Here's the view from where we stayed-- at a friend's parents' condo. They were warm and lovely people-- plus they were fully stocked on wine, cheese and pate. I definitely ate English muffins with foie gras and brownies for breakfast more than once.
We went to the Magic Kingdom on my birthday. I'd never been before and had an awesome time, riding all the rides and discovering that--- the park is full of fake smells! I was constantly smelling hot roasted nuts everywhere I went, spurring a powerful craving for the sweet little guys but there were none to be found--- anywhere! I walked through a rose garden and was greeted by their sweet, sigh-inducing scent. Upon leaning into a flower for a closer sniff, I discovered that the flowers themselves had no smell (it was too cold). Tricksters!
The park is full of these huge crane/loon/stork things that love to strut for people. They have great, bushy white tail feathers and green eyeshadow. Here I am coaxing one over.
He was delicious.
Ballet Flats: Etienne Aigner. Crochet Tights: Target. Jacket: Macy's. Denim Mini (that you can't see): thrifted. Scarf: thrifted. Stripey "Mime" Long-sleeved Tee: Thrifted. Shades: CVS.
We jaunted over to Epcot for dinner, by which point we were ridiculously exhausted, trying to fill the time before dinner at a Moroccan restaurant by alternating espressos and Kir Royales in France. Afterwards, we jaunted "around the world". Verdict? Must. go. to. Mexico.
The following day, we went to St. Augustine, one of the most beautiful cities I've seen in awhile. I don't know if the lights are always up, or are a holiday thing, but they are used to great effect all throughout the city.
Shades: CVS. Necklace: Gift from friend. Jacket: Macy's. Tee shirt: Target. Jeans: Urban Outfitters. Flats: Etienne Aigner.
Cannons are also used to great effect throughout the city. Also, there are chickens running loose all over St. Augustine! I have a friend who used to raise exotic chickens in his backyard, but let them have free reign of the neighborhood--- until the neighbors called the city to complain. But I've always thought it was a kind of romantic idea to have chickens around to liven up the yard.
On our last day, our hosts took us to Blue Springs-- whose shallow waters house 100-200 manatees on any given day. Unfortunately, the far side of the stream was the warm, sunlit side, so the manatees kept their distance. Our flight attendant on the flight home told us that she used to go swimming with her friends in those springs in high school and they would actually get to touch and interact with the manatees! Damn, the only thing we did after school was eat fast food in each others' cars.
And, no trip to Florida is complete without the wacky, tacky and true-- these freakish embryo looking things are indeed, bottled sharks. They share retail space with tiny shell-covered elephants (below), and rows upon row of crocodile heads, chimes, palmetto honey, snowglobes and the best pecans and grapefruits in the world.