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Photo Ops December 31, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Blogging, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
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The parks are filled with Photo Ops ~ from mythical creatures standing guard.

To the wrecks and ruins of ancient civilizations.

To mighty tridents backlit by blue cloudless skies.

To giants of men with the weight of the world on their shoulders.

To super-heroes and villains.

To Marvel characters who are marvelous to marvel at.

And then there’s Marmaduke!  Always ready to take an unsuspecting toddler for a ride.

Hope your New Year gets off to a running start!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Rapping With A Raptor December 29, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Travel & Leisure.
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On our second visit to Islands of Adventure, we made a stop in Jurassic Park to meet Blue.

Blue is a raptor . . . a clever carnivore with sharp teeth.

We posed for photos with Blue.

Who nudged us and sniffed us and did NOT manage to eat us.

Although she did get a bit snippy (and snappy) with us.

Before we made a run for it!

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Christmas Riddle December 27, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor, Joke.
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Why did Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer cross the road?

Nobody nose!

Aah . . . that’s punny!

A Christmas Parade December 25, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Music & Dance, Travel & Leisure.
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We finally got to see the Macy’s Christmas Parade . . . in Florida!

On a cool, clear night, we lined up along the parade route and enjoyed a ring-side seat.

The floats trended away from simple and elegant.

And focused more on whimsical creations of our Fairy Tale heroes . . . like Shrek and Fiona!

We also saw giant wooden nutcrackers . . . as well as the helium-filled variety.

Our friends from the New York Zoo visited via Madagascar.  We saw Alex the lion, Melman, the hypochondriac giraffe who is afraid of germs, and Gloria, a strong, confident, but sweet hippopotamus. …

And the penguins of Madagascar . . . after a crash landing.

King Julien XIII, a ring-tailed lemur and the king of the lemurs, stopped “moving it” long enough for me to grab a quick shot.

And, of course, Marty attended.

As you know, zebras are a favorite of mine.

So I snapped Marty from every angle.

Sure that one would be crackalackin!

And then the big guy himself arrived in a tiny sleigh drawn by eight tiny reindeer . . . which, to be truthful, weren’t terribly tiny.

There he is . . . on top of the world!

Wishing you all a Crackalackin Christmas!

Aah . . . that’s better!


Buddies! December 22, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Travel & Leisure.
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What is it about minions?

They’re not terribly cuddly.

They’re rather ungainly.

They’re often untimely.

They often misbehave.

They’re terribly naughty.


So . . . what is it about minions that makes them so popular?

Aah . . . that’s it!

Magic & Muggles! December 19, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Magick & Mystery, Travel & Leisure.
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In Universal Studios Florida (USF), we explored Diagon Alley.

The attention to detail (and oversight provided by Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes) is nothing short of amazing

Even the tarnish on this giant’s coat of armor seemed real (and in need of a bit of spit and polish).

The Hopping Pot features “vintage” charm and plentiful drafts (both kinds).

Neath decorated eaves and roof peaks, our tarnished giant’s “better half” peers out from its perch behind a pane-less second-story window.

After seeing our fill (followed by a harrowing Escape from Gringott’s), we hopped aboard the Hogwart’s Express, dodging dementors.

In Hogsmeade (Islands of Adventure), we attended our first Quidditch match, watched “volunteers” shopping for wands at Ollivanders, and took in the Christmas decor.

And the snow-capped rooftops.

The Frog Chorus serenaded us from the stage with carols galore.

And ribbon dancers vied for first prize in the Tri-Wizard tournament.

Following a Forbidden Journey with Potter & pals, we hopped aboard the train to return to King’s Cross Station in London.

After taking a quick peek at the ambiance and dungeon-like decor in the Leaky Cauldron, we headed to New York for the Macy’s Parade.

Aah . . . that’s better!

On Mulberry Street December 17, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
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Seuss Landing is a whimsical place.

Every animal we saw had a funny face.

As they traveled around while staying in place.

Even the fish got into the act.

Smiling and grinning with grace and with tact.

But my favorite was this guy . . . whose hair hadn’t been hacked!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Hello L. Marie! December 15, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Blogging, Humor, Joke.
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Just a quick shout out to L. Marie . . .

I’ve made it!  I’ve made it!  It’s all about ME!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Merry Grinchmas! December 13, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
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Seuss Landing is a bright and colorful spot.

Festooned with wreaths, garlands, bows, and what not.

Everyone, including Horton, helps to add to the “Merry.”

While the Lorax reminds us all to be wary.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 have energy to spare.

They’re running on Moose Juice with nary a care.

They’re on a perpetual sugar high.

Until it’s time to snooze . . . by and by.

The Cat in the Hat keeps everything humming.

While the Grinch tries to keep Christmas from coming.

Now the Whos are a snooze, but they’ve had a ball.

Making sure this will be the best Christmas of all!

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Experiential Gift of . . . FOOD! December 11, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure.
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With rare exceptions, BFF and I do not exchange gifts for Christmas, Birthdays, our Anniversary, or Valentine’s Day.

Instead, we try to do something together ~ experiential gifts, if you will.

If we’re lucky, those experiences include FOOD!

This year, we decided to buy Annual Passes to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure.

Like the Disney passes we bought two years ago, these park passes will give us plenty of exercise as we hoof it around the parks and City Walk.

Eating our way from one taco stand to the next.

While doing our best not to be eaten by aliens!

Earthlings . . . do not be afraid.  Everything tastes better with butter!  Even Skinny Minnies!  Come back!  Do not be afraid!  

Now I won’t keep you in the dark . . . you must work hard to stay hungry in the park!

Food is here and food is there . . .

Food is nearly everywhere!

You can eat it in a box.  You can eat it with a fox.  You can eat it here or there.  You can eat it anywhere.

It’s up high.  It’s down low.  Food is everywhere you go.

But the buyer must beware . . .

It is NOT the most nutritious fare!

And it’s as ubiquitous as the crowds, which almost never thin out.

But every once in a while . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!