Travel Review – Boggy Creek Airboat Rides, Kissimmee, FL

August 28, 2014 at 9:10 am

Admission to the attraction featured in this review was provided. This review has not been monetarily compensated and is based on the views and opinions of my family and/or self. Please note that the opinions reflected in this post have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.

A year ago I learned that the headwaters of the Everglades were in Orlando not the Keys and airboats were the best way to see wild, natural Central Florida. On my way back to the airport after another snowbird visit, I decided it was time for me to experience real Florida–its animals, birds, flora and plant life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My initial experience, a 30 minute scenic nature day tour with Boggy Creek at its East Lake location, showed me cattle, turtles, snakes, birds, alligators. of course, and majestic eagles. The thrill of that remote, scenic 45 mph high speed ride over wetlands and swamps left me wanting more next trip.

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Well, it is the next trip and the first call I made was to Boggy Creek, Southport to arrange for a one hour night life safari hunt of Lake Toho. Upon boarding a fan-propelled 17 passenger airboat, I realized finding any alligator in the dark and in the tall grass would be difficult.

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Mature alligators have broad heads and small brains and measure about ten feet with tails are half this length. A few old ones have grown to 15 feet long and 1,000 pounds.They are a threatened not endangered species with a low survival rate because industry, building and tourism are changing their habitat along with the land.

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Out of every average clutch nest of 38, only five reach maturity. Quick on land, faster in water, these predators grow about a foot each year until they reach six or seven. Beware: These strong, solitary reptiles can jump their body length and higher in deep water and swallow prey while on the hunt in one bite.

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Dark swamps show differently than hot bright ones. Great guide, great ride real Florida wetland highlights included great blue heron, wild boar, and shy gators with gleaming red eyes. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when our watercraft spotlight flashed on to several of these exotic nocturnal hunters on the prowl.

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Looking back over many years and many past trips to Central Florida, I have only one regret that I did not see alligators in their natural habitat long before this. They were truly the highlight of my trip. Boggy Creek Airboat Rides are unforgettable. They are a must see. They are a spectacular natural attraction. Perhaps, next time it will be a 45 minute swamp excursion or a 60 minute scenic environment nature tour.

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Open 364 days a year, Boggy Creek has two locations– Southport, 2001 E. Southport Road, Kissimmee, Florida 34746 and East Lake, 3602 Big Bass Road, Kissimmee, Florida 34744. You can find more information on their website, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

Have you ever been on an airboat ride?

Wordless Wednesday * Plain People Comfort Foods

August 27, 2014 at 5:00 am

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Recipes I want….

BOOK REVIEW: Little Elliot Big City

August 23, 2014 at 5:00 am

The product featured was provided free of cost to me for the sole purpose of product testing and review. Please note that any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.

Little Elliot Big City

LITTLE ELLIOT

  • Author/Illustrator: Mike Curato
  • Reading level: Ages 4-8, Grades PreK-3
  • Juvenile Fiction
  • Hardcover: 32 pp.
  • Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young readers (August 26, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 97807805098259
  • Price: $16.99

Short Summary:

Little Elliot, a tiny polka-dotted elephant, is much like little people surrounded by adults and a big, big world. Different, unnoticed at times, challenged by his surroundings, he was unnoticed UNTIL he helped something even smaller than him. Then he felt better because he made a friend.

My Opinion Only:

Little Elliot is author-illustrator Mike Curato’s first publication. His character Elliot’s simple story about isolation and loneliness set against dark backgrounds captures the feeling of invisibility which everyone but especially children experience at times. His positive message, “You are not alone,” needs to be said more. I eagerly await two future Elliot books now in planning. Curious about this author, please go to https://mikecurato.wordpress.com/tag/little-elliot/.

Wordless Wednesday: Measuring and the Inexact Dash, Pinch and Smidgeon

August 20, 2014 at 5:00 am

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What measuring tool do you use the most?

Do you do Wordless Wednesday? Leave your link so I can visit you!

Five Things I Packed To Ensure Fun On A Rainy Day

August 18, 2014 at 9:09 am

The product featured was provided free of cost to me for the sole purpose of product testing and review. Please note that any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.

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The family is about to hit the road for the Glen. Givens for the past twenty-two hearts have been rain, poor cell phone reception, and bad TV. I’ve learned what to expect, and I pack accordingly.  Into my weekend bag go–walking shoes, lingerie, swim suit, shorts, jeans, tops, sweat shirt, jacket, toiletries, meds, DVD player and DVD’s, assorted books, healthy snacks, and novelties. Like the scout motto, I am prepared to amuse myself, the grand kids, and everyone else should the campfire fail.

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The Arrow Catcher websiteThe Arrow Catcher on Facebook

Now I know I am a compulsive reader and when sleep doesn’t come I turn the pages. Years ago my son-in-law swore that it woke him up. Accordingly I select Jim Mather’s light fiction read The Arrow Catcher (ISBN9781491011393) published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, a perfect historical epic read for men, women, and young adults.

THE STORY:
1948. Young Jonathan Lusk’s life was perfect. Big Boston house. Swimming pool. Summers on the Cape. His father a Nobel Prize winning Harvard professor; his mother the beautiful only child of Boston socialites. When his parents get caught in the middle of the growing rift between Arab and Jewish faculty over the creation of the State of Israel, Jonathan’s life is turned upside down. He soon finds himself in Japan, living with his grandfather, the former American Ambassador and a judge on the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunals. American opulence and comfort is abruptly replaced by subtle Japanese elegance and traditional austerity. The boy is thrust into a life among strangers and forced to navigate his way through a new country, foreign customs, unfamiliar language, and ultimately political intrigue that will threaten his life. This suspenseful story, one of personal survival, is a testament to a young boy’s perseverance and to human courage and loyalty that are sometimes found in unexpected places.

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Princess Cupcake Jones websitePrincess Cupcake Jones on Facebook

I search for some children’s bedtime reading and grab two  hardcover Yllela Fields books, Princess Cupcake Jones and The Missing Tutu (ISBN9780578113036) and Princess Cupcake Jones Won’t Go to School (ISBN9780578113043) published by Belle Publishing, Cleveland Ohio.  I like their valuable lessons, rhyming cadence, colorful illustrations with hidden words within.    They are perfect stories for young emerging readers.  Join Princess Cupcake Jones in her adventures.  Learn from her searching the palace and finding hidden treasures that when you put things away, what’s special to you won’t be missing again.  Discover as she does that when facing stress not to let fear stop you from doing something new. Books are available at bookstores, libraries and online.

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STL Ocarina websiteSTL Ocarina on FacebookSTL Ocarina on Twitter

I toss into my bag one sturdy 12-hole plastic Marvel Wolverine Superhero Tenor Ocarina in C Major. I tried it myself but when I started to play, hubby suggested I order STL Ocarina’s free instructional booklet and fingering chart at http://www.stlocarina.com/booklets.html. OK, so I have no musical background but I made sure all my children do…. Ocarinas (AKA sweet potatoes) are pocket-sized, flute-like wind instruments similar to recorders. Their tone is enchanting, melodic, and ancient-sounding. Their musical possibilities are virtually limitless (with practice).  If Wolverine doesn’t produce songs, it will still be good for laughs since the men in the family find themselves musical geniuses.

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Next Goal Wins websiteNext Goal Wins on FacebookNext Goal Wins on Twitter

Top video pick is Next Goal Wins, a documentary about world cup dreams and the worst team in the world, the American Samoa soccer team. Their heart, guts, skills, and underdog antics coupled with the backstories of maverick coach Thomas Rongen and players Jaiyah Saeula and Nicky Salapu make a great story.

This film is not rated and contains some language
Total Runtime: 96 minutes S.R.P: $20.99
Video: 16×9
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1

Follow Next Goal Wins:
Youtube Channel: http://bit.ly/NGWYouTube
Tumblr: http://nextgoalwinsmovie.tumblr.com/

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Mary’s Gone Crackers websiteMary’s Gone Crackers on FacebookMary’s Gone Crackers on Twitter

I dare not forget whole grain, organic, gluten-free, non gmo, soy free vegan munchies. Mary’s Gone Crackers has some of the best. Her Everything Pretzels and Sea Salt Sticks & Twigs Pretzels really are flavorful without unhealthy ingredients. Also available are Curry and Chipolte Tomato varieties. I’ll be sharing these with my fellow passengers on the drive up so everyone even my Celiac grandson can enjoy. Naturally packed with omega-3s, fiber, and protein, at $4.99 SRP for a 7.5 ounce bag, Mary’s Gone Crackers products are available online as well as in many local retailers, health stores, and supermarkets.

 What sort of items do you pack for entertainment when you travel with your family?

Sofia the First: The Enchanted Feast DVD Review And Giveaway

August 18, 2014 at 8:24 am

The product featured was provided free of cost to me for the sole purpose of product testing and review. Please note that any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.

Sofia the First: The Enchanted Feast

Sofia the First: The Enchanted Feast

  • DVD Release Date: August 5, 2014
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
  • ASIN: B00K2Y0TWI

I love Sofia the First. More important my toddler grandson loves her. He doesn’t understand the implications of gender yet or social bias. What he knows is that Sofia is a kind, thoughtful, loving–a great role model for any child, girl and boy alike. AL just cannot get enough of Sofia as the picture of him watching Sophia the First, The Enchanted Feast, Royal Reflections shows.

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Each animated episode is colorful, bright, and no talking down understandable. Disney Disney Junior’s Sofia the First is not about what being a real princess (prince too) is outside. Amber was born one; Sofia was not. Rather it is what a real princess (prince too) has inside–kindness, generosity, and the ability to get along with others. This show is a winner. Pre-schoolers aged 2-5 learn by seeing. Too bad the stories don’t develop stories as well about James and his friends instead of being predominantly about Sofia and hers.

Its five episodes include:

The Enchanted Feast–Royalty is visiting Enchancia. Bad Miss Nettle schemes to steal Sofia’s magic amulet. Snow White reminds Sofia to trust her instincts because people aren’t always what they seem to be.

The Buttercups–An overprotective father discovers good scout Sofia can do things without help by herself.

Tea for Too Many–Convinced by Amber that bigger is better, Sofia plans that she really didn’t want for the Royal Prep Tea boomerang. She realizes people like and expect different things.

Great Aunt-Venture–Sofia volunteers to help Aunt Tillie bake her special Arabella apple pie. Things go wrong. Things go wrong until Aunt Tillie suggests she use her head and not give up.

Two Princesses and a Baby–Twins Amber and James share a birthday. Amber convinces Cedric to put a spell on him so they won’t have to share the day. When she finds the golden locket he got her, she realizes she was wrong.

Sofia the First, The Enchanted Feast (released August 5, 2014) is available online and in local retailers and contains a FREE enchanted hand mirror. Its running time is 113 minutes; its SMRP is $14.95.

WIN IT!

One winner will receive a prize pack containing:

  • Sofia the First: The Enchanted Feast DVD
  • Sofia the First Tiara
  • Sofia the First Amulet
  • Sofia the First food utensil
  • Sofia the First Plate

Enter by following the instructions in the Giveaway Tools widget below. The winner will be selected by the Giveaway Tools widget. Any mandatory and/or required entries must be completed in order to be eligible to win. Good luck to everyone!

Wordless Wednesday * Earth-shaking Tamer of Horses and God of the Sea

August 13, 2014 at 5:00 am

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