Sunday, May 7, 2017

Street Performers

Street performers.      At Hollywood Studios in  Disney World they have lots of street performers.     They do a terrific job and are very entertaining, and the people gather to watch them.   Last week when I visited Hollywood Studios I stopped and watched these two street performers.  
The guy on the box was running for Mayor of Hollywood and was giving a speech.   Can you read "Mayor of Hollywood" on the box?   Plus he also had a handful of money in his left hand.   He had passed out some of the money to about 4 or 5 people that were watching.    Then he didn't hand out any more money.   He had a lot of money.   You can see the thick stack of bills that he had.  
Some people in the audience made humorous comments to him and he just made impromptu humorous replies.   It was really great to watch.   I finally decided to speak up.   I asked him in a loud voice if he wanted me to vote for him.   He said that he did.    I told him that he would have to give me some money if he wanted my vote.   He handed me a $50 bill and I reassured him that I would vote for him.    I took a few steps away and looked at my $50 bill and this is what I saw.   I had a good laugh.   But here is the real "kicker".    As soon I was handed the money just about everyone in the large group of people watching immediately started asking for money.   And the guy on the soapbox was busy passing out  money to all of those people who were clamoring for "a piece of the pie" as they say.   I guess that I was the one who broke the ice on asking for the money.
    I wasn't expecting real money but I was hoping that it would have something about Disney on it.   But it doesn't really matter.   I will add this bill to my collection of Disney items.    It will always bring back a wonderful memory of my visit that day and these two great entertainers.

The temperature hasn't gotten beastly hot yet and the humidity isn't sweltering.   Each time I visit Disney it seems like I always have fun and these street performers are always so entertaining.   Have a happy day.   Lew

Friday, May 5, 2017

Star Wars Imperial Walkers

I went to Hollywood studios on Wednesday and had lunch at a restaurant called The Backlot Express.  
It is the least expensive sit-down air-conditioned restaurant that I have found in Hollywood Studios.   After having done a lot of walking and standing in lines in the Florida heat it just feels so good to sit down in an air conditioned place to rest and get cool.  
I had the Angus Bacon cheeseburger with french fries.   The condiment on the right is ketchup which is for the french fries.   The darker condiment on the left is barbecue sauce which went on the burger which then made it a barbecue Angus bacon cheeseburger.   I have an annual pass so I got a 20% discount on my meal which is a pretty good deal.   I know in the picture it doesn't look like a lot of food but it really is.    You won 't leave the table hungry.
The Backlot Express restaurant is located between the Indiana Jones stunt show and The Star Tours attraction.
After eating I left and headed to the Star Tours ride and gift shop.   And then I saw it through the trees.   It looked like an Imperial Walker.   I snapped a quick picture of it.
Yes, it was definitely an Imperial Walker.
They have a stage in front of the Star Tours where they let young children interact with Darth Vader and other Star Wars characters.    I think that they call it a Jedi training academy.   It must be awfully hot inside that dark colored Vader costume.   The Florida sun, heat, and humidity are a terrible combination.   Hopefully they have a cooling room for the individual.
I had a really fun day and enjoyed myself.   There is just something magical about Disney.   As they say, "The happiest place on earth".   So true.    Here is a picture that I got off the internet showing an Imperial Walker in the parking lot.
If you have ever visited a Disney Park then you know about the long single line of cars following the directions of the parking lot attendants.   It is actually a very efficient that they have and they are able to park a lot of cars really quick.   Hope you enjoyed the blog.   Hope even more that you get to experience Disney for yourself in the near future.   Have a nice day and keep an eye out for those Imperial Walkers.   LOL.    Lew

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Suspension Bridges

The other day I was remembering a suspension bridge that I use to go on in San Diego.   One day I had the whole family with me which is unusual since they are scattered around the country.   My mom lived in Phoenix and my brother lived in Lakeland.   Going from left to right is my daughter, my brother, me, my late wife, and my mother.
Out of curiosity I did a search on the internet for the suspension bridge to see if it was still there and what condition it was in.   I believe it is called the Spruce Street bridge.  This was a real suspension bridge that swayed and undulated up and down  when I walked across it.   But it wasn't one of those rope bridges with broken rotten wooden planks to walk on.   Not like the one in the picture below
It was a modern one.   Although I did have a small amount of apprehension about the wooden planks.
The bridge was pretty high as it passes over a canyon below.
So exactly where is it located?    Well one hint is that it is on spruce street in San Diego.   If you come in on the east side you will be right at one end of the bridge where the picture was taken with my family.
If you look right in the center of the photo below you can actually see the suspension bridge.    Isn't Google great?    I use it all the time.
I also stumbled across a terrific site with lots of pictures of the suspension bridge and canyon that it goes over.

Years ago Mary and I were at Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World and Mary was a good sport to go out on this primitive-style suspension bridge so that I could get a picture.
This isn't the only suspension bridge that they have at Animal Kingdom.   This one really looks even more primitive.

Take a close look at the planks in the bridge.   Do you see a broken one?   Scary. 
So you think this is just a decoration and not really used?   Gong!   Wrong, it really is used for the Wild Africa Trek that people can go on.   Oh yes, alligators and crocodiles.
I think that anybody who crosses this rope-style bridge should get a certificate of bravery.

If you should go on this please don't trip and fall sideways over the side between the wires.
But wait, there's more.   The Animal Kingdom Lodge is a beautiful Disney resort hotel with an Africa theme to it located right next to Animal Kingdom.   And they have an actual suspension bridge inside the hotel.   Incredible.   I haven't seen this bridge in the Animal Kingdom Lodge but perhaps on one of my future trips to Animal Kingdom I will go to the Lodge to see it.
Well, I guess that you have heard enough about suspension bridges.   You can see them in San Diego or Walt Disney World near Orlando.   Have a great day.   Lew

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Duisney Springs Music Stage

Disney Springs and the Pink Flamingo
I went to Disney Springs earlier this week.   While there I went to the musical stage to watch some bands play.   I listened to two bands play.   They were both High School bands and they were very good.   The first band was from Wisconsin.
I couldn't help but wonder if that in addition to being a concert band if they might also be a marching band because the music was so loud, which is great.    It sounded like whoever the fellow was beating the kettle drum and bass drum was beating the heck out of them.   Whoever he was he got a really good workout. 
But some of the loudness may have also been due to the microphones scattered throughout the band and the large speakers facing the audience.   And notice the blue lights on the ceiling.   I have no idea what they were for.  
And periodically they would change color.   Now they are red.   For what purpose?   It was such a bright sunny day.
And then a medley of colors.   Anyone with any theatrical experience know why they would do this?   Just curious.
I took a look around at the people listening to the concert.   There weren't more people because the sun was terrible on an already hot day.
And then I saw it.   I couldn't believe it.   Can you see it?   I know, how could anyone miss it.
Let's get a closer look at this.    Don't ask me because I don't know why he is wearing a flamingo hat.   I have never seen these flamingo hats at Disney but I suspect that they must be for sale somewhere.    But the important thing is that he is having fun.   And if he is happy wearing the flamingo hat then "what the heck" why not.  
A girl started to conduct  the band.   Maybe she was a student conductor.   I don't really know.    But right in the middle of her conducting, the volcano of the Rainforest Cafe started to erupt with flames, smoke, and noise.
I left the music area for a while and when I returned there was another high school band playing also.   This band was from Massachusetts.  
They finished their concert with a medley of John Philip Sousa patriotic marches.    Arthur Fiedler would have been proud of their performance.   It was like listening to the Boston Pops on the Fourth of July.    Now, I have never been to a performance of Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops but I have listened to them many times on CD.    And this high school band sounded just like the Boston Pops.   The people gave a standing ovation with a long period of applause.    Yeah, I was standing and applauding also.    In fact everyone stood and applauded.   I looked around and didn't see anyone sitting.   It was a really grand finale.    I spoke to the conductor that ending the concert with some Sousa marches really got the people enthused.   He smiled and agreed with me.   So the music was over and it was time to go home.
I have heard it said that Disney is the "happiest place on earth".   I agree, it is.   Lew

Friday, April 21, 2017


Poutine.   I saw this Kiosk-style walk-up restaurant at Disney Springs.   I read up on Poutine and discovered that it is a Canadian dish that originated in Quebec.   It consists of thick-cut french fries with curds and a beef gravy poured over everything.   I had never had anything like this and so I wanted to give it a try just to see what it was like.   Perhaps I am a little bit Andrew Zimmerman at heart.
They seemed to have a fairly well equipped kitchen.   It is not a good sign if all you see is a microwave.
It was in a really nice location with a pretty fountain right in front of it.   I always like fountains.   There is just something about the flow of falling water that I find very relaxing.   When you visit Disney you will see beautiful things everywhere.   I think that too many people concentrate on the thrill rides and don't fully appreciate the beauty:  from flowers to architecture to decor and on and on.
They seem to have a limited menu.   Basically four different types of entrees.
Since I was new to this and it was my first time eating Poutine I decided to try the Poutine Classic.
This is what I got which was a lot.   Definitely a full meal in itself.
Here is a picture with my hand in it for size comparison.   At first it didn't look like all that much.    But halfway through the meal I found out that it was much more than enough.
The seating was outside on wrought iron tables with a basket weave design and wrought iron chairs.   The french fries were thick cut, tasty, and hot.   They must have been fresh cooked in the deep frier.   The beef Poutine gravy was rich and flavorful.   Very good.   Now we come to the cheddar curds.   They are the cube shaped things.   They were very rubbery.   Plus I couldn't taste any cheddar flavor at all.   They seemed to have no taste.   But that may have been due to the delicious beef gravy overpowering any cheddar flavor.    It was just the texture that I didn't like.    Rubbery, in my opinion.   I always thought that curds were like cottage cheese and that is what I was expecting.   But not being a connoisseur of Poutine they may have actually been just perfect.   I kept trying them and actually ate around five of the curds.    I gave up on the curds and left the rest.   I thought of the nursery rhyme about Little Miss Muffet sitting on her tuffet eating her curds and whey.   I believe that whey is the liquid left when the fat has been removed from the milk.    I checked the internet for an illustration of this nursery rhyme.   I found one and maybe those round things in the bowl are curds.   They look to be about the right size.    But I prefer my milk curds as cottage cheese.
After eating I left Poutine's and took a walk around Disney Springs.   I was crossing this foot bridge when I spotted an amphicar.
Does anyone remember these cars from the middle 60's?   I do.   I wish that I had gotten one.   A car with a propeller on the back and so you just drive from  the road right into a lake.    I wonder if a person could fish from the car?   Seems like a pretty neat car.
While I was standing on the bridge taking the pictures of the amphicar I struck up a conversation with a man and his son (total strangers).   He thought that a car had been turned into a boat.   I told him that it was an amphicar with a brief description and that they had been produced around 1965.   He said that was why he didn't know about them because he was born in 1969.   Made me feel older than I normally feel.   I told him that I had just eatin' a Poutine and he just came alive.    He said that he was from Canada and that he really liked poutine's and told me that they had originated in the city of Quebec.    You can meet a lot of nice people at Disney.   I continued on my way and returned to the Lime Garage.   At Disney Springs they have two huge parking garages:  one is the Lime Garage and the other is the Orange Garage.   Naturally being in Florida they would have Citrus names.   I had done many other things at Disney Springs, far too numerous to put into this particular blog.   Going to Disney Springs is always an adventure.    There is just so much there.   Have a great day and if you ever get to Disney World be sure to visit Disney Springs and take a ride in an amphicar.    Lew