Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Universal Studios Islands of Adventure

In last week's travel post, I shared all about our adventure to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida.  The Harry Potter attraction was the only reason we went to  Islands of Adventure.  But after we saw everything there, we did still have time to check out the rest of the park.

Aside from all the Harry Potter attractions, the next ride we wanted to see the most was the Jurassic Park River Adventure.  It's billed as a "thrilling river raft adventure. You’ll ride through the jungle and see dinosaurs in their natural habitats."  But guess what?  It wasn't open, it was closed for maintenance.  To say we were disappointed was an understatement.  I was downright angry.  This is a major attraction in the park.  If it wasn't available, tickets should have been discounted.

After we got over the shock of realizing we wouldn't be able to go on the ride, we walked around the Jurassic Park a bit.  It was designed very much to look like scenes from the movie.  

There was a jungle gym type play area for children (and adventurous adults like us) to explore.  It was called Camp Jurassic.  I loved how much this steel structure looked like it came right off the movie set.

We climbed all the nets and went down all the slides and through all the crawl spaces.  It was a lot of fun.  There was a pterodactyl ride called "Pteranodon Flyers" in this part of Jurassic Park too, but guess what?  We couldn't ride it.  It was only for children...though they did allow adults on it if they were with a child.  It looked like so much fun!  We were so disappointed....again.

Other than the two rides we couldn't go on, and a dinosaur attraction where a velociraptor pretends to eat you, the only other thing is this section of the park was the Jurassic Park Discovery Center.  This building contained informative exhibits and displays.

This building did look like it came straight off the movie set.  We loved the dinosaurs could move their heads!

The Dinosaur Nursery was a lot of fun to explore.  A lot of care and detail was taken to make it as reminiscent of the movie as possible.

Aren't these large doors amazing?   Just like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there was so much attention given to recreating details from the original movie.

Next, we visited The Lost Continent.  Here all the architecture had a Moroccan, Old World feel.  We first went to the Poseidon's Fury attraction.  It is a live action show described as follows:  "You'll soon find yourself trapped far beneath the sea with no hope of escape, caught in the middle of a colossal battle between ancient titans Poseidon and the evil Lord Darkenon. Massive fireballs, lasers, and huge explosions of water erupt all around you as you witness the power of this special effects spectacular. Will you make it back to the surface before the temple crashes down around you? 

This show was O.K.  You walk  and stand through all of it, and I think you would enjoy it more depending on where you get to stand.  I seemed to always get stuck in back and couldn't see a thing.  I did enjoy walking through the tunnel of water actually feel the mist as you walk through.  That was fun and interesting, and I felt a bit like the Israelites must have when they crossed the Dead Sea.

We enjoyed meeting these attractive and talented stilt walkers after the show!

There was a major theatre show in this section of the park called "The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad Stunt Show".  This was a fairly decent show.  I enjoyed being able to see it for one...because I was sitting down, in an actual theatre, with elevated seating.

The show involved stunts, comedy, romance, and pyrotechnics along with a silly storyline.

The set was quite impressive.  It is very large, and extremely detailed.

After watching two shows, by now we were ready for some rides.  Since we were unable to go onto the Jurassic Park water ride, we headed for Toon Town to get on the Popeye's and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges.  And guess what?  I was closed due to technical difficulties.  So off we went to explore Toon Town till the ride was available again.

Thankfully they got the ride up and running again.  And even though by now it was late in the day, and the sun was not as strong,  we decided to go on the ride anyway, and boy did we get wet!   Never in my life had I gotten as soaked on any amusement park ride before!  But it sure was fun!  And lesson learned....never wear denim to an amusement park.  It does not dry out fast enough.  I was wet for the rest of the day!

This section of the park was really cute, but there wasn't much to do here.  Mostly just shops and eateries.  There was another water ride, Dudly Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls, but it had too much of a drop for the "girls" comfort zone...though Jason would have loved it!

I really did enjoy looking at all the nostalgic decor of this park.  These were the cartoons from my childhood!

One of the cutest areas of the park, especially if you have small children, is Suess's Landing.  Everything is this section, is meant for kids...but we loved it and even went on the kiddie rides.

There is this cute little train that takes you for a ride above this adorable Dr. Seuss village.  And yes, we rode on it and enjoyed ourselves immensely!

My favorite ride in this section of the park was the The Cat in the Hat.  It is so adorable!  You sit on a couch and it moves through the storybook....oh, talk about re-living your childhood!  I loved it!

The decor and shops in this village are all absolutely adorable.  And Jason, a school teacher and book lover, loved every minute of it...if you can't tell by the picture below!  Who says Dr. Seuss is only for small children anyway?

The last section of the park, and the part we spent the least amount of time in, was Marvel Super Hero Island.  Again, the place was decorated amazingly well.  We just didn't do much here because most of the rides are more adventurous than Ashley and I like.  

They did have a lot of the Super Heroes out and about making sure the streets were Captain America!

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man 3-D ride was our second favorite ride in Island's of Adventure (Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was our Favorite!).  But would you believe the first time we showed up to take this ride it was closed due to technical difficulties?  I couldn't.  I was ready to head straight for the customer service booth and demand my money back at this point.  But we came back later and it was working again.  We ended up loving it so much, we rode this ride twice!

I screamed so much during the Spider-Man ride Ashley remarked "Wow Mom, that ride really scares you!".  I said "Yes, it does, because you not only see scary stuff happening, you feel it too!".

It is a moving, high-definition, 3-D ride.  You sit in a moving vehicle and follow right along side Spider Man "careening and crashing through the streets, scaling skyscrapers and plummeting to the pavement below in a simulated 400-foot free fall."   

The scary part for me was "feeling" what you see.  For example, if glass crashes and breaks in front of your eyes, you feel tiny pin pricks on your skin...I think it was just water sprays, but it felt like pin pricks.  It was so freaky, but fun!

This section of the park was so cool to walk through at night when everything was all lit up.

We were at the park from the time it opened to the time it closed.  We got on every ride we wanted to that was open.  They were in the process of building new rides while we there.  The King Kong attraction looked amazing.  I would love to go back someday and experience that ride, but probably never will.  There are so many other theme parks in Orlando that I have yet to visit...if I ever get back to Orlando again.

So what about you?  Have you ever been to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure?  What did you think of it?  I'd love to hear from you!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE and Travel Tuesday!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Between the Lines: Amy's Creative Pursuits, What IS It Like Being a Blogger Over Fifty?

If you're looking for a craft or home project today, there is none, because today I am being featured over at Katherine's Corner in her "Between the Lines" blog series.  This series started two weeks ago, and will continue every Tuesday through June 28th.  It will feature eighty eight bloggers over the age of fifty.  Every week Katherine celebrates and introduces bloggers of  "certain age" and asks them questions about the joys and pitfalls of being a blogger over fifty.

So before I get into the questions Katherine asked me, I would like to answer the general question "What is it like being a blogger over fifty?"  Difficult, would be my answer.  People in my age group or older are not as active in social media so it's hard to get over fifty readers.   Most of my readers are in the 20-40 age group.   Although I'm happy the younger crowd supports me, I also find that so discouraging, because I really want to connect with women my own age.  But even over-fifty bloggers don't seem interested in me.   I don't know why.  I'm not sure if it's a competitive issue, or if over-fifty bloggers just don't spend as much time on social media as their younger counterparts.  My main motive in participating in this series was not to promote my own blog, but to meet other over-fifty bloggers my own age and develop new relationships.  I'm sad to report, that has not happened yet.  But it is early in the series, so I'm going to stay positive and hope that changes soon.

So why then do I blog?  This is an issue I come across quite frequently on many blog posts.  Most people I believe start blogs with the wrong motive:  to make money.  This ultimately ends up in disappointment because they can't understand why their blog is not as successful as someone else's blog, and they begin to get discouraged and quit blogging.  Of course, money and free gifts is a fun plus to blogging.   But the main reason I blog is simply because I ENJOY IT.  I absolutely love to write about the things I love:  

My Family

 My Travels

My Hobbies

My Home and Garden




 If no one, and I mean NO ONE ever read a single blog post, I would still be writing.  It is my on-line journal that chronicles my life.  It is a creative outlet for me.  It is very therapeutic for me to come here and write about my life.  It is a place where I can go and share my thoughts and my experiences.  I just love it.  

But I also love how easily I can share these experiences with others.  I love that my children, friends, and extended family that live far away can pop over and see what I/we've been up to.  I love that technology has advanced so much that I no longer need to pay extra money to get reprints to send photos to grandma, and she can now just view our photos and stories over the Internet.  It's a way to stay close to people that live far away.

Now every week in this series Katherine asks the over-fifty bloggers two questions as a way to get to know them a little bit better.  These were my two questions and how I answered them:

Question 1:  How many categories do I have on my blog?  Do I use more than one for each post?

Good question, as I think some new readers get confused about what my blog is all about.  I consider myself a LIFESTYLE blogger.  I have seven categories on my blog:  Fashion Over Fifty, Crafts, Travel, Gardening, Home Decor, recipes, and Beauty.  I follow a strict blogging schedule so that if a reader is only interested in one category they can visit my blog just on the day that features that category.  For example, readers who are interested in Travel, will visit my blog on Wednesdays when I do a Travel post.  My blogging schedule is always listed in my sidebar.  If I don’t have anything new to share on that day, I just won’t do a post.

Do I use more than one category for each post?  Rarely, and only then when they overlap because of my lifestyle.  One example would be that when I travel I tend to dress very fashionably, so I use those travel occasions to create interesting photo backdrops for fashion posts.  Another example would be my gardening posts.  I love to visit botanical gardens when I travel so I share those on Sundays when I do a garden post.

Question 2:  Do I have a pet?

Yes, but only one, a cockatiel named Emery.  Plus a koi pond fish that lives inside an aquarium in my house…if you count him as a pet.  I love animals, and I use to have a lot of them.  At one time I had two dogs, one cat, two finches, a parakeet, a cockatiel, and a lovebird.  I have a special fondness for cats and birds.  One by one, all my pets passed away over the years, and I just never got new pets.  I would love to get another cat or a lovebird but we decided we travel too much now and it’s too difficult to have any more pets.

I hope you have all gotten to know me a little bit more through this post.  If you have any questions at all that you have always been "dying" to ask that you would like to know about me, please feel free to ask in the comment section below. 
If I can answer it, I will!  I also have an "About Me" page, you can find that by clicking on the tab at the top of this post.  There you will find a general summary of me and my blog that covers different things that were not mentioned in this post. 

Now be sure and visit the other over-fifty bloggers being featured today and show them some support!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Monday, May 2, 2016

Olive Green Utility Jacket

The past month I have show casing all my spring jackets.  I only have three more spring jackets to go after this post.  Today I am featuring the tried and true olive green utility jacket. 

And if your new to the series, here's a list of the jackets I've shown so far:

The olive green utility jacket is a closet staple.  I received it from Stitch Fix two years ago.  I use it a lot on vacations because it is so practical, but I must confess I don't wear it too often otherwise.  I really like, but because it is so large, and it has all the drawn strings hanging down, I sometimes feel sloppy in it.  I know it's "the look", but it's not me. I prefer something more structured, form fitting, and classic.

 It is a perfect coat for vacations though because the hood protects you from the rain, and the color and size go with everything, so you don't need to pack another coat.

I wore this outfit shopping on a chilly spring day.  And since I had to go to the garden center and pick up bags of mulch, it was actually the perfect coat to wear.

 The best features of the coat are the detachable hood, the sleeve tabs, and the drawstring waist.

I love the sleeve tabs because I can roll the sleeves up or down depending on the weather, and the tabs hold the sleeves neatly in place.

I also really like the material of this jacket.  It is very soft, so I feel very cozy and comfortable in it.  I really dislike jackets made of stiff materials.  Jean jackets are the most uncomfortable for me, but I wear them anyway.

My top is a gauze, peplum  tank that I received in my last Stitch Fix.  Because it has olive green in the embroidered center panel, it goes great with this jacket.

To keep from looking too frumpy with this over-sized utility jacket, I made sure I had nice footwear.  I chose these pointed toe burgundy flats from Express.  They have a lovely velvet bow on top too!

The embroidered detail in this top is so lovely, and because there are so many different earth tone colors in the embroidery, I can wear this top with just about anything!

Like I said earlier, it was a pretty chilly spring the low fifties, with a cold wind.  Since the top had a low neckline, I added a black pashmina scarf to ward off the chill.

My jeans are cropped jeans by St. John's Bay.

The back of the top is longer than the front and has a keyhole neckline.

I thought you'd like to see the utility zipped up and with the hood up.  So cozy isn't it?  I really love the drawstring waist, I can cinch it tighter to make it more form fitting.

The only jewelry I wore was this pretty multi-colored bracelet a good friend gave me.

And here is the top without the scarf so you can see the neckline.  It will be great wearing this comfy, cool top all by itself when the weather warms.

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Women's Dark Green Jacket, Orange Peplum Top, Blue Skinny Jeans, Burgundy Leather Ballerina Shoes on Lookastic: Dark Green Jacket, Orange Peplum Top, Blue Skinny Jeans, Burgundy Leather Ballerina Shoes