Monday, May 5, 2014

Enjoying Our Visit

We have been busy going places and visiting while my parents, Aunt Frankie and Uncle Bill are here. The weather has made some of our sight seeing a bit challenging, as it's been very overcast and rainy. Thursday we thought we might try to go to St. Augustine, but when Frankie wasn't feeling the best and the weather turned out to be very overcast we decided to stay local and spend some time looking at local properties for sale.  My Uncle is looking at moving and of course we'd love him to really consider this area ( big smile inserted here!!!).

On Friday we headed out towards Orlando and stopped first at the Gaylord Palms Hotel to show them the beautiful environment they've created under the pavilion roof. It always amazes me with the beauty of the plants and trees in there along with the scenery they've created.

After our tour here we headed to Downtown Disney planning to have lunch and walk.  We decided to go to Raglan Road for lunch.  This is a favorite of ours for the food and we've always enjoyed the live Irish music and dancers.   While the food was still good, they've changed their entertainment schedule and there are no longer entertainers before 5 p.m. anymore.  What a disappointment!!!  We definitely will not be making any future visits there without a lunch special menu or a return to having the entertainers, as there isn't the draw or value to go there earlier in the day.

Downtown Disney with rain and Raglan Road's outdoor seating just before it poured.  Normally full of people eating here, but the umbrellas are closed and seats empty due to bad weather.
As we sat having our meal the skies opened and it began to POUR!!!!   The water was so heavy coming down it looked like someone was pressure washing the windows and water was just pouring down them.  It eased up a bit as we finished and headed to the Disney Store so Frankie could look for some gifts.  Even with our umbrellas we were still getting wet as the wind blew the rain under them and onto us.  The stores were crowded as everyone huddled inside to escape the elements.

When it was clear it wasn't going to ease up anytime soon, we cut short our time there and headed home.

Saturday we spent a bit more time looking at properties with the Realtor who helped us find our home.  Then the girls had to be at ballet practice for their recital that evening held at our church.  They were thrilled to have everyone, joined by grandma and poppie there to watch them perform the dance they did on Easter morning.  Afterwards they received flowers for their efforts when we returned to the house.

Our group as we settled in to wait for others to arrive and the program to begin
Girls dancing and then getting their flower from Bill and Frankie

Sunday morning Bill and Frankie left early to drive back to South Carolina, and we drove with Baba and Grandpa down to Orlando to meet with their former church choir director who took a position with the First Methodist Church in Orlando.  We arrived early and were treated to a tour of this incredible facility.  We also were able to watch the practice of the choir and bell ringers.  Then stayed for the service.

Church building exterior, the front of the main sanctuary and then the upper right photo is looking towards the back of the main sanctuary.

Upper left is Jerry who graciously gave us a tour as Tony had some music to get copies of for the choir.  The photo in the upper right is the sanctuary for the contemporary service, and the bottom photo is looking toward the kids zone on the second floor as I stand on the balcony area of the 3rd floor.

This is the 3rd floor area that currently serves as storage as they make plans to create large meeting facilities to use as a reception area for weddings or for hosting other large gatherings.  Incredible space and potential with an equally incredible view of the downtown area!!

Tony talking to my mom (upper left), the choir practicing (upper right) and the bell ringers practicing in the larger bottom photo.  They all sounded wonderful.

After church Tony, the choir director joined us for lunch at a restaurant called 310 Lakeside, next to Lake Eola.  This was a nice restaurant and a great place for my parents and us to get to visit with him.

Today we took advantage of the sunshine returning and toured locally at Blue Springs Park.  And while it is too warm for the manatee to be there, it's still a pretty park to walk around.  We then headed to the Swamp restaurant for lunch and to have my parents try gator bite appetizers before their meals, a must here in Florida. Then it was home for an afternoon swim and the chance to visit together as the time for their visit to end draws closer.

It's amazing how fast this time has flown by!!  We've really enjoyed their being here and all the kids are already a bit mopey as they anticipate having to say good bye to Baba and Grandpa soon.

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