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The idea of a National Church was first mentioned by the great General and first American President, George Washington, but this dream did not begin to take fruition for more than a century. Like all great projects, it takes time and lots of money to make the dream a reality. Today the completed church plays an important role in its nation’s history having hosted many national days of prayer and several presidential funerals.
The National Cathedral is a beautiful NeoGothic church situated on the highest point in the District of Columbia. It’s built in the style of the great European cathedrals and has a tall central tower (30 stories high), 231 beautiful stained-glass windows (one of which has a moon rock …
If you’re in Orlando and grow tired of visiting the many theme parks, with their attendant crowds and long lines, then consider a visit to a beautiful southern garden. In my research, the most recommended garden in Orlando was Harry P. Leu Garden, donated to the city by Mr. and Mrs. Leu in the 1960s.
Situated on 50 acres just north of downtown, the Leu Garden did not disappoint. It’s truly lovely, with a beautiful assortment of shade trees including gigantic ancient oaks draped in Spanish Moss (which have survived a number of hurricanes over the years). Orlando’s climate is conducive to a variety of temperate and tropical plants which the gardeners have arranged in a number of themed regions you can visit (a …
Florida is home to lots of alligators, and there’s probably no better place to see your fill of them in one day than at Gatorland.
Gatorland was Orlando’s first large attraction, starting way back in 1949 when Disney and Universal hadn’t even thought of using the region for theme parks. Back then Seminole Indians would wrestle the gators for tourists, and the classic gator jaws at the park’s entrance (top photo) were photographed tens of thousands of times. Because of the extensive development of the Orlando region, there are many fewer gators around today but there’s still lots of them in the state.
Gatorland is a family-run, family -oriented place that reminded me a little of Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park …
Alligators fascinate and repel me. They’re amazingly graceful in the water, powerful and agile, and are obviously highly successful predators. But it’s their predatory aspect I find repelling. When one of them turns its soulless eyes on you, it feels as though you’re being sized up for dinner. I’m reminded of the classic Gary Larson “FarSide” cartoon. Two crocs with bloated bellies are lying on a riverbank, a broken canoe beside them. One croc tells the other (and I’m paraphrasing) — “That was incredible. No scales, no horns, no fur — just soft and pink!” We humans are those soft pink treats they seem to desire.
Alligators are quite photogenic. Take a look at these shots from Orlando’s fun “Gatorland” park:
Macaws are beautiful birds — although at times, perhaps, a little temperamental! Watching a flock of them fly through the Amazon rain-forest is a sight you never forget, with flapping flashes of bright color against the green canopy. And, of course, as easy as they are to see they’re even easier to hear as they’re quite chirpy.
The best place to study these beautiful birds up close is in an exhibit. But beware those beaks — they can do serious damage to a finger pointed their way!
These photos were taken at Gatorland park in Orlando.
Few places do a better job of creating false reality than Walt Disney World. When I recently visited Orlando, I attended a medical meeting within the theme park, not far from the”Epcot Resort” region. This area is near Crescent Lake and includes the Beach and Yacht Club resorts and Disney’s Boardwalk. While I was in a beautiful subtropical place, the area gave me the very carefully crafted impression I was somewhere else. It’s one of the many aspects of the Disney parks I really enjoy.
The Beach and Yacht Club resorts are designed in the New England style and feature the top quality amenities you’d expect when staying at Disney — comfortable rooms, pools, a variety of eateries — but also …
Merry Christmas everyone! Today’s featured collection of pics looks at some of the seasonal decorations at Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) in Walt Disney World, Orlando.
Visiting Disney theme parks is lots of fun but has gotten quite expensive, especially if you’re taking the family. But there’s a few places you can park your car for free and walk around without paying admission at the Disney Theme parks, and one of the best is Disney Springs. Here you can stroll up a street beautifully designed in the Disney manner, go window shopping, get a snack or a meal, catch a movie, go bowling, or perhaps see a concert or a Cirque Du So-lei performance. And during the holidays the park dresses …
One of the things I enjoy about blogging is sharing less commonly visited but interesting destinations. The Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden in Spokane, Washington, certainly fits that bill. A smaller garden, well known to locals but not to many tourists, it has its charms! When I lived in Spokane I’d commonly stop by as it was midway between the hospital where I worked and the library I frequented. I enjoy the calm nature and beauty of Japanese gardens. They are places where nature, tranquility, gardening skills, and art merge.
The Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Garden sits on the site of the old zoo (closed in the 1930s). The garden was designed by Nagao Sakurai, a master garden architect (who at one time was …