Monday, January 29, 2018

Night of Lights

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  More than 3 million tiny white lights outline the buildings and twinkle in the trees and bushes along St Augustine’s historic streets. The display starts in mid November and lasts until January 31. The lights are pretty but it’s the other attractions that make a trip to St. Augustine worthwhile. Click here for some of the places that we visited in 2014.

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  The best displays are along Avendia Menendez. Most of the sidewalks and curb cuts are in very good condition and the terrain is flat so it’s fairly easy to get around.

   Parking is limited in most areas of St. Augustine especially for oversized vehicles.There’s a free parking lot for RVs only on the corner of West Castillo and Riberia Street, west of the visitor center and parking garage ( which has all day parking for cars – $15.00 ). The signs in the lot are a little confusing. There is no fee except if you’re staying twenty four hours ( $35.00) but sleeping overnight in the lot is prohibited.  Lights  29.89451, -81.31082

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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Fort Wilderness Campground

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  This is a very expensive campground. It’s also very popular so make reservation early. When I checked for open sites a few weeks before we decided to go I couldn’t find any for our entire visit but I could make a reservation for each day. That was a pain since each reservation required filling out all of our information on the online form 10 times. When we checked in on our first day all of our reservations were combined and we had the same site for the whole ten days. Why that couldn’t happen in the beginning is a mystery to me.

  We were in the cheapest RV sites which feature concrete parking pads, tables, grills, water, power, sewer, cable, and internet. The concrete does not extend under the table so access is a bit difficult. The more expensive one are larger, closer to the amenities such as the beach and ferries to Magic Kingdom, and have more foliage between the sites. Other perks of staying in Fort Wilderness include extra hours for resort guests and free parking in the theme park lots. Parking for cars is $20.00 a day, RVs $22.00 – something to consider if you stay off site.

   Staying the campground is convenient. Buses run regularly to all of the theme parks and make loops around the campground.  A small ferry with a green flag goes directly to the Magic Kingdom. Ferries with different colored flags go to other resorts. We did not take any of the buses because I don’t like the lengthy process of loading and securing me and my wheelchair. We took the ferry to and from the park once but decided the walk to the ferry was too long to do everyday so we drove to each theme park from the campground on the other days. The green ferry is accessible but it may not be completely level with the dock.  Some of the other ferries are not accessible. The paved trails from the campsites are wide and smooth. The parking information from our trip in 2011 is still accurate. Campground   28.39555, -81.55372

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        florida1

Friday, January 26, 2018

More Disney

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   ( Sorry about the repeat post.  Open Live Writer, the platform I use wasn’t working, so I published the original post using just Blogger. Now that OLW is working again I republished to keep my archived posts consistent.)

  Five more days! I thought the last couple of days were a bit too much but Tony enjoyed each and every day. We had some very short days and we saw almost everything including stuff that we would have skipped if we had fewer days. We even played Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, an interactive scavenger hunt  with spell cards and holograms.

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  The Epcot International Festival of the Arts took place during our visit. It featured culinary arts, visual arts, and performing arts. It was fun but seemed scattered and unorganized and the art and performances were not very impressive. 

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   I found a great blog with excellent information on wheelchair accessibility in Disney World. The woman who writes it includes transfer details for all of the rides including the more exciting ones. Rolling With The Magic

  I’m sure more Disney World is in our future but we may take advantage of the option to add days onto our visit instead of buying a 10 day pass. As long the days are added to an existing ticket before the last day and it’s within the 14 day timeframe the discount for more days is valid.  Disney  28.40876, -81.58172

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Five Days of Disney

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  We’re taking a break! We visited all four parks, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. Hollywood Studios is the only park that we finished in one day. We spent two days at Animal Kingdom and will go back to Magic Kingdom and Epcot this week.  We’re on a really relaxed schedule - get up around 7:30, eat breakfast, drive to the parking lot of whichever park we’re visiting, take showers, eat an early lunch and then finally go into the park. We take a break at dinnertime and eat in the RV before going back to see the evening shows. It’s a slow time of year and most of the attractions have a wait of 10 minutes or less.
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  We have not used any FastPasses which allow visitors to reserve a time to see some of the more popular attractions, bypassing a long wait in line. The thrill rides get the longest lines so getting a FastPass is a good idea. These rides require a transfer from a wheelchair and since I tend to slide around during the rides (which is kind of scary) we don’t go on them.

    I think if you’re determined and focused you can see most of Disney in four or five days but because of the way Disney discounts the tickets as more days are purchased it was hard for us to pass on the 10 day bargain. Five days costs $370.00 per person but adding five more days is only an additional $70.00 per person!

  The parking and accessibility information from our 2011 visit is accurate. The main change is that now visitors in wheelchairs must get in line with everyone else. So many people were taking advantage of the quicker wheelchair lines that it was causing a problem. I’m glad they made this change because it never seemed fair to skip the lines. Some of the rides still have special lines because of the need for easier wheelchair access.  Visitors who can not sit in one spot for a long time because of physical problems or can not handle crowds and small spaces may get a special pass that gives them a return time comparable to the line wait time.  Disney World   28.40876, -81.58172
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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Disney!

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  We’ve visited Disney World many times, both before and after my accident. It’s fairly accessible and we always have a good time. Our last visit was in 2011 so we’re anticipating new attractions and a few changes like the computerized wristbands that are used for entrance to the parks, resort areas, parking lots and even to charge purchases.

Ticket prices start at about $100.00 a day and get cheaper per day as more days that are added.  We decided to go the full amount allowed for one visit – 10 days!  I think that might be a little too much but it will give us time to see everything and have some short and relaxed days.

   We’re off to see Mickey!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Museum of Florida Art

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  Two small galleries display contemporary art. One features changing exhibits and the other has artwork from the museum’s permanent collections. We were surprised to see drawings by Picasso and Whistler in such a small museum. The admission price is good for two locations but we visited the 600 N. Woodland Blvd location only.

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  The museum is accessible.

  The parking lot is large enough for most RVs.  Museum  29.03754, -81.30453

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Look At Who We Found in Florida…

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  Lily, Sandy, and Shane! If you attended the 2015 RTR Lily was a hard to miss presence, camping with her dad, Shane, interacting with everyone and keeping us entertained for hours. Their aunt, Sandy, attended her first RTR in 2017 and had such a good time that she bought a little class C and has been roaming the US for months. They’re headed to Quartzsite and looking forward to seeing everyone again. Thanks for the nice visit guys!

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Palatka Mural Walking Tour

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   Twenty two murals depict historic buildings, people, and events of importance to the small city of Palatka, Florida. The murals are large, nicely done, and colorful. They are located fairly close together and can been seen either by walking or driving.

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   Many of the curb cuts are steep or have dips at the street so wheelchair users may need assistance.  If you visit on a Sunday- when there is little traffic as the stores and businesses are closed - it’s possible to mostly roll along the streets instead of the sidewalks.

  There’s plenty of parking for RVs at Riverfront Park. Pick up a map at the St. Johns River Center or download it from the website.  Murals  29.64758, -81.62938

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

St. Johns River Center & Riverfront Park

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  The exhibits in the River Center cover the early history of Palatka and the importance of wetlands and clean water. They’re geared towards children but are still interesting for adults. After visiting the center head across the road for a short stroll along the St. Johns River. The walkway is only 1/3 mile long  and some sections are in need of repairs but the little park is very nice.

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   A few of the exhibits with interactive displays are out of reach for visitors in wheelchairs but for the most part everything in the museum and park is accessible.

  The parking lot is large enough for RVs. An addition lot is located at the south end of the park near the boat ramp.  Center  29.64666, -81.62898

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