was lovely, although not incredibly written, it was still a beautiful story. It ends on a bittersweet note – she doesn’t get the guy, per say, but she gets a guy. I suppose that could soothe the hopeless romantic in me, and it did.

Last night, I finally saw the movie that was made out of the novella. Needless to say, I wish I hadn’t. I love Claire Danes – I really do. She’s fabulous. But the dialogue was ridiculous. Her character was nothing like I imagined from the novella and it really bothered me. What’s more, the narration was so corny that I almost turned the movie off. It was awkwardly placed, the tone was nostalgic but it was written in the present tense and Steve Martin did the voiceover but it was in third person so it was as though Steve was talking about his character, Ray and Mirabelle as though it was a third person omniscient narrator but it wasn’t. I’m confusing myself here. Finally, there were several long awkward pauses that could have used narration or perhaps thoughts from a character but were just silent, uncomfortable moments with shots on Mirabelle’s mom, or Mirabelle laying in bed, or Ray watching her walk away. Are you kidding?  I was just disappointed. Incredibly disappointed. I really looked forward to seeing this movie because I thought it’d be a beautiful rendition of this beautiful story but instead it was a melodramatic cop-out of a good film.

Now I’m going to the library to borrow the novella so I can read it again and see if I’ve romanticized the work to the point of destroying my perception of it, or if this film was just badly made.

The six year old.

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So today my niece, my mom and I went to the gym today. There are two pools at our gym – one inside and one outside. The one inside is a) in air conditioning, and b) ALWAYS ten degrees or more colder than the outside pool. For this reason, we swim in the outside pool. So my niece played, I swam and my mom relaxed. I noticed my niece opening her eyes underwater and I warned her against the cholrine and how it would hurt in her eyes and of course she did not heed. We left the pool and her eyes were bloodshot. My mom brushed it off so I figured it was no big deal. It wasn’t until we got into the car that she began wailing “I’M SICK I CAN’T SEE I’M SICK MY EYES ARE BURNING I’M SICK I HAVE ALLERGIES I’M SICK”. Well damn, I’m a terrible aunt, I laughed. The wailing continued for almost 2 hours. After which, her eyes were perfectly fine.

Like mother, like daughter – quite the drama queen 🙂

summertime

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So it’s summertime. I’ve taken two classes this summer and it’s the first time I’ve ever taken summer school. I spent a month in Atlanta taking class at Agnes Scott (I’m a scottie!) and I’ve been taking a class online. I’m an English and Dance major – it really can’t get much better than a Chem Lab online!

Anyway, so I’m home in Orlando and I’ve pretty much lost interest in doing anything but going to the gym. That’s not true. I still have interest in things, but these interests are impossible with a six year old. My niece is here with my parents and I while my sister is traveling. She’s six, which is an interesting age. I remember being six but I don’t really know what six year olds are supposed to behave like. My mom says she’s difficult, but I don’t know. She’s…tough. She likes shrimp and cookies, I think. She likes computer games. She doesn’t very much enjoy sitting still but she’s a great swimmer for six.

This wasn’t supposed to be a post about my niece. The point is that I’ve been babysitting a lot. Quite a lot. I wasn’t the type of kid to take on babysitting jobs when I was younger, or even know. People say I’m good with kids but it’s just never been something I’m interested in. So it’s been…interesting. Other than that I go to the gym everyday. An hour of cardio and weights, sauna and steam room, and swimming. It’s nice.

I hate the word “boyfriend”. I don’t like referring to my “boyfriend” as my “boyfriend” because the word sounds so juvenile. But what else can I call him? Regardless, he’s driving down to Orlando tomorrow. I’ve got big plans for the next few days! Canoeing, Disney, maybe the beach. One of the perks of living in a tourist town, one of few mind you, is that there’s so much to do when people visit. Sure- I’ve been to Disney and Universal at least once a year since infancy but it’s fun for people who’ve never been. Speaking of Universal, I have a seasonal job there, but I haven’t been working this summer. The epitome of a job for a college kid – they only need me on in the summer and winter breaks so I’ve always got a job waiting for me.

I’ve rambled on far too long. Hopefully in the future the things I say will be more coherent.