A beautiful day!

After completing two chapter visits this week, I decided to take advantage of my proximity to Orlando. Originally, I had considered visiting one of the Disney parks or SeaWorld, but since I was going solo, that didn't seem like it would be much fun. However, a trip to Downtown Disney (a shopping, restaurant and entertainment complex within Walt Disney World) sounded perfect. So I arrived at Downtown around lunchtime, and proceeded to have a fantastic afternoon and evening!

I started with ice cream from the Ghirardelli soda fountain...yes, San Francisco-chocolate Ghirardelli. Their ice cream is delicious, and I couldn't pass it up. After indulging myself with the yumminess that is Ghirardelli ice cream, I spent the rest of the afternoon shopping...I checked out just about every store in the Marketplace, and yes, I picked up a few things. I freely admit that I'm a bit of a Disney nut...but considering all of the cool merchandise they had, I did a pretty good job of controlling myself, especially since my purchases included gifts for family.

Today I also realized that I am more entangled in the web of pin-collecting than I thought. Traditionally, I have only purchased pins for specific locations or events that I have visited or attended, although I do get pretty disappointed when no pins are available. But being confronted with so many pins in The World of Disney, I couldn't resist picking up a few that were just really cool...I got a Stitch, a Nemo and a Fantasia hat. I think I'm still okay, though, as long as I don't start hanging out at the pin-trading spots. (If I do, someone please send me to Pin-Collecters Anonymous!)

But the true greatness of the evening? The event that will forever be considered the highlight of my three-week excursion in Florida? Getting to see the Cirque du Soleil show, La Nouba. For years, I have been wanting to see a Cirque du Soleil show, any show, and I am so happy I finally got to - it was amazing!!!! The costumes, the music, the choreography - it was beautiful and vibrant and enchanting and unforgettable. Imagine a group of daring acrobatic stuntmen and women dressed in colorful, artistic costumes, performing to creative and edgy music, who seem to have crammed as many of their amazing abilities as possible into one show, and you get an inkling of what the ninety-minute performance is. There were bike tricks, trapeze artists, tight-rope antics, trampoline stunts, air ballet (where the dancers perform while hanging from large suspended banners of cloth), clowns, and so much more. One of my favorite displays was the tight-rope walker who crossed the rope with a second performer standing on one foot on the walker's head...and that's only one of the amazing things they were doing. Take my word for it...the next time you're in Orlando, go see La Nouba!!

Where I am: Gainesville, FL


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