Sunday, January 14, 2018

Five Days of Disney

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  We’re taking a break! We visited all four parks, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. Hollywood Studios is the only park that we finished in one day. We spent two days at Animal Kingdom and will go back to Magic Kingdom and Epcot this week.  We’re on a really relaxed schedule - get up around 7:30, eat breakfast, drive to the parking lot of whichever park we’re visiting, take showers, eat an early lunch and then finally go into the park. We take a break at dinnertime and eat in the RV before going back to see the evening shows. It’s a slow time of year and most of the attractions have a wait of 10 minutes or less.
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  We have not used any FastPasses which allow visitors to reserve a time to see some of the more popular attractions, bypassing a long wait in line. The thrill rides get the longest lines so getting a FastPass is a good idea. These rides require a transfer from a wheelchair and since I tend to slide around during the rides (which is kind of scary) we don’t go on them.

    I think if you’re determined and focused you can see most of Disney in four or five days but because of the way Disney discounts the tickets as more days are purchased it was hard for us to pass on the 10 day bargain. Five days costs $370.00 per person but adding five more days is only an additional $70.00 per person!

  The parking and accessibility information from our 2011 visit is accurate. The main change is that now visitors in wheelchairs must get in line with everyone else. So many people were taking advantage of the quicker wheelchair lines that it was causing a problem. I’m glad they made this change because it never seemed fair to skip the lines. Some of the rides still have special lines because of the need for easier wheelchair access.  Visitors who can not sit in one spot for a long time because of physical problems or can not handle crowds and small spaces may get a special pass that gives them a return time comparable to the line wait time.  Disney World   28.40876, -81.58172
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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Disney!

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  We’ve visited Disney World many times, both before and after my accident. It’s fairly accessible and we always have a good time. Our last visit was in 2011 so we’re anticipating new attractions and a few changes like the computerized wristbands that are used for entrance to the parks, resort areas, parking lots and even to charge purchases.

Ticket prices start at about $100.00 a day and get cheaper per day as more days that are added.  We decided to go the full amount allowed for one visit – 10 days!  I think that might be a little too much but it will give us time to see everything and have some short and relaxed days.

   We’re off to see Mickey!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Museum of Florida Art

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  Two small galleries display contemporary art. One features changing exhibits and the other has artwork from the museum’s permanent collections. We were surprised to see drawings by Picasso and Whistler in such a small museum. The admission price is good for two locations but we visited the 600 N. Woodland Blvd location only.

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  The museum is accessible.

  The parking lot is large enough for most RVs.  Museum  29.03754, -81.30453

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Look At Who We Found in Florida…

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  Lily, Sandy, and Shane! If you attended the 2015 RTR Lily was a hard to miss presence, camping with her dad, Shane, interacting with everyone and keeping us entertained for hours. Their aunt, Sandy, attended her first RTR in 2017 and had such a good time that she bought a little class C and has been roaming the US for months. They’re headed to Quartzsite and looking forward to seeing everyone again. Thanks for the nice visit guys!

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Palatka Mural Walking Tour

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   Twenty two murals depict historic buildings, people, and events of importance to the small city of Palatka, Florida. The murals are large, nicely done, and colorful. They are located fairly close together and can been seen either by walking or driving.

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   Many of the curb cuts are steep or have dips at the street so wheelchair users may need assistance.  If you visit on a Sunday- when there is little traffic as the stores and businesses are closed - it’s possible to mostly roll along the streets instead of the sidewalks.

  There’s plenty of parking for RVs at Riverfront Park. Pick up a map at the St. Johns River Center or download it from the website.  Murals  29.64758, -81.62938

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

St. Johns River Center & Riverfront Park

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  The exhibits in the River Center cover the early history of Palatka and the importance of wetlands and clean water. They’re geared towards children but are still interesting for adults. After visiting the center head across the road for a short stroll along the St. Johns River. The walkway is only 1/3 mile long  and some sections are in need of repairs but the little park is very nice.

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   A few of the exhibits with interactive displays are out of reach for visitors in wheelchairs but for the most part everything in the museum and park is accessible.

  The parking lot is large enough for RVs. An addition lot is located at the south end of the park near the boat ramp.  Center  29.64666, -81.62898

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park

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   Marjorie Rawlings is best known for The Yearling, a novel about the life of a subsistence farming family in rural Florida. The book is centered around the adventures of their only child, a young boy who befriends an orphaned fawn. Rawlings wrote ten books and dozens of short stories, many of them while living at her home in Cross Creek, Florida which is now the state park.

   Rawlings purchased the homestead and orange grove in 1928 to satisfy her love of nature and her craving for a quiet place to write. When she died in 1953 the homestead was willed to the University of Florida. The homestead became a state park in the 1970s. At that time  Rawling’s husband, Norton Baskin, donated all of the original furniture and household items that had been in storage to the park. The house has been returned to its original appearance as closely as possible.
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  The state park includes the main house which is actually three buildings joined together to make a rambling eight room house, a tenant house where her maids lived, a reconstructed barn, chicken and duck coops, a vegetable garden, remnants of the orange grove, and two short trails. Visitors may tour the property and peek in the windows anytime the park is opened but to see the inside of the house visit on Thursday through Sunday for a guided tour.
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  One of the park brochures states that the park is disability friendly. This is not true as nothing is wheelchair friendly. The trail from the parking lot is loose sand, the buildings have steps but not ramps, and the trails are rough with roots and lumpy ground.

  Small RVs will fit in the parking lot but it much easier to park in the large county boat ramp and picnic ground parking lot adjacent to the park. Park  29.48015, -82.1605
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Friday, December 29, 2017

Lake Delancy East Campground

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    We liked this national forest campground so much that extended our planned stay by a day and would have stayed longer but the short hours of daylight and clouds that rolled in made our solar panels pretty useless. The fact that we parked under the trees didn’t help either. :-D  The sites are all fairly large and the campground appears to get lightly used. The sites under the trees are level. The sites in the grass are not as level but have a partial view of the lake. Amenities include tables, fire rings, trash cans, hand pumped water, and vault toilets.

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  The campground is about 3.5 miles west from Route 19 on a wide, maintained but washboard dirt road. It’s very dark and quiet at night. Another campground, Lake Delancy West, is adjacent to Lake Delancy East and is designed for OHV users. There were only a few riders during our stay and they rode on trails away from the campgrounds but weekends may be noisy.

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   None of the sites are designated as accessible but many are usable. The sites in the grass have concrete tables without overhangs but there is at least one wooden one with an extended top. The sites under the trees have wooden tables with short overhangs. The ground at the sites under the trees is hard packed and pushing around is not difficult. The toilets are listed as accessible but I did not check them out.

  The dirt road to the campground and the campsites are suitable for any RV.   Campground   29.43062, -81.78623

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Garden

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   (we’re back :-)   hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!)

    Albín Polášek, sculptor and teacher at the Art Institute of Chicago for 30 years, retired in 1950 to a small isolated lakefront home and studio which is now surrounded by the community of Winter Park, Florida. He completed over 400 hundred works including eighteen created after he suffered a stroke which left him with only one good hand. Many of Polášek’s pieces are on display in the studio and garden. The studio is open by guided tour only. There’s also a small museum featuring changing exhibits.

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   Everything is accessible but the ramp from the garden (fenced off from the front of the property) to the museum rear entrance is steep, lacks a landing, and has a door that opens outward making access very difficult. It may be possible to use the rear studio entrance which is not as steep to return to the parking area.

  A gravel and grass parking lot, suitable for large vehicles is located on the right side of the property.  Museum  28.59605, -81.34321

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