Monday, July 05, 2010

Central Florida jaunt

To start off my 4 day Holiday weekend, on Friday I took a drive to the Orlando area of Florida to see the Citrus Tower in Clermont. I've decided I need to venture further away than I have been. So, for me this was a new drive in very new territory. It's definitely the farthest I've driven in one go since I moved here. 

There is a miniature White House next to the Citrus Tower as well as a mini Mount Rushmore, and a mini Statue of Liberty, too! Inside the White House there were all kinds of wax statues, souvenirs and Presidential memorabilia, such as the China they used or jewelry worn by the First Ladies.


Here are some photos of a few of my favorite displays, and the outside of the building. The day was gray and a bit wet, but thankfully it wasn't raining too hard.






I believe I was supposed to pay to walk thru the Hall but there was only one person working, and she was leading a school group, so I walked thru quick and poked around the store area before heading to the Citrus Tower. I loved the Lincoln Statue.

Out front there was a bench with a Barack Obama sculpture sitting there, presumably for people to sit next to him. It was too wet, and it honestly didn't look much like him, not to mention his face was more green than anything. Next time, I'll get my picture in front of Mt Rushmore though. :)

After the Hall of Presidents I headed over to the reason for my visit: The Citrus Tower! It stands about 22 stories up, and because of it's location the top of the tower is at about 500 feet above sea level. Pretty tall for down here.

There were actually 2 different signs for each direction, but I only did the one side this visit. Hoping for much better weather the next time I go. Perhaps better planning on my part to actually look at the forecast before I go?
The oranges will show in the winter, and that sounds good for my next visit.  I picked up some key Lime coconut bars in the gift shop, and headed across the street to my next stop.
While searching the internet for other things to do there, I noticed that they had Friendly's Ice Cream. I honestly thought those were only in the Northeast! I sat down and ordered up a glass of water (tap, ugh) and a banana split. Jeanne had sent me a copy of The Improper Bostonian (Anthony Bourdain on the cover, Bonus!) and enjoyed reading that while I noshed.  I stopped at the Florida Mall in Orlando for a little while, and then drove back home. Lots of holiday traffic, but hey, i wasn't in a rush. I drove right past Universal Orlando, too. Oh,  how I wanted to stop and see the Harry Potter section of the park! :)

7 comments:

~**Dawn**~ said...

I get my hair cut & highlighted in a little plaza just up the road from the Citrus Tower! There are a couple of Friendly's around here. The rest are in Orlando though, I think. I'm pretty sure there's one on I-Drive. Not on every other street corner though like up North!

Kim said...

It was a very cool area..I can't wait to go back down when the orange trees start producing fruit! As close as I am to the whole Disney area I really can't believe I haven't been down there more often.

G said...

Looks and sounds like you had a good break from work...

Lynn said...

Sounds like you had a great time, Kim. I had no idea those places were there. And I thought I kind of knew Florida.

aviewfromme said...

The tower looks cool. Definitely good for another visit. The Hall is pretty neat as well! Nice to have a sweet treat that reminds you of 'home'. ~Jeanne

Kim said...

G: I sure did..thanks for stopping by!

Lynn: it sure is a big state, lots more to explore for sure!

Jeanne: I definitely can't wait to see it on a clear day...sure not the distance views of up north, but close as i'll get here.

FerretLady said...

wow... I am so happy you had a good visit. I must admit that those photos showing the view from the Tower make me sad, though. I grew up here in Orlando, and we made countless visits to the Citrus Tower, as my mother had an aunt that worked there. If you google for older photos or postcards showing the tower, that's the way *I* remember it -- nothing at all but groves, groves & more groves to be seen from the tower! Just solid beautiful green groves. Seeing all those houses & other development from the tower is sad, to me. Florida has changed so very very much in my lifetime & I'm only 53. Currently, I live only about 40 miles down the road from where the Citrus Tower is - I was debating whether I might like to see it again, after all these years - I'd probably cry though, missing the massive groves that used to be there... (And yes, I know it is mostly due to the freezes during the '80s that decimated our citrus industry here - but even so - to see so much housing & development on what used to be open land...it would have been so much nicer if they had found other uses for the land, rather than building it up so much...